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: DOJ watchdog releasing report on Clinton probe | Reportedly says Comey 'deviated' from FBI procedures | Full report out at 2 p.m. | NY AG sues to dissolve Trump Foundation | Trump blasts lawsuit, vows not to settle | North Korea airs footage of Trump saluting general | Justices rule against political apparel ban at polling places | National Bourbon Day | World Cup begins



A report on the FBI probe into Clinton released on Trump's birthday -- coincidence or birthday present?:

The Justice Department's inspector general is releasing a highly anticipated report at 2 p.m. on how law enforcement handled the investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE's private email server. 

Yeah, but: Bloomberg News obtained the report information early.



On whether Comey was politically motivated: Former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyFBI memos detail ‘partisan axes,’ secret conflicts behind the Russia election meddling assessment New grounds for impeachment? House Dem says Trump deserves it for making society worse Sessions gets unexpected support - from a Democrat who wants to impeach Trump MORE "deviated" from FBI and Department of Justice protocol, which damaged the agencies' image of being nonpartisan, according to the report. I.e.: Comey was not motivated by political bias, but straying from the normal procedures gave that impression.

On the FBI officials who exchanged anti-Trump texts: The DOJ found no evidence that FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page directly impacted the FBI investigations. Yeah, but: The report noted that their actions "cast a cloud" over the bureau.

What's in the texts: "[Trump's] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!" Lisa Page texted Peter Strzok in August 2016. "No. No he won't. We'll stop it," Strzok responded.





  1. Are there any criminal referrals?: Will the report recommend charges against any DOJ officials? 
  2. What will Trump allies seize upon?: Trump has been seizing on the partisan text messages during the campaign.
  3. Will the inspector general be cast as part of the 'Deep State'?: DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz is a political appointee under both former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaFord taps Obama, Clinton alum to navigate Senate hearing McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination Presidential approval: It's the economy; except when it's not MORE. Before the release, both sides are expressing trust in him. But will Republicans and Democrats take the conclusions seriously?

Details and context for each from The Hill's Katie Bo Williams and Olivia Beavers:


WHEN THE FULL REPORT WILL BE RELEASED: Via CNN's Laura Jarrett, the report will be released at 2 p.m. EDT.

WILL THE WHITE HOUSE AND CONGRESS SEE THIS REPORT FIRST: Yes, both will be briefed before the release.

CLINTON'S FORMER CAMPAIGN CHAIR WEIGHS IN: On The Hill's new morning TV show, "Rising," John Podesta said there is "good evidence" that former FBI Director James Comey "blew the election" for Democrats. Watch his reasoning:


It's Thursday -- the World Cup started this morning! USA, US- oh wait. 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.



Ouch on his actual birthday: 

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood(D) has filed a lawsuit against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE, the Donald J. Trump Foundation and members of the Trump family, calling for the foundation to be dissolved. Why: Alleging that the charity has violated federal and state law. Details: "The complaint alleges that the charity provided illegal support to Trump's 2016 presidential bid by using public funding to promote his campaign, and that the foundation raised more than $2.8 million to support Trump's campaign. The lawsuit also states that Trump used the foundation to cover legal fees and to promote his properties and businesses." Details:

Trump's response: The president is blasting the suit and vowing to fight in court. In a tweet he took aim at former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who resigned after being accused of physically abusing women, even though Schneiderman's successor brought the suit. Trump added: "I won’t settle this case!"


If you like your T-shirts, you can keep them:

Via The Hill's Lydia Wheeler, the Supreme Court just struck down a Minnesota law that banned political clothing at polling places. The ruling: 7-2, saying the ban on wearing political apparel violates freedom of speech. Keep in mind: At least nine other states have similar laws -- Delaware, Kansas, Montana, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Vermont.



Fascinating video -- what North Koreans know about the summit: 
Via BBC, the first footage of the meeting with President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has aired on North Korean TV. The most interesting part: The awkward handshake/salute that is 55 seconds into the video. North Korean TV has been airing the footage of Trump saluting the military officer. Watch:


Reeling it in: 

Via Agence France-Presse, the Pentagon has "suspended indefinitely" large-scale military exercises with South Korea. Details:


Human rights violations, shmuman shmights shmiolations: 

When pressed in an interview by Fox's Brett Baier about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's human rights abuses, President Trump shrugged them off. Trump's reaction: "Yeah, but so have a lot of other people have done some really bad things." On Kim's leadership at a young age: "I don't care who you are, what you are, what kind of advantage you have. If you can do that at 27 years old, you, I mean, that's one in 10,000 that can do that."

Op-ed on why the clock is ticking for Trump to dismantle North Korea's weapons: 



Nancy P loses a friend: 

Rep. Brian HigginsBrian Higgins11 Dems float anti-Pelosi leadership plan: reports Perez: 'Time will tell' if Ocasio-Cortez win signals need for new Dem leadership The Hill's Morning Report — 'Sobering' IG report damages FBI MORE, a New York Democrat, said he will not support House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiTrump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada Lawmakers consider easing costs on drug companies as part of opioids deal New grounds for impeachment? House Dem says Trump deserves it for making society worse MORE (D-Calif.) as the top Democrat in the House. His reasoning: The lack of a party agenda. In his words: "She's listening, but this is my conclusion: She's aloof, frenetic and misguided. I'm giving voice to a frustration that I hear every single day."

DEMS MISS THEIR BUDDY: Via The Hill's Amie Parnes, "When former President Obama left the White House, he pledged to take a back seat to make room for other Democrats in the party to shine. Nearly 17 months later, that's proving to be an impossible task." How so:


Kim K for Kongress: 

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian said she's reaching out to the White House about commuting more drug sentences. What sparked this: Kardashian met with President Trump to encourage him to grant clemency to Alice Johnson, a 62-year old great-grandmother serving a life sentence for a drug offense. Johnson was then released.

THIS A.M. -- INTERVIEW WITH KIM AND ALICE: Via NBC's Today, "A week after being released from prison, Alice Marie Johnson came face-to-face for the first time with Kim Kardashian West and thanked her for the pivotal role she played in getting President Trump to commute her life sentence." Watch:

ICE BREAKERS!: Kardashian said she "broke the ice" in her meeting with President Trump by making a joke about "The Apprentice."



Happening tonight -- are we sure that a Dem vs. GOP wrestling match wouldn't be more fun...?: 

The annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Doors open: 5:30 p.m. First pitch: 7:05 p.m. Details and tickets:

LAST YEAR: Washingtonian's Luke Mullins has a minute-by-minute account of the shooting one year ago today at a Congressional Baseball Game Republican team practice. 





Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpEx-Trump, progressive strategists battle over charges of anti-Semitism surrounding Eric Trump Ethics watchdog requests probe into Trump officials traveling to campaign events Trump praises Arizona governor's pick of Jon Kyl to succeed McCain MORE's birthday Instagram post for President Trump:

Happy birthday Dad! I love you very much. Wishing you your best year yet!!!

A post shared by Ivanka Trump (@ivankatrump) on




The House and Senate are in. President Trump has no public events on his schedule and Vice President Pence has two events in Washington, D.C.

3:30 p.m. EDT: First and last votes in the House. The House's full schedule today:

5 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and second lady Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump rips 'ridiculous' spending bill | FBI dragged into new fight | Latest on Maryland shooting The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — GOP again has momentum on Kavanaugh rollercoaster The Hill's 12:30 Report — Falling Trump approval worries GOP | Florence nears coast | Trump touts Puerto Rico response MORE host a pool party for military children.



10 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence spoke at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast at the Grand Hyatt Washington. Livestream:

Just announced — 2:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives a press briefing. Livestream:



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


Hey now, you're an all star:

MLB's All-Star week is happening in Washington, D.C., this year. Schedule:

OH AND...: The Color Run will happen on July 14 as part of MLB All-Star Week. Details:


And to make your Thursday afternoon feel a little shorter, here's a bear and a little boy literally jumping for joy to see each other. Wow: