The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump targets Mueller ahead of testimony

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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 braces for Mueller testimony | Trump renews attacks on 'highly conflicted' Mueller | 10 questions for Mueller | Key numbers on Mueller's testimony | Trump hits 'squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' | Pelosi, Mnuchin 'near' final budget, debt deal | Scientists discover tiny glow-in-the-dark sharks  

 

NEWS THIS MORNING

Trump got in a few jabs this morning:

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFacebook releases audit on conservative bias claims Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Recessions happen when presidents overlook key problems MORE attacked Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE's credibility this morning ahead of the former special counsel's public testimony on Wednesday. http://bit.ly/2YdF0ft

Trump tweeted: "Highly conflicted Robert Mueller should not be given another bite at the apple. In the end it will be bad for him and the phony Democrats in Congress who have done nothing but waste time on this ridiculous Witch Hunt. Result of the Mueller Report, NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION! ... But the questions should be asked, why were all of Clinton's people given immunity, and why were the text messages of Peter S and his lover, Lisa Page, deleted and destroyed right after they left Mueller, and after we requested them (this is Illegal)?" http://bit.ly/2Ybi0cF

 

It's Monday. 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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TWO DAYS UNTIL ROBERT MUELLER'S TESTIMONY

Wait, Robert who?:

Former special counsel Robert Mueller is on Capitol Hill this week giving his first public testimony since his 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. http://bit.ly/2YdF0ft

 

10 QUESTIONS FOR ROBERT MUELLER:

  1. Would you have charged Trump if it weren't for the Office of Legal Counsel opinion? 
  2. Why did your office write a letter to Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump searches for backstops amid recession worries Mueller report fades from political conversation Barr removes prisons chief after Epstein death MORE objecting to his March 24 memo? 
  3. Did you blame the media on your call with Barr? 
  4. Did any Trump campaign contacts with Russia put national security at risk? 
  5. Did your investigation exonerate Trump of "collusion" and obstruction allegations?
  6. Should Congress initiate an impeachment inquiry?
  7. At what point did you know the investigation was not going to establish conspiracy between the campaign and Russia? 
  8. What role did the Steele dossier play in the investigation? 
  9. Why did you select people for your team who mostly donated to Democrats? 
  10. Why didn't you compel Trump to be interviewed? 

Reasoning for each: http://bit.ly/2JJ8hXc

 

A FEW KEY NUMBERS IN THE INVESTIGATION

  • Former special counsel Robert Mueller charged 37 people and entities throughout the probe. 
  • Mueller referred 14 instances of possible criminal activity beyond the scope of his investigation. 
  • Mueller's only public remarks about the investigation lasted for minutes.

More interesting numbers: http://bit.ly/2JI8s4W

Op-ed: http://bit.ly/2YlvoPI

  

IN THE WHITE HOUSE

"I wish that I could bake a cake made out of rainbows and smiles and we'd all eat it and be happy...":

--> http://bit.ly/2Gm9nGe;)

This morning, President Trump complained about media coverage in the fallout of his incendiary tweets where he told telling four Democratic congresswomen to "go back" to their countries. http://bit.ly/2Y9raXk 

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One of Trump's four tweets: "The Mainstream Media is out of control. They constantly lie and cheat in order to get their Radical Left Democrat views out their for all to see. It has never been this bad. They have gone bonkers, & no longer care what is right or wrong. This large scale false reporting is sick!" 

Trump criticized a Washington Post report in particular: "The Amazon Washington Post front page story yesterday was total Fake News. They said 'Advisors wrote new talking points and handed him reams of opposition research on the four Congresswomen.' Now really, does that sound like me?" 

The Washington Post report that Trump was referring to: "'He always doubles down': Inside the political crisis caused by Trump's racist tweets." https://wapo.st/2Y41aN2 

 

LATE THIS MORNING -- ARE WE UP TO OCTUPLING DOWN YET?:

President Trump slammed the group of four progressive congresswomen for being a "racist group of troublemakers." http://bit.ly/2Y5iFN2

Trump tweeted: "The 'Squad' is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart. They are pulling the once great Democrat Party far left, and were against humanitarian aid at the Border...And are now against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!"  http://bit.ly/2Y5iFN2

 

Trump paid his respects to the late Supreme Court Justice Stevens: 

President Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpEx-Melania Trump adviser raised concerns of excessive inauguration spending weeks before events: CNN The Hill's Morning Report - Trump moves green cards, citizenship away from poor, low-skilled White House seeks volunteers, musicians for Christmas celebrations MORE traveled to the Supreme Court this morning to pay respects to the body of former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Stevens is lying in repose at the court. Keep in mind: Trump did not make any public remarks. http://bit.ly/2Y5xpeR

  

IN CONGRESS

*Cue the 'Shark Tank' theme music*

Do we have a deal?:

--> http://bit.ly/2lqk5lR;)

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiJohnson eyes Irish border in Brexit negotiations Mueller report fades from political conversation Five key players in Trump's trade battles MORE (D-Calif) and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinFive key players in Trump's trade battles Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid Trump phoned bank CEOs as stock market plunged Wednesday: report MORE have reached a "near-final agreement" on a two-year budget deal. http://bit.ly/2Y8Vmlh

What we know about the deal: "The emerging deal includes an increase in top-line defense and nondefense spending numbers for the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years, which are used to craft government funding bills. It would also suspend the debt limit until July 31, 2021." 

  

Aside from the Robert Mueller testimony this week...:

Budget negotiations: The White House and Congress are hoping to iron out a two-year budget deal before lawmakers leave for August recess. 

9/11 victims aid: The Senate is expected to vote to extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund that the House passed last week.

The border: The House is expected to work on legislation by Rep. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarCongressional Hispanic Caucus calls for answers on Mississippi ICE raids Consoler in Chief like Biden is the perfect antidote to a Divider in Chief like Trump Democratic senator on possibility of Trump standing up to the NRA: 'That's just such BS' MORE (D-Texas) to add more oversight to the Department of Homeland Security. 

Nominations: The Senate is expected to vote on the confirmation of Mark Esper to be Defense secretary.  

Context and details for each from The Hill's Jordain Carney and Juliegrace Brufke: http://bit.ly/2YhwV9l

TIMING FOR CONGRESS:

The House is expected to leave town for August recess this Friday. The Senate is scheduled to leave next week. http://bit.ly/2YhwV9l

 

Over the weekend -- field trip!:

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerJohnson eyes Irish border in Brexit negotiations Lewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' Appropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid MORE (D-N.Y.) led a group of Senate Democrats to visit the U.S.-Mexico border and inspect migrant detention facilities. http://bit.ly/2Yi0WpO

REACTION FROM THE PRESIDENT:

President Trump called Schumer's trip a "GREAT thing." Trump also said he will set up a meeting with Schumer after the trip. http://bit.ly/2YhpUp1

Trump tweeted: "Senator Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerJohnson eyes Irish border in Brexit negotiations Lewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' Appropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid MORE has finally gone to the Southern Border with some Democrat Senators. This is a GREAT thing! Nearby, he missed a large group of Illegal Immigrants trying to enter the USA illegally. They wildly rushed Border Patrol. Some Agents were badly injured. Based on the comments made by Senator Schumer, he must have seen how dangerous & bad for our Country the Border is. It is not a 'manufactured crisis,' as the Fake News Media & their Democrat partners tried to portray. He said he wants to meet. I will set up a meeting ASAP!" http://bit.ly/2YgpcbL

  

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

Warren makes an economic prediction:

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden Panel: Jill Biden's campaign message MORE (D-Mass.) warned that an "economic crash" is coming. http://bit.ly/2YdJqmw

She wrote in an essay on Medium: "I warned about an economic crash years before the 2008 crisis, but the people in power wouldn't listen. Now I'm seeing serious warning signs in the economy again -- and I'm calling on regulators and Congress to act before another crisis costs America's families their homes, jobs, and savings." 

Read her posthttp://bit.ly/2YdJqmw

Why this is newsy: Warren's message is a stark contrast from President Trump, who is touting the strong economy as a central theme of his reelection campaign.

  

IN OTHER NEWS

Everything is political these days:

Via The Hill's Jordan Fabian and Jacqueline Thomsen, "the nation's courts have become a central battleground for President Trump's policy agenda, posing challenges for the third branch of government that has long sought to insulate itself from partisan politics." http://bit.ly/2YoiOiy

Why the courts are getting more partisan: "As more of the president's policies fail to gain traction in Congress, he has increasingly turned to executive actions to set them in place. Outside groups have filed lawsuit after lawsuit challenging those measures, leaving their fate in judges' hands. Courts have long played a role in sorting out messy policy fights, but legal experts who spoke to The Hill believe the growing polarization in Washington has increasingly thrust the courts into the political realm." 

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

I mean, she has a point:

 

ON TAP

The Senate meets this afternoon. The House is out until tomorrow. President Trump is in Washington, D.C., and Vice President Pence is in Colorado.

Noon–2:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the prime minister of Pakistan and holds an expanded bilateral working lunch.

1:40 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at the Gardner Victory luncheon in Windsor, Colo.

3 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets. The Senate's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2JIOg2X 

4:35 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at a Trump campaign reception in Aspen, Colo.

5:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes.

July 24: The Hill is hosting the third annual "Latino Leaders Summit." Details and how to RSVP: http://bit.ly/2lKv6jR

July 25: The Hill interviews Sens. Sens. Mike BraunMichael BraunOvernight Energy: Trump EPA looks to change air pollution permit process | GOP senators propose easing Obama water rule | Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules The 23 Republicans who opposed Trump-backed budget deal Pair of GOP senators propose easing Obama water rule MORE (R-Ind.) and Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinTrade wars and the over-valued dollar Overnight Health Care: Senate panel advances drug pricing bill amid GOP blowback | House panel grills Juul executives | Trump gives boost to state drug import plans | Officials say new migrant kids' shelter to remain open but empty Senators vow to bring transparency to drug pricing MORE (D-Wis.) during an event on lowering drug prices. Details and how to RSVP: http://bit.ly/2Yn2RJq

  

WHAT TO WATCH

This morning: Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharCastro qualifies for next Democratic primary debates Eight Democratic presidential hopefuls to appear in CNN climate town hall Biden, Buttigieg bypassing Democratic delegate meeting: report MORE (D-Minn.) spoke at an event hosted by The Washington Post. https://cs.pn/2Y4ye7v

Today: The body of former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens lies in repose at the Supreme Court. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2Yi1Na0

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Penuche Fudge Day.

  

Getting traction -- *Click*:

Via CNN, "Scientists discovered a new species of tiny sharks that glow in the dark." Details and photo: https://cnn.it/2YdGciU

 

And because this made me laugh, here's a dog caught on camera being a total drama queen: http://bit.ly/2YrRbpb

This is exactly how I felt whenever I had to go outside this past weekend.