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 GrahamSenators return to Washington intent on action against Saudis Bill to protect Mueller blocked in Senate McConnell: Mueller probe should be allowed to finish MORE THINKS SHOULD HAPPEN: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) thinks President TrumpDonald John TrumpMeet the lawyer Democrats call when it's recount time Avenatti denies domestic violence allegations: 'I have never struck a woman' Trump names handbag designer as ambassador to South Africa 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 McConnellRand Paul blocking Trump counterterrorism nominee On The Money: Trump, Senate leaders to huddle on border wall funding | Fed bank regulator walks tightrope on Dodd-Frank | Koch-backed groups blast incentives for corporations after Amazon deal Congress is going to make marijuana moves 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) SandersO'Rourke receives invite to visit Iowa from Democratic Party in Des Moines Senators return to Washington intent on action against Saudis Bernie Sanders: 'We have a president who is a racist' 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 Heitkamp2020 politics make an immigration deal unlikely in lame-duck Mellman: The triumph of partisanship GOP nerves on edge after Sinema takes lead over McSally MORE (N.D.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon Donnelly2020 politics make an immigration deal unlikely in lame-duck Mellman: The triumph of partisanship The Memo: Dem hopes for 2020 grow in midterms afterglow MORE (Ind.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSchumer reelected as Senate Democratic Leader Mellman: The triumph of partisanship Senate GOP readies for leadership reshuffle 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 TrumpOvernight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Mattis defends border deployment during visit to troops | Bolton aide exits WH after clash with first lady | House blocks Yemen war resolution | Report warns of erosion in US military superiority Bolton aide exits White House after high-profile clash with first lady The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by T-Mobile — Turbulence in the West Wing as shakeup looms 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 RodgersLiz Cheney wins House GOP leadership post McCarthy defeats Jordan for minority leader in 159-to-43 vote Dick Cheney makes appearance on Capitol Hill 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