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: FBI raided Paul Manafort's home | Trump ratchets up rhetoric against North Korea | GOP senator says brain tumor, late night may have influenced McCain vote | Trump, media feud escalates | DC's Verizon Center getting new name

JUST REPORTED — IS IT BAD HOW UNSURPRISED I AM BY THIS DEVELOPMENT?: Via The Washington Post's Carol D. Leonnig, Tom Hamburger and Rosalind S. Helderman, FBI agents conducted a pre-dawn raid at the home of President Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort at the end of July. Why: The Russian election meddling investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. Did Manafort know beforehand: Nope. What the agents seized: Documents and other materials. Why it's interesting: The raid came as Manafort was voluntarily handing over documents to the Senate. #DontMessWithMueller

It's Wednesday. Three years ago today were the Ferguson, Mo., protests. 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, @CateMartel and on Facebook.


LATE THIS A.M. — UMMMM, WUUUUT?: Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senator: Harley-Davidson is right to move some production overseas GOP senator: Trump’s policies doing 'permanent damage' GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE (R-Wis.) says Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) brain cancer may have factored into his stunning vote last month that sunk the GOP effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare. “He has a brain tumor right now, that vote occurred at 1:30 in the morning. Some of that might have factored in,” Johnson said. The answer prompted a surprised response from Amy Jacobson, the show’s co-host. “Really?” she said. Full back and forth on a Chicago radio station:

TALK OF THE MORNING — DOES ANYONE KNOW IF DENNIS RODMAN IS AVAILABLE ORRR...?: Yesterday, President Trump issued a provocative warning to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump's words: "He has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as I said they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before," the president said, arms folded and voice raised, to reporters at his New Jersey golf club. Why this is especially important: The rogue regime may have crossed a major threshold in its quest to become a fully fledged nuclear power. How: By producing a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit onto a missile.

Tidbit: "On @Morning_Joe, [The Washington Post's Robert Costa] says Pres Trump had notes yesterday when he made 'fire & fury' remarks, but was an extemporaneous remark."

Oh.........: "'Fire and fury' from yesterday was not carefully vetted language from Trump, per several ppl with knowledge. "Don't read too much into it." (From Politico's Josh Dawsey)

A few hours later: North Korea reacted by threatening missile strikes on the American territory of Guam — y'know, normal stuff. Also keep in mind: The latest threat comes one day after North Korea's foreign minister reportedly said the nation would use nuclear weapons against the U.S. if provoked.

Then Guam reacts: Guam's top homeland security official says there's little to no chance that a North Korean missile could make it past the island's defenses. "There's .00001 percent chance of that missile getting through that layer," George Charfauros said.

Side note: "I interrupt this nuclear standoff to bring you a very important article about monkey vasectomies and the Thai navy." (From The Wall Street Journal's Drew Hinshaw)

Trump aide Gorka steps in: White House national security aide Sebastian Gorka said about Trump, "He's saying 'don't test America and don't test Donald J. Trump.'"

JUST POSTED — An expert chimes in: Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and the National Security Agency, writes in an op-ed for The Hill, "The president's statement appears to be part of a broader, coherent but still dangerous strategy ... within our previous definition of acceptable risk, it was inevitable that North Korea would develop the ability to reach North America with a nuclear weapon ... the Obama administration's approach of 'strategic patience' seemed to accept that inevitability and concentrated on slowing the North Korean program while also building a structure of defense ..." Full op-ed:

IN LOCAL NEWS THAT I'M SURE EVERYONE WILL HAVE AN OPINION ABOUT: Via WTOP's Colleen Kelleher, the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., is changing its name to the Capital One Arena. Timing: New signs and branding are expected in the fall. So are we changing the hockey team name to the Washington Capital Ones?

Also while we're on the topic: Boston's arena is still the Fleet Center in my heart. ;)

'YOU IS SMART, YOU IS KIND. YOU IS IMPORTANT.': Via Vice's Alex Thompson, around twice a day, President Trump gets a folder from staff with positive news about himself. "One White House official said the only feedback the White House communications shop, which prepares the folder, has ever gotten in all these months is: 'It needs to be more f---king positive.' That's why some in the White House ruefully refer to the packet as 'the propaganda document.'" What's in it:

I'M WAITING FOR THE WH COMMS SHOP–MEDIA RETREAT AND ICE BREAKER DAY: Via The Hill's Jonathan Easley, the war between the White House and the press is escalating 200 days into the administration. How so: President Trump is launching daily attacks on the press and an emboldened news media is becoming increasingly transparent about its hostility toward the president. Not helping things: The White House has struggled to hit on a consistent communications strategy or a reasonable way of dealing with the combative press corps. And then the obvious: Pour one out for each of the White House communications staff who has resigned in the past 200 days.

DON'T LET THEM GET YOU DOWN. ARIANNA HUFFINGTON SUPPORTS YOU: Via The New York Post's Michael Gartland, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) takes morning naps at City Hall after his morning workout while everyone around him works. Omg, this lede: "Between workouts and naps, it's a wonder he has any time to try to raise taxes." From an ex-staffer: "He would arrive at 10 a.m. after working out and then would be napping."

Ya, but: "City Hall spokesman Eric Phillips shot down a report from a troubled tabloid that said Hizzoner frequently gets 40 winks on his office couch after his well-documented morning workouts. 'Of course not!' Phillips said, when asked if Mayor de Blasio was a regular snoozer.



CNN's Chris Cilizza
"On Korean Twitter today, the trending topic was the possibility of an extra week of summer break."



Like Mayor Bill de Blasio, Congress is catching up on some much-needed sleep.

President Trump, who is still at his golf course in New Jersey, has no public events on his schedule today.

What he's up to: "Is President Trump golfing on this sunny day in New Jersey? White House officials, once again, won't say." (From CNN's Dan Merica)

Vice President Pence has no public events on his schedule either.

Yeah, but: "Not on the public schedule, but today Vice President Pence will play golf at Trump National golf course in Virginia, an aide says." (From CNN's Elizabeth Landers)



Today is National Rice Pudding Day.

THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW <3: Oreo cookie dough now exists.

BACK TO THE TV SPINOFF DRAWING BOARD: Via Deadline, a spinoff of "How I Met Your Mother" is getting another chance with new writers.

And because you read this far, here's a puppy who thinks it's the one riding the bike:


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