The Hill's 12:30 Report: Mueller breaks silence in surprise statement

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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 -- Mueller breaks silence in dramatic appearance | Says charging Trump with a crime was 'not an option we could consider' | Mueller says he will not testify before Congress | Trump says 'nothing changes' | New pressure on Democrats | Nadler vows House will take action | Booker calls for impeachment | How a huge Dem field is boosting Biden | Trump calls Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreSessions hits back at Trump days ahead of Alabama Senate runoff Judge allows Roy Moore lawsuit over Sacha Baron Cohen prank to proceed Senate outlook slides for GOP MORE unelectable | Duke's Grocery opening new location



So that's what Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE's voice sounds like: 


Special counsel Robert Mueller made a surprise statement late this morning to conclude his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The gist: Robert Mueller said he believed he was unable to charge President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE with a crime because of Justice Department guidelines but highlighted that he was not exonerating the president. 

Livestream of Robert Mueller's remarks:



(!) On whether Trump committed a crime: "If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not however make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime."


(!) Mueller said charging Trump with a crime was not an option: "Charging the president with a crime... was not an option we could consider." Why: Because of a Justice Department guideline that states a sitting president cannot be indicted. Mueller’s team interpreted that as meaning his team could not bring a charge against Trump as they investigated him for obstruction of justice. 

^What Mueller did not clarify: Whether his office would have charged President Trump with a crime had the Department of Justice guidance not been in place:

Why Muller said accusing Trump of a crime without charging him would have been unfair: "It would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge."

Mueller also said he will not testify before Congress: "I hope and expect that this will be the only time that I will speak to you in this manner. I am making that decision myself -- no one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter." He then highlighted: "The report is my testimony."

I.e.: "Robert Mueller, more or less: If forced to testify I will make it boring."

Robert Mueller said he has completed his tenure: "I am resigning from the Department of Justice to return to private life."



House Judiciary Chair Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerBy questioning Barr, Democrats unmasked their policy of betrayal Chris Wallace: Barr hearing 'an embarrassment' for Democrats: 'Just wanted to excoriate him' Apple posts blowout third quarter MORE (D-N.Y.) said that Congress will take action: "Given that Special Counsel Mueller was unable to pursue criminal charges against the President, it falls to Congress to respond to the crimes, lies and other wrongdoing of President Trump – and we will do so." Read Nadler’s full statement:

President Trump says ‘case closed’: “Nothing changes from the Mueller Report. There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! Thank you.”

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Senate Democrats push to include free phone calls for incarcerated people in next relief package Ex-USAID employee apologizes, denies sending explosive tweets MORE (D-N.J.), a 2020 contender, called for impeachment: “Robert Mueller’s statement makes it clear: Congress has a legal and moral obligation to begin impeachment proceedings immediately.”



When the news dropped that Mueller would speak: 9:30 a.m. today. Read the email announcement:

Great cable networks think alike!: "Cable news appears to agree not only on the story of the day, but also on how to chyronize it." Photo of the matching chyrons:

Lol, listen to camera shutters:

SERIOUSLY -- the real reason Mueller's statement is important: Journalist Kelly Cohen pointed out, "thank god we will finally get new stock photos of robert mueller."

Timing -- Mueller loves recess: The Mueller report was released during Congress's two-week Easter recess. Now he made his statement during Congress's Memorial Day recess.

Where Attorney General William BarrBill BarrGOP lawmaker calls for Justice Dept. to probe international court Barr pulls over to thank pro-police rally in Virginia Trump: Yates either lying or grossly incompetent MORE is: In Anchorage for the Alaska Native Justice Roundtable this afternoon.

Photo of the media section: Congrats to the journalist who arrived first:



"Mueller's just gonna reiterate that he thinks the Aladdin remake was really unnecessary."

"(Robert Mueller steps up to podium) Mueller: Jon Snow being a Targaryen never mattered. (steps away from podium)"

"oh hi, im bob muellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE. you may remember me from such mueller reports as the mueller report."

Mueller: <clears throat> "Literally everyone had a better story than Bran."



Attorney General William Barr will appear exclusively on CBS's "This Morning."


It's already Wednesday -- gotta love holiday weeks! 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.

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I believe this was meant in what we call the 'nana booboo' dialect:

Yesterday evening, President Trump offered what appeared to be a tongue-in-cheek defense of his criticism of former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says Trump executive order is 'a reckless war on Social Security' Trump got into testy exchange with top GOP donor Adelson: report Blumenthal calls for declassification of materials detailing Russian threat to US elections MORE while traveling in Japan, which triggered bipartisan blowback against the president.

Trump tweeted: "I was actually sticking up for Sleepy Joe Biden while on foreign soil. Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnOvernight Defense: Most VA workers find racism 'moderate to serious problem' at facilities l Trump advisers were wary of talking military options over fears he'd accidentally start war Trump advisers were wary of talking military options over fears he'd accidentally start war: report Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the new nuclear danger MORE called him a 'low IQ idiot,' and many other things, whereas I related the quote of Chairman Kim as a much softer 'low IQ individual.' Who could possibly be upset with that?"



President Trump sided with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's reference to Biden as a "fool of low IQ."



Bedingfield called Trump's attacks "beneath the dignity of the office" and said "to be on foreign soil, on Memorial Day, and to side repeatedly with a murderous dictator against a fellow American and former vice president speaks for itself."


HOW DEMOCRATS ARE WORRIED Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Trump team pounces on Biden gaffes The Hill's Campaign Report: US officials say Russia, China are looking to sow discord in election Warren urges investment in child care workers amid pandemic MORE COULD BE A SPOILER:



The more the merrier -- Joe Biden should be personally recruiting more 2020 candidates:

Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, "Democratic front-runner Joe Biden has an unusual advantage in the 2020 race: the sheer size of the field."

The problem for other Dems: The intraparty splits are dividing the 2020 Democratic field. For example: 

  • Black candidates: "The presence of two major black candidates, Harris and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), could prevent African American support coalescing behind either one."  

How this all helps Biden: "By contrast, Biden's niche -- relatively moderate, purportedly electable, popular with older voters -- is not particularly crowded." 

How this could play out:


Naaah, dawg: 

President Trump signaled that he is opposed to Roy Moore running for Senate in Alabama again.

Trump tweeted: "Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama. This time it will be for Six Years, not just Two. I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win. But he didn't, and probably won't. If Alabama does not elect a Republican to the Senate in 2020, many of the incredible gains that we have made during my Presidency may be lost, including our Pro-Life victories. Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating....Judges and Supreme Court Justices!"


Joe Biden's accuser is launching a talk show: 

Via The Hollywood Reporter, former Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores (D), who accused former Vice President Joe Biden of inappropriately touching her, is starting a talk show for Latinx millennials.



This seems terrible:



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

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

11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence met with Monsignor Abelardo Mata.

12:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump swore in the new president of the Export-Import Bank. Vice President Pence also attended.

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

3:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBeirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally Advocacy groups come out against Trump pick for ambassador to Germany US pledges million in disaster aid to Lebanon MORE.

4 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.



Friday morning: CBS's "This Morning" has an exclusive interview with Attorney General William Barr.



Today is National Biscuit Day.


Oh how I love this burger:

Duke's Grocery is opening a new location on Thursday in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Details:



Duke's famous proper burger was named the 5th best burger in the United States, according to Thrillist's top 100 list. The top 100 list:


And because you made it this far, here's a dog with a camera attached to his chest and heart rate monitor around his neck -- a photo is taken every time he gets excited! The photos: