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: Kelly's first day as chief of staff | Trump says WH isn't in chaos | RNC tells staff to save 2016 campaign documents | Senate GOP looks to bounce back | Trump fuels doubts about GOP agenda | Christie confronts fan at baseball game | Dem campaign chief says no abortion litmus test | National Avocado Day (!)

THIS A.M. -- WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE: President Trump this morning swore in retired four-star Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly as his new chief of staff. Trump predicted his former Homeland Security secretary would do a "spectacular job" leading the West Wing and advancing his stalled agenda. "We look forward to -- if it's possible -- an even better job as chief of staff," Trump told reporters. Right after: Trump held a Cabinet meeting in the White House with Kelly.

MEANWHILE -- NO CHAOS HERE. NOPE. NONE.: President Trump this morning touted the country's economy this morning. Tweet: "Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S.C.: No WH chaos!"

TRENDING -- BILL O'REILLY CHIMES IN: The former Fox News host wrote an op-ed in The Hill titled "A media lynch-mob is trying to take down Trump."

It's Monday and today is the last day of July --> 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.


NEWLY OBTAINED -- NOT THE TIME TO GET BACK TO INBOX ZERO UNFORTUNATELY: BuzzFeed's Henry Gomez obtained a Republican National Committee memo that told RNC employees to preserve any documents related to the 2016 presidential election. Why: As a precaution for the Russian meddling investigation. Are they involved in the investigation?: Not yet. From the memo, the RNC "has not been contacted regarding any of the ongoing investigations, and there is no specific reason to believe we will be. Nonetheless, we have an obligation to keep potentially relevant documents..."

SOME INSIGHT INTO 2018 -- YOU DO YOU, DEMS: Via The Hill's Ben Kamisar and Reid Wilson, Democrats will not withhold financial support for candidates who oppose abortion rights, Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the chairman of the party's campaign arm in the House said in an interview with The Hill. Why this is big: In taking the position, Luján and Democrats risk alienating liberals, as well as groups dedicated to promoting access to abortion and reproductive health services that represent the core of the party's base.

NEXT NEWS CYCLE -- TALK ABOUT MIXED SIGNALS: The Republican Congress and the administration are signaling a pivot to tax reform -- an issue that has the potential to unify Republicans. But it's obviously not that easy: Trump on Saturday tweeted that Republicans should not give up the effort on healthcare. He needled Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublican strategist: Trump is 'driven by ego' Senate GOP campaign arm asking Trump to endorse McSally in Arizona: report Poll: Three-quarters of Americans say Nancy Pelosi should be replaced, including half of Democrats MORE (R-Ky.), urging him to do away with the filibuster -- an argument that has grated at the Senate GOP.

NOOOOW YOU TWEET ABOUT IT: The president tweeted this morning, "If ObamaCare is hurting people, & it is, why shouldn't it hurt the insurance companies & why should Congress not be paying what public pays?" 

THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS -- PICKING UP THE PIECES: The Senate returns today as Republicans regroup after their healthcare loss. Their schedule this week:

CHRIS CHRISTIE IS THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) got in the face of a fan during a Milwaukee Brewers game in Wisconsin. Ask and you shall receive: Of course there's video!

THIS WEEK -- MISS HEARING ABOUT CHINUH??: Via Politico's Andrew Restuccia and Josh Dawsey, President Trump could offer specific financial penalties against China this week. What Trump's advisers are considering: Economic sanctions, trade restrictions, et cetera. Context: Trump took to Twitter to express disappointment with Beijing over reining in North Korea.

OUUUUCH -- MATT DRUDGE THROWS SOME SASS: Conservative media figure Matt Drudge seemed to take a shot at President Trump, sharing an old newspaper front page with a negative headline. Drudge's caption: "Life is a circle..." The headline Drudge shared:

UNLESS THE ANSWER IS 'NOT AT ALL,' I TAKE PERSONAL OFFENSE TO THIS HEADLINE: The Atlantic published an article with the headline, "How Scared Should I Be of Macaroni and Cheese?"



The Hill's Taylor Lorenz
It's been 48 hours and I'm still trying to figure out the aesthetics of this Instagram post. Screenshot:

Bloomberg's Steven Dennis
Just to be clear, [the American Health Care Act] is still alive and on the Senate calendar. It can be called up when and if McConnell has 50 votes. He has 49.



The Senate is in later today. The House is out for recess.

Today: Jared Kushner speaks to interns on Capitol Hill.

Starting today: Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Memo: Charlottesville anniversary puts Trump and race under microscope Man arrested for threatening ICE agents on Twitter Planned Parenthood launches six-figure Supreme Court ad campaign MORE (R-Ariz.) begins cancer treatment. He plans to return to Washington after the August recess.

This week: The White House dubbed this week "American Dreams Week."

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

4 p.m. EDT: The Senate is in.

5:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes.

Announced today -- Sept. 25: Megyn Kelly's 9 a.m. talk show debuts. Keep in mind: Last night was the final episode of her Sunday night show.



3 p.m. EDT: President Trump presents the Medal of Honor to Vietnam veteran James McCloughanLivestream:

3:45 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives the daily press briefing on camera. Livestream:



Today is National Avocado Day!

THE TALK OF SOCIAL MEDIA -- WE OUT: Primera Air is offering $99 flights each way between the U.S. to Europe. When does it start: April 2018.

WELL THIS IS A THROWBACK: Via The New York Times's John Koblin, MTV is bringing back Total Request Live.

NOW OPEN -- WELL THIS IS TERRIFYING: Via CNN, the world's longest pedestrian suspension bridge has opened in Switzerland.

And because you made it this far, here's a dog that can balance anything, including a fidget spinner and a cup of beer, on his nose. Such a good boy.


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