The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump jumps on Smollett charges

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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 jumps into Smollett case: 'What about MAGA' | Says actor insulted 'tens of millions' | Smollett charged with staging attack | Dems fighting Trump emergency face tough road in court | Pelosi seeks support for resolution | Trump pushes to speed up 5G rollout | Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneWould Trump have gotten away with a self-pardon? History will never know Trump's pardons harshly criticized by legal experts Presidential pardons need to go MORE due in court | Michael Cohen spotted at Capitol | Obama's '44' bomber jacket goes viral | Syracuse basketball coach hits, kills pedestrian



Jussie Smollett is in custody:

Early this morning, "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett was arrested on felony charges related to his police report of a racially charged attack. http://bit.ly/2tsY0pg

His charges: He's being charged with filing a false police report and disorderly conduct.

Back story: "[Smollett] has said for weeks that he was attacked by two men who shouted pro-Trump and racist, homophobic messages at him during a late-night attack in a Chicago neighborhood. Police now say that they believe Smollett knew the two men involved in the alleged attack, and that the actor staged it." 

A few takes on the situation from law enforcement officials: http://bit.ly/2GTxoWh



Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson began the conference: "Before I get started on why we're here, you know, as I look out into the crowd I just wish that the families of gun violence in this city got this much attention," Johnson said. "Because that's who really deserves the amount of attention that we're giving to this particular incident." http://bit.ly/2E4JuIX

What Chicago police allege: "This stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with this salary. He concocted a story about being attacked," Johnson said. "We gave him the benefit of the doubt." https://reut.rs/2tu9A3m

Livestream of the Chicago police press conference this morning: http://bit.ly/2BJZmk4



President TrumpDonald TrumpMore than two-thirds of Americans approve of Biden's coronavirus response: poll Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor Mexico's president tests positive for COVID-19 MORE criticized Jussie Smollett for insulting "tens of millions of people." Trump tweeted: "What about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA" http://bit.ly/2Nis3ck


It's Thursday. 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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I can't wait to live in a world with 8G or 9G:

This morning, President Trump said he wants to beat other countries who are developing better wireless technology. http://bit.ly/2tymiOF

He tweeted: "I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind. There is no reason that we should be lagging behind on something that is so obviously the future. I want the United States to win through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies. We must always be the leader in everything we do, especially when it comes to the very exciting world of technology!" http://bit.ly/2VbpLOS

What may have sparked Trump's tweet: "The president appears to be referring to an executive order that he had reportedly been expected to sign that would block Chinese telecom companies like Huawei from U.S. 5G networks, citing national security concerns. A White House spokeswoman did not immediately respond when asked if Trump was backing off the rumored executive order. http://bit.ly/2tymiOF


Samsung just unveiled the new Galaxy S10 5G that will be available later this year. Carriers are only just starting to roll out their 5G networks. What to know, via CNET: https://cnet.co/2TbnqpC 


This is horrible for everyone involved:

Via Syracuse.com, Syracuse University men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim hit and killed a pedestrian who was walking along the highway last night. http://bit.ly/2E3PGkw

Why the man was walking along the highway: He had been in an unrelated car crash and exited his vehicle. 

Keep in mind: Boeheim's blood alcohol concentration was zero, according to the district attorney.

The weather: "Driving conditions after the game were icy in spots. It's unclear if that played any role in the initial crash or Boeheim's involvement. The Syracuse weather station at Hancock airport registered 32 degrees with 'light freezing rain' at 11 p.m. By midnight, the temperature was 35 and there was light rain."

Earlier that night: Boeheim's team beat the University of Louisville, 69-49.

What we know: http://bit.ly/2E3PGkw



Where Trump's emergency declaration stands:

Sixteen states are suing the Trump administration to prevent his use of a national emergency to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. http://bit.ly/2E1d8ix

What to expect: The Democrats suing face a tough path trying to convince the courts that the order is unlawful. But the Trump administration also faces a tough path.

Why the legal fight could go in Trump's favor: "It's an emergency under federal law because Trump said it is," said Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University professor of law and contributor to The Hill. "The National Emergencies Act has one conspicuous omission: It doesn't define what an emergency is."

HAPPENING FRIDAY: House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden attends first church service as president in DC, stops at local bagel shop More hands needed on the nuclear football Sunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus MORE (D-Calif.) has been circulating a letter urging members of Congress to sign a resolution to terminate the president's national emergency. Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroSunday shows preview: Washington prepares for an inauguration and impeachment; coronavirus surges across the US Pelosi names 9 impeachment managers Lawmaker to unveil bill ensuring nothing — 'no airport, no highway, no school' — is named after Trump MORE (D-Texas) will introduce the resolution on Friday. http://bit.ly/2Shmvzx



OK, this new Time magazine cover is pretty cool:

Time Magazine released its latest cover story, "The Biggest Field Yet. No Frontrunner. A Divided Base. Welcome to the 2020 Democratic Primary." 

Photo of the cover: http://bit.ly/2BKATuU 

^If you zoom in: Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is drinking from a coffee cup with an old Starbucks logo. Zoomed-in photo of the cup: http://bit.ly/2IsIDHG

Read the cover story: Via Molly Ball and Philip Elliotthttp://bit.ly/2T8wCv4



Getting traction -- he looks lost:

Watch: http://bit.ly/2SiHsKq

What we know about Michael Cohen's scheduled hearing next week: https://nyti.ms/2SRn0pn


Fun fact:



The House and Senate are out until next week.

11:15 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence leaves for Columbia, S.C.

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

12:15 p.m. EST: President Trump is having lunch with acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

2:30 p.m. EST: Roger Stone appears in court. http://bit.ly/2E2YF5o

4:15 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence gets back to Washington, D.C.

Feb. 27 -- 28: President Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The two are planning a one-on-one meeting during the summit. https://fxn.ws/2Sgp7h9



12:45 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence delivers remarks at The Meeting Place Church in Columbia, S.C.

6:15 p.m. EST: President Trump holds an African American History Month reception. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2T7co4U



Today is National Sticky Bun Day.


Sign. Me. Up.:

Audi just announced "a feature that will tell drivers of select models, in select cities, exactly how fast to go if they want to catch nothing but green lights." The name: The Green Light Optimization Speed Advisory system. Details: http://bit.ly/2GW3ErZ


And because you made it to the end, here are pandas at the National Zoo having a grand old time in the snow: http://bit.ly/2EnueZh