The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump gets new press secretary in latest shake-up

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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 gets new press secretary | Kayleigh McEnany takes over for Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamMelania Trump posts video of herself wearing mask during stop at women's center Melania Trump's spokeswoman slams 'inappropriate and insensitive comments' about Barron Trump Melania Trump is 'behind-the-scenes' but 'unbelievably influential': book MORE | Senate aims to approve new aid for small businesses Thursday | Voting underway in Wisconsin despite pandemic | Long lines seen at polls | US death toll tops 11,000 | Officials see signs of curve flattening | Dow jumps as deaths slow | Trump takes heat for ousting intel watchdog amid pandemic | Joe Exotic speaks from prison



OK, before I tell you the news, can you name the White House press secretary?:

Via CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Kate BennettStephanie Grisham is stepping down as White House press secretary without ever holding a press briefing.

How long she has been press secretary: Since June of 2019. Would you recognize her? Here’s a photo:

Grisham’s role was a little unusual: “When [Sarah HuckabeeSarah Elizabeth SandersMcEnany stamps her brand on White House press operation Sanders mocks NY Times urging DNC to investigate Biden allegations: 'I thought it was an Onion headline' Donald Trump: The Boomer TV president MORE Sanders] left the White House in June last year, Grisham kept the title of Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump requests mail-in ballot for Florida congressional primary The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate GOP, House Democrats begin battle over trillion bill Melania Trump announces plans to renovate White House Rose Garden MORE's communications director and added two more: press secretary and communications director. But Grisham's three-in-one role was less a juggling act and more a sign of how diminished the public-facing positions have become under a President who often serves as his own spokesman.

Keep in mind about her role during the coronavirus outbreak — *crickets*: “In recent weeks, Grisham stopped regularly attending senior staff meetings and has not played a major role as the administration has dealt with the coronavirus outbreak. After Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump threatens Postal Service funding l Biden proposes national mask mandate l Democratic convention takes shape Biden and Harris seen as more moderate than Trump and Pence: poll Pence on debating Harris: 'I can't wait' MORE was tasked to lead the task force, his communications team took over as well.” 

Tidbit — the C-SPAN video library record of her is empty: “Stephanie Grisham has no speaking appearances in the C-SPAN Video Library...” (Via C-SPAN’s Howard MortmanScreenshot:



Via The New York Times’s Maggie HabermanMaggie Lindsy HabermanHillicon Valley: 'Fortnite' owner sues Apple after game is removed from App Store | Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations Trump appeals to 'Suburban Housewives of America' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Argentum - Mask mandates, restrictions issued as COVID-19 spreads MORE, Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany is replacing Grisham as the White House press secretary.

What to know about McEnany: “Ms. McEnany has been a vocal defender of Mr. Trump on television, the main role the president has long believed the press secretary should play, according to current and former advisers.” 


It’s Tuesday. 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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Cases in the U.S.: 369,069

Deaths in the U.S.: 11,018

CNN breakdown of the numbers:

The optimistic update — social distancing appears to be working (!): “While US exceeds 11,000 deaths, officials express optimism about early effects of social distancing measures.” Details from CNN:

The stock market jumps as deaths slow: “The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up nearly 900 points (4 percent) in the first minutes of trading, adding to a 1,627-point (7.7 percent) gain on Monday. The S&P 500 rose 92 (3.5 percent), after rising 175 points (7 percent) on Monday.”

No new coronavirus deaths today in China: “China Reports No Coronavirus Deaths for First Time Since January.”

Black and Latino communities are disproportionally affected: According to emerging statistics. 



Ironically, the chaos feels normal:

Via The Hill’s Olivia BeaversPresident TrumpDonald John TrumpUSPS warns Pennsylvania mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted Michael Cohen book accuses Trump of corruption, fraud Trump requests mail-in ballot for Florida congressional primary MORE is taking heat for firing the intelligence community’s watchdog, a move that critics argue was seeking revenge for his impeachment amid a pandemic.

Back story:Michael Atkinson was ousted from his post late Friday night, in what was seen as an effort to punish him for acting on a whistleblower complaint last year about Trump’s contacts with Ukraine. The move by Atkinson in 2019 sparked a House impeachment inquiry that culminated with Trump’s acquittal in a Senate impeachment trial.”

A critic — House Intelligence Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffNewsom says he has already received a number of pitches for Harris's open Senate seat Here's who could fill Kamala Harris's Senate seat if she becomes VP Democrats ramp up warnings on Russian election meddling MORE (D-Calif.) accused Trump of “settling scores in the middle of a pandemic.” Schiff said on MSNBC over the weekend: “What is this president doing as thousands of people are dying? He is retaliating against people that are on his enemies list and doing it in the dead of night.”

From Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSusan Collins asks postmaster general to address delays of 'critically needed mail' Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal Trump: GOP senators who don't embrace him will 'lose their elections' MORE (R-Maine): “While I recognize that the President has the authority to appoint and remove Inspectors General, I believe Inspector General Atkinson served the intelligence community and the American people well, and his removal was not warranted.”

Over the weekend: At a press conference on the coronavirus outbreak, Trump slammed Atkinson and the whistleblower complaint. In Trump’s words: “He took a whistleblower report, which turned out to be a fake report -- it was fake.  It was totally wrong. He took a fake report and he brought it to Congress, with an emergency.”


‘I wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school...':

--> Remember the reference?:

Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “the nation’s response to the coronavirus crisis is being complicated by political polarization in general and the divisiveness of President Trump in particular.”

How so: “The gravest public health crisis in at least a century could be more effectively addressed if there was widespread agreement as to the basic facts at issue. But, instead, Trump’s history of misstatements dogs every claim he makes, even as his critics are prone to dismiss anything he says. Trump’s most loyal supporters are equally likely to disregard any dissenting view.” 



Did you notice Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci defends voting by mail if 'you don't want to take the chance' in person Museum unveils new Fauci bobbleheads after previous edition sells out Marlee Matlin: 'Unfathomable' that White House doesn't have sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings MORE giving finger guns on his way out of the briefing?: Here’s a video, via Bloomberg’s Jennifer JacobsWatch

Spotted out jogging during yesterday’s press briefing: CNN’s Betsy Klein tweeted, “Today marks the third time in the last few weeks I’ve passed by @IvankaTrump on a run (at an appropriate distance). Neither of us are watching the briefing live but happy to report it’s really nice out.”


An underreported story — Birx’s scarf game is STRONG:

Check out the photos of her scarves:



When your two civic duties clash:

Via The New York Times’s Astead W. Herndon and Jim Rutenberg, “Wisconsin voters will face a choice between protecting their health and exercising their civic duty on Tuesday after state Republican leaders, backed up by a conservative majority on the state’s Supreme Court, rebuffed the Democratic governor’s attempt to postpone in-person voting in their presidential primary and local elections.” 

What happened: “The governor had issued an executive order postponing in-person voting and extending to June the deadline for absentee ballots. But Republican leaders succeeded in getting the state’s top court to stay the decree.”

And then last night: “In a decision late Monday capping the election-eve chaos, the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative-leaning majority dealt its own blow to Wisconsin Democrats. In a 5-4 vote, the majority ruled against their attempt to extend the deadline for absentee voting in Tuesday’s elections.”

The full back and forth:




Oh wow:




Here’s a short video of the long polling line. Watch:



Everyone’s looking at you, Congress. What’s next?:

Via The Hill’s Mike Lillis and Scott Wong, lawmakers are under pressure for the next phase of coronavirus relief legislation after passing a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus.

The problem with the last legislative package: “The delivery of the aid to its intended targets has been hobbled by administrative and other logistical pitfalls, causing delays in distribution and sparking widespread anxieties about when the assistance will reach businesses, families and workers hardest hit by the swift-moving pandemic.” 

Plus: Officials have warmed that the next few weeks will be the worst in the coronavirus outbreak. 


New — Aid to small businesses could be approved this week:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief agreement | Weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million for first time since March | Trump says no Post Office funding means Democrats 'can't have universal mail-in voting' Overnight Health Care: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal | US records deadliest day of summer | Georgia governor drops lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal MORE (R-Ky.) just said he is working with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOvernight Health Care: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal | US records deadliest day of summer | Georgia governor drops lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations MORE and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerIn the next relief package Congress must fund universal COVID testing Ocasio-Cortez's 2nd grade teacher tells her 'you've got this' ahead of DNC speech New poll shows Markey with wide lead over Kennedy in Massachusetts MORE (D-N.Y.) to quickly pass aid for small businesses that have been impacted by the coronavirus.

How it would work with Congress on recess: “Senators are currently dispersed across the country as part of a three-week recess. But the Senate is scheduled to hold a brief session on Thursday, where a single senator could try to pass the additional small business funding.” 

What we know:



Ah ha! I knew it!:

The full crosswalk sign:



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

11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participated in a call with the National Federation of Independent Business to discuss the response to COVID-19. 

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in “America CARES: Small Business Relief Update” in the Roosevelt Room.



11 a.m. EDT: New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoMarlee Matlin: 'Unfathomable' that White House doesn't have sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings California Democrats back Yang after he expresses disappointment over initial DNC lineup New York may be undercounting coronavirus deaths in nursing homes: AP MORE (D) gave an update on the state’s coronavirus outbreak. Livestream:

5 p.m. EDT: The Coronavirus Task Force holds its daily press briefing. Livestream:



Today is National Beer Day!


Joe Exotic couldn’t stay away — his hair looks a little different nowadays:



And to lighten your Tuesday afternoon, here are gorillas avoiding the rain:

This is so relatable.