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



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.

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:




President Trump tweeted this morning, “‘I think it’s outrages that a Whistleblower is a CIA Agent.’  Ed Rollins @FoxNews”  



Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage


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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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.

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.





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.”


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.”



Happening today — more closed-door meetings:

Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community’s inspector general, is meeting with members of the House Intelligence Committee today.

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.”



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.

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:



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.

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.”

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:


Throwing some Sasse: 

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) shot back at President Trump’s suggestion that China should investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

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.”



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.

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.” 



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.

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!).”


^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: 


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.

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:



The Newseum’s closing date: 

Via DCist, Washington, D.C.’s Newseum is closing on Dec. 31, 2019.

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.'” 



Getting traction — omg:

Watch: It’s pretty hard to see unless you zoom in. But trust me, it’s worth it.

Follow-up: “We did a further investigation, it was plotted revenge.” Video explanation — aha!:


Fun fact:



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.



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:



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:


And to get your weekend off to the right start, here are cats investigating a disco ball:  

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