The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump says he is fighting testimony to protect presidency

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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: DOJ to appeal ruling over McGahn subpoena | Trump claims he is protecting future presidents by fighting testimony | GOP previews impeachment strategy | White House, Capitol briefly on lockdown after aircraft enters airspace | Pelosi says trade deal 'within range' | GOP braces for fundraising fight over Senate | Meet the turkeys Trump is pardoning | Trump to hold rally in Florida tonight | National Cake Day



Don McGahn, step into our office:

A federal judge ruled yesterday that former White House counsel Don McGahn must comply with a House Judiciary Committee subpoena from April and testify before Congress.

Why this ruling is important: "Monday's decision was only the latest development in a series of court battles over separation of powers that have pit the Democratic-led House's oversight authority against claims of presidential immunity and privacy."

The question about McGahn's testimony: "The ultimate significance of McGahn's testimony remains an open question. While the impeachment inquiry so far has centered on Trump's dealings with Ukraine, Democrats have held open the possibility of pursuing issues investigated by former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE, including Trump's possible obstruction of justice." 


^ Then this morning -- we will SEE about that:

The Justice Department is appealing the federal judge's ruling that Don McGahn must testify before Congress.

Keep in mind: The federal judge is an Obama appointee. 

From White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamTrump's split-screen presidency takes stark form in impeachment Trump boasts of US economic gains in Davos as impeachment trial gets underway Parnas attorney asks William Barr to recuse himself from investigation MORE: Grisham said the decision "contradicts longstanding legal precedent established by Administrations of both political parties ... We will appeal and are confident that the important constitutional principle advanced by the Administration will be vindicated." 



Chuck Cooper, who represents both former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman and former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Trump says impeachment lawyers were 'really good' Senate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial MORE, said that the "court ruling compelling former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify before Congress does not apply to his client, who will continue to pursue his own lawsuit over whether he must comply with a congressional subpoena."


Happy Tuesday before Thanksgiving! T-minus 48 hours until the turkey. I repeat, t-minus 48 hours until the turkey. 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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PROGRAMMING NOTE: The Hill's 12:30 Report will be off tomorrow through Monday for the holiday. Enjoy the long weekend and eat all the pie for me! Happy Thanksgiving, friends!


This morning from Trump -- I'm being selfless here:

Late this morning, President TrumpDonald John TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign MORE said he was blocking current and former White House officials from testifying in the impeachment inquiry to protect future presidents.

He tweeted: "The D.C. Wolves and Fake News Media are reading far too much into people being forced by Courts to testify before Congress. I am fighting for future Presidents and the Office of the President. Other than that, I would actually like people to testify." 

On Don McGahn: "Don McGahn's respected ... lawyer has already stated that I did nothing wrong."

On John Bolton: "John Bolton is a patriot and may know that I held back the money from Ukraine because it is considered a corrupt country, & I wanted to know why nearby European countries weren't putting up money also." 

On others: "Likewise, I would ... love to have Mike Pompeo, Rick PerryRick PerrySunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Overnight Energy: Appeals court tosses kids' climate suit | California sues Trump over fracking | Oversight finds EPA appointees slow-walked ethics obligations MORE, Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Senate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial Collins breaks with GOP on attempt to change impeachment rules resolution MORE and many others testify about the phony Impeachment Hoax. It is a Democrat Scam that is going nowhere but, future Presidents should in no way be compromised. What has happened to me should never happen to another President!" 

Read his full series of tweets:


Inside how Republicans plan to defend President Trump:

Via The Hill's Olivia Beavers, Republicans are making the shift from a defensive strategy in the impeachment inquiry against President Trump to an offensive approach.

The shift: Trump and his supporters are now more energized in the fight. "Trump's allies in the House and Senate are now taking his cue: Don't give an inch and return fire at those attacking you." 

Why Republicans are feeling bolder: The party is carefully watching opinion polls,           s and they are moving in the president's favor. Support for impeachment is shrinking, especially among independents (!) 

Where the new, offensive strategy originated: "Trump gave shape to the GOP messaging strategy during a lengthy interview Friday on Fox News, in which he denied any and all allegations that he conditioned a White House visit and nearly $400 million in U.S. aid as leverage to get Zelensky to publicly commit to opening two investigations that would benefit him politically in 2020." 

Details and how Senate Republicans trying to shift the narrative



The White House and Capitol were placed on lockdown: 

An aircraft entered restricted airspace in Washington, D.C. this morning, prompting lockdowns at the U.S. Capitol and White House.

When: Shortly before 9 a.m. The lockdown lasted for about 20 minutes.

From the Secret Service: "The White House was locked down this morning due to a potential violation of the restricted airspace in the National Capital Region. The lockdown has been lifted at this time."



"Spotted during the lockdown: a missile battery in position atop a building across the street from the White House." Photo:



Let's make a deal:
Via The Hill's Niv Elis, House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Justices won't fast-track ObamaCare case before election | New virus spreads from China to US | Collins challenger picks up Planned Parenthood endorsement Why Senate Republicans should eagerly call witnesses to testify Trump health chief: 'Not a need' for ObamaCare replacement plan right now MORE (D-Calif.) signaled last night that the White House and Democrats are "within range" of a trade deal with Canada and Mexico.

Back story: "Democrats have been negotiating terms of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement with the White House for months, seeking to entrench strong enforcement mechanisms on issues such as labor, environment and pharmaceuticals. President Trump, who inked the deal with America's neighbors late last year, has accused Democrats of dragging their feet in talks."



Republicans brace for the money battle:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, "National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungIran resolution supporters fear impeachment will put it on back burner Senate GOP's campaign arm hauls in million in 2019 Sens. Kaine, Lee: 'We should not be at war with Iran unless Congress authorizes it' MORE (R-Ind.) is warning his colleagues to brace for a spending deluge from fired-up Democrats in what's becoming an increasingly competitive battle for the Senate." 

What to expect:



Check out these dashing fellas:

Today is the White House's turkey pardon! Would you pick "Bread" or "Butter?" Oh, come on. That's like making someone choose between their two children!


Livestream of the 2 p.m. EST ceremony in the Rose Garden:



No, Lewis!!:

Ellenborough Lewis, the koala who became internet-famous last week after being rescued from a massive Australian brushfire, died earlier today.

Back story if you haven't been following: "Lewis' story went viral after video showed motorist Toni Doherty running from her car to help the koala near Port Macquarie as the catastrophic fires that have ravaged New South Wales burned all around them. Doherty named the koala after one of her seven grandchildren." 



Lol, this is well done




The House and Senate are out. President Trump is in Washington, D.C., and is leaving for Florida this afternoon. Vice President Pence is also in Washington, D.C., and is heading to Florida this afternoon.

11 a.m. EST: President Trump signed an executive order to establish a "task force on missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives." 

Noon: Vice President Pence met with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions GOP rejects effort to compel documents on delayed Ukraine aid MORE.

12:45 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence

1:50 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence leaves for Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

3:40 p.m. EST: President Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump beefs up impeachment defense with Dershowitz, Starr Trump welcomes LSU to the White House: 'Go Tigers' The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial MORE leave for Florida.

9:15 p.m. EST: President Trump gets to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.

10:05 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence gets back to the White House.



11 a.m. EST: First lady Melania Trump gave a speech on awareness of the opioid crisis. Livestream:

2 p.m. EST: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump present the National Thanksgiving Turkey in the Rose Garden. Livestream:

7 p.m. EST: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Sunrise, Fla. Vice President Pence also speaks. Livestream:

Tonight: Presidential candidate Andrew YangAndrew YangSanders joins Biden atop 2020 Democratic field: poll Sanders holds four-point lead on Biden in new California poll Yang highlights outsider status in Iowa ad ahead of caucuses MORE appears on "Jimmy KimmelJames (Jimmy) Christian KimmelThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — House Dems charge Trump with abuse, obstruction of Congress in impeachment articles The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump says he is fighting testimony to protect presidency Trump fans defend Watergate scandal when Kimmel swaps Nixon's name for Trump's MORE Live." 



Today is National Cake Day!


Yes, you should do this. I highly recommend:



And to get your holiday week off to the right start, here's a donkey who truly believes he's actually a dog: