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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

 

BREAKING

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. http://bit.ly/2MnXB2l

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." http://bit.ly/2MnXB2l

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." https://wapo.st/2w4xRxH

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 Clinton2016 pollsters erred by not weighing education on state level, says political analyst Could President Trump's talk of a 'red wave' cause his supporters to stay home in midterms? Dem group targets Trump in M voter registration campaign: report MORE email server probe. https://wapo.st/2w4xRxH

 

Just now — Trump weighs in:

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown 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!" http://bit.ly/2nzFKaE

 

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 cmartel@thehill.com@CateMartel and on Facebook.

 

TALK OF THE MORNING

Former reality television stars duke it out: 

This morning, President Trump lashed out at former White House aide Omarosa Manigault NewmanOmarosa Onee Manigault NewmanFeehery: Are you (October) surprised? Juan Williams: Trump's war on civil rights Sales of political books up 25 percent in 2018: report MORE as she promotes her book about her time in the West Wing. http://bit.ly/2B8jXRf

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." http://bit.ly/2OyfSr9

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!" http://bit.ly/2B8jXRf

 

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: http://bit.ly/2B6AtRy

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. http://bit.ly/2OxOl9k  

  

OVER THE WEEKEND

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. http://bit.ly/2MJlP3Y

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: http://bit.ly/2MHy951

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." http://bit.ly/2MJlP3Y

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." http://bit.ly/2MFvU1S

THE NATURAL QUESTION -- IS IT ILLEGAL FOR OMAROSA TO RELEASE THESE TAPES?: 
Unclear. The White House is looking into legal options against Omarosa Manigault Newman to prevent her from releasing more tapes. https://abcn.ws/2MKyVyd

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 Stelterhttp://bit.ly/2w3R16R

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: http://bit.ly/2MHmDq5

  

THIS WEEKEND'S PROTESTS

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." https://nyti.ms/2Ma3fG9

Best way to describe the D.C. rallies --http://bit.ly/2B6OfUg ;)

The turnout: 100 to 400 far-right activists were expected to attend; two dozen showed up. Meanwhile: Thousands of counterprotesters showed up. https://usat.ly/2w7ltgm

 

Oh.:

Full-size photo: http://bit.ly/2MKlmih

Full-size photos: http://bit.ly/2MoW8J9

Meanwhile in Charlottesville: "Protestors didn't want to be filmed and cut my photographer's audio cable cord." Photo: http://bit.ly/2B6ATY9

 

IN OTHER NEWS

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 RodgersGOP: The economy will shield us from blue wave Jordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker Conservatives blame McCarthy for Twitter getting before favorable committee MORE (Wash.) and Reps. Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsTrump: Republicans' and my poll numbers would be higher if not for Mueller's 'witch hunt' Bannon says right must support ‘RINOs’ Bannon seeks to boost Republican turnout in midterms with new film MORE (Texas), chairman of the House Rules Committee, and Mimi Walters (Calif.). How this could play out: http://bit.ly/2Ox7qZ4

 

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: http://bit.ly/2B6FQjN

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

Watching a car accident in slow motion -- literally:

Omg, this is so painful to watch.

Watch: http://bit.ly/2vCfBww  

 

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

Watch: http://bit.ly/2Mgn4eY  

 

ON TAP

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 SpicerSpicer: Press have 'a personal animus' against Trump administration Spicer: People at White House are 'burnt out' Spicer: On-camera briefings have become 'grandstanding' opportunity for reporters MORE speaks at the National Press Club. Details: http://bit.ly/2MgDvIl

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

TuesdayVice President Pence campaigns in Cincinnati and Perrysburg, Ohio. Details: https://cin.ci/2P4Yc7y

Noon Wednesday: The Senate returns from its non-recess recess. Keep in mind: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFord's lawyer: Hearing doesn't appear to be designed for 'fair', 'respectful' treatment GOP opens door to holding Kavanaugh committee vote this week Press: Judge Kavanaugh must withdraw MORE (R-Ky.) canceled the Senate's recess this year. When the Senate last met: Aug. 1.

 

WHAT TO WATCH

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: http://bit.ly/2MGA49R

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

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: http://bit.ly/2OArCtn

 

This is both beautiful and overwhelming:

Dubai has plans to create a $2 billion mall with 8 million square feet of retail space. Details: https://cnn.it/2B6MlmG

Photos of the plans -- it looks pretty crazy: https://cnn.it/2B3qUTi

 

One of the best weeks of the year!:

The Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week kicks off today through Aug. 19. The list of participating restaurants: http://bit.ly/2B8ISEe 

Some of the best restaurant week brunches: http://bit.ly/2nzbIUw

 

And because it's an August afternoon, here's a dog who loves the summertime more than any of us: http://bit.ly/2nCwuCx