The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump demands Bidens testify

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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: Trump wants Bidens to testify | House GOP plans to subpoena whistleblower for public hearing | Trump knocks report he asked Barr to clear him over Ukraine | Trump calls Washington Post report 'totally untrue,' slams 'LameStream media' | Top Pence aide to testify | Senators hope for bipartisan deal on impeachment trial | GOP sees wake-up call from Election Day 2019 | Pence in NH to file primary paperwork |




Via The Washington Post's Matt Zapotosky, Josh Dawsey and Carol D. Leonnig, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools MORE had requested that his Attorney General William Barr hold a news conference to declare that Trump did nothing illegal on the infamous July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Barr said no.

Read the full report:


This morning -- Trump reacted to that Washington Post report. You can guess what he said:

President Trump pushed back on the report that he asked his attorney general to clear him of any wrongdoing as "totally untrue."



"The story in the Amazon Washington Post, of course picked up by Fake News CNN, saying 'President Trump asked for AG Barr to host a news conference clearing him on Ukraine,' is totally untrue and just another FAKE NEWS story with anonymous sources that don't exist.."


"...The LameStream Media, which is The Enemy of the People, is working overtime with made up stories in order to drive dissension and distrust!"

"Years ago, when Media was legitimate, people known as 'Fact Checkers' would always call to check and see if a story was accurate. Nowadays they don't use 'Fact Checkers' anymore, they just write whatever they want!"



Here's a photo outside the White House this morning. Wow, this is stunning:


It's Thursday. 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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Cough, cough, co-*Joe and Hunter*-ugh, cough:

President Trump called for former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFighting a virus with the wrong tools Trump bucks business on Defense Production Act Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — US coronavirus cases hit 100,000 | Trump signs T stimulus package | Trump employs defense powers to force GM to make ventilators | New concerns over virus testing MORE and his son Hunter Biden to testify in the Ukraine controversy.

Trump tweeted: "'What did Hunter Biden do for the money?' @SenJohnKennedy  A very good question. He and Sleepy Joe must testify!" 

Keep in mind: Neither are the Bidens are likely to testify in the House impeachment inquiry. Why: "While Republicans have the power to request a subpoena of witnesses, those requests are subject to approval by Democrats leading the investigation." However: The Bidens could face more scrutiny in the GOP-controlled Senate.



GOP: Well, it is worth a shot:

Via The Hill's Mike Lillis, Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanTrump, privacy hawks upend surveillance brawl Top GOP post on Oversight draws stiff competition McConnell, top GOP senators throw support behind surveillance deal as deadline looms MORE (R-Ohio) said Republicans are planning to subpoena the anonymous whistleblower for public testimony.

Yeahhh, but: "The effort is not likely to bear fruit, as Democrats have rejected the idea of outing the anonymous figure, citing safety concerns, and they have veto power over any GOP subpoena requests for witness testimony." 


Happening today -- a Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceTrump digs in on criticism of Democratic governors Trump signs T coronavirus relief package Arizona lawmaker warns Pence state may end coronavirus testing due to shortage MORE aide is up next:

Jennifer Williams, a career foreign service officer and top Pence advisor to Vice President Pence, is testifying in the House impeachment inquiry today.

Why she is testifying: Williams was on the July 25 call between President Trump and the president of Ukraine.

Why this is notable: She is a rare official to comply with Democrats' request to be interviewed. This week, a number of administration officials declined to testify.  



Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a Ukraine specialist on the National Security Council (NSC), was on Capitol Hill this morning to review the transcript of his impeachment deposition. Photo of Vindman -- note that he is not in uniform today



Can't we all just get along?:

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, senators are pushing for a bipartisan deal that would set up ground rules for an impeachment trial to avoid an ugly brawl over trial procedures.

Reasoning: "Any Senate trial is likely to be high-drama and politically charged but lawmakers want Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Trump signs T coronavirus relief package Pelosi not invited by Trump to White House coronavirus relief bill's signing MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTexas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Pelosi not invited by Trump to White House coronavirus relief bill's signing COVID-19, Bill Barr and the American authoritarian tradition MORE (D-N.Y.) to strike an agreement on a resolution that would establish guardrails for the trial."

What to expect without a deal: "The debate over the rules for the impeachment trial could quickly devolve into partisan fighting, according to the lawmakers, with Republicans only needing a simple majority to force through a resolution setting up the process for the trial." 



Happening today in New Hampster :

Vice President Mike Pence is in New Hampshire today filing for the President Trump-Mike Pence ticket to be on the state's primary ballot.

It's a proud state: Here's a photo of New Hampshire's secretary of state Bill Gardner sharing the history of the primary as he waits for Pence. Photo:

Wow: Here's a photo of the crowds waiting for Pence:

Op-ed from Trump's former campaign manager Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiHillicon Valley — Presented by Facebook — FCC fines mobile carriers 0M for selling user data | Twitter verified fake 2020 candidate | Dems press DHS to complete election security report | Reddit chief calls TikTok spyware Rod Blagojevich joins app where people can pay for personalized video message The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders repeats with NH primary win, but with narrower victory MORE, who is considering a run for Senate in N.H.:



Vice President Mike Pence is speaking at the New England Council's Politics & Eggs at 1:25 p.m. EST. Livestream:


Yikes is right, Gov. Weld:

Back story to the texts: Buzzfeed's Ben Smith texted with Republican Gov. Bill WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldTrump becomes presumptive GOP nominee after sweeping primaries Trump sweeps through mini-Super Tuesday primaries Trump glides to victory in Super Tuesday GOP primaries MORE (Mass.) who is challenging President Trump for the GOP presidential nomination. 

Here's the full text conversation -- Weld's selfie game is strong!:





Don't forget to take all metal out of your pockets, Mr. Vice President: 


Ready for takeoff!:

Oh mannnn, this video of the goats



The Senate is in. The House is out. President Trump is in Washington, D.C. Vice President Pence is in New Hampshire.

9:50 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence landed in Manchester, N.H.

11 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence filed to be on the ballot in New Hampshire.

11:45 a.m. EST: The Senate votes on two judicial nominations. The Senate's full schedule today:

Noon: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

1:45 p.m. EST: The Senate votes on a judicial nominee.

2:15 p.m. EST: President Trump participates in a greeting in recognition of the National Day for the Victims of Communism.

6:35 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence gets back to Washington, D.C.

8 p.m. EST: President Trump speaks at a fundraising committee reception at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Nov. 14: The Hill is hosting an event, "America's Veterans: The Next Mission." Details and how to RSVP:



1:25 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence speaks at the New England Council's Politics & Eggs. Livestream:

6 p.m. EST: President Trump presents the Presidential Citizens Medal in the East Room of the White House. Livestream:

6:30 p.m. EST: NBC News's Harry Smith sits down with Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerLawmakers, labor leaders ramp up calls to use Defense Production Act Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men Amazon doubling overtime pay for warehouse workers MORE (D-N.J.) for a new series on "NBC Nightly News," "What Matters." 



Today is National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day.


And because you made it to the end, here's a dog who wanted to see what sand tastes like:


This post was updated at 1:30 p.m.