The Hill's 12:30 Report — Stone indicted in Mueller probe | Says he's not guilty | Day 35 of shutdown | FAA briefly halts flights into LaGuardia

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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill's 12:30 Report: Roger StoneRoger Jason Stone3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 Judge rejects Stone's request to dismiss charges Judge dismisses DNC lawsuit against Trump campaign, Russia over election interference MORE indicted in Mueller probe | Trump rips arrest | White House says it has 'nothing to do with the president' | Judge orders Stone released on $250K bond | CNN captures arrest | Day 35 of shutdown | Trump reportedly to make announcement on shutdown | FAA briefly halts flights into LaGuardia amid staff shortages | Why you won't find Sweethearts candy this Valentine's Day



Leave no Stone unturned!

Don't take your freedom for granite!

Power to the pebble!

I could go on for days. Enjoy --> ;)


President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE's longtime confidant and informal adviser Roger Stone has been indicted on seven charges in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE's investigation.

The charges: One count of obstruction of an official proceeding, one count of witness tampering and five counts of false statements. "According to the indictment, Stone obstructed the investigations by the House Intelligence Committee and the FBI into Russian interference in the election." Details of the charges:

Where WikiLeaks comes in: "The indictment also conspicuously mentions that 'a senior Trump campaign official was directed to contact Stone' about what WikiLeaks might have on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump takes aim at media after 'hereby' ordering US businesses out of China Trump knocks news of CNN hiring ex-FBI official McCabe Taylor Swift says Trump is 'gaslighting the American public' MORE." Yeah, but: "The indictment does not, however, attempt to explain why Stone would lie about this or lay out a definitive story about what did happen between Stone and WikiLeaks back then. Stone also has not been charged with any criminal activity occurring during the campaign."

Read the indictment:

Stone's $250k bond: A federal judge ruled that Stone is not a flight risk and can be released for $250k signature bond.

Getting traction -- how Stone was arrested: "Just saw CNN exclusive video of federal agents' paramilitary-style Roger Stone arrest in Florida this morning. 'Many lights, heavy weaponry,' according to CNN producer on scene." (From the Washington Examiner's Byron York)

CNN video of the early-morning FBI arrest: Yikes, this looks intense! Watch:

^^Why the CNN video matters: "CNN cameras were at the raid of Roger Stone... so FBI obviously tipped off CNN... even if you don't like Stone, it is curious why Mueller's office tipped off CNN instead of trying to quietly arrest Stone; quiet arrests are more likely to be safe to the FBI and the person arrested." (Via Greta Van Susteren)

Reaction to Greta’s tweet from a CNN reporter: CNN’s MJ Lee responded, “Our reporter on the scene [David Shortell] reported on air that there was unusual grand jury activity yesterday so decided to stake out — a decision any other reporter/outlet could have made.” MJ Lee's full response to Greta Van Susteren:

JUST NOW – Stone emerges: "Any error I made in my testimony would be both immaterial and without intent," Stone said.

Video of Stones entrance to giving remarks: This is really…something. Expect to see this video used as a meme. Watch:

Smaaall world -- guess who watched the arrest?: Former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson tweeted, "FBI arrested my neighbor Roger before my morning jog, I've only seen shit like that in movies, crazy to start to my Friday."

Meanwhile in New York: "F.B.I. agents were also seen carting hard drives and other evidence from Mr. Stone's apartment in Harlem." (Via The New York Times) 

Just now on MSNBC -- weird: "Errrr. MSNBC is showing footage from Godfather Part II to tell a news story about Roger Stone." (Via The Hill's Ian Swanson Photo:

Check out Roger Stone's Instagram post from around 10 a.m. this morning: Interesting.

Throwback: Here's a photo of Roger Stone in The Hill's offices. Photo from Niall Stanage:

If you want a refresher on Roger Stone: Here's a profile of Stone in The Weekly Standard from 2007. It's getting a lot of attention today:

I'm not saying it is Connecticut's fault, but...: Two people indicted in the special counsel investigation -- Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortEx-Trump campaign aide Rick Gates testifies against former Obama counsel Gregory Craig Trial of ex-Obama White House counsel suddenly postponed Top Mueller probe prosecutor to join Georgetown Law as lecturer MORE and Roger Stone -- are from Connecticut.

Interesting to see this written out:


REACTION FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP: The president tweeted, "Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country! NO COLLUSION! Border Coyotes, Drug Dealers and Human Traffickers are treated better. Who alerted CNN to be there?"

REACTION FROM THE WHITE HOUSE: White House press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on CNN this morning that Roger Stone's arrest has "nothing to do with the president, nothing to do with the White House."

AND A REACTION FROM TRUMP ATTORNEY JAY SEKULO: "The indictment today does not allege Russian collusion by Roger Stone or anyone else. Rather, the indictment focuses on alleged false statements Mr. Stone made to Congress." (Via The Hill's Jordan Fabian)


It's Friday of the never-ending month. Seriously, how is it still January? I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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Brief ground stop at LaGuardia -- OK, is this how the shutdown ends?: Via CNBC, a ground stop was ordered at LaGuardia Airport in New York City for about an hour this morning because of a shortage of air traffic controllers. Flights have also been delayed at Newark Liberty International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport.

The delays in Philadelphia: Around an hour and 15 minutes, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The delays in Newark: Around 45 minutes, according to the FAA. 

Duration of the ground stop: From around 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. today.

Check out the FAA's Airport Status Information site for LaGuardia:

This image stresses me out, even without a ground stop at one of its major airports:



Happening soon -- Trump expected to make an announcement:

President Trump "is expected to speak at White House this afternoon on the shutdown, per [two people] familiar. Lots of desire in White House to end the episode -- but unclear what POTUS will say." (Via The Washington Post's Josh Dawsey


Tidbit about a potential compromise:

Via The Washington Post's Erica Werner, Sean Sullivan and Mike DeBonis, in a meeting with Latino leaders yesterday, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump allies say A$AP Rocky was supposed to thank him but his team stopped 'returning our text messages': report President tweets 'few work harder' than Ivanka, Jared PETA billboard in Baltimore calls Kushner a 'rich pest' MORE said permanent protections for young immigrants known as "Dreamers" -- and potentially a path to citizenship -- could be included in the deal to end the government shutdown. Details:





Via NBC's Laura Strickler, Ken Dilanian and Peter Alexander, "Jared Kushner's application for a top-secret clearance was rejected by two career White House security specialists after an FBI background check raised concerns about potential foreign influence on him -- but their supervisor overruled the recommendation and approved the clearance, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News."



Yeeeeah OK, kid:

The full back story:



Noon: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBill Maher says he's 'glad' David Koch is dead Trump spurs new wave of economic angst by escalating China fight Trump on North Korean projectile launches: Kim 'likes testing missiles' MORE.

1:45 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with mayors to discuss economic growth.

2:45 p.m. EST: President Trump holds a roundtable with Hispanic pastors.



Sunday morning: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthySteve King defends remarks on rape, incest Omar says US should reconsider aid to Israel I'm not a Nazi, I'm just a dude: What it's like to be the other Steve King MORE (R-Calif.), House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesAnti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump Appetite for Democratic term limits fizzling out Jeffries dismisses optics: We wanted testimony from Mueller, not Robert De Niro MORE (N.Y.) and Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads What the gun safety debate says about Washington Trump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China MORE (R-Fla.) will appear on NBC's "Meet the Press." 



Today is National Irish Coffee Day.


Sweethearts don't even taste that great, but I'm still weirdly sad:

The conversation heart candy Sweethearts won't be available for Valentine's Day this year. Why: The candy's original producer, Necco, went out of business last year. The candy company that acquired Sweethearts did not have enough time to produce the candy by February. Keep in mind: Sweethearts should be back by Valentine's Day 2020, so give your valentines a rain check. ;)


I just thought you should know:

Oscar Meyer is looking for new Wienermobile drivers to drive the giant hot dog coast-to-coast for a year.


And to get your weekend off to a fantastic start, here's a mascot with a wardrobe malfunction. I'm cryinggggggg: