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

 

TALK OF THE MORNING

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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report 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 BrennanThe wisdom of Trump's lawyers, and the accountability that must follow Mueller's report Ex-CIA director blasts Trump over 'temper tantrums' Ex-CIA director: 'I don't have any doubt' Trump will pardon Manafort MORE, former national security adviser Susan Rice, former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperThe wisdom of Trump's lawyers, and the accountability that must follow Mueller's report Dem rips Clapper: He 'needs to stop making excuses for lying to the American people' Hillicon Valley: Senators urge Trump to bar Huawei products from electric grid | Ex-security officials condemn Trump emergency declaration | New malicious cyber tool found | Facebook faces questions on treatment of moderators MORE, former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyIf Mueller's report lacks indictments, collusion is a delusion Conservatives wage assault on Mueller report Hillicon Valley: Mueller delivers report, ending investigation | FEMA exposed info of 2.3M disaster survivors | Facebook asks judge to toss DC privacy lawsuit | Trump picks his first CTO | FCC settles lawsuit over net neutrality records MORE, former CIA Director Michael Hayden and former FBI Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeThe wisdom of Trump's lawyers, and the accountability that must follow Mueller's report Rosenstein still working at DOJ despite plans to leave in mid-March Graham says he'll probe Rosenstein's 25th Amendment remarks MOREhttps://nbcnews.to/2ObPFPG

What started this: Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHillicon Valley: Mueller delivers report, ending investigation | FEMA exposed info of 2.3M disaster survivors | Facebook asks judge to toss DC privacy lawsuit | Trump picks his first CTO | FCC settles lawsuit over net neutrality records Transparency advocate says government agencies face 'use it or lose it' spending Republicans need solutions on environment too 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 RyanFormer Dem candidate says he faced cultural barriers on the campaign trail because he is working-class Former House candidate and ex-ironworker says there is 'buyer's remorse' for Trump in Midwest Head of top hedge fund association to step down 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 ScaramucciScaramucci: Trump McCain attacks are 'socially unnatural,' 'stupid' The five Trump communications directors who have come and gone White House spokeswoman leaving to join PR firm 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 ManafortBill Maher questions whether Democrats put 'too much trust' in Mueller report Trump, Congress brace for Mueller findings CNN's Toobin: 'Swirl of suspicion' about more indictments not justified 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 PencePence hosts openly gay Irish prime minister and his partner for breakfast The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Senate GOP clash over Yemen, border security Karen Pence leads US delegation to Special Olympics in UAE 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 PompeoUS sanctions Venezuelan bank after Guaidó aide's arrest The Hill's Morning Report — Washington readies for Mueller end game 2020 Dems avoid this year's AIPAC conference 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