TRUMP, XI REACH 90-DAY TRADE TRUCE: President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed Saturday to a temporary trade ceasefire to allow time for more negotiations (Politico). The move means that U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods will not rise to 25 percent on Jan. 1, from 10 percent currently. As part of the deal, China agreed to buy "a very substantial amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. Although precise quantities still need to be worked out, China will "start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately," Sanders said. That would be welcome news for U.S. soybean and other agricultural producers, who have borne the brunt of China's retaliation against Trump's tariffs. The news followed a nearly 2 1/2 hour dinner meeting between Xi, Trump and their top aides following the conclusion of the annual G-20 leaders meeting. “This was an amazing and productive meeting with unlimited possibilities for both the United States and China," Trump said. "It is my great honor to be working with President Xi.”

10% DROP IN INDIANA OPIOID USE: An Indiana drug abuse commission has found that the state is seeing progress in the fight against the opioid epidemic, but there is still much that needs improvement (Associated Press). The Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse’s report card found that the state saw a 10 percent drop in opioid painkillers prescribed in Indiana during the first eight months of 2018, and a drop in emergency room visits for drug overdoses, The Indianapolis Business Journal reported . Jim McClelland, Indiana’s executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement, said he believes the state is on the right track. “When you start to see signs of progress, that’s when we really need to redouble our efforts,” he said. “We need to pick up the pace wherever we can and end this crisis.”

BUSH41 PERSONIFIED CLASSIC REPUBLICANISM: A sterling era of Americanism ended with the death of former President George H.W. Bush at age 94 on Friday night (Howey Politics Indiana).  The youngest American Navy pilot in World War II, he was shot down over the Pacific Ocean, surviving to go on to a career that would take him from New England to Texas, Congress, the CIA, the United Nations and the White House. He edged out U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar for the ticket with Ronald Reagan in 1980 at the Republican convention in Detroit, then finished out one of the finest examples of Republicanism with a term of his own, with Hoosier Sen. Dan Quayle as his vice president. President Bush presided over the end of the Cold War with the collapse of the Berlin Wall and then the Soviet Union, rolled back Iraq aggression with the reconquest of Kuwait in 1991, signed the historic Americans with Disabilities Act that opened access in public spaces to millions of citizens, but lost to Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992 as the economy faltered and Bush seemed out of touch, famously not understanding a grocery store scanner. On Dec. 12, 1991, Bush signed the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Act, which was a historic effort between once-arch rivals to contain nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in the dissolved Soviet Union from reaching the hands of terror networks. Never in world history had such an enemy peacefully stepped in to work with an adversary for the safety of mankind. He also allowed health care reforms that covered catastrophic illnesses forged by Reagan and former Indiana Governor and Health and Human Services Sec. Otis "Doc" Bowen to fall by the wayside, opening up a generation of political strife in that sector of the economy. He joined President John Adams as the only chief executive who's son ended up in the White House. President George W. Bush said, "Our dear Dad has died. George H. W. Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for. The entire Bush family is deeply grateful for 41’s life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for Dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens. Quayle, who was stunned to be called out of a GOP convention crowd in New Orleans to join the Bush ticket, said, "I have often told my children, 'If you want a role model in your life, look to President George Herbert Walker Bush.' The world mourns the loss of a great American. But it also celebrates a life well lived." Quayle said he had "true affection for the man George Bush. He was completely genuine, decent and honorable person. What's more, he went into and out of the office as absolutely the same man."

QUAYLE SAYS BUSH41 WAS 'CONFIDENT, DETERMINED': George H.W. Bush's vice president, Indiana's Dan Quayle, wanted to make one thing abundantly clear upon the 41st president's death this weekend at the age of 94. "This idea that he was just this humble, modest guy isn't really accurate," Quayle said in an interview Saturday with IndyStar. "He was confident and determined. He never raised his his voice, he had great respect for people, ... not because he was humble and modest ... but confident and determined, a winner." Quayle said that fortitude was apparent in how Bush bounced from a failed bid for the Republican Party presidential nomination in 1980 to becoming President Ronald Reagan's vice president, then winning the nomination and the presidency himself in 1988. "When you pushed him into a corner, he got tough," Quayle said. "You don't become a winner like that if you aren't tough." By the time nominee Bush selected the much younger Quayle as his running mate in 1988, the two men and their families had been friends for about 10 years. "He was looking for someone from the the next generation," said Quayle, who was then 41. "I met him when he came to Indiana to campaign for me in 1978 as I was seeking re-election for the House of Representatives," Quayle said. As a member of the U.S. Senate in the 1980s, Quayle said he worked closely with then-Vice President Bush on labor and budget matters, so it wasn't a complete surprise to be considered for vice president. Bush's role in world-changing events during his presidency might have been underappreciated, Quayle said. They included the fall of of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Cold War, the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the abolition of apartheid in South Africa and the first Gulf War in Kuwait. "If you look at it historically, he was the greatest one-term president of all time," Quayle said.

BUSH SERVICES SCHEDULED: The official schedule of memorial services for former President George H.W. Bush, who died late Friday at the age of 94, was released Saturday evening (CNN). An arrival ceremony involving both the House and Senate will be held at 4:45 p.m. ET on Monday at the US Capitol, where Bush will lie in state in the rotunda until Wednesday morning. The public can pay their respects to the 41st president from 7:30 p.m. ET Monday to 8:45 a.m. ET Wednesday. On Wednesday, family and friends will gather at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, for an 11 a.m. ET memorial service. President Donald Trump designated Wednesday as a national day of mourning, the White House said. The former president will also lie in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston, where Bush lived, from 7:45 p.m. ET Wednesday until 7 a.m. ET Thursday. A second memorial service for Bush will be held at St. Martin's Episcopal Church at 11 a.m. ET Thursday. Bush will then be taken by a motorcade procession to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, where he will be laid to rest.. The remains will be transported by funeral car (train) to College Station. The arrival ceremony at Texas A&M University will be at 4:45 p.m. ET and will be followed by another ceremony and the interment at 5:15 p.m. ET at the George Bush Presidential Library & Museum. Bush spoke his final words in a phone call with his son, former President George W. Bush, a source familiar with Bush's final hours told CNN. In their conversation on speakerphone, the son told the senior George Bush that he had been a "wonderful father." His father's reply -- and final words -- were: "I love you, too."

BSU TRUSTEE ESTOPINAL KILLED IN PLANE CRASH: Ball State University Trustee R. Wayne Estopinal died in a Friday plane crash in Clark County en route to the Indiana Society of Chicago's celebration of the university's century anniversary (Howey Politics Indiana). "He was a detail guy, not someone who would just show up to the meetings. Wayne was the kind of trustee who would mine down and ask the probing questions," former Indiana Republican chairman and Ball State University lobbyist Mike McDaniel. The president of TEG Architects had just been reappointed to the BSU board by Gov. Eric Holcomb where he had served since 2011. "He was an exceptional leader and passionate supporter of the university," BSU President Geoffrey S. Mearns and Trustee Rick Hall said in a statement. "As we mourn this loss to our Ball State family, we ask that you keep Wayne’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers."

MATTIS SAYS 'SLOW LEARNER' PUTIN CAN'T BE TRUSTED: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Saturday chastised Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "slow learner" who attempted to interfere with last month's U.S. midterm elections (Politico). "There is no doubt the relationship has worsened," Mattis said of U.S.-Russian relations. "He tried again to muck around in our elections this last month, and we are seeing a continued effort along those lines." In an interview with Fox News' Bret Baier here at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Mattis called the Russian president "someone we simply cannot trust," adding though his actions were actually strengthening the NATO alliance amid provocative actions abroad. "Mr. Putin is clearly a slow learner. He is not recognizing that what he is doing is actually creating the animosity against his people," Mattis said. "He's not acting in the best interests of the Russian people, and he is actually causing NATO to rearm and to strengthen the democracies' stance, the unified stance of all the democracies together."

MUELLER EXPOSING CULTURE OF LIES SURROUNDING TRUMP: When Michael D. Cohen admitted this past week to lying to Congress about a Russian business deal, he said he had testified falsely out of loyalty to President Trump. When he admitted this summer to lying on campaign finance records about payments to cover up a sex scandal during the campaign, he said it was at Mr. Trump’s direction (New York Times). Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, former senior Trump campaign officials, lied to cover up financial fraud. George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide, lied in hopes of landing an administration job. And Michael T. Flynn, another adviser, lied about his interactions with a Russian official and about other matters for reasons that remain unclear. If the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has proved anything in his 18-month-long investigation — besides how intensely Russia meddled in an American presidential election — it is that Mr. Trump surrounded himself throughout 2016 and early 2017 with people to whom lying seemed to be second nature.

NOTRE DAME MAKES FOOTBALL PLAYOFF: Ohio State? Or Oklahoma? As college football’s playoff committee concludes its deliberations Sunday, there’s basically one overarching question to answer (Washington Post). Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame all made it through the season unscathed. They figure to be the top three seeds when the semifinal matchups are set. That leaves Oklahoma and Ohio State, the only other Power Five programs with fewer than two losses. Both happen to be conference champions. If the committee sticks to its midweek evaluation, the choice seems clear. Oklahoma, which beat Texas in the Big 12 title game, entered the weekend ahead of Ohio State in the playoff rankings. The Buckeyes dismissed Northwestern, 45-24, in the Big Ten championship, but to make the playoff it would have to hopscotch a Big 12 champion that did little to deserve such a fate.

MICHIGAN MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION BEGINS THURSDAY: The wait is nearly over for Michigan residents eager for the state’s new adult-use marijuana law to take effect (Spaulding, South Bend Tribune). On Thursday, just 30 days after state voters said yes to Proposal 1, a lot of what’s been illegal about marijuana suddenly becomes legal in Michigan. But what exactly happens? Here are answers to key questions about recreational pot in Michigan: So on Dec. 6, I can legally own and use pot in Michigan? Yes, if you’re in Michigan and are 21 or older, you can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana anywhere, anytime, said Josh Hovey, spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. That means you could legally have it in your car, or in your bag if you drop by the courthouse on business. But you cannot consume it in your vehicle or in public. Using pot in a public place is prohibited, as is smoking it where it’s prohibited by whoever owns or manages the property. And while you can have up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, no more than 15 grams of it can be in the form of a marijuana concentrate. Also, the new law will allow you to possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana in your home. Any amount over 2.5 ounces must be locked away.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: We have witnessed the end of an era with the death of President George H.W. Bush, who's hallmark was civility, competence and optimism. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Bush didn't gloat and would eventually sign the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Act that prevented weapons of mass destruction from terror networks. Bush greatly impacted Indiana politics by choosing Sen. Dan Quayle for the ticket in 1988, which paved the way for Dan Coats to enter the Senate, and eventually, as director of national intelligence. Rest in peace, Mr. President. We agree with James Baker's assessment: The most successful one-term president in U.S. history. - Brian A. Howey


EVANSVILLE DEMOCRATS FACE 'NIGHTMARE SCENARIO':  It's a nightmare scenario — and it could happen to Evansville Democrats next year. It did happen to Republicans in 2007 (Langhorne, Evansville Courier & Press). None of the GOP's skilled politicians — not Lloyd Winnecke, not Cheryl Musgrave nor any other party figure of note — wanted a piece of then-Democratic Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel. So a political unknown with child support issues, a small claims court case over unpaid rent and a propensity for hitting up other candidates for money swooped in to file for mayor under the party's banner. GOP leaders were helpless to stop it. Nor could they do anything to prevent what happened next. The voter turnout Republicans needed to elect City Council candidates was suppressed by the perception that Weinzapfel would crush GOP nominee David Nixon. Weinzapfel won 85 percent of the vote — and Republicans lost every contested race on the city ballot. That's not going to happen to local Democrats next year, party chairman Scott Danks said. He won't let it. Danks is prepared to enlist a suitable candidate — any suitable candidate — if necessary to prevent someone with legal issues from becoming the Democratic nominee against Republican Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. "I would absolutely have that contingency in place. I absolutely would," Danks said. "I don’t see that as being a likely scenario, but of course we don’t want that because when you have a very poorly qualified candidate on the ticket, it brings down the entire ticket."

AP RESCINDS NC HOUSE PROJECTION: The Associated Press on Friday announced it was revoking its projection of a Republican victory in a battleground North Carolina congressional race, after the state elections board there refused to certify the results amid allegations of wrongdoing (Politico). Results show Republican Mark Harris received 905 more votes than Democrat Dan McCready in the state’s 9th Congressional District — one of the most closely watched battleground districts in the country in this month’s midterm elections. But in two separate meetings this week, the state elections board voted not to certify the results, after receiving notarized affidavits from voters who claimed that a woman was going door to door offering help filling out and returning absentee ballots in Bladen County, in the eastern part of the district, which stretches west to parts of Charlotte.

Sunday Talk

BAKER SAYS BUSH PASSED PEACEFULLY: Former Secretary of State James Baker said Sunday that former President George H.W. Bush maintained his spirit and sense of humor right up until his death. Baker, who served as secretary of State under the 41st president, said on ABC's "This Week" that Bush's health began to deteriorate rapidly after he returned from the family's summer home in Maine. "He kept his spirit and he kept his sense of humor right until the very end,"  Baker said. "But his passing... was very gentle and very peaceful."

POWELL SAYS BUSH41 WAS MOST PREPARED: Colin Powell on Sunday praised former President George H.W. Bush as a "perfect American" and a "perfect president." Powell, who served as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Bush, highlighted the 41st president's service to the country as a diplomat, a congressman, as vice president and as CIA director. "He was a patriot. He demonstrated that in war. He demonstrated that in peace. He was the most qualified person, with respect to foreign policy, ever to serve as president of the United States of America," Powell said on ABC's "This Week."

NADLER FEARS TRUMP HAS BEEN LEVERAGED: New York Democrat Jerry Nadler, the incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Sunday that new revelations from one of President Trump’s allies amount to proof that Russia had "leverage" over Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. In an exclusive interview on "Meet the Press," Nadler said that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s admissions last week related to his role in securing a Trump Tower in Moscow during the time of the GOP presidential primary raise the specter of a compromised presidential candidate, and now president, that should trouble the American people. "The fact that he was lying to the American people about doing business in Russia and the Kremlin knew he was lying gave the Kremlin a hold over him," Nadler said.

BLUNT SAYS COHEN MADE BIG MISTAKE IF HE LIED: Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said Sunday that President Trump's former personal attorney allegedly lying to a congressional committee is a "big mistake" and he's glad special counsel Robert Mueller is taking it "seriously." "I certainly do think that lying to the [Senate] Intelligence Committee, which I am a part of, is a big mistake for whoever does it and creates lots of problems for the committee itself," Blunt told "Fox News Sunday," adding that one lie can throw off an entire investigation and waste hours of work. The Senate Intelligence Committee has investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election.

BLUNT ENCOURAGED BY TRADE DEVELOPMENTS: Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said Sunday that skeptics of President Trump's trade policies should be encouraged by recent developments. "People like me who’ve really been concerned about the president’s stated trade policy can take some encouragement about what happened in the last couple days," Blunt told "Fox News Sunday." "The signing of the U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade agreement, that's a big step that six months ago or even just a few weeks ago we were concerned we would not be making that kind of progress."

STONE SAYS HE'S HAD NO PARDON TALKS WITH TRUMP: Roger Stone said Sunday that he's had no discussions with President Trump or his legal team about a potential pardon should he be implicated in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. "There’s no circumstance under which I would testify against the president because I’d have to bear false witness against him. I’d have to make things up.  And I’m not going to do that," Stone said on ABC's "This Week." "I’ve had no discussion regarding a pardon," he added.

'60 MINUTES' TO FEATURE PRESIDENTS ON BUSH41: CBS's "60 Minutes" announced it will feature former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama on Sunday night in a tribute to George H.W. Bush, who died at the age of 94 on late Friday. "The three former U.S. leaders share their personal experiences and informed opinions of their colleague in separate interviews," reads the announcement from CBS News. "60 Minutes" correspondent and "CBS This Morning" anchor Norah O'Donnell will interview the former presidents. "In a bonus web clip for 60 Minutes Overtime, George W. Bush recalls a poignant moment between him and his father when he spoke about 9/11 at the Washington National Cathedral days after the attack," also reads the announcement.


YOUNG PAYS TRIBUTE TO BUSH41: U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) today issued the following statement on the passing of former President George H.W. Bush (Howey Politics Indiana): "I join all Americans in mourning the passing of President George H.W. Bush – a man with an extraordinary record of service to our country. President Bush modeled exceptional character, humility, and resolve. He was a combat veteran, diplomat, and leader. As a naval aviator, he bravely risked his life in World War II. Before becoming Vice President and President, he served in the House of Representatives, represented our country in China and at the United Nations, and led the Central Intelligence Agency. During turbulent moments in our history, President Bush unified and steadied our nation and our allies in the pursuit of common purpose. He will be deeply missed, and I extend my sincerest condolences to the entire Bush family."

ROKITA STATEMENT ON BUSH: U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita released this statement following the passing of the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush (Howey Politics Indiana): “A member of the Greatest Generation, President George H.W. Bush was a patriot who served his country in WWII and as a public servant,” said Congressman Todd Rokita. Our prayers are with his family and loved ones.”

WALORSKI PRAISES BUSH41: U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement on the passing of former President George H.W. Bush (Howey Politics Indiana): “President George H.W. Bush served his country with honor, from his courageous service in World War II to the decades of public service that followed. I am grateful for his steady leadership and his unwavering commitment to freedom, peace, and the security of the American people. “Dean and I join all Americans in mourning his loss, but we are comforted that he and his beloved Barbara are together again. Our prayers are with the entire Bush family in these difficult days.”

BANKS TO SEEK USS FORT WAYNE: Inspired by a July 3 suggestion by News-Sentinel columnist Kevin Leininger, U.S. Rep Jim Banks has formally asked the Navy to commission a ship named for Fort Wayne. In a letter sent this week to Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, Banks requests naming a “littoral combat ship” USS Fort Wayne because “100 years have passed since the previous USS Fort Wayne was commissioned in 1918 and decommissioned in 1919.” Littoral Combat Ships are small, stealthy vessels designed to operate near shore. As Leininger reported in July, the first USS Fort Wayne was an unimpressive World War I-era transport ship sold to a commercial firm just a year after it was put into service., her contribution to national defense seems to have been almost non-existent. And even though Fort Wayne is Indiana’s second-largest cities, numerous other Hoosier destinations have fared far better than the Summit City when it comes to ship names. Vincennes has had four ships named in its honor, and there have been USS Evansvilles. Freighters named for Elkhart County and South Bend served during World War II.

HAMILTON RECALLS IMPEACHMENT VOTE: The final votes of Lee Hamilton’s decades in Congress pained him (Bennett, Terre Haute Tribune-Star). He’d spent 34 years in America’s capital representing Indiana’s 9th Congressional District, a Democrat who’d earned the respect of residents of a conservative state, presidents and world leaders. Yet as Hamilton was about to retire and transition from congressman to statesman, his last duties in his U.S. House of Representatives seat dealt with the potential impeachment of a president. Those votes were the last of more than 16,000 Hamilton cast in his congressional career. Twenty years ago this month, the House voted to impeach President Bill Clinton on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice — the first time that had happened to a sitting president in 130 years. Nearly two months later, a Senate trial acquitted Clinton. The articles of impeachment involved Clinton’s handling of the fallout from a sexual harassment lawsuit dating back to his days as Arkansas’ governor and a sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Now 87, Hamilton doesn’t look back at that episode with fondness. “I remember feeling, as I left office, how discouraged I was that this was my last effort,” Hamilton said this fall. “To deal with that problem in going out was an awful way to end my career, and disappointing.” Those votes were his last of more than 16,000 in office.

General Assembly

DVORAK WONDERS WHY ONLY NORTHERN INDIANA TOLLED: Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb's recent announcement that he wouldn't seek additional tolling in Indiana was seen as positive news by those who believe such fees could begin to erode the state's competitive advantages as a transportation hub (Semmler, South Bend Tribune). But others — especially those who live or work near the Indiana Toll Road — questioned why it's OK to significantly boost rates for trucks along the Toll Road while eliminating the possibility of such fees for others in the state. "Tolling is apparently a bad idea, except for northern Indiana," said State Rep. Ryan Dvorak, D-South Bend. "If you put them throughout the state, you won't win elections."

BRINEGAR DEFENDS CHAMBER ON HATE CRIMES: Ranked among the Indiana Chamber of Commerce's legislative priorities is just what you would expect – fighting for increased workforce development funds and reducing business personal property taxes (Kelly, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). But there are other items that might not fit a traditional business focus – raising the age to buy cigarettes in Indiana, accelerating when the superintendent of public instruction becomes an appointed post. And the big one – supporting a hate crimes law. “A lot of business owners – especially small-business owners – would prefer they stick to business and economic issues. It has given the impression to some they are for big government,” said Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana. “Many people are scratching their heads as to why they are going off course so much.” But Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kevin Brinegar bristles at the idea his organization has strayed outside its lane. “All of these things we get involved in is because it has an economic impact and jobs connection,” he said. “The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has indeed been a driving force in making Indiana one of the best places to grow jobs and raise families and one of the best business climates in the country.”


GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB ORDERS FLAGS LOWERED FOR BUSH41 - Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags across the state to be flown at half-staff to honor former President George H. W. Bush (Howey Politics Indiana). Pursuant to U.S. Code (4 U.S.C. 7m), flags should be flown at half-staff beginning immediately for 30 days.

GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB SCHEDULE - Below find Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb’s public schedule for Monday Dec 3, 2018. Governor’s Long-Term Employee Reception, noon Monday, Indiana Statehouse North Atrium.

DNR: YELLOWWOOD ROAD PROJECT COMPLETE - A two-year construction project on Yellowwood Road in Brown County is officially done (Indiana Public Media). The Indiana Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, and the county completed work to realign the road in two phases. It extends six and a half miles and includes a new 300-foot bridge. INDOT Public Information Officer Harry Maginity says the project was intended to provide better access to the Yellowwood Forest and mitigate frequent flooding issues in the area. “We did a lot of erosion control along the stream banks so I guess from an environmental stand point we’ve made things a lot better than they were,” he says.


WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP MEETS BRIEFLY WITH PUTIN - President Donald Trump spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday night during a dinner with world leaders at the G-20 here (Politico). “As is typical at multilateral events, President Trump and the First Lady had a number of informal conversations with world leaders at the dinner last night, including President Putin,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. The discussion comes after the Kremlin and the White House publicly sparred over whether the two leaders would meet, with Moscow insisting they would have an “impromptu” conversation and Washington countering that nothing was scheduled.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP CANCELLED G20 NEWS CONFERENCE OVER BUSH - Trump was scheduled to speak at a news conference on Saturday, but canceled in light of former President George H.W. Bush’s death, adding it “puts a damper” on his high-stakes dinner with Chinese President Xi (NBC News).

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP DECLARES DAY OF MOURNING FOR BUSH41 - President Trump declared Wednesday a national day of mourning for former President George Herbert Walker Bush and canceled a scheduled Saturday news conference at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires (Wall Street Journal). The companies that run the NYSE and Nasdaq both said their markets will be closed on Wednesday and will observe a moment of silence on Monday. Tributes to Mr. Bush, who died Friday at the age of 94, poured in from political dignitaries in the U.S. and around the world.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP TO SEND AF1 TO PICK UP BUSH - President Trump plans to send Air Force One to Texas this week to bring the body of former President George H.W. Bush to Washington, D.C., where the body is scheduled to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol before returning to Texas for burial (Fox News). Trump's disclosure was among a list of funeral plans that emerged Saturday as the nation prepared to bid a final farewell to Bush, the nation's 41st president, who died Friday night at age 94. "We will be spending three days of mourning and three days celebrating a really great man's life," Trump told reporters in Buenos Aires, before returning to Washington on Saturday, the Washington Times reported.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP TO WITHDRAW FROM NAFTA - President Trump announced his intention late Saturday to quickly withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement, a move intended to force House Democrats to enact a revised version of the pact despite concerns that it fails to protect American workers (New York Times). “I will be formally terminating Nafta shortly,” Mr. Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One en route from the Group of 20 conference in Buenos Aires, a day after appearing at a ceremonial signing of the new deal with Canada and Mexico. If the president follows through on his threat, congressional leaders will have six months to pass the measure.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP AGREES TO SHUTDOWN DELAY - President Donald Trump said he would back a two-week delay of a government shutdown after the death of former President George H.W. Bush (Politico). "If they [lawmakers] come, which they have, to talk about an extension because of President Bush's passing, I would absolutely consider it and probably give it,” he told reporters while returning overnight Saturday from the G-20 summit in Argentina. The government had been scheduled to shut down once funding runs out on Dec. 7 as lawmakers spar over funding for a border wall.

WHITE HOUSE: PENCE CRITICIZED FOR AIDS SPEECH - Vice President Mike Pence is facing criticism, not for something he said in a speech on Thursday when honoring the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, but for something he didn't say (WIBC). At the White House, Pence did not mention the gay community, just as President Trump did not mention it in his World AIDS Day proclamation a year ago. One of the people most upset about it is Chad Griffin, the President of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT rights organization in the U.S.

CIA: MBS COMMUNICATED WITH KHASHOGGI KILLER - In the hours before and after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and a senior aide who allegedly oversaw the assassination exchanged multiple messages, according to people familiar with the matter. The communications between the two men are another piece of evidence tying the crown prince to the killing of Khashoggi, a former palace insider turned prominent critic, who also was a contributing columnist to The Washington Post. The CIA included the existence of the messages in its classified assessment that Mohammed is likely to have ordered Khashoggi’s death, a view that agency officials have shared with members of Congress and the White House.

PENTAGON: TOP MIDDLE EASTERN ADMIRAL FOUND DEAD - The top admiral overseeing US Naval forces in the Middle East, Vice Adm. Scott Stearney, was found dead in his residence in Bahrain on Saturday, the Navy said in a statement (CNN). While his death is being investigated, officials say there is no evidence of foul play at this time. "This is devastating news for the Stearney family, for the team at Fifth Fleet, and for the entire Navy," Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, told CNN Saturday. "Adm. Stearney was a decorated professional and a devoted father, a devoted husband and a good friend."

MUELLER: COHEN SEEKS NO PRISON TIME - Lawyers for Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, asked a federal judge in a memorandum filed late Friday night to impose no prison time for Mr. Cohen at his scheduled sentencing later this month, citing Mr. Cohen’s contrition and his cooperation with law enforcement (Wall Street Journal). In their plea for leniency, Mr. Cohen’s lawyers said Mr. Cohen’s decision to cooperate with investigators reflected his “personal resolve, notwithstanding past errors, to re-point his internal compass true north toward a productive, ethical and thoroughly law abiding life.” The memo stressed the “weighty and fraught” decision by Mr. Cohen to break with his longtime former boss, who the filing noted has repeatedly attacked the special-counsel investigation into his associates as a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.” Mr. Cohen, the lawyers said, “could have fought the government and continued to hold to the party line, positioning himself perhaps for a pardon.”


CITIES: ESTOPINAL PILOT HAD JUST JOINED FIRM - The pilot killed in a small jet crash in Southern Indiana with two others had recently started working for the architectural firm that owned the plane (Louisville Courier-Journal). Andrew Davis, 32, was the pilot of the small plane that crashed on its way to Chicago from Clark Regional Airport. Passengers Wayne Estopinal and Sandra Holland Johnson were also killed.  The Sellersburg resident was an associate corporate pilot at TEG Architects, a firm led by Estopinal. The company announced in September that he had joined the firm, according to a news release on TEG's website.  He was married and had two young children, according to a Facebook post by a friend.

CITIES: EAST CHICAGO SUPER FUND SITE DEBATED - The mayor of East Chicago and its residents have different ideas about what to do with part of the USS Lead Superfund site once it's cleaned up. And how it’ll be used might determine how much lead and arsenic contamination gets removed (Indiana Public Media). The Environmental Protection Agency recommends cleaning up the area where the West Calumet Housing Complex once stood to residential standards. But in a letter to the EPA, Mayor Anthony Copeland suggested the property could be used for commercial or industrial purposes — which could mean the EPA wouldn’t have to remove as much contaminated soil. As a result, the EPA has built a contigency into its plan — the cleanup will be to a residential standard, unless the city decides to take an offer from a commercial or industrial company later on. At a recent meeting, Sherry Hunter with Calumet Lives Matter says the mayor doesn’t care about his residents. “I don’t know why. We didn’t ask for what we’re going through,” she says.

COUNTIES: HANCOCK GRAPPLES WITH JAIL OVERCROWDING - Officials in a central Indiana county says it’s more fiscally responsible to build a new jail than temporarily house some inmates in semitrailers (Indiana Public Media). The biggest barrier for Hancock County continues to be funding the project. There were 242 people in the jail Thursday, which is designed to hold just under 160.  The county asked taxpayers to support a property tax increase in May to fund a $55 million safety and security project that included a new jail. But, the referendum failed. Then the county considered buying 20 specialty semitrailers to use as a temporary housing facility. Jail Commander Keith Oliver says they now think building a new jail will save the county money in the long run. "It would also give us more space, more availability for beds, and a bigger opportunity for growth," Oliver says.