Happy (almost) Thanksgiving, Power pals! We are oh so thankful for your readership, support, and love over the past year. We're off until Monday — and really hope you are, too. Thanks, as always, for waking up with us every day. Get after that meal on Thursday and tell the dinner table to sign up.
DON'T DISCUSS THIS AT THE THANKSGIVING TABLE: There are LOTS of developments in the impeachment inquiry. Before you head off into a tryptophan coma, here's what you shouldn't be talking about with that relative who disagrees with you.
A safe topic, however, might be a brainstorm on another name for Thanksgiving, since "some people" are apparently interested in renaming the holiday.
Three polls out this week show that Americans remain as divided as ever on whether to impeach and oust President Trump for allegedly misusing his office for political purposes. Despite the president's protestations, however, support for booting him remains steady.
The House Judiciary Committee scheduled its first hearing on impeachment for Dec. 4 and House Intelligence Chair Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) said earlier this week that investigators will next week submit a report on their findings to Judiciary.
- In a letter to Trump, House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) extended an invitation to the president and his counsel to participate in the hearing that will “serve as an opportunity to discuss the historical and constitutional basis of impeachment, as well as the Framers' intent and understanding of terms like 'high crimes and misdemeanors.'"
- More from Nadler: “We expect to discuss the constitutional framework through which the House may analyze the evidence gathered in the present inquiry. We will also discuss whether your alleged actions warrant the House's exercising its authority to adopt articles of impeachment.”
- “Republicans held a similar hearing at the outset of proceedings against President Bill Clinton in 1998, and Democrats say the move is a necessary prerequisite to drafting articles of impeachment,” Politico's Kyle Cheney, Andrew Desiderio and Heather Caygle report.
Like that crazy uncle: In an interview with former Fox host Bill O'Reilly, Trump began to distance himself from ... Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer who witnesses have said the president directed diplomats to speak with regarding Ukraine.
- O'Reilly: “Rudolph W. Giuliani, he’s your personal lawyer … Giuliani’s your personal lawyer. So you didn’t direct him to go to Ukraine to do anything or put any heat on them?”
- Trump: “No, I didn’t direct him,” Trump replied. “But he’s a warrior. Rudy’s a warrior. Rudy went. He possibly saw something.”
- Giuliani issued a statement through his lawyer to Bloomberg's Justin Sink: “President is correct,” Giuliani said. “Giuliani never went to Ukraine for any probe. The information he received was given to him in U.S. by Ukrainians while Mueller probe was still ongoing and before Biden was even announced.”
- At a rally in Sunrise, Fla.,, Trump maintained that his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky was “perfect” and falsely claimed impeachment polling has been bad for Democrats: Democrats are “pushing that impeachment witch hunt and a lot of bad things are happening to them,” Trump said. “Everybody said, ‘That’s really bullshit!’” he said, per our colleagues Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner, and Colby Itkowitz.
NOVEMBER 2019: Asked what Giuliani was doing in Ukraine, Trump said: “You have to ask that to Rudy.”— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) November 27, 2019
APRIL 2018: Asked why Michael Cohen paid off Stormy Daniels, Trump said: “You’ll have to ask Michael.” https://t.co/nZtvk19ZKR
But more news broke on Tuesday painting a not-so-flattering picture for the president: The New York Times's Michael Schmidt, Julian Barnes, and Maggie Haberman report that Trump “had already been briefed on a whistleblower’s complaint about his dealings with Ukraine when he unfroze military aid for the country in September, according to two people familiar with the matter.”
- “The revelation could shed light on Mr. Trump’s thinking at two critical points under scrutiny by impeachment investigators: his decision in early September to release $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine and his denial to a key ambassador around the same time that there was a “quid pro quo” with Kyiv. Mr. Trump used the phrase before it had entered the public lexicon in the Ukraine affair,” per Schmidt, Barnes and Haberman.
Resignations at OMB: And Mark Sandy, the only Office of Management and Budget official to testify in the probe, provided closed-door testimony that concerns were so fraught over blocking security assistance to Ukraine that two officials resigned.
- “Two officials at [OMB] recently resigned while voicing concerns over the holdup on Ukraine aid, a career employee of the agency told impeachment investigators, according to a transcript of his testimony released Tuesday,” our colleague Erica Werner reports.
Nevertheless, public opinion over whether Trump should be impeached remains the same as in October, despite Schiff's public hearings:
- CNN: “Half of Americans say Trump should be impeached and removed from office, 43% say he should not,” per CNN's Jennifer Agiesta. “Neither figure has changed since October, with support for impeachment remaining at its highest level thus far in CNN polling. The partisan divide over the president persists as well, with roughly 80 points between Democratic support for Trump's removal and Republican support for it."
- HuffPost/YouGov: “Days of televised impeachment hearings have left Americans largely dug into their original opinions, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds, dashing Democrats’ hopes that the testimony might finally splinter the president’s base of support and Republicans’ predictions that the hearings would backfire on their opponents,” per HuffPost's Ariel Edwards Levy. “Republicans largely dismissed that testimony as meaningless, while Democrats heralded it as a bombshell ― a split that mirrors broader public opinion.”
- Quinnipiac: “Two weeks of public impeachment hearings in the news haven't hurt President Trump's popularity among American voters,” according to Quinnipiac. “While 40 percent of all registered voters approve of the job President Trump is doing, 54 percent disapprove. This compares to a 38 — 58 percent approval rating in an October 23 poll, and falls within the range of where his job approval rating has been over about the last two years.”
- “The televised impeachment hearings haven't had much of an effect on the president's approval rating, or how voters feel about impeachment. The numbers still don't look good for Trump, but they definitely haven't gotten worse,” Quinnipiac analyst Tim Malloy added.
Democrats definitely don't want him at dinner: Meanwhile, colleague Josh Dawsey and I scooped on a familiar face Trump turned to last week to seek advice on impeachment: Mark Penn, one of President Bill Clinton’s former top strategists.
- "Penn visited the Oval Office for more than an hour last Monday, three people familiar with the meeting said, and provided polling data and impeachment advice for the president. Penn reassured Trump that he would not be removed from office, according to people familiar with the meeting, and encouraged him to travel the country as Clinton did when he was fighting impeachment over 20 years ago, officials said," we report.
FROM THE WHITE HOUSE HOPEFULS TO YOUR HOUSE: Instead of arguing politics tomorrow, which practically no one actually does, use politicians to help set your table. Power Up reached out to the Democratic 2020 hopefuls and reached back to past White Houses to find the recipes that will get a pie-partisian vote of approval.
Former Rep. John Delaney's (D-Md.) Fried Turkey recipe. (He does a fried turkey every year in addition to his traditional oven roasted turkey.)
1. One 9-10 lb. turkey
2. Wash and dry the turkey inside and out. The turkey must be bone dry before it goes into the fryer. And NEVER use a frozen turkey!
3. Rub the turkey all over with 2 tablespoons of Creole seasoning (Galena Street Rib and chicken rub)
4. Heat peanut oil in a turkey fryer to 350 degrees.
5. Fry turkey for 3 minutes per pound.
6. Remove turkey from oil and drain on paper towels.
Sen. Kamala Harris's (D-Calif.) recipe for greens:
Greens, bacon, garlic, Tabasco, white vinegar, red pepper flakes, seasoning salt and water.
Bonus: You can watch her cook with Mindy Kaling:
Thanksgiving favorites and traditions?
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.): His mother’s cornbread stuffing. (We tried to get the details, but alas Mrs. Booker wants to keep it a secret).
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg: Turkey, sweet potatoes, and (his mom) Anne's homemade cranberry sauce.
Tom Steyer: Every guest at the Steyer's meal brings and reads a poem.
From past White Houses:
Laura Bush's spicy mashed sweet potatoes:
We definitely didn't just include that recipe so we could remind you of this picture ... (That's India (the cat) and their two Scottish Terriers, Miss Beazley and Barney)
And to end the meal: Nancy Reagan's Pumpkin Pecan pie, which was President Reagan's favorite.
In the Media
WAYBACK WEDNESDAY: The trash panda that almost became a Thanksgiving turkey. "A Mississippi resident sent a raccoon in a top-slatted soap box to the White House in November of 1926. The idea was that the animal would be slaughtered and prepared for a Thanksgiving feast, according to news reports. But President Calvin Coolidge didn’t care for raccoon meat. Turkey would suit," Eliza McGraw writes for The Post.
"This was, as first lady Grace Coolidge later wrote, “no ordinary raccoon.": "The animal was lively and seemingly tame. So instead of eating her, the Coolidges, who adored animals, kept the raccoon as a pet," Eliza writes. "They named her Rebecca, and when she was indoors, she roamed the White House apartments. She liked to sit in a bathtub and play with a bar of soap."
Rebecca's adventures were just beginning: She "became fodder for national conversations, if not a holiday meal. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, a cartoon in the Washington Evening Star showed a walrus-mustached man, broad-brimmed hat in hand, offering Coolidge a raccoon labeled, 'Low Tariff.' Coolidge, a proponent of high tariffs, holds his hand up in a 'halt!' gesture, saying, 'No thanks, I can’t swallow that whole.'"
- Her later escapades included: Summering in the Black Hills, as humorist Will Rogers quipped, when Rebecca climbed a tree overlooking Custer Park natural zoo and refused to come down. Majority Whip John Q. Tilson and Wyoming Rep. Charles E. Winter were among those who tried to coax her down to no avail.
- She was just fine with no man, thank you: "In 1928, a White House police officer caught a male raccoon and gave him to the President to keep Rebecca company. Coolidge told reporters his name was Reuben," Eliza writes. "That same day, the AP reported, the male raccoon shinnied up a tall tree on the White House lawn, and, like Rebecca, would not come down. Twice he made a break for it, and after the second escape, he was gone for good."
- This quote: "'Rebecca had lived alone and had her own way so long that I fear she was a little overbearing and dictatorial, perhaps reminding her spouse that he was living on her bounty,' Grace Coolidge wrote later. Afterward, Rebecca, she wrote, 'continued to live in single blessedness,'" Eliza writes.
BERNIE QUOTES LIZZO: That's honestly all we need to write.