The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate

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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 — Presented by MAPRx — Breaking: DNC debate lineups | Biden, Sanders, Harris to share stage | Warren to appear other night | Trump does damage control on election interference remarks | GOP in tough spot | Dems skeptical of polls showing Biden landslide | Trump says he won’t fire Conway despite Hatch Act | Why Centrist Dems are wary of $15 minimum wage | New outdoor DC food market | National Strawberry Shortcake Day



When you’ve dug yourself into a hole...

Just keep digging, digging, digging:

In an attempt to do damage control, 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 clarified his comments about not committing to contacting the FBI if a foreign power offered damaging information on a political opponent.

Trump’s latest comments — he was asked what he would do if he were given that information: “If I was, and of course you have to look at it because if you don’t look at it you’re not going to know if it’s bad. How are you going to know if it’s bad? But, of course, you give it to the FBI or report it to the attorney general or somebody like that. But of course you do that, you couldn’t have that happen with our country and everybody understands that.”  



“Republicans were left shaking their heads Thursday over what many of them saw as a sloppy gaffe by the president, who didn’t appear to understand that what he was suggesting was against the law. Several GOP lawmakers quickly denounced Trump’s comments, hoping to bury them and allow the controversy to blow over as soon as possible.”

Including Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSeveral GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Graham says he appreciates Trump orders, but 'would much prefer a congressional agreement' Sunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief MORE (R-S.C.), a frequent defender of the president: Graham said he had to explain to Trump over the phone that accepting campaign help from a foreign country is a violation of the law. 

In Graham’s words: “What the president is saying is, ‘I didn’t say I’d take it.’ I said, ‘Well, Mr. President, here’s what the law is.’ You’ll have a conversation with somebody that’s pulling for you or wants to help you, you can say, ‘No you can’t, you’re not an American citizen.’ ... If somebody is trying to give you documents from a foreign government, you can’t take them.”



From 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: "President Trump is once again welcoming foreign interference in our elections. This isn’t about politics. It is a threat to our national security. An American President should not seek their aid and abet those who seek to undermine democracy.”

From Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyFrom a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters Tennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans NRCC poll finds McBath ahead of Handel in Georgia MORE (R-Utah): Romney said it would “be wrong and unthinkable that any candidate for president would accept such information” that might influence an election from foreign sources.


It’s Friday! Today is President Trump’s 73rd birthday. Happy Birthday, Mr. President! 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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The lineup for the first DNC debate:

Yesterday, the Democratic National Committee announced the 20 presidential candidates who have qualified for the first primary debate. NBC just did a random selection to split the top tier candidates int two nights.

Night one: 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, Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden campaign says no VP pick yet after bike trail quip Biden edges closer to VP pick: Here's who's up and who's down Democratic convention lineup to include Ocasio-Cortez, Clinton, Warren: reports MORE, Beto O’Rourke, Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Senate Democrats push to include free phone calls for incarcerated people in next relief package Lobbying world MORE, John DelaneyJohn DelaneyCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what 'policing' means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight MORE, Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardFinancial firms facing serious hacking threat in COVID-19 era Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE, Julian CastroJulian CastroThe Memo: Trump team pounces on Biden gaffes Goya fury underscores Biden need to attract Latino support Trump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott MORE, Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: HHS Secretary Azar says US plans to have tens of millions of vaccine doses this fall; Kremlin allegedly trying to hack vaccine research Democrats see victory in Trump culture war House Democrat calls for 'real adult discussion' on lawmaker pay MORE, Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Key 48 hours loom as negotiators push for relief deal Overnight Health Care: Fauci says family has faced threats | Moderna to charge to a dose for its vaccine | NYC adding checkpoints to enforce quarantine New York City adding 'key entry point' checkpoints to enforce quarantine MORE and Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeWhy a rising star is leaving Congress Inslee, GOP's Culp advance in Washington governor's race Governors call for Trump to extend funding for National Guard coronavirus response MORE 

Night two: 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, Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden campaign says no VP pick yet after bike trail quip Hillary Clinton roasts NYT's Maureen Dowd over column Biden edges closer to VP pick: Here's who's up and who's down MORE, Joe Biden, Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegCNN's Ana Navarro to host Biden roundtable on making 'Trump a one-term president' Former Indiana Gov. Joe Kernan dies How Republicans can embrace environmentalism and win MORE, Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetExpanding our health force can save lives and create jobs simultaneously How Congress is preventing a Medicare bankruptcy during COVID-19 Tom Cotton rips NY Times for Chinese scientist op-ed criticizing US coronavirus response MORE, Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson touts endorsements for progressive congressional candidates The Hill's 12:30 Report: Warren becomes latest 2020 rival to back Biden The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden looks to stretch lead in Tuesday contests MORE, Eric SwalwellEric Michael Swalwell'This already exists': Democrats seize on potential Trump executive order on preexisting conditions Swalwell: Barr has taken Michael Cohen's job as Trump's fixer The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Chris Christie says Trump team wasn't aggressive enough early in COVID-19 crisis; Tensions between White House, Fauci boil over MORE, Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandExpanding our health force can save lives and create jobs simultaneously Sanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic MORE, Andrew YangAndrew YangProgressive candidate Bush talks about her upset primary win over Rep. Clay Is this the end of the 'college experience'? Biden campaign to take over 'Supernatural' star's Instagram for interview MORE and John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperCoronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority Republicans uncomfortably playing defense Obama announces first wave of 2020 endorsements MORE

The candidates who did not qualify: Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockRepublicans uncomfortably playing defense 300 green groups say Senate has 'moral duty' to reject Trump's public lands nominee Lincoln Project targets Senate races in Alaska, Maine, Montana with M ad buy MOREMassachusetts Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonPortland: The Pentagon should step up or pipe down House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops Overnight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday MORE and Miramar, Fla. Mayor Wayne MessamWayne Martin MessamKey moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Wayne Messam suspends Democratic presidential campaign 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the November forum MORE



She stays.:

During an interview on “Fox & Friends” this morning, President Trump said he is not firing White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the 'Secretary of Failure' Watchdog group accuses Stephen Miller of violating Hatch Act with Biden comments Hillicon Valley: Trump raises idea of delaying election, faces swift bipartisan pushback | Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google release earnings reports | Senators ask Justice Department to investigate TikTok, Zoom MORE for violating the Hatch Act.

In Trump’s words: “No, I’m not going to fire her. I think she’s a terrific person.” 

Trump also said: “It looks to me they’re trying to take away her right from free speech and that’s just not fair.” 



Yesterday, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) submitted a 17-page report to the White House with findings that Kellyanne Conway repeatedly violated the Hatch Act.

What is the Hatch Act?: It bans federal employees from using their official role to help or hurt political campaigns.  

How she violated the Hatch Act: By “disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity” in more than half a dozen television interviews and tweets, according to the report.

How the White House is defending Conway: The White House argues that the OSC applied the law too broadly and that her actions are within her First Amendment rights.



$15 may not be the magic number everywhere:

Via The Hill’s Cristina Marcos and Niv Elis, as House Democrats move forward with a bill to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour, 29 Democrats — mostly centrist — have concerns about the measure.

Their concerns: The major boost in a short period of time could have negative effects in rural areas. 

For example — from Rep. Dean PhillipsDean PhillipsLeaders call for civility after GOP lawmaker's verbal attack on Ocasio-Cortez House seeks ways to honor John Lewis Cook shifts 20 House districts toward Democrats MORE (D-Minn.): “I am concerned about the fact that $15 is an arbitrary number that means a lot more in certain parts of the country than it does another. I believe there are better mechanisms by which we can ensure that by providing incentives to enterprises who take better care of people.” 

Timing of the bill: House Democrats are hoping to bring the bill to the floor in July and say they are close to the 218 votes needed.



Whoa, Republicans and Democrats agree on something

Did we not learn anything about the polls in 2016?!:

Via The Hill’s Jonathan Easley, “Democrats and Republicans alike are skeptical of early polls predicting a landslide victory for Democrat Joe Biden over President Trump on Election Day 2020.”

Both sides have come to the same conclusion: “Both sides think a close race in 2020 is likely and that surveys showing Biden and other Democrats with huge leads aren’t likely to reflect Election Day’s reality.” 

From a Democratic pollster: “Anyone who believes that the Democratic candidate is headed for a landslide victory right now is doomed to repeat the tragic history of 2016. It’s a fundamental mistake for anyone to believe that reality can be projected or predicted based on these polls this far out from the general election.”

Yeah but not all pollsters agree — from another Democratic pollster: “We are beyond the ‘grain of salt’ phase on these polls. These are not just small leads for Biden against Trump. They are substantial and confirmed in key states. While polls may move around they are relevant in that it shows Trump’s weakness in getting reelected. He has lost key support that he had at the end of 2016 and there is no denying that.”

How this could play out:






The House and Senate are out.

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch 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.

1:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump and Vice President Pence meet with Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosStudents at school system Pence called 'forefront' of reopening now in quarantine The Hill's Coronavirus Report: GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani says DC policymakers need to do more to support ventures and 'solo-preneurs'; Federal unemployment benefits expire as coronavirus deal-making deadlocks Democrats look to go on offense in debate over reopening schools MORE.

Today: The 244th birthday of the U.S. Army. Op-ed:

June 25: The Hill is hosting an event at the Newseum to discuss "Cost, Quality and Care: The Medicare Equation." Featured speakers: Reps. Brett GuthrieSteven (Brett) Brett GuthrieHouse Republicans introduce legislation to give states 0 million for elections Hillicon Valley: Tech giants poised to weather coronavirus damage | Record Facebook-FTC deal approved | Bipartisan 5G bill introduced Lawmakers introduce legislation to boost American 5G efforts MORE (R-Ky.) and Doris MatsuiDoris Okada MatsuiDozens of Democrats plan to vote remotely in a first for the House Hillicon Valley: Experts raise security concerns about online voting | Musk finds supporter in Trump | Officials warn that Chinese hackers targeting COVID-19 research groups Democrats introduce legislation to ensure internet access for college students MORE (D-Calif.). Details and how to RSVP:



President Trump and Congress have an opportunity to help strengthen the popular Medicare Part D program by placing an affordable cap on the out-of-pocket costs people on Medicare pay for prescriptions. Click for more on capping Part D.



3:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump gives a speech on health care for small businesses. Livestream:

6:30 p.m. EDT: "NBC Nightly News" interviews former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro for the series "My Big Idea."

Sunday morning: Sound Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) and House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseRepublicans fear disaster in November Gaetz set to endorse primary opponent of fellow Florida GOP lawmaker Hillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video MORE (R-La.) will appear on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” 



Today is National Strawberry Shortcake Day. And for planning purposes, tomorrow is National Lobster Day!


Filming in D.C. this weekend:

Expect road closures in downtown Washington, D.C., this weekend for the filming of a TV miniseries. Sooo, what’s the show?: The name of the project has not been released yet. Details and a list of road closures:


Opening tomorrow: 

Via DCist, “Smorgasburg, an outdoor food market billing itself as the world’s largest, opens in D.C.’s Navy Yard on Saturday, offering a weekly platform to a swath of food entrepreneurs. More than 30 food entrepreneurs have signed on to prepare their meals in booths onsite at the free, family friendly Smorgasburg DC running every Saturday at least through October.” Details and a list of food vendors:


And to get your weekend off to the right start, here is the most chill alpaca: