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: Group to release Mar-a-Lago visitor logs | Questions grow over Kushner's security clearance | Trump takes to Twitter to defend son's Russia meeting | What new delay means for Senate healthcare bill | Spicer returning to the briefing podium

#STAYINGONMESSAGE WITH #TWEETS FOR #MADEINAMERICA WEEK: President TrumpDonald John TrumpShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE kicked off the White House's "Made in America" week by tweeting about ... *record scratches to a halt* ... his son's meeting with a Russian lawyer during the campaign. Tweet: "Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one [Donald Trump Jr.] attended in order to get info on an opponent. That's politics!" Who's gotta be rolling his eyes right now?: Washington lawyer Ty Cobb, whom Trump hired to handle all Russia-related investigations.

The gist of the reaction: "Trump in 2016: consummate outsider, no more politics as usual, drain the swamp. Trump today: 'that's politics!'" (From NBC's Ali Vitali)

Throwback: "As others have noted: when a Gore adviser got a mysterious package with Bush debate prep material, he called the FBI" (From The Philly Inquirer's Jonathan Tamari)

Back story on Trump's theme weeks: Yesterday, the Trump administration announced several theme weeks to focus on issues that matter to President Trump's base. This week: "Made in America." Next week: "American Heroes." The week after: "American Dreams." I.e.: health ca-- what?

It's Monday. 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 and on Facebook.

LATEST WITH THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION -- BUT ALL THE COOL KIDS HAVE SECURITY CLEARANCES!: Jared Kushner is moving closer to the eye of the storm surrounding President Trump and Russia. Calls for Kushner to lose his security clearance have mounted as congressional investigators probe his involvement. Keep in mind: Most of the attacks on Kushner have been partisan, but even some Republicans fed up with the drama surrounding Trump's family are now calling for Kushner's exit.  

An expert chimes in: In an opinion piece for The Hill, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz argues about President Trump's presidency so far that "his actions, as controversial as they may be, do not fit the definition of 'corruption...'" His reasoning:

NEW THIS MORNING -- REAL WORLD: MAR-A-LAGO. 'FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PEOPLE STOP BEING POLITE AND START GETTING REAL': A government watchdog will be making public visitor logs to President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort starting this fall. How they got them: Part of an ongoing lawsuit to have them released. Timing: Sept. 8 at the latest.

OVER THE WEEKEND -- John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit NY Daily News cover following Helsinki summit shows Trump shooting Uncle Sam MORE GETS MASSIVE FRUIT BASKET FROM EVERY CONGRESSIONAL DEM: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Overnight Defense: Washington reeling from Trump, Putin press conference Feehery: The long game MORE (R-Ky.) announced a delay of the bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare until Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) recovers from surgery. What surgery?: McCain underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot from his above his left eye on Friday. Why the delay: Republicans don't have 51 votes to advance the bill without McCain.

Keep in mind -- Get well soon, senator!: The New York Times's Denise Grady and Robert Pear talked to medical experts and found that McCain's surgery is more serious than initially believed. What to know about the surgery:

What this means for the healthcare vote: Republican lawmakers are struggling to move forward. Leaders can afford no more GOP defections on the bill and opponents of the bill now have another week at least to make their case. Pessimism peppered appearances by senators on this week's Sunday show circuit, including the two senators who last week came out against the motion to proceed on the bill.

#MotivationMonday for Republicans: Rep. Sean DuffySean Patrick DuffyProxy advisors do need to be regulated Fox News contributor: Black people tell me conditions in border detention centers 'are better than some of the projects' Trump mocks 'elites' at campaign rally MORE (R-Wis.) argued on "Fox & Friends" this morning that lawmakers need to pass healthcare reform if they ever want to do tax reform.

Bookmark this: Here's The Hill's Whip List of where each Republican senator stands on the bill. Keep checking this page for updates:

WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON IN CONGRESS THIS WEEK: Via The Hill's Jordain Carney and Cristina Marcos:

Russia sanctions: Lawmakers are considering new sanctions on Russia and boosting congressional oversight of the Trumps administration's implementation. Does it have bipartisan support? They're working on it. 

Budget: House Republicans are debating a trillion-dollar spending package to keep the government open and help avoid a shutdown when Congress returns from the August recess. 

Nominations: Senators debate President Trump's pick for the No. 2 spot at the Defense Department. 



David Merryweather (Oh man, these color names...)

in 1997 Crayola made the leap into a cyberpunk future with the release of these internet themed crayons. Web Surfin' Blue is my colour.

Journalist Jim Roberts

Serious question: Is Trump writing Sean Hannity's tweets? Screenshot: 



The House is in. The Senate is in later today.

What not to expect today: The Congressional Budget Office report on Senate Republicans' revised healthcare bill. It was widely expected to come out today but the timing is now unclear.

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence.

1:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a "Made in America" product showcase on the South Lawn of the White House.

3 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets.

5:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes, including on the deputy Defense secretary nominee.

6:30 p.m. EDT: Votes postponed in the House.

8:40 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at the Christians United for Israel Washington Summit at the Washington Convention Center.

This week: President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner speaks to congressional interns on Capitol Hill.

Wednesday: The House Budget Committee will mark up a 2018 budget resolution. Why this is big: This is after weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations, delays and postponements.



What you can't watch -- 2 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sean Spicer (!) gives the daily press briefing, but off camera. Why this is big: While still off camera (womp), this is the first time Spicer has held the briefing in nearly three weeks.

3 p.m. EDT: The Senate considers Patrick Shanahan for deputy Defense secretary. Livestream:



Today is National Peach Ice Cream Day.


EVERYONE HAS THEIR HOBBY. THIS MAN'S JUST HAPPENS TO BE SUPERIOR: Via Hannah Meltzer in The Telegraph, Sam Barksy from Baltimore has become famous for hand-knitting sweaters of famous sceneries, then posing in front of the backdrop. Sam, I'd like to order 10 of these beauties. Viral photos on the front page of Reddit:

BECAUSE I ALWAYS FEEL THE NEED TO KEEP YOU UPDATED ABOUT NEW ICE CREAM FLAVORS: Ben & Jerry's has released a new flavor, "Freezer Reprise." Think: Pieces of donuts and fish-shaped fudge pieces in sweet cream ice cream.

And because you made it this far, here's a dog who jumped in the Long Island Sound to save a drowning baby deer:


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