The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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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 says he's being investigated for firing Comey | Trump allies on offensive against Mueller | Rosenstein weighs recusal from Russia probe | Changes coming to Cuba policy | Amazon buying Whole Foods | National Fudge Day

ALERT -- TRUMP SAYS HE'S BEING INVESTIGATED: President Trump tweeted that he was "being investigated" for firing FBI Director James ComeyHe tweeted: "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt." Who he's referring to: It wasn't immediately clear, though it is likely Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinKeep in mind: While the president's tweet had the appearance of confirming he is under federal investigation for possible obstruction of justice, it's not clear what information he used to back up comments. http://bit.ly/2ryKaD1

FLASHBACK: The president tweeted last week: "Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication...and WOW, Comey is a leaker!" http://bit.ly/2sGK6B6

TWITTER GAME: Drink every time President Trump refers to a "witch hunt." 

MELANIA, SISTAH GIRL, HELP A NATION OUT. CHANGE HIS TWITTER PASSWORD.: President Trump went on another Twitter tirade this morning about the investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election. On the economy: "Despite the phony Witch Hunt going on in America, the economic & jobs numbers are great. Regulations way down, jobs and enthusiasm way up!" http://bit.ly/2t9Ytv7 On the media: "The Fake News Media hates when I use what has turned out to be my very powerful Social Media -- over 100 million people! I can go around them." http://bit.ly/2s8OZBV

It's Friday. *collective sigh of relief* 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.

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BUSINESS NEWS OF THE MORNING -- COULD THIS MEAN WHOLE FOODS' WINE SECTION COULD BE...DELIVERED? *EYES WIDEN*: Via CNBC, Amazon is buying Whole Foods in a deal valued at $13.7 billion. John Mackey will remain CEO of the grocery stores. Interesting tidbit to keep in the back of your mind: Amazon has been trying to grow its online grocery business. http://cnb.cx/2rnLzZ6

Yikes, this graph: "How Amazon took over the world. A relentless focus on the top line." http://bit.ly/2sAM6LB

NEW FROM THE WHITE HOUSE -- THE DREAMERS CAN STAY: Via The New York Times's Michael D. Shear, "President Trump has officially reversed his campaign pledge to deport the so-called Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as small children." http://nyti.ms/2sjdgn5

LATEST WITH THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION -- FISTS CLENCHING IN MUELLER'S DIRECTION: Via The Hill's Jonathan Easley, "President Trump's legal team and political allies have launched a preemptive strike against special counsel Robert Mueller." Why: "Trump's backers are furious about a story that appeared Wednesday in The Washington Post, in which five anonymous sources alleged that the president is the target of an obstruction of justice investigation for allegedly trying to bury an FBI probe into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn." Timing: That story "which was published on Trump's birthday and a week after the White House believed the president had moved beyond allegations of collusion with Russia in the presidential election, was viewed by Trump's allies as evidence that the story was planted by law enforcement officials to ensure a shadow of suspicion would remain." http://bit.ly/2sji7Vo

NEW DEVELOPMENT -- RECUSAL IS THE NEW 'PEAAAACE, I'M OUT': Via ABC's Mike Levine and Pierre Thomas, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, "the senior Justice Department official with ultimate authority over the special counsel's probe of Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election has privately acknowledged to colleagues that he may have to recuse himself from the matter, which he took charge of only after Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsIntel leaders: Collusion still open part of investigation Republicans jockey for position on immigration Biden to Alabama: No more extremist senators MORE' own recusal." Why this is huge: His comments show that the federal probe is widening. http://abcn.ws/2tvpEjw

Who is third in command: Associate Attorney General Rachel BrandWhat to know about her: http://wapo.st/2sj3LUT

A CRYPTIC MESSAGE FROM THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT -- TRUST NO ONE. BELIEVE NOTHING: The Justice Department issued a statement last night warning against believing anonymous sources. Statement: "Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous 'officials,' particularly when they do not identify the country -- let alone the branch or agency of government -- with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote Thursday. http://bit.ly/2sxwRSF

Why reporters found this statement bizarre: Many reporters quickly pointed out the statement as bizarre, speculating that the Justice Department was attempting to squash existing leaks, or possibly a story that hasn't yet been reported. It's not immediately made clear if the statement was in reference to a specific story. 

Example -- tweet from Buzzfeed's legal editor Chris Geidner: "Great to hear the White House and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE admin is going to do all briefings on the record from now on. Bravo, Justice Department." http://bit.ly/2sAn9Qc

SPOTTED AT THE CONGRESSIONAL BASEBALL GAME: Anheuser-Busch/Buffalo Wild Wings co-hosted a watch party at the PNC Diamond Club for last night's Congressional Baseball Game. Spotted: Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta; White House press secretary Sean Spicer and Rebecca Miller Spicer; deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee SandersDoug Bailey, vice president of industry affairs for Anheuser-Busch; Sen. John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanThe Hill's Whip List: Republicans try again on ObamaCare repeal GOP senator undergoing follow-up surgery next week An unlikely home in DC MORE (R-Ark.); Reps. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), John Delaney (D-Md.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Virginia FoxxVirginia FoxxBill to change joint-employer definition advances in House Reporter beats lawmakers to win charity spelling bee America’s workers, job creators need the Save Local Business Act MORE (R-N.C.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), David Joyce (R-Ohio), Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Ted YohoTed YohoDem lawmaker renews push for infrastructure, tax package Savings through success in foreign assistance GOP rep: I would have met with Russians for opposition research MORE (R-Fla.); Roland Foster, senior policy adviser for Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeAuthorizing military force is necessary, but insufficient Republicans jockey for position on immigration McCain, Flake warn against 'politically-motivated penalties' for Canadian defense firm MORE (R-Ariz.); and Katie Pointer, floor manager for Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanThe Hill Interview: Budget Chair Black sticks around for now Gun proposal picks up GOP support GOP lawmaker Tim Murphy to retire at end of term MORE (R-Wis.).

Overheard in the concourse: "Oh my god! There's beer and hotdogs here! It's a real American ball park!" 
Me: ... (http://bit.ly/2sxLHIM)

HAPPY TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY, ERRBODY: Two years ago, Donald Trump rode down a Trump Tower escalator to "Rockin' In The Free World" and into everyone's hearts. Lol, he announced his bid for president two years ago today. Oh how time flies... Throwback to that day: http://abcn.ws/2s93GVm  

  

NOTABLE TWEETS:

Hanna De Castro (This photo has gone viral.)
My mom was told to give me a half up half down hairstyle. She didnt know what that meant so she did this. Photo: http://bit.ly/2rnMEQs

Politico's Ben Schreckinger (Oh wow. This Smirnoff ad.)
SPOTTED in London http://bit.ly/2sA5ZlN 

 

ON TAP:

The House and Senate are both out.

5:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at a fundraiser for his political action committee at the JW Marriott Indianapolis. Details: https://usat.ly/2rnMqc5

4 p.m. EDT Monday: The Senate is back in.

 

WHAT TO WATCH:

1 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at the Manuel Artime Theater in Miami and makes an announcement on United States' policy towards Cuba. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2tafp4v

What to know about Trump's Cuba policy: http://bit.ly/2s8C6aO

Photo of Trump's backdrop: http://bit.ly/2tvjAat

Sunday: Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Tillerson, Trump deny report of rift | Tillerson says he never considered resigning | Trump expresses 'total confidence' in secretary | Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad with pro-communist posts GOP establishment doubts Bannon’s primary powers MORE (R-Fla.) and Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Clip shows Larry David and Bernie Sanders reacting after discovering they're related For now, Trump dossier creates more questions than answers MORE (I-Vt.) appear on CNN's "State of the Union."

Sunday: Jill Abramson, David Blankenhorn, Edward Luce, Padraig O'Malley, Ruchir Sharma and Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani of Qatar will appear on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS."

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Fudge Day!

CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS TO BECOME A 'MADE FOR TV' TLC HORROR MOVIE: Two teenagers were rescued after being lost for three days in the Paris catacombs. Yikes. http://cnn.it/2siKSSd

IT'S LIKE AN ADULT TOY STORE: Artist Lucy Sparrow has opened an all-felt bodega in New York. Basically, it's an entire convenience store of plush items for sale. The photos look pretty cool: http://bit.ly/2s8R3Kb

And to get your weekend off to a good start, here's a woman who captured video of her UPS driver taking a selfie with her dogs: http://bzfd.it/2sGS513

 

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