The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump slams intel leaders | GOP in no mood for another shutdown | Trump calls Venezuelan opposition leader | Cold snap hits US

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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: Trump slams intel leaders, tells them to 'go back to school!' | GOP in no mood for second shutdown | Trump calls Venezuelan opposition leader | Cold snap hits US | Officials warn of almost instant frostbite | Kid calls 911 for math help | National Croissant Day

 

NEWS THIS MORNING

'Go back to intelligence school!!' is an insult I could have had fun with in elementary school:

This morning, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants MORE slammed top intelligence leaders for their assessment on Iran. http://bit.ly/2TnCfT1

He tweeted: "The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong! When I became President Iran was making trouble all over the Middle East, and beyond. Since ending the terrible Iran Nuclear Deal, they are MUCH different, but...." http://bit.ly/2HNLcnw

He then added: "....a source of potential danger and conflict. They are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very close to the edge. There [sic] economy is now crashing, which is the only thing holding them back. Be careful of Iran. Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!" http://bit.ly/2BdH767

 

WHAT SPARKED THESE TWEETS: Yesterday, Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsHillicon Valley: Tim Cook visits White House | House hearing grapples with deepfake threat | Bill, Melinda Gates launch lobbying group | Tech turns to K-Street in antitrust fight | Lawsuit poses major threat to T-Mobile, Sprint merger Hillicon Valley: Tim Cook visits White House | House hearing grapples with deepfake threat | Bill, Melinda Gates launch lobbying group | Tech turns to K-Street in antitrust fight | Lawsuit poses major threat to T-Mobile, Sprint merger House Intel to take first major deep dive into threat of 'deepfakes' MORE and CIA Director Gina Haspel testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee and seemed to contradict what President Trump has said. http://bit.ly/2TnCfT1

For example: The intelligence officials testified that Iran is not currently trying to develop nuclear weapons and that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is still a threat. http://bit.ly/2TnCfT1

 

ALSO THIS MORNING -- TRUMP'S CALL WITH A VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION LEADER: 
"President Trump on Wednesday spoke with Juan Guaidó, the Venezuelan opposition figure the U.S. has recognized as the country's leader." http://bit.ly/2TnRnjc

 

It's a cold, cold Wednesday. Filing with a hot coffee in hand, 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 cmartel@thehill.com -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and  Facebook.

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TALK OF THE MORNING

Everyone is cold and we are not pleased:

"Officials warned of almost instant frostbite as temperatures in the [Midwest] plunged below zero Wednesday. Some state offices are closed and postal workers won't deliver mail in 10 states. Thousands of flights have been canceled along with dozens of train services -- most of them in and out of Chicago." https://cnn.it/2Tm412n

Cold-related deaths: At least five deaths have been linked to the cold temperatures. https://cnn.it/2Tm412n

This is fascinating: It is so cold in Chicago that crews are lighting parts of the train rails on fire to prevent and fix a rail defect caused by the extreme cold. Watch -- wow: http://bit.ly/2CR1VjW The back story to the method: https://abc11.tv/2RWYzWR

The best tweet I've seen all day: 

I <3 science:

 

ON CAPITOL HILL

What, those 35 days of bad headlines, an annoyed country and long TSA lines wasn't a blast for everyone on Capitol Hill?:

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, "Republicans are in no mood to be dragged back into another partial closure in mid-February" and are signaling they are ready to do whatever is necessary to avoid another shutdown. Keep in mind: President Trump and the GOP were blamed for the shutdown more than Democrats, according to polls. http://bit.ly/2HGH1JR

 

Overheard from a freshman House member -- we've all been there:

"Oh, now I know where we are." (From The Hill's Timothy Camahttp://bit.ly/2FYSvHa

 

Standing to your left in the blue warm-ups:

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerEx-state senator in North Carolina enters race against Tillis Ex-state senator in North Carolina enters race against Tillis Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw MORE (D-N.Y.) announced that Stacey Abrams, who ran for governor of Georgia last year, will give the Democratic response to President Trump's State of the Union address. For a refresher: Abrams lost to Brian Kemp (R) in a hotly contested race in November. http://bit.ly/2WD5uDw

 

GETTING TRACTION

I read this entire story with my mouth wide open:

Via The New York Post, "A horrific hospital mix-up left a Brooklyn woman grieving for nine days at the bedside of a brain-damaged man who doctors insisted was her brother -- but who was actually a stranger with the same name, a new lawsuit charges. But only after she gave consent to have her 'brother' taken off life support at St. Barnabas Hospital did Shirell Powell learn the shocking truth: Her real sibling was in jail -- and she had just sent a stranger to his death, her Bronx Supreme Court lawsuit says." The full story -- it's crazyhttps://nyp.st/2SkcNQW

 

2020 NEWS

Two checks in the Harris column:

Freshman Rep. Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillTensions with Iran reach new stage over uranium threat Tensions with Iran reach new stage over uranium threat Ocasio-Cortez shares verse by the 'Congressional Destiny's Child' in promotion of new birth control legislation MORE (D-Calif.) and Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuDemocrats ask OSC to review whether Kushner violated Hatch Act Democrats ask OSC to review whether Kushner violated Hatch Act Overnight Defense: Trump doubles down on claim Iran attacked tankers | Iran calls accusations 'alarming' | Top nuke official quietly left Pentagon | Pelosi vows Congress will block Saudi arms sale MORE (D-Calif.) have endorsed Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE's (D-Calif.) bid for president. You may have noticed: Both Dem House members are also from California. http://bit.ly/2GcQoyv

 

Good, I'm starting to get worried about how many podiums can fit on a debate stage:

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) announced he will not run for president in 2020.  From Garcetti: "It may be out of vogue today, but I kind of believe that whenever possible, you should finish the job that you set out to do." https://lat.ms/2CX5ghi

 

If you've been seeing a lot of coffee tweets:

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said he is "seriously thinking of running for president" as an independent candidate. This sparked a lot of coffee #hottakes on Twitter.

Including this one controversial tweet: The New York Times's Sopan Deb tweeted, "Look I don't want to pile on Howard Schultz, but part of the problem here is that coffee, generally speaking, is terrible. it tastes terrible. it tastes like burnt garbage. how did this terrible product become worth billions? hot chocolate guy 2020." http://bit.ly/2CWZ9tm

Journalist Yashar Ali responded to that tweet: "People who drink their coffee black with no cream or sugar need to donate their brains to science when they die. I need to understand why you like to be miserable." http://bit.ly/2CR957O

Lol, hey John DingellJohn DingellMcCain and Dingell: Inspiring a stronger Congress Pelosi should take a page from Tip O'Neill's playbook Alaskan becomes longest serving Republican in House history MORE: The former Michigan rep. tweeted, "Someone told me that the man behind everyone's favorite cup of coffee might run for President and I just want to wish @TimHortons the very best. You have my support." http://bit.ly/2sTScox

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

I'm sorry, what?:

 

Why thank you for the update, D.C. Council:

Back story on the 'Giant Tank Parade' commenthttp://bit.ly/2Wta72S

 

ON TAP

Vice President Pence has no public events on his schedule. 

9:45 a.m. EST: First votes in the House. The House's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2RrqiKe

11:30 a.m. EST: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

Noon: The Senate meets. 

12:30 p.m. EST: Last votes in the House.

Feb. 15: The deadline to avert another partial government shutdown. Op-ed: http://bit.ly/2UrhXYQ

 

WHAT TO WATCH

2 p.m. EST: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell holds a news conference after the central bank announces its decision on interest rates. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2sVzY5O What to expect: https://cnb.cx/2HDmHJC

5:45 p.m. EST Thursday: Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) speaks at a Washington Post event. Details and livestream: https://wapo.st/2G2k56v

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Croissant Day!

 

Bold, but clearly effective:

A fifth-grader called 911 because he had a bad day at school and did not know how to do fractions. The dispatcher was having a quiet day and decided to help the boy with his math homework. The funny part: "The boy abruptly hung up before she could tell him that next time he should ask a parent or teacher for help rather than call 911." https://wapo.st/2SjnEKY

 

And to brighten your frigid Wednesday afternoon, here's a dog with dreams of becoming a chef: http://bit.ly/2GcJrhe