The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump AG pick Barr grilled at hearing | Judge rules against census citizenship question | McConnell blocks second House bill to reopen government

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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 AG pick Barr grilled at hearing | Barr says Mueller wouldn't run a 'witch hunt' | Won't let Trump team 'correct' Mueller report | Sights and sounds from hearing | Judge rules against census citizenship question | Day 25 of shutdown | Dems reject White House invite for talks | McConnell blocks second House bill to reopen government | House to vote on rebuking Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingThe Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates The Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates Steve King unveils 'Diamond and Silk Act' named for conservative YouTubers MORE | Trump sends letter to Kim | Netflix raising prices

 

HAPPENING THIS MORNING

What do you get when you morph John Goodman with Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Mexican officials scramble to avoid Trump tariffs The Hill's 12:30 Report: Mexican officials scramble to avoid Trump tariffs The Hill's Morning Report - Tariff battle looms as Trump jabs 'foolish' Senate GOP MORE? William Barr.:

See for yourself: Here's a photo of Franken http://bit.ly/2CnHIls and a photo of Goodman http://bit.ly/2FDTLyx

 

Reupping this, William Barr. You can STILL get out of this:

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment MORE's nominee for attorney general, William Barr, is testifying on Capitol Hill today and tomorrow for his confirmation hearing. http://bit.ly/2QQEUCz

 

NEWS FROM THE HEARING:

On whether the special counsel investigation is a 'witch hunt': Barr said, "I don't believe that Mr. Mueller would be involved in a witch hunt." http://bit.ly/2CsciKG

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On Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE: "I have the utmost respect for Bob and his distinguished record of public service. I believe it is in the best interest of everyone -- the president, congress, and, most importantly, the American people -- that this matter be resolved by allowing the special counsel to complete his work." http://bit.ly/2CsciKG

On whether the White House will be allowed to "correct" the Mueller report: "That will not happen," Barr said. Back story: President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani told The Hill in an exclusive interview last week, "As a matter of fairness, they should show it to you -- so we can correct it if they're wrong. They're not God, after all. They could be wrong." http://bit.ly/2QOTTwT  

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Defense: Pompeo blames Iran for oil tanker attacks | House panel approves 3B defense bill | Trump shares designs for red, white and blue Air Force One On The Money: Pelosi says no debt ceiling hike until deal on spending caps | McConnell pressures White House to strike budget deal | Warren bill would wipe out billions in student debt | Senate passes IRS reform bill On The Money: Pelosi says no debt ceiling hike until deal on spending caps | McConnell pressures White House to strike budget deal | Warren bill would wipe out billions in student debt | Senate passes IRS reform bill MORE (R-Iowa) preface: Grassley told Barr, "Don't take it personal if I raise my voice to you. I'm not mad at you." http://bit.ly/2VXTZWC

 

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS:

This is a fascinating photo: Via C-SPAN's Howard Mortman, here are photos from Barr's confirmation in 1991 vs. now. Check out his family in 1991 compared to now: http://bit.ly/2SSunbS

^Video of Barr introducing his family: http://bit.ly/2HeMlEh

Tidbit: Today is the first hearing with Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump wishes 'Happy Father's Day to all,' including 'worst and most vicious critics' Trump wishes 'Happy Father's Day to all,' including 'worst and most vicious critics' Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw MORE (R-S.C.) as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. http://bit.ly/2MacFOE 

Trump's involvement: Trump has only tweeted about William Barr once, on Dec. 7 when Barr's nomination was announced. (Via Politico's Darren Samuelsohn) http://bit.ly/2T0Fhww

Five things to watch in the hearing today and tomorrow: http://bit.ly/2RxXEvR

Livestream of the hearing: https://cs.pn/2TP7dDt

Live blog with updates from the hearing: http://bit.ly/2QQEUCz

 

It's Tuesday. 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 -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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NEWS THIS MORNING

To quote the wise Stevie Wonder -- 'Signed, sealed, delivered!': 

--> http://bit.ly/2Hd4C4L ;) 

Via CNN's Will Ripley, a letter from President Trump was hand delivered to North Korean leader Kim Jong Unhttps://cnn.it/2DbFiYL

Timing: The U.S. and North Korea are currently ironing out the details of a second summit between Trump and Kim. 

Logistics for the delivery: The letter was flown to Pyongyang and then delivered by hand.

What next: "According to [a] source, North Korea's former spy chief Kim Yong Chol -- one of Pyongyang's top negotiators -- could visit Washington as soon as this week to finalize details of the upcoming summit." https://cnn.it/2DbFiYL

  

It's a no from me:

A federal judge ruled this morning that it is unlawful for the Trump administration add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The judge: Judge Jesse Furman, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Furman is an Obama appointee. http://bit.ly/2Cl9Dme

The case against the census addition: "Several states and activists said immigrants, fearful of volunteering their immigration status to the Trump administration, would refuse to respond. The plaintiffs in the suit ― 18 states, the District of Columbia, several cities and a handful of immigrant rights groups ― argued the Trump administration intended to drive down the response rate among those groups when it added the question." http://bit.ly/2FxN3df

Read the judge's full ruling: http://bit.ly/2sqWpQa

  

DAY 25 OF THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

So much for 'new year, new you':

Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, "President Trump's troubles are piling up higher than ever -- and there is no easy way out from beneath them." http://bit.ly/2FyZ7Lb

How so: "The White House was rocked by two dramatic Russia-related stories over the weekend, one of which noted that the FBI had opened a counterintelligence investigation into Trump in 2017, amid concerns that the president could be working to advance the Kremlin's interests. There is no end in sight to a partial government shutdown that most are pinning on the president." 

Making Trump's troubles a little harder to solve: Democrats are now in control of the House and plan to ramp up pressure with an array of hearings that could hurt the president politically. 

How this could play out: http://bit.ly/2FyZ7Lb

Column from radio host and author Bill Press: http://bit.ly/2QTW5n2

  

Tell us how you really feel:

This morning, President Trump shared an op-ed from a writer who claims to be an anonymous senior administration official who criticizes federal workers for disloyalty. http://bit.ly/2MiBjNf

How Trump shared the article: He shared a tweet from his son Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpTrump remarks deepen distrust with intelligence community Trump remarks deepen distrust with intelligence community Lieu trolls Trump with 'warning' to foreign powers on office door MORE, who captioned the article, "Worth the read." http://bit.ly/2CmOmIF

The Daily Caller op-ed: "I'm a Senior Trump Official, and I Hope a Long Shutdown Smokes Out the Resistance." http://bit.ly/2VUGR4N

Excerpt: "On an average day, roughly 15 percent of the employees around me are exceptional patriots serving their country. I wish I could give competitive salaries to them and no one else. But 80 percent feel no pressure to produce results. If they don't feel like doing what they are told, they don't." 

On nonessential employees: "Ideally, continue a resolution to pay the essential employees only, if they are truly working on national security. Furloughed employees should find other work, never return and not be paid." 

Read the full op-ed in The Daily Caller: http://bit.ly/2VUGR4N

  

Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP nervous that border wall fight could prompt year-end shutdown GOP nervous that border wall fight could prompt year-end shutdown Jon Stewart slams McConnell over 9/11 victim fund MORE isn't giving an inch:

Via Politico's Burgess Everett, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is far from facing a rebellion over the GOP's handling of the shutdown. McConnell has said he would not move any spending bill that doesn't have President Trump's support.

Do any Republican senators think Congress should pass a spending bill without border wall funding?: Yes, Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsDemocrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate Democrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate The Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates MORE (R-Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiHillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data Klobuchar, Murkowski introduce legislation to protect consumer health data MORE (R-Alaska) and Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerDemocrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control access face major obstacles McConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' MORE (R-Colo.).

Why McConnell is standing firm: "McConnell has much more to think about politically than just opening up the government and continuing on with business as usual. Funding the government without a border security increase would amount to all-out war on Trump by undercutting one of his chief political goals, risking ire from the GOP base for McConnell, Gardner and other Senate Republicans up for reelection in 2020." https://politi.co/2VUesf5

LATE THIS MORNING -- TOLD YA: "Senate Republicans blocked a House-passed package to reopen the federal government for a second time in as many weeks on Tuesday." How: "Under Senate rules, any one senator can ask for consent to vote on or pass a bill, but any one senator can object. McConnell blocked the two bills saying the Senate wouldn't 'participate in something that doesn't lead to an outcome.' " http://bit.ly/2FtZ4RJ

JUST NOW ON THE HOUSE SIDE — DEMS DON’T SHOW: “No Democrats will attend a lunch on Tuesday with President Trump designed to reach an agreement to end the government shutdown and fund a border wall, the White House said.”  The White House’s plan: “Trump had invited several moderate House Democrats to the White House in an effort to undermine Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOcasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment GOP nervous that border wall fight could prompt year-end shutdown MORE (D-Calif.), who has refused to grant Trump his demand for $5.7 billion in wall funding. But the group turned down the invitation.” http://bit.ly/2Mgt4RK

  

IN OTHER NEWS

Steve King's no good, very bad day:

House GOP leaders stripped Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) of all of his committee assignments yesterday over remarks that are considered racist. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe case for congressional pay raises McConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' McConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' MORE (R-Calif.) told reporters that King would not receive any committee assignments for the new Congress. What were King's committees: House Judiciary, Agriculture and Small Business committees. http://bit.ly/2TPoufK

FROM THE THIRD-RANKING HOUSE REPUBLICAN: Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyOvernight Defense: Pompeo blames Iran for oil tanker attacks | House panel approves 3B defense bill | Trump shares designs for red, white and blue Air Force One House panel approves 3B defense policy bill House panel approves 3B defense policy bill MORE (R-Wyo.) said King should "find another line of work" after his comments. Other Republicans who called on King to resign: Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyMcConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' McConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' 'Landslide' for Biden? A look at 40 years of inaccurate presidential polls MORE (R-Utah) and Rep. Chris StewartChristopher (Chris) Douglas StewartHouse Intel Republican: 'Foolish' not to take info on opponent from foreign ally House Intel Republican: 'Foolish' not to take info on opponent from foreign ally 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill MORE (R-Utah). http://bit.ly/2Fxq0zj

HAPPENING TODAY: The House is voting to condemn King's remarks. http://bit.ly/2FEckTf

WHAT STARTED THIS FIRESTORM: In an interview with The New York Times last week, King said, "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization -- how did that language become offensive?" Mr. King said. "Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?" He then issued a statement clarifying his remarks and said he is not an advocate for "white nationalism and white supremacy." https://nyti.ms/2srzB2L

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

First day of school vibes:

Former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is now working as a political analyst for NBC News. http://bit.ly/2Hfis6F

Then NBC's Garrett Haake wisely pointed out: "Don't forget, you're contractually obligated to take a picture of your feet and the peacock carpeting in the elevator. Just letting you know. I don't make the rules." http://bit.ly/2VSl1yJ

Oh and: Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) just signed with CNN as a senior political commentator. https://cnn.it/2QLgvhT

 

This is a proud moment in any man's life: 

Watch: http://bit.ly/2CqporS

This is making me really hungry. 

Back story: President Trump invited the Clemson Tigers football team to the White House and served them fast food because of the government shutdown. Oh and: He paid for the food himself. Details: http://bit.ly/2VUEeQt 

 

ON TAP

The House and Senate are in. President Trump has meetings at the White House today, all of which are closed to press. Vice President Pence is also in Washington, D.C.

Noon: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump and Vice President Pence have lunch with members of Congress.

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2:30 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with state and local leaders to discuss the U.S.-Mexico border.

2:30–3:30 p.m. EST: First and last votes in the House. 

  

WHAT TO WATCH

1 p.m. EST: BBC's coverage of the Brexit vote in the British House of Commons. Prime Minister Theresa May will speak after. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2AMFwE5

2 p.m. EST: Senate Republicans hold a news conference. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2VUf7gz

2:30 p.m. EST: Senate Democrats hold a news conference. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2Rwe73A

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Strawberry Ice Cream Day.

 

If you like your Netflix monthly rate, you can keep it:

Via The Associated Press's Michael Liedtke, Netflix is raising its monthly rates to pay for its original programming and its debt. The new price: Netflix's most-popular $11 a month plan will increase to $13 a month in the next three months. Price changes for the other plans: http://bit.ly/2HeJ1ch

 

And to liven your Tuesday afternoon, here's a baby sloth in a onesie: http://bit.ly/2ANqPAO