The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times

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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 steps up attacks after NYT report | Calls paper the 'enemy of the people' | 10 GOP senators who could break with Trump over wall emergency | Why Dems think they are winning the fight | Thundersnow in DC | Survey finds DC-area drivers among worst in rain, snow

 
TALK OF THE MORNING

Public enemies No. 2 and 3: frozen yogurt and turkey bacon:

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report MORE slammed The New York Times as false but without refuting specific details after a report detailing how he has sought to influence the investigations into his presidency. http://bit.ly/2U0bGn8

He tweeted: "The New York Times reporting is false. They are a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!"  http://bit.ly/2SN03DM

Trump also tweeted this morning: "The Press has never been more dishonest than it is today. Stories are written that have absolutely no basis in fact. The writers don't even call asking for verification. They are totally out of control. Sadly, I kept many of them in business. In six years, they all go BUST!" http://bit.ly/2TZoqdG

 

What sparked this tweet -- I repeat: step away from the investigation:

Via The New York Times's Mark Mazzetti, Maggie Haberman, Nicholas Fandos and Michael S. SchmidtPresident Trump asked former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker whether an ally could take over the widening investigation into hush-money payments made to two women in 2016. I.e.: The investigation into Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen. https://nyti.ms/2Sffgbe

Specifically, which ally did Trump want in charge?: Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York 

Matthew Whitaker's response to Trump: Whitaker told Trump that Berman had already recused himself from the investigation. 

How Trump reacted to Whitaker: "The president soon soured on Mr. Whitaker, as he often does with his aides, and complained about his inability to pull levers at the Justice Department that could make the president's many legal problems go away." 

Read the full New York Times report: https://nyti.ms/2Sffgbe

INTERESTING TIDBIT -- THE NEW YORK TIMES'S MAGGIE HABERMAN ON HER TEAM'S REPORTING: Maggie Haberman describes when and how she reached out to the White House before the article was published. Watch the 45 second clip: http://bit.ly/2SRUVyh

 

It's a snowy Wednesday! 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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LATEST WITH THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION

Why Democrats are loving the fight:

Via The Hill's Scott Wong and Mike Lillis, Democrats are fighting President Trump's emergency declaration to bypass Congress and build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, but also see this debate as political gold. http://bit.ly/2T6c32r

Why Dems see it as political gold: It was a highly controversial move by Trump, and early polls indicate it was unpopular with voters. The move has also divided congressional Republicans.

How Democrats are reaping the benefits: House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPelosi, Dems plot strategy after end of Mueller probe Coons after Russia probe: House Dems need to use power in 'focused and responsible way' Trump, Congress brace for Mueller findings MORE (D-Calif.) has been raising money off the executive action. 

 

The 10 Republicans who may awkwardly avoid eye contact with Trump and casually stand next to the other team:

No Republican senators have said they will vote for a resolution of disapproval of the executive action, but 10 senators have reasons to defect: http://bit.ly/2tvLbdF

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate GOP poised to go 'nuclear' on Trump picks Overnight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' MORE (Maine)

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiRed dresses displayed around American Indian museum to memorialize missing, murdered native women Juan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump The 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration MORE (Alaska)

Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisOvernight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' Trump keeps tight grip on GOP MORE (N.C.)

Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderGOP eager to exploit Dem court-packing fight Overnight Health Care: Senators seek CBO input on preventing surprise medical bills | Oversight panel seeks OxyContin documents | Pharmacy middlemen to testify on prices | Watchdog warns air ambulances can put patients at 'financial risk' Trump signs executive order on campus free speech MORE (Tenn.)

Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerOvernight Defense: Trump to reverse North Korea sanctions imposed by Treasury | Move sparks confusion | White House says all ISIS territory in Syria retaken | US-backed forces report heavy fighting | Two US troops killed in Afghanistan Overnight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' MORE (Colo.)

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Hill's Morning Report — Washington readies for Mueller end game GOP eager to exploit Dem court-packing fight Rubio's pragmatic thinking on China MORE (Fla.)

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump's attacks on McCain exacerbate tensions with Senate GOP Lou Dobbs criticizes Republicans 'undercutting' Trump on 'nasty remarks about John McCain' GOP senator: Trump's criticism of McCain 'deplorable' MORE (Utah)

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeStop asking parents to sacrifice Social Security benefits for paid family leave The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over New Zealand coverage GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers MORE (Utah)

Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration Overnight Defense: Senate rejects border emergency in rebuke to Trump | Acting Pentagon chief grilled on wall funding | Warren confronts chief over war fund budget 12 Republican senators defy Trump on emergency declaration  MORE (Kan.)

