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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: FBI fires agent over anti-Trump texts | Trump on firing: 'finally' | Omarosa shares secretly recorded Trump call | Trump lashes out at 'wacky' and 'lowlife' Omarosa | DC Unite the Right rally fizzles | New Google data controversy | National Filet Mignon Day deals | DC Restaurant Week begins



And another one bites the dust:

The FBI has fired counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, who sent anti-Trump text messages during the 2016 presidential election.

Keep in mind: "Strzok, a 21-year veteran of the bureau, has faced a barrage of attacks from Trump and Republicans after an internal investigation from the Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed he had sent messages critical of the then-Republican candidate during the 2016 presidential race to then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page. The two were having an extramarital affair at the time."

How it went down: Via The Washington Post's Matt Zapotosky,"Aitan Goelman, Strzok's lawyer, said FBI Deputy Director David L. Bowdich ordered the firing on Friday -- even though the director of the FBI office that normally handles employee discipline had decided Strzok should face only a demotion and 60-day suspension. Goelman said the move undercuts the FBI's repeated assurances that Strzok would be afforded the normal disciplinary process."

Why this is big: "The termination marks a remarkable downfall for Strzok, a 22-year veteran of the bureau who investigated Russian spies, defense officials accused of selling secrets to China and myriad other important cases." Strzok's two recent major cases: The Russia investigation and the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats seek leverage for trial Davis: Trump vs. Clinton impeachments – the major differences Sharice Davids to vote for Trump impeachment articles: 'The facts are uncontested' MORE email server probe.


Just now — Trump weighs in:

President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE just tweeted that the FBI "finally" fired Peter StrzokHe tweeted: "Agent Peter Strzok was just fired from the FBI - finally. The list of bad players in the FBI & DOJ gets longer & longer. Based on the fact that Strzok was in charge of the Witch Hunt, will it be dropped? It is a total Hoax. No Collusion, No Obstruction - I just fight back!"


It's Monday -- welcome back! 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.



Former reality television stars duke it out: 

This morning, President Trump lashed out at former White House aide Omarosa Manigault NewmanOmarosa Onee Manigault NewmanAuthor of anonymous 'resistance' NYT op-ed to publish book Juan Williams: Black Republicans call out Trump — finally — on race Michael Cohen denies Omarosa advising him in prison MORE as she promotes her book about her time in the West Wing.

He tweeted: "Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on the Apprentice, now got fired for the last time. She never made it, never will. She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok. People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart. I would rarely see her but heard."

Trump later added: "While I know it's 'not presidential' to take on a lowlife like Omarosa, and while I would rather not be doing so, this is a modern day form of communication and I know the Fake News Media will be working overtime to make even Wacky Omarosa look legitimate as possible. Sorry!"


What sparked the tweet -- I feel like we're peeking into the next generation of White House leaks: 

This morning, former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman released a recording of a private phone call she had with President TrumpThe gist of the recording: Trump appeared surprised to learn that Manigault Newman was fired and suggested he disliked the decision.

Trump: "Omarosa, what's going on? I just saw on the news that you're thinking about leaving. What happened?" 

Omarosa: "General Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave."

Trump: "No. Nobody even told me about it."

Omarosa: "Wow."

Trump: You know, they run a big operation but I didn't know it. I didn't know that. Goddamn it. I don't love you leaving at all." 

Listen to the brief audio released on NBC's 'Today' -- the conversation starts at the 43-second mark:

AND MORE FROM OMAROSA THIS MORNING: "John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE is running this White House and Donald Trump has no clue what's going on," she said.  



This isn't the first recording -- Omarosa released another recording yesterday: 

On NBC's "Meet the Press," Omarosa Manigault Newman released a 20-second audio clip of White House chief of staff John Kelly firing her.

Kelly: "We're gonna talk to you about leaving the White House. It's come to my attention over the last few months that there's been some pretty, in my opinion, significant integrity issues."

Listen to the 20-second clip:

Omarosa explained why she made the recording: "If I did not have this recording, people would still believe the false, incredible story that I was running around the White House," she said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "That I tried to charge the residence of the White House. People would still think that I was trying to set off alarms. So yes, I recorded myself, and I have no regret about it."

THE WHITE HOUSE'S REACTION: From press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: The "very idea a staff member would sneak a recording device into the White House Situation Room, shows a blatant disregard for our national security. And then to brag about it on national television further proves the lack of character and integrity of this disgruntled former White House employee."

Unclear. The White House is looking into legal options against Omarosa Manigault Newman to prevent her from releasing more tapes.

KEEP IN MIND ABOUT OMAROSA'S BOOK: "Even with all this media attention, Omarosa's book still has not cracked the top 10 on Amazon's best-selling books page. Right now it's at #17... Bob Woodward's 'Fear' is at #11, and it's not out for another month." (From CNN's Brian Stelter

A THROWBACK I DON'T EVER WANT FORGOTTEN: "Omarosa caused a security and ethics stir when she dropped into the White House in full bridal attire and with members of her bridal party to try to hold a wedding photoshoot in the Rose Garden and throughout the West Wing." How Omarosa got away with stunts like this:



I believe the word we're looking for is a 'nothingburger':

Via The New York Times's Richard Fausset, "After weeks of hype, white supremacists managed to muster just a couple of dozen supporters on Sunday in the nation's capital for the anniversary of their deadly rally in Charlottesville, Va., finding themselves greatly outnumbered by counterprotesters, police officers and representatives of the news media."

Best way to describe the D.C. rallies -- ;)

The turnout: 100 to 400 far-right activists were expected to attend; two dozen showed up. Meanwhile: Thousands of counterprotesters showed up.



Full-size photo:

Full-size photos:

Meanwhile in Charlottesville: "Protestors didn't want to be filmed and cut my photographer's audio cable cord." Photo:



Why Republicans need a win this fall

Via The Hill's Melania Zanona and Juliegrace Brufke, if Democrats perform well at the polls in November, it could wipe out several up-and-coming GOP leaders. Examples of vulnerable Republicans: Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersIsraeli, Palestinian business leaders seek Trump boost for investment project The Suburban Caucus: Solutions for America's suburbs Shimkus announces he will stick with plan to retire after reconsidering MORE (Wash.) and Reps. Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsTexas GOP rep predicts heavy Democratic presence in state ahead of 2020 Bottom Line The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - GOP snags mic with impeachment protest MORE (Texas), chairman of the House Rules Committee, and Mimi Walters (Calif.). How this could play out:


Google is going to own all of us soon, aren't they?:

Via an investigation by The Associated Press, many Google services are still storing users' locations even if they turn off the location sharing settings. How that works:



Watching a car accident in slow motion -- literally:

Omg, this is so painful to watch.



This was tweeted by the Chisago County Sheriff's Office in Minnesota, by the way: 




The House and Senate are still out.  

12:50 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves his golf course in Bedminster, N.J., and travels to Fort Drum, N.Y.

3:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves Fort Drum, N.Y., for Utica, N.Y.

4:35 p.m. EDT: President Trump hosts a roundtable with supporters in Utica, N.Y.

5:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at a joint fundraising committee reception in Utica, N.Y. He then heads back to Washington, D.C.

5:30 p.m. EDT: Former White House press secretary Sean SpicerSean Michael Spicer'A Warning' replaces Donald Trump Jr.'s 'Triggered' as No.1 book on NYT bestseller list Sarah Sanders defends Trump: He reads 'more than anybody I know' The Hill's Morning Report - Witness transcripts plow ground for public impeachment testimony MORE speaks at the National Press Club. Details:

8:05 p.m. EDT: President Trump arrives at the White House.

TuesdayVice President Pence campaigns in Cincinnati and Perrysburg, Ohio. Details:

Noon Wednesday: The Senate returns from its non-recess recess. Keep in mind: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats seek leverage for trial Democrats spend big to put Senate in play House Democrats to vote on flavored e-cigarettes ban next year MORE (R-Ky.) canceled the Senate's recess this year. When the Senate last met: Aug. 1.



2:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump delivers remarks in Fort Drum, N.Y., and signs the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. Vice President Pence also attends. Livestream:



Today is National Prosecco Day! It's also National Filet Mignon Day!

To celebrate: Morton's Steakhouse is offering $1 petite filet mignon sandwiches in the bar area. Details:


This is both beautiful and overwhelming:

Dubai has plans to create a $2 billion mall with 8 million square feet of retail space. Details:

Photos of the plans -- it looks pretty crazy:


One of the best weeks of the year!:

The Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week kicks off today through Aug. 19. The list of participating restaurants: 

Some of the best restaurant week brunches:


And because it's an August afternoon, here's a dog who loves the summertime more than any of us: