The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

Sign up to receive the 12:30 Report right to your inbox: http://bit.ly/2kjMNnn 

--> 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: Breaking – McMaster says Trump didn't know intel's source | Trump defends sharing info with Russians | Frustration in White House | CIA chief to brief House Intel | Sally Yates's first TV interview after firing | Hackers steal Disney film | National Barbecue Day!

BREAKING -- MCMASTER PLAYS RUSSIAN ROULETTE: National security adviser H.R. McMaster just held another press conference, saying President Trump did not jeopardize intelligence assets by revealing highly sensitive information to Russian officials. Takeaway: McMaster thinks the big takeaway is the leak to the media about the meeting. $$ line: "I stand by my statement that I made yesterday," McMaster said. http://bit.ly/2qsqr4p

Actual footage of how White House staff is doing today --> ;) http://bit.ly/2qo5OIr

This phrase could be a drinking game: McMaster repeatedly referred to Trump's decision as "wholly appropriate."

The gist: "McMaster keeps dancing around specific questions, then pivoting to broader defense of 'appropriate" conversation'" (From MSNBC's Benjy Sarlin) http://bit.ly/2pSSR5x

On Trump's decision: "McMaster confirms Trump was winging it: 'He made the decision in the context of the conversation, which was wholly appropriate.'" (From The Washington Post's Josh Rogin) http://bit.ly/2qNC2Op

On Israel: "McMaster refuses to say Western Wall is part of Israel, several times." (From The Washington Examiner's Philip Klein) http://bit.ly/2pT48D3

Analysis from NYT's Maggie Haberman: "Administration whose candidate stripped context from almost all allegations against rivals in 2016 asks journos to consider context." http://bit.ly/2qNGTiG

Tidbit about press questions: "Worth noting that Spicer, not McMaster, is deciding who gets questions at this briefing." (From The Daily Beast's Lachlan Markay) http://bit.ly/2pT2Nfa

It's only Tuesday. Lol. 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 cmartel@thehill.com@CateMartel and on Facebook.

ADVERTISEMENT
NEWS OF THE DAY -- HOOOO BOY...: Last night, The Washington Post's Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe broke a major story -- that President Trump revealed highly classified intelligence to the Russia's foreign minister and ambassador last week at the White House. Original story: http://wapo.st/2pSkBap

What we know about the intel: Trump allegedly revealed "code-word information" -- one of the highest levels of classification -- related to threats from ISIS that had been provided by a U.S. ally in the region. The Post held the ISIS plot details for national security reasons.

How classified is this?: One U.S. official said the information was so sensitive it had not been provided to U.S. allies.

Is what Trump did illegal?: No. It would be for anyone else in government. But "as president, Trump has broad authority to declassify government secrets, making it unlikely that his disclosures broke the law."

HOW THIS PLAYED --> http://bit.ly/2qNbRaq

Awkward behind-the-scenes at the White House: "Per OANN's Trey Yingst, [Stephen] Bannon, Mike Dubke, Sarah Sanders and [Sean] Spicer walked into cabinet room just now. They did not look happy ... Can now hear yelling coming from room where officials are." http://bit.ly/2pDX4Pn Update: "WH comms staffers just put the TVs on super loud after we could hear yelling coming from [the] room..." http://bit.ly/2qlN0sV

National security adviser H.R. McMaster right after the news broke: "McMaster just walked by gaggle of press outside Sean's [Spicer] office: 'This is the last place in the world I want to be...I'm leaving.'" http://bit.ly/2pFZkpc

White House's initial response: National security adviser H.R. McMaster said: "The story that came out tonight, as reported, is false." http://bit.ly/2qN7YCE Other officials denied that Trump had shared sources or methods behind the intelligence, statements that didn't directly address the Washington Post's reporting.

Reporters at the White House: "Reporters in lower press don't know which side of hallway to lean near because so much going on during tense evening." http://bit.ly/2qnzkhj  

Interesting point made last night: From The Wall Street Journal's Eli Stokols last night on MSNBC: "WH squandered credibility on things big (wiretapping) & small (crowd size). Today a rainy day came...nothing saved up." Watch: http://bit.ly/2qrH8Nl

Yikes -- today's New York Daily News cover: http://bit.ly/2pQhUXT

STORYLINE SCREECHING TO A STOP THIS MORNING: WHAT TRUMP DID TO HIS STAFF --> http://bit.ly/2qMXnYm: President Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning that he has an "absolute right" to share facts with Russia after his national security adviser H.R. McMaster denied the story. Tweets: "As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining...to terrorism and airline flight safety ... Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism." http://bit.ly/2rmrHGd

The gist: "Last night a stream of White House officials were sent out to blast WaPo story as false. This morning, Trump says it's true." http://bit.ly/2pGmSdw

How R's have reacted: Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Meghan McCain knocks Bannon: 'Who the hell are you' to criticize Romney? Dems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress MORE (Ariz.) called the allegations "deeply disturbing." Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said it's "not helpful." Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.) referred to the White House as in a "downward spiral." And a spokesperson for Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees House Republican: 'I worry about both sides' of the aisle on DACA Overnight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids MORE (Wis.) said he's awaiting a full explanation.

TBT: A 2016 tweet from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) resurfaced. "Individuals who are 'extremely careless' with classified information should be denied further access to such info," Ryan tweeted in July, referring to former FBI Director James Comey's statement on former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE's handling of sensitive information. http://bit.ly/2rmXVku

Now what, R's?: "So now that Trump confirmed he did share Intel and story is true, what are all the senators who said "troubling if true" going to do?" (From USA Today's Eliza Collins) http://bit.ly/2qN6Q1O

Dems' reaction: Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmerica isn't ready to let Sessions off his leash Schumer celebrates New York Giants firing head coach: ‘About time’ GOP should reject the left's pessimism and the deficit trigger MORE (D-N.Y.) is calling on President Trump to provide Congress with a transcript of the meeting. http://bit.ly/2qssOnL

Happening tonight: The CIA Director will brief the House Intelligence Committee.  http://bit.ly/2pT8gD7

 

IN OTHER NEWS...

TRUMP WORLD HAS A BLUNT MESSAGE FOR THE PRESIDENT: Empower your staff or hire a new one. Former aides, GOP strategists and sources close to the White House tell The Hill they're concerned about how Trump's handling of FBI Director James Comey's firing has undermined the people who work for him. Timing: Changes seemed imminent late last week as the president seethed with anger over the rollout of Comey's firing. But that has been postponed: With Trump set to begin his first foreign trip as president on Friday, many think the threat of staff changes has lifted, at least for now. More from The Hill's Jordan Fabian and Jonathan Easley: http://bit.ly/2rmGFvY

NEW JOB ALERT: Valerie Jarrett announced today that she is joining a Los Angeles-based media startup firm called ATTN: as a senior adviser. http://bit.ly/2pQRMMv Her announcement: http://bit.ly/2qnXp7i

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

ABC News
'Hangry' Amtrak passenger has pizza delivered to stalled train en route to Washington, DC. "Problem solved." Video: http://bit.ly/2qnphIV

Reuters's Ginger Gibson
The new Amazon commercial on NBC just made me Echo freak out. Sometimes technology is creepy. http://bit.ly/2pQztqz

 

ON TAP:

The Senate is in. The House returned at noon.

12:30 p.m. EDT: Senate's weekly party lunches.

From Mic's Emily C. Singer: "There's gunna be a lot of fake cell phone conversations this afternoon [while walking past the press] on Capitol Hill." Lol. http://bit.ly/2qnn6F3

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

2:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney

6:30 p.m. EDT: Votes postponed in the House. Their schedule today: http://bit.ly/2qnAAAP

Possibly tonight: "Coming back to a House floor near you: Democrats forcing votes on releasing Trump's tax returns. Tues night, per Pelosi letter to Ds." (From The Hill's Cristina Marcos) http://bit.ly/2rmfznB

 

WHAT TO WATCH:

1 p.m. EDT: President Trump gives a join statement with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2pQIct5

1:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sean Spicer's daily press briefing has been moved to off-camera. National security adviser H.R. McMaster, who was scheduled to appear with Spicer at the briefing, instead gave a press briefing late this morning.

Tonight: CNN's Anderson Cooper interviews former acting Attorney General Sally Yates for her first television interview since she was fired.

What to read beforehand: In The New Yorker, Ryan Lizza published a preview of his interview with Yates. http://bit.ly/2pSyzcA

9 p.m. EDT: CNN is hosting a debate between Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R).

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Barbecue Day!

I'M GENERALLY SUPPORTIVE OF CURLY FRIES, BUT I DON'T LIKE CHANGE: McDonalds has begun serving curly fries. Keep in mind: Right now, they are only being sold at locations in Singapore or the Philippines. http://r29.co/2rm6Ulb

THIS IS TERRIBLE: Via The Hollywood Reporter's Pamela McClintock, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger told employees that hackers have stolen a new Disney film and are demanding a ransom. What's the situation?: "Disney is refusing to pay. The studio is working with federal investigators." http://bit.ly/2rbT1cY

ANGERING MILLENNIALS ON SOCIAL MEDIA: ...because we're a sensitive, participation trophy-loving generation. This CNN headline: "Millionaire to millennials: Lay off the avocado toast if you want a house." http://cnnmon.ie/2pGxvx8

And because you made it to the end, here's the perfect reaction from a swan to a sign that reads "Caution, swan is aggressive." http://bit.ly/2rn78cO

 

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: http://bit.ly/1M1mIfw

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: http://bit.ly/1Tt4hqN