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHillicon Valley: Mueller delivers report, ending investigation | FEMA exposed info of 2.3M disaster survivors | Facebook asks judge to toss DC privacy lawsuit | Trump picks his first CTO | FCC settles lawsuit over net neutrality records Transparency advocate says government agencies face 'use it or lose it' spending Republicans need solutions on environment too MORE (Ky.)

Why each of these Republicans could break with Trump: http://bit.ly/2tvLbdF

 

IN LOCAL NEWS

In the traffic circle we can build a snowman:

It's a snowy morning in the Washington, D.C., area. 

So majestic: Here's video of the snow at the U.S. Capitol: http://bit.ly/2XgNYFx

Thundersnow has been reported in a few areas: http://bit.ly/2T44Z6h

The latest forecast: It is still snowing in D.C., but is turning to sleet southwest of the city. The full Capital Weather Gang forecast: https://wapo.st/2T5baHm

DMV drivers are not great in the snow: According to an Allstate survey, Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia drivers are some of the worst in rain and snow. The numbers -- ouch: "The 2018 report identifies which of the 200 largest U.S. cities and their surrounding suburban metropolitan areas have the safest drivers. Of those 200 cities, Baltimore, Maryland ranked the worst, the District ranked the third worst and Alexandria, Virginia is the eighth worst." https://on.wusa9.com/2NfozHy

'Neither rain nor snow': Here's video of the USPS in Vienna, Va. http://bit.ly/2IrFaJv

Closures: Schools and the federal government are closed in the area. https://wapo.st/2BKfIsZ

 

IN OTHER NEWS

To the private sector!:
White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters is leaving her role and heading to a public relations company in the coming months. Keep in mind: Walters has been with the administration from its start. Where she's heading: Edelman Public Relations. http://bit.ly/2DXlS9e

 

SoOoOo, what's Beto up to these days?:

Via CNN's Eric Bradner, former Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Harris wants Barr to testify on Mueller report as 2020 Dems call for its release MORE (D-Texas) is considering running for president and for Senate in 2020 and will make his decision by the end of the month. In Beto's words: "I'm trying to figure out how I can best serve this country -- where I can do the greatest good for the United States of America. So, yeah, I'm thinking through that and it, you know, may involve running for the presidency. It may involve something else." https://cnn.it/2tr7W2y

 

Yikes:

Via Cleveland.com, "Man punches his lawyer in the face after being sentenced to 45 years in prison." http://bit.ly/2VaJRca

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

'Hero' is correct: 

Back story: https://wapo.st/2XeFNsZ

  

This is a great chart:

Full size photo: http://bit.ly/2TZRHoH

  

ON TAP

The House and Senate are out this week. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C.

12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUS sanctions Venezuelan bank after Guaidó aide's arrest The Hill's Morning Report — Washington readies for Mueller end game 2020 Dems avoid this year's AIPAC conference MORE.

1:45 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Sebastian Kurz, the chancellor of Austria. Vice President Pence also attends.

Tuesday: Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinWarren, Klobuchar call on FTC to curtail use of non-compete clauses Overnight Energy: EPA moves to raise ethanol levels in gasoline | Dems look to counter White House climate council | Zinke cleared of allegations tied to special election Democrats offer legislation to counter White House climate science council MORE (D-Md.) and Reps. Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondMan arrested for allegedly throwing glass of water at Steve King House Dem renews call for censuring Steve King Louisiana rep calls Steve King a 'white supremacist' after Katrina comment MORE (D-La.) and Doug Collins (R-Ga.) speak at an event for The Hill, "Leadership in Action: Criminal Justice Reform." Details and how to RSVP: http://bit.ly/2Ip4yzj

Sunday, Feb. 24: The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable Charity Bike Ride is being held in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The ride was organized by CBS "Face the Nation" executive producer Mary Hager in honor of her sister Anne Harrington, who recently died of colon cancer. Details: http://bit.ly/2NftXug

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Cherry Pie Day.

 

Attention, Mambo Sauce fans:

Papa John's has added Mambo Sauce wings to its Washington, D.C.-area menus. Details and where to find it: http://bit.ly/2Sf6WIJ

 

And because you made it this far, here's a dog who is happy to become a giraffe: http://bit.ly/2TXUDlF