The Hill's 12:30 Report: Hunter Biden speaks out amid Ukraine controversy

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here:

--> 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: Hunter Biden regrets opening father to attacks | Trump knocks him over 'really bad' interview | What to know for tonight's Democratic debate | Five things to watch | Top State official testifies | How Trump's impeachment firewall is holding up | Bolton called Giuliani a 'hand grenade' | Giuliani got $500K for work for indicted associate's firm | Disney+ touts streaming lineup



Next up in the tank:

George Kent, a top State Department official, is testifying on Capitol Hill today in the inquiry about President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE's dealings with Ukraine.


What to know about Kent: "George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, oversees administrative policy in a bloc of Eastern European countries, including Ukraine, which has emerged as the focal point of the growing investigation." 

Video of Kent arriving:

And here is George Kent walking down another hallway with his entourage:

Photo of Republicans walking to the hearing:




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.

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:



Hunter Biden speaks (!):
Hunter Biden, the son of presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Jayapal says tuition-free community college 'probably won't' be in spending plan Jan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt MOREgave a rare interview this morning on ABC News.



Hunter Biden on what he regrets -- hurting his dad: "I gave a hook to some very unethical people to act in illegal ways to try to do some harm to my father. That's where I made the mistake. So I take full responsibility for that. Did I do anything improper? No, not in any way. Not in any way whatsoever."

He slammed President Trump and Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiTrump sues Jan. 6 panel to block records Lawmakers pay tribute to Colin Powell Book Trump signed for Giuliani fetches K at auction: 'I promise never to run against you' MORE: "What I regret is not taking into account that there would be a Rudy Giuliani and a president of the United States that would be listening to this ridiculous conspiracy idea." 

On his relationship with his dad: "My dad doesn't have to defend me. My dad only has to love me and my dad loves me unequivocally."

On serving on the board of a Ukrainian gas company: Watch Hunter Biden's full explanation.



The president tweeted, "Hunter Biden was really bad on @GMA. Now Sleepy Joe has real problems! Reminds me of Crooked Hillary and her 33,000 deleted Emails, not recoverable!" So name nicknames in that one.



Via C-SPAN's Howard Mortman, here's video of former Vice President Joe Biden introducing his children and grandchildren during a town hall in 2008. Watch:


Today in 'if this were a TV plotline, you'd think it was unrealistic':

President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said he was paid $500,000 for his work at Fraud Guarantee, the company co-founded by an associate who was recently arrested on campaign charges.


New report -- John BoltonJohn BoltonWe've left Afghanistan — but its consequences are just starting to arrive It's time to pull the plug on our toxic relationship with Pakistan Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod MORE had thoughts about it all:

Via The New York Times's Peter Baker and Nicholas Fandos, "The effort to pressure Ukraine for political help provoked a heated confrontation inside the White House last summer that so alarmed John R. Bolton, then the national security adviser, that he told an aide to alert White House lawyers, House investigators were told on Monday." 

What Bolton reportedly said about Rudy Giuliani: "'Giuliani's a hand grenade who's going to blow everybody up,' [Fiona Hill] quoted Mr. Bolton as saying during an earlier conversation." 

Read the full report:



Via NBC's Josh Lederman, Geoff Bennett and Phil Helsel, "The White House tried to limit what Fiona Hill, who until August served as President Donald Trump's top Russia analyst, could say to Congress in its impeachment inquiry, correspondence between her lawyers and a White House deputy counsel shows."



Throwdown, part four: 

Twelve Democratic presidential candidates are debating tonight in Ohio.



In order of where they will stand on stage:

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardThe perfect Democratic running mate for DeSantis? Progressives breathe sigh of relief after Afghan withdrawal Hillicon Valley: US has made progress on cyber but more needed, report says | Democrat urges changes for 'problematic' crypto language in infrastructure bill | Facebook may be forced to unwind Giphy acquisition MORE (D-Hawaii)

Billionaire philanthropist Tom SteyerTom SteyerYouth voting organization launches M registration effort in key battlegrounds Overnight Energy: 'Eye of fire,' Exxon lobbyist's comments fuel renewed attacks on oil industry | Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline | More than 75 companies ask Congress to pass clean electricity standard Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline MORE

Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerEmanuel to take hot seat in Senate confirmation hearing Senate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals MORE (D-N.J.)

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisAre supply chain disruptions the beginning of the end of globalization? Harris to campaign with McAuliffe in Virginia Harris to highlight drought, climate change in Nevada trip MORE (D-Calif.)

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Jayapal says tuition-free community college 'probably won't' be in spending plan Progressives see budget deal getting close after Biden meeting MORE (I-Vt.)

Former Vice President Joe Biden

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats narrow scope of IRS proposal amid GOP attacks Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — FDA moves to sell hearing aids over-the-counter FDA proposes rule to offer over-the-counter hearing aids MORE (D-Mass.)

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegEmanuel to take hot seat in Senate confirmation hearing The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Build Back Better items on chopping block Buttigieg says delay in climate action will cost lives amid reports of Manchin roadblock MORE (D)

Tech entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangAndrew Yang weighs in on Dave Chappelle: Artists should get 'wide berth' for self-expression Yang says he has left Democratic Party Yang says presidential bid 'messed with my head' MORE 

Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeSupport for governors sliding in states without vaccine mandates: survey Abbott bans vaccine mandates from any 'entity in Texas' Abbott disapproval rating up 8 points to 59 percent in San Antonio area: poll MORE (D-Texas)

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Biden holds meetings to resurrect his spending plan Senate Democrats ask for details on threats against election workers On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE (D-Minn.)

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro



When: 8–11 p.m. EDT tonight

Where: Westerville, Ohio

Who is hosting: CNN and The New York Times

Who didn't make the cut: Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetBuilding back better by investing in workers and communities Biden signs bill to help victims of 'Havana syndrome' Colorado remap plan creates new competitive district MORE (D-Colo.), Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve Bullock65 former governors, mayors back bipartisan infrastructure deal Arkansas, New Jersey governors to head National Governors Association Biden 'allies' painting him into a corner MORE (D), former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyDirect air capture is a crucial bipartisan climate policy Lobbying world Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis MORE (D-Md.), Miramar, Fla., Mayor 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 (D), Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanTwo senior House Democrats to retire Democratic retirements could make a tough midterm year even worse Tim Ryan's campaign raises .5 million in third quarter MORE (D-Ohio), former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) and best-selling author Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson: Steven Donziger sentencing is meant to have a 'chilling effect' on environmentalists Marianne Williamson calls federal judge's handling of Steven Donziger case 'unconstitutional' Marianne Williamson calls on Biden to drop efforts to extradite Assange MORE.

How to watch: On CNN, CNN International, CNN en Español. It will also livestream on and



  1. Will rivals go after Warren?
  2. Can Bernie reassure voters after his heart attack?
  3. How do Democrats handle Trump's attacks on Biden?
  4. Do Democrats give more momentum to impeachment push?
  5. Twelve candidates are on stage. Will some of them come back?

Context and details for each:



Congress is back and not happy about the Syria situation:

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney and Rebecca Kheel, "Democrats in Congress are vowing to quickly slap new sanctions on Ankara and formally oppose President Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops from northern Syria following Turkey's military offensive against Kurdish forces loyal to the United States."

What to expect in the Senate: "[Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMayorkas tests positive for COVID-19 breakthrough case A pandemic of hyper-hypocrisy is infecting American politics Republicans' mantra should have been 'Stop the Spread' MORE (R-S.C.)] and Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenGOP tries to take filibuster pressure off Manchin, Sinema Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden set to restore national monuments rolled back by Trump Markey: Senate must pass reconciliation package before global climate summit MORE (D-Md.) are expected to introduce a sanctions bill this week that would target Turkey's military and energy sector. It would also restrict any assets Turkish leadership, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, have within U.S. jurisdiction and limit their ability to travel to the United States."

What to expect in the House: "Meanwhile, at least two groups of lawmakers -- one led by Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyJan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Biden, Democrats dig into legislative specifics Trump sues Jan. 6 panel to block records MORE (R-Wyo.) and another by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelLawmakers pay tribute to Colin Powell NYC snafu the latest flub from a broken elections agency Cynthia Nixon backs primary challenger to Rep. Carolyn Maloney MORE (D-N.Y.) and the committee's top Republican, Rep. Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulPentagon, State Department square off on Afghanistan accountability Mike Siegel: Potential McConaughey candidacy a 'sideshow' in Texas governor race Biden signs bill to help victims of 'Havana syndrome' MORE (Texas) -- are preparing their own sanctions legislation." 

Oh and: "In addition to sanctions legislation, lawmakers are working on a joint resolution that would oppose Trump's strategy, urge Turkey to stop its military operations, and support military and humanitarian efforts for the Kurds." 



Always a good decision:

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom PerezThomas PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE had ice cream yesterday at Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams.  

Not again!!!:

Here is Lizzo's tweet about the shoes:



The House and Senate return from recess today. President Trump and Vice President Pence are both in Washington, D.C.

11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence met with the prime minister of Egypt. 

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

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence.

2 p.m. EDT: The House meets. The House's full schedule today:

3 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets. The Senate's full schedule today:

3:10 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the 2019 Stanley Cup champions, the St. Louis Blues. Vice President Pence also attends.

5:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate holds a vote on a nomination.

6:30 p.m. EDT: Postponed votes in the House.

28 years ago today: The Senate confirmed Justice Clarence ThomasClarence ThomasLocked and Loaded: Supreme Court is ready for a showdown on the Second Amendment Two conservatives resign from Biden's Supreme Court commission Sotomayor says recent changes were made because male justices interrupted female colleagues MORE as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Op-ed:



8­­–11 p.m. EDT: The next Democratic presidential primary debate. Details:

Wednesday night: Fox News's Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonSunday shows - Buttigieg warns supply chain issues could stretch to next year Bill Kristol: Buttigieg entitled to call Tucker Carlson a 'repulsive bigot' Paid family leave is 'not a vacation,' Buttigieg says MORE will interview Megyn Kelly, who left the network in 2017. Details and what to expect:



Today is National Cheese Curd Day.


What a list:

Disney Plus has released a list of hundreds of movies and TV shows that will be on its new video streaming service. Here are the highlights:


And because you made it this far, here's a cat who has seen some things: