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: Breaking – Latest on shooting at GOP baseball practice | Trump says shooting suspect has died | Scalise out of surgery | Suspect identified, was Sanders supporter | Bernie 'sickened' by shooting | House cancels Wednesday votes | Congressional Baseball Game still on

BREAKING -- TRUMP SAYS SHOOTER HAS DIED FROM HIS INJURIES: President TrumpDonald John TrumpThorny part of obstruction of justice is proving intent, that's a job for Congress Obama condemns attacks in Sri Lanka as 'an attack on humanity' Schiff rips Conway's 'display of alternative facts' on Russian election interference MORE announced on national television that the alleged gunman who opened fire on Republican lawmakers at a congressional baseball practice is dead. The president lauded the "heroic" actions of the police officers and called House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), who was shot, "a very good friend," as well as a "patriot and a fighter." "Steve, I want you to know that you have the prayers not only of the city behind you, but of an entire nation, and frankly, of the entire world," Trump said.

Suspect's name: James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill.  What we know: Via The Washington Post, Hodgkinson was previously charged with battery and aiding damage to a motor vehicle in April 2006, though the charges were dismissed.

Photo of House lawmakers headed into the all members meeting:

What the baseball field looks like now:

Also breaking -- the show will go on: House lawmakers say the Congressional Baseball Game will still happen on Thursday. Lawmakers were practing for the game when the shooter opened fire. From Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.): "We will play for charity, but also for the victims & the heroic officers who took down the shooter."

NEW DEVELOPMENT — BERNIE 'SICKENED' BY SHOOTING: After reports that the alleged shooter was a supporter of his, Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersCory Booker has a problem in 2020: Kamala Harris Wage growth shaping up as key 2020 factor for Trump Booker to supporter who wanted him to punch Trump: 'Black guys like us, we don't get away with that' MORE (I-Vt.), responded. "I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign," Sanders said on the Senate floor. "I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms." 

It's a somber Wednesday in the Capitol. 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.

SHOOTING AT GOP BASEBALL PRACTICE -- OK, SO WHAT HAPPENED?: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and several other people were shot at a baseball field in a Washington, D.C., suburb this morning. It is believed a single gunman fired as many as 50 shots at lawmakers and aides who scrambled for cover. The shooter: The gunman was reportedly shot and taken to the hospital. Why lawmakers were there: Practicing for tomorrow's charity Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park. 

Latest on the victims:

Scalise: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) is out of surgery and in stable condition after being shot.

Wounded officers: "'They're in good condition.' -USCP chief on officers wounded in shooting."  Names: Krystal Griner and David Bailey (Via The Hill's Scott Wong)

An aide to Rep. Roger WilliamsJohn (Roger) Roger WilliamsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems aim to end anti-Semitism controversy with vote today CPAC attendees say Biden poses greatest threat to Trump Don’t look for House GOP to defy Trump on border wall MORE: Zack Barth, an aide to the Texas Republican, posted on Facebook that he was shot and is at the hospital and doing "okay."

Lobbyist: Matt Mika, a Tysons Foods lobbyist was one of those shot. "He has been taken to a local hospital and we're awaiting word on his condition. Matt has worked for Tyson Foods for more than six years and we're deeply concerned about him and his family," a Tyson spokesman said in a statement.



Why Capitol Police was there: Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulBooker, Harris have missed most Senate votes Trump vetoes measure ending US support for Saudi-led war in Yemen Bottom line MORE (R-Ky.): "[Scalise] being there, it probably saved everybody else's life because if you don't have a leadership person there, there would have been no security there ... had they not been there it would have been a massacre, because there's no escaping a guy who has several hundred bullets. We had no weapons and no place to hide." Watch Paul's first-hand account:

Who was there: Here's a list of the GOP lawmakers at the practice.

Wow, the police presence: "This doesn't do it justice but police presence at field where shooting occurred is massive. Alexandria and Cap police presence." Photo:

Tourniquet: Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksGOP leaders dead set against Roy Moore in Alabama Poll: Roy Moore leading Alabama GOP field Alabama Holocaust Commission condemns GOP lawmaker's use of Hitler phrase 'big lie' MORE (R-Ala.) used his belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding of a shooting victim. His story:

Rep. Joe Barton's 10-year-old son was there: "Sen. Flake tells reporters that Congressman Barton's 10-year-old son was at the field: 'we got him in the dugout & put him under the bench.'" 

Photo of Barton's son Jack at the Capitol in his baseball uniform:

Lawmaker claimed shooter asked if they were GOP or Dems: Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.): "And as I was getting into the car with one of my colleagues ... there was a guy that walked up to us that was asking whether there was Republicans or Democrats out there. And it was just a little odd and then he kind of walked toward the area where all this happened." Video of DeSantis explaining:

Update from an FBI agent: "'No, it's not an assassination attempt' Dismisses account that shooter asked for party IDs 'not aware of that at all'"

Helicopter: A helicopter on the scene. Video:

Timing: "Shooting started around 7:15 am et. Gunman approached dugout with rifle. Went on for ten minutes"

This --> "The way these lawmakers are retelling such a horrific and terrifying story in such measured tones is incredible."



Positive news -- statement from Scalise's office: "Prior to entering surgery, the Whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone. He is grateful for the brave actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues." Full statement: 

President Trump reacts: In a White House statement, Trump said, "We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected." Trump added in a tweet that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) "was badly injured but will fully recover."

But this is an aggressive response: President Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., appeared to link this morning's shooting on Wednesday "with a New York production of 'Julius Caesar' that depicted a look-a-like of the President being assassinated." 

When it was announced at the Capitol gym: "Capitol gym suddenly grew quiet, everyone quickly packed up after being informed by Capitol Police about the shooting, per Rs" (From The Washington Post's Robert Costa)

A nearby coffee shop: "Swings coffee shop, right across from the field, has become the de facto outpost for the press." Photo:

At the Dem practice: "A Democratic aide confirmed to me that Democratic baseball practice has been secured, heavy police presence there to be safe."

Throwback to the game in a happier year: "I ask Ron Paul why he's wearing a jersey dubbed as 1 of history's ugliest. 'I always take bold stances,' he says." (From Meredith Shiner)



SESSIONS IN THE HOT SEAT -- WHAT WE NOW KNOW: Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Memo: Mueller's depictions will fuel Trump angst Collins: Mueller report includes 'an unflattering portrayal' of Trump Trump frustrated with aides who talked to Mueller MORE testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee as reverberations continue from the appearance of former FBI Director James Comey in front of the same panel last week. Takeaways: 

  1. Sessions got his side of the story out: Sessions's testimony diverged from Comey's in important respects.
  2. His refusal to answer some questions triggered Dem ire: The most heated moments in the hearing concerned Sessions's refusal to talk about Comey-related discussions with the president.
  3. A third encounter with Russia's U.S. ambassador may have happened: Sessions implicitly acknowledged that he and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak had both attended a Donald Trump campaign event at the Mayflower Hotel. However, Sessions vehemently pushed back on any suggestion that he could have met Kislyak in private or that anything improper had occurred.
  4. The hearing had some heat: There were some moments of real fieriness from Sessions, as well as from the Democratic members of the panel.
  5. Kamala Harris, 2020?: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) drilled into Sessions about his hesitancy to answer questions. Her persistence drew enthusiastic approval from liberals on social media. The encounter is likely to further amplify buzz about a possible presidential bid by the California Democrat in 2020.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR. PRESIDENT: President Trump turns 71 today. 


ON TAP -- many events have been canceled:

The House and Senate are in D.C. President Trump and Vice President Pence are both also in D.C.

NEW: No votes in the House today.

CANCELED: 3:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump was scheduled to speak at the Apprenticeship Initiative kickoff at the Department of Labor, then sign an executive order.

Thursday night: House lawmakers say the Congressional Baseball Game will still happen (!) House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAppeals court rules House chaplain can reject secular prayers FEC filing: No individuals donated to indicted GOP rep this cycle The Hill's Morning Report - Waiting on Mueller: Answers come on Thursday MORE (R-Wisc.) reportedly drew tremendous applause from members when he announced the game would go on.



Today is National Bourbon Day. It's also National Strawberry Shortcake Day.

LOOKING TO BUY A HOUSE?: Via Washingtonian's Rosa Cartagena, "House of Cards" characters Frank and Claire Underwood's brownstone home is for sale. Keep in mind: It's actually in Baltimore. Photos:

Because we all should look at something light after this morning, here's the viral "giant balloon challenge" where people attempt to get their bodies into a filled balloon. 


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