The Hill's 12:30 Report: Former Ukraine envoy offers dramatic testimony

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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: Breaking – Jury finds Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneRoger Stone to surrender to prison by June 30 Sunday shows preview: States begin to reopen even as some areas in US see case counts increase Brzezinski says she arranged call with Twitter CEO to discuss banning Trump MORE guilty of lying to Congress | Day two of public impeachment hearings | Former Ukraine ambassador offers dramatic testimony | Says 'color drained' from her face when she saw call transcript | Trump criticizes Yovanovitch during testimony | Dems decry 'witness intimidation' | White House releases transcript of earlier Ukraine call | Buttigieg surging in Iowa



To the tapes!:

Right before today's impeachment hearing, the White House released the transcript of President TrumpDonald John TrumpFauci says his meetings with Trump have 'dramatically decreased' McEnany criticizes DC mayor for not imposing earlier curfew amid protests Stopping Israel's annexation is a US national security interest MORE's first call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

When this call happened: April 21, right after Zelensky was elected president of Ukraine. 

The gist of the call: "The 16-minute call is largely congratulatory and genial, as it took place on April 21, the day Zelensky won his election. The Ukrainian president invites Trump to attend his inauguration, while Trump raises the possibility of a White House visit for Zelensky."

Why it matters : The release was not a surprise. Over the weekend, Trump teased that he would release a transcript of the April phone call. But the president and his allies believe the call will be favorable to his case.

Read the transcript


Trump got a sucker punch in right before the impeachment hearing:

President Trump railed against Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump tweets as tensions escalate across US Judd Gregg: Biden — a path to the presidency, or not Trump asserts his power over Republicans MORE (D-Calif.) and accused her of wasting her time on a "witch hunt."

He tweeted -- ouch: "Nervous Nancy Pelosi, who should be home cleaning up the dangerous & disgusting Slum she is making of her District in San Francisco, where even the ... filth pouring into the Pacific Ocean is rapidly becoming an environmental hazard, is getting NOTHING DONE." 

He also said: "She is a Do Nothing Democrat as Speaker, and will hopefully not be in that position very long. Approve USMCA, which has been sitting on her desk for months!"

Read Trump's full tweets:


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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Roger Stone is convicted on all counts:

Via The Hill’s Harper Neidig, Roger Stone, the right-wing provocateur and longtime associate of President Trump, was convicted on Friday in his trial over allegations of lying to Congress and witness tampering.”

Why this is important: “The verdict is another victory for former Special Counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE, whose legal team alleged that Stone had tried to conceal from Congress his contacts with the Trump campaign and people he believed were feeding him inside information about WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign.” 



Another day of millions watching congressional programming:

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchJim Jordan requests documents from Pompeo regarding Hunter Biden, Burisma  Trump taps new ambassador to Ukraine America's diplomats deserve our respect MORE is testifying on Capitol Hill today in the impeachment hearing against President Donald Trump.

Hearing livestream:

Live blog of updates:



She described the State Department as a 'crisis': "[T]he attacks are leading to a crisis in the State Department as the policy process is visibly unravelling, leadership vacancies going unfilled, and senior and mid-level officers ponder an uncertain future and head for the doors," Yovanovitch testified. "This not a time to undercut our diplomats."

On her being mentioned in the July 25 call: "I was shocked, absolutely shocked, and devastated frankly," she said about being mentioned in the call between Trump and Zelensky. "I was shocked and devastated that I would feature in a phone call between two heads of state in such a manner, where President Trump said that I was 'bad news' to another head of state."

She said the color drained from her face: "A person who saw me reading the transcript said that the color drained from my face. I think I even had a physical reaction. Even now words kind of fail me."

Read Yovanovitch's opening statement:



On the screen in the hearing room: Highlighted parts of President Trump's call with Ukraine President Zelensky. Photo:

Photo of Yovanovitch being sworn in:

^And from another angle:

^And from another angle:

Throwback: Here is the front page of the Washington Post on the first day of the Watergate hearings. (Via The Washington Post's Jacqueline AlemanyPhoto:




President Trump tweeted during the hearing: "Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President's absolute right to appoint ambassadors."

^ House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffFlynn urged Russian diplomat to have 'reciprocal' response to Obama sanctions, new transcripts show The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation Hillicon Valley: Trump signs order targeting social media legal protections | House requests conference with Senate after FISA vote canceled | Minneapolis systems temporarily brought down by hackers MORE (D-Calif.) paused the hearing to allow Yovanovitch to respond to Trump's tweet: "It's very intimidating," Yovanovitch said. "I can't speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidating."

From Fox News's Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceCornel West: 'We're witnessing the collapse of the legitimacy of leadership' Head of Minnesota police chiefs association: Police not trained in hold used on George Floyd Minnesota AG says black Minnesotans have reason to fear local police MORE: Wallace said Yovanovitch's testimony was "very powerful" and that those not moved by her testimony "don't have a pulse."

From former U.N. ambassador Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyThe truth behind Biden's 'you ain't black' gaffe A glimpse of our post-pandemic politics The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Will new therapy drug be a COVID-19 game changer? MORE on the whistleblower": "I mean, I believe in whistleblower laws. I think you have to protect a whistleblower, and then I think, in turn, the whistleblower has to abide by those laws and the fact that they don't allow any sort of partisan leaking or anything like that to have happen."  



Via The Hill's Niall Stanage



It's Pete's time:

Via The Hill's Amie Parnes, "Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBiden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Here's how Biden can win over the minority vote and the Rust Belt MORE is surging in the 2020 primary, capitalizing on a Democratic Party wrestling with its political identity."

How so: "In a year when Democrats are struggling to choose between a string of septuagenarian candidates, strategists say the 37-year-old South Bend, Ind., mayor has become an alternative choice, tapping into a desire for a fresh face in Washington ... Political observers and strategists say this appeal is one of the main reasons Buttigieg, who is a veteran and also gay, has surging toward the top of polls." 

What is helping Buttigieg: "Democrats are ... battling over how far left to go in the primary, but Buttigieg may be a candidate who appeals to centrists without turning off liberals."



Lol, this photo:

Via The Hill's Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Mnuchin: More COVID-19 congressional action ahead On The Money: Mnuchin sees 'strong likelihood' of needing another COVID-19 relief bill | 2.4 million more Americans file new jobless claims | Top bank regulator abruptly announces resignation Overnight Health Care: Trump says US won't close over second COVID-19 wave | Mnuchin sees 'strong likelihood' of needing another COVID-19 relief bill | Why the US has the most reported coronavirus cases in the world MOREReps. Judy ChuJudy May ChuHouse Democrats press Treasury on debit cards used for coronavirus relief payments Democrats blast CDC report on minorities and COVID-19 Minority lawmakers gain unprecedented clout amid pandemic MORE (D-Calif.) and Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsGOP women's group rolls out endorsements ahead of contested races Bossie, Lewandowski warned Trump he was in trouble in 2020: report The Hill's Campaign Report: GOP beset by convention drama MORE (R-Ga.) squared off Thursday in an armed battle on Capitol Hill. Well, kind of. 

How and where: "Movie and TV Magic Day" in Rayburn Office Building where attendees could pose as superheroes, act in a scene with "West Wing" alum Melissa Fitzgerald and enjoy a Spider Man virtual experience. 

Chu and Collins, who are co-chairs of the Creative Rights Caucus, spoke to the crowd before their mock jousting. Another VIP who showed up for the festive event was House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerKey races to watch in Tuesday's primaries Overnight Defense: Democrats expand probe into State IG's firing | House schedules late June votes with defense bill on deck | New Navy secretary sworn in House scheduled to return for votes in late June MORE (D-Md.), who touted the American film and television industry.


Photo from The Hill's Bob Cusack



New Warren merch: 



The Senate is in. The House is out. President Trump is at the White House today. Vice President Pence has no public events on his schedule.

11:15 – 12:15 p.m. EST: The House votes.  The House's full schedule today:

Noon: President Trump receives an intelligence briefing.

Monday, Nov. 18: The Hill is hosting an event, "Building the Dream" in Minneapolis. Details and how to RSVP:  

3 p.m. EST Monday: The House meets. The House's full schedule on Monday:



This morning: Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is testifying before the House Intelligence Committee. Livestream:

2 p.m. EST: President Trump delivers remarks on health care. Livestream:

Sunday morning: Former Gov. Deval PatrickDeval PatrickIt's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Top Democratic super PACs team up to boost Biden Andrew Yang endorses Biden in 2020 race MORE (D-Mass.), who just announced his presidential bid, will appear on NBC's "Meet the Press."



Today is National Raisin Bran Cereal Day.


Getting traction -- Nike designed a shoe for medical professionals:

Via CNN's Lauren M. Johnson, "Nike's new shoe was not created for athletes such as basketball players or tennis players, but for a different crowd -- medical workers.

It's similar to a clog: "The shoe has a laceless upper and an elastic strap keeps the heel securely contained. Nike said this makes the shoe easy to get on with one hand. It has a durable, full-rubber outsole with a sole that provides traction even when liquid or water is present."

Photo of the shoe:


And to get your weekend off to the right start, here's a monkey making a snowball: