The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies Trump pushed for her ouster

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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 — Ex-Ukraine ambassador blames 'concerted campaign' for ouster | Sights and sounds from the Capitol | EU envoy to testify after subpoena | Trump loses appeal over subpoenaed financial records | Impeachment polls worry GOP | Trump distances himself from arrested Giuliani associates | Trump goes 'off-script' on Dems at rally, rails against Biden, Omar | Orange full moon on Sunday

  

HAPPENING ON CAPITOL HILL THIS MORNING

*Record Scratch* *Freeze Frame*

Yup, that's me. You're probably wondering how I ended up here:

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is on Capitol Hill this morning for closed-door testimony in the impeachment inquiry. http://bit.ly/33qblhM

What Congress wants to hear from Yovanovitch: She is discussing her dismissal as ambassador in May and what she knows about President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE and his lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiImpeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point This week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Giuliani associate says he sought to pressure Ukraine to investigate Bidens MORE pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. 

 

NEW REPORTING – WHAT SHE TOLD INVESTIGATORS DURING HER TESTIMONY: 

Via The New York Times's Sharon LaFraniere and Nicholas Fandos, Yovanovitch told investigators this morning "that a top State Department official told her that President Trump had pushed for her removal for months even though the department believed she had 'done nothing wrong.'" https://nyti.ms/2IFISN8

From her opening statement: "According to a copy of her opening statement obtained by The New York Times, the longtime diplomat said she was 'incredulous' that she was removed as ambassador 'based, as far as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.'" https://nyti.ms/2IFISN8

 

 

 

 

TICK TOCK, AS TOLD IN PHOTOS BY CONGRESSIONAL REPORTERS:

Republican lawmakers walking down the staircase and into the hearing: http://bit.ly/2owZ6kM

Yovanovitch walking into the Capitol: http://bit.ly/2IH0U1D

And here is video of the chaos around Yovanovitch: Watch: http://bit.ly/35nuItQ

Yovanovitch going through the Capitol metal detector: http://bit.ly/2M5FEoq

Another angle -- going through security: She is still wearing sunglasses. http://bit.ly/35nukvo

Yovanovitch walking to the hearing -- oh hello, Capitol Police: http://bit.ly/2pgnneQ

I don't think I have a photo of Yovanovitch walking through this hallway yet: She is no longer wearing sunglasses. I repeat: She is no longer wearing sunglasses. http://bit.ly/2pXLYWe

Omg -- The key witness this morning: Here is Gordie the puppy waiting for Yovanovitch. Photo -- because I would never tease something like that without a photo: http://bit.ly/2MDSBVE

 

For planning purposes:

  

Happy Friday! Finally. 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

  

NEWS THIS MORNING

The more I look at the word subpoena, the stranger it looks:

A federal appeals court rejected President Trump's attempt to keep his subpoenaed financial records from House Democrats. http://bit.ly/35uJbEy

Back story: "The Democratic-led House Oversight and Reform Committee issued a subpoena in April to Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA, seeking financial records on Trump and several of his business entities." 

  

IN THE WHITE HOUSE

Back away from the political liabilities. I repeat, back away from the liabilities:

President Trump has distanced himself from the two associates of his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani who were arrested on campaign finance charges. http://bit.ly/2IGCGV5

Trump told reporters: "I don't know those gentleman. Now, it's possible I have a picture with them because I have a picture with everybody ... I don't know them, I don't know about them, I don't know what they do. I don't know, maybe they were clients of Rudy's. You'd have to ask Rudy." 

By the way: Here's the photo of the two arrested businessmen posing with President Trump. https://cnn.it/2OAINOv

 

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE ARREST OF GIULIANI ASSOCIATES:

http://bit.ly/2IECe9O

  

New report -- Rudy used an Oval Office meeting to vouch for his client:

Via CNN's Evan Perez and Kevin Liptak, President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani used a 2017 Oval Office meeting with Trump and then-Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonHaley: Top Trump aides tried to get me to undermine him Top Senate Dem: Officials timed immigration policy around 2020 election The Hill's Morning Report - Witness transcripts offer new clues; Election Day MORE to push for charges to be dropped against a client with ties to Turkey's government. https://cnn.it/2Vwo7J9

How Rex Tillerson reacted: "After the meeting Tillerson mentioned the discussion to then-chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, who was not in the meeting, noting that it was a deal he could not support."

Why this is important: "The episode is another reflection of Trump attempting to use his office to influence ongoing Justice Department proceedings. And news of it comes as his relationships to both Giuliani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan come under scrutiny."

Read the full report: https://cnn.it/2Vwo7J9

 

TIDBIT -- RUDY GIULIANI PLANNED TO FLY TO VIENNA LAST NIGHT:

Via The Atlantic's Elaina Plott, "President Trump's personal lawyer told me he was planning to fly to Vienna roughly 24 hours after his business associates were arrested as they prepared to do the same." This is worth reading: http://bit.ly/2IFgafk

  

Tidbit -- Omg, you guys. I know we're all getting numb to the news this week, but we cannot let this one slide by:

Via The New York Times's Kenneth P. Vogel, President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas's company, Fraud Guarantee. Yes, that is the name of the company. 

Read the full New York Times report: https://nyti.ms/2nCe1K5 

   

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

President Trump went off-script and you know what that means?!

Fight! Fight! Fight!:

During a campaign rally in Minneapolis last night, President Trump railed on House Democrats' impeachment inquiry, accusing them of trying to "overthrow" the government with an "insane" impeachment inquiry. http://bit.ly/2oolXPK

 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE RALLY:

On Democrats: "Now the do-nothing Democrat con artists and scammers are getting desperate. Thirteen months, they've got to move fast, because they're not beating us at the polls and they know it -- despite the phony polls. ... They know they can't win the 2020 election, so they're pursuing the insane impeachment witch hunt." http://bit.ly/2oolXPK

On Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarBloomberg run should push Warren to the center — but won't Justice Democrats official denies that progressives struggle with electability The Hill's Campaign Report: Bloomberg looks to upend Democratic race MORE (D-Minn.): "Congresswoman Omar is an America-hating socialist. She minimized the September 11th attack on our homeland, where far more than 3,000 people died, saying, 'some people did something.' How do you have such a person representing you in Minnesota? She is a disgrace to our country. I'm very angry with you people right now." Watch Trump's full comments on Omar: http://bit.ly/35mmUst

On going off-script -- it does give me more to write about!: "I gotta tell you. Isn't it much better when I go off script? Isn't that better? So much better." http://bit.ly/2oolXPK

On Joe BidenJoe BidenImpeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Trump DACA fight hits Supreme Court Juan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete MORE: "He was only a good vice president because he understood how to kiss Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaJuan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete Democrats debate how to defeat Trump: fight or heal 3 ways government can help clean up Twitter MORE's ass." Watch Trump's full comment on Biden: http://bit.ly/2IDZTqT

On Hunter Biden: "Joe's son Hunter got thrown out of the Navy and then he became a genius on Wall Street in about two days. Whatever happened to Hunter? Where the hell is he? Where's Hunter? ...  Hey fellas, I have an idea for a new T-shirt. Let's do another T-shirt: 'Where's Hunter?'" http://bit.ly/33nuctW

 

REACTION FROM JOE BIDEN:

"I spent my night at the [Human Rights Campaign] forum talking about the fundamental respect every human being deserves. You spent yours showing how little respect for anyone else you have. America is so much stronger than your weakness, @realDonaldTrump." http://bit.ly/2IGFfGR

 

PRESIDENT TRUMP'S SON ERIC TESTED OUT A NEW CHANT:

"How do you think Joe Biden ... how do you think his son's feeling right now. Right after embezzling a lot of money, taking a lot of money, the crookedness. ... Maybe lock her up goes to lock him up. Lock him up." (Via C-SPAN'S Howard Mortman) Watch: http://bit.ly/2Vyglya

 

This was a wildly uncomfortable moment:

If I had to see this, then so do you, my friends.

Watch -- I feel dead inside: http://bit.ly/2VzFEA7

 

WHY RECENT TRUMP POLLING IS WORRYING THE GOP:

http://bit.ly/33qCpOf

  

IN CONGRESS

Trump's EU ambassador *will* testify:

U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, a key witness in the impeachment inquiry, will testify before Congress despite objection from the State Department. http://bit.ly/327kjR9

Why: He will comply with a congressional subpoena. 

From Sondland's attorneys: "Notwithstanding the State Department's current direction to not testify, Ambassador Sondland will honor the Committees' subpoena, and he looks forward to testifying on Thursday." 

Back story: Sondland was set to testify earlier this week, but the Trump administration abruptly blocked his appearance. House Democrats then subpoenaed Sondland, and he agreed to comply. 

 

WHY GORDON SONDLAND IS AN IMPORTANT WITNESS: 

http://bit.ly/2IIxDUf

  

I believe this is the very definition of 'frenemy':

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, "Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamImpeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Graham on the impeachment inquiry: 'I made my mind up. There's nothing there' Rand Paul says Trump has 'every right' to withhold Ukraine aid over corruption MORE (R-S.C.) has become one of President Trump's most vociferous critics on the decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, even as he defends the White House just as loudly over the House Democratic impeachment inquiry." http://bit.ly/33rgwxZ

Truuuuu: "Graham has flipped from Trump critic to friend throughout the president's rise to power and time in office, but never at a more dizzying pace than in the last few days." 

 

HELPFUL LIST ON THE UKRAINE STORY:

Here's a list of each of the key players in the wake of President Trump's call with the president of Ukraine and how they fit into the controversy: http://bit.ly/2Mww50O

 

IN NEW HAMPSHIRE NEWS

Come for the foliage, stay for the presidential candidates:

Three months before the New Hampshire presidential primary, No Labels is hosting its Problem Solvers convention featuring presidential candidates, members of Congress and more than 1,500 voters.  

When and where: Nov. 3 at the Doubletree Hotel in Manchester, N.H.

Featuring: Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinCentrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda Overnight Energy: Senate eyes nixing 'forever chemicals' fix from defense bill | Former Obama EPA chief named CEO of green group | Senate reviews Interior, FERC nominees criticized on ethics Senate reviews Interior, FERC nominees criticized on ethics MORE (D-W.Va.); Reps. Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerProgressive group unveils first slate of 2020 congressional endorsements Hillicon Valley: Critics press feds to block Google, Fitbit deal | Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-linked accounts | TikTok looks to join online anti-terrorism effort | Apple pledges .5B to affordable housing Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-affiliated accounts after lawmaker pressure MORE (D-N.J.), Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Max RoseMax RoseHillicon Valley: Critics press feds to block Google, Fitbit deal | Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-linked accounts | TikTok looks to join online anti-terrorism effort | Apple pledges .5B to affordable housing Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-affiliated accounts after lawmaker pressure FBI chief says racist extremists fueling one another, making connections overseas MORE (D-N.Y.), Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickHillicon Valley: Critics press feds to block Google, Fitbit deal | Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-linked accounts | TikTok looks to join online anti-terrorism effort | Apple pledges .5B to affordable housing Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-affiliated accounts after lawmaker pressure GOP lawmakers express concerns about Giuliani's work in Ukraine MORE (R-Pa.), Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.), Dan Meuser (R-Pa.), Jeff Van DrewJeff Van DrewWhat's on the ballot across the country on Tuesday How centrist Dems learned to stop worrying and love impeachment Majority of Americans see impeachment inquiry as fair: poll MORE (D-N.J.), Steve WatkinsSteven (Steve) Charles WatkinsThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies Trump pushed for her ouster The Hill's Morning Report — The wall problem confronting Dems and the latest on Dorian Kansas Republican dropping Senate bid to challenge GOP rep MORE (R-Kan.); former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.); Frank Luntz; and select presidential candidates.

Details and how to RSVP: http://bit.ly/35mPQk5

 

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NOTABLE TWEETS

Oh mannn, I did not expect Warren to go in this direction with that question:

Make sure you watch the last 10 seconds. 

Watch: http://bit.ly/2nBeJas

  

ON TAP

The House and Senate are out. 

President Trump is in Washington, D.C., and is heading to Lake Charles, La., later today. Vice President Pence has no public events on his schedule.

1:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the champions of the Little League Baseball World Series and the Little League Softball World Series.

2:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the vice premier of China as the countries conduct a crucial round of trade talks.

4:10 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for Lake Charles, La. 

Saturday, 12:40 p.m. EDT: President Trump gets back to the White House.

October 23: Join The Hill is hosting an event, "Innovation Runway: The Cutting Edge of Aviation." Featured speakers: Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump has officially appointed one in four circuit court judges On The Money: Retirement savings bill blocked in Senate after fight over amendments | Stopgap bill may set up December spending fight | Hardwood industry pleads for relief from Trump trade war Retirement bill blocked in Senate amid fight over amendments MORE (R-Texas), Rep. Rick LarsenRichard (Rick) Ray LarsenAviation chairmen cite safety, new tech among concerns for the future The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Diplomat's 'powerful' testimony and 'lynching' attract headlines The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Trump's impeachment plea to Republicans MORE (D-Wash.) and FAA Deputy Administrator Daniel Elwell. Details and how to RSVP: http://bit.ly/2pY8qi0

  

WHAT TO WATCH

This morning: Democratic presidential candidate Steve BullockSteve BullockObama's former chief economist advising Buttigieg The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump says Dems shouldn't hold public hearings The Hill's Campaign Report: Bloomberg looks to upend Democratic race MORE, the governor of Montana, spoke at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics & New England Council's "Politics & Eggs" breakfast. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2owEYiI

8 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Lake Charles, La., ahead of the state's gubernatorial election on Saturday. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2OEdH8F

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Sausage Pizza Day.

 

Make sure to look outside on Sunday night:

There will be a bright orange full moon on Sunday night. Details: http://bit.ly/2MuMMJP

 

And to get your weekend off to the right start, here are two golden retrievers who are less than enthused about their Halloween costumes: http://bit.ly/2OG9CRt