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

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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 '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



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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall 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 BrennanOvernight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Trump: I believe Obama would have gone to war with North Korea Intel agencies' threat assessment matters more than tiff with Trump MORE, former national security adviser Susan Rice, former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperThe Hill's Morning Report - What to watch for as Mueller’s probe winds down Mueller report may be 'anti-climactic,' says ex-intelligence director Intelligence chiefs should be commended, despite Trump's attacks on them MORE, former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyRosenstein: My time at DOJ is 'coming to an end' Five takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump FBI’s top lawyer believed Hillary Clinton should face charges, but was talked out of it MORE, former CIA Director Michael Hayden and former FBI Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeRosenstein: My time at DOJ is 'coming to an end' Five takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump Jordan says Oversight should be more focused on McCabe, Rosenstein ahead of Cohen testimony MORE

What started this: Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times The 10 GOP senators who may break with Trump on emergency On unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 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.

How Washington handled the news ;)


Late this morning — here’s Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanFive takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race McCabe: No one in 'Gang of Eight' objected to FBI probe into Trump 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:


It’s Tuesday — one year ago, Anthony ScaramucciAnthony ScaramucciWhite House spokeswoman leaving to join PR firm White House announces changes in press office Scaramucci’s wife says he’s trying not to ‘blab’ White House secrets on ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ 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 and on Facebook.



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

How does a limit not exist?:

—> ;)

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:

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.

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.

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.”

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.



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."

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!"


This kind of irony makes my job easy:

Via, 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:



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:

How to buy the book:

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:


Not happening tomorrow — Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortWhite House braces for Mueller report Hillicon Valley: Trump pushes to speed up 5G rollout | Judge hits Roger Stone with full gag order | Google ends forced arbitration | Advertisers leave YouTube after report on pedophile ring Manafort to be sentenced for bank, tax fraud in Virginia on March 8 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.





Me too, Smokey. Meee too:



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:

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 Morning Report - What to watch for as Mueller’s probe winds down The 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 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.



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:

2:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday: Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall Dems demand briefing, intel on North Korea nuclear talks Pompeo: US will not share information with countries using Huawei systems MORE is testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Details and livestream:

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:



Today is National Tequila Day! Here’s a list of tequila deals around the country today:


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:

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


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:


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: