The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — GOP centrists in striking distance of immigration vote

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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 — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Centrist Republicans close to forcing immigration votes | Trump to decide next week on Korean summit | Why Bannon thinks Rosenstein could be fired 'very shortly' | Behind the scenes look at the White House press office | Trump knocks 'criminal deep state' | DC's best BBQ



White House communications team added to the list of 'most dangerous jobs':

How I imagine Sarah Huckabee Sanders reacting: 'I mean, do YOU want this job?'


In The New York Times Magazine, Mark Leibovich has a fascinating, behind-the-scenes feature on the White House press shop and "the risky business of speaking for President TrumpDonald John TrumpWSJ: Trump ignored advice to confront Putin over indictments Trump hotel charging Sean Spicer ,000 as book party venue Bernie Sanders: Trump 'so tough' on child separations but not on Putin MORE." If you don't have time to read the entire feature -- bookmark it for later:


White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on being called a liar: "It certainly bothers me.  Because one of the few things you have are your integrity and reputation ... there's a difference between misspeaking or not knowing something than maliciously lying." 

On the deputy press secretary: "Who is Hogan Gidley? Or 'What's a Hogan Gidley?' as Senator Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamQuestions mount over Trump-Putin discussions The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia Overnight Defense: Trump inviting Putin to DC | Senate to vote Monday on VA pick | Graham open to US-Russia military coordination in Syria MORE asked of Senate aides after Gidley, a deputy White House press secretary, accused the South Carolina Republican in March of supporting an immigration policy 'that sides with people in this country illegally and unlawfully.'" 

^On Gidley: "Gidley is an unmarried 41-year-old from South Carolina whose West Wing office is stocked with bottles of Muscle Milk. He is a mop-haired Republican flack who has bounced around government and campaign jobs and dresses better than most political operatives do." 

Tidbit from Sanders on this article: "'Am I going to hate this story?' Sanders asked as she walked me to the door. This was also the first thing she said to me when I walked in. She laughed as she said it, something between plaintive and resigned, and she ended on a playful suggestion. 'Make Hogan look bad and me look good,' Sanders said."

Oh and if you're curious: Here's the actual list of most dangerous jobs in America:


It's Wednesday -- you're halfway there!  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.




Coming up on the season finale of Real World: West Wing — Will Trump meet with Kim Jong Un? Or will he not?: 

President Trump said he will decide next week whether to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong UnDetails: U.S. officials are expected to meet with North Korea’s representatives in the coming days about planning for the summit, which has been thrown into doubt by comments from Trump and Kim.



I know Trump called it 'spygate,' but when did we officially decide against 'spyghazi?':

This morning, President Trump continued to push his claim that there was a spy embedded in his campaign. He tweeted: "Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State. They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before! What goes around comes around!" He later added: "SPYGATE could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!

HAPPENING TOMORROW: Top U.S. officials will brief lawmakers about a confidential source in the Russia probe. This is important: No Democrats have been invited to this briefing (!) and they are not pleased.

Tidbit -- 'We ah fam-ily": "House Intel Ranking Member Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffObama, Bush veterans dismiss Trump-Putin interpreter subpoena Hillicon Valley: Officials pressed on Russian interference at security forum | FCC accuses Sinclair of deception | Microsoft reveals Russia tried to hack three 2018 candidates | Trump backs Google in fight with EU | Comcast gives up on Fox bid Top intel chief: I don't know what Trump, Putin discussed in meeting MORE says they have been told by the Department of Justice and FBI that Chairman [Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesOn The Money: Trump 'ready' for tariffs on all 0B in Chinese goods | Trump digs in on Fed criticism | Lawmakers drop plans to challenge Trump ZTE deal GOP tax writer introduces bill to reduce capital gains taxes Nunes used political donations for K in NBA tickets, winery tours, Vegas trips: report MORE] has 'refused' to receive briefings alongside Democrats ... DOJ is still providing the same information to Schiff, they're just not receiving the briefings at the same time."


I meeean, what are a few FBI raids between friends?:

Via Reuters, President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortFailings by WhatsApp, Signal and others highlight the need to take back our privacy The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump eyes second Putin summit MORE is asking a federal judge to exclude evidence obtained in FBI raids. Manafort's argument: "FBI agents unlawfully conducted an initial warrantless search of a storage locker housing documents from his consulting company by improperly getting a low-level staffer to unlock it and let a special agent look around."


Don't get too cozy, Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinHillicon Valley: Trump's Russia moves demoralize his team | Congress drops effort to block ZTE deal | Rosenstein warns of foreign influence threat | AT&T's latest 5G plans The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia Rosenstein warns of growing cyber threat from Russia, other foreign actors MORE

Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, President Trump's former chief strategist Stephen Bannon just predicted that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will be fired "very shortly." Bannon's prediction: Rosenstein "either ... is going to take the direct order of the President of the United States or I think Rosenstein will be fired." Where Bannon said this: The Hill obtained an audio recording of the unedited interview between Bannon and the BBC's Emily Maitlis. 



Centrist Republicans: It's not just hard-liners that get to have all the fun:

Via The Hill's Scott Wong, "Some moderate House Republicans are threatening to use a tactic typically employed by conservative hard-liners in the Freedom Caucus: voting down a rule to block what they view as bad legislation." What legislation?: Several moderate Republicans want a vote to shield young undocumented immigrants from deportation. The legislation is bipartisan, by the way. But House leadership is instead first bringing a vote on a more conservative immigration reform proposal. Centrists say that if they don't also get a vote on their bill they will vote no on the rule. Who -- for example: Reps. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloOvernight Energy: Proposed rule would roll back endangered species protections | House passes Interior, EPA spending | House votes to disavow carbon tax House votes to disavow carbon tax Mueller indictments: Congressional candidate asked Russian operatives for info on opponent MORE (R-Fla.) and Jeff DenhamJeffrey (Jeff) John DenhamKoch group pushes DACA fix on Capitol Hill House GOP reverses, cancels vote on Dem bill to abolish ICE House GOP leaders fail to find compromise immigration fix MORE (R-Calif.). What to expect:

HOW CLOSE ARE CENTRISTS GETTING TO A VOTE ON THEIR BILL?: Very close. 204 lawmakers (including 21 Republicans) have signed a petition to circumvent leadership and force a vote. How many votes they need: 218. How close lawmakers are to a vote: If all Democrats sign on, Republicans only need four (!) more GOP backers to sign on.



New poll -- 36 is the new 100:

36 percent of voters say they support President Trump's reelection bid in 2020, according to a new Politico–Morning Consult poll. 44 percent would prefer a Democrat. Full poll:





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Sandy Hook families sue Alex Jones:

Via ABC's Aaron Katersky, six families of children who were killed in the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Conn., are suing Infowars owner Alex Jones, who has repeatedly called the shooting fake, for defamation.


Wow, this story has some incredible footage:

Via CNN's James Griffiths, a small group of reporters spent more than 18 hours traveling to North Korea's nuclear site. Photos and video of the journey:



Spotted: Actual cats and actual dogs coming from the sky:

Heavy rain and strong thunderstorms pummeled Washington, D.C., yesterday afternoon.


Poor guy, but I have a few questions: "There is a guy running along Pennsylvania Ave., in the torrential downpour, wearing dress pants, leather shoes and no shirt." (h/t The Daily Beast's Andrew Desiderio





Westworld is taking over:



Noon: President Trump leaves the White House for New York.

1:30 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House.

2:30 p.m. EDT: The Atlantic Council is holding an event, "The Road to NATO's Brussels Summit." Details:

3:15 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes on a nomination.

4:30 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.

4:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with the prime minister of Georgia.

5:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a roundtable with supporters at Lotte New York Palace Hotel.

6 p.m. EDT: President Trump has dinner with supporters.

8:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump gets back to the White House.



11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence spoke at the Coast Guard commencement ceremony in New London, Conn. Livestream:

2 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a roundtable on immigration at Morrelly Homeland Security Center in Bethpage, N.Y. Livestream:

2:30 p.m. EDT: NASA Administrator Jim BridenstineJames (Jim) Frederick BridenstineTrump pick for top NASA role has no past experience in space operations Appeals court nominees languish in Senate as Flake demands tariff vote NASA needs Janet Kavandi if we’re going to make it back to the moon — then Mars MORE testifies on Capitol Hill about his agency's 2019 budget. Livestream:

9 p.m. EDT: CNN is hosting a town hall with House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiTop Ethics Dem calls for Nielsen to resign Dems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia GOP looks to blunt Dems’ attacks on rising premiums MORE (D-Calif.).



Today is National Taffy Day. -- ;)


Be forewarned -- if you read this before you eat lunch, you WILL be getting barbecue today: 

Via Washingtonian, here's a list of the 13 best barbecue restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area.

And because you made it to the end, here's an adorable photo of a puppy's first bath: