The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — FBI widens scope of Kavanaugh investigation | Nightmare vote for red-state Dems | Five weeks to midterms

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The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — Red-state Dems face nightmare on Kavanaugh vote | Scope of FBI's Kavanaugh investigation widens | FBI talks to Mark Judge | McConnell mocks story about Kavanaugh throwing ice in bar fight | Trump reportedly sought restraining order to keep Stormy Daniels silent | Amazon raises its minimum wage | Five weeks until midterms


LATEST WITH THE KAVANAUGH CONFIRMATION FIGHT

 

The FBI has widened its investigation: 

Via The New York Times's Peter Baker and Michael S. Schmidt, "the White House authorized the F.B.I. to expand its abbreviated investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh by interviewing anyone it deems necessary as long as the review is finished by the end of the week, according to two people briefed on the matter." 

WHY TRUMP AND THE WHITE HOUSE WANT THE INVESTIGATION TO EXPAND: Republicans have been facing curveballs related to Kavanaugh's accusations for weeks and are seeking to defang the investigation by opening it further. http://bit.ly/2NhMqEX

TO FEEL UP TO DATE ON THE INVESTIGATION: The New York Times has an interesting list of who the FBI has interviewed for the Kavanaugh investigation and who they haven't. https://nyti.ms/2NbUw1P

WHAT Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars DOJ: Dem subpoena for Mueller report is 'premature and unnecessary' Dems reject Barr's offer to view Mueller report with fewer redactions MORE THINKS SHOULD HAPPEN: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) thinks President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone MORE should re-nominate Kavanaugh if his confirmation vote fails. Quote from Graham on Fox News: "I would re-nominate him and I would take this case to the American people and I'd ask voters in Indiana, in Missouri, in North Dakota and other places where Trump won -- saying who he would nominate if he got to be president -- and see if the voters want to appeal the verdict of their senator." https://fxn.ws/2ybiDIi

HOW THIS BRUTAL CONFIRMATION PROCESS COULD SHAPE BRETT KAVANAUGH AS A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: https://ti.me/2OuoYZL

NEW TIDBIT — NEW TIDBIT — MCCONNELL MOCKS STORY ABOUT KAVANAUGH IN BAR FIGHT: Yesterday, The New York Times reported that in college, Kavanaugh was questioned by the New Haven police about a bar fight during which Kavanaugh was accused of throwing ice at someone. How Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Mueller report is a deterrent to government service Senate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Anti-smoking advocates question industry motives for backing higher purchasing age MORE (R-Ky.) reacted: "Get this, Judge Kavanaugh may have been accused of throwing some ice across a college bar in the mid-1980s, in the mid-1980s. Talk about a bombshell.” http://bit.ly/2Ne4D65

 

It's Tuesday. The midterm elections are five weeks from today! 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.

 

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NEWS THIS MORNING

Amazon raises its minimum wage: Via The New York Times's Karen Weise, Amazon announced it will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. Keep in mind: This includes Whole Foods employees. https://nyti.ms/2zMI9G8

 

Video of Amazon warehouse employees reacting -- this is pretty great: 

REACTION FROM Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersThe biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone GOP Senate campaign arm hits battleground-state Dems over 'Medicare for All,' Green New Deal Warren unveils plan to cancel student loan debt, create universal free college MOREIn a speech livestreamed on Facebook. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) congratulated Amazon founder Jeff BezosQuote from Bernie: "The wages [Bezos] was paying his employees were so low that many of them were forced to go on food stamps, Medicaid, subsidized housing and other governmental programs. Today, I want to give credit where credit is due and I want to congratulate Mr. Bezos for doing exactly the right thing." http://bit.ly/2Ngdfcv

Watch the Sanders livestream: http://bit.ly/2DPPpF8

 

New detail -- How Trump tried to silence Stormy Daniels:

Via The Wall Street Journal's Joe Palazzolo and Michael Rothfeld, President Trump personally tried to stop adult-film actress Stormy Daniels from publicly talking about her alleged affair with the president. How Trump tried to do that: "In a phone call, Mr. Trump instructed his then-lawyer Michael Cohen to seek a restraining order against the former adult-film actress ... through a confidential arbitration proceeding." https://on.wsj.com/2yh6odB

  

FIVE WEEKS FROM TODAY -- THE MIDTERMS

Why red-state Democrats are in an impossible situation:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, Senate Democrats who are up for reelection this year in states where President Trump won in 2016 are in a tough situation as they decide how to handle Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. http://bit.ly/2OtiBG1

Bad timing: The vote, which will decide the balance of the court for years, will likely happen a month before the midterms.

Which Democrats are in the toughest positions: Sens. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampPro-trade groups enlist another ex-Dem lawmaker to push for Trump's NAFTA replacement Pro-trade group targets 4 lawmakers in push for new NAFTA Biden office highlights support from women after second accuser comes forward MORE (N.D.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellySome in GOP fear Buttigieg run for governor Paul Ryan joins University of Notre Dame faculty GOP senator issues stark warning to Republicans on health care MORE (Ind.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOn The Money: Cain 'very committed' to Fed bid despite opposition | Pelosi warns no US-UK trade deal if Brexit harms Irish peace | Ivanka Trump says she turned down World Bank job Cain says he won't back down, wants to be nominated to Fed Pro-life Christians are demanding pollution protections MORE (W.Va.). Where they stand: Heitkamp and Manchin are still undecided, but Donnelly said he would vote "no" on Kavanaugh. Keep in mind: All three voted for Trump's last Supreme Court pick, Judge Neil Gorsuch

What vulnerable Democrats are hoping will happen: Dems are hoping Republicans will force Kavanaugh to withdraw his nomination so they don't have to decide.

MEANWHILE -- DEMS ARE HOPING THE KAVANAUGH HELPS THEM WITH WOMEN:  Via The Hill's Amie Parnes, "Whether Kavanaugh's nomination fails or succeeds, Democrats say Republicans should be on notice, particularly with the key constituency of suburban women." http://bit.ly/2IvgLyV

REPUBLICANS HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MIDWEST TRUMP VOTERS: Via The Hill's Reid Wilson, "the Midwestern states that handed President Trump the White House two years ago now appear poised to deliver a sharply negative verdict against his party, thanks in no small part to voters' dissatisfaction with the way Trump has handled his job." http://bit.ly/2E03xvJ 

 

IN OTHER NEWS

Exclusive -- repeat after me, "hard-line leftists":

Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, a new poll commissioned by a Stephen Bannon–led group shows that the best strategy for Republicans in the midterms is to push the issues of immigration, impeachment and portraying Democrats as hardline leftists. Why the poll is controversial though: It encourages Republicans to keep pushing the most divisive issues. Oh and don't forget: Bannon, the former White House chief strategist who is behind the poll, is a contentious figure. http://bit.ly/2NUZFAq

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

Trending -- yikes: 

Watch: http://bit.ly/2DNphuz

 

This is a terrifying sign:

http://bit.ly/2P5P8iC

 

 

ON TAP

The Senate is in. The House is out. 

Tuesday -- Thursday: The Atlantic Festival in Washington, D.C. Details: http://bit.ly/2NaAepf

Today: First lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Is impeachment back on the table? Trump attends Easter church services Trump celebrates economy 'that is the talk of the World' on Easter MORE is in Ghana as part of her first major solo international trip. https://reut.rs/2NfY9DR

12:40 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves the White House for Philadelphia.

3:10 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence campaigns for Senate candidate Matt Rosendale in Bozeman, Mont. He then heads to Spokane, Wash.

3:20 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for Southaven, Miss.

6:50 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with supporters in Southaven, Miss.

7 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence campaigns for Rep. Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersWe can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's Overnight Energy: Wheeler vows to keep funds for Great Lakes cleanup | Inslee presses Trump on climate in House testimony | Dems seek more funds for Interior watchdog Inslee presses Trump on climate change in House testimony MORE (R-Was.) in Spokane, Wash. He then heads back to Washington, D.C.

11:20 p.m. EDT: President Trump gets back to the White House.

12:20 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence gets back to Washington, D.C.

Postponed: "The Chinese foreign ministry said Tuesday that upcoming security talks with the U.S. have been postponed at the request of Washington." http://bit.ly/2P3HUeN

  

WHAT TO WATCH

2:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at the National Electrical Contractors Association Convention in Philadelphia. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2RlyL2C

7:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Southaven, Miss. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2zLcncv

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Fried Scallops Day.

 

"It's like you're always stuck in second gear"

--> http://bit.ly/2NZ4zfY

Via NBC's "Today," here's what the apartment from "Friends" would look like if it were filmed today: https://on.today.com/2xVMuVV

 

Because I love new bars with cool themes:

Via Washingtonian's Jessica Sidman, a destination wedding–themed bar is opening on 14th Street NW in Washington, D.C. Photos -- it looks pretty cool: http://bit.ly/2xU3wUr

 

And because you made it to the end, here's a cow playing fetch: http://bit.ly/2P9llpi