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 MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump 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 GrishamFewer Americans following impeachment inquiry, poll shows Appeals court hands Trump partial win over 'public charge' rule for immigrants Trump blasts Pelosi's impeachment announcement 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 shifting impeachment positions of Jonathan Turley The key impeachment hearings are before an appeals court, not the House Judiciary panel Beyond the myth of Sunni-Shia wars in the Middle East 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 TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax 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 PerryNew Energy secretary cancels Paris trip amid mass strikes against Macron proposal Mellman: The 'lane theory' is the wrong lane to be in Overnight Energy: Critics call EPA air guidance 'an industry dream' | New Energy secretary says Trump wants to boost coal | EPA looks to speed approval of disputed industry pollution permits MORE, Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyGiuliani meets with fired Ukrainian prosecutor who pushed Biden, 2016 claims: report Fox's Napolitano says obstruction 'easiest' impeachment offense for Democrats The key impeachment hearings are before an appeals court, not the House Judiciary panel 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 PelosiPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump Democrats open door to repealing ObamaCare tax in spending talks Sunday talk shows: Lawmakers gear up ahead of Monday's House Judiciary hearing 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 YoungGOP senators unveil bill to expand 'opportunity zone' reporting requirements Statesmen seek bipartisan solutions to big challenges The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump says he is fighting testimony to protect presidency 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 PompeoForeign Relations Democrat calls on Iran to release other American prisoners Documentary groups challenge Trump administration's vetting of immigrants' social media Iran releases American graduate student in prisoner swap 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 TrumpWhy we cherish — and guard — the White House gingerbread house The Hill's 12:30 Report: Job growth soars in November Impeachment hearing didn't go as Chairman Nadler planned 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 YangYang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations Biden: All-white debate not representative of party, but 'you can't dictate' nominee Delaney to DNC: Open second debate stage for candidates who qualified for past events MORE appears on "Jimmy KimmelJames (Jimmy) Christian KimmelThe 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 The Hill's 12:30 Report: What we learned from first impeachment transcripts 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: