The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump declares ‘case closed’ as text messages raise new questions

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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump declares ‘case closed’ as text messages raise new questions | Texts show officials pressured Ukraine on Biden | McConnell signals quick impeachment trial if Dems move ahead | Intel watchdog meets with lawmakers | Ukraine to review cases on firm tied to Biden’s son | Warren, Sanders top Biden in third-quarter fundraising | Supreme Court takes up Louisiana abortion case | Economy adds 136K jobs in September | National Taco Day deals

 

IN THE WHITE HOUSE

Well, that’s that:

President Trump declared “case closed,” insisting there is nothing left to investigate after House leaders released text messages between administration officials and Ukraine. http://bit.ly/2pLzlO6

He tweeted: “The Washington Times, ‘Ukraine envoy blows “massive hole” into Democrat accusations. Republicans at hearing find no Trump Pressure.’ The Ukrainian President also strongly stated that NO pressure was put on him. Case Closed!” Here’s the full tweet, just in case you’re having a boring morning and want to read the thoughtful replies on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2MjZ3B0

 

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THIS TYPO ISN’T BOTHERING ME. THIS TYPO ISN’T BOTHERING ME:

President Trump tweeted this morning, “‘I think it’s outrages that a Whistleblower is a CIA Agent.’  Ed Rollins @FoxNews” http://bit.ly/2niUzSD  

 

HOW TRUMP’S SCORCHED-EARTH APPROACH TO IMPEACHMENT MAY BACKFIRE AMONG LOYALISTS:

Via The Hill’s Niall Stanagehttp://bit.ly/331AEqh

 

It’s Friday! 10-4. You know I had to make that joke. 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 [email protected] — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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LATEST WITH THE UKRAINE CONTROVERSY

To the texts:

House Democrats released more than a dozen text message exchanges between Trump administration officials regarding the White House’s dealings with Ukraine. http://bit.ly/2MbVxIB

What House Democrats argue: Democrats say the text messages show the Trump administration’s efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating President Trump’s political rivals. 

For example: Some conversations show that Trump’s meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was contingent on investigations requested by the U.S. In one case, a text mentioned the delay for military aid in Ukraine.  

 

Who is involved in the text exchanges: 

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney

Kurt Volker, Trump’s former envoy to Ukraine

Bill Taylor, a top Ukrainian embassy official

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union

Andriy Yermak, a Ukrainian official.

Where the released text messages came from: They were provided by Volker, who resigned as Trump’s special envoy to Ukraine last week. Volker met with lawmakers behind closed doors yesterday for nearly 10 hours. http://bit.ly/2OjGuPW

 

SEE FOR YOURSELF — READ THE TEXT MESSAGE EXCHANGES:

http://bit.ly/32YlqCo

 

TIDBIT — TEXTING ABOUT A TEXT: 

A Republican lawmaker texted Politico’s Melanie Zanona: “Text messages are troubling. The President may not think others have complied with laws – including foreign interference in elections but that doesn’t mean he can simply do whatever he pleases.” http://bit.ly/30Hs0vP

 

Ukraine listened:

Via The Associated Press’s Yuras Karmanau, “Ukraine’s Prosecutor General said on Friday that his office is reviewing all the cases that were closed by his predecessors, including several related to the owner of a gas company where former Vice President Joe Biden‘s son sat on the board.” http://bit.ly/2AI8Dbl

 

IN THE HOUSE

Happening today — more closed-door meetings:

Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community’s inspector general, is meeting with members of the House Intelligence Committee today. http://bit.ly/354vxHO

Keep in mind: “[Atkinson] had previously expressed grave concerns over a whistleblower complaint alleging that Trump had threatened to withhold U.S. military aid to Ukraine unless that country’s president launched an investigation into one of Trump’s top political rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden.”

  

IN THE SENATE

It’ll be quick and easy:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has signaled that if President Trump is impeached, any Senate trial will be fast. http://bit.ly/2oO9Efg

For context — this is what happened during former President Clinton’s trial: “Clinton’s trial in 1999 took a month, with three days of testimony by the House impeachment managers and another three days for the defense. At one point, videotaped depositions of key figures in the Clinton controversy, including former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, were taken.” 

A key difference between 1999 and now: The opposing party controlled the Senate. “While then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) didn’t appear to share the same fervor as House Republicans to impeach Clinton, he had a partisan interest in giving the Republican prosecutors from the House a stage to make their case against the sitting Democratic president.” 

How this could play out: http://bit.ly/2oO9Efg

 

THERE’S A FUNDRAISING PITCH FOR THAT:

In a Facebook campaign ad that launched yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) vows to lead the effort to prevent President Trump from being removed from office. http://bit.ly/2VcW2pR

McConnell says in the ad:Nancy Pelosi‘s in the clutches of a left-wing mob. They finally convinced her to impeach the president. All of you know your Constitution, the way that impeachment stops is a Senate majority with me as majority leader.” 

 

Just now — Mitt Romney goes after President Trump: 

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) just slammed President Trump for his “brazen and unprecedented appeal” to encourage China and Ukraine to investigate a political rival, calling the move “wrong and appalling.” http://bit.ly/2McJR8t

Romney tweeted: “When the only American citizen President Trump singles out for China’s investigation is his political opponent in the midst of the Democratic nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated … By all appearances, the President’s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling.” Read Romney’s full tweets: http://bit.ly/2McJR8t

 

Throwing some Sasse: 

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) shot back at President Trump’s suggestion that China should investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. http://bit.ly/2ngv7gq

Sasse said in a statement to the Omaha World-Herald: “Hold up: Americans don’t look to Chinese commies for the truth. If the Biden kid broke laws by selling his name to Beijing, that’s a matter for American courts, not communist tyrants running torture camps.” http://bit.ly/2LLdUFr

 

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

Is Liz the new Joe?: 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren‘s (D-Mass.) presidential campaign raised $10 million more than former Vice President Joe Biden in the past three months. http://bit.ly/357biZY

The numbers: Warren raised $24.6 million in the last three months. Biden’s campaign raised $15.2 million in that time frame.

For context — what rivals raised in Q3: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) topped the field by raising $25.3 million and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg raised $19.1 million.

Looking into that number: “Warren’s third-quarter fundraising haul was driven by 943,000 contributions, her campaign said, a sign of strong grassroots support as she heads into the critical three-month campaign season ahead. The $24.6 million total is also notably higher than the roughly $19.2 million she raised in the second quarter of the year.” 

   

IN OTHER NEWS THIS MORNING

First Friday of the month. You know what that means? … it’s Chocolate Glaze Day at Krispy Kreme!

Just kidding.:

The Labor Department announced this morning that the U.S. economy added 136,000 jobs in September. http://bit.ly/3320k69

Some context to that number: 136,000 new jobs is slightly under the 145,000 jobs that economists had predicted for the month. 

The unemployment rate: The unemployment level dropped from 3.7 percent to 3.5 percent, the lowest level since 1969.

Reaction from the president: President Trump tweeted: “Breaking News: Unemployment Rate, at 3.5%, drops to a 50 YEAR LOW. Wow America, lets impeach your President (even though he did nothing wrong!).” http://bit.ly/2Ime3Nx

  

^But not really — Because I would never just tease you about doughnuts:

 It actually is Chocolate Glaze Day at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. That means select stores will completely cover the classic doughnut in chocolate. 

Details and a photo to prove it: http://bit.ly/2IpJd6x 

 

You know what the campaign year is missing?  A major abortion battle, that’s what: 

This morning, the Supreme Court announced it will hear an abortion case in Louisiana. http://bit.ly/2ngjINB

Timing: That means the abortion debate will be a national fight during a presidential election year.

Why this case should be particularly interesting: It is the first abortion case the Supreme Court will hear with President Trump‘s two appointees — Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Details of the case from NBC’s Pete Williams: https://nbcnews.to/2Vn96tb

  

IN LOCAL NEWS

The Newseum’s closing date: 

Via DCist, Washington, D.C.’s Newseum is closing on Dec. 31, 2019. http://bit.ly/2OkGPSv

What is happening to the space: “[Johns Hopkins University] operates a number of D.C.-based graduate programs, including its School of Advanced International Studies, with more than 3,000 faculty, staff, and students here. The school will now bring them all under one roof, selling properties it owns in Dupont to finance the sale.” 

Will the Newseum reopen elsewhere?: “The Newseum has said it plans to reopen in another building. But it’s not clear when, or even if, that will be possible. Officials said this week that they ‘hope to eventually find a new location but that process is going to take time.'” 

  

NOTABLE TWEETS

Getting traction — omg:

Watch: It’s pretty hard to see unless you zoom in. But trust me, it’s worth it. http://bit.ly/2LMjCH9

Follow-up: “We did a further investigation, it was plotted revenge.” Video explanation — aha!: http://bit.ly/2AGiYVl

 

Fun fact:

 

ON TAP

The House and Senate are out. 

President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C.

11 a.m. EDT: President Trump met with wounded warriors at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

2:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump receives an intelligence briefing.

 

WHAT TO WATCH

4:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at the 2019 Young Black Leadership Summit in the East Room of the White House. Vice President Pence also joins. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2OlAIx4

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF…

Today is National Taco Day.

  

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Friday:

Here’s a list of National Taco Day deals today to celebrate: http://bit.ly/2LNcv0Q

 

And to get your weekend off to the right start, here are cats investigating a disco ball: http://bit.ly/2ngk2vN  

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Written by Alan Smith

Alan Smith

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