The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump says Iran 'standing down' after missile strike

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump says Iran 'appears to be standing down' after missile attack | President confirms no Americans 'harmed' | Vows to impose 'punishing' new Iran sanctions | How attack shook Washington | What's next | Address comes after senators urged Trump to deescalate | Trump tells ally he sees chance for new Iran talks | Lawmakers divided on war powers measure

 

BREAKING

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE addresses the nation:

Flanked by White House officials and military advisers, President Trump addressed the American people on last night's missile attacks on two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops. http://bit.ly/2sMUYiZ

The gist of Trump's address: Trump said Iran "appears to be standing down," confirmed that no American lives were lost and vowed that his administration will impose new sanctions on Iran. 

Livestream of Trump's remarks: http://bit.ly/2Fvlgc3

Photo of the press in the Grand Foyer: http://bit.ly/2QAL393

Trump's timing: The president was expected to give his address at 11 a.m. and began at 11:27 a.m. EST

 

NEWS FROM THE ADDRESS:

Before Trump even said "good morning": He walked out and immediately said, "As long as I'm president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon." He then added, "good morning" and began his address.

Trump confirms that no Americans were harmed last night: "No Americans were harmed in last night's attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties. All of our soldiers are safe." 

On the damage from the attack: "Only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases." 

Trump announced new sanctions: "The U.S. will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime."

Trump's message to Iran: "To the people and leaders of Iran, we want you to have a future -- and a great future, one that you deserve ... the United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it." 

On Iran now: "Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world. 

Trump said he will ask NATO to be more involved: "Today, I am going to ask NATO to become much more involved in the Middle East process."

On American strength -- basically, 'don't mess': "Our missiles are big, powerful, accurate, lethal and fast. Under construction are many hypersonic missiles. The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean we have to use it. We do not want to use it.  American strength, both military and economic, is the best deterrent."

 

TIDBIT -- SEN. JIM INHOFE (R-OKLA.) TALKED TO TRUMP AROUND 9 P.M.:

"He believes very strongly that that opens the door for negotiations," Inhofe, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said about Trump. And Inhofe said he doesn't think Trump will respond with force. "I'd be very shocked if he would do that. In fact, there's no reason for retaliation." http://bit.ly/2T3PU4h

 

REPUBLICAN SENATORS HAD URGED TRUMP TO DEESCALATE IRAN TENSIONS

Top Trump ally Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial Democratic group plans mobile billboard targeting Collins on impeachment Paul predicts no Republicans will vote to convict Trump MORE (R-S.C.): "Retaliation for the sake of retaliation is not necessary at this time ... What is necessary is to lay out our strategic objectives regarding Iran in a simple and firm fashion." 

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenators are politicians, not jurors — they should act like it Sens. Kaine, Lee: 'We should not be at war with Iran unless Congress authorizes it' Overnight Defense: War powers fight runs into impeachment | Kaine has 51 votes for Iran resolution | Trump plans to divert .2B from Pentagon to border wall MORE (R-Utah): "Whether further military action is warranted is a question that should be answered by Congress. The U.S. should seek to deescalate these raised tensions and I will continue to push to bring our troops back from the region."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Senate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial Republicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment MORE (R-Ky.) praised Trump: "I believe the President wants to avoid conflict or needless loss of life but he's rightly prepared to protect American lives and interests and I hope Iran's leaders do not miscalculate by questioning our collective will in launching further attacks." http://bit.ly/2tH5bgG

  

It's Wednesday. 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 cmartel@thehill.com -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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TALK OF THE MORNING

Iranian fired missiles onto military bases in Iraq:

Via The Associated Press, "Iran struck back at the United States early on Wednesday for killing its most powerful military commander, firing a barrage of ballistic missiles at two Iraqi military bases that house American troops in what the Iranian supreme leader said was a 'slap' against America's military presence in the region." http://bit.ly/2QWS17n

The toll: U.S. and Iraqi officials both said there were no casualties in their forces. Iran is claiming that at least 80 U.S. troops were killed. https://wapo.st/2T5MNJo

  

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS:

The U.S. had advance warning of the attack: Via USA Today's Tom Vanden Brook and John Bacon, "the warnings allowed troops and other personnel to scramble into hardened bunkers for safety. U.S. and coalition personnel in Iraq on the mission to combat ISIS have been practicing drills for missile attacks for some time, [an unnamed] official said." http://bit.ly/2uuYq29

Video of the missiles: https://wapo.st/39Pfnob

Who was in the Situation Room last night with President Trump: Via Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs: 

"Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceTrump called top military brass 'a bunch of dopes and babies' in 2017: book Parnas: Environment around Trump 'like a cult' White House pushes back on Parnas allegations MORE

Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request House panel reinvites Pompeo to deliver Iran testimony MORE

Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request Senate Dems urge Esper to oppose shifting Pentagon money to border wall Overnight Defense: GAO finds administration broke law by withholding Ukraine aid | Senate opens Trump trial | Pentagon to resume training Saudi students soon MORE

Mark Milley

Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump trial poses toughest test yet for Roberts Collins says she's 'likely' to support calling witnesses for impeachment trial Schumer doesn't rule out calling Parnas to testify in impeachment trial MORE

Robert O'Brien

Joseph MaguireJoseph MaguireThe Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial Schiff schedules public hearing with US intel chief  Democrats request briefing on intel behind Trump's embassy threat claim MORE

Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamHill.TV's Saagar Enjeti on impeachment: 'CNN can see through this nonsense' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Senate receives impeachment articles as trial opens Republicans criticize Pelosi for gifting pens used to sign impeachment articles MORE

CIA's Gina HaspelGina Cheri HaspelSchiff schedules public hearing with US intel chief  Senate Democrat says he is concerned intelligence community is 'bending' Soleimani presentations House chairman: Pompeo won't testify at Iran hearing Tuesday MORE joined remotely." http://bit.ly/35A5lni

Tidbit about officials arriving at the White House: "Defense Secretary Esper just arrived at the White House carrying a large bag. Secretary Pompeo, seen reading in his car before he got out, also arrived." (Via CNN's Kaitlan Collins) http://bit.ly/2FuV8Oz

Keep in mind about vacant positions: Journalist Garrett Graff pointed out: "Reminder that as this crisis escalates, we have no Director of National Intelligence, no Dep Dir, no Homeland Security Secretary, no Dep Sec, no head of CBP or ICE, no State Dept Under Sec of Arms Control, no Asst Sec for Europe, and no Navy Sec."  http://bit.ly/35AY1bl

How Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiRepublicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment Trump chooses high-profile but controversial legal team Trump: Impeachment timing intended to hurt Sanders MORE (D-Calif.) found out: http://bit.ly/35zhlFR 

Important to remember, missiles are not rockets: CBS's Christina Ruffini tweeted, 

"DEAR EVERYONE: this is your friendly reminder that rockets and missiles are not interchangeable terms. 

-Rockets are directional (you point the it at the thing, and it goes where it was pointed at the time of launch). 

-Missiles are projectiles that are guided in flight." http://bit.ly/2Fsm9lR

  

REACTIONS:

President Trump tweeted shortly after the attack: "All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning." http://bit.ly/2Qx5t2K

Iran's foreign minister is hoping this 'concludes' the back and forth: Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted, "Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched. We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression." http://bit.ly/307zgST

A senior Iranian official trolled Trump: An Iranian official tweeted a photo of the Iranian flag as Tehran launched missiles in retaliation. Why: Shortly after reports that a drone strike killed Qassem SoleimaniPresident Trump tweeted a photo of the American flag. See the flag tweets: http://bit.ly/307Drhx

Trump's Jan. 2 tweet: http://bit.ly/2FuDASJ

Saeed Jalili's Jan. 7 tweet mocking Trump: http://bit.ly/2FwVowt

  

WHAT'S NEXT: 

'Missile Strike Damage Appears Limited, but Iran May Not Be Done': Via The New York Times's Alissa J. Rubin: https://nyti.ms/2T0g3Bb

'Iran leaves Trump an off-ramp, but will he take it?': Via NBC's Josh Lederman: https://nbcnews.to/37LioUx

Interesting read on the uncertainty over Trump's strategy: "If even the Pentagon does not know whether it is coming or going in Iraq, it might be hard to blame the rest of the world for being a little confused about President Trump's strategy for the Middle East." (Via The New York Times's Peter BakerThe full analysis: https://nyti.ms/2T5unIG

  

MEANWHILE IN CONGRESS

'Unlikely bedfellows': 

Via The Hill's Rebecca Kheel, Friction is flaring in Congress between defense hawks and opponents of so-called forever wars after President Trump's order to kill a top Iranian general." http://bit.ly/2QYgSHV

For example: "The clash has made for some unlikely bedfellows, as typical Trump allies such as Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP threatens to weaponize impeachment witnesses amid standoff Paul predicts no Republicans will vote to convict Trump Graham on impeachment trial: 'End this crap as quickly as possible' MORE (R-Ky.) and Fox News host Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonCNN draws 7.3 million viewers for Iowa Democratic debate Trump wants To 'deescalate,' but will his supporters let him? Former Trump security official slams Tucker Carlson over criticism of strike on Iranian general MORE rail against the president's decision and echo Democrats' concerns about the possibility of military conflict with Iran."

Happening today on Capitol Hill: The full House and Senate will be briefed behind closed doors on the airstrike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani

  

NEW POLL ON THE STRIKE AGAINST SOLEIMANI:

47 percent of American voters approve of President Trump's decision to kill Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, according to a new Morning Consult poll. http://bit.ly/39V5sxx

Looking deeper into the poll -- it split along party lines: "The opinions divided strongly along with partisan lines, with 70 percent of Democrats opposing the airstrike and 85 percent of Republicans supporting it. Sixty-one percent of Republican respondents said they strongly approved Trump's decision." 

The full poll: http://bit.ly/2T4Pqer

  

HOW IMPEACHMENT COMPLICATES CONGRESS'S EFFORTS TO REIN IN TRUMP ON IRAN: 

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney: http://bit.ly/2QVOAxQ

  

NOTABLE TWEETS

Lol, I feel this:

Watch: http://bit.ly/37KtRUr

  

ON TAP 

The House and Senate are in. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C.

11 a.m. EST: Three cloture votes in the Senate. The Senate's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2FsxUbQ

2:15 P.M. EST: President Trump receives an intelligence briefing.

3:45 ­– 4:45 p.m. EST: The House votes. The House's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2FsxUbQ

  

WHAT TO WATCH

11 a.m. EST: President Trump addressed the nation. Livestream: http://bit.ly/36zSeEh

6:10 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence and Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Senate receives impeachment articles as trial opens The Hill's Morning Report - Dems to lay out impeachment case to senators next week The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump says Iran 'standing down' after missile strike MORE participate in a reception for the prime minister of Greece and his wife. Livestream: http://bit.ly/36zSoeR

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National English Toffee Day.

  

The best news of the year:

Krispy Kreme is now selling mini doughnuts that are less than 100 calories each. Details and photo: https://cnn.it/39TrZKP

 

The best places to eat in 2020:

Yelp unveiled its list of the top 100 places to eat in America, including Farmbird in Washington, D.C.

Check out the full list: http://bit.ly/35DJCLf

 

And because you made it this far, here's a goose parade: http://bit.ly/35taSfC