The Hill's 12:30 Report: Amash under fire after impeachment tweets

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: Republican Amash gets primary challenger after impeachment tweets | Trump teases second-term agenda | Trump slams NYT report on dealings with Deutsche Bank as 'WRONG!' | Trump mocks Sanders as 'history,' Biden as from 'trash heap' | Infrastructure, budget talks top busy week for Congress | Billionaire to pay off graduates' debt | Therapists offer counseling post-'Game of Thrones' | Fallout from finale



"I'm sorry, the old Donald can't come to the phone right now. Why? ’cause he’s in campaign mode now”:

Via The Hill’s Niall StanagePresident TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE’s second-term agenda has begun to emerge 18 months ahead of the 2020 vote.

Trump’s second term platform: Immigration and the economy will be the focus. Trade and deregulation will also be important.

Why now — it’s pretty early: The president’s supporters argue the early timing is necessary to combat the Democratic nomination process that has been consuming a lot of media oxygen. 


For example: Last week, Trump unveiled a new immigration plan. “The president all but admitted his proposal faced little chance of being signed into law in the current Congress, with Democrats in control of the House ... But Trump held out the possibility that his supporters could see the plan come to fruition if only they would reelect him — and put Republicans back in control of a unified government — come 2020.” 

What to expect:



President Trump slammed 2020 candidates Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Keystone XL Pipeline gets nod from Nebraska Supreme Court MORE (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Moulton says Biden would make 'fantastic president' MOREHe tweeted: “Looks like Bernie Sanders is history. Sleepy Joe Biden is pulling ahead and think about it, I’m only here because of Sleepy Joe and the man who took him off the 1% trash heap, President O! China wants Sleepy Joe BADLY!”



President Trump holds a campaign rally at 7 p.m. EDT in Montoursville, Pa. Livestream of his remarks:


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:



So, are we going to war with Iran?:

In an interview with Fox News, President Trump said he hopes not to have to go to war with Iran amid escalating tensions. In Trump’s words: "I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons. I don’t want to fight. But you do have situations like Iran, you can’t let them have nuclear weapons — you just can’t let that happen.”

Trump threatened Iran yesterday: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!” the president tweeted.

Who in the White House is stirring the pot for military intervention: National security adviser John BoltonJohn Robert BoltonSchumer joins Pelosi in opposition to post-Brexit trade deal that risks Northern Ireland accord Why President Trump must keep speaking out on Hong Kong Trump meets with national security team on Afghanistan peace plan MORE. Trump has reportedly grown frustrated with Bolton’s hawkish approach toward Iran. How Bolton has become a flashpoint in the debate:

Meanwhile: The White House yesterday announced the first part of their highly anticipated Middle East peace plan, with ideas focused on boosting investment.




*Puts on reading glasses to get a closer look*

Via The New York Times’s David Enrich, “Anti-money-laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving legal entities controlled by Donald J. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerPresident tweets 'few work harder' than Ivanka, Jared PETA billboard in Baltimore calls Kushner a 'rich pest' Top immigration aide experienced 'jolt of electricity to my soul' when Trump announced campaign MORE, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.”

Details: “The transactions, some of which involved Mr. Trump’s now-defunct foundation, set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity ... but executives at Deutsche Bank, which has lent billions of dollars to the Trump and Kushner companies, rejected their employees’ advice. The reports were never filed with the government.”



President Trump tweeted: “The Failing New York Times (it will pass away when I leave office in 6 years), and others of the Fake News Media, keep writing phony stories about how I didn’t use many banks because they didn’t want to do business with me. WRONG! It is because I didn’t need money. Very old fashioned, but true. When you don’t need or want money, you don’t need or want banks. Banks have always been available to me, they want to make money.” Read his full tweets: 


How taxpayers funded $1,000 in top-shelf liquor for Trump staffers:

Via ProPublica, “Trump staffers helped themselves to top-shelf liquor at a Mar-a-Lago bar. No one paid that night. Six days later, Mar-a-Lago billed the State Dept which refused to pay. The tab was then forwarded to the White House which paid for it w/ taxpayers' money.” The full story — and photo of the bill if you’re curious:



Over the weekend – a crack in the Party:

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashLawmakers blast Trump as Israel bars door to Tlaib and Omar House Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 Sanford headed to New Hampshire amid talk of challenge to Trump MORE (R-Mich.) became the first Republican to break with his party and accuse President Trump of “impeachable conduct.”

Amash tweeted: “Here are my principal conclusions:

  1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.
  2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
  3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.
  4. Few members of Congress have read the report.” 

Read his full series of tweets:

Is it surprising?: Well, this is not the first time Amash has stood out in the GOP. He was elected in 2010 as an anti-establishment libertarian and has challenged the party several times.

But: This move will open Amash up to an unprecedented level of criticism from fellow Republicans and staunch Trump supporters.



A Michigan lawmaker announced a primary challenge to Rep. Justin Amash’s (R-Mich.) congressional seat. Who: State Rep. Jim Lower (R). Keep in mind: Lower had been planning to run but fast-tracked his announcement following Amash’s weekend comments. 


The infrastructure week that never ends:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney and Juliegrace Brufke, “Democrats are set to sit down with the White House this week to try to make progress toward separate deals on an infrastructure package and raising the budget caps.”

What to expect after their infrastructure meeting: “The meeting is a follow up to an April meeting where both sides agreed to the topline figure but have yet to resolve major differences to a potential deal, including how to pay for it or what it would go toward.” 

Keep in mind: The House and Senate are leaving at the end of this week for a weeklong Memorial Day recess. 



‘Medicare for All’: “The House Budget Committee is slated to hold a hearing on single-payer health care Wednesday.”

Disaster aid: “The Senate is expected to vote on a disaster aid bill before leaving town, regardless of whether or not negotiators can reach a deal.”

Nominations: “The Senate is set to confirm another slate of Trump’s judicial nominees, including a 9th Circuit pick that is opposed by their home-state senators.” 

Retirement benefits: “The House is slated to vote on the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, better known as the SECURE Act, this week.” What the bill would do: “[It would ease] the process for companies to offer retirement plans and taxpayers to save for their retirement.” 

Context and details for each:



Scott’s Tots:

Billionaire Robert F. Smith was the commencement speaker at Morehouse College and announced he will pay off student loan debt for each of the graduates.

In Smith’s words: “Now, I know my class will make sure they pay this forward. I want my class to look at these (alumni) — these beautiful Morehouse brothers — and let's make sure every class has the same opportunity going forward because we are enough to take care of our own community. We are enough to ensure we have all the opportunities of the American dream."



These kids are adorable:



The House and Senate are in this afternoon. President Trump is in Washington, D.C., and is heading to Pennsylvania later today. Vice President Pence is in Florida for the day.

9:15 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence left Washington, D.C., for Jacksonville, Fla.

12 p.m. EDT: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

12 p.m. EDT: The House meets. The House’s full schedule today:

3 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets. The Senate’s full schedule today:

5:10 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence gets back to Washington, D.C.

5:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes to invoke cloture on a nomination.

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

5:40 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves the White House to head to Montoursville, Pa.

9:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump gets back to the White House.



12:25 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence gives a speech in Jacksonville, Fla., on the Trump administration’s trade policy. Livestream:

2:50 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks to U.S. service members in Jacksonville, Fla. Livestream:

7 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Montoursville, Pa. Livestream:



Today is National Quiche Lorraine Day.


I promise, there are no GoT finale spoilers unless you click one of these links!: 

HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones” came to an end last night.



Positive: Here’s an argument on why it was an epic finale:

Negative: And here’s an argument on why the finale was terrible:



Seriously, guys?: Two water bottles are visible in the finale. Photos:

When Sophie Turner goes back to Joffrey with Joe Jonas right there: Here are some of the best behind-the-scenes photos from the cast. They’re pretty funny.:

Interesting tidbit: Actress Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) explained her reactions to reading the script for the first time and how actor Kit Harrington (Jon Snow) didn’t read the script ahead of time. Clarke’s thoughts on the ending:

What people thought: Here’s a roundup of some reactions to the ending:

Therapists are actually trained to discuss the ending: “Counselors via will be on hand Monday, ready to help fans who’d like to talk about how they feel regarding the series ending and receive expert advice on how to deal with the loss of the show. ... Fans can book a 30 minute or 60 minute therapy session for roughly $25-$50 depending on the length.”


And because you made it to the end, here’s a dog who can’t figure out the mechanics of a trampoline: