The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump worried Russia will help Dems in midterms

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: Trump 'concerned' Russia may try to help Dems in midterms | Ryan dismisses Trump threat to security clearances as 'trolling' | Dems worry about Trump resilience | Trump says 'tariffs are the greatest' | ABC's Jonathan Karl pens scathing review of Spicer's memoir | National Tequila Day deals

 

TALK OF THE MORNING

If you like your security clearance, you can keep it:

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE is considering removing the security clearances of former officials who have criticized his performance. Why this is so newsy: This move would be wildly unprecedented.

Who Trump is considering removing clearances from: Former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanRetired admiral resigned from Pentagon advisory committee after writing open letter to Trump Rand Paul ramps up his alliance with Trump Hillicon Valley: Trump signs off on sanctions for election meddlers | Russian hacker pleads guilty over botnet | Reddit bans QAnon forum | FCC delays review of T-Mobile, Sprint merger | EU approves controversial copyright law MORE, former national security adviser Susan Rice, former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperRetired admiral resigned from Pentagon advisory committee after writing open letter to Trump Hillicon Valley: Trump signs off on sanctions for election meddlers | Russian hacker pleads guilty over botnet | Reddit bans QAnon forum | FCC delays review of T-Mobile, Sprint merger | EU approves controversial copyright law Former NSA chief breaks with other ex-intel officials over Brennan letter MORE, former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyEXCLUSIVE: Trump says exposing ‘corrupt’ FBI probe could be ‘crowning achievement’ of presidency Russia docs order sets Trump on collision with intel community Dem lawmaker jabs Trump call for transparency by asking for his tax returns MORE, former CIA Director Michael Hayden and former FBI Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeEXCLUSIVE: Trump says exposing ‘corrupt’ FBI probe could be ‘crowning achievement’ of presidency Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lands book deal The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh and his accuser will testify publicly MOREhttps://nbcnews.to/2ObPFPG

What started this: Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate approves 4B spending bill Some employees' personal data revealed in State Department email breach: report The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump says Dems inflated Puerto Rico death toll | House cancels Friday votes | Florence starts to hit coast MORE (R-Ky.) tweeted yesterday that he planned to ask Trump to revoke Brennan’s security clearance. Brennan has been a sharp critic of Trump's handling of Russia. Paul’s reasoning: Paul accused former officials of leveraging their power and access to get media appearances and speaking engagements. http://bit.ly/2mGw3XK

How Washington handled the newshttp://bit.ly/2Llzodl ;)

 

Late this morning — here’s Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanCorey Stewart fires aide who helped bring far-right ideas to campaign: report GOP super PAC hits Randy Bryce with ad starring his brother Super PACs spend big in high-stakes midterms MORE’s explanation of the situation

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says he thinks President Trump is “trolling” former intelligence chiefs by threatening to take away their security clearances. Ryan told reporters: “I think he’s trolling people honestly.” He then elaborated: “This is something that is in the purview of the executive branch. I think some of these people have lost their clearance already; some people keep their clearances.” Watch Ryan handle the question: http://bit.ly/2ND85rJ

 

It’s Tuesday — one year ago, Anthony ScaramucciAnthony ScaramucciAnn Coulter believes Kushner wrote anonymous op-ed bashing Trump Spicer: People at White House are 'burnt out' Scaramucci: John McCain, an inspiration for a day of unity MORE was White House communications director. Oh how I will cherish those 10 days. 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.

 

GETTING TRACTION — TRUMP’S APPROVAL RATINGS

I picture Democrats huddled in a room staring at complicated math equations on a giant chalkboard.

How does a limit not exist?:

—> http://bit.ly/2A8qIlo ;)

Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, Democrats are scratching their heads wondering how President Trump’s poll numbers are basically unchanged since his controversial press conference with Russian President Vladimir PutinHow Democrats hope to overcome that in November and in 2020: http://bit.ly/2mGwktm

RECORD-HIGH POLL FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: A new Gallup poll shows that President Trump’s approval average is the highest since he took office. Approval from April through July: 41.9 percent. http://bit.ly/2Od8an1

AND ANOTHER RECORD-HIGH POLL FOR THE PRESIDENT: An NBC News–Wall Street Journal poll shows President Trump’s approval has risen to 45 percent, his all-time high. http://bit.ly/2mGwktm

HOW DEMOCRATS EXPLAIN TRUMP’S RESILIENCY: “The strength of the economy; his voters’ tendency to discount negative press coverage as a product of the ‘fake news media’; and the visceral connection he enjoys with his base, partly because of his willingness to press cultural hot buttons relating to race, immigration and related issues.” http://bit.ly/2mGwktm

JUST NOW -- TRUMP THINKS RUSSIA WILL HELP THE DEMS: The president just tweeted, "I'm very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don't want Trump!" Yeah, but: Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin stood next to Trump and told reporters he wanted Trump to win the 2016 election. http://bit.ly/2JQyOyO

 

#MADEINAMERICA

Trump: ‘Tariffs are the greatest!’

It’s not that I’m mad this tweet wasn’t in all-caps, it’s just that I’m disappointed

This morning, President Trump defended his actions on trade, tweeting, “All will be Great!” He also criticized other countries for treating the United States like a “‘piggy bank' that's being robbed." http://bit.ly/2OeYng7

Full tweets: "Countries that have treated us unfairly on trade for years are all coming to Washington to negotiate. This should have taken place many years ago but, as the saying goes, better late than never! Tariffs are the greatest! Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs. It’s as simple as that - and everybody’s talking! Remember, we are the 'piggy bank' that’s being robbed. All will be Great!" http://bit.ly/2uL71Lk

 

This kind of irony makes my job easy:

Via Syracuse.com, the White House used silverware that was made in China during its annual Made in America Product Showcase yesterday. The brand: Oneida Ltd. flatware, which is made overseas. Photo: http://bit.ly/2LlV3Cj

 

IN OTHER NEWS

Released today — just think of this book as an artistic representation, not a textbook:

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer released his memoir today. In The Wall Street Journal, ABC’s Jonathan Karl wrote a scathing review of the book. The $$ line of Karl’s review: “Mr. Spicer’s book is much like his tenure as press secretary: short, littered with inaccuracies and offering up one consistent theme: Mr. Trump can do no wrong.” Karl’s full review: https://on.wsj.com/2LB3Yz4

How to buy the book: https://amzn.to/2JQOPEZ

Have $250 burning a hole in your pocket?: You can attend Spicer’s book party. Why this is unusual: Book parties are usually for friends, not for paid guests. That’s not all!: Spicer is also hosting a few other ticketed book events. Details from The New York Times: https://nyti.ms/2Lgis7Y

 

Not happening tomorrow — Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortEric Holder: Trump releasing docs on Russia probe is 'dangerous abuse of power' Time for sunshine on Trump-Russia investigation Legal expert says Manafort deal could help Trump in short term MORE has a few extra days:

A federal judge agreed to delay the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort until July 31. Why the delay: Manafort’s lawyers say they need more time to go through the 120,000 pages of documents recently provided by the prosecution. http://bit.ly/2JRP3vh

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

Tidbit:

 

Me too, Smokey. Meee too:

  

ON TAP

The House and Senate are in. President Trump is in Kansas City, Mo., and Vice President Pence is heading to Billings, Mont., this afternoon.

1 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in swearing-in ceremonies for two U.S. ambassadors.

1:55 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a roundtable with supporters in Kansas City, Mo.

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

2:25 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at a fundraising luncheon in Kansas City, Mo. He then heads back to Washington, D.C.

2:40 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and second lady Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Falling Trump approval worries GOP | Florence nears coast | Trump touts Puerto Rico response The Hill's 12:30 Report — East coast braces for Florence | Trump, Pence mark 9/11 anniversary The Hill's 12:30 Report — White House counsel to depart this fall MORE leave Washington, D.C., for Billings, Mont.

5:30 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.

6:05 p.m. EDT: President Trump arrives back at the White House.

7 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence campaigns for Montana Senate candidate Matt Rosendale.

 

WHAT TO WATCH

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States National Convention in Kansas City, Mo.

2:30 p.m. EDT: “Former Governor John Engler, the interim president of Michigan State University, U.S. Olympic Committee Acting CEO Susanne Lyons, and USA Gymnastics President and CEO Kerry Perry testify at a hearing on protecting athletes from abuse.” Livestream: https://cs.pn/2v0swah

2:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday: Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoGrassley to administration: You must consult Congress on refugee cap Graham knocks South Korea over summit with North Shrapnel in Yemen strikes links US-made bombs to 63 civilian deaths: report MORE is testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Details and livestream: http://bit.ly/2LF9gK1

Monday: Linda Tripp, who exposed former President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, will speak publicly for the first time in almost 20 years.  Livestream: http://bit.ly/2LmFRoB

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Tequila Day! Here’s a list of tequila deals around the country today: https://usat.ly/2JS8JPF

 

I thought you should know:

In honor of Krispy Kreme’s 81st birthday, if you buy a dozen doughnuts at Krispy Kreme this Friday, you can get another dozen doughnuts for $1. Details: https://on.wusa9.com/2LttXIL

RELATED: Auntie Anne’s is offering buy one, get one free pretzels through July 30. Why: Thursday is National Aunts and Uncles Day. Details: http://bit.ly/2JUUDgq

 

This video is insanely cute:

Cheetahs Erin and Rico gave birth to seven cubs at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va. Video of the new cubs: http://bit.ly/2LHAHzy

 

And because you made it this far, here’s a dog and a toddler playing long-distance fetch. I totally understand why this video has gone viral: https://abcn.ws/2uMICVF