12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — White House aide’s testimony rattles Washington

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, is seen after a House Jan. 6 committee to hearing on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.
Peter Afriyie
Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, is seen after a House Jan. 6 committee to hearing on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

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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.

TALK OF THE MORNING 

That testimony was wild:

Cassidy Hutchinson, a 25-year-old former aide to Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, delivered explosive, vivid testimony on Tuesday about what she witnessed in the White House on Jan. 6, 2021. 

For example: Hutchinson testified that on the morning of Jan. 6, former President Trump wanted the metal detectors removed from entry from his rally because he worried that his supporters with weapons would be unable to attend. Trump reportedly said: “I don’t F-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me.”

And Trump allegedly grew angry when his driver wouldn’t drive him to the Capitol: Hutchinson testified that Trump tried grabbing the wheel of the vehicle.  

What Hutchinson’s testimony means for Trump, via The Hill’s Niall Stanage 

OTHER TIDBITS FROM THE HEARING:  

Trump reportedly threw his lunch at the wall: “There was ketchup dripping down the wall and there was a shattered porcelain plate on the floor,” Hutchinson said. Watch Hutchinson’s description 

For context of how close Hutchinson was to Mark Meadows: CNN’s Kaitlan Collins tweeted, “Cassidy Hutchinson sat right outside Meadows’s office & usually sat in on meetings. When lawmakers wanted to get in touch w/ Trump, they often phoned her. If they had a message to relay to Mark, they called her. She was so close to him, I once saw her lint roll his suit jacket.”  

^ Aides know so much: Journalist Heidi Przybyla tweeted, “The best sources are often aides, not the top officials. True in journalism, and apparently, history.”  

Photo of Cassidy Hutchinson raising her right handFrom C-SPAN’s Howard Mortman 

Rudy Giuliani and Mark Meadows wanted pardons: According to Hutchinson. Watch Hutchinson explain what she knows about the pardons sought 

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn kept pleading the fifthWatch the clip

On discussions of removing Trump from office: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said, “”The committee has learned that after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, this was being discussed by members of President Trump’s Cabinet as a way of stripping the full power of the presidency from Donald Trump.”  

IT’S WEDNESDAY. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.

🔎 Jan. 6 

➤SIX TAKEAWAYS FROM HUTCHINSON’S TESTIMONY:

1. “Testimony adds to possible legal case against Trump.” 

2. “Top White House staff knew violence was coming.” 

3. “[Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows] was no check on Trump’s explosive temper.”  

4. “Republican lawmakers further implicated.”  

5. “Committee highlights witness tampering – and asks for others to come forward.” 

6. “Investigators build momentum heading into July.”  

Context and details for each, via The Hill’s Rebecca Beitsch, Mike Lillis and Harper Neidig 

THE PLOT THICKENS
NBC’s Peter Alexander tweeted about the steering wheel incident: “A source close to the Secret Service tells me both Bobby Engel, the lead agent, and the presidential limousine/SUV driver are prepared to testify under oath that neither man was assaulted and that Mr. Trump never lunged for the steering wheel.”  

HOW THE SECRET SERVICE REACTED TO THE ALLEGATIONS THAT TRUMP TRIED TO GRAB THE STEERING WHEEL
The Secret Service said the agency will respond on the record about the allegations. 

From the agency: “The Secret Service has been cooperating fully with the select committee since its inception in spring of 2021 and we will continue to do so by responding formally and on the record to the committee regarding new allegations that surfaced in today’s testimony.” What we know about the alleged incident 

HOW TRUMP HANDLED YESTERDAY’S HEARING:

Trump reacted in real timeHere are a few of his live posts, via Yahoo’s Colin Campbell 

For example — Trump posted: “I hardly know who this person, Cassidy Hutchinson, is, other than I heard very negative things about her (a total phony and ‘leaker’), and when she requested to go with certain others of the team to Florida after my having served a full term in office, I personally turned her request down.”
 

🏛 The abortion fight 

The politics for Republicans are very touchy

“The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down decades of precedent protecting access to an abortion was hailed as a win for conservatives, but the political reality for Republicans is likely to be far more complicated.” 

How so: “Polling has shown a majority of the American public disapproves of the Supreme Court’s position, and prominent Republicans have tip-toed around calls from some conservatives for stricter abortion laws around the nation.”  

This puts Republicans on defense in the midterms: “The court’s decision, which not only upheld Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that directly clashed with the precedent set by Roe v. Wade but overturned altogether federal abortion protections at any stage, creates a quagmire for Republican lawmakers in moderate districts during what has been an otherwise favorable election cycle. And it poses even more questions as the party eyes taking back the White House in 2024.” 

How this could play out, via The Hill’s Brett Samuels 

 ‘DEMOCRATS HOPE ROE V. WADE RULING IS GAME-CHANGER FOR SUBURBAN WOMEN’
Via The Hill’s Hanna Trudo and Julia Manchester 

 ‘THE SENATE RACES THAT COULD BE IMPACTED BY THE END OF ROE. V. WADE’: 

The Hill’s Alexander Bolton compiled a list

➤HOW THE ABORTION DECISION WEIGHS ON HISPANIC VOTERS BEFORE MIDTERMS
Via The Hill’s Alex Gangitano and Rafael Bernal

🏛 Just announced 

Justice Breyer is retiring tomorrow:

Via ABC’s Devin Dwyer, “Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said he will officially step down from the bench at noon on Thursday, relinquishing his duty as a justice and clearing the way for the swearing in of the nation’s first Black female justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson.” The full story

In the White House 

Sprinkle a little more protection here. And sprinkle some there.

President Biden on Wednesday announced plans to bolster U.S. forces in Europe amid a persistent threat from Russia, saying the moves would help NATO fend off threats ‘from all directions, across every domain.’”  

How this was announced: “Biden vowed to increase the number of troops stationed in Europe on the second day of a NATO summit in Madrid during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.”  

What we know about the plan, via The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant

🧀 🌮 Getting the attention it deserves

OMG. It is me. I am your target audience.:

For a limited time, Taco Bell is serving tostadas … ON A GIANT CHEEZ-IT! The giant Cheez-It can also be ordered as a Crunchwrap Supreme. Details from Food & Wine 

The problem: The product is only being sold in Irvine, Calif., as a test run.  

Photo of Taco Bell’s Cheez-It that is 16 times the normal size

🦠 Latest with COVID 

 BY THE NUMBERS 

Cases to date: 86.9 million 

Death toll: 1,011,508 

Current hospitalizations: 25,643 

Shots administered: 593 million 

Fully vaccinated: 66.9 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

🐥Notable tweets 

Today in first lady fashion:


CNN’s Kate Bennett tweeted, “it appears [first lady Jill Biden] is wearing the navy version of this [Oscar de la Renta] floral dress.” Photo 

Lol, grandmothers are the best:

Vulture’s Kathryn VanArendonk tweeted, “shoutout to the grandma in this target at 9am walking a kid down the toy aisle and whispering ‘okay show me the thing you want that you’re not supposed to have.’”

 

On tap 

The House and Senate are out. President Biden is in Madrid, Spain. Vice President Harris is in Washington, D.C. 

  • 4 a.m.: Biden met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
  • 4:20 a.m. Biden participated in an official greeting and family photo with Allied Heads of State and Government. 
  • 4:30 a.m.: Biden attended a North Atlantic Council Session. 
  • 9 a.m.: Biden attended another North Atlantic Council Session. 
  • 11:45 a.m.: Biden met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
  • 1:05 p.m.: Biden attends the Transatlantic Dinner hosted by Spanish PresidentPedro Sánchez
  • 2:45 p.m.: Harris leaves for San Francisco.

All times Eastern.

📺What to watch 

  • 8:25 a.m. Biden met with South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio KishidaLivestream

🍭 In lighter news 

Today is National Almond Buttercrunch Day? 

And because I thoroughly enjoyed this video, here’s a creative way to get a dog to bathe.

Tags 12:30 Report Abortion Cassidy Hutchinson Jan. 6 hearings Mark Meadows presidential pardons Roe v. Wade Supreme Court
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