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

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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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 GowdySunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Gowdy requests FEMA administrator’s travel records amid allegations Nunes: Russia probe documents should be released before election 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 BannonOur policies on immigration should be forward-thinking Ann Coulter believes Kushner wrote anonymous op-ed bashing Trump Bannon seeks to boost Republican turnout in midterms with new film MORE: During the hearing, Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellDemocrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her Kavanaugh fight roils an already ugly political climate Dem rep apologizes for tweet downplaying threats against Collins' office 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 TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her 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 ManafortDem warns Trump: 'Obstruction of justice' to fire Rosenstein Ex-White House official revises statement to Mueller after Flynn guilty plea: report Former White House lawyer sought to pay Manafort, Gates legal fees: report 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 MaloneyChelsea Clinton: Politics a 'definite maybe' in the future Women poised to take charge in Dem majority A new urgency to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment MORE (D-N.Y.), Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellFormer Rep. John Dingell returns to Twitter after heart attack John Dingell suffers heart attack, said to be ‘in good spirits’ The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil MORE (D-Mich.), Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Mia LoveLudmya (Mia) LoveNumber of GOP women in House could fall to World War II levels, Republican CEO says GOP lacks good funding mechanism for women candidates, says Republican CEO Utah group complains Mia Love should face criminal penalties for improper fundraising MORE (R-Utah); former Trump campaign manager Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Facing major hurricane, Trump is tested Bannon seeks to boost Republican turnout in midterms with new film GOP destroyed oversight — Dems obligated to clean up mess if elected 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 TrumpTrump Jr. to Dem Senator: 'You admitted to hitting your wife so hard it gave her a black eye!' Melania Trump's spokeswoman gets Hatch Act warning for #MAGA tweet Pamela Anderson claims she convinced Melania Trump to stop wearing fur 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