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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: Firestorm over Brennan decision | Aretha Franklin dead at 76 | Tributes pour in | Trump tweets 'Queen of Soul' will be 'missed' | Trump accuses Boston Globe of 'collusion' | Twitter's CEO tells The Hill why Alex Jones got suspended | Progressives back away from Pelosi | Abortion fight heats up in the states
Oh no, I feel like 'collusion' is turning into the new #FakeNews:
This morning, President Trump accused The Boston Globe of collusion with other papers after the newspaper coordinated to publish editorials across the country criticizing Trump's attacks on the media.
TALK OF THE MORNING
Oh to be a fly on the wall of John Brennan's office right now:
President Trump drew criticism from both Republicans and Democrats after he decided to revoke former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance. http://bit.ly/2OC3Tcf
How lawmakers reacted: "Most Republican and Democratic lawmakers who balked at Trump's treatment of Brennan argued that former senior intelligence officials can provide useful guidance to current leaders based on their past experiences, and for that reason should keep their clearances as long as they don't improperly disclose information."
But a few sided with Trump's decision: Some Republicans who defended the president said Brennan's recent behavior has been inappropriate for someone with such clearance.
The middle ground: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Brennan "has been far too political in his comments" as a recently retired CIA chief but said that Trump went too far, calling Trump's move "unwise."
PUBLISHED LAST NIGHT -- TRUMP TIES IT TO RUSSIAN COLLUSION: In an interview with The Wall Street Journal's Peter Nicholas and Michael C. Bender, President Trump said the reason he revoked John Brennan's security clearance is related to Brennan's role in the early stages of the Russian interference investigation. "I call it the rigged witch hunt, [it] is a sham. And these people led it!" Trump said. https://on.wsj.com/2KZ88wm
Perspective from 30-year CIA veteran Mark S. Sparkman: http://bit.ly/2Pg0XTw
NEWS THIS MORNING
Rest in peace, Aretha Franklin:
Singer Aretha Franklin has died at the age of 76. The "Queen of Soul" performed for multiple presidents, is an 18-time Grammy Award winner and is one of the best-selling musicians of the 20th century. http://bit.ly/2MhXrun
"Franklin was also recognized by more than one commander in chief. Clinton honored her with the National Medal of the Arts in a 1999 ceremony. President George W. Bush awarded Franklin the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor, in 2005. The entertainer famously caused then-President Obama to wipe tears from his eyes as she belted out a rousing rendition of '(You Make me Feel Like) A Natural Woman' at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors." http://bit.ly/2MhXrun
Franklin's obituary in The New York Times: https://nyti.ms/2L0omFo
JUST NOW -- TRUMP'S TRIBUTE: President Trump just tweeted, "The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is dead. She was a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice. She will be missed!" http://bit.ly/2nKKVVw
TRIBUTES FROM POLITICAL LEADERS: Here's the list: http://bit.ly/2MQVKQK
In an interview with The Hill, Twitter's CEO explains why they suspended Alex Jones:
In an interview with The Hill's Harper Neidig, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said he isn't sure if suspending conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from the platform for seven days will convince the Infowars owner to "reconsider" his social media behavior. http://bit.ly/2vPqsmO
In Dorsey's words: "We're always trying to cultivate more of a learning mindset and help guide people back towards healthier behaviors and healthier public conversation. ... We also think it's important to clarify what our principles are, which we haven't done a great job of in the past and we need to take a step back and make sure that we are clearly articulating what those mean and what our objectives are."
The full interview: http://bit.ly/2vPqsmO
LAST NIGHT -- A CONSPIRACY THEORIST'S RADIO SHOW HAS BEEN SHUT DOWN, BUT NOT FOR THE REASON YOU THINK: The Federal Communications Commission has shut down conspiracy theorist Alex Jones's flagship radio station. Why: The radio station was allegedly running without a license since at least 2013. Is this permanent?: Unclear. The station stopped airing in December and must now pay a $15,000 fine. It still streams online though. http://bit.ly/2KZlYyu
IN OTHER NEWS
I'm thinking Nancy Pelosi should start charming her Party with greeting cards and happy hours:
Via The Hill's Mike Lillis, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is losing support from progressives who have long supported her. Why -- from one Dem lawmaker speaking anonymously: "It's not an ideological thing. When they get to Washington for their orientation, they're going to see the freshman class as change agents. Do you think the first vote they're going to cast is to reelect the entire 80-year-old team? When you put it that way, you start laughing." The liberals who are ditching Pelosi: http://bit.ly/2nGeMhJ
Happening in the states -- scrambling over abortion rights:
Via The Hill's Jessie Hellmann, "the possibility of another Trump nominee ascending to the Supreme Court bench has created a sense of urgency among abortion supporters in the states, where activists are pushing to safeguard access to the procedure." What activists are trying to do: Scrub unenforced laws that restrict abortion, just in case the Supreme Court rules to throw the issue to the states. How this could play out: http://bit.ly/2MhciF7
My takeaway here -- Tiffany Trump orders 'Avocolada' smoothies and I'm intrigued:
Via The Washington Post's Emily Heil writes about Tiffany Trump's experience as a student at Georgetown Law in the city where her dad's policies are controversial. The gist: She is trying to stay under the radar, but it's not always easy. https://wapo.st/2MvA5Ax
From a Georgetown Law reception: " 'Word spread like wildfire that she was there. People were following her around with cameras, and it looked really uncomfortable,' said a student who attended the event and like most of Trump's classmates requested anonymity to discuss a fellow student. 'She left within 10 minutes.' "
On her Secret Service detail: "Members of Tiffany's Secret Service detail dress down in plain clothes but still stick out. 'Law students don't wear ball caps' in class, said another student."
On her routine: "In some ways, she has managed to experience the routines of a typical '1L' or first year student. Lectures. Library time. All-nighters. A person close to Tiffany said she's found the campus 'warm and welcoming.' "
Read the full feature: https://wapo.st/2MvA5Ax
The most important news I've seen today:
Full size photo -- I'm laughing so hard: http://bit.ly/2PcbQWC
The Senate is in. The House is out.
11:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump held a Cabinet meeting.
Noon: The Senate votes to confirm judicial nominee A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr. The Senate's schedule today: http://bit.ly/2PfsLaC
12:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence.
3 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
3:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
Just announced -- Wednesday, Sept. 12: The Hill is hosting an event titled "A Healthy Start: Infant and Early Childhood Nutrition." Featured speakers include Reps. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Brandon Lipps. Details and RSVP: http://bit.ly/2MNhNaS
WHAT TO WATCH
9 p.m. EDT Monday: The 2018 MTV Video Music Awards. Livestream and what to expect: http://bit.ly/2Mq5Efd
NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...
Today is National Rum Day.
And because you made it this far, here's a hilarious video of a K-9 officer who is unsure how he feels about his new toy: http://bit.ly/2wbuqFB
Actually, I take that back. He seems pretty sure.