Ben Smith The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump demands Bidens testify

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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump wants Bidens to testify | House GOP plans to subpoena whistleblower for public hearing | Trump knocks report he asked Barr to clear him over Ukraine | Trump calls Washington Post report ‘totally untrue,’ slams ‘LameStream media’ | Top Pence aide to testify | Senators hope for bipartisan deal on impeachment trial | GOP sees wake-up call from Election Day 2019 | Pence in NH to file primary paperwork |

TALK OF THE MORNING

¯_(ツ)_/¯:

Ben Smith

Via The Washington Post’s Matt Zapotosky, Josh Dawsey and Carol D. Leonnig,President TrumpBen SmithDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan ‘Don’t mess with Mama’: Pelosi’s daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE had requested that his Attorney General William Barr hold a news conference to declare that Trump did nothing illegal on the infamous July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Barr said no. https://wapo.st/36RGuNY

Read the full report: https://wapo.st/36RGuNY

This morning — Trump reacted to that Washington Post report. You can guess what he said:

President Trump pushed back on the report that he asked his attorney general to clear him of any wrongdoing as “totally untrue.” http://bit.ly/2WRC7h6

HIS TWEETS ON THE REPORT:

“The story in the Amazon Washington Post, of course picked up by Fake News CNN, saying ‘President Trump asked for AG Barr to host a news conference clearing him on Ukraine,’ is totally untrue and just another FAKE NEWS story with anonymous sources that don’t exist..” http://bit.ly/33s9vxr

“…The LameStream Media, which is The Enemy of the People, is working overtime with made up stories in order to drive dissension and distrust!” http://bit.ly/2WT3LKL

“Years ago, when Media was legitimate, people known as ‘Fact Checkers’ would always call to check and see if a story was accurate. Nowadays they don’t use ‘Fact Checkers’ anymore, they just write whatever they want!” http://bit.ly/2Npf3TI

UNRELATED, BUT BECAUSE WE DESERVE NICE THINGS:

Here’s a photo outside the White House this morning. Wow, this is stunning: http://bit.ly/2K0HC89

It’s Thursday. 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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Cough, cough, co-*Joe and Hunter*-ugh, cough:

President Trump called for former Vice President Joe BidenBen SmithJoe BidenTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Castro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Buttigieg draws fresh scrutiny, attacks in sprint to Iowa MORE and his son Hunter Biden to testify in the Ukraine controversy. http://bit.ly/36IwFBP

Trump tweeted:“‘What did Hunter Biden do for the money?’ @SenJohnKennedy  A very good question. He and Sleepy Joe must testify!” 

Keep in mind:Neither are the Bidens are likely to testify in the House impeachment inquiry. Why:“While Republicans have the power to request a subpoena of witnesses, those requests are subject to approval by Democrats leading the investigation.” However:The Bidens could face more scrutiny in the GOP-controlled Senate.

LATEST WITH THE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

GOP: Well, it is worth a shot:

Via The Hill’s Mike Lillis, Rep. Jim JordanBen SmithJames (Jim) Daniel JordanTrump, first lady take part in National Christmas Tree lighting The Hill’s Morning Report – Dem impeachment report highlights phone records Lawmakers to watch during Wednesday’s impeachment hearing MORE (R-Ohio) said Republicans are planning to subpoena the anonymous whistleblower for public testimony. http://bit.ly/2Q2q2nM

Yeahhh, but:“The effort is not likely to bear fruit, as Democrats have rejected the idea of outing the anonymous figure, citing safety concerns, and they have veto power over any GOP subpoena requests for witness testimony.” 

Happening today — aMike PenceBen SmithMichael (Mike) Richard PenceUS Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy switches allegiance, joins Great Britain’s team Pelosi to Democrats: ‘Are you ready?’ House Republicans on Judiciary strategize ahead of Wednesday’s impeachment hearing MOREaide is up next:

Jennifer Williams, a career foreign service officer and top Pence advisor to Vice President Pence, is testifying in the House impeachment inquiry today. http://bit.ly/2WRIscj

Why she is testifying:Williams was on the July 25 call between President Trump and the president of Ukraine.

Why this is notable:She is a rare official to comply with Democrats’ request to be interviewed. This week, a number of administration officials declined to testify.  

TIDBIT — THE WHITE OFFICIAL WHO TESTIFIED IS BACK AT THE CAPITOL:

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a Ukraine specialist on the National Security Council (NSC), was on Capitol Hill this morning to review the transcript of his impeachment deposition. Photo of Vindman — note that he is not in uniform today: http://bit.ly/2CmO0T2

IN THE SENATE

Can’t we all just get along?:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, senators are pushing for a bipartisan deal that would set up ground rules for an impeachment trial to avoid an ugly brawl over trial procedures. http://bit.ly/33oeGi4

Reasoning:“Any Senate trial is likely to be high-drama and politically charged but lawmakers want Majority LeaderMitch McConnellBen SmithAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocratic challenger to Joni Ernst releases ad depicting he

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