The Hill's 12:30 Report — Suspicious packages sent to Biden, DeNiro | Trump says media partly to blame for 'anger' | Mattis sending troops to border

The Hill's 12:30 Report — Suspicious packages sent to Biden, DeNiro | Trump says media partly to blame for 'anger' | Mattis sending troops to border

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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: Breaking: Suspicious packages sent to Biden, Robert De Niro | Attempted bomb attacks expose divisions | Trump partly blames 'anger' in society on 'inaccurate reporting' | Mattis to send hundreds of troops to border | Trump denies China, Russia listening to his calls | George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosFormer FBI lawyer defends agency's probe into Trump campaign officials GOP senator calls Comey a 'hack politician' who 'knows what's coming' Trump gives sarcastic shoutout to media on 'spying' reports MORE on Capitol Hill | Khashoggi's son leaves Saudi Arabia

 

BREAKING

More pipe bombs have been discovered:
Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe Robinette BidenButtigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' Buttigieg: The future 'is personal' for me Donald Trump, president for life? We need term limits now MORE and outspoken actor Robert De Niro are the latest public figures to receive explosive devices in the mail. https://nyti.ms/2Slralx

 

ABOUT THE BIDEN INCIDENT:

When and where: Two packages intended for Biden were intercepted in Delaware.  One was found in in Wilmington and the other was found at a Delaware postal facility. http://bit.ly/2CGDJ59

The envelope: The package was misaddressed to Biden and was being returned to Rep. Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzCongressional Women's Softball team releases roster Overnight Defense — Presented by Huntington Ingalls Industries — Trump nominates Shanahan as Pentagon chief | House panel advances bill to block military funds for border wall | Trump defends Bolton despite differences House panel advances bill to block military construction funds for border wall MORE's (D) Florida office. Keep in mind: This also happened to the package addressed to former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderEric Holder: 'There are grounds for impeachment' in Mueller report Prosecutor appointed by Barr poised to enter Washington firestorm Dems struggle to make Trump bend on probes MOREhttps://nyti.ms/2Slralx

Photo of the package sent to Biden: http://bit.ly/2CGDJ59

 

ABOUT THE DE NIRO INCIDENT:

When and where: The package addressed to De Niro was sent to his production company, TriBeCa Productions, and was discovered around 5 a.m. today. A bomb squad removed the device by 6:30 a.m. https://nyti.ms/2Slralx

The envelope: The package looked very similar to the packages sent to the Obamas and the Clintons. A law enforcement official told The New York Times, "This appears to be from the same sender." https://nyti.ms/2Slralx

 

AS OF NOON TODAY -- ANY SUSPECTS?:

Via NBC News, "At noon multiple senior law enforcement officials say that at this point in the investigation there's no specific suspect they are looking for. Investigators are looking into whether some of the packages were mailed from Florida." http://bit.ly/2EJP3QJ

 

It's Thursday. 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.

 

LATEST WITH THE OTHER PIPE BOMBS:

Full list -- who has been sent bombs so far:

Photos of the actual explosive devices: http://bit.ly/2ArUGyI

Have any of the bombs detonated?: No, and nobody has been hurt.

What all the recipients have in common: They are all outspoken critics of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE. 

How investigators will try to figure out who sent the explosives: "David Chipman, a former ATF agent who worked on the 1993 World Trade Center attack and the Oklahoma City bombing," explained the investigative process to HuffPost. It's worth reading: http://bit.ly/2D3hoQt

^^What is on investigators' side: All of the devices are still fully intact, which helps with forensic work. http://bit.ly/2D3hoQt

 

REACTIONS

This morning -- Trump blamed the media for the anger in society:

The president said CNN is "a big part" of the anger in society. He tweeted: "A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!" http://bit.ly/2ywLHLC

How a CNN anchor took that tweet: CNN's John Berman responded, "Let me tell you what the mainstream media has been doing this morning: We've been reporting on a bomb ... sent to either kill, threaten, or scare." http://bit.ly/2CEAbQU

How this attack has further inflamed partisan tensions: Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, President Trump called for unity, and some public figures, including former Vice President Joe Biden and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyRomney expresses opposition to Alabama abortion ban Romney: Trump 'has distanced himself from some of the best qualities of the human character' Mitt Romney: War with Iran is 'not going to happen' MORE, made similar calls. But many took issue with the president: Some liberals say Trump has made the country more polarized. They accused Trump of encouraging violence at his rallies. For example: Trump once pledged to pay the legal fees of anyone who were to "knock the crap" out of protesters. http://bit.ly/2O5OxMk

Ugh: "This image from the Trump rally in Richmond 11 days ago keeps coming back to me this morning" (Via the Los Angeles Times's Eli StokolsPhoto: http://bit.ly/2CFEyeL

 

HAPPENING ON CAPITOL HILL

A House office building has been evacuated:

An alarm went off a few minutes ago in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill, leading to an evacuation. "Nearby Independence Avenue was shut down following the evacuation as authorities, included some spotted fire trucks, responded to the situation." http://bit.ly/2EMH7hT

Why: That's still unclear. 

This is a good sign -- the fire trucks didn't stick around for long: "Fire trucks briefly were outside Cannon House Office building after an audible alarm forced an evacuation. There is construction in the building....Situation seems to be pretty calm and fire trucks have departed." Video: http://bit.ly/2SlTN1Z

Photos of the evacuation: Via The Hill's Olivia Beavers on Capitol Hill. http://bit.ly/2Rh2IjU

What we know so far: http://bit.ly/2EMH7hT

 

ALSO BREAKING THIS MORNING

Mattis sends troops to the border:

Via CNN's Barbara Starr, Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisPentagon reporters left in dark as Iran tensions escalate Trump officials slow-walk president's order to cut off Central American aid: report Overnight Defense — Presented by Huntington Ingalls Industries — Trump nominates Shanahan as Pentagon chief | House panel advances bill to block military funds for border wall | Trump defends Bolton despite differences MORE is sending 800 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to stop the so-called "caravan" of migrants headed for the U.S. https://cnn.it/2Sj2TMQ

What the troops will be doing: Putting up fences and offering support at key entry points on the border. They won't be using lethal measures to stop the migrants. https://cnn.it/2Sj2TMQ

Who is on the border now: 2,100 National Guard troops, according to Fox News. https://fxn.ws/2yxUT2j

How many people are in the caravan: "Its size is estimated to be around 7,000, but many of those currently walking are suffering from exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke." https://fxn.ws/2yxUT2j

How far is the caravan from the border: "The migrant caravan as of Thursday is still in southern Mexico, more than 1,000 miles away from the nearest entry point into the U.S." https://fxn.ws/2yxUT2j

 

Khashoggi's son has left Saudi Arabia:

Salah Khashoggi, the oldest son of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has left Saudi Arabia. Why this is newsy: Salad Khashoggi is a dual citizen of the United States and Saudi Arabia but was banned from leaving Saudi Arabia because of his father's criticism of the government. https://cnn.it/2PRO4iI

Earlier this week: Salah Khashoggi posed for a photo shaking hands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been suspected of involvement in his father's killing. http://bit.ly/2PqVkVS

 

HAPPENING THIS MORNING

Papadop is in the house:

Via CNN's Jeremy Herb, "Convicted former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos makes his first appearance testifying before Congress on Thursday, and congressional Republicans hope he can bolster their case against the FBI's investigation into Donald Trump and Russia." 

Keep in mind: Papadopoulos was the first Trump campaign staffer to plead guilty in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation. https://cnn.it/2JimGYz

Photo of all the media gathered outside the committee room: http://bit.ly/2OLXwaE

^^Haha: The Hill's Olivia Beavers added, "The [Judiciary] committee door is next to a bathroom so when people ask what are you all doing here, a reporter in the group will sometimes reply: 'Recording staffers going into the bathroom.' Some have decided against going in after that, even after the just kidding are said." http://bit.ly/2CF7cMR

  

IN OTHER NEWS

Troubling claim about Trump's cellphone use: The New York Times reported that Russia and China are listening in on Trump's phone conversations. Via The Times's Maggie Haberman, "When President Trump calls old friends on one of his iPhones to gossip, gripe or solicit their latest take on how he is doing, American intelligence reports indicate that Chinese spies are often listening -- and putting to use invaluable insights into how to best work the president and affect administration policy, current and former American officials said."

Interesting tidbit: "When Trump finally started using a govt cell phone late last year, after using his unsecured phone as POTUS, he would complain to aides that he didn't know the govt phone number, and couldn't give it to his friends at Mar-a-Lago who asked how to reach him." http://bit.ly/2O8i1JA

Trump denies: Trump tweeted that the report was "incorrect" and that he only uses "Government Phones." "The New York Times has a new Fake Story that now the Russians and Chinese (glad they finally added China) are listening to all of my calls on cellphones. Except that I rarely use a cellphone, & when I do it's government authorized. I like Hard Lines. Just more made up Fake News!" http://bit.ly/2CEFIHa

Read the full article: https://nyti.ms/2Arbd6e

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

Hahaha, I mean, I would probably do the same...:

Watch: http://bit.ly/2AsxJMa

  

ON TAP

The House and Senate are out. President Trump is in Washington, D.C., today and Vice President Pence is campaigning in Florida.

11:25 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition — Trump: GOP has `clear contrast' with Dems on immigration The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - After GOP infighting, Trump Jr. agrees to testify again The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems fight with Barr escalates MORE receive a briefing at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla. And meet with military families impacted by Hurricane Michael.

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

4:05 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence campaigns for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisTrump officials not sending migrants to Florida after backlash Dem criticizes newest calendars for Trump Interior chief as 'fake' GOP gov pushes back on Trump plan to send migrants to Florida counties MORE in Jacksonville, Fla.

7:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump hosts a roundtable and has dinner with supporters in Washington, D.C.

7:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence campaigns for Senate Republican candidate Rick Scott in Vero Beach, Fla.

  

WHAT TO WATCH

2 p.m. EDT: President Trump gives remarks about drug pricing during a speech at the Department of Health and Human Services. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2SiBtXd

6:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at an event commemorating the 35th anniversary of the attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2EMpfDP

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Greasy Foods Day.

 

This is incredible:

Rapper Post Malone spent around $40,000 on Postmates food delivery just in the past year. Details: Malone ordered 3,000 items in 660 orders in 52 cities. Details: https://pge.sx/2OLmFCx

Haha, this sounds like quite the night: "After all those spicy chicken fries, it stands to reason that Post would need his regular order of three bottles of champagne and three bottles of Pedialyte from Ralph's to wash it all down. And don't think he forgot about dessert, finishing off the evening with a small chocolate-vanilla ice cream sheet cake from Carvel before tucking himself in with an order of melatonin and garlic bread, also from Ralph's." 

A special request from Panda Express: "SOOOO much teriyaki sauce on the side please! And lots of soy sauce!"  

The full breakdown is pretty funny: http://bit.ly/2JfUdCO

 

And because this has been an intense week of news, here are two dogs who are almost ready to release their cover of 'Stand by Me.' http://bit.ly/2PVBE9i