The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump looks to get tougher on border with Nielsen out

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here:

--> 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: Fallout from Nielsen's ouster | Trump looks to get tougher on border security | How Nielsen left | What we know about her replacement | Trump labels Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terror group | This week in Congress: Barr testifies, net neutrality vote | Why Dems covet John LewisJohn LewisCummings invites Trump to visit Baltimore House Democrat knocks Trump's Cummings tweet: 'This guy is a terrible, terrible human being' George Wallace's daughter: 'I saw Daddy a lot' during 2016 election MORE' 2020 endorsement | NY bill would release Trump's state tax returns | National Empanada Day



Annnnnd goodbye:

 Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenDOJ to Supreme Court: Trump decision to end DACA was lawful Top immigration aide experienced 'jolt of electricity to my soul' when Trump announced campaign Trump casts uncertainty over top intelligence role MORE is leaving her post as Homeland Security secretary after a tumultuous 16-month tenure carrying out President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE's hard-line immigration policies.

How it happened: Nielsen met with Trump to discuss "a path forward" on the border. The meeting did not go well, and the president asked her to resign.

The announcement: President Trump made the announcement on Twitter. "I would like to thank her for her service," Trump said in the announcement. 

Read Nielsen's resignation letter:

When Nielsen will leave: On Wednesday, giving her time to iron out details of the transition.

Timing: Nielsen's departure comes two days after Trump abruptly withdrew his nominee to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement because he decided "to go in a tougher direction."



President Trump announced that Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will take over as acting Homeland Security secretary until the president appoints a new secretary. What to know about him:

Why this is an interesting choice: By law, acting Deputy Secretary Claire Grady is in line to succeed Nielsen. The White House will have to fire her to make McAleenan the acting secretary.

Nielsen's permanent replacement: Possible replacements include former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryThe credible case for Texas and its clean energy solutions Oversight: Trump confidant Tom Barrack pushed for Saudi nuclear plant construction Amazon taps Trump ally to lobby amid Pentagon cloud-computing contract fight MORE


New reporting -- family separations led to Nielsen's ouster

Via NBC's Julia Ainsley and Geoff Bennett, "President Donald Trump has for months urged his administration to reinstate large-scale separation of migrant families crossing the border, according to three U.S. officials with knowledge of meetings at the White House. Trump's outgoing Homeland Security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, resisted -- setting her at odds with the president." New details:

Keep in mind, via Julia Ainsley: "Important note: Sources say Nielsen opposed reinstating family separation for legal reasons, not for moral reasons."


Just now — Nielsen briefly spoke: 

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen made a brief comment outside of her home on Monday her first public remarks since resigning. "I share the president’s goal of securing the border," Nielsen said. "I will continue to support all efforts to address the humanitarian and security crisis on the border, and other than that I'm on my way to keep doing what I can for the next few days."


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

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox daily:



Getting traction -- Not about that open border life:

"Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Top adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (I-Vt.) on Sunday shot back at those who suggest he supports open borders, saying high levels of global poverty would make an open borders policy complicated."

What Bernie does think should happen: "I think what we need is comprehensive immigration reform. ... Oh my god, there's a lot of poverty in this world, and you're going to have people from all over the world. And I don't think that's something that we can do at this point. Can't do it." 

Some context: The majority of 2020 Democrats, including Sanders, have not released an immigration platform yet. 

Watch Sanders's full response to the question about open borders:


Tax returns, we're comin' for ya:

Via The New York Times's Jesse McKinley, New York state lawmakers are planning to introduce a bill to release President Trump's tax returns. Specifically: State tax returns, not federal returns.

THE ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF WEIGHED IN ON THE TAX RETURNS: Acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week Dick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report Chris Wallace becomes Trump era's 'equal opportunity inquisitor' MORE said on "Fox News Sunday" that Democrats will "never" see President Trump's tax returns. "Nor should they. That's an issue that was already litigated during the election. Voters knew the president could have given his tax returns, they knew that he didn't, and they elected him anyway."



A new terror group:

This morning, the Trump administration announced that it has labeled Iran's Revolutionary Guard a "foreign terrorist organization."

Why this is especially newsy: It is the first time the United States has labeled an entire government entity as a foreign terrorist organization. 

Trump said in a statement: "This action sends a clear message to Tehran that its support for terrorism has serious consequences. We will continue to increase financial pressure and raise the costs on the Iranian regime for its support of terrorist activity until it abandons its malign and outlaw behavior."



The trophy endorsement:

Via The Hill's Jonathan Easley, Democrats who are running for president in 2020 are vying for an endorsement from Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). In an interview for The Hill, Lewis said "several" 2020 candidates have reached out for advice or an endorsement.

Where Lewis stands: "The iconic civil rights leader, who switched his endorsement from Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Polls flash warning signs for Trump Polls suggest Sanders may be underestimated 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall MORE to Barack ObamaBarack Hussein Obama'Forever war' slogans short-circuit the scrutiny required of national security choices Which Democrat can beat Trump? Middle East scholars blame Trump for an Iran policy 40 years in the making MORE in 2008, is holding off on backing a candidate as he considers the massive field of contenders."



The net neutrality fight is back: House Democrats are reviving a fight over Obama-era net neutrality rules. They will try to vote on a bill restoring the rules this week.

White nationalism: The House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on hate crimes and white nationalism and will hear from tech industry executives on how to crack down online.

Budget: The House may take up legislation to lift spending caps by $133 billion in two years.

Democrats have their retreat: House Democrats are heading to Leesburg, Va., from Wednesday to Friday for their annual retreat. 

William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrProsecutors are mainly to blame for the criminal justice crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall MORE is in the House (and Senate): Attorney General William Barr is slated to testify before the House and Senate appropriations committees to discuss the 2020 budget. Yeah, but: Barr will almost certainly face questions related to his four-page summary of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE's investigation report. 

Nominations: Republicans are expected to power through nominations after going "nuclear" and clearing hurdles for confirmation.

Context and details for each from The Hill's Jordain Carney and Juliegrace Brufke:






The House is in. The Senate will meet later today. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C.

11:45 a.m. EDT: President Trump participated in a credentialing ceremony for newly appointed ambassadors.

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence.

1:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump receives an intelligence briefing.

2:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoChina threatens to sanction US firms over sales of F-16s to Taiwan Trump moves forward with billion F-16 sale to Taiwan Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week MORE.

4 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with the vice president of Brazil.

4 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets.

6:30 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House.



5 p.m. EDT: The House Rules Committee discusses a bill on net neutrality and a bill on the debt and deficit. Livestream:



Today is National Empanada Day.


Portland, Maine, is quite fruitful:

Nine nurses in the same labor unit at Maine Medical Center are pregnant and due around the same time.

Photo of eight of the nine pregnant nurses:


And because you made it to the end, here's one of the best videos I've seen in a long time: Here's a toddler who is giving stroller rides to her dog friend … well, sort of: