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 on Capitol Hill | Expected to press GOP to change Senate rules | How Trump is putting his stamp on the world | Melania TrumpMelania TrumpMelania Trump's office pushes back on Omarosa claims Omarosa book: Melania uses her fashion choices to ‘punish’ Trump Melania Trump family immigration lawyer praises so-called chain migration MORE recovering from surgery | Clients' Cohen ties become PR problem | What to watch in tonight's Pennsylvania primaries | A look at Mueller's tour in Vietnam | American Airlines bans hedgehogs, goats, ferrets



Sooo, I guess I shouldn't count on a Christmas card from 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 this year :/ 

President Trump touted his poll numbers and slammed the media on Tuesday morning. He tweeted: "Can you believe that with all of the made up, unsourced stories I get from the Fake News Media, together with the $10,000,000 Russian Witch Hunt (there is no Collusion), I now have my best Poll Numbers in a year. Much of the Media may be corrupt, but the People truly get it!"


It's Tuesday -- the 4th of July is 50 days away! Best holiday of the year. 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.



Trump on Capitol Hill: Please install my Trump Red Carpet: 

President Trump is on Capitol Hill today, attending the Senate Republican policy luncheon. What to expect: Trump is expected to push Republicans to change the rules to speed up the confirmation process for his nominees. Context from a nonpartisan group: It has taken an average of 84 days to confirm Trump's nominees, far longer than for the four presidents who preceded him.


The comment that keeps on givin': 

Senate Republicans are getting even angrier about the joke from a White House staffer about 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's (R-Ariz.) failing health. Update: On Monday, the White House signaled there would be no public apology and that the matter was being handled "internally." What Republicans are demanding: A public apology.

BACK STORY: The Hill first reported that White House special assistant Kelly Sadler joked that Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) opinion on the CIA nominee Gina Haspel doesn't matter because "he's dying anyway."

NEW TIDBIT -- WILL THAT COME UP AT TODAY'S LUNCH?: Eh, it's unlikely. The Hill's Jordain Carney spoke with several Republican senators who said they don't plan to bring up the comments about McCain.



'How to take away scary toys from a scary leader,' a simple how-to guide: 

Via Reuters, leaders of North Korea and South Korea are holding high-level talks to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. Details: "The meeting will focus on plans to implement a declaration that emerged from an April 27 inter-Korea summit, including promises to formally end the Korean War and pursue 'complete denuclearization.' "

KEEP IN MIND FOR NEXT WEEK: President Trump is hosting South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House.

IMPORTANT CONTEXT FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: Via The Hill's Niall StanagePresident Trump was elected primarily for his stances on domestic issues, but has surprised the world by prioritizing foreign affairs in his first 16 months in office. Think: Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, attempting to denuclearize North Korea, pulling out of the Paris climate agreement and pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. It's a big list right? Compared to his domestic achievements: The tax-cut bill in December and the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. It's worth a read:



Noooo, not my emotional support hedgehog! And anything but my best friend and comfort goat: 

It's a sad day for critters. American Airlines just banned a number of animals from its flights, even if those animals are for emotional support. The banned furry friends: Goats, hedgehogs, ferrets and sugar gliders. When the policy starts: July 1.

BECAUSE YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I *LOVE* PULLING YOU AWAY FROM YOUR WORK ;) I had no idea what a sugar glider was. So naturally, I investigated. They're pretty strange looking:

MY FAVORITE EXCEPTION — MINIATURE HORSES: "Animals with tusks, horns or hooves (excluding miniature horses properly trained as service animals)" Full list of banned animals:

What a lineup for airline's announcement: 

Watch the announcement:



Get well soon, Melania: 

First lady Melania Trump is recovering after undergoing kidney surgery. Details from the White House: Melania "underwent an embolization procedure to treat a benign kidney condition ... the procedure was successful and there were no complications." How long she'll be in the hospital: For the rest of the week. Details:

REACTION FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP: The president tweeted, "Our great First Lady is doing really well. Will be leaving hospital in 2 or 3 days. Thank you for so much love and support!"

ANY IDEA OF WHAT'S WRONG: From CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta: While it's "unclear exactly what [procedure Melania Trump] had done, an embolization procedure is typically done for cancer -- although it's very clear in this statement that this was a benign condition. ... So it doesn't sound like it's any type of cancer. ... Sometimes thyroids, or cysts, or something like that can be treated as well."


The 'Michael Cohen problem':

Via The Hill's Megan R. Wilson, "Companies that formed relationships with Michael Cohen at the outset of the new administration are facing public relations headaches in response to the emerging federal investigations against him ... now the corporations that hired him are expressing regret for hiring Cohen, a decision that has thrust them into the maelstrom of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation." Clients -- for example: AT&T and Novartis.


Fascinating read -- 'the untold story of Robert Mueller's time in combat': 

In Wired, journalist Garrett Graff reports about special counsel Robert Mueller's time serving in the Vietnam War. From Graff"I spent the winter tracking down the first-ever interviews with the Marines who served in combat with him and interviewing them about serving alongside Mueller. And, even if you don't care about the words themselves, we also have the first-ever pictures of Mueller as a Marine." The story:


Rest in peace, Tom Wolfe:

Best-selling author Tom Wolfe has passed away at the age of 88. From The New York Times: "In his use of novelistic techniques in his nonfiction, Mr. Wolfe, beginning in the 1960s, helped create the enormously influential hybrid known as the New Journalism." His obituary in the NYT:



This poor kid: 



Angry Avenatti:

Yikes, this email is really something -- Read: 

Back story on Avenatti threatening to sue two reporters:



The House and Senate are in.

Today: "Pennsylvania candidates will face off for the first time under the state's new congressional map in primaries." Five races to watch:

Today: The start of Ramadan. 

Noon: The Senate votes on a judicial nominee. The Senate's schedule today:

12:50 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottTim Scott: Trump has taken steps 'to move us in a better direction' since Charlottesville Sunday shows preview: Virginia lawmakers talk Charlottesville, anniversary protests Five takeaways from Ohio's too-close-to-call special election MORE (R-S.C.) and the Task Force on Economic Inclusion at the Capitol.

1 p.m. EDT: President Trump attends the Senate Republican policy lunch at the Capitol.

1:45 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence has meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. 

6:30 p.m. EDT: Votes postponed in the House. The House's schedule today:

7 p.m. EDT: The 15th annual Bradley Prizes held at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Details:

7 a.m. EDT Saturday: The royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle begins. Logistics:

One week from today -- May 22: South Korean President Moon Jae-in visits the White House.



11 a.m. EDT: President Trump spoke at the 37th annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Service at the Capitol. Livestream:



Today is National Chocolate Chip Day!


Fascinating graphic -- which cities have the best alumni happy hours: 

The Wall Street Journal pulled together where alumni of 445 colleges live after they graduate. It's worth checking out:



Via CNN, "This gel is as flexible as jello, but five times stronger than steel." Watch -- it's fascinating:


And to brighten your Tuesday afternoon, here's a scuba diver who came across a whale that wouldn't leave her alone: