The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump calls off Iran strike at last minute

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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 — Trump orders and calls off Iran strikes at last minute | Trump says he pulled back to avoid casualties | Adds new Iran sanctions | Democrats worry attacks on Biden could help Trump | Intel committee to subpoena Trump associate | Justices toss death sentence for Mississippi inmate | Summer solstice celebrations | Taco Bell–themed hotel



This reads like a movie script:

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussian sanctions will boomerang States, cities rethink tax incentives after Amazon HQ2 backlash A Presidents Day perspective on the nature of a free press MORE ordered military strikes in Iran but then abruptly changed his mind last night when the planes and ships were already in position.

Timing: The New York Times's Michael D. Shear, Eric Schmitt, Michael Crowley and Maggie HabermanMaggie Lindsy HabermanThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden leaving New Hampshire early as voting underway The Hill's 12:30 Report: Senators brace for floor fight as trial nears end Mike Bloomberg really gets under Trump's skin — and that's good for Bloomberg MORE report that as late as 7 p.m. EDT last night, military and diplomatic officials were expecting the strike.

This morning, Trump explained why he pulled back (!): The president tweeted, "We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone."

Trump then added new sanctions against Iran: "I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!"



In response to Iran shooting down a U.S. drone.



Airlines are canceling or rerouting flights to avoid areas near Iran. For example: United Airlines canceled a flight between Newark, N.J., and Mumbai, India.


New detail -- Trump warned Iran: 

"Iranian officials told Reuters on Friday that Tehran had received a message from U.S. President Donald Trump warning that a U.S. attack on Iran was imminent but saying he was against war and wanted talks on a range of issues."


Happy Friday! Today 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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A death sentence was tossed out:

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Mississippi inmate who alleges racial discrimination in the jury selection of his murder trials.

The ruling: 7-2

The case: "Curtis Flowers, who is currently on death row in Mississippi, claimed that prosecutor Doug Evans repeatedly blocked black individuals from being on the jury for his trials for the murder of four people in a furniture store. Flowers, who is African American, claimed that Evans stopped every potential black juror from sitting on the panels during his first four trials. Flowers's fifth trial ended in a mistrial; but the inmate alleges that during a sixth trial, Evans allowed the first qualified black individual to sit on the jury before blocking the rest." 

Keep in mind -- prosecutors can dismiss jurors but not for race: "While prosecutors can stop, or strike, a certain number of people from sitting on juries for undisclosed reasons, the Supreme Court has previously ruled that those strikes can't be used to turn down jurors on the basis of race." 



New subpoena this morning:

The House Intelligence Committee is issuing a subpoena for President Trump's onetime business associate Felix Sater after he skipped today's voluntary closed-door testimony.



*clears throat and whispers* Pssst, you're all on the same team here:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, "Democratic lawmakers warn that Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSpeculation swirls around whether Bloomberg will make Las Vegas debate stage Conway: Trump is 'toying with everybody' by attacking Bloomberg for stop-and-frisk comments Democratic rivals sharpen attacks as Bloomberg rises MORE (D-N.J.) and other White House hopefuls taking shots at front-runner Joe BidenJoe BidenJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Bloomberg hits Sanders supporters in new ad MORE are playing with fire and could wind up helping President Trump win reelection."

Booker's critique of Biden: Booker demanded an apology from Biden for recounting his collegial relationship with two segregationist former senators, James Eastland (D-Miss.) and Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.). 



Via The New York Times's Shane Goldmacher


All in for Trump:

Via The Hill's Jonathan Easley, "Faith leaders and anti-abortion groups are ramping up their efforts to reelect President Trump, rewarding a president who has become an unlikely hero of the Christian right because of his commitment to socially conservative causes."


The buzz in Washington -- what happens if Trump doesn't win in 2020?: 

Via Politico's Natasha Bertrand and Darren Samuelsohn, "What if Trump won't accept 2020 defeat? The situations all seem far-fetched, but the president's comments have people chattering in the halls of Congress and throughout the Beltway." The scenarios:



Getting shared on social media -- yikes:

The football stadium at Western Michigan University now looks like a swimming pool because of the rain. Photos:



Because it's been a long week, let's stop to ponder the real questions in life: 

I'm Team below-the-trunk. Email me your thoughts. ;)


I'm going to need a minute to process this...: 



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 is in this morning. The Senate is out. President Trump and Vice President Pence are both in Washington, D.C.

10:30 -- 11:30 a.m. EDT: First and last votes in the House. 

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

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo promotes economic ties, takes aim at corruption in Africa visit Russian foreign minister says he sensed 'more constructive' approach after meeting with Pompeo Donald Trump: Unrepentant, on the attack and still playing the victim MORE. 

2:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpNASCAR postpones Daytona 500 due to rain after Trump visit Trump greeted with applause, cheers from NASCAR fans upon arrival at Daytona 500 NASCAR star Hailie Deegan poses with Trump at Daytona 500 MORE receive a briefing on the 2019 hurricane season in the Oval Office.

4 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence has a call with Republican governors to discuss the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

5:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump, first lady Melania TrumpVice President Pence and Karen PenceKaren Sue PencePence to make swing through New Hampshire on eve of primary The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats gear up for crucial New Hampshire debate The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats turn to obstruction charge MORE attend the Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House.

Today: World Giraffe Day. 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 GuthrieOvernight Health Care: Big Pharma looks to stem losses after trade deal defeat | House panel to examine federal marijuana policies | House GOP reopens investigation into opioid manufacturers Lawmakers express alarm over rise in cocaine overdose deaths House GOP reopens investigation into opioid manufacturers over role in crisis MORE (R-Ky.) and Doris MatsuiDoris Okada MatsuiBottom line Lobbying World Bipartisan food allergy legislation gains ground in Congress, but the fight has only just begun MORE (D-Calif.). Details and how to RSVP:

June 26: The Hill is hosting "The Future of Healthcare Summit" at Long View Gallery in Washington, D.C. Featured speakers: Sen. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyThe Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Health Care: Nevada union won't endorse before caucuses after 'Medicare for All' scrap | McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills | CDC confirms 15th US coronavirus case Overnight Defense: Senate votes to rein in Trump war powers on Iran | Pentagon shifting .8B to border wall | US, Taliban negotiate seven-day 'reduction in violence' MORE (R-La.), the Food and Drug Administration's Dr. Amy Abernethy, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel and Nano Vision CEO Steve Papermaster. Details and how to RSVP:



9 p.m. EDT: Rep. Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnDemocratic rivals sharpen attacks as Bloomberg rises Rep. Cunningham blasts Sanders: 'South Carolinians don't want socialism' House Majority Whip: DNC shouldn't change rules for Bloomberg MORE (D-S.C.) holds his famous fish fry in Columbia, S.C. Keep in mind: Twenty-two presidential candidates are attending. Livestream:

Sunday morning: President Trump's interview with Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddCandidates make electability arguments, talk Bloomberg as focus turns to more diverse states Biden says he has to do 'really well' in South Carolina Biden urges Sanders to take accountability for supporters' threats on culinary union MORE on NBC's "Meet the Press" airs. Keep in mind: The interview happened today.



Today is National Peaches and Cream Day. And for planning purposes, tomorrow is National Onion Ring Day!


Celebrate the best time of the year:

Via Washingtonian's Fiona Flaherty, here's a list of 10 events in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the summer solstice.


One Cheesy Gordita Crunch for breakfast, please:

A Taco Bell–themed pop-up hotel is opening this summer in Palm Springs, Calif. Photos -- wow:


And to get your weekend off to the right start, meet Max the goldendoodle, who was caught on camera stealing cookies from the kitchen: