The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Trump has had a rough October

 

 

 

Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. Happy Monday! Our newsletter gets you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch. Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver are the up-early co-creators. Find us @asimendinger and @alweaver22 on Twitter and CLICK HERE to subscribe!



President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump opens new line of impeachment attack for Democrats Bloomberg to spend 0M on anti-Trump ads in battleground states New witness claims first-hand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes MORE this week wrestles with an impeachment inquiry in the House and efforts in the Senate to punish Turkey for its attacks against Syrian Kurds.

 

Niall Stanage writes that Trump has been unable to dig his way out of multiple self-created controversies, setting up another challenging week and adding to a rough October. 

 

The Hill: White House officials work to tamp down controversy.

 

The Hill: White House staggers after rollercoaster 48 hours.

 

On Capitol Hill, the Ukraine probe continues as House investigators prepare to depose six more witnesses this week, including diplomats and current National Security Council staffers, as Olivia Beavers previews. The highest profile testimony is likely to come on Tuesday from William Taylor, the chargé d'affaires for Ukraine and a U.S. diplomat, who exchanged text messages with a pair of diplomats that showed he was worried the Trump administration was withholding military aid to Ukraine to convince its government to conduct political investigations on Trump’s behalf.

 

In the Senate, Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens Overnight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families MORE (R-S.C.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Senate Foreign Relations chair: 'Best' not to pass Turkey sanctions bill 'at this moment' On The Money: Retirement savings bill blocked in Senate after fight over amendments | Stopgap bill may set up December spending fight | Hardwood industry pleads for relief from Trump trade war MORE (D-Md.) are pushing their bill to slap sanctions on Turkey despite the temporary ceasefire Vice President Pence brokered in Ankara late last week (Bloomberg). Additionally, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Trump asks Supreme Court to block Dem subpoena for financial records | Kudlow 'very optimistic' for new NAFTA deal | House passes Ex-Im Bank bill opposed by Trump, McConnell Top House Democrats ask for review of DHS appointments Warren promises gradual move toward 'Medicare for All' in first 100 days MORE (R-Ky.) authored a blistering op-ed late last week labeling Trump’s decision to pull troops out of northern Syria a “grave strategic mistake.” 

 

According to one Senate GOP aide, there is “potential” the Senate could act on some version of Turkey sanctions this week. 

 

Trump’s relationships with prominent lawmakers in both chambers warranted a closer examination by The Hill’s staff. 

 

Trump’s relationship with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Trump tweets on Yovanovitch show his 'insecurity as an imposter' On The Money: Trump asks Supreme Court to block Dem subpoena for financial records | Kudlow 'very optimistic' for new NAFTA deal | House passes Ex-Im Bank bill opposed by Trump, McConnell Overnight Defense: Ex-Ukraine ambassador offers dramatic day of testimony | Talks of 'crisis' at State Department | Trump tweets criticism of envoy during hearing | Dems warn against 'witness intimidation' | Trump defends his 'freedom of speech' MORE (D-Calif.), which was built largely on his respect for her as a legislator and the power she showed within her caucus, hit a new low on Thursday. As one GOP lawmaker told The Hill, the feud is a “shitshow.”

 

As Mike Lillis and Scott Wong write, Pelosi’s Democratic backers have rushed to her defense, arguing that the president isn’t used to pushback — particularly from a woman — and hasn’t come to grips with the fact that Congress is a co-equal branch of government holding powers he doesn’t.  

 

“He’s obviously not used to dealing with strong women and she knows that, so whenever she shows a bit of strength or pushback, that really unnerves him,” said House Budget Committee Chairman John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Kentucky Democrat: McConnell's agenda driven by 'power without a purpose' MORE (D-Ky.), a Pelosi ally.

 

Over the weekend, Pelosi was part of a surprise delegation to Jordan for a “vital discussion” on the situation in Syria (The Hill). 

 

Reuters: Turkish forces were seen setting up military posts in Syria on Sunday, prompting Iran’s criticism today. About 100 armored vehicles carrying U.S. troops were spotted today moving across the Syrian border into Iraq. A cease-fire in the region expires Tuesday. Syrian Kurdish forces say they’ve withdrawn from border town Ras al Ain.

 

On the other side of the aisle, last week tested the alliance between Trump and Graham, a sturdy ally who offered up a rare rebuke of the president over his decisions in Syria. Graham found himself in a terse back-and-forth with the president on the issue (The Hill)

 

The Washington Post: Add risk of government shutdown to impeachment and other legislative logjams.

 

The Atlantic: The liberation of Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyOcasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field Jon Huntsman expected to run for governor in Utah Trump Jr's 'Triggered' debuts at No. 1 on NY Times bestseller list MORE (R-Utah).

 

Slate: On Twitter, Romney is “Pierre Delecto … c’est moi.”

 

 

 





LEADING THE DAY

ADMINISTRATION & WHITE HOUSE: An inquiry about the president’s leverage with a foreign ally is historically new terrain for “high crimes and misdemeanors” in the context of impeachment. In 2019, the collateral damage may become the U.S. diplomatic establishment. As Reid Wilson reports, senior foreign service officials interviewed by The Hill say the Trump administration’s efforts to circumvent traditional diplomatic avenues abroad impact America’s standing in the world, and career diplomats are losing confidence in Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoFive takeaways from ex-ambassador's dramatic testimony Pompeo: No US response ruled out in Hong Kong Ousted ambassador describes State Department in 'crisis' in dramatic impeachment testimony MORE.

 

The secretary, a former conservative Kansas congressman who has served Trump as CIA director and the nation’s top diplomat, is one of the president’s most ardent supporters. To simultaneously defend both the president and career foreign service officers who are offering up sworn testimony about events in Ukraine to House committees, Pompeo is training his ire at news outlets and congressional Democrats.

 

“I see these stories about morale being low,” Pompeo told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “I see things precisely the opposite. I see motivated officers. I've watched them perform in Syria this week, I’ve watched them perform in difficult situations during my year and a half as Secretary of State. I'm incredibly proud of the work they've done and I will always defend them when it's appropriate.”

 

The secretary blasted former career diplomat William Burns — who served in Democratic and Republican administrations and is a former deputy secretary of State — for a scathing commentary Burns wrote calling Pompeo “derelict in his duty” after “three years of unceasing diplomatic self-sabotage” (Foreign Affairs).

 

“I think Bill Burns must be auditioning to be Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBloomberg to spend 0M on anti-Trump ads in battleground states Obama cautions 2020 hopefuls against going too far left What are Democrats going to do once Donald Trump leaves office? MORE's secretary of State,” Pompeo snapped. 

 

 

 

 

> The 2020 Group of Seven (G-7) summit will not take place next summer at the Trump-owned Doral resort near Miami, Trump decided, reversing White House acting chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyNew witness claims first-hand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes Trump files to dismiss lawsuit from Bolton aide on impeachment testimony OMB official to testify in impeachment probe if subpoenaed after others refused MORE’s announcement following 48 hours of blast-furnace criticism, including from Republicans who said they were astonished the president revived a debate about alleged self-dealing and potential violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause. The president on Saturday said he changed his mind and that a search for another venue is underway (The New York Times).

 

Two Democratic presidential candidates — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro — argued over the weekend that Trump’s backpedaling did not erase his “corruption” while blending his duties as president with his business interests since 2017 (The Hill).   

 

The Hill: Mulvaney defends initial decision to host G-7 at Doral: Trump “considers himself to be in the hospitality business.”

 

The Associated Press: Mulvaney second-guessed as Trump’s acting chief.

 

The Wall Street Journal: Moments after Thursday’s press briefing, Mulvaney asked colleagues, “How’d it go?” 

 

> Commerce Department: The government could add Chinese telecom giant Huawei next month to a list that would prevent it from doing business with U.S. companies because of national security concerns. There are signs Trump sees the potential punishment and deadline as leverage in ongoing trade negotiations with China, an idea that does not sit well with some in Congress and in the U.S. business community (The Hill).



IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

POLITICS: First, it was her 2020 Democratic primary opponents criticizing Warren for not saying how she would pay for her Medicare for All proposal. Now, a new group is getting in on the act: her Senate Democratic colleagues. And Warren may be listening.

 

Alexander Bolton reports that a growing number of Senate Democrats believe that Warren would be doing herself a world of good if she were more up-front about how her plan would cover higher costs, including the impact on taxpayers. 

 

“There are pluses and minuses to Medicare for All. You have to be direct about the fact that there are certain consequences of it that will affect people differently. The more you can be transparent about it, I think it’s important,” said Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinOvernight Health Care: Democratic gains mark setback for Trump on Medicaid work requirements | Senate Dems give Warren 'Medicare for All' plan the cold shoulder | Judge strikes Trump rule on health care 'conscience' rights Democrats give Warren's 'Medicare for All' plan the cold shoulder Former NAACP president to run for Cummings's House seat MORE (D-Md.), who has not endorsed a candidate for president. 

 

Cardin, however, acknowledged that “taxes are sort of a toxic word” in 2020 politics, but argued that Warren and other candidates who support Medicare for All would be doing themselves a favor by leveling with voters.

 

NBC News: Warren says she will soon release her plan to fund “Medicare for All.”

 

Politico: “It’s not like she hates lobbyists”: Warren’s Senate record doesn’t match her campaign rhetoric.

 

Dan Balz: As Trump reels, Democrats wonder which of their candidates can beat him.

 

The Hill: Warren, Andrew YangAndrew YangSaagar Enjeti: Yang's plan to regulate big tech misses the mark Election 2020: Why I'm watching Amy and Andy Saagar Enjeti: Breaking down Andrew Yang's leadership on tech MORE fight over automation divides experts.

 

 

 

 

> Biden struggles: Democrats believe former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBloomberg to spend 0M on anti-Trump ads in battleground states New witness claims first-hand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes Obama cautions 2020 hopefuls against going too far left MORE’s campaign is floundering at a critical moment in the 2020 race, citing a number of factors that have seen him dip slighting in polls recently. 

 

Just over three months away from the Iowa caucuses, the former vice president has seen his lead over Warren slip away and is now an underdog in Iowa. In addition, Biden is fresh off another forgettable debate performance and has just $9 million in cash on hand. The campaign highlighted its money struggles on Friday when it emailed supporters confirming that Biden lags his main competitors in cash on hand six months into his race, asking for contributions.

 

As Amie Parnes reports, Democrats argue that his verbal flubs and an inability to be consistent in taking the fight to Trump are harming his campaign at a crucial point in the race for the Democratic nomination. 

 

“It’s increasingly clear he's not up to the job of running a campaign,” one Democratic strategist unaffiliated with any of the presidential campaigns said. 

 

More political headlines:

The New York Times: Trump campaign floods web with ads, raking in cash as Democrats struggle.

 

The Hill: Florida GOP Rep. Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis RooneyBipartisan Senate climate caucus grows by six members House Democrat: Taylor's impeachment testimony made 'very clear' there was a quid pro quo New bipartisan Senate climate caucus aims to take 'politics' out of the topic MORE says he won't seek reelection. Asked about whether Trump’s actions are impeachable, he told The Associated Press, “I’m still thinking about it.”

 

The Washington Post: Could popular GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, an occasionally outspoken Trump critic, be elected to the Senate in deep-blue Maryland? A recent poll found the answer to that hypothetical question is yes, by eight points.

 

The Hill: Presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardSaagar Enjeti: Yang's plan to regulate big tech misses the mark The Hill's Campaign Report: Late bids surprise 2020 Democratic field Panel devolves over new Russian accusation about Tulsi MORE (D-Hawaii) on Saturday began fundraising off Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhat are Democrats going to do once Donald Trump leaves office? Trump to hold campaign rally in Florida later this month Krystal Ball accuses Democrats of having 'zero moral authority' amid impeachment inquiry MORE’s veiled attack during a podcast interview on Friday, circulating a challenge to Clinton to join the 2020 race and face her “directly.” Clinton, without naming Gabbard, suggested the lawmaker was being groomed to be “a Russian asset” and run as a third-party candidate, influenced by websites and bots. Gabbard, a military veteran, called the former secretary of state "the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long."



The Morning Report is created by journalists Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver. We want to hear from you! Email: asimendinger@thehill.com and aweaver@thehill.com. We invite you to share The Hill’s reporting and newsletters, and encourage others to SUBSCRIBE!



OPINION

Will the U.K. ever get closure on Brexit? by The New York Times editorial board. https://nyti.ms/2MxvoFK

 

Trump's aversion to alliances is making the world a more dangerous place, by Dennis RossDennis Alan RossThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Trump has had a rough October Trump's aversion to alliances is making the world a more dangerous place Wave of GOP retirements threatens 2020 comeback MORE, opinion contributor, The Hill. https://bit.ly/35SpiaA 

 

The Hill: Sunday shows — news and commentary.



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WHERE AND WHEN

Hill.TV’s “Rising” program features Democratic presidential candidate Marianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson 2020 Democrats demand action on guns after Santa Clarita shooting Williamson announces poverty plan with support for universal basic income, minimum wage Yang seeks donations for 2020 rival Marianne Williamson: 'She has much more to say' MORE, who remains in the race but off the debate stage; Rashad Robinson, spokesperson for the Color Of Change PAC, analyzing the 2020 contest; and The Hill’s Max Greenwood who describes which Democratic presidential candidates lead fundraising totals in the third-quarter, which ended Sept. 30. Watch at 9 a.m. ET at http://thehill.com/hilltv, or on YouTube at 10 a.m. at Rising on YouTube.

 

The House meets at noon. Members are expected to vote on a motion to table a resolution by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the new chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, to condemn and censure House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump opens new line of impeachment attack for Democrats Yovanovitch impeachment testimony gives burst of momentum to Democrats Five takeaways from ex-ambassador's dramatic testimony MORE (D-Calif.).

 

The Senate convenes at 3 p.m. and resumes consideration of the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 on the accession of the Republic of North Macedonia Treaty.

 

The president meets with his Cabinet at 11:30 a.m. Trump will have lunch with the vice president at 12:45 p.m. 

 

Pence will deliver remarks at the 2019 International Astronautical Congress Opening Ceremony at 10:30 a.m. After attending the Cabinet meeting and lunch with the president, he will head to Avoca, Pa., to tour Schott North America Inc. and speak about the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement at 4:30 p.m. The vice president will return to Washington in the evening.

 

You’re invited to The Hill's upcoming newsmaker event, Innovation Runway: The Cutting Edge of Aviation, at the Newseum on Wednesday at 8 a.m. Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators at White House Senators confirm Erdoğan played 'propaganda' video in White House meeting MORE (R-Texas), Rep. Rick LarsenRichard (Rick) Ray LarsenAviation chairmen cite safety, new tech among concerns for the future The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Diplomat's 'powerful' testimony and 'lynching' attract headlines The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Trump's impeachment plea to Republicans MORE (D-Wash.) and Daniel Elwell, deputy administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, will discuss changes in American aviation that affect consumers and the nation. Information is HERE

 

The Hudson Institute in Washington hosts  Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: Trump, Erdogan confirm White House meeting | Public impeachment hearings set for next week | Top defense appropriator retiring Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward Senate Democrat: Colleague was working on fantasy football trade instead of listening to Schumer MORE (D-Conn.) at noon for a speech about foreign policy and national security. Information HERE

 

The National Partnership for New Americans holds its 12th annual "New American Dreams" National Immigrant Integration Conference today and Tuesday in Detroit with 1,400 attendees.

 

In Canada, it’s Election Day and too close to call, as Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauA third-party Green candidate is greatest threat to Democrats Forget Greenland — Trump should offer statehood to these Canadian provinces How Justin Trudeau can make his second act a success MORE battles to stay in power (CNBC). Preliminary results across six time zones are expected shortly after 7 p.m. GMT, Ottawa time. AFP reports that who govern Canada may still be up in the air for several weeks.



ELSEWHERE

Brexit: Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday sent an unsigned letter to the European Union seeking an extension of the Oct. 31 deadline to separate the United Kingdom from the EU. He also sent a separate letter saying an extension would damage relations with the U.K., effectively leaving it up to the EU to decide how to proceed. Analysts believe the EU will grant an extension, although it is unclear what the length might be or what sort of strategy might clear the current political impasse. Separately, Johnson’s government announced it was now seeking a “meaningful vote” on his Brexit deal today — a ballot that Johnson was denied by Parliament’s maneuverings on Saturday. If that vote happens, Johnson’s ministers promised, the Brexit deal will pass. Johnson’s request to the EU for a new deadline, which he previously said he would avoid, followed a humiliating defeat in Parliament on Saturday as members, including some from the prime minister’s party, rejected the agreement he negotiated with the EU last week (The New York Times). At least a million people in London took to the streets over the weekend to demonstrate, including to advocate a do-over Brexit referendum to reevaluate voters’ decisions made more than three years ago (The Washington Post).

 

 

 

 

Supreme Court: A Nov. 12 Supreme Court hearing on Trump's order to revoke the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program may set the stage for future immigration reform negotiations. The program opposed by the administration continues under lower-court orders (The Hill).

 

Parental leave: After The Washington Post announced it has expanded its paid parental leave to 20 weeks, the Nieman Lab put together some comparisons with other news and media companies, including The Wall Street Journal (20 weeks, or five months of paid leave), The New York Times (16 weeks of paid leave for birth parents, 18 weeks for C-section moms and 10 weeks for non-birth parents) and The Wall Street Journal (26 paid weeks for primary caregivers). (The Hill provides up to eight weeks of paid parental leave to full-time employees).



THE CLOSER

And finally …  Discovered by accident recently beneath the hot sands in the Valley of the Kings, 30 vividly colored mummy coffins appeared on display on Saturday in front of Hatshepsut Temple in Luxor. The 3,000-year-old, well-preserved remains of what may have been high priests and their relatives — men, women and two children — are described by Egyptian officials as the largest such find in more than a century (NBC News). The mummies will be restored before being moved to a museum of ancient Egyptian artifacts near the Giza pyramids. The wooden coffins will be given their own exhibit at the Grand Egyptian Museum, to open next year (CNN). 

 

CBS News has three minutes of video HERE.