The Hill's 12:30 Report — NYT says Cohen taped Trump on payments | Trump floats tariffs on all Chinese imports | Russia open to new summit

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*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill's 12:30 Report: Breaking - Cohen reportedly taped Trump on payment to ex-Playboy model | Trump floats tariffs on all Chinese imports | Russia 'open' to second summit | GOP senators try to wave Trump off | Russia moves demoralize Trump's team | New questions about Kelly's future | Roseanne posts bizarre video about racist tweet



Plot twist -- I bet President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address MORE has a few words for Michael Cohen right about now...:

Via The New York Times's Matt Apuzzo, Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt, "President Trump's longtime lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, secretly recorded a conversation with Mr. Trump two months before the presidential election in which they discussed payments to a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump, according to lawyers and others familiar with the recording." What happened to the recording?: The FBI seized that recording when the agency raided Cohen's office and home. Read the full article:

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT: "The recording's existence further draws Mr. Trump into questions about tactics he and his associates used to keep aspects of his personal and business life a secret. And it highlights the potential legal and political danger that Mr. Cohen represents to Mr. Trump."

HOW TEAM TRUMP REACTED TO THIS NEWS: President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani acknowledged that Trump discussed payments, but never actually made them. He said the recording showed Trump did nothing wrong.


Happy summer Friday! 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.



Y'know what? Make that ALL Chinese imports:

In an interview with CNBC, President Trump said he is "ready to go" with $500 billion in tariffs on *all* Chinese imports. In Trump's words: "I'm not doing this for politics. I'm doing this to do the right thing for our country. We have been ripped off by China for a long time and I told that to President Xi [Jinping]."

Watch Trump's full interview on CNBC:

Or read the transcript:

Best tweet I've read all week: "At least one headline on auto-related tariffs should read: 'Drove the levies to the Chevy' "(From writer Daniel Gross)


I'm willing to bet Vladimir Putin wouldn't stay at The DuPont Circle Hotel...:

President Trump has completely demoralized his own team this week with his comments on Russia, including his most recent invite for Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit the White House. The dilemma for aides: "The dizzying and often contradictory array of statements from the president and White House have also posed a dilemma for handpicked aides and advisers who are hawkish on Russia: remain on board or resign." How it's been playing out:

HOW RUSSIA REACTED TO THE WHITE HOUSE INVITATION -- LET'S DO IT: Russia's Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov said, "Russia was always open to such proposals. We are ready for discussions on this subject."

HOW SENATE REPUBLICANS ARE REACTING -- PLEASE DON'T: As President Trump discusses the possibility of a second summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Senate Republicans are attempting to wave him off. The most interesting part: The body language of GOP senators when asked about another Trump-Putin meeting. Details:

INTERESTING TIDBIT -- WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF PUTIN COMES TO WASHINGTON?: Via The New York Times's Maggie Haberman, "On cutting-room floor, I asked a McConnell aide if Putin is welcome in the Capitol. 'There is no invitation from Congress,' the aide said."

REACTION FROM A HOUSE INTEL COMMITTEE MEMBER: Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellHouse Intelligence enjoys breakthrough with Justice Department Hillicon Valley: Assange hit with 17 more charges | Facebook removes record 2.2B fake profiles | Senate passes anti-robocall bill | Senators offer bill to help companies remove Huawei equipment On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers MORE (D-Calif.) said on CNN's "New Day," "Most Americans, when their homes get broken into, they upgrade their security system, they don't invite the burglar over for dinner. And the president shouldn't let Vladimir Putin in the Rose Garden for a victory lap."

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR CHIEF OF STAFF John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE: Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, "The future of White House chief of staff John Kelly is the subject of growing speculation, amid the firestorm over President Trump's recent behavior toward Russian President Vladimir Putin." What Trump loyalists are angry about: A Vanity Fair report saying Kelly encouraged congressional Republicans to publicly rebuke Trump's Russia press conference. What Kelly sympathizers are saying: Kelly has found this position in the White House deeply frustrating and his allies wonder how long he will last.

Ooooof, check out today's cover of the New York Daily News: These covers have sure been bold these days.



Remember those Trump-as-a-baby balloons from London? Yeah, you'll be seeing more of those:

Via CNN's David Williams, activists in New Jersey got permission from the U.K. activists who created the Trump balloons to recreate the floats and fly them right outside President Trump's golf club in Bedminster, N.J. Funding: The activists started a GoFundMe and have already raised $17,000.


The weirdest PR stunt I've seen in a while -- yes, it even trumps IHOP's IHOb stunt: 

"Dragging from a cigarette and appearing flustered, an unhinged Roseanne Barr has again blasted Valerie Jarrett, saying she sent out a racist tweet comparing the former Obama adviser to a monkey because she 'thought the bitch was white.' " Coughs on my sip of coffee. I'm not kidding.

Watch the video -- it's insane:


Ugh, this is gut wrenching:

Ayub Ali, whose son and daughter survived the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting earlier this year, was shot and killed this week during a robbery at his convenience store. Details:



Haha, the ending of this is pretty funny:


Yikes, this photo is pretty nuts:

Full-size photo: 



The House and Senate are out for the weekend. President Trump is heading to his golf club in New Jersey and Vice President Pence has no public events on his calendar. SuMmEr ViBeS.

11:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump received his intelligence briefing.

3:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. 

Today: As noted in The Hill's Morning Report, today is the 18-month mark for President Trump's administration. 

This weekend: Here are 12 things happening in D.C. this weekend:



4 p.m. EDT: The National Governors Association holds its summer meeting. Livestream:



Today is National Lollipop Day.


Stretchy ice cream is a thing, by the way:

Via Dessert Insider, check out this stretchy ice cream in Brooklyn, N.Y. Watch:


This story is pretty funny:

BuzzFeed reporter Erin Chack explains how she accidentally became famous in Malta. Watch:

Back story: Here's the article that started it all:


Dogs are not only 'man's best friend.' They are each other's best friends, too!:

Via NBC's 'Today,' a dog fell into a pool and was having trouble getting out. His dog buddy then jumped in and helped him get out. Watch -- it's pretty amazing:


And to get your weekend off to a good start, here's a boy who is *extremely* done with pools: