The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Graham clash over Iran policy

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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, Graham clash over Iran policy | Trump to 'substantially' increase Iran sanctions | Trump taps fourth national security adviser | Dems, Lewandowski tangle at hearing | Dem senators hope Biden wins over rivals | New Iowa poll shows Biden, Warren in virtual tie | 'Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza' at Pizza Hut | Disney bedtime hotline | National Cheeseburger Day



Robert O'Brien, will you accept this rose?:

President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE announced that he will name Robert O'Brien as his next national security adviser, replacing John BoltonJohn BoltonGadhafi's ghost still haunts US policymakers Trump job approval slips 2 points in Gallup poll Washington indecision compounded the Kurds' dilemma MORE, whom Trump fired last week over policy differences.

What to know about Robert O'Brien: O'Brien has been Trump's special envoy for hostage affairs. "O'Brien had been perhaps best known for his efforts to win the release of American rapper A$AP Rocky, who was held in a Swedish jail after being arrested for his involvement in a Stockholm brawl. Before that, O'Brien has worked in other State Department roles including as a member of Bolton's team during the administration of President George W. Bush."


Keep in mind about the job: O'Brien will be Trump's fourth (!) national security adviser. 

Trump tweeted: "I am pleased to announce that I will name Robert C. O'Brien, currently serving as the very successful Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department, as our new National Security Advisor. I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!"


This is important context from a CNN White House reporter:


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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Sanctions, comin' your way!:

This morning, President Trump announced that he instructed Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTop economic adviser warned Trump on reelection chances ahead of China truce: report The Hill's Morning Report - Tempers boil over at the White House Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever MORE to increase economic sanctions on Iran following the attacks on two Saudi oil sites last weekend.


Trump tweeted: "I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!"


TRUMP AND HIS BUDDY, Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Graham: 'Stupid' for Trump to ask China to investigate Biden Turkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate MORE, DON'T AGREE:

Following a briefing from Vice President Pence on the oil site attacks, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) criticized the administration's response. "The measured response by President Trump regarding the shooting down of an American drone was clearly seen by the Iranian regime as a sign of weakness," Graham said, calling for Trump to take decisive action.

^ President Trump tweeted back: "No Lindsey, it was a sign of strength that some people just don't understand!"

And Graham then warned Trump about the new Iran sanctions: Graham told reporters this morning: "The maximum pressure campaign has worked in the sense it's crippled the regime's economy, it's made life difficult for the regime, but it has not changed their behavior ...  The only conclusion I think you can reach is that the Iranians, while having been hurt by the maximum pressure campaign, have not been deterred in terms of their provocative behavior. And it's going to take something, I think, beyond sanctions to achieve that deterrence."




Here's a photo of the Los Angeles Police Department getting ready for President Trump's motorcade today:


Just now -- Trump revoked California's tailpipe emissions waiver:

Via The Hill's Miranda Green, "President Trump announced on Wednesday that his administration will be removing California's tailpipe emissions waiver under the Clean Air Act.."

Trump tweeted: "The Trump Administration is revoking California's Federal Waiver on emissions in order to produce far less expensive cars for the consumer, while at the same time making the cars substantially SAFER."

Timing: Trump made the announcement on Twitter while visiting California for private fundraisers and a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border. 

What to expect: This decision will likely face fierce court challenges.  



It ... will always ... be ... 2016

*insert haunted mansion laugh*:
President Trump's former campaign manager Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiLewandowski told by Fox Business host he was being 'a little slurry' during interview The Hill's Morning Report - New impeachment battle: Pompeo vs. House Dems Lewandowski: 'Fair' to say Senate run might not happen MORE testified on Capitol Hill yesterday and it quickly devolved into chaos as he tangled with House Democrats.

Why: Lewandowski wouldn't answer any questions about his meetings with President Trump that were mentioned in 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's report.



In an appearance on Fox News this morning, Corey Lewandowski said he is "very, very close" to announcing his decision on whether to run for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire. How Lewandowski is leaning: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Also in 'Oh, what funny timing!': Lewandowski launched a new campaign-style website yesterday and tweeted about it during his chaotic hearing.



This is what 'We're not picking sides, we love everyone equally!' actually means:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, most Democratic senators are staying neutral in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination because they have six colleagues competing.

Yes, but: "A number of Democrats privately acknowledge that if [Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Warren, Yang fight over automation divides experts Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE (D-Mass.) or Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' Warren says she will unveil plan to finance 'Medicare for All' Ocasio-Cortez says endorsing Sanders early is 'the most authentic decision' she could make MORE (I-Vt.)] wins the nomination, it will create immediate tension within the party." 

Why that would be the case: "If Warren or Sanders wins the party's presidential nomination, there will be pressure in the Senate to adopt their proposals. And there could be tensions between a nominee and senators who do not back their proposals." 



A new poll conducted for Focus on Rural America shows former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Graham: 'Stupid' for Trump to ask China to investigate Biden Romney: Republicans don't criticize Trump because they fear it will help Warren MORE and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in a virtual tie.

The numbers: 25 percent support Biden, 23 percent support Warren, 12 percent support South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegSunday shows — Mulvaney seeks to tamp down firestorm over quid pro quo comments, Doral decision Buttigieg says he wasn't comfortable with Clinton attack on Gabbard Buttigieg: Trump undermining US credibility 'is going to cost us for years and years' MORE (D), 9 percent for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), 8 percent support Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharDeVos calls Democratic presidential hopeful's education plans 'crazy' Senate Democrats want Warren to talk costs on 'Medicare for All' Biden struggles to reverse fall MORE (D-Minn.) and 5 percent for Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisWarren says she will unveil plan to finance 'Medicare for All' Kamala Harris reacts to supporter who got tattoo of her handwriting Even with likely Trump impeachment, Democrats face uphill climb to win presidency MORE (D-Calif.). Details:







Just another Wednesday:




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

11 a.m. EDT: Three roll call votes in the Senate. The Senate's full schedule today:

11:50 a.m. EDT: President Trump spoke to a joint fundraising committee breakfast in Los Angeles.

1:15 -- 2:15 p.m. EDT: The House votes. The House's full schedule today:

2 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with the prime minister of Moldova.

3:10 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a roundtable with supporters in San Diego.

3:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at a joint fundraising committee luncheon in San Diego.

5:35 p.m. EDT: President Trump visits the border wall in Otay Mesa, Calif.

12:20 a.m. EDT Thursday: President Trump gets back to the White House.

Sept. 26: The Hill is hosting "The Future of Mobility Summit" in Washington, D.C. Details and how to RSVP:



2:30 p.m. EDT: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell holds a press conference. Livestream:



Today is National Cheeseburger Day.


For all of the little ones in your lives:

Disney fans can call the "Disney Bedtime Hotline" for a special message from a character. When: Now through Sept. 30. The number: 1-877-7-MICKEY. Details:


I'm sorry, did you say 'Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza'?!:

Pizza Hut and Cheez-It have teamed up to create the "Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza." "Each pizza has four jumbo squares stuffed with your choice of either cheese or pepperoni and cheese. Customers will also receive a side of marinara dipping sauce." You MUST see the photo: 


And because this made me laugh, check out this surveillance footage of two dogs left alone at home: