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: Bannon says Trump should fire Rosenstein if he doesn't produce documents | New round in Trump–'Morning Joe' fight | Ivanka calls family separations a 'low point' at White House | Apple briefly becomes first $1T US company | Shadowy Facebook account led to real protests | Man proposes to Minnie Mouse | National Ice Cream Sandwich Day


Stephen Bannon: 'I love me some Rudy' -- no, really, he said that:

Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, during an interview with The Hill, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls for Republicans to be 'united' on abortion Tlaib calls on Amash to join impeachment resolution Facebook temporarily suspended conservative commentator Candace Owens MORE's former chief strategist Stephen Bannon weighed in on the Trump team's handling of the Russia investigation.


On Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinDemocrats are running out of stunts to pull from impeachment playbook Barr dismisses contempt vote as part of 'political circus' Flynn provided details in Mueller's obstruction inquiry, new memo shows MOREBannon said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is obstructing justice if he doesn't produce documents sought by Congress within 72 hours. "If he doesn't do it in 72 hours, he's fired. I'd fire him," Bannon told The Hill. 

On Rudy Giuliani: Bannon weighed in on President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani: "I love me some Rudy, but I understand Rudy has good appearances and some maybe that are not of the [same] Rudy quality," he said.

On the Russia investigation: Bannon said the probe should be "brought to a conclusion" and that there was "obviously no collusion." Bannon also suggested special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE should create a public report before the midterm elections. 

On the Trump Team's pushback against Mueller: Bannon said that President Trump and his team pushing back against the special counsel investigation "is definitely not an admission of guilt. I think it's an admission of frustration."

On Michael Cohen: Bannon said he had "known Michael for years" but not well. "When I first took over the [Trump] campaign, I was pretty direct with him that there couldn't be any involvement in the campaign, and he really shouldn't be down on the 14th floor," Bannon said, referring to the campaign's offices within Trump Tower. 

The full interview:


Happy August Thursday. 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, @CateMartel and on Facebook.



Breaking -- Apple becomes the first $1 trillion company: 

Via CNBC, Apple just officially became the first publicly traded U.S. company to reach $1 trillion. The threshold that nudged Apple to the record: $207.05 a share. Keep in mind: Apple briefly hit the threshold, but has dropped slightly. The stock number was around $203 yesterday -- what changed: "Investors had previously been looking for a share price of $203.45, but the company's hefty stock buybacks moved the threshold higher."

Any other companies close to the trillion dollar threshold?: "Amazon had also been fast approaching the threshold, surpassing $900 billion in market value in July. Apple had quite the head start, though, hitting $900 billion back in November."


When you repeatedly tell your friend to get over that ex by now -- it's been years: 

This morning, President Trump slammed MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and CNN, while praising "Fox & Friends." 

He tweeted: "Wow, @foxandfriends is blowing away the competition in the morning ratings. Morning Joe is a dead show with very few people watching and sadly, Fake News CNN is also doing poorly. Too much hate and inaccurately reported stories -- too predictable!"

The "Morning Joe' hosts react: Host Joe Scarborough responded on live TV: "If it's true nobody is watching us anymore, we know based on your staff members that we have at least one viewer every morning, and we thank you Donald. We can always count on you. How are you doing? Get some sleep. We're sad for you. He's not doing well." Watch the full real-time reaction on "Morning Joe":

Why this interaction is especially awkward: Let's not forget that Donald Trump used to be buddies with "Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. Their relationship soured during the 2016 presidential election.


Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpHouse Intel to probe whether lawyers for Trump family interfered in investigation Trump Jr. subpoenaed after backing out of interviews: report Graham encourages Donald Trump Jr. to plead the Fifth MORE shares her low point at the White House:

Ivanka Trump, the president's elder daughter and senior adviser, told Axios that her lowest point during her tenure at the White House was the issue of family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border. "That was a low point for me as well. I feel very strongly about that, and I am very vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children." Full quote: 

AND ON THE MEDIA: Ivanka Trump disagreed with her father that the media is the "enemy of the people."


Latest from the Manafort trial -- we're comin' for ya, Rick:

Via The Washington Post, the prosecution in the trial against Trump's former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortUkrainian who meddled against Trump in 2016 is now under Russia-corruption cloud Feds ask judge to postpone ex-Trump campaign aide's sentencing Giuliani cancels trip to Ukraine to press Biden investigation MORE says it plans to call on Manafort's business partner Richard Gates as a witness. "We have absolutely put him on the witness list. We have every intention to call him as a witness." Why this is newsy: Yesterday, a prosecutor told the judge that Gates "may testify in this case, he may not."


New admin, who dis?:

Via The Hill's Timothy Cama and Miranda Green, "the Trump administration rolled out a plan Thursday to weaken the Obama administration's aggressive fuel economy and global warming standards for cars and strip California of its ability to determine its own vehicle regulations for greenhouse gas emissions." Keep in mind: "The Obama administration set the standards in 2012 as part of a set of rules meant to intensify from 2017 through 2026."



Getting traction -- a valedictorian was kicked out of his house: 

A high school valedictorian, who has been accepted to Georgetown University, was kicked out of his house when his parents found out he is gay. His parents also then refused to pay his tuition. His teacher started a GoFundMe with a goal of $20,000 and it has already raised over $114,000. The full story: The GoFundMe page:


How awkward do those Facebook event participants feel right now?: 

Facebook now believes that at least three Facebook events, which were attended by hundreds, were part of a coordinated disinformation network. The events: A group called the Resisters held the events in New York City and Springfield, Mo.

FOR EXAMPLE: On Sept. 9, 2017, 674 responded on Facebook that they would attend a New York event titled "We Stand with DREAMers! Support DACA!" Another 3,000 said they were interested in attending. Did people actually go?: Yes, it appears that way. Check out this New York Post story from Sept. 9:


Who should be especially worried about Republicans losing the House:

Via The Hill's Melanie Zanona, the conservative House Freedom Caucus could be severely weakened if Democrats take the House in November. "Life in the minority would be uncharted territory for the conservative group, which has wielded immense power in the majority by sticking together as a unified voting bloc and fighting unapologetically for its causes. Outside the majority, the band of roughly 30 hard-liners would no longer have the same tools to shape the agenda and negotiate deals with their own leadership."



Hmm, this is not how I pictured an ostrich coat:

Now thiiis is what I pictured --> ;)

How Manafort's lavish lifestyle is part of the prosecution's case:


Yesterday on Capitol Hill:



[Insert Senate hawk jokes here]:



The House is out until September. The Senate is out until Aug. 13. President Trump is holding a rally in Pennsylvania and then heads to his golf club in New Jersey. Vice President Pence has no public events on his calendar.

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

12:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) in the Oval Office.

4:20 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves the White House for Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

6 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a roundtable with supporters. Keep in mind: This is closed press.

9:25 p.m. EDT: President Trump arrives at his golf club in New Jersey.

Today -- Sunday: The Citi Open tennis tournament in Washington, D.C. Details:



7 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Livestream:



Today is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!


Trending -- Do. Not. Mess. With the perfect couple:

During a man's first visit at Walt Disney World, he proposed to Minnie Mouse during a character greeting. The best part: Goofy and Mickey showed up. Mickey's reaction at the end is PRICELESS.

Watch -- it already has 3.76 million views since Sunday:


And because you made it this far, here's a dog with a strangely human scream: