The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — House Dems subpoena Giuliani associates

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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 USAA — Two Giuliani associates arrested on campaign finance charges | House committees subpoena associates | Trump turns to 2020 politics in impeachment defense | Ukrainian president says he'll 'happily' investigate interference | Trump heads to Minneapolis amid feud with mayor | NY Dem Lowey to retire | Gabbard may boycott next debate | Report on Ocasio-Cortez's haircut sparks controversy | Nats fans troll Bryce Harper after series win



Two Giuliani associates were arrested:

Two associates for President TrumpDonald John TrumpSessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines Priest among those police cleared from St. John's Church patio for Trump visit Trump criticizes CNN on split-screen audio of Rose Garden address, protesters clashing with police MORE's personal lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiRudy Giuliani calls on Cuomo to remove Bill de Blasio Sunday shows preview: States begin to reopen even as some areas in US see case counts increase Moussaoui says he now renounces terrorism, bin Laden MORE who aided in investigation former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPresidents and 'presidents' Biden to blast Trump's church photo op in Philadelphia speech Rudy Giuliani calls on Cuomo to remove Bill de Blasio MORE were arrested on campaign finance charges.

Who was arrested: Florida businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, both U.S. citizens born in Ukraine. "The two have donated to numerous Republican candidates and in 2018 gave $325,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC, America First Action. The charges allege that the two men participated in a straw donor scheme to funnel money to political candidates."

This is important: "It doesn't appear that the allegations are related to the controversy over Giuliani's work in Ukraine."

Where they were arrested: At Washington's Dulles airport last night.

Happening today: Fruman and Parnas will appear in federal court. 




Just now — a chat may be coming up:

House Democrats just subpoenaed Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, the two Florida businessmen who worked with President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.


Happy Thursday to the Nats fans reading this! 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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Remember their help in Normandy? YEAH ME NEITHER:

President Trump defended his decision to remove U.S. troops in northern Syria by criticizing the Kurds for not helping the United States during World War II.

In Trump's words: "The Kurds are fighting for their land. And as somebody wrote in a very, very powerful article today, they didn't help us in the second World War, they didn't help us with Normandy as an example. They mentioned names of different battles. But they're there to help us with their land and that's a different thing."

Watch Trump's reasoning:

The article Trump is referring to: Trump did not specify, but reporters on Twitter pointed to a Town Hall article by Kurt Schlichter that mentions Normandy. The article:

Trump then tweeted his commentary and added: "A different take!"



*Cue Disney villain voice*

'It's always an election year. MwahahaHA':

Via The Hill's Morgan Chalfant and Brett Samuels, President Trump is using election-year politics as his defense for the impeachment strategy.

How so: "The president has grasped at a number of political arguments to dismiss the legitimacy of the impeachment inquiry, attacking the lawmakers leading the effort, decrying the process as a 'coup' and accusing the anonymous whistleblower that helped spark the investigation of working with partisan aims." 

One example: "The letter sent by the White House on Tuesday to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump praises 'domination' of DC protesters Pelosi, Schumer say treatment of protesters outside White House 'dishonors every value that faith teaches us' Democrats call for Congress to take action following death of George Floyd MORE (D-Calif.) amplifies many of Trump's own messages to counter the impeachment narrative, accusing Democrats of an 'illegitimate' and 'partisan' effort to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election by investigating his contacts with Ukraine." 

But there is also a risk to the strategy: "Experts cast skepticism on the White House's latest salvo in the back-and-forth with Congress, viewing it as centered more on political arguments than sound legal ones and warning that it could present new risks in the ongoing impeachment fight."

How this could play out:



A man holding a sign reading, "Honk to thank the whistleblowers" Photo:


Another 2016 election interference investigation:

Via The Associated Press, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told reporters that his government will "happily" open an investigation into whether Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

On whether his country interfered: "We can't say yes or no," Zelensky told reporters. 




Another retirement:
Rep. Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyJulián Castro launches PAC to support progressive candidates Lawmakers call on VA to remove swastikas from headstones in veterans cemeteries House Democrats object to Trump sending ventilators to Russia MORE (D-N.Y.), the most senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, announced she will not seek re-election on Thursday.

Keep in mind: Lowey, 82, was first elected to the House in 1988 (!) 



Welcome. Stay a while:
President Trump is holding a campaign rally tonight in Minneapolis, where he is in an open feud with the city's mayor over the event's costs.

Brief primer: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) said the president's campaign would owe the city $530,000 in expenses for the event. President Trump then threatened a lawsuit, accusing the mayor of extortion and attempts to restrict First Amendment rights of his supporters. 

The full back and forth:





But, but the show will still go on without her:

Presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardGabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process 125 lawmakers urge Trump administration to support National Guard troops amid pandemic MORE (D-Hawaii) is threatening to boycott next week's Democratic primary debate.

Why: She accused the Democratic National Committee of "rigging" the primary against outside contenders such as herself.

From Gabbard's campaign: "The 2016 Democratic Primary election was rigged by the DNC and their partners in the corporate media against Bernie SandersBernie SandersFive things to watch in Tuesday's primaries Nina Turner responds to Cornel West's remarks about George Floyd COVID-19 pandemic will shrink economy by trillion in next decade: CBO MORE. In this 2020 election, the DNC and corporate media are rigging the election again, but this time against the American people in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada."



This piece is getting annihilated:

The Washington Times published a story about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezNew York City issues Monday night curfew amid protests Engel primary challenger drops out, endorses fellow challenger Trump says he will designate antifa a terrorist organization MORE's (D-N.Y.) haircut.

The $$ line: "The self-declared socialist, who regularly rails against the rich and complains about the cost of living inside the Beltway, spent nearly $300 on her hairdo at a pricey salon she frequents in downtown Washington, The Washington Times has learned." 

Details of the haircut: "The New York Democrat ventured into Last Tangle Salon on 19th Street Northwest last month and shelled out $80 for a haircut and $180 for lowlights, according to sources familiar with the salon. A 20% tip would have added $52 to the bill." 

Oh, and this line got some attention: "She could have saved roughly $100 for the same hairstyle at the government-subsidized Capitol Hill barbershop." 

The Washington Times article:



Lol: "The real public service journalism would be finding a DC salon where you can get a great cut and lowlights for less than $250, amirightladies." (From NPR's Susan DavisSusan Carol DavisThe Hill's Campaign Report: Minneapolis protests rock the nation Gloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California Warren announces slate of endorsements including Wendy Davis and Cornyn challenger Hegar MORE


This tweet has gotten a lot of traction: 

"1) this would obvs never be a story about a man 

2) this is not an expensive haircut/color for a public figure who is frequently on TV

3) if her hair was raggedy, that would be the lead story instead 


(From author Jessica Valenti



John Edwards, the former presidential candidate who became infamous for his $400 haircut in 2007. Tweets about Edwards:

Here is the New York Times story from 2007 if you want a fun throwback:



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How cute: 


This makes me uncomfortable:


And here's another video of the flip phone in action:



The House and Senate are out. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C., but are both heading to Minneapolis for a campaign rally.

11:45 a.m. EDT: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.  

2 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Twitter says Trump violates rules with 'shooting' threat The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump, Pence travel to Cape Canaveral for SpaceX launch The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Crowds return during Memorial Day weekend MORE leave for Minneapolis

4 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for Minneapolis.

5:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and Karen Pence visit Safety Signs, LLC.

7 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis.

7:50 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence delivers remarks at President Trump's campaign rally.

12:35 a.m. EDT: President Trump lands at the White House. 



8 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Livestream:



Today is National Angel Food Cake Day.


Lol, Bryce Harper is trending in the D.C. area:

Former Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper, who now plays for the Philadelphia Phillies, was the subject of a lot of trolling tweets after his former team reached the National League Championship Series last night.

Some of the tweets trolling him -- they're pretty funny:


And because this video is pretty entertaining, here are dogs jumping rope. There is so much to unpack here: