12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Biden demands Trump’s White House visitor logs

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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.


Joe Biden is asking Donald Trump for his visitor logs. This should go well.:



Via The New York Times’s Michael S. Schmidt, “President Biden is opposing another effort by former President Donald J. Trump to withhold information from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, ordering the National Archives to hand over White House visitor logs the committee is seeking.” https://nyti.ms/3s2BYsF  

What Trump’s team is arguing: The visitor logs are included as executive privilege.  

Is there a precedent? Yes … and it did not end in Trump’s favor: “Mr. Biden had similarly decided last year not to support Mr. Trump’s claim of executive privilege over other batches of White House documents and records sought by the committee. Mr. Trump went to federal court to block the release of those earlier batches but lost.”   

What happens now?: “It is unclear whether Mr. Trump will go to court again in an attempt to block or slow the release of the visitor logs.”   

The full story: https://nyti.ms/3s2BYsF

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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The mind games are on another level:



Via The New York Times’s Max Fisher, “Each side is trying to convince the other that the price of conflict is too high. It is a complex game played with deliberate ambiguity, raising the risk of lethal miscalculation.” https://nyti.ms/33oqhTl  

So, diplomacy?: Yes, but there’s a lot more to it. “Troop movements, sanctions warnings and legislation, embassy closures, leader summits, and intelligence leaks are all aimed, in part, at proving each country’s willingness to carry out certain threats or accept certain risks.”   

An example of Russia’s play: “Russia, by shifting thousands of troops from its far east to Ukraine’s border, hopes to convince Washington and Kyiv that it is willing to endure a major war to secure its demands by force.”   

An example of the U.S.’s play: “The Biden administration, … [closed] its embassy in Kyiv, and vowing economic retaliation, signals that Moscow cannot expect desperate American concessions, making further escalation less worthwhile.”   

More on the strategies each country is using: https://nyti.ms/33oqhTl


Via The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant and Amie Parnes: https://bit.ly/3HPb7FL

NATO isn’t buying it, Russia:

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he doesn’t believe Russia is withdrawing troops while negotiations continue.   

In Stoltenberg’s words: “We have not seen any withdrawal of Russian forces. And of course, that contradicts the message of diplomatic efforts,” Stoltenberg said. “What we see is that they have increased the number of troops and more troops are on their way. So, so far, no de-escalation.”  

What this means, from Reuters’s Phil Stewart, Sabine Siebold and Robin Emmott: https://reut.rs/3Brrkib 


150,000, President Biden said yesterday.   

Biden also said a Russian invasion in Ukraine “remains distinctly possible.” https://bit.ly/3gQ1ZEZ


If you thought 2021 was big, you just WAIT:



If Republicans win back control of the House in November, they are planning for an ambitious year of legislation. https://bit.ly/3uVRKr6  

Why Republicans are well situated to win the House: “The midterm cycle is historically brutal for the party of first-term presidents, and that track record — combined with Biden’s approval rating, which is underwater, and consumer inflation, which is soaring — has created a golden opportunity for Republicans to win back the lower chamber after just four years in the minority wilderness.”   

What clashes to expect with President Biden if this happens: https://bit.ly/3uVRKr6

The GOP is wondering how seriously to take Trump’s legal drama:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “Senate Republicans are scrambling to figure out how former President Trump’s mounting legal troubles will affect his grip on the party and chances of running for office again in 2024.” https://bit.ly/33oTm0Y  

It’s not exactly on the back burner, either: “The latest development came Monday evening when Trump’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, severed ties with him and his business empire and said it could no longer vouch for the reliability of a decade’s worth of financial statements it prepared for the Trump Organization.”   

More on where Trump stands: https://bit.ly/33oTm0Y 


“Democrats are seeking a course correction in the suburbs ahead of November’s midterms as recent elections show the voting bloc beginning to trend Republican.” The full story from The Hill’s Julia Manchester: https://bit.ly/3vayUN5


‘The coronavirus is here to stay. We now have a tool kit to live with it.’:

Via The Washington Post’s Carolyn Y. Johnson and Aaron Steckelberg, “As we enter a new phase of living with covid, vaccines, testing and new drugs will be key.” The full story: https://wapo.st/34YJ08w


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 78,039,888 

U.S. death toll: 925,560

Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y 


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 548 million shots have been given.  

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 237,213 doses  

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million.  

Breakdown of the numbers: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH 


A bit of good news:

CNN’s Ariel Edwards-Levy pointed out, “Sunset tonight in DC is at 5:45 pm, a full hour later than last year’s earliest sunset in December” https://bit.ly/3oO7DMj

The Washington Post is being very democratic about it:



@PostSports tweeted, “WaPo Twitter users, we’re asking your opinion! How would you like to see ‘Commanders’ shortened in headlines? Vote now” Voting is still open: https://bit.ly/3rVGc5f


The Senate is in. The House is out. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.  

10:15 a.m. EST: President Biden and Vice President Harris received the President’s Daily Brief.  

11:30 a.m. EST: Two cloture votes in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda today: https://bit.ly/3oRYnqw  

1:15 p.m. EST: Vice President Harris ceremonially swears in Cynthia Ann Telles as U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica.  

1:40 p.m. EST: Vice President Harris ceremonially swears in Reta Jo Lewis as president of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S.  

3:30 p.m. EST: Two confirmation votes in the Senate.


This morning: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg held a news conference. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3LAhz5M  

11 a.m. EST: The White House COVID-19 Response Team held a press briefing. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3rULXQk 

1 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3rT0wEj

2 p.m. EST: – The Hill’s Food Security Summit: RSVP now




Today is National Almond Day

OK, this is pretty cool:



Via CNN’s Sara Smart, middle schoolers in New Hampshire built a small boat and launched it into the Gulf Stream in Oct. 2020. Well, that tiny boat just made it to Norway. The full story — and photos: https://cnn.it/3GQbPBf

And because you made it this far, here’s an important safety precaution to carry when you leave the house: https://bit.ly/3Br7Nyn

Tags 12:30 Report Biden White House Ukraine Donald Trump Jen Psaki Joe Biden NATO Russia white house visitor logs

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