The Hill's 12:30 Report: Acosta resigns amid controversy over Epstein plea deal

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here:

 --> 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: Alex AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants Trump taps Scalia's son as Labor secretary pick The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP MORE out as Labor chief | Trump offers praise, calling Acosta 'a very good man' | Mueller's testimony likely delayed one week | Latest on Dem infighting | Black Caucus members rip group aligned with Ocasio-Cortez | Trump calls Ocasio-Cortez 'very disrespectful' to Pelosi | Emotional testimony at hearing on family separations | Starbucks stops selling newspapers | National French Fry Day deals tomorrow



Acosta is out:

Embattled Labor Secretary Alexander AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants Trump taps Scalia's son as Labor secretary pick The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP MORE announced this morning that he is resigning from his post amid backlash about his involvement in negotiating a secret plea deal with financier Jeffrey Epstein who was accused of sexually abusing minor girls.

Why he resigned: "I did not think it was right and fair for this administration Labor department to have Epstein as the focus rather than the incredible economy," Acosta said. 

Read his resignation letter:

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 told reporters: "This was him not me, because I'm with him ... I hate to see this happen." Trump also said: "He did an unbelievable job as secretary of Labor" and called Acosta a "very good man." 

Who will take over: Deputy Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella will take over as acting labor secretary. 

Was his resignation expected?: Well, Acosta's support on Capitol Hill eroded this week when new sex trafficking charges were filed against Jeffrey Epstein and details emerged about Acosta's 2008 plea deal with Epstein while Acosta served as U.S. attorney in Miami. 

Timing: Two days ago, Acosta held a nearly hourlong press conference to defend his actions as U.S. attorney in Miami.

Livestream of the resignation announcement:

Photo from Acosta's announcement:

Here's a list of Cabinet members who have lasted since Trump took office:


Happy summer Friday! 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.

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox daily:




Former special counsel 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 public testimony on Capitol Hill is likely to be delayed by a week.

Yeah, but: The situation is still very much flux. A Judiciary Committee spokesman told The Hill that panel is still making preparations for him to testify next week.

The likely new date: July 24. 



The details are still in flux: Democrats are still negotiating with Mueller's team over the logistics of the hearing.

How long will hearings be?: Right now, the two hearings are limited to two hours each.

The current rundown of the hearings: "All 22 members of the House Intelligence Committee will get a question, as will 22 members of the 41-person House Judiciary Committee. Those questions will be evenly divided among Democrats and Republicans, leaving a number of members without a question."

^ Yeah, but: That is a lot to happen in two hours. 

That means members will need to be strategic: From Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsHouse gears up for Mueller testimony The Hill's 12:30 Report: Acosta resigns amid controversy over Epstein plea deal The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question MORE (D-Fla.), who is a member of both committees: "We've got to be strategic, we've got to understand why we want to talk to him in the first place and that's to get answers to some unanswered questions. Wednesday will be here before we know it and we need to make sure that we utilize that time in the most effective and most efficient way."

Everything we know about the hearing:



Happening this morning -- let's talk separations:

The House Oversight and Reform Committee is holding a hearing on family separations at the border.

Specifically: Alleged abuses against migrant minors. 


Live blog of updates:



Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden compares Trump to George Wallace Padma Lakshmi on Trump's handling of 'send her back' chant: 'It's Charlottesville 2.0' Trump defends response to rally chant: I did not 'lead people on' MORE's (D-Mich.) voice broke several times while describing her visit to a detention facility on the U.S.-Mexico border.

From Tlaib: "The suffering in these camps cannot be forgotten ... Imagine traveling thousands of miles in grueling and dangerous conditions because you have no other option only to be separated from your family, from your children thrown into overcrowded cages, denied a shower and tooth brush. And yes, Mr. Chairman, drink water out of the toilet if you're thirsty." 



An aide appears to have passed out. Watch -- it happens around the 45-second mark:


CBC lawmakers are angry with Justice Democrats:

Via The Hill's Scott Wong, "Congressional Black Caucus members are furious at Justice Democrats, accusing the outside progressive group aligned with firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezMichelle Obama weighs in on Trump, 'Squad' feud: 'Not my America or your America. It's our America' Trump steps up attacks on 'Squad' Trump says he doesn't care if attacks on 'Squad' hurt him politically MORE (D-N.Y.) of trying to oust lawmakers of color, specifically African American lawmakers." 


Trump gets involved in a fight with his two faves, Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump telling aides to look at potential spending cuts if he wins reelection: report Budget talks between White House, Pelosi spill into weekend Trump says he won't watch Mueller testimony MORE and AOC: 

This morning, President Trump weighed in on the dispute between Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)

Trump said: "I think Cortez is being very disrespectful to somebody who's been there a long time. I deal with Nancy Pelosi a lot and we go back and forth and it's fine, but I think that a group of people is being very disrespectful to her. And you know what, I don't think that Nancy can let that go on." 




Starting on Sept. 1, Starbucks will no longer sell newspapers in its stores. 

Starbucks's reasoning: "We are always looking at what we offer our customers in our stores and making adjustments to our portfolio based on changing customer behavior. In addition to newspaper stands, we will also remove shelving fixtures that display whole-bean coffee and different grab-and-go snacks."



I personally love my own tweets. Maybe I should do the same: 

More of the printouts from the White House Social Media Summit:



The House is in. The Senate is out until Monday. President Trump is in Wisconsin and Ohio today. Vice President Pence is visiting the border in McAllen, Texas.

11 a.m. EDT: The House voted. The House's full schedule today:

12:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with supporters and speaks at a joint fundraising committee luncheon in Fox Point, Wis.

2:35 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Acosta resigns amid controversy over Epstein plea deal The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi looks to squash fight with progressives The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi looks to tamp down Dem infighting MORE land in McAllen, Texas.

3:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and Karen Pence tour the Donna Soft-Sided Processing Facility.

4:35 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and U.S. border patrol at the border in McAllen, Texas.

6:10 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with supporters and speaks at a joint fundraising committee reception in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

9:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump gets back to the White House. 

10:05 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and Karen Pence get back to Washington, D.C.

July 17: Special counsel Robert Mueller will testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees.



9:30 a.m. EDT: 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 (D), who is running for president, campaigns in Dover, N.H. Livestream:

2:25 p.m. EDT: President Trump gives a speech on the trade agreement with Mexico and Canada in Milwaukee. Livestream:

6 p.m. EDT: 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 campaigns in Portsmouth, N.H. Livestream:



Today is National Pecan Pie Day.


Tomorrow is a true national holiday:

Tomorrow is National French Fry Day. Does anyone else think it should always be on a 'Fry-day?' Here's a list of where to get free French fries tomorrow:


And to get your weekend off to the right start, here's a kitten fully embracing the summer: