The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Pfizer — Trump, Kim summit set for June 12 in Singapore

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

Sign up to receive the 12:30 Report right to your inbox:

--> 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 — Sponsored by Pfizer — Trump to meet Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore | Trump greets detainees freed by North Korea | Cohen storm grows | McCain urges fellow senators to reject Haspel | The opioid epidemic's 'forgotten people' | Maryland gov candidate dies of heart attack | 12 tons of chocolate flip over on a highway



I'll bring the wine, you bring the cheese and crackers and It's. A. Date.:

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAl Gore: Trump has had 'less of an impact on environment so far than I feared' Trump claims tapes of him saying the 'n-word' don't exist Trump wanted to require staffers to get permission before writing books: report MORE just announced that his high-stakes meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will be in Singapore on June 12. President Trump tweeted: "The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th. We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!"



It's Thursday. 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.



Welcome back!: 

Early this morning, President Trump greeted three Americans who were just released from being prisoners in North Korea. Lol, this was a pretty funny line: Addressing the media covering the arrival, President Trump said, "I think you probably broke the all-time in history television rating for 3 o'clock in the morning." Watch their arrival:

ON KIM JONG UN'S INVOLVEMENT: President Trump thanked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for freeing the American prisoners, though, when asked if he had spoken to Kim, the president replied, "I don't want to comment."

ON NUCLEAR TALKS: "The fact we were able to get them out so soon was a tribute to a lot of things," President Trump said to a crowd of journalists. "I just want to say, this is a special night. I'm very honored to have helped these great folks, but the true honor is going to be if we have a victory in getting rid of nuclear weapons." 

TIDBIT FROM ONE OF THE DETAINEES: This morning, Vice President Pence recalled how one of the prisoners had asked to walk outside the airplane during a refueling stop on the way back from Pyongyang, because he "hadn't seen daylight in a very long time." Watch Pence describing the interaction:



In gossip news you don't want to admit you're curious about, but really are: 

Via Page Six, President Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpSpicer slams Omarosa on WH recordings: 'She will do anything to further her own being' White House staff offered discounts at Trump's NJ golf club: report Republicans have spent .5 million at Trump properties since he took office: report MOREwho is currently divorcing his wife of 12 years, is dating Fox News host Kimberly GuilfoyleA source told Page Six: "Don Jr. and Kimberly are seeing each other, and are having a great time. While he wants to respect the privacy of his family, he is getting divorced, and he enjoys Kimberly's company." Full story -- no one will know you clicked it:

SIDE NOTE ABOUT DON JR.: Via CNN's Dan MericaDonald Trump Jr. will play a major role in the midterms. Which races: "Trump Jr. will particularly focus on West Virginia, Missouri, Montana and Indiana, four states that have key Senate races where Republicans are looking to unseat Democrats in states Trump won in 2016, and on defending House seats in districts where the President has a high approval rating."


Eh, who needs cybersecurity anyway?: 

Via Politico's Eric Geller, national security adviser John Bolton is considering eliminating the top White House cybersecurity job. The worry: "Cybersecurity experts and former National Security Council officials expressed alarm at the idea of eliminating the job, saying it would undo much of the progress the U.S. has made on cyber efforts and send the wrong message about U.S. priorities in the digital domain." 


If you really want it to wrap up, the key is to pretend you're totally cool with it:

During an interview on NBC's "Today," Vice President Pence urged special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE to wrap up his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. His reasoning: "Our administration has provided over a million documents, we've fully cooperated in it and in the interest of the country, I think it's time to wrap it up."

KEEP IN MIND: The Mueller investigation has actually been moving at lightning pace. Scholars in the field have said Robert Mueller's pace has measured up "to some of the best special prosecutors in modern history." Reasoning -- via NPR:


Everyone has his or her own 'Michael Cohen':

Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, the growing storm over President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen is casting a dark cloud over the White House.

What escalated the situation: Stat reported yesterday that Michael Cohen promised the pharmaceutical company Novartis that he could provide access to Trump and his inner circle if they signed a contract with Cohen.

Not helping things: The White House, as well as the president's private legal team, has shown little willingness to engage with the subject. 



McCain's a 'no' on CIA nominee Gina Haspel:

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOvernight Defense: Trump signs 7B defense policy bill into law | Rips McCain hours after signing bill named after him | Green Beret killed in Afghanistan blast Tapper thanks McCain for his service ‘since President Trump would not do it’ Trump rips McCain hours after signing bill named after him MORE (R-Ariz.) came out against President Trump's CIA nominee Gina Haspel after her Senate confirmation hearing. Why: From McCain: "her refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality is disqualifying." The big question: Can McCain sway any other Republicans?

AND FEINSTEIN OPPOSES HER: Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinArchivist rejects Democrats' demand for Kavanaugh documents Senate Judiciary announces Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing Latino legal group slams Kavanaugh MORE (D-Calif.) said she will vote against CIA Deputy Director Gina HaspelFeinstein's statement: "This nomination is bigger than one person. The torture program was illegal at the time based on international treaties. ... I believe those who were intimately involved should not lead the agency."

BUT AT LEAST ONE DEMOCRAT WILL VOTE YES: Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump’s big wall isn’t going anywhere — and the polls show why Senate Judiciary announces Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing Anti-abortion group launches ads against Manchin over Planned Parenthood MORE (D-W.Va.) This is a good sign for her confirmation.

THE BIG TAKEAWAY FROM HASPEL'S HEARING: No major stumbles. Haspel bolstered her case to be CIA director


Rest In Peace: 

Via The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz (D), a candidate for governor in Maryland, died of a heart attack early this morning. From police: "Kamenetz was at his home in Owings Mills, asleep, when he awoke at about 2 a.m. and complained of feeling ill. He was transported by the Garrison Fire Station's Medic 19 to St. Joseph, where doctors pronounced him deceased at 3:22 a.m." Kamenetz has a wife and two teenage sons.


The forgotten ones:

Via The Hill's Rachel Roubein, "American Indians are among those the opioid epidemic has hit the hardest, though scant attention has been paid to how the crisis is ripping through their communities." How these communities are responding: "At least 20 tribes have formally sued opioid manufacturers and distributors, with at least 10 more suits under contract and expected to be filed soon."







The House and Senate are in.

10:45 a.m. EDT: Last votes in the House. The House's schedule today:

11 a.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump signs 7B defense policy bill into law | Rips McCain hours after signing bill named after him | Green Beret killed in Afghanistan blast US soldier killed by IED in Afghanistan Trump signs 7B annual defense policy bill into law MORE.

Noon: Votes in the Senate. The Senate's schedule today:

Noon: Vice President Pence and second lady Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump tries to rescue Ohio House seat as GOP midterm fears grow The Hill's Morning Report — Obama’s return sets up heavyweight fight with Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE host a lunch for military spouses.

1:45 p.m. EDT: The Senate has a roll call vote. 

2 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerdueOvernight Energy: Trump Cabinet officials head west | Zinke says California fires are not 'a debate about climate change' | Perry tours North Dakota coal mine | EPA chief meets industry leaders in Iowa to discuss ethanol mandate Sen. Sanders blasts Zinke: Wildfires 'have everything to do with climate change' Zinke on California fires: 'This is not a debate about climate change' MORE, Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsGOP senators surprised to attend Trump’s tariffs announcement Senate farm bill is lesser of two evils GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE (R-Kan.), and Rep. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayGOP lawmaker calls for ethics rules changes after Collins charged with insider trading GOP Rep. Chris Collins charged with insider trading Huawei: FCC proposal would hurt poor, rural communities MORE (R- Texas).

4:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for Elkhart, Ind.

7 p.m. EDT: President Trump hosts a campaign rally in Elkhart, Ind. Vice President Pence introduces the president.

10:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump gets back to the White House.

Just announced -- around June 10: Net neutrality rules are ending.



This morning: Vice President Pence sat down with CBS's Margaret BrennanTranscript:

Later this year: The cable TV channel FX is teaming up with The New York Times to create a weekly show that tells behind-the-scenes stories of the newsroom's reporting. Details:



Today is National Shrimp Day! --> ;)


*Hard click*: 

Via Time, "This is what it looks like when a truck hauling 12 tons of chocolate flips over on a highway." This. Is. So. Sad. Watch -- because we all want to know:


And because you made it to the end, here's a dog being tricked by broccoli: