The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump faces protests as he visits Dayton, El Paso

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump faces protests as he visits Dayton, El Paso | Defends remarks: 'I think my rhetoric brings people together' | Jabs at O'Rourke | Trump says he is 'all in favor' of background checks | Questions Congress's will to act | McConnell under pressure to hold gun vote | Sanders calls Dem debate format 'demeaning' | FedEx ends delivery deal with Amazon | Self-driving car gets test near Capitol



Check 'em:

Before leaving for Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso Texas, President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE told reporters that he backs background checks on weapon purchases.

In Trump's words: "I'm looking to do background checks. I think background checks are important. I don't want to put guns into the hands of mentally unstable people or people with rage or hate. Sick people. I'm all in favor of it."

What about banning high powered weapons?: Trump doubted Congress would support that. "You have to have a political appetite within Congress and so far I haven't seen that," Trump told reporters.


Don't blame the rhetoric:

President Trump accused critics of "looking for political gain" by placing blame on his immigration stances. "I don't think my rhetoric does at all. I think my rhetoric brings people together. Our country is doing really well," Trump told reporters.


It's Wednesday. 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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PROGRAMMING NOTE: The 12:30 Report will be off next week, Aug. 12–16. 



Trump visits Ohio and Texas:

President Trump just visited Dayton, Ohio, in the aftermath of Sunday's mass shooting. The president is now heading to El Paso, Texas, to visit following Saturday's Walmart shooting.

Livestream of Trump's Dayton visit:

Video of protests against President Trump in Dayton:

Protester signs:



Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSchiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line Sunday shows - All eyes on Senate impeachment trial Senate Democrat: 'Fine' to hear from Hunter Biden MORE (D-Ohio). Brown said in a statement: "I spent much of yesterday wrestling with the right thing to do when President Trump visits Dayton today. I decided I have a responsibility to Ohioans to use this opportunity to look the president in the eye and urge him to do the right thing."



Today's feud -- Beto vs. Trump:

President Trump got into a dispute on Twitter with former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeVeronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address Biden calls for revoking key online legal protection Trump mocks Booker over suspended presidential campaign MORE (D-Texas), telling the presidential candidate to "be quiet."

The tweet that started the back and forth -- Beto posted: "When President Trump comes to El Paso tomorrow, I will be joining our strong, beautiful, binational community at #ElPasoStrong. I hope to see you there."

Trump then trounced on Beto: "Beto (phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage) O'Rourke, who is embarrassed by my last visit to the Great State of Texas, where I trounced him, and is now even more embarrassed by polling at 1% in the Democrat Primary, should respect the victims & law enforcement -- & be quiet!"

Beto then responded to Trump: "22 people in my hometown are dead after an act of terror inspired by your racism. El Paso will not be quiet and neither will I."



"I've been following Beto O'Rourke through his community as it mourns this week -- and person after person has thanked him for being their voice, for sticking up for their community, for confronting the president. None of his neighbors are telling him to be quiet." (From The Washington Post's Jenna Johnson


Where Hispanic leaders stand in the debate:

Via The Hill's Rafael Bernal, "President Trump's condemnation of 'racism, bigotry and white supremacy' is failing to soothe Hispanics in the wake of the shootings in El Paso, Texas, as members of the community fear more physical violence amid a climate of heightened rhetoric on immigration."

For example: Hispanic leaders and local community groups called on Trump to cancel today's visit to El Paso.

From Domingo García, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens: "President Trump owes an apology to all the victims in Gilroy, California and El Paso, Texas for using a predatory rhetoric and failing to condemn hate groups when, from the beginning of his presidency, after Charlottesville and leading all the way up to El Paso, he's created a toxic political environment and opened up a Pandora's box of white extremists." 



Bernie thinks the debates are ridiculous, too:

Via The Hill's Jonathan Easley, "Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Des Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters MORE (I-Vt.) is frustrated by the Democratic presidential primary debates, saying that the spectacle of 20 candidates agitating for time plays to their worst instincts and is 'demeaning' to the field of contenders."

Keep in mind: The debate stage should shrink in the next debate. The Democratic National Committee doubled the polling and donor requirements for qualification. 



Washington is lovely in August and senators just want to experience that:

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, Democrats and gun control advocates are pressuring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer: Trump's team made case for new witnesses 'even stronger' Trump, Democrats risk unintended consequences with impeachment arguments CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE (R-Ky.) to bring the Senate back from the August recess to pass gun legislation after the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

When the Senate is currently scheduled to return: Sept. 9

From Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump legal team offers brisk opening defense of president Impeachment has been a dud for Democrats Trump insults Democrats, calls on followers to watch Fox News ahead of impeachment trial MORE (D-N.Y.): "We're saying to Leader McConnell: do the right thing. Gavel the Senate to an emergency session so we can take immediate action." On why the bill has been held up: "Leader McConnell is not putting it on the floor. That's what's holding it back. That's it."



Spotted near the U.S. Capitol:

An Argo AI "self-driving test vehicle" was seen on the streets of Washington, D.C. Photo:



It's not you, it's me:

Via Reuters, FedEx is ending its ground-delivery contract with Amazon.

Timing: "The move by the U.S. package delivery company comes two months after it decided not to renew its contract with Amazon for U.S. cargo delivery through its plane-based express service." 

Keep in mind: "Analysts have said Amazon has secured a better rate with UPS for package deliveries on planes, so it makes little sense for the company to partner with FedEx." 






The House and Senate are out. President Trump is visiting Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, today. Vice President Pence has no public events on his schedule.

10:35 a.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump beefs up impeachment defense with Dershowitz, Starr Trump welcomes LSU to the White House: 'Go Tigers' The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial MORE visit Dayton, Ohio 

3:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit El Paso, Texas.

10:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump get back to Washington, D.C.



10 a.m. EDT: Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockBrent Budowsky: Bloomberg should give billion to Democrats Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Kamala Harris dropped out, but let's keep her mental health plan alive MORE (D), who is running for president, spoke at the National Press Club. Livestream:

12:35 p.m. EDT: Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSenate Dems to Pompeo: Comments about NPR reporter 'insulting and contemptuous' Washington Post: Pompeo 'gaslighting' NPR reporter Pompeo lashes out at 'shameful' NPR reporter MORE holds a joint press conference with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. Livestream:



Today is National Raspberries and Cream Day.


And because you made it this far, here's a dog who is THRILLED to be posing with his idols, Mickey and Minnie: