The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump turns his fire on Clinton Foundation | American University under attack in Kabul | US buying 11M pounds of cheese | Brexit leader Farage to attend Trump rally tonight | National Waffle Day

BREAKING -- AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN KABUL UNDER ATTACK: The American University of Afghanistan is under attack, according to several reports. There were gunshots and a blast before attackers entered the building, according to accounts from the scene. Several American professors are inside, along with possibly hundreds of students. Tweets on the ground:

Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press photographer Massoud Hossaini: "Help we are stuck inside AUAF and shooting flollowed by Explo this maybe my last tweets"

CBS News Reporter Ahmad Mukhtar: "AUAF under attack. I along with my friends escaped and several other of of my friends and professors trapped inside."

Happy Wednesday. I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of what you missed this morning and what's on tap for the rest of the day. Send comments, story ideas and weekend plans to, @CateMartel and on Facebook.

LATEST ON ITALY -- 73 CONFIRMED DEAD AFTER MASSIVE EARTHQUAKE: Via CNN, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit central Italy early this morning. Seventy-three people have been confirmed dead so far, but rescuers have had trouble reaching some remote towns. "A lot of the villages have very ancient buildings. Those are made of old stone, brick and mud, so they just fell apart." Here's the latest:

TALKED ABOUT ON THE MORNING SHOWS -- CLINTON'S CONTROVERSY STRATEGY --> Via Politico's Annie Karni, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFrustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' Poll: Nearly half of Clinton's former supporters back Biden Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE has a strategy for dealing with her email server and Clinton Foundation controversies: run out the clock. "That doesn't mean no response," one Clinton team insider said, "but a muted one rather than a five-alarm fire." Why: The campaign thinks Clinton's commanding lead over Trump gives her the freedom not to comment and to ignore the bad press.

BUT TRUMP SEES THIS A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY: Via The Hill's Alex Bolton, Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE and Republican strategists both see the potential for corruption at the Clinton Foundation as a gold mine for attacks against Hillary Clinton -- and the best way to turn around his underperforming campaign. Example from their playbook: Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAmash: Some of Trump's actions 'were inherently corrupt' 'Persuadable' voters are key to the 2020 election — and the non-screaming news industry Jeffrey Rosen officially sworn in as deputy attorney general MORE (R-Ala.), Trump's strongest Senate ally, on CNN: "The fundamental thing is you cannot be secretary of State of the United States of America and use that position to extort or to seek contributions to your private foundation. That is a fundamental violation of law and that appears to have happened." Ouch.

GREAT PRIMER: CNN's Nicole Gaouette has a great Q&A of what the Clinton Foundation is and why it's controversial. It's worth reading, even if you think you get it.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THAT BASE, 'BOUT THAT BASE: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has raised $327 million and spent $268 million since launching her campaign.Her Republican rival, Donald Trump, has raised $128 million -- including $52 million of his own money -- and spent $90 million, according to the latest filings from the Federal Election Commission. Here are five takeaways from The Hill's Jonathan Swan:

  1. Trump is running the most barebones operation in recent memory.
  2. Clinton is monopolizing the airwaves.
  3. Trump is stepping up his digital investment.
  4. Clinton is the favorite of mega-donors and Wall Street.
  5. Trump is gaining with small donors.

Context for each:

SPEAKING OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE ... : The Daily Beast's Olivia Nuzzi and Ben Collins are reporting that Donald Trump used $55,000 in campaign donations to buy copies of his own book. Campaign finance experts say that could be illegal.

THIS SOUNDS LIKE A DREAM I ONCE HAD: Via Bloomberg's Alan Bjerga and Lydia Mulvany, the U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to buy $20 million of stockpiled cheese. How much cheese is that? 11 million pounds (!) Why: Dairy prices plummeted because of a global milk glut earlier this year. Buying the cheese is meant to help farmers. Where's it going: The stockpiled cheese will be distributed to food banks and pantries nationwide.

Tweet from The New York Times's Jennifer Steinhauer: "Looking forward to [House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman] Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzRepublicans spend more than million at Trump properties House Dems seek to make officials feel the pain Lawmakers contemplate a tough political sell: Raising their pay MORE hearing on this one."



ABC 7 Chicago
Dog wins third mayoral term in Minnesota town

The Atlantic's Matt Ford retweeted, adding: America is already great



1 p.m. EDT: Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Tampa, Fla.

1 p.m. EDT: The Hoover Institution's Lanhee Chen speaks on the Sidewire app to discuss designing a campaign platform. Note: Chen helped put together Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's policy platform in 2012.

1:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Josh Earnest gives the daily press briefing.

7 p.m. EDT: Donald Trump holds a rally in Jackson, Miss. Note: Nigel Farage, the politician who led the campaign for Britain to exit the EU,will be at the rally.

9 p.m. EDT: Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats join striking McDonald's workers Billionaire's M gift to Morehouse grads points way to student debt solution Poll: Nearly half of Clinton's former supporters back Biden MORE kicks off his new organization meant to be a practical way to harness his support for a "revolution." From the Facebook event page, "Bernie will talk about the specifics of what we can do as organizers going forward to fight for every single issue that drove this campaign." Live stream and map of local watch parties around the country:

6:45 a.m. EDT tomorrow: Vice President Biden will deliver a statement to the press with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım at the Çankaya Palace in Turkey.

1 p.m. EDT tomorrow: Donald Trump returns to New Hampshire for a rally in Manchester, N.H.



11:35 p.m. EDT tomorrow: Hillary Clinton's running mate, Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: Details on Senate's 0B defense bill | Bill rejects Trump plan to skirt budget caps | Backfills money for border wall | Defense chief says more troops could head to Mideast Dem senator plans amendment to restrict military action against Iran Overnight Defense: Iran worries dominate foreign policy talk | Pentagon reportedly to send WH plans for 10K troops in Mideast | Democrats warn Trump may push through Saudi arms sale | Lawmakers blast new Pentagon policy on sharing info MORE, will appear on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."



Today is National Waffle Day! And to celebrate appropriately, here's a list of insane waffle iron recipes including my favorite, the "wonut" (waffle plus doughnut covered in chocolate glaze). Pics or it didn't happen:

NAME THAT NEWS OUTLET: Headline: "Area Dad Looking To Get Average Phone Call With Adult Son Down To 47.5 Seconds"

HMM, I WONDER IF THIS GAME WOULD FIT INTO MY APARTMENT: Jimmy Kimmel invited the U.S. Women's gymnastics team, "The Final Five," onto the show to play a life-size version of Hungry Hungry Hippos.

WHAT THE WHAT?! -- A PEARL THAT LOOKS LIKE A GIANT TOOTH: Via CNN, one of the world's largest and most valuable pearls was discovered under the owner's bed (?), where it was used as a good luck charm. It weighs over 75 pounds.

And to briefly pull you away from your productive Wednesday afternoon, here's an adorable little googly-eyed squid that scientists just discovered off the coast of California. I'm in love.


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