The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump defends call as Ukraine controversy deepens

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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.


The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump under Ukraine controversy | Defends raising corruption on call | Pelosi threatens ‘new stage of investigation’ | Schiff says impeachment may be ‘only remedy’ if Trump sought dirt on political rival | Controversy follows Trump to UN | Top-tier 2020 candidates overlooking NH | Climate protests disrupt DC | Protesters start dumpster fire, block street with pink boat | Congress races to avoid shutdown | First day of fall | ‘Frozen 2’ trailer out



Stay a while:

While on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, voters told me the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state is feeling underappreciated in this campaign cycle. But candidates are actually visiting more this year than in the 2016 cycle, according to an analysis by The Hill.

How much more: The two dozen Democratic candidates averaged 23.9 campaign stops in the first seven months of the year, compared to 14.5 visits by Democrats in 2015. 

High on the list of New Hampshire campaign stops: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) held 34 campaign stops between January and July 2019. Former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) held 79 campaign events in the same time frame, the most of any 2016 or 2020 candidate.

Yeah, but that doesn’t mean all candidates are prioritizing the state: Many of the biggest names are neglecting the state. And that’s why New Hampshire is feeling underappreciated. 

^ For example — low on the list of N.H. campaign stops: Former Vice President Joe Biden made just 13 total campaign appearances in the state from January to July. President Trump did not visit at all in that time frame. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) only held 17 campaign stops, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) held 14. 

Are candidates here fewer days?: No, Democratic presidential candidates spent roughly the same number of days in the state, meaning they are cramming in more events per day this year. Dems averaged 9.3 days spent in New Hampshire from January to July, higher than the 7.1 days Dems spent in 2015.


For reference, here is the number of campaign stops that each 2020 presidential candidate held in New Hampshire from January to July: 

John Delaney: 79

Kirsten Gillibrand: 53

Bill Weld: 44

Marianne Williamson: 44

Elizabeth Warren: 34

Andrew Yang: 34

Tulsi Gabbard: 32

Cory Booker: 31

Beto O’Rourke: 28

Amy Klobuchar: 27

Julián Castro: 22

Pete Buttigieg: 21

Seth Moulton: 21

Michael Bennet: 18

Bernie Sanders: 17

John Hickenlooper: 16

Tim Ryan: 15

Kamala Harris: 14

Joe Biden: 13

Jay Inslee: 10

Bill de Blasio: 9

Steve Bullock: 6

Eric Swalwell: 23

Tom Steyer: 5

Wayne Messam: 2

Donald Trump: 0

The full breakdown 



GOP presidential candidate Mark Sanford is the only presidential candidate who visited New Hampshire at all last week.



Via The Hill’s Reid Wilson, here are seven takeaways from a busy Democratic presidential campaign weekend in Iowa:


It’s Monday. Today is the first day of fall!  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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What’s some dirt between friends?:

President Trump is under fire for confirming that he urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden‘s son. 

How Trump is reacting: Trump admitted discussing the matter with Ukraine, then went on the offensive against Biden and the whistleblower who filed the complaint.

And said he would consider releasing the call transcript: “We’ll make a determination about how to release it, releasing it, saying what we said,” Trump said. “The problem is, when you’re speaking to foreign leaders, you don’t want foreign leaders to feel that they shouldn’t be speaking openly. And the same thing with an American president. You want them to be able to express themselves without knowing that every single word was going to be going out and going out all over the world.”

NEW — This morning in New York, Trump was asked about his call with Ukraine: “It’s very important to talk about corruption,” Trump said. “If you don’t talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt? … It’s very important that on occasion you speak to somebody about corruption.” 



Speaker Pelosi’s reaction is key: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) stressed that the whistleblower complaint “must be addressed immediately” because “this violation is about our national security.” Pelosi warned if the Trump administration blocks the whistleblower, there will be a “new stage of investigation.”

Romney said it would be “troubling in the extreme”: Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) tweeted, “If the President asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme. Critical for the facts to come out.”

Adam Schiff is using the I-word: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said impeachment “may be the only remedy” if Trump asked a foreign leader to find dirt on a competitor.



If more House Democrats, especially those who have been on the fence about impeachment proceedings, shift their stances.

Right now, more than half of House Democrats back an impeachment inquiry, according to The Hill’s whip list: 




Avoid *clap* driving *clap* in D.C. *clap* today:

Activists have been blocking Washington, D.C.’s roads today to try to cripple the city as a way to protest climate change. 

What to expect with Monday’s commutes:



Protesters set a dumpster on fire on Massachusetts Avenue: Here’s a photo:

Part of Dupont Circle was blocked by protesters: Here is a photo of what Dupont Circle looked like during rush hour:

And here is the intersection at 16th and K streets Northwest — a major artery in the city: Photo:

The protesters even brought a big, pink boat:

Watch the protesters lower the boat’s mast:



Baby steps, that’s all we’re asking for now:

Lawmakers are trying to pass a continuing resolution through Nov. 21 to buy more time to fund the government. 

Where the CR stands: “The House already passed the short-term bill in a 301-123 vote. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has started the process of bringing it to the Senate floor, but it hasn’t been scheduled yet for a vote.” 

To fund the government: Congress must pass 12 funding bills. “While the House passed 10 out of its 12 funding bills, many of them are loaded up with Democratic priorities meaning they won’t get taken up as is by the GOP-controlled Senate.” 



Emergency declaration: “Senate Democrats could force a vote as soon as this week on a resolution to nix President Trump’s emergency declaration on the wall.”

Border wall: “House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced Friday that the House will take up two Democrat-led bills aimed at improving ‘how the Department of Homeland Security oversees border issues in a humane and responsible manner, including the care of children.'” 

Nominations: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has teed up a few nominations, including Brian McGuire to be deputy under secretary at the Treasury Department.

Context and details for each from The Hill’s Jordain Carney and Juliegrace Brufke:



Show us the money:

Via The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda and Jonathan Easley, “Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is coming under increasing pressure from her 2020 rivals to spell out how she’d pay for her ‘Medicare for All’ proposal.”

Timing: “The pressure comes as Warren builds momentum in the presidential primary race and suggests she is likely to come under a harsher spotlight as other candidates seek to compete with her for the 2020 Democratic nomination.” 



Tales from Elizabeth Warren’s selfie line:



It is only fair that I share this important content with you:




The House is out. The Senate will meet later today.

President Trump and Vice President Pence are in New York City for the annual United Nations General Assembly. Live updates from New York:

1 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the president of Pakistan.

2:25 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the president of Poland.

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the prime minister of New Zealand.

3 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets.

3:40 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the president of Singapore.

4:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the president of Egypt.

5:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the president of South Korea.

5:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate holds a cloture vote on a nomination. The Senate’s full schedule today:

6:10 p.m. EDT: President Trump arrives at Trump Tower where he will stay for the evening. 



11:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump led the United Nations event on religious freedom. Vice President Pence also attends. Livestream:



Today is National White Chocolate Day.


Released this morning — don’t let it go:

Disney released a new trailer for “Frozen 2” this morning.

Watch the new trailer:


Do as I say and you shall be rewarded:

If you’re a fan of the TV show “Friends” — or just like cool things — try this: Google “Ross Geller” and look for the little couch icon next to the character’s name. Click the couch animation with your sound on. Other hidden Easter eggs:


And because this made me question society a little bit, here’s one of the worst baby gender reveal ideas. Hint: It involves a hippo.: 

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