The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — House Dems subpoena Giuliani associates

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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 USAA — Two Giuliani associates arrested on campaign finance charges | House committees subpoena associates | Trump turns to 2020 politics in impeachment defense | Ukrainian president says he'll 'happily' investigate interference | Trump heads to Minneapolis amid feud with mayor | NY Dem Lowey to retire | Gabbard may boycott next debate | Report on Ocasio-Cortez's haircut sparks controversy | Nats fans troll Bryce Harper after series win

 

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Two Giuliani associates were arrested:

Two associates for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE's personal lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiSondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report Impeachment hearings don't move needle with Senate GOP Want to fight foreign influence? Fix FARA filings MORE who aided in investigation former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report Biden says he won't legalize marijuana because it may be a 'gateway drug' Impeachment hearings don't move needle with Senate GOP MORE were arrested on campaign finance charges. http://bit.ly/2OHTGOR

Who was arrested: Florida businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, both U.S. citizens born in Ukraine. "The two have donated to numerous Republican candidates and in 2018 gave $325,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC, America First Action. The charges allege that the two men participated in a straw donor scheme to funnel money to political candidates."

This is important: "It doesn't appear that the allegations are related to the controversy over Giuliani's work in Ukraine."

Where they were arrested: At Washington's Dulles airport last night.

Happening today: Fruman and Parnas will appear in federal court. 

 

READ THE FEDERAL INDICTMENT:

http://bit.ly/2ID4f1u

 

Just now — a chat may be coming up:

House Democrats just subpoenaed Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, the two Florida businessmen who worked with President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. http://bit.ly/33kGaV8

 

Happy Thursday to the Nats fans reading this! 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.

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox daily: http://bit.ly/2kjMNnn

 

 

 

 

LATEST WITH SYRIA 

Remember their help in Normandy? YEAH ME NEITHER:

President Trump defended his decision to remove U.S. troops in northern Syria by criticizing the Kurds for not helping the United States during World War II. http://bit.ly/32561Ar

In Trump's words: "The Kurds are fighting for their land. And as somebody wrote in a very, very powerful article today, they didn't help us in the second World War, they didn't help us with Normandy as an example. They mentioned names of different battles. But they're there to help us with their land and that's a different thing."

Watch Trump's reasoning: http://bit.ly/2p84niV

The article Trump is referring to: Trump did not specify, but reporters on Twitter pointed to a Town Hall article by Kurt Schlichter that mentions Normandy. The article: http://bit.ly/31ZC84m

Trump then tweeted his commentary and added: "A different take!" http://bit.ly/2VsOn70

  

LATEST WITH THE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

*Cue Disney villain voice*

'It's always an election year. MwahahaHA':

Via The Hill's Morgan Chalfant and Brett Samuels, President Trump is using election-year politics as his defense for the impeachment strategy. http://bit.ly/2M6m9fz

How so: "The president has grasped at a number of political arguments to dismiss the legitimacy of the impeachment inquiry, attacking the lawmakers leading the effort, decrying the process as a 'coup' and accusing the anonymous whistleblower that helped spark the investigation of working with partisan aims." 

One example: "The letter sent by the White House on Tuesday to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSchumer calls on Trump to testify as part of impeachment inquiry Sunday shows — Spotlight shifts to Sondland ahead of impeachment inquiry testimony Perception won't be reality, once AI can manipulate what we see MORE (D-Calif.) amplifies many of Trump's own messages to counter the impeachment narrative, accusing Democrats of an 'illegitimate' and 'partisan' effort to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election by investigating his contacts with Ukraine." 

But there is also a risk to the strategy: "Experts cast skepticism on the White House's latest salvo in the back-and-forth with Congress, viewing it as centered more on political arguments than sound legal ones and warning that it could present new risks in the ongoing impeachment fight."

How this could play out: http://bit.ly/2M6m9fz

 

SPOTTED OUTSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE:

A man holding a sign reading, "Honk to thank the whistleblowers" Photo: http://bit.ly/2nxo03i

 

Another 2016 election interference investigation:

Via The Associated Press, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told reporters that his government will "happily" open an investigation into whether Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. https://wapo.st/312Vm7R

On whether his country interfered: "We can't say yes or no," Zelensky told reporters. 

 

 

IN CONGRESS

Another retirement:
Rep. Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyLawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms On The Money: Trump appeals to Supreme Court to keep tax returns from NY prosecutors | Pelosi says deal on new NAFTA 'imminent' | Mnuchin downplays shutdown threat | Trump hits Fed after Walmart boasts strong earnings Lawmakers aim for agreement on top-line spending by next week MORE (D-N.Y.), the most senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, announced she will not seek re-election on Thursday. http://bit.ly/30XjybS

Keep in mind: Lowey, 82, was first elected to the House in 1988 (!) 

 

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

Welcome. Stay a while:
President Trump is holding a campaign rally tonight in Minneapolis, where he is in an open feud with the city's mayor over the event's costs. http://bit.ly/2OBjKuX

Brief primer: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) said the president's campaign would owe the city $530,000 in expenses for the event. President Trump then threatened a lawsuit, accusing the mayor of extortion and attempts to restrict First Amendment rights of his supporters. 

The full back and forth: http://bit.ly/2OBjKuX

 

LIVESTREAM OF TRUMP'S 8 P.M. CAMPAIGN RALLY:

Livestream: https://cs.pn/2q25jFV

 

But, but the show will still go on without her:

Presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardNew poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa Deval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne Saagar Enjeti: Yang's plan to regulate big tech misses the mark MORE (D-Hawaii) is threatening to boycott next week's Democratic primary debate. http://bit.ly/313ZQLm

Why: She accused the Democratic National Committee of "rigging" the primary against outside contenders such as herself.

From Gabbard's campaign: "The 2016 Democratic Primary election was rigged by the DNC and their partners in the corporate media against Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden says he won't legalize marijuana because it may be a 'gateway drug' Democrats seize on report of FedEx's Bernie Sanders tax bill to slam Trump's tax plan If we want to save earth, we need to change how we eat MORE. In this 2020 election, the DNC and corporate media are rigging the election again, but this time against the American people in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada."

 

THE TALK OF SOCIAL MEDIA

This piece is getting annihilated:

The Washington Times published a story about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez'Saturday Night Live' presents Trump impeachment hearings with 'pizzazz' of soap opera Louisiana governor wins reelection White House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations MORE's (D-N.Y.) haircut. http://bit.ly/2B1MWmQ

The $$ line: "The self-declared socialist, who regularly rails against the rich and complains about the cost of living inside the Beltway, spent nearly $300 on her hairdo at a pricey salon she frequents in downtown Washington, The Washington Times has learned." 

Details of the haircut: "The New York Democrat ventured into Last Tangle Salon on 19th Street Northwest last month and shelled out $80 for a haircut and $180 for lowlights, according to sources familiar with the salon. A 20% tip would have added $52 to the bill." 

Oh, and this line got some attention: "She could have saved roughly $100 for the same hairstyle at the government-subsidized Capitol Hill barbershop." 

The Washington Times article: http://bit.ly/2B1MWmQ

 

A FEW REACTIONS ON TWITTER:

Lol: "The real public service journalism would be finding a DC salon where you can get a great cut and lowlights for less than $250, amirightladies." (From NPR's Susan DavisSusan Carol DavisOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — House Dems subpoena Giuliani associates Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to testify on Libra | Extremists find home on Telegram app | Warren blasts Facebook for not removing anti-Biden ad | California outlaws facial recognition in police body cameras | China rips US tech sanctions MOREhttp://bit.ly/2q2qBDl

 

This tweet has gotten a lot of traction: 

"1) this would obvs never be a story about a man 

2) this is not an expensive haircut/color for a public figure who is frequently on TV

3) if her hair was raggedy, that would be the lead story instead 

4) 

(From author Jessica Valentihttp://bit.ly/33j6Jdu

  

TRENDING ON TWITTER IN THE UNITED STATES:

John Edwards, the former presidential candidate who became infamous for his $400 haircut in 2007. Tweets about Edwards: http://bit.ly/35huPap

Here is the New York Times story from 2007 if you want a fun throwback: https://nyti.ms/2OHG5XP

 

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NOTABLE TWEETS

How cute: 

 

This makes me uncomfortable:

Watch: http://bit.ly/2p88s6J

And here's another video of the flip phone in action: http://bit.ly/2M2QtHP

  

ON TAP

The House and Senate are out. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C., but are both heading to Minneapolis for a campaign rally.

11:45 a.m. EDT: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.  

2 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats open televised impeachment hearings The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems, GOP dig in for public impeachment hearings The Hill's Morning Report - Witness transcripts plow ground for public impeachment testimony MORE leave for Minneapolis

4 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for Minneapolis.

5:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and Karen Pence visit Safety Signs, LLC.

7 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis.

7:50 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence delivers remarks at President Trump's campaign rally.

12:35 a.m. EDT: President Trump lands at the White House. 

 

WHAT TO WATCH

8 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2q25jFV

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Angel Food Cake Day.

 

Lol, Bryce Harper is trending in the D.C. area:

Former Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper, who now plays for the Philadelphia Phillies, was the subject of a lot of trolling tweets after his former team reached the National League Championship Series last night. http://bit.ly/2MtqsAv

Some of the tweets trolling him -- they're pretty funny: http://bit.ly/2OAOrjL

 

And because this video is pretty entertaining, here are dogs jumping rope. There is so much to unpack here: http://bit.ly/2p6wizE