The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump says Dems shouldn't hold public hearings

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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: Mulvaney defies House subpoena at last minute | Trump rails against public impeachment hearings | Details from White House tell-all book | Anonymous says officials considered 'midnight self-massacre' | Trump allies sound alarm over Dem gains | Trump mocks potential Bloomberg 2020 run | Trump not sure if he'll endorse Sessions | Spending, voting rights top House agenda for November | How Buttigieg eats a cinnamon roll | National Cappuccino Day



Xoxo, Gossip Girl:

Via The Washington Post's Philip Rucker, the writer of the infamous anonymous New York Times op-ed last year is claiming in a new book that senior White House officials considered resigning together last year in a "midnight self-massacre."

Why they decided against it, according to the anonymous author: Because they were afraid it would destabilize the government.  

What we know about the anonymous writer: He or she is "a senior official in the Trump administration." 

The writer on why he or she is remaining anonymous: "I have decided to publish this anonymously because this debate is not about me. It is about us. It is about how we want the presidency to reflect our country, and that is where the discussion should center. Some will call this 'cowardice.' My feelings are not hurt by the accusation. Nor am I unprepared to attach my name to criticism of President TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau spends millions on ad campaign to mitigate fears on excluded citizenship question Bloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Democratic senator meets with Iranian foreign minister MORE. I may do so, in due course."

When the book goes on sale: Nov. 19

What we know about the book:



"The coward who wrote this book didn't put their name on it because it is nothing but lies. Real authors reach out to their subjects to get things fact checked -- but this person is in hiding, making that very basic part of being a real writer impossible. Reporters who choose to write about this farce should have the journalistic integrity to cover the book as what it is -- a work of fiction."



"I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration: I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations."


Happy Friday! 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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One minute before Mulvaney’s testimony — It’s a no from me:

Acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump declares war on hardworking Americans with new budget request Scaramucci thanks John Kelly for speaking up against Trump Trump lashes out over Kelly criticism: 'He misses the action' MORE defied a congressional subpoena for testimony this morning, one minute before the impeachment deposition was scheduled to start.

Mulvaney’s reason for defying the subpoena: He asserted immunity.

From an official working on the inquiry: “This morning, one minute before his scheduled deposition was to start, Mr. Mulvaney’s outside counsel informed us that his client had been directed by the White House not to comply with the duly authorized subpoena and asserted 'absolute immunity’ ... If the White House had evidence to contest those facts, they would allow Mr. Mulvaney to be deposed, as three chiefs of staffs of President Clinton were during his impeachment proceedings.” 

Back story: Last night, the House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to testify in the impeachment inquiry.



President Trump told reporters that there should not be public hearings in the impeachment probe.

In Trump’s words: "They shouldn’t be having public hearings. This is a hoax.”

Why this is newsy: It’s a big break from his allies who have been arguing for weeks that the closed-door hearings are not transparent. 

And on why his acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney would not appear: Trump said he did not want to “give credibility to a corrupt witch hunt ... I’d love to have Mick go up, frankly.”


'The key is Joe and Hunter'

*All look in other directions like they didn't hear*:

Via The Hill's Jordain CarneyPresident Trump is pushing for conservatives to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders HuffPost reporter: Sanders could win plurality of delegates but lose nomination Meghan McCain to Joy Behar: 'You guys have done a piss-poor job of convincing me that I should vote for a Democrat' MORE and his son Hunter Biden as part of the impeachment trial, but congressional Republicans are not on board.

For example -- Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Booker, Cornyn introduce bill to fund school nutrition programs Three Senate primaries to watch on Super Tuesday MORE (R-Texas) told The Hill: "His lawyers, I presume, can ask for any witnesses they want. But I think we ought to keep focus on the articles of impeachment and not go down any rabbit trails." 



Hello and what can I interest you in today?

You got your state-of-the-art Democrat. You got your new Democrat...:
According to a New York Times/Siena College poll, a majority of voters in battleground states prefer a moderate Democrat who would work with Republicans over a candidate with a "bold progressive agenda."

Which states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona and Florida

The number: 55 percent of those polled said they would rather the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee be more moderate than most Democrats. 39 percent said the nominee should be more liberal. 

The full poll:


Meanwhile on the Trump campaign -- wee woo, wee woo

--> ;) 

Via The Hill's Jonathan Easley, "Senior members of President Trump's 2016 campaign are sounding the alarm, warning that Democratic enthusiasm for impeachment and Republican weakness in the suburbs could spell trouble for the president as he embarks on his reelection campaign."

From former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon: "Trump has nationalized politics, he's now popular culture, these are votes on Trump, you have to face that fact ... There's time to turn that around but this is the reelect right here. What happens [with impeachment] in the next six weeks is the reelect, and it has to be treated like that. And everybody's got to get to the f----- ramparts."

Keep in mind about Bannon: He launched a radio show focused on defending President Trump in the impeachment process. 


What did the poor cinnamon roll do to deserve this, Pete?!:

Make sure to really zoom in to see the remnants of this former cinnamon roll:



Via Eater's Gary He, here is a look at Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegHuffPost reporter: Sanders could win plurality of delegates but lose nomination Sanders campaign expands operations in Michigan Sanders leads among Latino voters: poll MORE's campaign trail diet:


New candidates to watch:

–  Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergBloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Warren: Bloomberg making debate will show how other candidates handle 'an egomaniac billionaire' HuffPost reporter: Sanders could win plurality of delegates but lose nomination MORE has signaled interest in jumping into the 2020 presidential race.



President Trump commented on reports that Michael Bloomberg may jump into the race. "There's nobody I'd rather run against than little Michael," Trump said. (Via The New York Times's Annie Karni


 -- Former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders on the rise as Nevada debate looms NSA whistleblower petitions Trump for clemency Alabama Senate contender hits Sessions in new ad: 'Hillary still ain't in jail' MORE announced yesterday that he is running for his old Senate seat in Alabama.



When asked about endorsing Sessions's Senate bid, President Trump said, "well I haven't gotten involved. I saw he said very nice things about me last night. But we'll have to see. He then added: "I haven't made a determination," but admitted that Sessions has "tough competition" in the Alabama Senate race.



Those are November problems:

Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerPelosi's staff huddles with aides in both parties on 'surprise' medical billing House panel approves bill to grant DC statehood Democrats bullish on bill to create women's history museum: 'It's an election year' MORE (D-Md.) announced this morning that the House will take up government funding and voting rights over the next two weeks. Details:


PACs are trendy: 

Via The Hill's Alex Gangitano, "a third of progressives in Congress's freshman class have formed leadership PACs, a move that has helped lawmakers raise their profile within the party but also drawn scrutiny from outside liberal groups decrying the influence of money in politics."

For comparison: "Seven out of the 21 first-year lawmakers in the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) have leadership PACs, compared with three at this point in the previous Congress." 



Dads on social media...:




The House and Senate are out. President Trump and Vice President Pence are both in Georgia for the afternoon.

9 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence participates in a moon tree planting.

9:45 a.m. EST: President Trump leaves for Georgia.

11:35 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence leaves for Georgia.

12:45 p.m. EST: President Trump participates in a roundtable with supporters in Atlanta, Ga.

1:25 p.m. EST: President Trump speaks at a fundraising committee luncheon.

2:40 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence speaks at the "Black Voices for Trump Coalition" rollout.

5:25 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence gets back to Washington, D.C.

6:15 p.m. EST: President Trump gets back to Washington, D.C.



9 a.m. EST: Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert WilkieRobert Leon WilkieWhistleblower claims leaders of VA sought damaging information on woman alleging sexual assault Overnight Defense: US deploys low-yield nukes on submarines | Watchdog warns Iraq withdrawal 'likely' means ISIS resurgence | What to watch in Trump's State of the Union Overnight Defense: VA deputy secretary fired | Impeachment trial winds down with closing arguments | Pentagon watchdog to probe use of cancer-linked chemical MORE held a press briefing. Livestream:

1 p.m. EST: Former Vice President Joe Biden holds a campaign rally in New Hampshire. Livestream:

3 p.m. EST: President Trump speaks at the "Black Voices for Trump Coalition" rollout. Livestream:



Today is National Cappuccino Day.


Looking for plans?:

Via Washingtonian's Catherine P. Lewis, here's a list of activities in the Washington, D.C. area this weekend:


And to get your weekend off to the right start, here's a duckling who needs a little extra help with the stairs: