The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — GOP spars with FBI agent at tense hearing

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: http://bit.ly/1M1mIfw

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: http://bit.ly/1Tt4hqN

--> 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: Tense hearing as FBI agent defends anti-Trump texts | Strzok won't answer questions on Russia probe | Hearing devolves into partisan fighting | Trump claims NATO allies will raise defense spending | Dems face tough bind over Kavanaugh | Officials complete first round of child reunifications | Ocasio-Cortez accuses Crowley of third-party bid | Manafort mugshot released 

HAPPENING THIS A.M.

Today in 'this sounds like a miserable way to spend your morning':

 

Republicans on Capitol Hill grilled FBI agent Peter Strzok at a tense hearing this morning about anti-Trump texts he sent while working on special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE's investigative team. Why this is important to Republicans: Republicans want to prove political bias in the FBI to discredit the Russia investigation.  http://bit.ly/2ud9myy

NEWS FROM THE HEARING:

How the hearing is going -- yikes: "Strzok hearing now a complete circus, quickly descending into a heated back-and-forth between the two sides about whether he can answer questions about an ongoing investigation as instructed by the FBI. Goodlatte warns of holding Strzok in contempt, Nadler moves to adjourn." http://bit.ly/2KUad1e

Dems applauded Strzok: "FBI Agent Peter Strzok applauded by Democratic members of House Oversight Committee after passionate response to Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyMore than two dozen former prosecutors, judges, active trial lawyers support DOJ decision to dismiss Michael Flynn case Sunday shows preview: As states loosen social distancing restrictions, lawmakers address dwindling state budgets John Ratcliffe is the right choice for director of national intelligence — and for America MORE, saying Gowdy's accusation 'deeply corrodes what the FBI is in American society, the effectiveness of their mission, and it is deeply destructive.'" Watchhttp://bit.ly/2utxg8b

Oh fun fact: Dems tried to subpoena Steve BannonStephen (Steve) Kevin BannonFBI investigating Chinese media tycoon linked to Bannon: report Mueller investigation witness George Nader sentenced to a decade in prison in child sex case Biden would fire Trump appointee leading US media agency for 'hijacking' outlet MORE: During the hearing, Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellTrump administration moves to formally withdraw US from WHO Swalwell: Trump 'makes us look like geniuses every day for impeaching him' Voters must strongly reject the president's abuses by voting him out this November MORE (D-Calif.) called for a vote to subpoena Steve Bannon. The panel quickly voted it down along party lines. 

Is security around just in case they actually brawl?: The hearing turned chaotic after a question from House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy(R-S.C.). Strzok declined to answer Gowdy’s question about how many interviews he conducted during the first week of the Russia probe. Full back and forth: http://bit.ly/2N8Aiq0

Photo of Strzok arriving -- So. Many. Cameras.: http://bit.ly/2KP0j0W

Live blog with updates: http://bit.ly/2ud9myy

Livestream of the hearing: http://bit.ly/2JgHs9a

BEFORE THE HEARING BEGAN -- President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump on Kanye West's presidential run: 'He is always going to be for us' Marie Yovanovitch on Vindman retirement: He 'deserved better than this. Our country deserved better than this' Trump says Biden has been 'brainwashed': 'He's been taken over by the radical left' MORE WEIGHED IN: President Trump weighed in on the back and forth over FBI lawyer Lisa Page's subpoena, questioning how Page has not been forced to testify before Congress. Page traded messages with Strzok, with whom she was having an affair. Background: Page dodged a subpoena on Wednesday, and her lawyer said they are talking to lawmakers about arranging an interview. Trump tweeted: "As I head out to a very important NATO meeting, I see that FBI Lover/Agent Lisa Page is dodging a Subpoena & is refusing to show up and testify. What can she possibly say about her statements and lies. So much corruption on the other side. Where is the Attorney General?" http://bit.ly/2KRhKhu

 

It's Thursday! 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 cmartel@thehill.com@CateMartel and on Facebook.

 

 

THE NATO SUMMIT CONCLUDES

Trump ruffled some feathers:

President Trump said NATO allies have agreed to "substantially up" their defense spending commitments. The full quote: "Tremendous progress has been made. Everyone's agreed to substantially up their commitment. They're going to up it at levels that they've never thought of before." The context of the quote: During a press conference after the NATO summit. But hold on: It's unclear if there were any promises made to accelerate spending. French President Emmanuel Macron said allies were just sticking with their previous goals. http://bit.ly/2L0RpNd

Watch Trump's full explanation: http://bit.ly/2NbgTF3

DID TRUMP THREATEN TO PULL OUT OF NATO?: Some news organizations are reporting that President Trump threatened to pull out of NATO over the spending fight, but French President Emmanuel Macron says Trump did not threaten to leave the alliance. https://reut.rs/2uqWVhS

FROM THE NATO CHIEF: From NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg: "The important thing now is that we need to invest more. We need to get more money. And the good thing is that, very much because of that very clear message from President Trump on this meeting, I think that allies understand there is a need to do that. There's an urgency, there's a sense of urgency when it comes to delivering on that commitment." http://bit.ly/2mdKdPL

THE PEOPLE LOVE ME, THEY REALLY LOVE ME: Trump downplayed the expected protests in London, where he arrived after the NATO summit. In Trump's words: "I think it's fine. I think they like me a lot in the U.K. I think they agree with me on immigration." http://bit.ly/2L7Ky15

IF YOU HEAR THIS LINE, IT'S JUST FACTUALLY NOT TRUE: For the third time, President Trump falsely claimed that President Reagan didn't win Wisconsin during his 1984 reelection bid. In Trump's words: "One of the states we won -- Wisconsin -- I didn't realize this until fairly recently, that was the one state that Ronald Reagan didn't win when he ran the board his second time." What really happened: Reagan *did* win Wisconsin in 1980 and 1984. Minnesota was the only state Reagan didn't win in 1984. http://bit.ly/2L096MX

What a decorative idea:

Close-up photos of the performer suspended in the air -- they do not disappoint --> http://bit.ly/2N9wC7l 

Photos of the commemorative coins released after Trump's NATO summit: http://bit.ly/2JiyWXs

 

NEWS THIS A.M.

Just announced -- who wants to make festive Russian vodka drinks and watch with me?:

Fox News's Chris Wallace has an exclusive interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. Where: From Helsinki, Finland, following President Trump's summit with Putin. http://bit.ly/2ugp7ob

 

Another one bites the dust:

Via Politico's Matt Nussbaum, White House legislative affairs director Marc Short is leaving by July 20. Timing: Short is leaving right as the Supreme Court confirmation heats up and before the midterm elections. Short's new gig: He will teach at the University of Virginia's business school and will work at Guidepost Strategies consulting firm. https://politi.co/2KV6UqQ

MARC SHORT'S REPLACEMENT: Via The Hill's Jordan Fabian, Megan R. Wilson and Juliegrace Brufke, "Shahira Knight, a top White House economic adviser who was instrumental in advancing President Trump's tax-cut law, will become the president's next emissary to Capitol Hill, according to three sources familiar with the move." http://bit.ly/2mfFVal

 

IN OTHER NEWS

D vs. D brawl:

New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D), who defeated Rep. Joseph Crowley (D), is accusing Crowley of refusing to concede the race and of planning to run as a third party candidate against her. She tweeted: "[Crowley] stated on live TV that he would absolutely support my candidacy. Instead, he's stood me up for all 3 scheduled concession calls." http://bit.ly/2L0w3zB

HOW CROWLEY REACTED: He tweeted, "Alexandria, the race is over and Democrats need to come together. I've made my support for you clear and the fact that I'm not running. We've scheduled phone calls and your team has not followed through. I'd like to connect but I'm not willing to air grievances on Twitter." http://bit.ly/2L0w3zB

DEMS' DIRTY LAUNDRY IS BEING AIRED: Via The Hill's Mike Lillis, "House Democrats are struggling to show a united front as the shocking ouster of their Caucus chairman rekindles tensions about the future of the party -- and who is best suited to lead it into the crucial 2020 cycle." http://bit.ly/2zwSyHA

MEANWHILE - HOW BRETT KAVANAUGH'S CONFIRMATION PROCESS IS GOING: Pretty well for Kavanaugh. But Democrats are in a tough bind now on how to block Kavanaugh's nomination. Leaders have to balance between red-state Dems worried opposing Kavanaugh could hurt them in the midterms and progressives who want an all-out attack. http://bit.ly/2Lat04m

 

Mueller orders subpoenas like most people order books of stamps:

Special counsel Robert Mueller is asking a federal court for 100 more blank subpoenas before the trial of Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump turns to immigration; primary day delays expected GOP votes to give Graham broad subpoena power in Obama-era probe Will the 'law and order' president pardon Roger Stone? MORE, President Trump's former campaign chairman. The subpoenas: Would require people to testify on July 25 -- when Manafort's trial starts. Keep in mind: Last month, Mueller had asked for 150 other blank subpoenas. http://bit.ly/2KR9IVS

 

How the family reunification is going:

Via CNN, the Trump administration says most of the youngest children who were separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border have been reunified. But not all children: Dozens of young children are still unable to be reunified. The numbers: 57 of the children under the age of 5 have been reunified; 46 have not. https://cnn.it/2uqFCxm

 

Spotted -- time to celebrate:

Via The Hill's Judy Kurtz, Washington insiders celebrated the launch of Hill.TV at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. Spotted: President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani; Reps. Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyNew York candidates left on hold as primary results trickle in New Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Nurses union warns of shortage in protective gear amid new coronavirus surge MORE (D-N.Y.), Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellDingell pushes provision to curtail drunk driving in House infrastructure package 18 states fight conservative think tank effort to freeze fuel efficiency standards Pelosi: George Floyd death is 'a crime' MORE (D-Mich.), Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Mia LoveLudmya (Mia) LoveFormer NFL player Burgess Owens wins Utah GOP primary The Hill's Campaign Report: The political heavyweights in Tuesday's primary fights The biggest political upsets of the decade MORE (R-Utah); former Trump campaign manager Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiTrump World boils over as campaign hits skids The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump turns to immigration; primary day delays expected Sunday shows preview: Bolton delivers bombshell while US tackles COVID-19, police brutality MORE; The Hill's chairman, James Finkelstein; The Hill's vice president of digital video and head of Hill.TV, John Solomon; Airlines for America's Rebecca Spicer; The Hill publisher Jack RotherhamPam Stevens; The Hill editor-in-chief Bob Cusack; GOP strategist Ron BonjeanAdam FalkoffErin McPike; BGR Group's Jeff BirnbaumRebecca Cooper; FP1 Strategies' Lauren Zelt; New York Post's Nikki Schwab; and Brendan Kownackihttp://bit.ly/2Jgdhzf

 

SPONSORED CONTENT - DELTA AIR LINES

 

 

At Delta Air Lines, we’re striving to build a better world one home at a time, through our proud partnership with Habitat for Humanity. For more information about Delta, visit www.delta.com.

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

Just released — yep, that's a mug shot: 

 

Getting traction -- #Investigation:

Watch: http://bit.ly/2KT5CfS

And a follow-up from Mike Sakasegawa: "I'm sorry I can't respond to everyone individually. Just to answer a couple questions that have been asked a bunch: the lemon stopped rolling because we got to the bottom of the hill. The lemon is still intact, in my kitchen, and I don't know what I'm going to do with it yet." http://bit.ly/2KT5CfS

 

ON TAP

The House and Senate are in. President Trump is in the United Kingdom and Vice President Pence is in Washington, D.C.

11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence did a series of interviews with local news outlets. 

1:15 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House. The House's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2jYhqPv

1:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes on a confirmation. The Senate's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2NaqqvM

1:55 p.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpStatue of Melania Trump set on fire in Slovenia The Memo: Trump gambles on school push The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook- Schools weigh reopening options MORE leave London for dinner in Oxfordshire, England.

3:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump attend a gala dinner in Oxfordshire, England. They then head back to London.

5:15 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.

Monday: President Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Op-ed: http://bit.ly/2JfOviI

 

WHAT TO WATCH

10 a.m. EDT: FBI agent Peter Strzok testified about the Russia investigation. More specifically: The anti-Trump text messages he shared with FBI lawyer Lisa Page during the 2016 presidential race. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2JgHs9a

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Pecan Pie Day.

 

Because everyone knows how I much I love puns: 

Actors Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler released a video of crafty puns to promote their new crafting competition show. Watch: http://bit.ly/2mdQKtR

 

And because you made it to the end, here's an adorable video of a girl who wants no part of her ballet recital. Her dad has the best reaction: http://bit.ly/2usG1iz