The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump defends call as Ukraine controversy deepens

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump defends call as Ukraine controversy deepens
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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump under Ukraine controversy | Defends raising corruption on call | Pelosi threatens 'new stage of investigation' | Schiff says impeachment may be 'only remedy' if Trump sought dirt on political rival | Controversy follows Trump to UN | Top-tier 2020 candidates overlooking NH | Climate protests disrupt DC | Protesters start dumpster fire, block street with pink boat | Congress races to avoid shutdown | First day of fall | 'Frozen 2' trailer out



Stay a while:

While on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, voters told me the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state is feeling underappreciated in this campaign cycle. But candidates are actually visiting more this year than in the 2016 cycle, according to an analysis by The Hill.

How much more: The two dozen Democratic candidates averaged 23.9 campaign stops in the first seven months of the year, compared to 14.5 visits by Democrats in 2015. 

High on the list of New Hampshire campaign stops: Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Defense: Appeals court revives House lawsuit against military funding for border wall | Dems push for limits on transferring military gear to police | Lawmakers ask for IG probe into Pentagon's use of COVID-19 funds On The Money: Half of states deplete funds for Trump's 0 unemployment expansion | EU appealing ruling in Apple tax case | House Democrats include more aid for airlines in coronavirus package Warren, Khanna request IG investigation into Pentagon's use of coronavirus funds MORE (D) held 34 campaign stops between January and July 2019. Former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what 'policing' means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight MORE (D-Md.) held 79 campaign events in the same time frame, the most of any 2016 or 2020 candidate.

Yeah, but that doesn't mean all candidates are prioritizing the state: Many of the biggest names are neglecting the state. And that's why New Hampshire is feeling underappreciated. 

^ For example -- low on the list of N.H. campaign stops: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Joe Biden should enact critical government reforms if he wins MORE made just 13 total campaign appearances in the state from January to July. President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act MORE did not visit at all in that time frame. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Sanders tells Maher 'there will be a number of plans' to remove Trump if he loses Sirota reacts to report of harassment, doxing by Harris supporters MORE (I-Vt.) only held 17 campaign stops, and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisPelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act What Kamala Harris' VP nomination means to us Harris slams Trump's Supreme Court pick as an attempt to 'destroy the Affordable Care Act' MORE (D-Calif.) held 14. 

Are candidates here fewer days?: No, Democratic presidential candidates spent roughly the same number of days in the state, meaning they are cramming in more events per day this year. Dems averaged 9.3 days spent in New Hampshire from January to July, higher than the 7.1 days Dems spent in 2015.


For reference, here is the number of campaign stops that each 2020 presidential candidate held in New Hampshire from January to July: 

John Delaney: 79

Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election Sunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election Suburban moms are going to decide the 2020 election MORE: 53

Bill WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldRalph Gants, chief justice of Massachusetts supreme court, dies at 65 The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden visits Kenosha | Trump's double-voting suggestion draws fire | Facebook clamps down on election ads Biden picks up endorsements from nearly 100 Republicans MORE: 44

Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson discusses speaking at People's Party Convention Fewer people watched opening night of Democratic convention compared to 2016 Marianne Williamson: Democratic convention 'like binge watching a Marriott commercial' MORE: 44

Elizabeth Warren: 34

Andrew YangAndrew YangBiden's latest small business outreach is just ... awful Doctor who allegedly assaulted Evelyn Yang arrested on federal charges The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden weighs in on police shootings | Who's moderating the debates | Trump trails in post-convention polls MORE: 34

Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardRepublicans call on DOJ to investigate Netflix over 'Cuties' film Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses slate of non-Hispanic candidates Gabbard says she 'was not invited to participate in any way' in Democratic convention MORE: 32

Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election The movement to reform animal agriculture has reached a tipping point Watchdog confirms State Dept. canceled award for journalist who criticized Trump MORE: 31

Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeJimmy Carter says his son smoked pot with Willie Nelson on White House roof O'Rourke endorses Kennedy for Senate: 'A champion for the values we're most proud of' 2020 Democrats do convention Zoom call MORE: 28

Amy KlobucharAmy Klobuchar3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Social media platforms put muscle into National Voter Registration Day Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight MORE: 27

Julián Castro: 22

Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBillionaire who donated to Trump in 2016 donates to Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - GOP closes ranks to fill SCOTUS vacancy by November Buttigieg stands in as Pence for Harris's debate practice MORE: 21

Seth MoultonSeth MoultonOvernight Defense: Nearly 500 former national security officials formally back Biden | 40 groups call on House panel to investigate Pentagon's use of coronavirus funds The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Markey defeats Kennedy; Trump lauds America's enforcers in Wisconsin Moulton fends off primary challenges in Massachusetts MORE: 21

Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetOVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats tee up vote on climate-focused energy bill next week | EPA reappoints controversial leader to air quality advisory committee | Coronavirus creates delay in Pentagon research for alternative to 'forever chemicals' Senate Democrats demand White House fire controversial head of public lands agency Next crisis, keep people working and give them raises MORE: 18

Bernie Sanders: 17

John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Cook Political Report shifts Colorado Senate race toward Democrat Willie Nelson playing at virtual fundraiser for Hickenlooper MORE: 16

Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanNow's the time to make 'Social Emotional Learning' a national priority Mourners gather outside Supreme Court after passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lincoln Project hits Trump for criticizing Goodyear, 'an American company' MORE: 15

Kamala Harris: 14

Joe Biden: 13

Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeBarr asked prosecutors to explore charging Seattle mayor over protest zone: report Bottom line Oregon senator says Trump's blame on 'forest management' for wildfires is 'just a big and devastating lie' MORE: 10

Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioOVERNIGHT ENERGY: California seeks to sell only electric cars by 2035 | EPA threatens to close New York City office after Trump threats to 'anarchist' cities | House energy package sparks criticism from left and right EPA threatens to close New York City office after Trump threats to 'anarchist' cities New Year's Eve in Times Square to be largely virtual amid pandemic MORE: 9

Steve BullockSteve BullockCourt removes Pendley from role as public lands chief On The Trail: Making sense of this week's polling tsunami McConnell locks down key GOP votes in Supreme Court fight MORE: 6

Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellHouse to vote on resolution affirming peaceful transition of power Swalwell calls for creation of presidential crimes commission to investigate Trump when he leaves office 'This already exists': Democrats seize on potential Trump executive order on preexisting conditions MORE: 23

Tom SteyerTom SteyerTV ads favored Biden 2-1 in past month Inslee calls Biden climate plan 'perfect for the moment' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump administration finalizes plan to open up Alaska wildlife refuge to drilling | California finalizes fuel efficiency deal with five automakers, undercutting Trump | Democrats use vulnerable GOP senators to get rare win on environment MORE: 5

Wayne MessamWayne Martin MessamKey moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Wayne Messam suspends Democratic presidential campaign 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the November forum MORE: 2

Donald Trump: 0

The full breakdown 



GOP presidential candidate Mark SanfordMark SanfordOn The Money: Business world braces for blue sweep | Federal Reserve chief to outline plans for inflation, economy | Meadows 'not optimistic' about stalemate on coronavirus deal Trump critic Sanford forms anti-debt advocacy group Republicans officially renominate Trump for president MORE is the only presidential candidate who visited New Hampshire at all last week.



Via The Hill's Reid Wilson, here are seven takeaways from a busy Democratic presidential campaign weekend in Iowa:


It's Monday. Today is the first day of fall!  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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What's some dirt between friends?:

President Trump is under fire for confirming that he urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son. 

How Trump is reacting: Trump admitted discussing the matter with Ukraine, then went on the offensive against Biden and the whistleblower who filed the complaint.

And said he would consider releasing the call transcript: "We'll make a determination about how to release it, releasing it, saying what we said," Trump said. "The problem is, when you're speaking to foreign leaders, you don't want foreign leaders to feel that they shouldn't be speaking openly. And the same thing with an American president. You want them to be able to express themselves without knowing that every single word was going to be going out and going out all over the world."

NEW -- This morning in New York, Trump was asked about his call with Ukraine: "It's very important to talk about corruption," Trump said. "If you don't talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt? ... It's very important that on occasion you speak to somebody about corruption." 



Speaker Pelosi's reaction is key: Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election Will Democrats attempt to pack the Supreme Court again? MORE (D-Calif.) stressed that the whistleblower complaint "must be addressed immediately" because "this violation is about our national security." Pelosi warned if the Trump administration blocks the whistleblower, there will be a "new stage of investigation."

Romney said it would be "troubling in the extreme": Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyCrenshaw looms large as Democrats look to flip Texas House seat The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election Trump dumbfounds GOP with latest unforced error MORE (R-Utah) tweeted, "If the President asked or pressured Ukraine's president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme. Critical for the facts to come out."

Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff to subpoena top DHS official, alleges whistleblower deposition is being stonewalled Schiff claims DHS is blocking whistleblower's access to records before testimony GOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power MORE is using the I-word: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said impeachment "may be the only remedy" if Trump asked a foreign leader to find dirt on a competitor.



If more House Democrats, especially those who have been on the fence about impeachment proceedings, shift their stances.

Right now, more than half of House Democrats back an impeachment inquiry, according to The Hill's whip list: 




Avoid *clap* driving *clap* in D.C. *clap* today:

Activists have been blocking Washington, D.C.'s roads today to try to cripple the city as a way to protest climate change. 

What to expect with Monday's commutes:



Protesters set a dumpster on fire on Massachusetts Avenue: Here's a photo:

Part of Dupont Circle was blocked by protesters: Here is a photo of what Dupont Circle looked like during rush hour:

And here is the intersection at 16th and K streets Northwest -- a major artery in the city: Photo:

The protesters even brought a big, pink boat:

Watch the protesters lower the boat's mast:



Baby steps, that's all we're asking for now:

Lawmakers are trying to pass a continuing resolution through Nov. 21 to buy more time to fund the government. 

Where the CR stands: "The House already passed the short-term bill in a 301-123 vote. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has started the process of bringing it to the Senate floor, but it hasn't been scheduled yet for a vote." 

To fund the government: Congress must pass 12 funding bills. "While the House passed 10 out of its 12 funding bills, many of them are loaded up with Democratic priorities meaning they won't get taken up as is by the GOP-controlled Senate." 



Emergency declaration: "Senate Democrats could force a vote as soon as this week on a resolution to nix President Trump's emergency declaration on the wall."

Border wall: "House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerCentrist Democrats got their COVID bill, now they want a vote House to vote on resolution affirming peaceful transition of power On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline MORE (D-Md.) announced Friday that the House will take up two Democrat-led bills aimed at improving 'how the Department of Homeland Security oversees border issues in a humane and responsible manner, including the care of children.'" 

Nominations: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHawley warns Schumer to steer clear of Catholic-based criticisms of Barrett Senate GOP set to vote on Trump's Supreme Court pick before election Harris slams Trump's Supreme Court pick as an attempt to 'destroy the Affordable Care Act' MORE (R-Ky.) has teed up a few nominations, including Brian McGuire to be deputy under secretary at the Treasury Department.

Context and details for each from The Hill's Jordain Carney and Juliegrace Brufke:



Show us the money:

Via The Hill's Naomi Jagoda and Jonathan Easley, "Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is coming under increasing pressure from her 2020 rivals to spell out how she'd pay for her 'Medicare for All' proposal."

Timing: "The pressure comes as Warren builds momentum in the presidential primary race and suggests she is likely to come under a harsher spotlight as other candidates seek to compete with her for the 2020 Democratic nomination." 



Tales from Elizabeth Warren's selfie line:



It is only fair that I share this important content with you:




The House is out. The Senate will meet later today.

President Trump and Vice President Pence are in New York City for the annual United Nations General Assembly. Live updates from New York:

1 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the president of Pakistan.

2:25 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the president of Poland.

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the prime minister of New Zealand.

3 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets.

3:40 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the president of Singapore.

4:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the president of Egypt.

5:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the president of South Korea.

5:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate holds a cloture vote on a nomination. The Senate's full schedule today:

6:10 p.m. EDT: President Trump arrives at Trump Tower where he will stay for the evening. 



11:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump led the United Nations event on religious freedom. Vice President Pence also attends. Livestream:



Today is National White Chocolate Day.


Released this morning -- don't let it go:

Disney released a new trailer for "Frozen 2" this morning.

Watch the new trailer:


Do as I say and you shall be rewarded:

If you're a fan of the TV show "Friends" -- or just like cool things -- try this: Google "Ross Geller" and look for the little couch icon next to the character's name. Click the couch animation with your sound on. Other hidden Easter eggs:


And because this made me question society a little bit, here's one of the worst baby gender reveal ideas. Hint: It involves a hippo.: