The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump visits Pennsylvania

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: http://bit.ly/1M1mIfw 

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: http://bit.ly/1Tt4hqN

--> 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: Breaking – Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrTrump ramps up battle with Republican leadership Blunt retirement shakes up Missouri Senate race These GOP senators aren't seeking reelection in 2022 MORE steps down as Senate Intel Chair amid stock trading probe | Wis. bar packed 45 mins. after reopening | Another 3 million apply for unemployment | Stocks sink | Former federal vaccine doctor testifies | Calls vaccine timeline 'aggressive' | New TIME cover on Trump | FBI seizes Sen. Burr’s phone amid stock investigation | Trump visits Pa. | Sanders urged to share donor list with Biden | 24 must-try D.C. takeout restaurants



Happening today — to Pennsylvania and beyond!:



Via The Hill’s Brett Samuels, “President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump vows 'No more money for RINOS,' instead encouraging donations to his PAC Federal judge rules 'QAnon shaman' too dangerous to be released from jail Pelosi says Capitol riot was one of the most difficult moments of her career MORE will travel to the prominent presidential battleground of Pennsylvania on Thursday, further submerging himself in a politically charged debate over whether states are opening too quickly or slowly amid the coronavirus pandemic.” https://bit.ly/2AkNyXo 

How Trump is getting involved with the politics of stay-at-home orders: “Scores of protesters descended on the state Capitol last month to protest Gov. Tom Wolf's (D) stay-at-home directive, and Trump amped them on, tweeting Monday that Pennsylvanians ‘want their freedom now.’ It’s just the latest example of Trump urging demonstrators to rally against state stay-at-home orders; he previously suggested that citizens ‘liberate’ the states of Michigan and Minnesota — two other swing states on his 2020 target list.”

Keep in mind for November: “Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 by just 45,000 votes. Along with Michigan and Wisconsin, the three states are among the half-dozen most critical races in the country. If Trump slumps in the trio of states, he almost certainly will lose his reelection bid.”


He is set to speak at 2:15 p.m. EDT. Watch: https://bit.ly/2Z29IIs



It’s Thursday — we’re almost there!  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 cmartel@thehill.com  — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and  Facebook.

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox daily: http://bit.ly/2kjMNnn


BREAKING — Sen. Burr steps down as Senate Intelligence Committee Chair:

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) is stepping down from his post on the committee amid an FBI probe over controversial stocks he sold right before the economy crashed. https://bit.ly/2Lrv0al 

From Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump ramps up battle with Republican leadership RNC fires back at Trump, says it 'has every right' to use his name in fundraising appeals Blunt retirement shakes up Missouri Senate race MORE (R-Ky.): “Senator Burr contacted me this morning to inform me of his decision to step aside as Chairman of the Intelligence Committee during the pendency of the investigation. We agreed that this decision would be in the best interests of the committee and will be effective at the end of the day tomorrow.”


Before the stock market plummeted, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) sold up to $1.7 million in stocks. According to a new Dartmouth College analysis, this move “was one of the lawmaker's only market-beating trades since record keeping began eight years ago.” https://n.pr/3cwOzd3

Last night — the FBI took Sen. Burr’s cellphone:

Via The Los Angeles Times’s Del Quentin Wilber and Jennifer Haberkorn, the FBI seized Sen. Richard Burr’s (R-N.C.) cellphone last night as it investigates whether Burr violated laws by trading stocks using information he obtained in the Senate. https://lat.ms/3bzlo7Y 

Why this is especially important: “To obtain a search warrant, federal agents and prosecutors must persuade a judge they have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed … Such a warrant being served on a sitting U.S. senator would require approval from the highest ranks of the Justice Department and is a step that would not be taken lightly.”  

The full reporthttps://lat.ms/3bzlo7Y

Happening on Capitol Hill — well, let’s hear it:

Via CNN’s Alex Rogers, Jeremy Diamond and Kaitlan Collins, “Dr. Rick Bright, the ousted director of a crucial federal office charged with developing countermeasures to infectious diseases, is testifying before Congress on Thursday that the US will face ‘unprecedented illness and fatalities’ without additional preparations to curb the coronavirus pandemic.” https://cnn.it/2WOjdbe 

“Bright advised the federal government to ramp up its response, a week after filing a whistleblower complaint alleging he was fired from his job leading the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for opposing the use of a drug frequently touted by President Donald Trump as a potential coronavirus treatment.” 

What to know about Brighthttps://cnn.it/2WOjdbe


"We will either be remembered for what we did, or what we failed to do.” https://bit.ly/2T5RTUV

On a vaccine: “Dr. Rick Bright says the speculation about having a vaccine in 12-18 months assumes that ‘everything goes perfectly.’ ‘We've never seen everything go perfectly,’  he adds. He describes that timeline as ‘aggressive.’" https://bit.ly/2YZMjax


The president tweeted, “I don’t know the so-called Whistleblower Rick Bright, never met him or even heard of him, but to me he is a disgruntled employee, not liked or respected by people I spoke to and who, with his attitude, should no longer be working for our government!” https://bit.ly/2WSXtLD


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 1,393,890 

Deaths in the U.S.: 84,239 

Breakdown of the numbershttps://cnn.it/2UAgW3y


Via The Boston Globe’s Stephanie Purifoyhttps://bit.ly/3dFmyQI


Via The Hill's Alex Gangitanohttps://bit.ly/2WT1W0R


These Thursday numbers are gut-wrenching:

Another 3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to the Labor Department. https://bit.ly/2T48kkG

Bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to: Around 36.5 million Americans. 

The tiny glimmer of hope: This week’s number is the lowest since the economic crisis began.


Stocks dropped after the Labor Department reported an additional 3 million unemployment claims last week. https://bit.ly/2YZH6iZ

The numbers: “The Dow Jones industrial average was down more than 400 points, falling 1.75 percent, while the Nasdaq composite fell 1.6 percent and the S&P 500 sank 1.7 percent.”

A ruling against DJT:

Via The Hill’s Harper Neidig, “A federal appeals court on Thursday ruled against President Trump in a lawsuit alleging that he's violated the Constitution's Emoluments Clauses.” https://bit.ly/2WSrQSg 

The ruling: “The majority in the 9-6 decision found that Trump had prematurely filed an appeal in the case before a district judge had ruled on his motion to remove him from the list of defendants in the suit.”

What this means: “The decision from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals keeps the case alive, rejecting the president's efforts to preserve immunity from the suit, which was filed by the attorneys general from Washington, D.C., and Maryland.”


The most valuable commodities in politics — the Rolodex:

Via The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Jonathan Easley, “The campaigns for former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCNN: Bidens' dogs removed from the White House Federal judge rules 'QAnon shaman' too dangerous to be released from jail Pelosi says Capitol riot was one of the most difficult moments of her career MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders urges support for Newsom amid recall effort This week: Congress set to send .9 trillion coronavirus bill to Biden Lawmakers, activists remember civil rights icons to mark 'Bloody Sunday' MORE (I-Vt.) appear to be working seamlessly together, but some Democrats are questioning why Sanders has not offered his vaunted fundraising list to help Biden overcome the massive cash deficit he faces against President Trump.”  https://bit.ly/3czSENY

Why this list is so, so important: “Sanders has built an unmatched network of grassroots liberal donors who helped him crush the competition in fundraising during the 2020 primary season. Biden, meanwhile, has run a shoestring campaign and faces a daunting challenge against Trump, who has raised over $700 million this cycle and has about $250 million in the bank.”

An interesting read:



Hyperlink https://bit.ly/2T4OBS5 

The full story in The Atlantichttps://bit.ly/2yOt8WC


Oh my:



Hyperlink https://bit.ly/2Wttnzi

Lol — Reaction from another journalist: “I'd immediately start drafting my letter of resignation.” https://bit.ly/2Z44Fau

Getting traction:



Hyperlink https://bit.ly/2WUZPcP

Back story: “On Wednesday night in the heart of downtown Platteville, Wis., just hours after the Wisconsin Supreme Court threw out the state’s stay-at-home order, Nick’s on 2nd was packed wall to wall, standing room only.” Full story in The Washington Posthttps://wapo.st/2SZh7V5


The Senate is in. The House is out. President Trump is visiting Pennsylvania today, and Vice President Pence is in Washington, D.C.

Vice President Pence has no public events on his calendar. 

Noon: President Trump leaves for Allentown, Pa.

Noon: The Senate holds a roll call vote. 

1:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes. The Senate’s full schedule todayhttps://bit.ly/3bsRBOt

1:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump tours Owns & Minor, Inc. Distribution Center in Allentown. 

4:35 p.m. EDT: President Trump arrives at the White House. 

JUST ANNOUNCED — Wednesday, May 20: The Hill Virtually Live is hosting an event on our new digital reality. Accommodating the new normal means an increased reliance on telecommunication networks and an accelerated digitalization of industries. Yet, digital literacy is uneven, as is basic access to the internet. How should policymakers approach the goals of coverage, access, affordability and capacity?  Featured speakers: Rep. Suzan DelBeneSuzan Kay DelBeneHillicon Valley: Chip order inbound | Biden asks for more time on WeChat | New IoT bill introduced Lawmakers introduce bipartisan bill to allow for increased use of internet-connected devices New state privacy initiatives turn up heat on Congress MORE (D-Wash.), FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly and others. Details and how to RSVPhttps://bit.ly/3dLgfeB


This morning: Ousted vaccine expert Rick Bright testifies in a House hearing. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/2WUcYTB 

2:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump delivers remarks from Allentown, Pa. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/2Z29IIs 

3 p.m. EDT: House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi says Capitol riot was one of the most difficult moments of her career Hillary Clinton calls for women to 'repair' COVID-19's 'damage' on women's rights Republicans' stonewall forces Democrats to pull bill honoring Capitol Police MORE (D-Calif.) holds her weekly press briefing. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/3bu5onW


Today is National Buttermilk Biscuit Day.

If you’re in D.C. and looking for new takeout options:

Via Washingtonian’s Anna Spiegel, here are 24 must-try restaurants for pickup and delivery: https://bit.ly/2Z2EtNq

And to brighten your Thursday afternoon, here’s a work Zoom call that is particularly entertaining: https://bit.ly/2LtOeMA