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 officials seek more time to reunite families | China accuses US of launching 'biggest trade war' ever as tariffs take effect | Strong June jobs report | Why Coney Barrett is a Supreme Court favorite on the right | Fallout from Pruitt's exit | Trump says he'd offer Warren $1M to prove Native American heritage | Latest on Thai cave rescue

 

TALK OF THE MORNING

Free idea for Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Court rejects new effort to stop kids' climate lawsuit | Baltimore is latest city to sue over climate change | EPA staffers worried about toxic chemical in Pruitt's desk Pruitt staffers worried about toxic chemical in his desk Andrew Wheeler must reverse damage to American heartland MORE's next career move -- administer 'Scott's Tots foundation': 

--> http://bit.ly/2KOsCvD 

Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is resigning from his post today. Was this a surprise?: Eh, not really. He's been the subject of many controversies over the last few months. But many were surprised by how long Pruitt held on. http://bit.ly/2KFpLWN

PRUITT'S REPLACEMENT: EPA Deputy Director Andrew Wheeler will take over as the acting EPA administrator. "I am both humbled and honored to take on this new responsibility at the same agency where I started my career over 25 years ago," Wheeler wrote in the email obtained by The Hill. Keep in mind: This email was the first official word to 14,000 EPA staffers that Pruitt had resigned. http://bit.ly/2zi8rli

GOOD READ ON PRUITT'S EXIT: Via Politico's Alex Guillen and Andrew Restuccia, here's "how Scott Pruitt blew it." https://politi.co/2KMtXTB

TIMELINE OF PRUITT'S CONTROVERSIES: http://bit.ly/2IZDeCU

READ PRUITT'S ACTUAL RESIGNATION LETTER: http://bit.ly/2MUfmmE

WHAT IT'S LIKE WORKING AT THE EPA: Via The Hill's Miranda Green, "Succeeding at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) meant keeping your head down, your opinions to yourself and never saying no to the boss, according to three former staffers who worked under Administrator Scott Pruitt." How so: http://bit.ly/2IZsMv2

TIDBIT -- THE EPA IS SLOWING THE RELEASE OF A CANCER STUDY: Via Politico's Annie Snider, "The Trump administration is suppressing an Environmental Protection Agency report that warns that most Americans inhale enough formaldehyde vapor in the course of daily life to put them at risk of developing leukemia and other ailments, a current and a former agency official told Politico." Full story: https://politi.co/2KRawJe 

 

Happy second Friday of the week! (This week has been confusing, right?) 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 cmartel@thehill.com, @CateMartel and on Facebook.

 

NEWS THIS MORNING

What have we learned in all of this? Children don't come with receipts:

Via NBC's Julia Ainsley, the Trump administration has requested more time to reunite children and parents who have been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. The current deadlines: All children under the age of 5 must be reunited by July 10; July 26 for all other children. Why the extension?: Attorneys say it doesn't give enough time to verify each parent. Full story: https://nbcnews.to/2zggNK4

 

First Fridays of the month are for jobs:

The U.S. economy added a solid 213,000 jobs in June, a stronger number than expected. Job gains have averaged 211,000 a month over the last three months. Unemployment rate: The unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4 percent from 3.8 percent. The worry: There are fears the economy will suffer and jobs will be lost from President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff: Surveillance warrant docs show that Nunes memo 'misrepresented and distorted these applications' Chicago detention facility under investigation following allegations of abuse of migrant children Ex-Trump aide: Surveillance warrants are 'complete ignorance' and 'insanity' MORE's new tariffs. http://bit.ly/2uaZMLB

 

The Red Hen is back open for business: 

The Virginia restaurant that kicked out White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reopened today. Why was it closed?: The restaurant has been closed for two weeks because of protests. http://bit.ly/2IWBj1P

 

HAPPENING TODAY

Why China isn't exactly sending well wishes to the United States today:

President Trump's 35 percent tariffs on China officially kicked in this morning. What products are affected: 800 Chinese goods worth $34 billion. https://cnnmon.ie/2MWecaj

 

The biggest trade war in 100 years...no, 1,000 years...no, ever:

China accused President Trump of starting "the biggest trade war in economic history." China referred to the tariffs as "typical trade bullying." From the Commerce Ministry: "China is forced to strike back to safeguard core national interests and the interests of its people." http://bit.ly/2IXOkbJ

WHICH AMERICAN PRODUCTS ARE CHINA'S RETALIATORY TARIFFS HITTING: Soybeans, seafood, SUVs and crude oil, among others.

SOME CONTEXT -- 'HOW A TRADE WAR COULD TURN INTO A RECESSION': Via CNN's Matt Egan: https://cnnmon.ie/2zfEFh3

 

T MINUS THREE DAYS

This feels like THE MOST dramatic season of The Bachelor:

(Important programming note: I realize I’ve made "The Bachelor" jokes in the past two editions, but I am in no way a Bachelor fan. It just happens to be the perfect analogy. That is all.)  

President Trump said he has narrowed his search for his next Supreme Court nominee to two or three -- and will have his final decision on Sunday. When we will find out: Monday at 9 p.m. 

CONSERVATIVES' FAVORITE -- AMY CONEY BARRETT: Why: Barrett is a 46-year-old appellate judge. She is young, conservative and religious. Because she is a woman, supporters believe it will make it harder for critics to paint her as extreme on women's rights and health-care issues. Why that matters so much: Retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy was a pivotal vote in the abortion debate, which is expected to flare up again. If she's the pick: Expect an explosive confirmation fight, with the left already making her a target. http://bit.ly/2MSiyPu

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT TRUMP'S TOP PICKS: https://wapo.st/2IZRFah

 

IN OTHER NEWS

Elon Musk's team is helping the Thai soccer team rescue mission:

Tech billionaire Elon Musk is sending a group of engineers to Thailand to help the rescue efforts for a soccer team that has been trapped in a cave. The latest with the rescue efforts: https://cnn.it/2MSLSFx

 

If I never see a Trump-Warren-Native American headline ever again, it will still be too soon:

During a campaign rally last night, President Trump said he would offer Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOn 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 On The Money: Trump rips Fed over rate hikes | Dems fume as consumer agency pick refuses to discuss border policy | Senate panel clears Trump IRS nominee Dems fume as Trump's consumer bureau pick refuses to discuss role in border policy MORE (D-Mass.) $1 million to prove her Native American heritage. 

In Trump's words: "But let's say I'm debating Pocahontas, I'll do this ... I'm going to get one of those little kits and in the middle of the debate, when she proclaims she's of Indian heritage -- because her mother said she has high cheekbones, that's her only evidence. We will take that little kit, we have to do it gently because we're in the 'Me Too' generation, we have to be very gentle." http://bit.ly/2m033K4

Watch Trump talking about Warren: http://bit.ly/2u9wWLz

Then Warren fired back: Sen. Warren tweeted: "Hey, @realDonaldTrump: While you obsess over my genes, your Admin is conducting DNA tests on little kids because you ripped them from their mamas & you are too incompetent to reunite them in time to meet a court order. Maybe you should focus on fixing the lives you're destroying." 

 

Trending -- I hope fans didn't try too hard for an encore because Chris Brown had left the building:

When singer Chris Brown walked off the stage after his concert in Florida, sheriff's deputies were waiting to arrest him. What charges: A felony battery charge. His bond: He was released after paying a $2,000 bond. Details: https://ti.me/2J103WP

 

The strangest thing I've come across this week:

Check out this cover of Friday's New York Post --> http://bit.ly/2lZLCt7

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

Lol, ouch:

 

Wow: 

 

ON TAP

Congress is out. President Trump is at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. Vice President Pence is in Washington, D.C., but will meet Trump for dinner in New Jersey.

Today: Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump privately frustrated over lack of progress with North Korea: report Russian diplomat calls on Pompeo to free accused Russian agent Pelosi: 'Thug' Putin not welcome in Congress MORE is in North Korea to discuss denuclearization. Details from Reuters: https://reut.rs/2m1zurj

Photo of Pompeo in Pyongyang: http://bit.ly/2MScXss 

11:05 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in a briefing at Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Op-ed on ICE: http://bit.ly/2ubY2BE

7:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpSoccer ball Putin gifted to Trump gets routine security screening Kavanaugh returns questionnaire to Senate panel Trump says he 'did nothing wrong' after Cohen tape revelation MORE have dinner with Vice President Pence and second lady Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceTrump, Pence offer condolences to families of Missouri boat tour victims 'Our Cartoon President' takes on Mueller probe, NATO and Melania in second season The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Mueller indicts 12 Russian officials for DNC hack | Trump does damage control after bombshell interview MORE in Bedminster, N.J.

 

WHAT TO WATCH

11:45 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2lVEQEu

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Fried Chicken Day!

 

And to get your weekend off to the right start, here's a toddler who really wants to play hockey: http://bit.ly/2ucqROo