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 meets the pope | What to watch for in today's CBO healthcare score | Ryan says Comey is 'not' a nut job | Another Flynn subpoena | More arrests in Manchester | Frank Underwood spotted on DC metro | Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart Franken#MeToo era shows there's almost never only one accuser, says Hill.TV's Krystal Ball Hypocrisy in Kavanaugh case enough to set off alarms in DC GOP in striking distance to retake Franken seat MORE's Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP candidate scores upset win in Texas state Senate runoff McConnell tamps down any talk of Kavanaugh withdrawal Cornyn takes on O'Rourke over AR-15s MORE joke (lol)

NEW DEVELOPMENT IN THE FLYNN INVESTIGATION -- LET'S KEEP PLAYING THIS ROUSING GAME OF 'JENGA' WITH THE RUSSIA PROBE: The House Intelligence Committee will issue subpoenas to former national security adviser Michael Flynn in its investigation into Russian interference, following in the footsteps of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

It's Wednesday. 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.

OK, OK, SO, THE POPE AND DONALD TRUMP WALK INTO A BAR...: President Trump met Pope Francis at the Vatican this morning as part of the president's tour of world religions. Who arrived with Trump: First lady Melania Trump, daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner

Lol, these facial expressions:

Trump's aides: "Note which WH aides Trump brought along to meet Pope Francis: Scavino, Schiller and Hicks. Three originals."

The introductions sounded awkward: Here's the pool report:

LATEST IN THE MANCHESTER ATTACK -- LIKELY NOT A LONE WOLF: Via BBC, British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said today that it is "likely" the man behind Monday's bombing in Manchester, England, did not act alone. "[Monday's attack] was more sophisticated than some of the attacks we've seen before, and it seems likely -- possible -- that he wasn't doing this on his own," she said of Salman AbediAlso new: Three more arrests have been made -- four people are now in custody.

ALSO NEW: Via Reuters, the French interior minister said the Manchester bomber had "proven" ties to ISIS.

WHAT TO WATCH TODAY -- NEW CBO HEALTHCARE SCORE: The Congressional Budget Office is slated to release its analysis of the revised American Health Care Act -- the very analysis that House Republicans declined to wait for when pushing the bill through their chamber in early May. Here's what to watch for:

SO I REALIZE THIS IS AWKWARD, BUT WE ALREADY PUT DOWN A DEPOSIT FOR A 'PEACE OUT, OBAMACARE' SOIREE. CAN YOU GUYS SPEED THIS UP...?: Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, Senate Republicans are under mounting pressure to pass an ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill before the congressional recess in August. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSanders hits Feinstein over Kavanaugh allegations: Now it’s clear why she did nothing for months On The Money: Senate approves 4B spending bill | China imposes new tariffs on billion in US goods | Ross downplays new tariffs: 'Nobody's going to actually notice' McConnell tamps down any talk of Kavanaugh withdrawal MORE (R-Ky.) is wary of committing to a specific deadline -- he remembers the mess in the House -- but the White House, House GOP members and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price are nudging the Senate.

NEW TODAY -- WELP, JOE LIEBERMAN'S 15 MINUTES OF FAME ARE OVER: Via CNN's Sara Murray and Eugene Scott, former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is no longer the front-runner to become the next FBI director. Back to the drawing board: Last week, President Trump said last week he was "very close" to a replacement. But the president has decided he now wants to see a broader list of candidates.

WHY THE RUSSIA GOOGLE ALERT KEPT BUZZING: Three senior intelligence officials testified yesterday surrounding Russia's actions in the 2016 presidential election. What we learned: 

  1. Former CIA Director John Brennan was concerned about contacts between Russia, Trump campaign associates.
  2. Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsDem lawmakers slam Trump’s declassification of Russia documents as ‘brazen abuse of power’ Nunes: Russia probe documents should be released before election The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Cuomo wins and Manafort plea deal MORE isn't talking about reports claiming Trump asked him to deny there was evidence of collusion.
  3. Republicans are making the debate about the lack of evidence for collusion.
  4. The Senate Intelligence Committee is going after Flynn.
  5. The scrutiny on leaks is growing.

FRIENDS DON'T CALL FRIENDS 'NUT JOBS': Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanCorey Stewart fires aide who helped bring far-right ideas to campaign: report GOP super PAC hits Randy Bryce with ad starring his brother Super PACs spend big in high-stakes midterms MORE (R-Wis.) does not consider former FBI Director James Comey a "nut job." "Yeah, I don't agree with that," he said this morning, when asked if he's concerned about the comment President Trump reportedly made about Comey. "And he's not ... I like Jim Comey ... I know that there are people on both sides of the aisle concerned by decisions that he made."

SPOTTED ON THE D.C. METRO -- I DON'T CARE IF IT'S FICTION; WHO WOULD BE DUMB ENOUGH TO BE ON A METRO PLATFORM WITH FRANK UNDERWOOD...?: "House of Cards" star Kevin Spacey was spotted in Washington, D.C., earlier this week, including on the D.C. metro. Former chief official White House photographer Pete Souza chronicled the day. Photos:

COMING OUT OF THE WOODWORK -- THE BRAINS BEHIND THE OPERATION: Via The Hill's Ben Kamisar, campaign aides and state chairs from the 2016 presidential race are stepping out from behind the scenes for their own runs for office, looking to build on the momentum from their former presidential hopefuls' bids. Examples: Ed Meier (D-Texas), Clinton policy aide; Nick Ayers (R-Ga.), Trump/Pence senior adviser; state Rep. Geoff Diehl (R-Mass.), Trump state co-chair; Pete D'Alessandro (D-Iowa), Sanders Iowa campaign coordinator; and Lena Epstein (R-Mich.), Trump state co-chair.

SOCCER STARS AMONG US: After last fall's elections, Democrats snagged a much-needed victory in their 5-3 win over Republicans during the 2017 congressional soccer game yesterday. Lol, you know that joke had to be madeDem squad: Reps. Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne Marie BonamiciLawmakers, media serve up laughs at annual 'Will on the Hill' Congress — when considering women’s health, don’t forget about lung cancer Overnight Energy: Two top Pruitt aides resign at EPA | 17 states sue EPA over car emissions rules | Volkswagen to pay West Virginia .5M over emissions cheating MORE (Ore.), Ruben Kihuen (Nev.), Rick Larsen (Wash.) and Kathy Castor (Fla.). GOP squad: Reps. Don Bacon (Neb.), Darin LaHood (Ill.), Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungOvernight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Bipartisan senators unveil proposal to crack down on surprise medical bills Dems seek ways to block Trump support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen MORE (Ind.), Gus Bilirakis (Fla.), Erik Paulsen (Minn.) and David Valadao (Calif.). Other notable guests: CNN's Chris CillizzaRoger Bennett, co-host of the soccer show "Men In Blazers," and former Ambassador of Mexico Arturo Sarukhan. More from The Hill's Ali Breland 



The Stateman's Jonathan Tilove (Hahahaha, this screenshot is amazing.)
Sen. Al Franken, in [his new book] Giant of the Senate, recounts Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharGOP in striking distance to retake Franken seat Warner: 'overwhelming majority' of Republicans would back social media regulations Republicans block Democratic bid to subpoena Kavanaugh documents MORE pre-clearing a Ted Cruz joke she was going to tell at Gridiron with Ted Cruz. Screenshot:

Pre-order Franken's new book on Amazon:

The Hill's Scott Wong (LOL)
BIG NEWS: Speaker Ryan says he texts members GIFs or "GIFFies" of Brittany Spears and Stifler 

Politico's Jennifer Haberkorn (Womp, womp.)
A group of House Democrats will hold a press conference today calling for "Medicare for all." Spoiler alert: not happening in this Congress 



The House and Senate are in.

Trump's foreign trip: After participating in meetings in Italy earlier today, President Trump traveled to Brussels, Belgium.

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

4:30 pm. EDT: Last votes in the House.

Thursday: President Trump's first meeting with NATO members. How the Manchester attack has changed the conversation:



2 p.m. EDT: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies on the 2018 budget and tax reform. Livestream:

Factoid: Here are the 66 programs eliminated in Trump's budget:

3 p.m. EDT: Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly testifies on the 2018 budget. Livestream:



Today is National Escargot Day.

A HEADLINE YOU CAN'T NOT CLICK: "MLB will 'monitor the situation' after drone nearly takes out fans at Padres game." Yes, there's video:

And because this made me laugh, here's a cat with a crazy low-pitched meow:


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