The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Farm Credit — Dems grapple with Mueller fallout

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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 Farm Credit — Mueller fallout | Testimony fails to move impeachment needle | Trump takes victory lap | Dems weigh next move | Winners, losers from hearing | Trump DOJ to resume federal executions | House panel approves subpoenas for WH communications on private email | House to vote on budget, debt deal today | Trump urges GOP to back deal | Amtrak adds nonstop DC-NYC train | Baby born on 7/11 at 7:11 weighing 7 lbs, 11 ounces



I believe the technical term is a 'nothing burger':

Former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network MORE testified for seven hours on Capitol Hill yesterday with hardly any new revelations.  

Here are the highlights:



Veryyyy little new info. Mueller meant it when he said the 448-page report is his testimony.

How many questions Mueller did not answer: 198, according to NBC News. NBC's breakdown:

How Mueller's demeanor made the hearing underwhelming: "But the former special counsel, who sometimes appeared confused or at a loss for words and frequently responded to questions with one-word answers -- 'no,' 'true,' 'that's accurate' -- was a reluctant witness whose deflections sucked some of the punch out of his most damning findings, especially as Republicans sought repeatedly to undermine him and his investigation."

Here is a list of major moments compiled by The New York Times:

Five takeaways from the hearing:



Winners: President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails MORE, Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrPelosi releases 'fact sheet' saying Trump has 'betrayed his oath of office' Federal prosecutors interviewed multiple FBI officials for Russia probe review: report Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe MORE and Rep. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeGOP searches for impeachment boogeyman Democrats claim new momentum from intelligence watchdog testimony Hillicon Valley: Senate passes bill to boost cyber help for agencies, businesses | Watchdog warns Energy Department failing to protect grid | FTC sues Match for allegedly conning users MORE (R-Texas). Ratcliffe is on both committees and had a lot of screen time as he questioned Mueller.

Losers: Democrats.

Mixed: Former special counsel Robert Mueller and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Four companies reach 0M settlement in opioid lawsuit | Deal opens door to larger settlements | House panel to consider vaping tax | Drug pricing markup tomorrow Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails Trump urges GOP to fight for him MORE (D-Calif.) 

Reasoning for each:


It's Thursday after what felt like 2-3 days yesterday. 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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It did not move the needle on impeachment: "Unlike Mueller's May remarks on his report on Russia's election meddling, his testimony Wednesday did not spark any new major wave behind the movement to oust the president." How this changes the debate over impeachment:



Trump took a victory lap: Speaking to reporters shortly after Mueller's testimony, President Trump called it "a great day for me" and said Mueller performed "very poorly."

^ Trump on exoneration: "He didn't have the right to exonerate. That was something where he totally folded, because he never had the right to exonerate." Why this is newsy: Trump has insisted for months that Mueller's report was a "total exoneration." 

From Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.): Pelosi praised Mueller but still rejected impeachment. Pelosi told reporters: "My position has always been [that] whatever decision we make in that regard would have to be done with our strongest possible hand, and we still have some outstanding matters in the courts."

From House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse rejects GOP measure censuring Schiff Poll: 14 percent of GOP voters say Trump should be impeached Turkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate MORE (R-Calif.): "There was no collusion, so how do you get to obstruction?" McCarthy told reporters. "This president has not done anything wrong in this process, so no, I do not have a problem with this president."

From a veteran journalist: "Concerns about Mueller's performance are not mere theatre criticism. He was unable to defend his report and its findings beyond referring to the text, over and over again. He needed to explain in clear terms the conclusions he reached and why. He didn't." (Via The New Yorker's Susan B. GlasserHer full analysis:



Mueller fake out: "Mueller ends the day faking out the press corps & leaving through a back door" (Via journalist Matt LasloVideo

An arrest: Here are photos of a protester getting arrested outside of the hearing room: 

This makes me want tacos: Here's a man caught on C-SPAN eating tacos outside the Mueller hearing room. Watch

Oh. Come. On.: A misspelled version of Robert Mueller, "Muller," trended on Twitter yesterday. Screenshot of the trend:



Federal executions are back:

The Department of Justice announced this morning that it will resume capital punishment for the first time in almost two decades.

The first executions: Attorney General William Barr called for five death-row inmates to be executed. All five inmates were convicted of murdering children.

How unusual is this: Only three federal executions have taken place since 1988, none of which have happened since 2003.  



Just now — and a subpoena for you: 

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee just voted to subpoena White House records related to an investigation into aides’ use of personal email and texts for official work.


Happening today -- money, money, money:
The House is voting on the budget deal negotiated between the White House and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) before leaving town for its six-week August recess.

And assuming it passes: The Senate will vote on the bill next week before it leaves for August recess. 

The budget deal: It would add $320 billion to the federal budget over the next two years. 



"House Republicans should support the TWO YEAR BUDGET AGREEMENT which greatly helps our Military and our Vets. I am totally with you!"


A Saudi fight in the Senate: 

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, "Tensions are boiling over in the Senate amid a deep divide over Saudi Arabia and how much pressure to put on the Trump administration to get tough with Riyadh."

What's happening:" "The conflict between Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischThis week: Tensions flare over Schiff, impeachment inquiry Turkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate The Hill's Morning Report — Trump's impeachment jeopardy deepens MORE (R-Idaho) and Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezTurkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate Paul blocks Senate vote on House-passed Syria resolution House to vote on resolution condemning Trump's Syria pullback MORE (N.J.), the panel's top Democrat, is threatening to sour the committee's long-standing bipartisan nature, with one aide describing the standoff as 'World War III.' "

The dispute: "The source of the dispute stems from a decision by the chairman to schedule committee votes for Thursday on two competing measures related to the U.S.-Saudi relationship -- one from Risch, the other from Menendez." 

How this could play out:



A faster route between D.C. and New York:

Amtrak announced it is adding a nonstop Acela route between New York City and Washington, D.C. starting on Sept. 23.

How long it will take: Two hours and 35 minutes. It cuts 15 minutes off the old route. 

What to know about the new service:


Taylor Gourmet fans, this is your time: 

Taylor Gourmet announced it is reopening three sandwich shops this summer (!) after abruptly closing last September.

The three shops reopening: Dupont Circle, North Bethesda and by the White House. 

Addresses of the three Taylor Gourmet shops:



As one does:




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

1:30 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House. The House's full schedule today:

1:45 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes on General Mark A. Milley, to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Senate's full schedule today:



11:15 a.m. EDT: President Trump welcomes new Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperTrump urges GOP to fight for him Overnight Defense: Trump weighs leaving some troops in Syria to 'secure the oil' | US has pulled 2,000 troops from Afghanistan | Pelosi leads delegation to Afghanistan, Jordan Trump says Israel, Jordan asked US to leave troops in Syria MORE at the Pentagon. Vice President Pence also attends. Livestream:

11:15 a.m. EDT: The National Governors Association's summer meeting in Salt Lake City. Livestream:

3:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump and Vice President Pence participate in a celebration of American workers. Livestream:



Today is National Hot Fudge Sundae Day.


This 11-year-old had a better day than most:

A young boy brought a soccer ball to the beach on vacation. FC Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi happened to be at that beach with his family and invited the boy to play. Photos and video 


This is an OCD work of art:

A baby was born on July 11 (7/11)  at 7:11 p.m. and weighed 7 pounds 11 ounces.

7-Eleven obviously caught wind of this: "7-Eleven has pledged $7,111 to the newborn's college fund to honor her entry to the world on such a special day!" the company told TODAY in a statement. "Along with this pledge, the brand has also provided the family with diapers, 7-Eleven onesies and other newborn goodies to help her parents along the way."

Photos of the baby -- lol, she is wearing a 7-Eleven onesie:


And because it's been a long week, here's a lizard playing catch: