The Hill's 12:30 Report: First debate, fundraising shake-up 2020 Dem rankings

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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: Washington hit by flash floods | White House basement leaks | Latest 2020 Democratic rankings | Jeffrey Epstein charged with sex trafficking involving minors | Lawmakers return to DC | GOP to deal with Amash drama | Iran passes enrichment cap in nuke deal | Trump to deliver speech on environment  

 

IN THE WHITE HOUSE

Anything can be true if we use our…  *cue Spongebob Squarepants*

Imaginaaaation:

--> http://bit.ly/2YEhhBP ;) 

This morning, President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE shared a fictitious quote from former President Reagan predicting Trump's own presidency. http://bit.ly/2YAYEyR

The tweet, before it was deleted: "Trump retweeted a two-year-old post from an account with 13 followers, which included a 1987 photo of Reagan and Trump. The photo is real, but there is no evidence that Reagan actually delivered the prediction. The quotation with the photo states: 'For the life of me, and I'll never know how to explain it, when I met that young man, I felt like I was the one shaking hands with the president.' " Trump then added: "Cute!" http://bit.ly/2YFhXaj

Keep in mind -- this image was removed from Facebook: "The image was shared widely on Facebook earlier this year before it was flagged as part of the company's efforts to root out false information and news from its news feed, according to PolitiFact, which rated the supposed Reagan claim 'pants on fire.' " 

 

It's a wildly rainy Monday in Washington, D.C.  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 cmartel@thehill.com -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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NEWS THIS MORNING

Iran is testing us:

Iran announced this morning that it has exceeded the 3.67 percent uranium enrichment cap that was set in the Obama-era nuclear deal. http://bit.ly/2YGNmJs

Keep in mind: The United States abandoned the nuclear agreement from 2015. https://reut.rs/2YGN1GG

Reaction from President Trump: Trump told reporters yesterday that "Iran better be careful." https://cnn.it/2YH5WRw

  

Jeffrey Epstein's charges:

Billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein has been charged with allegedly abusing and sex trafficking "dozens of minor girls" from 2002 to 2005, according to newly unsealed charges from federal prosecutors. https://cnb.cx/2YLPaB6

Read the unsealed charges: http://bit.ly/2YChFB6

Epstein's arrest: Epstein was arrested on Saturday after flying back to the U.S. from France. 

About the timing: "Eleven years after letting Jeffrey Epstein off lightly with a once-secret plea deal, the U.S. government is taking another run at putting the wealthy sex offender behind bars with new sex-trafficking charges that law enforcement officials say involve allegations dating to the early 2000s."

Why the case is so controversial: Epstein has a number of political contacts, including past connections with President Clinton and President Trump. Critics say that led prosecutors to treat him leniently.

  

THE RAIN IN D.C. THIS MORNING

Everything is fine. Nothing to see here: 

Dangerous flash flooding hit the Washington, D.C., area during today's morning commute. 

Video of flooded city streets: http://bit.ly/2YLLYp6

All lanes on I-495 North were closed: A tree fell on a car this morning on the highway. https://on.wusa9.com/2YPgQ7O

The Metro elevator near the Pentagon is flooded: Video: http://bit.ly/2YHc10r

Video of Constitution Ave. this morning: Yikes.: http://bit.ly/2FZrCkC

Video of water rushing into an Old Town, Alexandria parking garage: http://bit.ly/2G2R6gW

  

It appears that the White House has another ... leak.

I'll show myself out:

Update from CNBC's Eamon Javers: "swamp draining in progress. [White House] leaks appear contained. Press pool dry." Photo of the water removal: http://bit.ly/2YDSXAl

  

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

Happening at 4 p.m. -- should I stay or should I go?

--> http://bit.ly/2S6J0c3:

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment Moulton campaign makes formal case to DNC to be added to debate stage Bullock makes CNN debate stage MORE (D-Calif.) is holding a press conference this afternoon amid speculation that he could drop out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. http://bit.ly/2G38odV

Where he is holding the news conference: At his Dublin, Calif., headquarters.

Timing: Swalwell canceled two days of campaign stops in New Hampshire last week and has been struggling to gain traction. http://bit.ly/2G38odV

Livestream of Swalwell's 4 p.m. EDT news conference: https://cs.pn/2G1srcB 

 

Read this aloud with your best horse-race caller voice:

The Hill's Niall Stanage has been ranking 2020 Democratic contenders monthly by their likelihood of winning the Democratic nomination for president. http://bit.ly/2YE7prL 

Today's new ranking:

  1. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJulián Castro is behind in the polls, but he's finding a niche Gabbard arrives in Puerto Rico to 'show support' amid street protests Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall MORE (D-Mass.) -- ranked No. 3 in May.
  2. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden compares Trump to George Wallace Sanders unveils plan to guarantee the 'right to a secure retirement' CNN Democratic debate drawing finishes third in cable news ratings race MORE -- ranked No. 1 in May.
  3. Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisWhat to expect when Mueller testifies: Not much Biden compares Trump to George Wallace CNN Democratic debate drawing finishes third in cable news ratings race MORE (D-Calif.) -- ranked No. 4 in May.
  4. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard arrives in Puerto Rico to 'show support' amid street protests Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall Sanders unveils plan to guarantee the 'right to a secure retirement' MORE (I-Vt.) -- ranked No. 2 in May.
  5. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegDemocratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage The Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash MORE-- ranked No. 5 in May.
  6. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro-- ranked No. 9 in May.
  7. Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage The Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash MORE (D-N.J.) -- ranked No. 7 in May.
  8. Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeThe Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown 2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally MORE (D-Texas) -- ranked No. 6 in May.
  9. Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharDemocratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage Protect American patients and innovation from a harmful MedTech Tax increase MORE (D-Minn.) -- ranked No. 8 in May.
  10. Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardBiden slams Puerto Rico governor over 'shameful' comments, backs protesters Gabbard arrives in Puerto Rico to 'show support' amid street protests Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall MORE (D-Hawaii) -- not ranked in May.

Reasoning for each candidate's placement: Think second quarter fundraising totals and debate performance: http://bit.ly/2YE7prL

 

FOR REFERENCE --CANDIDATE POLLING OVER TIME:

Here is RealClearPolitics's polling average of each 2020 Democratic candidate: http://bit.ly/2YGLalc

  

THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS

Lawmakers return to a long to-do list:

Amash leaves the GOP: Lawmakers return to Washington this week for the first time since Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashThe Memo: Fears of violence grow amid Trump race storm Top Missouri newspaper condemns GOP's 'shameful silence' on Trump's 'racism' Amash responds to 'Send her back' chants at Trump rally: 'This is how history's worst episodes begin' MORE (Mich.) announced he was leaving the Republican Party. What happens now: "A two-thirds vote within the House GOP conference would be required to expel him from conferencing with the party ... It remains unclear what will happen to his committee assignments in the wake of his decision." 

Dems go on offense to protect ObamaCare: "Democrats are going on offense as ObamaCare faces a lawsuit, backed by the Trump administration, seeking to overturn the entire health care law."

Defense spending: "The House is poised to take up a massive defense bill that could allow Democrats to push back on elements of Trump's defense and foreign policy."

Prepping for Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's testimony: "The House will dig in further this week into the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe on Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign. The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Friday morning entitled 'Constitutional Processes for Addressing Presidential Misconduct.' " 

A nomination: The Senate will take up the nomination of Daniel Bress to be an appeals court judge for the Ninth Circuit. 

Context and details for each from The Hill's Jordain Carney and Juliegrace Brufke: http://bit.ly/2FYPyoe

  

NOTABLE TWEETS

This is pretty wild: 

The latest with the earthquakes in California: http://bit.ly/2YGbJXL

  

ON TAP

The Senate meets this afternoon. The House is out until tomorrow. 

11:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump participated in a credentialing ceremony for new ambassadors.

Noon: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

12:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence.

3 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets.

5:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes to invoke cloture on a nomination. The Senate's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2G0wSEJ

7:20 p.m. EDT: President Trump attends a dinner for the amir of the State of Qatar.

Tuesday: The House meets.

   

WHAT TO WATCH

11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence delivered remarks on Iran at Christians United for Israel's annual summit in Washington, D.C. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2FYxgne

3:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump gives a speech on environmental leadership. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2FYwerm

July 18: CNN is holding a live drawing to pick the lineup for the Democratic National Committee debates on July 30–31. https://cnn.it/2YLMeo4

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Chocolate with Almonds Day.

 

And because you made it this far, here's a cat that doesn't know what hit him:  http://bit.ly/2YIrFsm