The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Tensions flare after Iran shoots down US drone

The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Tensions flare after Iran shoots down US drone

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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 -- Tensions flare after Iran shoots down US drone | Trump says Iran 'made a big mistake | Graham warns Iran to 'knock this s—t off' | Officials to brief Congress | Senate votes to block Saudi arms sale | Trump faces challenge in running as outsider | Why GOP is pessimistic about winning back House | Judiciary chair says Hicks broke with Trump on using foreign dirt | Watchdog alleges Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpCareer State official warned about Biden's son: report Trump speaks with NASA astronauts on all-female spacewalk Biden praises Buttigieg for criticizing GOP attacks: 'That's a good man' MORE broke Hatch Act | Last day of spring



Trump to Iran: Dumb move

Late this morning, President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE reacted to the news that Iran shot down a U.S. drone. Trump tweeted: "Iran made a very big mistake!"



An official told Vox's Alex Ward that "all variables point to war."



Officials in the Trump administration are briefing members of Congress today about the situation with Iran.



“So, we’ll learn more in that briefing as to what is happening there. I think it is a dangerous situation. We have to be strong and strategic in how we protect our interests. We also cannot be reckless in what we do. So, it will be interesting to see what they have to say. I don’t think the president wants to go to war. There’s no appetite for going to war in our country.”



Graham told reporters that Iran needs to "knock this sh-t off." He also warned that a military response is "where we're headed if nothing changes."


^Ok, what happened?:

Via The Associated Press's Nasser Karimi and Jon Gambrell, Iran's Revolutionary Guard said that it shot down a U.S. military drone this morning, raising tensions between Iran and the U.S.

Iran and the U.S. dispute the circumstances: Iran says it shot down the drone over Iranian airspace, while the U.S. says it was over international airspace. 

When the incident happened: At 4:05 a.m. in Iran -- that's 7:35 p.m. last night in Washington, D.C.

Timing -- tensions are already high: "It comes just days after American officials blamed Iran for recent attacks on shipping tankers that also took place near the Strait of Hormuz, the vital waterway for much of the world's oil, an accusation that Iran has denied. None of the ships that were hit were American-operated."


It's Thursday -- tomorrow is the first day of summer!  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 Senate blocked Trump's Saudi deal:

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, "The Senate is voting Thursday to block President Trump's Saudi arms deal, paving the way for a veto clash with the White House."
The vote: 53 to 45 
This is vote one of three: The Senate still has two additional votes and is expected to block President Trump's entire arms deal with the Saudis. 
Keep in mind: "The administration has hit back at criticism from Congress over its tactics on the arms deal, arguing that a heightened threat from Iran is its justification in invoking the emergency." 



Drain the swamp, but leave the White House as is ;)

Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, "President Trump is running for reelection as an outsider candidate. But it's a knotty challenge for someone who holds the world's most powerful office."

Trump's message: Trump told the crowd on Tuesday that "the swamp is fighting back so viciously and violently" and that his allies have been attacked by a "permanent political class" and "an unholy alliance of lobbyists and donors and special interests."

Why Democrats get angry about that line: "It's the kind of language that makes Democrats roll their eyes. Trump, they note, is a billionaire property developer, born into wealth, who won the presidency on his first attempt -- yet he portrays himself as the tribune of 'the forgotten men and women of our country' whom he invoked in his January 2017 inaugural address." 

How to expect this to play out in 2020:



The Hatch Act is for squares:

A watchdog group filed a complaint that President Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump violated the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from involvement in campaigns in their official role.

The alleged incident: The watchdog group cited a tweet from Ivanka Trump's official Twitter account with the "Make America Great Again" logo. The tweet:

The watchdog group: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

From CREW: "It has become clear that this rampant abuse of public office is not a problem of 'one bad apple' but rather a key feature of the Trump White House. ... By blatantly using her office for politics right after the Office of Special Counsel recommended her colleague be fired for repeatedly acting similarly, Ivanka Trump has basically thumbed her nose at the OSC and the rule of law. Never before have we witnessed this level of illegal politicized behavior, and it must not be allowed to continue."

Read the complaint:


What Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksTrump: 'Top shows' on Fox News, cable are 'Fair (or great)' to me Trump criticizes Fox, which 'isn't working for us anymore' Sarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor MORE told Congress:

Former Trump aide Hope Hicks told the House Judiciary Committee yesterday that she found the president's comments about acting on political dirt from foreign opponents troubling.

From House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerDem committee chairs blast Trump G-7 announcement Top Democrat holds moment of silence for Cummings at hearing Barr to speak at Notre Dame law school on Friday MORE (D-N.Y.): "His invitation to foreign actors is so alarming that even one of his most loyal former aides, Hope Hicks, knew that the president's statement was troubling. ... Yesterday, during her transcribed interview, Ms. Hicks made clear that she understood the president to be serious when he said that he would accept foreign interference in our elections. She also made clear that even she knew that such foreign assistance should be rejected and reported to the FBI." 



In an interview with ABC's George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosWhite House officials work to tamp down controversies after a tumultuous week Democratic senator: Pompeo 'lives in a parallel alternate universe' on Syria Pompeo on Mulvaney admission of quid pro quo: 'I never saw that in the decisionmaking process' MOREPresident Trump said he would accept political dirt from foreign governments and wouldn't necessarily tell the FBI.



Carry on.:

Via The Hill's Jacqueline Thomsen, "The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a large cross in Maryland known as the 'Peace Cross' is not in violation of the Constitution's Establishment Clause and can remain in place."

Back story: "The American Legion had built 40-foot tall cross in a memorial park for World War I veterans in Maryland, and a state commission later took over responsibility for the park, including caring for the cross. But non-Christian residents argued that the government's care of the cross is in violation of the Constitution's separation of church and state." 



The House is looking pretty blue:

Via The Hill's Scott Wong and Juliegrace Brufke, "The 2020 election is more than a year away, but some Republican lawmakers are pessimistic about their chances of winning back the House."

How so: "President Trump's approval ratings in key swing states are under water. Infighting on the GOP leadership team and a notable retirement have raised questions about the party's campaign strategy. And Republicans acknowledge that many of the at-risk Democratic freshmen in Trump districts are going to be difficult to beat as they resist calls for impeachment and stay focused on kitchen-table issues such as health care and infrastructure." 

For comparison: "In the first three months of this year, the House Democrats' campaign arm hauled in more than $32 million, while the GOP's campaign operation raised $25 million." 





This bird's entrance looks like the Night King reincarnated: 

Ugh, thanks for this...



Wow, this is a throwback:



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.



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

Noon–1:25 p.m. EDT: President Trump and Vice President Pence meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauIs Trudeau on the verge of a shocking reversal of fortune? The Hill's Morning Report - Tempers boil over at the White House Obama calls on Canada to reelect Trudeau MORE at the White House.

1:45 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes on Rita Baranwal to be an assistant secretary of Energy. The Senate's full schedule today:

4 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House. The House's full schedule today:

6 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.

11:54 a.m. EDT Friday: The official summer solstice.

June 26–27: The first Democratic presidential primary debates. Details:



This morning: The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to review the Mueller report. Livestream:



Today is National Vanilla Milkshake Day.


Getting traction -- Wow, these clouds are insane:

A rare cloud formation appeared over Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia on Tuesday. 

From the National Weather Service: "They can appear as breaking waves and as braided patterns in radar images and cloud photos." 

Photo of the clouds:


And because you made it to the end, meet Ron the dog:

"This is Ron. He reserved the fountain for his pool party this evening but nobody showed up. Still hoping they're on their way. 13/10 sit tight Ron I'm coming."