The Hill's 12:30 Report: Assange faces US charges after dramatic arrest

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Latest on Assange arrest | US charges WikiLeaks founder with computer hacking | Snowden denounces arrest as 'dark moment' | Video of Assange taken out of embassy goes viral | Kudlow says Dems' New Green Deal, Medicare for all would be 'catastrophic' for economy | Dems look to patch up divisions at retreat | John Legend, Chrissy Teigen address retreat | GOP worries about hard-line DHS candidate | National Pet Day

   

NEWS OF THE MORNING

That asylum life is over:

Wow, he looks like he has aged more than seven years.

 

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who was arrested this morning at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London after seven years in asylum, has been charged with conspiracy to commit hacking of a U.S. government computer. http://bit.ly/2IaU0TD

Read the seven-page indictment: http://bit.ly/2uWrXPh

Lawfare breaks down five things to watch in charges filed against Julian Assange: http://bit.ly/2KuJFUs

^ Including my favorite: "Fifth, what will happen to Assange's cat? Our detailed explainer on feline extradition law is forthcoming." Lawfare's managing editor Quinta Jurecic tweeted this line and added, "I guess we have to write this now." Lol. http://bit.ly/2Z3CYvY 

 

It's Thursday -- Happy National Pet Day! 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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OK, start from the beginning:

Earlier this morning, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, was arrested this morning on a U.S. extradition warrant after Ecuador withdrew his asylum. https://nyti.ms/2Z0RzbD

Why you know Julian Assange: He published sensitive U.S. government documents and hacked emails from Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGeorge Takei: US has hit a new low under Trump Democrats slam Puerto Rico governor over 'shameful' comments, back protesters Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE's 2016 presidential campaign.

Why Assange was at the embassy: "Assange, 47, had taken refuge in the embassy seven years ago to avoid being extradited to Sweden over a sexual assault case that was later dropped. Assange, who had long denied the sexual assault allegations him, remained at the London-based embassy, however, fearing that he would be extradited to the U.S. to face charges over WikiLeak's release in 2010 of sensitive government data and files from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars." http://bit.ly/2VD5YbN

 

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS:

Wow -- Watch Assange being dragged out of the embassy and into a police vehicle: Wow, he is not going willingly. Video: https://cnn.it/2GgMAw0 

How Reuters described Assange's appearance: "An agitated, frail-looking Assange with white hair and a white beard was carried out of the embassy by at least seven men to a waiting police van." https://reut.rs/2IpnRXP

What Assange's life was like in the embassy: "I don't think Assange had any idea he would be in there for so long. He didn't even have his own window to look out on the world. He needed a sun lamp to simulate natural light. For the first few weeks, there wasn't even a proper shower for him. That had to be installed later. He told me it was like living on a space ship. His friends worried about his health and bought him an exercise machine. Celebrity guests would sometimes visit and that would make a big splash in the news. But it was a lonely existence, and friends brought him a kitten to keep him company."

All I can think about when I see footage of Assange this morning:

  

REACTIONS:

From Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseJeffrey Epstein denied bail Acosta on shaky ground as GOP support wavers Some good advice for Democrats to ignore in 2020 MORE (R-Neb.): "This arrest is good news for freedom-loving people. Julian Assange has long been a wicked tool of Vladimir Putin and the Russian intelligence services. He deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison." http://bit.ly/2Ij0Qqr 

From whistleblower Edward Snowden: Snowden, who lives in Russia under political asylum after leaking highly classified National Security Agency (NSA) information in 2013, called Assange's arrest "a dark moment for press freedom." Snowden's full remarks: "Images of Ecuador's ambassador inviting the UK's secret police into the embassy to drag a publisher of--like it or not--award-winning journalism out of the building are going to end up in the history books. Assange's critics may cheer, but this is a dark moment for press freedom." https://washex.am/2UdA8Ro

  

NEWS THIS MORNING

Talk to us, Larry: 

Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow spoke The Hill's Bob Cusack this morning at The Hill's Newsmaker Series event in Washington, D.C.

Video of the event: http://bit.ly/2Gg6W8u

  

NEWS FROM THE DISCUSSION:

On striking a trade deal with China: "I'm going to play it from the optimistic side," Kudlow said. "We've made good progress. I don't want to predict. It's gotta be a great deal," he added. http://bit.ly/2VzmcCG

On the Green New Deal and "Medicare for all": "I believe it would be catastrophic.  All of that would decimate the economy. I think we would lose 15 percent of GDP," he said, citing an internal White House analysis. Keep in mind: The details of the analysis have not been made public. http://bit.ly/2v1K2LU

On Trump's pick for Herman Cain to serve on the Federal Reserve Board: "As the president said yesterday, he continues to support [Cain] and we'll see how that turns out ...  He's in the process, we'll let him go through it, the president insists on that." http://bit.ly/2Z2jFD7

If Congress doesn't agree to Trump's spending plan: Kudlow indicated that Trump would allow $125 billion in spending cuts. "The president has indicated, if the spending caps going all the way back to the 2011 deal are not met, then we will sequester across-the-board, both defense and non-defense, excluding entitlements, but we will run by those rules." http://bit.ly/2IqJneF

 

It was the winter of '69:

--> http://bit.ly/2UKXVMX ;)

Via The Hill's Sylvan Lane, the number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest number since 1969. http://bit.ly/2UuXGWT

The numbers: 196,000 people filed for unemployment benefits last week. "April's sharp drop in jobless claims brought the four-week average of weekly unemployment insurance applications down to 207,000, the lowest level since December 1969." 

  

HAPPENING IN LEESBURG, VA.

It's time for ... icebreakers!:

House Democrats are at Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Va. for their annual retreat. 

What Dems are doing at the retreat: "The sessions focus on such topics as youth voter engagement, racial justice and political messaging, as well as various policy issues. One session is titled 'Staying on Message During the Trump Presidency,' an issue that has flummoxed lawmakers trying to tout legislative achievements. Others focus on health care, infrastructure and labor policies." https://wapo.st/2uZO3Ag

Who spoke last night: John Legend and Chrissy Teigenhttp://bit.ly/2UrLWnY

 

TBH, I THINK THE DEM RETREAT COULD ALSO MAKE A GOOD 'SNL' SKIT: 

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou Jeffries3,100 to be released from prison under criminal justice reform law House Democrats delete tweets attacking each other, pledge to unify Democratic staffer says Wendy Davis will run for Congress MORE (N.Y.) bashed President TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE's picks for the Federal Reserve Board, Herman Cain and Stephen MooreJeffries told reporters: "It's not clear to me if that's reality or a 'Saturday Night Live skit.'" His full comments: http://bit.ly/2Kshm9h

 

Hahaha — The best tweet I've seen all week:

Well, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is having a fun time at the retreat!

 

Hey there, Nanc: 

  

IN OTHER NEWS

GOP to Trump: Don't do it. Don't do it, Don.:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, "Senate Republicans are waving President Trump off from nominating Kris Kobach, a favorite among conservatives who want tougher enforcement of immigration laws, to serve as the next secretary of Homeland Security." 

Why it is particularly bad timing for Republicans: "GOP lawmakers are already scrambling to contain the controversy surrounding two potential nominees to the Federal Reserve Board -- Stephen Moore and Herman Cain." http://bit.ly/2Z5RBPm 

 

MEANWHILE -- WHO WILL TEMPORARILY FILL NO. 2 SPOT AT DHS:

Transportation Security Administration Administrator David Pekoske will fill the role of deputy Homeland Security secretary on a temporary basis. http://bit.ly/2X8Twkx

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

Oh wow:

Full New York Post cover -- it's worth checking out the full image: http://bit.ly/2uYtR1A

Back story on the comments: Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Chris Wallace presses Stephen Miller on 'send her back' chant at Trump rally MORE (D-Minn.) mistakenly said the Council on American-Islamic Relations was founded because of the Sept. 11 attacks. In Omar's words: "CAIR was founded after 9/11, because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties." CAIR was founded in 1994 and it's unclear what Omar fully meant. Conservatives accused Omar of downplaying the 9/11 terrorist attacks. But her supporters say the comments are being taken out of context. https://nbcnews.to/2Gh2XIY

Reaction from Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Chris Wallace presses Stephen Miller on 'send her back' chant at Trump rally Trump campaign aide says president 'a compassionate man' and 'not a racist' MORE (D-Mich.): "The NY Post knows exactly what it's doing -- taking quotes out of context and evoking painful imagery to spread hate and endangering the life of Rep. Omar. Shame on them, and shame on Rupert Murdoch." Keep in mind: Tlaib and Omar are the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. http://bit.ly/2UPXkcP

  

Happy scientists: 

If you're not familiar with Tweetdeck: It displays multiples Twitter feeds on one screen.

  

ON TAP

The Senate is in. The House is out for a two-week recess.

10:30 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in before heading to Tuscon, Ariz.

12:10 p.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Trump steps up attacks on 'Squad' after post-rally furor Trump says he doesn't care if attacks on 'Squad' hurt him politically MORE meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife, Kim Jung-sook.

12:40 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds an expanded bilateral lunch with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Op-ed on the meeting: http://bit.ly/2IsxgxN

2:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with World War II veterans in the Oval Office.

5:35 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in a U.S. Border Patrol briefing in Nogales, Ariz.

6:05 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence visits the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Ariz.

8 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence flies to Omaha, Neb.

  

WHAT TO WATCH

10 a.m. EDT: A Senate Commerce subcommittee held a hearing on illegal robocalls. Let! *clap* Me! *clap* Testify! *clap* Livestream: https://cs.pn/2GfrzS9

10 p.m. EDT: CNN is holding a town hall with Democratic presidential candidate and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro. 

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Cheese Fondue Day.

 

And because you made it this far, here's a dog working on its party trick: http://bit.ly/2DcyolH