The Hill's 12:30 Report

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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: Breaking - Facebook finds evidence of campaign to influence midterms | Kelly reportedly staying through 2020 | Manafort trial begins | Official likens detention centers to 'summer camp' | Trump makes midterms all about him | Trump 'looking into' 3D plastic guns | US embassies' yard sale | Stolen baby shark found alive | How an ESPN analyst fueled Bryce Harper trade rumors | Where to get free guac on National Avocado Day

 

NEWS OF THE MORNING

This feels like an appropriate time to remind you that Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's doppelganger is 'Law and Order's' Jack McCoy: 

Special counsel Robert Mueller, aka, 'Law & Order's' Jack McCoy / Credit: Getty

Via USA Today, "Jury selection begins Tuesday in former Trump campaign chief Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortCollege admissions scandal underscores importance of attorney ethics in America Five things to watch for as White House readies for Mueller report As Russia collusion fades, Ukrainian plot to help Clinton emerges MORE's trial. He is facing 18 counts of bank fraud and tax evasion charges in Virginia and could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted." https://usat.ly/2LTcgid

Livestream outside the courthouse: https://usat.ly/2LTcgid

How Manafort is pleading: Not guilty to all charges.

Photo of protesters outside the Alexandria, Va., courthouse: http://bit.ly/2KdOmwy

New -- a judge rejected Manafort's appeal to be released: A D.C. appeals court ruled that Paul Manafort must remain in jail ahead of his trial in D.C. When is this separate trial?: September. http://bit.ly/2Aox0O4

Ouch: "The Paul Manafort photo on Wikipedia is his prison mugshot." Screenshot: http://bit.ly/2KcZLwP

Interesting context about the trial: "From a conversation I had with a friend a short time ago, if the June 7th prep meeting did happen, it's actually more important than the collusion meeting on June 9th itself, especially for Jared and Manafort. It's the difference between heat of passion murder and premeditation." (From Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall) Full series of tweets: http://bit.ly/2vjfyV6

 

It's Tuesday. 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.

  

NEWS THIS MORNING

Breaking -- 2018 is the new 2016:

Via The New York Times's Nicholas Fandos and Kevin Roose, "Facebook is preparing to announce that it has identified a coordinated political influence campaign, with dozens of inauthentic accounts and pages that are believed to be engaging in political activity ahead of November's midterm elections, according to three people briefed on the matter." Details: https://nyti.ms/2vrdJFI

 

Also breaking -- John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE agrees to stay: 

Via The Wall Street Journal's Rebecca Ballhaus, Byron Tau and Peter Nicholas, "White House chief of staff John Kelly told staff on Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated MORE had asked him to remain in his post through the 2020 election, White House officials said, a request that comes as tensions between the two men have eased in recent months." How Kelly responded: Kelly agreed to stay. Keep in mind: Monday was Kelly's one-year anniversary in the job. https://on.wsj.com/2LCmmrY

 

Attention, MoviePass subscribers:

The movie theater subscription service MoviePass is increasing its monthly subscription from $9.95 per month to $14.95 per month. Another change to the service: Customers are unable to use the service to see movies in their first two weeks in theaters. What sparked this: The service ran out of money last week, which caused the app to shut down on July 27. https://nyp.st/2v4uhnT

 

You know how legal collusion is? THE MOST LEGAL: 

Criticizing the special counsel investigation this morning, President Trump echoed his lawyer Rudy Giuliani's claim -- that collusion is not a crime. Trump tweeted: "Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn't matter because there was No Collusion (except by Crooked Hillary and the Democrats)!" http://bit.ly/2M6jOP3

 

I bet you can also download a sick water balloon gun:

This morning, President Trump said he is looking into 3D-printed plastic guns and that he has spoken to the National Rifle Association about it. He tweeted: "I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn't seem to make much sense!" http://bit.ly/2v3A2Sv

BACK STORY: Yesterday, eight states and the District of Columbia sued the Trump administration for allowing the distribution of 3D-printed guns. http://bit.ly/2mXTNqc

KEEP IN MIND: Via the BBC, thousands have already downloaded the blueprints to create 3D-printed guns even before the designs were made public. When designs will actually be made public: Wednesday. https://bbc.in/2NW0zZ2

JUST NOW -- STATEMENT FROM LEADER PELOSI: House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report — Washington readies for Mueller end game Dem divisions deepen over approach to climate change 2020 Dems avoid this year's AIPAC conference MORE (D-Calif.) released this statement. "This decision is a death warrant for countless innocent men, women and children. For the sake of all our safety and lives, it must be reversed immediately." http://bit.ly/2Kbhvs9

 

Oh this quote should go over well:

During a congressional hearing this morning, a top U.S. immigration compared family detention centers to summer camps. Who: Matt Albence, an executive associate director at Immigration and Customs Enforcement. How this came up: Albence was pushing back at claims that immigrants have suffered abuse. In Albence’s words: "With regard to the [family detention centers], I think the best way to describe them is to be more like a summer camp.” Services he referenced: Education, basketball courts, exercise classes, soccer fields, and health care. http://bit.ly/2LHRHtg

  

IN OTHER NEWS

If you like your right fielder, you can keep him:

The MLB trade deadline is at 4 p.m. today and there are rumors that Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper could be headed to another team. Here are the latest rumors from Sports Illustrated: https://on.si.com/2LRRqDt

TIDBIT -- THIS WAS NOT A GOOD SIGN IF YOU'RE A NATS FAN: "Welp, [ESPN's Buster Olney] just said if he had to bet the family farm in Vermont, he'd bet that Bryce Harper is on another team by the end of the day." (Tweet from NBC's Mike Memoli) http://bit.ly/2v3Gkl5

BUT THEN LATER IN THE MORNING -- BUSTER MAY LOSE HIS FAMILY FARM: ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted, "Heard the same as [The Washington Post's Chelsea Janes] heard first: Nationals GM Mike Rizzo says Bryce Harper will not be traded today." http://bit.ly/2NZBZ9x

  

You guys, the U.S. government is actually having a yard sale...:

Via The Guardian's Emine Saner, U.S. embassies are auctioning off products they no longer need, with proceeds going to the U.S. Treasury. For example: 1,200 rolls of toilet paper, a circular saw, five broken vacuum cleaners and a Volvo. http://bit.ly/2NZbbq3

See the actual auction -- it's worth checking out: http://bit.ly/2LVZHGI

 

SoOo, what happens if the government shuts down again in October...?: 

Via The Hill's Scott Wong and Juliegrace Brufke, "President Trump's surprise move to threaten a government shutdown if Congress fails to fund his border wall shows he is embracing the hard-line messaging of the House Freedom Caucus and not the more careful approach of GOP leaders ahead of the midterm elections." If there is a shutdown: "It's possible Republican majorities in both chambers could pay a heavy price, which is why GOP leaders have sought to tamp down any talk of a government closure." How this could play out: http://bit.ly/2AyORlw

WHY TRUMP'S STRATEGY IS SO HIGH-RISK: http://bit.ly/2LJfMjK

HM, SO WHAT IS IT?: Via The Wall Street Journal's Peter Nicholas and Kristina PetersonPresident Trump has privately agreed to delay the border wall fight until after the November midterms, despite his public threats. https://on.wsj.com/2OwMnH5

 

SPOTTED

A familiar duo at Dog Tag Bakery in:

Former President Obama and former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenAmy Poehler reveals which Dem candidates her 'Parks and Recreation' character might vote for The Hill's Morning Report — Washington readies for Mueller end game 2020 Dems avoid this year's AIPAC conference MORE had lunch at Dog Tag Bakery in Georgetown yesterday. Video of Obama and Biden ordering: http://bit.ly/2mZQnU1

 

At the Citi Taste of Tennis last night:

Citi held a Taste of Tennis event at the Hamilton Live stage last night to celebrate the start of the Citi Open tennis tournament in the nation's capital. Spotted: U.S. tennis pro and Maryland native Frances Tiafoe, celebrity chef Edward Lee, WJLA news anchor Nancy ChenManny Ortiz of Vantage Knight and Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein. (h/t The Hill's Bob Cusack

  

NOTABLE TWEETS

The senator's throwing some "Sasse":

 

*Confused head tilt*: 

Reaction from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse leaders need to modernize Congress for the sake of America Overnight Energy: McConnell tees up vote on Green New Deal | Centrist Dems pitch alternative to plan | House Republican likens Green New Deal to genocide | Coca-Cola reveals it uses 3M tons of plastic every year House GOP lawmaker says Green New Deal is like genocide MORE (R-Calif.): "This attack on @FLOTUS is disgraceful. Comments like these have no business on any platform. This account should be banned ASAP." McCarthy also tagged Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in the tweet. http://bit.ly/2v1Algy 

 

Yikes:

Full size photo: http://bit.ly/2mZ6aCm

  

ON TAP

The Senate is in. The House is out for August recess. 

12:15 p.m. EDT: The Senate has a vote on extending the National Flood Insurance Program. Senators then break for weekly caucus luncheons. The Senate's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2KcPxfy

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe Hill's Morning Report — Washington readies for Mueller end game 2020 Dems avoid this year's AIPAC conference Pompeo says it's 'possible' God planned Trump to save Jewish people MORE.

2:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and 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., en route to New York City.

2:15 p.m. EDT: The Senate holds a confirmation vote.

3:10 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for Tampa, Fla.

5:35 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and Karen Pence leave New York for Honolulu.

11 p.m. EDT: President Trump arrives at the White House.

Just announced -- Sep. 11: Veteran journalist Bob Woodward releases a new book on the Trump White House. Keep in mind: This is just a few weeks before the midterms. http://bit.ly/2OwjOtw

  

WHAT TO WATCH

4 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at the Department of Homeland Security's National Cybersecurity Summit in New York. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2OuK86Y

6:10 p.m. EDT: President Trump gives a speech on workforce development at Tampa Bay Technical High School. He also signs the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2zl0CZY

7 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Tampa, Fla. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2LM1wpo

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Avocado Day! 

Big day: Chipotle is giving out free guacamole today to celebrate. How to get it: Order online using the code "AVOCADO." http://bit.ly/2AsUcdZ

 

How does one even? But they? In a?:

Via KSAT News, three people stole a shark at the San Antonio Aquarium by disguising it as a baby in a stroller. From the police chief: "When we first got the call, we thought it was kind of a hoax being that it was Shark Week last week. But it turns out someone actually went inside the aquarium there in Leon Valley and stole a horn shark." Watch the surveillance footage of the heist -- it starts at the 49-second mark: http://bit.ly/2Kd1sKt

UPDATE -- MISS HELEN HAS BEEN RETURNED: The shark, named Miss Helen, has been found alive and unharmed. A suspect confessed and charges are expected for the other two suspects. https://nyp.st/2LPceeV

 

And because you made it this far, here's how a golden retriever puppy wakes up its favorite human every day: http://bit.ly/2LEFQMS