The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration

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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 — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump declares national emergency at border | Sights and sounds from Rose Garden announcement | GOP divided over Trump approach | Winners, losers in border deal to avert shutdown | Ginsburg back at Supreme Court | Trump gets first 2020 GOP challenger | 'Handmaid's Tale' films in DC



You get a wall! And you get a wall!:

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE just announced that he will declare a national emergency to bypass Congress and build an $8 billion wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Where Trump plans to find the border wall funding: "Trump plans to redirect $3.6 billion in military construction funding toward the border project. Trump will also take separate executive action repurposing about $2.5 billion from the Defense Department's drug-interdiction program and $600 million from the Treasury Department's asset-forfeiture fund."

The line that's getting traction — Trump on this approach to border wall funding: "I didn't need to do this, but I'd rather do it much faster." Watch the back and forth:

Trump on why the border wall has been such a fight: "The only reason we're up here talking about this is because of an election."

I'm not pointing fingers but if you ~were~ to point fingers: Trump took a shot at Congressional Republicans. "I'm very disappointed in certain people, a particular one, for not having pushed this faster," Trump said.  Asked if he was talking about former House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump quietly rolled back programs to detect, combat weapons of mass destruction: report Ocasio-Cortez top aide emerges as lightning rod amid Democratic feud Juan Williams: GOP in a panic over Mueller MORE (R-Wis.), Trump said, "Let's not talk about it. What difference does it make. They should have pushed it faster."

Trump predicts the court fights to come: "And we will have a national emergency. And we will then be sued. And they will sue us in the 9th Circuit even though it should be there. And we will possibly get a bad ruling. And then we’ll get another bad ruling. And then we'll end up in the Supreme Court. And hopefully we'll get a fair shake. And we'll win in the Supreme Court. Just like the ban…” Watch starting at the 1-minute mark — it turns into quite the sing-song rhythm: 

Livestream of the announcement:



Did Trump use a teleprompter?: Nope, Trump gave an improvised speech.

Agreed!: "There are a lot of things about government I will never understand. One is why the White House leaves its patio furniture out all winter." (Via The Hill's Tristan LejeunePhoto:

It's like reminiscing about last night's party to your friends: "'Tremendous crowd, tremendous crowd,' Trump says in the Rose Garden of his El Paso rally."

At the announcement: Newly sworn-in Attorney General William Barr

^ Trump asks Barr to stand: "Such an easy job he's got, he's got the easiest job in government."

^ And at the end of the press conference, Trump brought it back to Barr: "Enjoy your life," Trump said to William Barr. 

View from the press area:



Pelosi's slippery slope argument: Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump telling aides to look at potential spending cuts if he wins reelection: report Budget talks between White House, Pelosi spill into weekend Trump says he won't watch Mueller testimony MORE (D-Calif.) warned Republicans that the next Democratic president could issue a similar national emergency — but on guns. Her full reasoning:

Senate Republicans are pretty lukewarm: Senate Republicans are pretty divided on President Trump's declaration of a border wall.

Which GOP senators are notably not supportive: Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPoll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp Trump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiPoll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Overnight Defense: Highlights from Defense pick's confirmation hearing | Esper spars with Warren over ethics | Sidesteps questions on Mattis vs. Trump | Trump says he won't sell F-35s to Turkey Epstein charges show Congress must act to protect children from abuse MORE (Alaska) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' McConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch Overnight Defense: Iran seizes British tanker in latest escalation | US, UK to discuss situation | Trump says 'no doubt' US downed Iranian drone after Tehran's denials | Pentagon's No. 2 policy official to leave | Lawmakers worry about Defense vacancies MORE (Ky.). Yeah, but: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch Funding a strong defense of our nation's democratic process can't wait The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants MORE (R-Ky.) announced support for the measure.  


Happy Friday!  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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PROGRAMMING NOTE: The 12:30 Report will not publish on Monday. Enjoy the long weekend!





'The Handmaid's Tale' is filming on the National Mall:

Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale" is filming in Washington, D.C., today at the Lincoln Memorial. Details: 

Livestream of the filming: It's pretty cool to see behind-the-scenes footage:

Are any other "Handmaid's Tale" fans wondering what plot twist brings the handmaids to Washington, D.C.?! 



Signed, sealed, delivered!:
The House voted on a spending bill last night that will prevent another partial government shutdown from starting at midnight tonight.

What was included for border security: The bill provides funding for the Department of Homeland Security, including $1.375 billion to build 55 miles of barriers in the Rio Grande Valley. That's far from the $5.7 billion President Trump had demanded.

The House vote: 300-128

Specifically, who opposed the bill: The House Freedom Caucus largely opposed the deal. 

Keep in mind: Negotiators in both parties are not thrilled with parts of the deal but have agreed to the compromise.  

In the Senate: The Senate voted for the bill, 83-16

Tidbit from yesterday — senators very ready for recess: "Senators carrying their bags to the floor to get out of town the moment this 3:30 funding bill vote wraps #jetfumes." (Via NBC's Marianna Sotomayor)



Who won: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House and Senate negotiators, women as leaders on a powerful committee and federal workers. Who lost: President Trump, House conservatives, federal contractors and women's programs.

Reasoning for each:



RBG is back in court:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is back at the Supreme Court today for the justices' private conference.

Why this is newsy: Ginsburg has been recovering from December surgery to remove two cancerous nodules from her lower left lung. She missed oral arguments for the first time in her 25 years on the bench. 


Spotted on Amtrak — recess vibes:

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) was seen on the train from Washington, D.C., to New York, N.Y. From The Hill's Bob Cusack: "We chatted. I did not tell him his 5 minutes were up." Lol.


IN 2020 NEWS

I declare a dual:

Via The Associated Press's Holly Ramer and Bob Salsberg, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld announced that he is running for president. I.e.: The first Republican to challenge President Trump in the primaries.

What to know: "Fiscally conservative but socially liberal, the 73-year-old Weld ran on the Libertarian party ticket with former New Mexico Gov. Gary JohnsonGary Earl JohnsonAmash won't rule out Libertarian challenge to Trump Buzz grows Amash will challenge Trump as a Libertarian Potential GOP primary challenger: Trump's 'contempt for the American people' behind possible bid MORE. But he re-registered as a Republican last month, and on Friday in New Hampshire said he has created a presidential exploratory committee." 



Tidbit on Capitol Hill yesterday:

Back story, via Roll Call’s Katherine Tully-McManus:



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The House and Senate are out until Feb. 25. President Trump is in Washington, D.C., and is heading to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Vice President Pence was in Krakow, Poland, and is now in Munich.

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

11:50 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence and Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Acosta resigns amid controversy over Epstein plea deal The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi looks to squash fight with progressives The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi looks to tamp down Dem infighting MORE arrive in Munich.

4 p.m. EST: President Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Trump steps up attacks on 'Squad' after post-rally furor Trump says he doesn't care if attacks on 'Squad' hurt him politically MORE leave for the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.



Sunday morning: Democratic National Committee chair Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE appears on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Tuesday morning: Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeMcCabe says it's 'absolutely' time to launch impeachment inquiry into Trump Feds gone wild: DOJ's stunning inability to prosecute its own bad actors Comey: Trump peddling 'dumb lies' MORE appears on NBC's "Today." 



Today is National Gum Day.


XOXO, Gossip Girl:

Actress Kristen Bell, who narrated the show "Gossip Girl," read President Trump's tweets in character for a segment on "Late Night with Seth Meyers." Watch — it's pretty funny:


And to get your weekend off to a proper start, here's a dog who accidentally ran a half marathon — coming in seventh place (!) — when her owner let her outside: