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 officials seek more time to reunite families | China accuses US of launching 'biggest trade war' ever as tariffs take effect | Strong June jobs report | Why Coney Barrett is a Supreme Court favorite on the right | Fallout from Pruitt's exit | Trump says he'd offer Warren $1M to prove Native American heritage | Latest on Thai cave rescue



Free idea for Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Justices take up major case on water rules | Dems probe administration's dealings with Saudi Arabia | Greens sue EPA over toxic paint strippers Environmental groups sue EPA in bid to ban toxic paint strippers Overnight Energy: EPA to make formal decision on regulating drinking water contaminant | Utility to close coal plant despite Trump plea | Greens say climate is high on 2020 voters’ minds MORE's next career move -- administer 'Scott's Tots foundation': 


Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is resigning from his post today. Was this a surprise?: Eh, not really. He's been the subject of many controversies over the last few months. But many were surprised by how long Pruitt held on.

PRUITT'S REPLACEMENT: EPA Deputy Director Andrew Wheeler will take over as the acting EPA administrator. "I am both humbled and honored to take on this new responsibility at the same agency where I started my career over 25 years ago," Wheeler wrote in the email obtained by The Hill. Keep in mind: This email was the first official word to 14,000 EPA staffers that Pruitt had resigned.

GOOD READ ON PRUITT'S EXIT: Via Politico's Alex Guillen and Andrew Restuccia, here's "how Scott Pruitt blew it."



WHAT IT'S LIKE WORKING AT THE EPA: Via The Hill's Miranda Green, "Succeeding at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) meant keeping your head down, your opinions to yourself and never saying no to the boss, according to three former staffers who worked under Administrator Scott Pruitt." How so:

TIDBIT -- THE EPA IS SLOWING THE RELEASE OF A CANCER STUDY: Via Politico's Annie Snider, "The Trump administration is suppressing an Environmental Protection Agency report that warns that most Americans inhale enough formaldehyde vapor in the course of daily life to put them at risk of developing leukemia and other ailments, a current and a former agency official told Politico." Full story: 


Happy second Friday of the week! (This week has been confusing, right?) 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, @CateMartel and on Facebook.



What have we learned in all of this? Children don't come with receipts:

Via NBC's Julia Ainsley, the Trump administration has requested more time to reunite children and parents who have been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. The current deadlines: All children under the age of 5 must be reunited by July 10; July 26 for all other children. Why the extension?: Attorneys say it doesn't give enough time to verify each parent. Full story:


First Fridays of the month are for jobs:

The U.S. economy added a solid 213,000 jobs in June, a stronger number than expected. Job gains have averaged 211,000 a month over the last three months. Unemployment rate: The unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4 percent from 3.8 percent. The worry: There are fears the economy will suffer and jobs will be lost from President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ MORE's new tariffs.


The Red Hen is back open for business: 

The Virginia restaurant that kicked out White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reopened today. Why was it closed?: The restaurant has been closed for two weeks because of protests.



Why China isn't exactly sending well wishes to the United States today:

President Trump's 35 percent tariffs on China officially kicked in this morning. What products are affected: 800 Chinese goods worth $34 billion.


The biggest trade war in 100, 1,000, ever:

China accused President Trump of starting "the biggest trade war in economic history." China referred to the tariffs as "typical trade bullying." From the Commerce Ministry: "China is forced to strike back to safeguard core national interests and the interests of its people."





This feels like THE MOST dramatic season of The Bachelor:

(Important programming note: I realize I’ve made "The Bachelor" jokes in the past two editions, but I am in no way a Bachelor fan. It just happens to be the perfect analogy. That is all.)  

President Trump said he has narrowed his search for his next Supreme Court nominee to two or three -- and will have his final decision on Sunday. When we will find out: Monday at 9 p.m. 

CONSERVATIVES' FAVORITE -- AMY CONEY BARRETT: Why: Barrett is a 46-year-old appellate judge. She is young, conservative and religious. Because she is a woman, supporters believe it will make it harder for critics to paint her as extreme on women's rights and health-care issues. Why that matters so much: Retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy was a pivotal vote in the abortion debate, which is expected to flare up again. If she's the pick: Expect an explosive confirmation fight, with the left already making her a target.




Elon Musk's team is helping the Thai soccer team rescue mission:

Tech billionaire Elon Musk is sending a group of engineers to Thailand to help the rescue efforts for a soccer team that has been trapped in a cave. The latest with the rescue efforts:


If I never see a Trump-Warren-Native American headline ever again, it will still be too soon:

During a campaign rally last night, President Trump said he would offer Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders campaign reports raising M in less than a day The Memo: Bernie Sanders’s WH launch sharpens ‘socialist’ question Gillibrand uses Trump Jr. tweet to fundraise MORE (D-Mass.) $1 million to prove her Native American heritage. 

In Trump's words: "But let's say I'm debating Pocahontas, I'll do this ... I'm going to get one of those little kits and in the middle of the debate, when she proclaims she's of Indian heritage -- because her mother said she has high cheekbones, that's her only evidence. We will take that little kit, we have to do it gently because we're in the 'Me Too' generation, we have to be very gentle."

Watch Trump talking about Warren:

Then Warren fired back: Sen. Warren tweeted: "Hey, @realDonaldTrump: While you obsess over my genes, your Admin is conducting DNA tests on little kids because you ripped them from their mamas & you are too incompetent to reunite them in time to meet a court order. Maybe you should focus on fixing the lives you're destroying." 


Trending -- I hope fans didn't try too hard for an encore because Chris Brown had left the building:

When singer Chris Brown walked off the stage after his concert in Florida, sheriff's deputies were waiting to arrest him. What charges: A felony battery charge. His bond: He was released after paying a $2,000 bond. Details:


The strangest thing I've come across this week:

Check out this cover of Friday's New York Post -->



Lol, ouch:





Congress is out. President Trump is at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. Vice President Pence is in Washington, D.C., but will meet Trump for dinner in New Jersey.

Today: Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump administration combining Palestinian mission, Israeli embassy next month: report The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race The Hill's Morning Report - Trump faces mounting challenges to emergency declaration MORE is in North Korea to discuss denuclearization. Details from Reuters:

Photo of Pompeo in Pyongyang: 

11:05 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in a briefing at Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Op-ed on ICE:

7:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump, Harris, Ocasio-Cortez, Charlie Kirk among Twitter's most-engaged users The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld dies at 85 MORE have dinner with Vice President Pence and second lady Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers wait for Trump's next move on border deal MORE in Bedminster, N.J.



11:45 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Livestream:



Today is National Fried Chicken Day!


And to get your weekend off to the right start, here's a toddler who really wants to play hockey: