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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Hectic week shaping up in DC

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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 urges Georgia to alter election results | Wants to ‘want to find 11,780 votes’ | Full audio from the call | Ocasio-Cortez calls it an impeachable offense | Bernstein calls Trump call ‘far worse’ than Watergate | Proud Boys expected in DC to protest election results | DC mayor urges residents to stay away from protesters | Trump, Biden campaign in Georgia | Polls show razor thin race | Next 48 hours shape Biden presidency | Andy Cohen, Anderson Cooper take shots on CNN

 

TALK OF THE MORNING

Try replacing President TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE and the U.S. with a foreign country and its outgoing leader — not great, huh?:

 

 

Leaked audio of a call between President Trump and Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger (R) rocked Washington this weekend as the president asked state officials to overturn the election results in his favor. https://wapo.st/3ndwl5d 

The parts that are getting the most traction, obtained by The Washington Post

Trump: “The people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry. And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”

Raffensperger: “Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong.”

Trump later said: “So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”

Other newsy quotes from the callhttps://wapo.st/3ndwl5d

LISTEN TO THE CALL YOURSELF — HERE IS THE FULL AUDIO:

From The Washington Post: https://wapo.st/38Y92qX 

^ Or if reading the transcript is more your style: Here you go: https://wapo.st/3n8psln

TO PUT THIS INTO CONTEXT — WHY THIS CALL IS SO IMPORTANT:

Well, it’s the first actual evidence of President Trump trying to directly pressure a state official to overturn the election results in his favor. It could also amount to soliciting election fraud. 

REACTIONS:

From Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezAdams, Garcia lead in NYC mayor's race: poll House Republicans introduce resolution to censure the 'squad' This week: Democrats face fractures in spending fight MORE (D-N.Y.): Ocasio-Cortez said she thinks it is an impeachable offense, though she acknowledged that she hadn’t listened to the entire hour-long audio. https://bit.ly/2LdEKrT  

From the only Democrat on Georgia’s state Board of ElectionsDavid J. Worley called for a civil and criminal investigation into the call. “It’s a crime to solicit election fraud, and asking the secretary to change the votes is a textbook definition of election fraud.” And in a letter to Raffensperger: “[S]uch an incident, splashed as it is across every local and national news outlet, cannot be ignored or brushed aside.” https://wapo.st/354qjxm

From Watergate journalist Carl BernsteinCarl BernsteinCan the media regain credibility under Biden? The Hill's 12:30 Report: Hectic week shaping up in DC Carl Bernstein calls Trump's Georgia call 'far worse than Watergate' MORE: "It's not déjà vu. This is something far worse than occurred in Watergate." Watch Bernstein’s full reaction:  https://cnn.it/359FF3D

Welcome back! It’s the first Monday of 2021! 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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IN THE BIDEN TRANSITION

I know we love attaching timelines to everything, but these next 48 hours are huge for shaping Biden’s presidency:

Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “Joe Biden faces two tests this week that will shape the early days of his presidency. Senate runoff elections in Georgia take place on Tuesday, while the following day will see Congress tally the Electoral College results from the presidential election.” https://bit.ly/2X7f5DM 

Why Georgia matters so much: “The first event is more important in practical terms. If Democrats win both seats in Georgia, the Senate would be split 50-50, with Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris highlights COVID-19 vaccination safety, efficacy in SC event to kick off tour Kamala Harris is still not ready for primetime (much less 2024) Lara Trump calls on Americans at border to 'arm up and get guns and be ready' MORE wielding the deciding vote once she is inaugurated.” 

Why the Electoral College tally matters so much: “The Electoral College is important too, at least in terms of the toxic atmosphere that has enveloped American politics. There is no realistic possibility of the election result being overturned … Polls already show that most Republican voters are unwilling to accept the election was conducted fairly. They are wrong on the facts, but their recalcitrance poses a problem for Biden as he seeks to repair what he terms the ‘soul of the nation.’ ”

HAPPENING ON TUESDAY

Hold your breath! It’s gonna be a nail biter:

Via The Hill’s Tal Axelrod, “Georgia’s Senate runoffs are likely headed to nail-biting finishes Tuesday as both parties prepare to sprint down the homestretch of the two races that will decide who controls the Senate.” https://bit.ly/38Ycemh

These races are incredibly close: “Polls show the runoffs could both be margin-of-error contests, with FiveThirtyEight’s survey tracker showing [Jon] Ossoff up by just 0.9 percentage points and [Raphael] Warnock leading by 1.8 percentage points as of Dec. 31. That means control of the next Senate — where Republicans currently have a 50-48 margin — could come down to a couple of squeakers.”  

Keep in mind: Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on this race.  

What to expecthttps://bit.ly/38Ycemh

HAPPENING TODAY — TRUMP, PENCE AND BIDEN ARE ALL IN THE STATE:

What to expect, from The Hill’s Brett Samuels and Morgan Chalfant: https://bit.ly/3ndizPU

 

 

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3b8R8V8

HAPPENING ON WEDNESDAY

Forget The Bachelor, C-SPAN’s content will be the hottest drama in town:

Via The Washington Post’s Kevin Uhrmacher and John Muyskens, “A group of Republican senators stated they will object when Congress meets on Wednesday to certify President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenFormer Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building Saudis picked up drugs in Cairo used to kill Khashoggi: report Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting MORE’s electoral college victory, calling for a commission to investigate baseless allegations of electoral fraud.” https://wapo.st/3b7XS5G 

The latest count, from the Post: 12 Republicans oppose certification of the results; 19 support certification; 20 Senate Republicans haven’t said either way.  

What to expect — it could muddy the next few days but won’t change the outcome: “While their challenge is not expected to prevail — Democrats control the House and almost every Senate Republican would need to join the effort for their chamber to approve it — it will force a debate, drawing out a process that is usually a formality and forcing lawmakers to choose between honoring the choice of voters or standing with Trump.”

WHO IS SPEARHEADING THE EFFORT:

Sens. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyConcerns grow over China's Taiwan plans GOP's attacks on Fauci at center of pandemic message Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack MORE (R-Mo.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzBiden tries to erase Trump's 'America First' on world stage Cotton, Pentagon chief tangle over diversity training in military GOP senators press Justice Department to compare protest arrests to Capitol riot MORE (R-Texas), who are considered White House hopefuls for 2024. 

Here’s the list of GOP senators who oppose the counting of the Electoral College voteshttps://cbsn.ws/357WJXW

Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonOvernight Defense: Austin and Milley talk budget, Afghanistan, sexual assault and more at wide-ranging Senate hearing Cotton, Pentagon chief tangle over diversity training in military Media continues to lionize Anthony Fauci, despite his damning emails MORE BROKE WITH HIS CONSERVATIVE COLLEAGUES:

“Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a possible contender for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, broke with his rivals Sunday night by announcing he will not object to the counting of electoral votes on Jan. 6.” https://bit.ly/3pGWnPI

If you are in Washington, DC, please be careful:

Via The Washington Post’s Marissa J. Lang, “Extremism experts who study the far-right warn that D.C. is on a path to become the next battleground in increasingly violent confrontations with left-leaning counterdemonstrators.” https://wapo.st/391x04q 

The Proud Boys are planning to come to D.C.: “Members of the Proud Boys, an all-male far-right extremist group with ties to white nationalism, boasted about their plans to break off into smaller groups to roam the streets looking for counterprotesters to confront.” 

And will be dressed incognito: “[Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys] and other Proud Boys leaders also told followers to ditch their signature black and gold dress in favor of all-black clothing — an apparent attempt to make far-right agitators harder to pick out in a crowd of black-clad anti-fascist and anti-Trump demonstrators.”  

I suggest you read about the protests forming this week — it’s pretty wildhttps://wapo.st/391x04q

DC MAYOR BOWSER URGED RESIDENTS TO STAY HOME:

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserDC board votes to lift last COVID-19 restrictions on bars, restaurants Hogan announces Maryland will close mass vaccination sites, shift to local clinics Biden and Bowser administrations change their tunes on last summer's riot response MORE (D) asked residents to stay away from the protesters this week. https://bit.ly/3pNOmZr

She tweeted: “I am asking Washingtonians and those who live in the region to stay out of the downtown area on Tuesday and Wednesday and not to engage with demonstrators who come to our city seeking confrontation, and we will do what we must to ensure all who attend remain peaceful.” https://bit.ly/355TP64 

Bowser also posted a reminder about the city’s gun lawshttps://bit.ly/355TP64

LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 20,640,214 

U.S. death toll: 351,590 

Breakdown of the numbershttps://cnn.it/2UAgW3y

NOTABLE TWEETS:

Getting traction — This tweet hits the nail on the head:

 

 

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3pMiDaX

The fact that this was necessary is incredibly sad and infuriating:

 

 

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3odLUuS

More on why that was necessaryhttps://bit.ly/3pRq6FV

ON TAP:

The House is in. The Senate is out. President TrumpVice President Pence and President-elect Joe Biden are all making campaign stops in Georgia today. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is in Wilmington, Del. 

Today, per the White House’s schedule sent to reporters: “President Trump will work from early in the morning until late in the evening. He will make many calls and have many meetings.” 

TodayVice President-elect Kamala Harris receives the President’s Daily Brief. She will then meet with advisers. 

9:05 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence left for Georgia.

12:05 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence speaks at a “Georgia Faith Community Call to Action” event in Milner, Ga. 

3:40 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence returns to Washington, D.C. 

6:10 p.m. EST: President Trump leaves for a campaign rally in Dalton, Ga.

WHAT TO WATCH:

7 p.m. EST: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Dalton, Ga. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/2MyMjdp

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Spaghetti Day. That’s just not what I expected for the first real day of New Year’s resolutions. 

From the iconic New Year’s Eve duo:

 

 

Watchhttps://bit.ly/3rSKIzq

 

And to brighten your Monday morning return to work, here’s a tiny hedgehog with an even tinier teddy bear: https://bit.ly/38YriAf