The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump steps up attack on CNN

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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: Trump steps up attacks on CNN | Trump reportedly discussed preparing for impeachment proceedings | DeSantis says monkey it up remark had 'zero' to do with race | Biden to deliver eulogy at McCain memorial today | Prince Harry sings 'Hamilton' onstage | Chick-fil-A meal kits



If you write 'councel' ONE MORE TIME!:

This morning, President TrumpDonald John TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president MORE denied that outgoing White House counsel Don McGahn is the reason he didn't fire special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE and Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill’s 12:30 Report — Kavanaugh accuser willing to testify | Kavanaugh denies allegations, says he’s willing to testify | 50 days from the midterms Ken Starr backs Mueller, says president 'must be held accountable' The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil MORE

He tweeted: "I am very excited about the person who will be taking the place of Don McGahn as White House Councel! I liked Don, but he was NOT responsible for me not firing Bob Mueller or Jeff Sessions. So much Fake Reporting and Fake News!"


Trump also stepped up his attacks on CNN:

President Trump lashed out at CNN and veteran journalist Carl Bernstein for a July report that the president knew about Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpCNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Kavanaugh accuser willing to testify | Kavanaugh denies allegations, says he’s willing to testify | 50 days from the midterms Trump Jr., Dem congressman spar over Ellison's association with Farrakhan MORE's infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer.

He tweeted: "CNN is being torn apart from within based on their being caught in a major lie and refusing to admit the mistake. Sloppy @carlbernstein, a man who lives in the past and thinks like a degenerate fool, making up story after story, is being laughed at all over the country! Fake News."

CNN then fired back: CNN's official communications Twitter account tweeted back. "Make no mistake, Mr. President, CNN does not lie. We report the news. And we report when people in power tell lies. CNN stands by our reporting and our reporters. There may be many fools in this story but @carlbernstein is not one of them."

Back story: Bernstein wrote in a CNN article in July that Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen was willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that Trump knew about a June 2016 meeting between promising dirt on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump to declassify controversial text messages, documents related to Russia probe Hypocrisy in Kavanaugh case enough to set off alarms in DC Clinton: Hard to ignore 'racial subtext of virtually everything Trump says' MORE.

Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, later told The Washington Post he was a source for that story. But he retracted his claim that Cohen knew Trump was aware of the meeting. CNN, though, maintains it had multiple sources and stands by its reporting.


Happy Thursday. Tomorrow is the last day of August -- yikes. 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.



Don't use the i-word: 

Via The Washington Post's Philip RuckerCarol D. LeonnigJosh Dawsey and Ashley ParkerPresident Trump and his legal team have recently discussed the possibility of impeachment proceedings. Their worry: If Democrats take the House, there could be impeachment proceedings and Trump's legal team doesn't have enough of a strategy or staff to protect him. Full story:



There are hundreds of extremely angry American citizens who are being denied passports and entry: 

Via The Washington Post's Kevin Sieff, the United States is denying passports to hundreds (possibly thousands) of American citizens along the U.S.-Mexico border, questioning their citizenship.

Why: "The government alleges that from the 1950s through the 1990s, some midwives and physicians along the Texas-Mexico border provided U.S. birth certificates to babies who were actually born in Mexico. ... The same midwives who provided fraudulent birth certificates also delivered thousands of babies legally in the United States. It has proved nearly impossible to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate documents, all of them officially issued by the state of Texas decades ago."

For example: "In some cases, passport applicants with official U.S. birth certificates are being jailed in immigration detention centers and entered into deportation proceedings. In others, they are stuck in Mexico, their passports suddenly revoked when they tried to reenter the United States."

REACTION FROM THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE slammed the practice. Perez said in a statement: "Americans are being targeted, detained, and denied their rights because of the color of their skin. This is a disgrace to our democracy and a vicious assault on our community." The full statement:

BUT KEEP IN MIND: The practice of denying passports to people delivered by midwives in Texas’s Rio Grade Valley was also enforced during the George W. Bush and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaGetting politics out of the pit To cure Congress, elect more former military members Democrats should end their hypocrisy when it comes to Kavanaugh and the judiciary MORE administrations. 



I think we're looking at the race we will hate-watching, but can't stop following:

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum became the Democratic nominee for Florida governor and is facing off against Trump-backed conservative Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisDeSantis 'hell bent' on debating Gillum in Florida governor race Trump stands by tweets questioning Puerto Rico death toll: 'NO WAY' Trump cites Geraldo Rivera on Puerto Rico: ‘When did people start dying?’ MORE (R).  Controversy du jour: On Fox News, DeSantis warned Florida voters not to "monkey this up" by voting for Gillum. Why that sparked controversy: Gillum, a progressive Democrat endorsed by Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersProtecting democracy requires action from all of us Kavanaugh hires attorney amid sexual assault allegations: report Amazon probes allegations of employees leaking data for bribes: report MORE (I-Vt.), would be Florida's first African-American governor if he wins. DeSantis has been facing intense backlash from the comments some deem as a racist dog whistle.

Decide for yourself -- Watch the clip of DeSantis:

NEW UPDATE -- DESANTIS RESPONDS TO THE RACISM CHARGES: Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) told Fox News's Sean Hannity: "It has zero to do with race, Sean. It has everything to do with whether we want Florida to continue to go in a good direction, building off the success or do we want to turn to leftwing, socialist policies, which will absolutely devastate our state? And here's the thing, I believe people should be judged based on their ability and character regardless of race. But it's because of that that I know that socialism won't work in Florida."



Today in social media tech glitches -- *covers eyes*:

Via BuzzFeed's Ryan Broderick, this morning Snapchat's Snap Map displayed "Jewtropolis" instead of New York City. Is Snapchat to blame?: Well, Snapchat responded that the company uses a third party for the map data. That's why it took some time to fix the problem. Screenshots of the map:


Washington's fall agenda:

"Congress and the White House are facing a number of important issues this fall. But the clock is ticking with the November midterms looming and the end of the year fast approaching."


Defense spending -- lawmakers will have to merge competing bills:

Heath care -- Preexisting conditions will take center stage in the midterms:

Preventing a government shutdown -- Border wall funding is the pressing issue:

The GOP vs. the tech industry -- competing over bias claims:

Cybersecurity -- the midterms test new security efforts:

Energy -- the EPA's focus is shifting to their new power plant rule:


If you want a quick distraction from work, this video is pretty great:

While attending a performance of "Hamilton," Prince Harry broke into song on stage. The best part: Prince Harry sang part of the King George III song -- King George III is Harry's great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. Photos and full story:

Watch Prince Harry's brief performance -- Lin-Manuel Miranda's reaction is pretty great, too:



Tales of an urban parking spot:


From today's McCain funeral service in Phoenix:



The House and Senate are out.

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

4:20 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves the White House and travels to Evansville, Ind. 

5:40 p.m. EDT: President Trump hosts a supporter roundtable in Evansville, Ind. This is closed press.

6:40 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at a joint fundraising committee reception in Evansville, Ind. This is also closed press.

11:40 p.m. EDT: President Trump gets back to the White House.



1 p.m. EDT: A funeral service for Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainAnother recession could hit US in 2019, says credit union association chief R-E-S-P-E-C-T: One legacy of Franklin and McCain is up to us To cure Congress, elect more former military members MORE (R-Ariz.) at the North Phoenix Baptist Church. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenKavanaugh hires attorney amid sexual assault allegations: report Biden: Delay Kavanaugh vote to give accuser a fair, respectful hearing Bidens hint at taking on Trump: We want to 'pick a fight' with bullies MORE will speak. Livestream:

7:30 p.m. EDT: Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) casket arrives at Andrews Air Force Base. Livestream:

8 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Evansville, Ind. Livestream:



Today is National Toasted Marshmallow Day.


Before you get too excited, the Chick-fil-A meal kit doesn't include recipes for Chick-fil-A entrees:

Via NPR's "All Things Considered," fast food chain Chick-fil-A is starting to sell meal kits in Atlanta and if that is successful, the meal kits will be rolled out nationally. Think: Raw chicken and other ingredients to create a meal. Details and photos:


Come on -- one angry monkey ruined it for the rest of us!:

Carrabba's Italian Grill in Stuart, Fla., has stopped its weekly "Monkey Mondays" after a monkey bit a child's finger. My biggest takeaway: The restaurant allowed monkeys on Mondays and I didn't know about this?! :(


And because you read this far, here's a dolphin who really wanted to make sure this surfer didn't get in his way. This video gets funnier and funnier every time I watch it: