The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Trump attacks second accuser | Trump UN speech takes hard line on Iran | Allies urge Trump not to fire Rosenstein

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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 — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Trump addresses UN | Speech takes aim at Iran | Audience laughs when Trump boasts about achievements | Trump attacks second Kavanaugh accuser | Calls charges a Dem 'con game' | Why Kavanaugh's fate rests with Sen. Collins | Allies urge Trump not to fire Rosenstein | High-stakes meeting set for Thursday | Six Flags' 30-hour coffin challenge | National Lobster Day

 

HAPPENING THIS MORNING

Why are you laughing?:

 

During an address at the United Nationals General Assembly, an audience of world leaders laughed when President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE boasted of his achievements while in office. http://bit.ly/2zsJfq6

The line that made leaders laugh: "In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than any administration in the history of our country." And when the audience laughed, Trump said: "I didn't expect that reaction, but that's OK." Watch: http://bit.ly/2zsJfq6

What's getting traction in Trump's address: Trump took aim at Iran and called on world leaders to isolate the country over its "aggression." His full comments on Iran: http://bit.ly/2NBx6YA

And he praised Kim Jong Un: "I would like to thank Chairman Kim for his courage and for the steps he has taken, though much work remains to be done," Trump said, hailing North Korea's efforts to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. http://bit.ly/2pzAxRb

Livestream of the address: http://bit.ly/2zs120I

 

It's Tuesday. Anyone else miss seeing the sun? According to the Capital Weather Gang, D.C. has only had three (!) sunny days in September. https://wapo.st/2QX2Oh6

I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and your favorite umbrella to cmartel@thehill.com, @CateMartel and on Facebook.

 

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LATEST WITH THE KAVANAUGH CONFIRMATION

It basically comes down to one senator:
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's fate all comes down to Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMcConnell pledges to be 'Grim Reaper' for progressive policies Senate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Collins: Mueller report includes 'an unflattering portrayal' of Trump MORE (R-Maine). http://bit.ly/2OMGjtL

Why Collins?: Several senators are waiting to see what Collins decides before announcing their own opinions about Kavanaugh.

How Democrats are handling the situation: "Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) has asked centrist members of his caucus to keep their powder dry on Kavanaugh until they know where all Republicans stand."

Is it surprising it comes down to Collins?: Collins has built a reputation as a moderate swing-vote. 

WHO ARE THE OTHER REPUBLICANS TO WATCH ON THIS VOTE: Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOn The Money: Cain withdraws from Fed consideration | Says he didn't want 'pay cut' | Trump sues to block subpoena for financial records | Dems plot next move in Trump tax-return battle Cain withdraws from Fed consideration Cain says he 'won't run away from criticism' in push for Fed seat MORE (Alaska) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakePollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge Trump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing Flake opens up about threats against him and his family MORE (Ariz.). This morning, Murkowski said an FBI investigation would "clear up all the questions" surrounding Kavanaugh. http://bit.ly/2NF4KN2

REPUBLICANS HAVE SWITCHED STRATEGIES: Via The Hill's Jordan Fabian, Republicans launched an intense counterattack on behalf of Judge Brett Kavanaugh yesterday. What to expect: The GOP will likely move forward with Kavanaugh's nomination. Who is leading this new counterattack?: Kavanaugh himself. http://bit.ly/2O5DM0L

OH AND -- THE WHITE HOUSE IS OPEN TO KAVANAUGH'S OTHER ACCUSER TESTIFYING: On ABC's "Good Morning America," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House is open to Deborah Ramirez testifying. "Certainly we would be open to that and that process could take place on Thursday. The president's been clear -- let them speak but let's also let Brett Kavanaugh speak and let's let him tell his side of the story." http://bit.ly/2IfLdNA

 

Latest development -- American politics feels like a trashy Bravo show these days:

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his wife, Ashley Kavanaugh, sat down with Fox News's Martha MacCallum to respond to the sexual assault allegations.  

Watch the full Fox News interview: http://bit.ly/2NB9DXu

The line that's getting traction: Kavanaugh defended himself by saying he was a virgin in high school and college. From Kavanaugh: "I've never sexually assaulted anyone. I did not have sexual intercourse or anything close to sexual intercourse in high school or for many years thereafter. ... The girls from the schools I went to and I were friends." http://bit.ly/2xB1LLS

A CNN panel's reaction to the details: Screenshot of their reactions -- it's pretty funny: http://bit.ly/2Igqwkr

  

IN OTHER NEWS

Happening Thursday -- oh to be a fly on that wall:

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinHeavy lapses in judgment are politicizing the justice system Top Judiciary Republican reviews less-redacted Mueller report Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' MORE faces a high-stakes meeting with President Trump amid reports that Rosenstein may be ousted. http://bit.ly/2OafhQ1

TRUMP CRITICS AND ALLIES ACTUALLY AGREE: Don't fire Rosenstein! Their reasoning: http://bit.ly/2zs60dL

 

An American diplomat was found dead in Madagascar: 

A suspect has been arrested in the death of a U.S. Foreign Service officer in Madagascar. What happened: The details are still unclear and the names haven't been release. From police: A man "was caught trying to jump the perimeter fence fleeing from the house" after what may have been the attack. http://bit.ly/2zt0tE2

 

Behind-the-scenes of the Trump tax law -- that health-care hangover: 

After Republicans' seven-year quest to repeal ObamaCare failed, the GOP was in disarray. From House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradySocial Security won't be able to fund full payouts by 2035 Treasury to miss Dem deadline for Trump tax returns Treasury expected to miss Dem deadline on Trump tax returns MORE (R-Texas): "When health care failed in the Senate so publicly, several times, I think that those were the toughest days because it appeared to the rest of the world that Republicans couldn't unite behind our agenda. But in looking back, those were probably the days that contributed the most to tax reform's success." How so: http://bit.ly/2PZTWGe

Keep in mind: This is part two of a seven-part series diving into how President Trump's tax bill got passed. 

 

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NOTABLE TWEETS

Tidbit:

Full size photos: http://bit.ly/2OQK81d

   

ON TAP

The House and Senate are in. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in New York for the U.N. General Assembly. 

11:20 a.m. EDT: President Trump met with the president of Colombia.

12:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at an event about regional migration in Venezuela. 

1 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

2:15 p.m. EDT: The Senate has two roll call votes. The Senate's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2OQKViH

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the president of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly.

6 p.m. EDT: President Trump attends a Security Council presidency reception in New York. 

6:30 p.m. EDT: Votes in the House. The House's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2jYhqPv

9:05 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence gets back to Washington, D.C.

Wednesday: The Hill's Newsmaker Series: Leadership in Action, featuring Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) and Pete KingPeter (Pete) Thomas KingMcCarthy holds courtesy meeting with ex-Rep. Grimm Dem rep calls for 'happy medium' on immigration Republicans defend McCain amid Trump attacks MORE (R-N.Y.). Editor-in-chief Bob Cusack will sit down with the congressmen to discuss their visions for bridging the gaps between political parties, especially at a time when the country is seen as being its most partisan. Details and how to RVSP: http://bit.ly/2QNEAG3

 

WHAT TO WATCH

10:15 a.m. EDT: President Trump spoke at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2NHCJEY

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Lobster Day! 

FYI, Red Lobster is giving out free lobster pizza today to celebrate. Details: http://bit.ly/2xNBt8h

 

What could go wrong here?!:

Six Flags St. Louis is hosting a 30-hour coffin challenge for participants to compete for prizes. Details: Contestants must remain in the coffin for 30 hours. They are allowed brief bathroom breaks and can bring their own pillows and blankets. Participants are given a phone charger, meals and snacks. What they win: Two season passes and entry to a $300 raffle. https://cbsn.ws/2QUUkah

 

Trending -- I did not see this coming:

A 7-year-old belted out the national anthem at an MLS game in Los Angeles. If you only want to watch a few seconds, start at the 50-second mark. Watch -- wow: http://bit.ly/2xBOoL5

 

And because you made it to the end, here's a clingy penguin: http://bit.ly/2xN5tRB