The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump claims support in Congress for background checks

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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: Trump calls for 'intelligent' background checks | Says McConnell is 'totally on board' | McConnell says Senate won't return early to take up gun bills | 2020 Dems flock to Iowa State Fair | Iowans hold corn kernel poll | Twitter unlocks McConnell campaign account | Booker, Harris under fire for ties to pastor who called homosexuality a sin | Trump attending Hamptons fundraiser | Weird Iowa State Fair foods



Intelligently check them:

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet MORE called for "intelligent" background checks on gun purchases in response to the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Trump told reporters this morning: "Frankly, we need intelligent background checks." 

What about McConnell?: Trump said he spoke with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump allies throw jabs at Bolton over book's claims GOP confident of win on witnesses Collins Senate bid threatens to spark GOP rift in Georgia MORE (R-Ky.) and said McConnell is "totally on board."

Video of Trump then taking off on Marine One: He is headed to the Hamptons for fundraising.


Happy recess 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.

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PROGRAMMING NOTE: The 12:30 Report will be off next week. Enjoy the week!



Why Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSanders allies in new uproar over DNC convention appointments Biden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements Harris on 2020 endorsement: 'I am not thinking about it right now' MORE and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerOvernight Defense: White House threatens to veto House Iran bills | Dems 'frustrated' after Iran briefing | Lawmakers warn US, UK intel sharing at risk after Huawei decision White House Correspondents' Association blasts State for 'punitive action' against NPR Senate Democrat demands State Department reinstate NPR reporter on Pompeo trip MORE aren't enjoying the news cycle:
Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) are facing backlash for appearances with a pastor who has described homosexuality as a sin that is enough to send someone to hell.

When: Booker and Harris separately attended services last week at Victory Missionary Baptist Church led by the pastor.


Keep in mind: Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersNew campaign ad goes after Sanders by mentioning heart attack Biden on whether Sanders can unify party as nominee: 'It depends' Steyer rebukes Biden for arguing with supporter he thought was Sanders voter MORE (I-Vt.) held a town hall at the church on July 6 but did not appear with the pastor. 

Elaborating on the pastor's comments -- Rev. Robert E. Fowler Sr. told Nevada Public Radio in 2013: "Whether you commit adultery, whether you commit fornication, whether you're a child molester, you gossip, you lie, you cheat on your taxes, you don't pay your tithes, things of that nature -- all of that is wrapped together as sin, along with homosexuality. Any sin, if you break the law in one area, you've broken it in all areas. If you mess up in one area, that's enough to send you to hell -- so any sin is pretty bad for me." 



Harris's campaign says it was not aware of Fowler's past remarks. From a spokeswoman: "Senator Harris' support and advocacy for LGBTQ equality has been unwavering throughout her career and will continue when elected President. She will continue to visit houses of worship across the country to address congregants about the pressing issues we face as a nation."



Booker's campaign did not say whether it knew about Fowler's stance. From a spokeswoman: "Cory does not share these views. Throughout his career, Cory has been a consistent fighter for the rights of LGBTQ people and even refused to officiate weddings as Newark mayor until same-sex couples were granted the same rights as everyone. He'll keep fighting to end discrimination as president."


'Tis the season for weird deep-fried marvels:

Keeping with tradition, more than 20 presidential candidates are speaking at the annual Iowa State Fair over the next week. 

How long candidates have to speak: Twenty minutes on the Soapbox.

Schedule of when each candidate is speaking:




Here's a list of 69 foods on a stick sold at the fair:

A few notable picks:

"Pecan Pie (Deep Fried, On A Stick, Topped With Caramel & Bacon Bits)"

"Bacon Wrapped Deep Fried Italian Sausage On A Stick"

"Breakfast Sausage In A Waffle On A Stick" 

"Slopper, Footlong Hot Dog With Corn Chips, Chili And Cheese Sauce"

Omg: "Mr. Yang says this is his 18th turkey leg. 'I'm a big fan of Renaissance fairs.'" (Via The New York Times's Lisa Lerer) Photo of Andrew YangAndrew YangPoll: 56 percent of Democrats say billionaire politicians more likely to cater to special interests Support for Biden, Sanders ticks up nationally: poll The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump lawyers to offer closing arguments on day 7 MORE eating a turkey leg — this is making me hungry:


Iowans are holding a corn kernel poll:




Don't expect the Senate to come back during recess:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) indicated that he will not call the Senate back early to debate gun legislation.

McConnell told Kentucky radio station WHAS: "We're going to have these bipartisan discussions and when we get back hopefully be able to come together and actually pass something. I want to make a law." 

McConnell added: "If we did that, we would just have people scoring points and nothing would happen. There has to be a bipartisan discussion here of what we can agree on. ... If we do it prematurely it will just be another frustrating experience. ... I think this is the best way to get a result." 


The McConnell vs. Twitter battle is turning into a war:

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his allies are embracing a fight with the media and Twitter that has struck a nerve among Republicans."

What happened: The McConnell campaign was locked out of Twitter after sharing a video of protesters outside of McConnell's house with a woman saying someone should "just stab the mother---- in the heart." Twitter said it violate its violent threats policy. 

Reaction from McConnell's campaign: "Instead of backing down, and regaining access to the social media platform, the campaign has dug in, arguing the decision is the latest example of what conservatives see as double standards practiced by the tech giant and media."  

From campaign manager Kevin Golden: "We firmly believe that if a platform allows #MassacreMitch to trend but locks our account because we posted threats made against him, there is something deeply wrong with that platform." 



The Trump campaign just announced it will boycott Twitter advertising in solidarity with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

Read the statement (on Twitter lol) from campaign manager Brad ParscaleBradley (Brad) James ParscaleMORE:



"After multiple appeals from affected users and Leader McConnell's team confirming their intent to highlight the threats for public discussion, we have reviewed this case more closely ... Going forward, the video will be visible on the service with a sensitive media interstitial and only in cases where the Tweet content does not otherwise violate the Twitter Rules." Read Twitter's full statement:



The UK's economy has shrunk:

Via CNN Business's Julia Horowitz, for the first time since 2012, the economy in the United Kingdom has shrunk.

By how much: 0.2 percent compared to the last quarter, according to the Office for National Statistics. 

Why this is important: "The contraction comes as the global economy slows and fears rise that Britain could crash out of the European Union, dealing a gut punch to an already-weak economy. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has committed to leaving the bloc on October 31 even without an exit agreement in place to protect trade. That would plunge the economy into recession, according to government forecasts." 




We don't deserve Princess Charlotte:




The House and Senate are out for the month.

President Trump is in Long Island, N.Y. Vice President Pence has no public events on his schedule.

11:50 a.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a roundtable with supporters in Southampton, N.Y.

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at a fundraising committee luncheon in Southampton, N.Y.

2:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at a fundraising committee reception in Water Mill, N.Y.

4:50 p.m. EDT: President Trump arrives in Bedminster, N.J. 

Today–Aug. 18: The Iowa State Fair. Expect lots of presidential candidate visitsFair details:



Sunday: Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergPoll: 56 percent of Democrats say billionaire politicians more likely to cater to special interests Support for Biden, Sanders ticks up nationally: poll Tim Gunn endorses Bloomberg, joins his LGBTQ+ leadership council MORE will appear on CBS's "Face the Nation."



Today is National Rice Pudding Day.


And to get your weekend off to the right start, here's a dog who is making his disdain for the heat abundantly clear: