The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump downplays trade war fallout

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump downplays trade war worries | Calls US, China dispute 'a little squabble' | Why the trade fight has GOP worried about 2020 races | Dem Montana gov enters presidential race | Barr taps prosecutor to investigate Russia probe origins | Graham encourages Trump Jr. to plead the Fifth | #LindseyGrahamResign trends on Twitter | Trump says no plans to send 120K troops to counter Iran | New trend: Parents naming kids after 'Game of Thrones' characters  



Hello and welcome. Please take a number and grab a name tag:

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) announced this morning that he is joining the 2020 presidential race.

From his announcement video: "As a Democratic governor of a state Trump won by 20 points, I don't have the luxury of just talking to people who agree with me. We need to defeat Donald Trump in 2020 and defeat the corrupt system that lets campaign money drown out the people's voice."

Watch his campaign announcement video:

What to expect from his campaign: "Bullock will cast himself as the Democrat who can reconnect the party with rural voters who have fled to the Republican Party in recent years, and as a champion for campaign finance reform." 



22 Democrats and 2 Republicans. Here's the list of who may still enter the race:

Congrats, everyone: "We've officially reached a full soccer game of Democratic candidates." (Via The New York Times's Astead Herndon


It's Tuesday. 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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Republicans are pacing a little more these days:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, "Republicans are growing more nervous about next year's race for the Senate as President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE ratchets up a trade war with China that increasingly threatens to cause pain to U.S. farmers." 


Why the GOP is nervous: "GOP senators say few expected the trade war to last as long as it has. With markets plunging on Monday and China announcing retaliation against U.S. farm exports, fears are growing that the fight could take a bite out of pocketbooks and even pose a threat to GOP senators at the ballot box next year."

Keep in mind for 2020: "The president is popular in farm country and voters in rural states largely have stuck with Trump through thick and thin as the economy has grown and the jobless rate has fallen." 

How this could play out:



Via Reuters, "World stocks held near two-month lows on Tuesday as slightly more optimistic comments from U.S. and Chinese officials on trade brought some comfort, a day after equities suffered their worst selloff so far this year."




President Trump called the trade dispute between the U.S. and China a "little squabble."

Trump just told reporters: "We're having a little squabble with China because we've been treated very, very unfairly for many decades. I think it's going to turn out extremely well, we're in a strong position." 


Could troop sbe headed to the Middle East:

Via The New York Times's Eric Schmitt and Julian E. Barnes, acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanDefense chief calls on European allies to be wary of China's investments, blasts Russia Pentagon chief approves 20 more miles of border wall Why Dave Norquist is the perfect choice for DOD's deputy secretary MORE presented the White House with a plan last week to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran escalates tensions with the United States.

Keep in mind: "They do not call for a land invasion of Iran, which would require vastly more troops, officials said." 

What we know:



President Trump just dismissed a report the report about sending more troops to the Middle East as "fake news."

Trump just told reporters: "I think it's fake news. Now would I do that? Absolutely. But we have not planned for that. Hopefully we're not going to have to plan for that. And if we did that, we'd send a Hell of a lot more troops than that." 




Don Jr., they just wanna talk:

Via The Associated Press's Mary Clare Jlonick and Lisa MascaroDonald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpWhite House calls Democratic witness's mentioning of president's youngest son 'classless' Lawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing Top Democrats knock Trump on World AIDS Day MORE was subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee after he backed out of scheduled Russia investigation interviews.

Keep in mind: We knew about the first known subpoena of President Trump's immediate family. But the report sheds more light on the motivations of Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrSenate passes bipartisan bill to permanently fund historically black colleges NC rep explores Tillis primary challenge Trump legal team gears up for Senate impeachment trial in meeting with GOP senators MORE (R-N.C.), who has been under fire from fellow Republicans over the subpoena.

Back story: "Burr told colleagues that Trump Jr. had twice voluntarily agreed to interviews and later backed out. The committee had been in negotiations with Trump Jr. since December and had scheduled the interviews for March and April, according to one of the people familiar with his remarks." 


Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP senator blocks Armenian genocide resolution Hannity slams Stern for Clinton interview: 'Not the guy I grew up listening to' The Hill's Morning Report - Dem dilemma on articles of impeachment MORE THEN ENCOURAGED DON JR. TO STAY QUIET: 

Via The Washington Post's Karoun Demirjian and Mike DeBonis, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) encouraged Donald Trump Jr. to comply with the subpoena but not answer any questions. In Graham's words: "You just show up and plead the Fifth and it's over with."

^ Reaction to Graham's comment: #LindseyGrahamResign has been trending on Twitter this morning. 


Investigating the investigation:

Via The New York Times's Adam Goldman, Charlie Savage and Michael S. Schmidt, Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrHillicon Valley: Pelosi works to remove legal protections for tech companies from USMCA | Treasury sanctions Russian group over 0 million hack | Facebook sues Chinese individuals for ad fraud | Huawei takes legal action against FCC Biden gets in testy exchange in Iowa: 'You're a damn liar' Huawei to sue US over new FCC restrictions MORE has appointed a federal prosecutor in Connecticut to look into the origins of the Russia probe.

What to know about the federal prosecutor: "John H. Durham, the United States attorney in Connecticut, has a history of serving as a special prosecutor investigating potential wrongdoing among national security officials, including the F.B.I.'s ties to a crime boss in Boston and accusations of C.I.A. abuses of detainees." 



Breach! Breeeeach!: 

Senator Jack, Sen. Kack, Sen. Lack, Sen. Mack, Sen. Nack... good afternoon, officers!




The House and Senate are in. President Trump is in Louisiana today and Vice President Pence is in Washington, D.C.

11 a.m. EDT: President Trump left the White House and is heading to Hackberry, La. 

11:30 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence spoke with the president-elect of Panama. 

12:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate breaks for weekly caucus luncheons. Vice President Pence attends the Republican luncheon. The Senate's full schedule today:

2:15 p.m. EDT: The official photograph of the 116th Congress is taken. 

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump tours Cameron LNG Export Facility in Hackberry, La.

6:30 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House. The House's full schedule:

7:05 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at a joint fundraising committee reception in Metairie, La.

7:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence attends the premiere of "Apollo 11: First Steps Edition" at the National Air and Space Museum.

10:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump gets back to the White House.



2 p.m. EDT: Senate Republicans hold a press conference. Livestream:

2:30 p.m. EDT: Senate Democrats hold a press conference. Livestream:

3:10 p.m. EDT: President Trump gives a speech in Hackberry, La., on energy infrastructure and economic growth. Livestream:



Today is National Buttermilk Biscuit Day.


Trending -- OK, Theon tho? Do they not remember...?:

Parents are naming their children after characters from HBO's "Game of Thrones." For example: 560 babies were named Khaleesi in 2018, 163 babies were named Daenerys, 58 babies were named Tyrion and 14 boys were named Theon


And because you made it to the end, here's a puppy who does not like to share toys: