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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump gets new press secretary in latest shake-up

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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: Trump gets new press secretary | Kayleigh McEnany takes over for Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamMcEnany hits Democratic leaders for not following their own COVID-19 restrictions Capitol physician advises lawmakers against attending dinners, receptions during COVID-19 spike White House moves forward with holiday parties during pandemic MORE | Senate aims to approve new aid for small businesses Thursday | Voting underway in Wisconsin despite pandemic | Long lines seen at polls | US death toll tops 11,000 | Officials see signs of curve flattening | Dow jumps as deaths slow | Trump takes heat for ousting intel watchdog amid pandemic | Joe Exotic speaks from prison

 

NEWS THIS MORNING

OK, before I tell you the news, can you name the White House press secretary?:

Via CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Kate BennettStephanie Grisham is stepping down as White House press secretary without ever holding a press briefing. https://cnn.it/2UQTAXS

How long she has been press secretary: Since June of 2019. Would you recognize her? Here’s a photo: https://nbcnews.to/2UQTtvq

Grisham’s role was a little unusual: “When [Sarah HuckabeeSarah SandersSarah Sanders on Trump's reported war dead criticism: 'Those comments didn't happen' Sarah Sanders memoir reportedly says Trump joked she should hook up with Kim Jong Un McEnany stamps her brand on White House press operation MORE Sanders] left the White House in June last year, Grisham kept the title of Melania TrumpMelania TrumpBiden warns Americans against traveling for Christmas McEnany hits Democratic leaders for not following their own COVID-19 restrictions Capitol physician advises lawmakers against attending dinners, receptions during COVID-19 spike MORE's communications director and added two more: press secretary and communications director. But Grisham's three-in-one role was less a juggling act and more a sign of how diminished the public-facing positions have become under a President who often serves as his own spokesman.

Keep in mind about her role during the coronavirus outbreak — *crickets*: “In recent weeks, Grisham stopped regularly attending senior staff meetings and has not played a major role as the administration has dealt with the coronavirus outbreak. After Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceSenate confirms Christopher Waller to Fed board Trump pardon scandal would doom his 2024 campaign Trump to award highest civilian honor to Lou Holtz on Thursday MORE was tasked to lead the task force, his communications team took over as well.” 

Tidbit — the C-SPAN video library record of her is empty: “Stephanie Grisham has no speaking appearances in the C-SPAN Video Library...” (Via C-SPAN’s Howard MortmanScreenshot: https://bit.ly/2xYNNGo

 

BREAKING — THE NEXT WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:

Via The New York Times’s Maggie HabermanMaggie Lindsy HabermanThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Capital One — Giuliani denies discussing preemptive pardon with Trump Giuliani has discussed possible pardon with Trump: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience MORE, Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany is replacing Grisham as the White House press secretary. https://nyti.ms/2XlqrFF

What to know about McEnany: “Ms. McEnany has been a vocal defender of Mr. Trump on television, the main role the president has long believed the press secretary should play, according to current and former advisers.” 

 

It’s Tuesday. 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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WHERE THINGS STAND

Cases in the U.S.: 369,069

Deaths in the U.S.: 11,018

CNN breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y

The optimistic update — social distancing appears to be working (!): “While US exceeds 11,000 deaths, officials express optimism about early effects of social distancing measures.” Details from CNN: https://cnn.it/3e1vgtN

The stock market jumps as deaths slow: “The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up nearly 900 points (4 percent) in the first minutes of trading, adding to a 1,627-point (7.7 percent) gain on Monday. The S&P 500 rose 92 (3.5 percent), after rising 175 points (7 percent) on Monday.” https://bit.ly/39NtA3D

No new coronavirus deaths today in China: “China Reports No Coronavirus Deaths for First Time Since January.” https://bit.ly/2Rj6kUF

Black and Latino communities are disproportionally affected: According to emerging statistics. https://bit.ly/34tNOP7 

 

IN THE WHITE HOUSE

Ironically, the chaos feels normal:

Via The Hill’s Olivia BeaversPresident TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE is taking heat for firing the intelligence community’s watchdog, a move that critics argue was seeking revenge for his impeachment amid a pandemic. https://bit.ly/2XfQQoh

Back story:Michael Atkinson was ousted from his post late Friday night, in what was seen as an effort to punish him for acting on a whistleblower complaint last year about Trump’s contacts with Ukraine. The move by Atkinson in 2019 sparked a House impeachment inquiry that culminated with Trump’s acquittal in a Senate impeachment trial.”

A critic — House Intelligence Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffBarr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Trump pardons Flynn | Lawmakers lash out at decision | Pentagon nixes Thanksgiving dining hall meals due to COVID-19 Democratic impeachment leaders blast Trump's pardon of Flynn MORE (D-Calif.) accused Trump of “settling scores in the middle of a pandemic.” Schiff said on MSNBC over the weekend: “What is this president doing as thousands of people are dying? He is retaliating against people that are on his enemies list and doing it in the dead of night.”

From Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him GOP blocks effort to make payroll tax deferral optional for federal workers COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks MORE (R-Maine): “While I recognize that the President has the authority to appoint and remove Inspectors General, I believe Inspector General Atkinson served the intelligence community and the American people well, and his removal was not warranted.”

Over the weekend: At a press conference on the coronavirus outbreak, Trump slammed Atkinson and the whistleblower complaint. In Trump’s words: “He took a whistleblower report, which turned out to be a fake report -- it was fake.  It was totally wrong. He took a fake report and he brought it to Congress, with an emergency.”

 

‘I wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school...':

--> Remember the reference?: https://bit.ly/39SAF2Q

Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “the nation’s response to the coronavirus crisis is being complicated by political polarization in general and the divisiveness of President Trump in particular.” https://bit.ly/2Vd3x0D

How so: “The gravest public health crisis in at least a century could be more effectively addressed if there was widespread agreement as to the basic facts at issue. But, instead, Trump’s history of misstatements dogs every claim he makes, even as his critics are prone to dismiss anything he says. Trump’s most loyal supporters are equally likely to disregard any dissenting view.” 

  

TIDBITS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFINGS

Did you notice Anthony FauciAnthony FauciHarris: 'Of course I will' take COVID-19 vaccine Overnight Health Care: Biden asked Fauci to serve as chief medical adviser | COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks | Rhode Island Gov. Raimondo says she won't be Biden's HHS secretary Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter encourage people to take COVID-19 vaccine MORE giving finger guns on his way out of the briefing?: Here’s a video, via Bloomberg’s Jennifer JacobsWatchhttps://bit.ly/3bRcFyG

Spotted out jogging during yesterday’s press briefing: CNN’s Betsy Klein tweeted, “Today marks the third time in the last few weeks I’ve passed by @IvankaTrump on a run (at an appropriate distance). Neither of us are watching the briefing live but happy to report it’s really nice out.” https://bit.ly/2RdXbgj

 

An underreported story — Birx’s scarf game is STRONG:

Check out the photos of her scarves: https://bit.ly/2xd0k9b

 

HAPPENING TODAY

When your two civic duties clash:

Via The New York Times’s Astead W. Herndon and Jim Rutenberg, “Wisconsin voters will face a choice between protecting their health and exercising their civic duty on Tuesday after state Republican leaders, backed up by a conservative majority on the state’s Supreme Court, rebuffed the Democratic governor’s attempt to postpone in-person voting in their presidential primary and local elections.” 

What happened: “The governor had issued an executive order postponing in-person voting and extending to June the deadline for absentee ballots. But Republican leaders succeeded in getting the state’s top court to stay the decree.”

And then last night: “In a decision late Monday capping the election-eve chaos, the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative-leaning majority dealt its own blow to Wisconsin Democrats. In a 5-4 vote, the majority ruled against their attempt to extend the deadline for absentee voting in Tuesday’s elections.”

The full back and forth: https://nyti.ms/34he4Mc

  

WHAT IT’S LIKE AT THE POLLS — LONG LINES:

https://bit.ly/34hfk1S

 

Oh wow:

Watch: https://bit.ly/2Xo9A4W

 

YIKES — CHECK OUT THE ONLY POLLING LOCATION IN WAUKESHA, WIS.:

Here’s a short video of the long polling line. Watch: https://bit.ly/2Xo9ESe

  

IN CONGRESS

Everyone’s looking at you, Congress. What’s next?:

Via The Hill’s Mike Lillis and Scott Wong, lawmakers are under pressure for the next phase of coronavirus relief legislation after passing a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus. https://bit.ly/2UNOlYJ

The problem with the last legislative package: “The delivery of the aid to its intended targets has been hobbled by administrative and other logistical pitfalls, causing delays in distribution and sparking widespread anxieties about when the assistance will reach businesses, families and workers hardest hit by the swift-moving pandemic.” 

Plus: Officials have warmed that the next few weeks will be the worst in the coronavirus outbreak. 

 

New — Aid to small businesses could be approved this week:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden backs 0B compromise coronavirus stimulus bill US records over 14 million coronavirus cases On The Money: COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks | Slowing job growth raises fears of double-dip recession | Biden officially announces Brian Deese as top economic adviser MORE (R-Ky.) just said he is working with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Dem leaders back smaller COVID-19 relief bill as pandemic escalates Sweeping financial crimes bill to hitch a ride on defense measure On The Money: Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms | Pelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks | Poll: Most Americans support raising taxes on those making at least 0K MORE and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms Trump supporters could hand Senate control to Democrats MORE (D-N.Y.) to quickly pass aid for small businesses that have been impacted by the coronavirus. https://bit.ly/2JNPWHW

How it would work with Congress on recess: “Senators are currently dispersed across the country as part of a three-week recess. But the Senate is scheduled to hold a brief session on Thursday, where a single senator could try to pass the additional small business funding.” 

What we know: https://bit.ly/2JNPWHW

  

NOTABLE TWEETS

Ah ha! I knew it!:

The full crosswalk sign: https://bit.ly/2yIIgnZ

 

ON TAP:

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

11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participated in a call with the National Federation of Independent Business to discuss the response to COVID-19. 

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in “America CARES: Small Business Relief Update” in the Roosevelt Room.

  

WHAT TO WATCH

11 a.m. EDT: New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoHundreds protest over NY bar owners arrested for coronavirus violations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Dem leaders back smaller COVID-19 relief bill as pandemic escalates Supreme Court sees new requests for religious COVID-19 carve-outs MORE (D) gave an update on the state’s coronavirus outbreak. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2JMiSjp

5 p.m. EDT: The Coronavirus Task Force holds its daily press briefing. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3caA9PB

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Beer Day!

 

Joe Exotic couldn’t stay away — his hair looks a little different nowadays:

Watch: https://bit.ly/2XfckSk

 

And to lighten your Tuesday afternoon, here are gorillas avoiding the rain: https://bit.ly/2yze8v1

This is so relatable.