The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Trump's impeachment plea to Republicans

 

 

 

Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. Happy Tuesday! 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 directed his ire at congressional Republicans on Monday and urged them to “stick together” in the face of “vicious” attacks by Democrats as their impeachment inquiry steamrolls forward this week. 

 

“The two things they have: They’re vicious, and they stick together,” Trump told reporters about Democrats as he convened a Cabinet meeting. “They don’t have [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)] in their midst. They don’t have people like that” (The Hill).  

 

Trump comments were in reference to critical comments by Romney, a longtime nemesis of the president who Trump has repeatedly fired back at in recent weeks. However, the criticisms within the GOP have come from other corners of the party as some have grown uneasy about defending the president on certain topics.   

 

“Republicans have to get tougher and fight,” Trump continued. “We have some that are great fighters, but they have to get tougher and fight because the Democrats are trying to hurt the Republican Party for the election, which is coming up, where we’re doing very well” (The Washington Post).

 

Republicans attempted to do some damage on Monday in support of Trump, but the House rejected a privileged resolution to 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.), a move Trump supported. Unsurprisingly, the resolution was voted down, 218-185 (The Hill).

 

The resolution, introduced by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, called for Schiff’s resignation and said that his comments about Trump’s July 25th phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky were an “egregiously false and fabricated retelling” and “had no relationship to the call itself.” 

 

Meanwhile, 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.) continued her offensive against the president. Her office released a “fact sheet” detailing the allegations against Trump as part of the inquiry, saying that he “betrayed his oath of office, betrayed our national security and betrayed the integrity of our elections for his own personal political gain” (The Hill).

 

As for the inquiry, House investigators will depose their highest profile subject of the week today as William Taylor, the chargé d'affaires for Ukraine and a U.S. diplomat, appears on Capitol Hill to testify behind closed doors. Democrats are interested in Taylor due to his exchanges with a pair of diplomats which showed that he was worried the Trump administration was withholding military aid to Ukraine to convince its government to conduct political investigations on Trump’s behalf.

 

After Taylor’s testimony, investigators will host only two more witness interviews during the remainder of the week as they mourn the death of former Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsThe Hill's Morning Report — Public impeachment drama resumes today Maloney primary challenger calls on her to return, donate previous campaign donations from Trump Second person heard call suggesting Trump cared more about 'investigations' than Ukraine: AP MORE (D-Md.). Cummings will lie in state at the Capitol on Thursday before his funeral in Baltimore on Friday.

 

No witnesses will appear before investigators on either day, and the last interview of the week will take place on Wednesday when Laura Cooper, a top Pentagon official, is expected to testify (The Hill). Philip Reeker, the acting assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs, is scheduled to be deposed on Saturday (ABC News).

 

The Washington Post: Nearly half a dozen Democrats consider bids to replace Cummings as House Oversight chairman.

 

CNN: Democrats see impeachment proceedings taking longer than some initially expected.

 

Over in the 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.) has told GOP colleagues there will likely be a Senate trial if the House passes articles of impeachment, although he has left open the possibility that the president’s defense team could make a motion to dismiss them at any time, according to The Hill’s Alexander Bolton

 

McConnell, however, argued in the 1999 impeachment trial of former President Clinton that a motion to dismiss was a "terrible idea,” making it difficult for him to champion any motion to dismiss a Senate trial of articles against the president. It may be why McConnell says if the trial is dismissed, such an action should be initiated by the president's team and not by him.

 

 

 





LEADING THE DAY

INTERNATIONAL: Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE on Monday officially informed President Reuven Rivlin that he failed in his attempts to pull together a unity government following Israel’s Sept. 17 election. Rivlin is likely to turn to Benny Gantz, leader of the largest political party in Parliament, to try to form the next Israeli government (The Washington Post). Wondering what happens next? Spoiler alert: A March election is one of the possibilities (The Jerusalem Post).

 

 

 

 

> Syria: A temporary cease-fire between Turkey and Syrian Kurds ends late tonight. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently said Turkey wants nuclear warheads (The New York Times) and he meets today in Russia with President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinOvernight 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' Highly irregular: Rudy, the president, and a venture in Ukraine Biden responds to North Korea: 'I wear their insults as a badge of honor' MORE to seek help to create buffer territory in Syria (The Wall Street Journal). ...Before departing, Erdoğan warned that his military forces will resume strikes in Syria if the Kurds have not vacated the safe zone he seeks to create. “If the promises given to us by America are not kept, we will continue our operation from where it left off, this time with a much bigger determination,” he said (Reuters) ...The United States will leave some troops in northeastern Syria to secure oil fields from the Islamic State, Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperHillicon Valley: Twitter shares more details on political ad rules | Supreme Court takes up Google-Oracle fight | Pentagon chief defends Microsoft cloud contract 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' Esper: Pentagon contract fairly awarded to Microsoft over Amazon MORE and Trump told reporters on Monday during separate appearances. The president previously said he would bring U.S. forces “home” from Syria and repeatedly asserts ISIS has been defeated (The Associated Press). The decision to leave more than 20 percent of the U.S. force in Syria behind was the second time in less than a year that Trump announced a complete withdrawal, only to walk it back (The Washington Post). ...ISIS killed two Iraqi security forces in the oil fields in northern Iraq (Reuters). ...A bipartisan group of senators on Monday met and urged that “Congress must come together to maintain an adequate [number of] U.S. troops in Syria, ensure air support, and impose sanctions against Turkey,” tweeted Sen. 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.) 

 

> Brexit: On Monday, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow blocked a vote on a Brexit withdrawal deal, citing parliamentary rules. The government will try today to implement a Brexit bill through Parliament before an Oct. 31 deadline. There’s also talk of amending the Brexit-implementing legislation, including a clause that would give voters a second referendum (The Associated Press). The bill faces two votes today, with lawmakers first being asked to approve it in principle, followed by a vote on the government’s three-day schedule for debate and possible amendments. While many analysts expect the bill to be approved, lawmakers may reject the compressed timetable (The Associated Press).

   

> Canada election: 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’s Liberals held onto power in the election on Monday but were reduced to a minority government that will need the support in Parliament of a smaller left-leaning party (Reuters). 



IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

POLITICS: 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are shifting and massaging their positions on “Medicare for All” as they battle for the nomination and as the topic becomes a major talking point on the campaign trail and the race for the party’s nomination. 

 

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegBloomberg to spend 0M on anti-Trump ads in battleground states Hill editor-in-chief: Buttigieg could benefit if impeachment reaches Senate Trump to hold campaign rally in Florida later this month MORE praised “Medicare for All” earlier this year, but now, in a bid to be the preferred candidate of more moderate voters, he has found himself on the offensive against Sen. 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 (D-Mass.) over the issue. Their issues were highlighted in last week’s Democratic debate as the two sparred extensively over Warren’s plan and Buttigieg’s support for a public option, which Warren argues does not go far enough. 

 

The Massachusetts senator has expressed openness to "different pathways" on the issue earlier this year, but has since tried to avoid being outflanked on the left by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBloomberg 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 (I-Vt.), having sought to sell her full-scale “Medicare for All” proposal (The Hill).

 

The Hill: Buttigieg closes on Biden, Warren in Iowa: poll.

 

The Hill: Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand Bennet 2020 Democrats demand action on guns after Santa Clarita shooting Biden, Buttigieg condemn rocket attacks on Israel Press: Another billionaire need not apply MORE (D-Colo.): Warren “not being honest about” her “Medicare for All” plan.

 

The Associated Press: Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharElection 2020: Why I'm watching Amy and Andy 2020 Democrats demand action on guns after Santa Clarita shooting Hillicon Valley: Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal | Facebook reports millions of post takedowns | Microsoft shakes up privacy debate | Disney plus tops 10M sign-ups in first day MORE (D-Minn.) tries to turn debate spotlight into momentum. 

 

 

 

 

> Gabbard vs. Clinton: 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) has attracted a wave of new publicity for her presidential campaign in the aftermath of an attack from 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, who accused her of being an agent of the Russians who may launch a third party bid if she loses the Democratic presidential nod. 

 

The Hawaii Democrat fired back swiftly at Clinton's attack, winning attention in the process that could be valuable for her struggling bid. Gabbard’s campaign has continued to struggle in recent weeks, having remained in the lower tier of candidates in polling and delivered an uninspiring debate performance last week. 

 

The recent surge in attention could also be valuable as she pushes to qualify for the fifth Democratic debate on Nov. 20 in Georgia. She has until Nov. 13 to do so. 

 

Some Democrats were irritated with Clinton's attack, wondering why she was elevating a candidate many establishment Democrats dislike — in part because of Gabbard's visit in 2017 with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (The Hill). 

 

The Associated Press: Facebook ramps up election security efforts ahead of 2020.

 

The Hill: Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro says he will drop out of the 2020 race if he doesn't raise $800,000 in next 10 days.

 

The Associated Press: Democrats’ 2020 race has a new shadow: Hillary Clinton.

 

> Senate map: Nearly a year out from election day, both parties are looking to expand the list of competitive Senate contests outside of Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Alabama, to name a few.

 

As Reid Wilson writes, campaign finance reports show that several newcomer candidates are building impressive war chests, and the totals have strategists on both sides examining a battlefield that looks wider now than initially expected.   

 

In Arizona and Colorado, Democratic challengers flexed their financial muscle and posted strong fundraising quarters, while candidates in Iowa and Maine have national Democrats optimistic about their chances in both states. 

 

“These are better Democratic opportunities in this cycle than they were in the past. And we have to be prepared to take advantage of that,” said J.B. Poersch, who heads the Senate Majority PAC, the largest outside group that backs Democratic candidates. 

 

The Wall Street Journal: 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 to make another Kansas visit as GOP courts him for Senate.



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

Warren had better have a plan — she needs one to win in November, by Albert Hunt, opinion contributor, The Hill. https://bit.ly/33SGBWW 

 

How Turkey sees its Syria invasion, by Ilan Berman, opinion contributor, The Hill.  https://bit.ly/31xrUXV 



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WHERE AND WHEN

Hill.TV’s “Rising” program features Rep. Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceGOP lawmaker calls impeachment inquiry a 'disaster' for American people House Republican: Impeachment vote timing 'up in the air' GOP Congressman weighs in on impeachment hearings MORE (R-Ga.) to react to the latest impeachment inquiry news; Emma Vigeland, a correspondent with The Young Turks,  to discuss Warren's “Medicare for All” plan; Mark Geist, a former United States Marine, to talk about the launch of Operation 11/11, a new initiative providing virtual consults across multiple specialties to all veterans on Veterans Day; and Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts, the directors of the documentary “For Sama.”  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 10 a.m.

 

The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. and may consider fiscal year 2020 spending bills, and the nomination of Andrew Bremberg to be U.S. representative to the Office of the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva.

 

The president will have lunch with Pompeo.

 

Vice President Pence tonight delivers the keynote address at the Heritage Foundation’s Honors Gala in Washington. 

 

Pompeo speaks at 9 a.m. at the Heritage Foundation President’s Club Meeting in Washington about “Trump Administration Diplomacy: The Untold Story.” At 10:30 a.m., he meets with Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak at the State Department. At noon, Pompeo meets with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita. The secretary heads to the White House for a 12:45 p.m. lunch with Trump. Back at the department, Pompeo meets with Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk at 3:30 p.m. and he’ll wrap up the day with a speech at 7 p.m. at the the Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life Leaders’ Summit in Washington.

 

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report — Public impeachment drama resumes today On The Money: Trump appeals to Supreme Court to keep tax returns from NY prosecutors | Pelosi says deal on new NAFTA 'imminent' | Mnuchin downplays shutdown threat | Trump hits Fed after Walmart boasts strong earnings Lawmakers aim for agreement on top-line spending by next week MORE testifies at 10 a.m. before the House Financial Services Committee about affordable housing, along with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonTrump launches effort to boost support among black voters Zoning is not the answer to all our housing problems Freer housing is 'fairer housing' — HUD should tie funding to looser zoning MORE. The hearing will be livestreamed.

 

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 Center for American Progress hosts Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallBureau of Land Management staff face relocation or resignation as agency moves west Overnight Energy: EPA watchdog slams agency chief after deputy fails to cooperate in probe | Justices wrestle with reach of Clean Water Act | Bipartisan Senate climate caucus grows Hillicon Valley: Twitter to refuse all political ads | Trump camp blasts 'very dumb' decision | Ocasio-Cortez hails move | Zuckerberg doubles down on Facebook's ad policies | GOP senator blocks sweeping election reform bill MORE (D-N.M.) at 10 a.m. to speak about a new policy proposal tied to “Confronting the Nature Crisis” and conservation. He’ll be joined by Rep. Deb HaalandDebra HaalandProgressive freshmen jump into leadership PAC fundraising This week: House to vote on Turkey sanctions bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Trump's impeachment plea to Republicans MORE (D-N.M.) for a moderated discussion livestreamed HERE.



ELSEWHERE

State Watch: Four large drug companies reached a last-minute $260 million legal settlement on Monday over their role in the U.S. opioid addiction epidemic, striking a deal with two Ohio counties to avert the first federal trial over the crisis (Reuters). The proposed settlement halted a massive trial just before it was set to begin. But the settlement nets only a fraction of what the counties were seeking, and it's unclear what the impact will be on the lawsuits filed by tribes, cities, other counties and states other than Ohio that are seeking damages tied to the opioid epidemic (The Hill).

 

Student loans: Democrats are pressuring the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to escalate a turf battle with the Education Department over policing the student lending market. Advocates also want the independent agency to investigate the Education Department’s management of a loan forgiveness program that has rejected 99 percent of applicants (The Hill).

  

Lobbying: In July, 31-year-old think tank researcher Shai Akabas did something that hoards of well-funded lobbyists and power players in Washington seldom achieve: He got Congress to move. Akabas, the director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, released an analysis of what he calls “The X Date,” the day the Treasury Department runs out of legal authority to pay its bills. Akabas’s analysis showed that lawmakers could not wait until autumn, and lawmakers agreed to act over the summer (The Hill).

 

Immigration: Trump finds himself boxed in by law and political crosswinds as White House aides presented him with a list of potential picks for acting secretary at the Department of Homeland Security weeks after Kevin McAleenan departed (Politico). ...The Justice Department on Monday issued amended regulations that would mandate DNA collection for almost all migrants who cross between official entry points and are held even temporarily by the United States. The administration is planning to collect DNA samples from asylum-seekers and other migrants to add to a massive FBI database used by law enforcement hunting for criminals (The Associated Press).

 

Baseball: The World Series is set to begin tonight as the Washington Nationals take on the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the Fall Classic. The Nationals, who have been off for a full week after sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS, will look to keep their scorching hot play, having won 18 of their last 20 contests. Washington will turn to ace Max Scherzer, while Houston will hand the ball to Gerrit Cole. First pitch from Houston is at 8:08 p.m.



THE CLOSER

And finally … The U.S. Army is creating a modern version of the World War II “Monuments Men,” emulating a team of experts who traced and recovered millions of European art treasures looted by the Nazis. The new unit, to be based in Fort Bragg, N.C., will be trained to help protect antiquities and historically significant sites in war zones and will pull together commissioned officers of the Army Reserves who are museum directors or curators, archivists, conservators and archaeologists in addition to new recruits with those qualifications (The New York Times).

 

“In conflict, the destruction of monuments and the looting of art are not only about the loss of material things, but also about the erasure of history, knowledge and a people’s identity,” Richard Kurin, an anthropologist at the Smithsonian, said at the Monday announcement. “The cooperation between the Smithsonian and the U.S. Army aims to prevent this legal and moral crime of war.”