The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump takes victory lap after strong jobs report

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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: US adds staggering 4.8M jobs in June |  Trump touts economy |  Stocks jump |  US hits record, 50K+ single-day COVID-19 cases |  Mnuchin ‘absolutely’ doesn’t regret pushing reopening |  Experts worry about Fourth of July weekend spread |  Trump endorses face masks |  Says he looks like the ‘Lone Ranger’ in a mask |  Pence visits Tampa |  How to safely celebrate the Fourth 



Can I get a whoop whoop?!:



President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE held a last-minute news conference this morning after the announcement of a strong jobs report.


Trump on the outbreak: “The crisis is being handled."

On handling the coronavirus: “It's like life — if you don't have confidence, you're not going to do very well.”

He also added: "We’re putting out flames and fires, and it’s working out very well.”

On medical equipment: "[Vice President] Pence made a call just yesterday and said, 'What do you need?' Not one governor needed anything. They don't need anything. They have all the medical equipment they can have."

On the economy: "You're going to have a fantastic third quarter; it'll be a third quarter the likes of which nobody has ever seen before, in my opinion."

Trump did not take any questions at the press conference

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinCoronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame On The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Top Democrats say postmaster confirmed changes to mail service amid delays MORE was asked whether he regrets pushing states to reopen: “No, absolutely not. I think we’ve had a very careful plan working with the states — this is primarily the states’ responsibility — but working with the states,” he said.



Stocks jumped after the news of the strong June jobs report.

The numbers: “The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 450 points Thursday morning, climbing about 1.7 percent after the Labor Department reported a June gain of 4.8 million jobs. The S&P 500 rose 1.5 percent and the Nasdaq composite rose roughly 1.4 percent.”

Major 2020 endorsement — Trump supports face masks:

“President Trump on Wednesday endorsed mask-wearing in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, saying he is ‘all for masks’ despite resisting wearing one in public himself.”

Trump told Fox Business: “I’m all for masks. I think masks are good.” Trump also said he would wear a mask: If he were in a “tight situation” with people. 

Trump said he thinks he looks like the “Lone Ranger” in a mask: “I mean, I’d have no problem. Actually, I had a mask on, I sort of liked the way I looked.” Trump then said he thought he looked like the “Lone Ranger.”  

Trump on why he doesn’t wear face masks: He said it’s because the people he sees are first tested for COVID-19.

It’s Thursday — it’s almost the Fourth of July weekend! 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 Hill’s 12:30 Report will not publish tomorrow for the holiday. Have a safe, fun Fourth of July — and eat a s’more for me! ;)


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Well hot dang!:

The U.S. economy added 4.8 million (!) jobs in June, according to data from the U.S. Labor Department.

The unemployment rate: It fell to 11.1 percent, down from an astronomical 15 percent in April.

For context: Economists had predicted a jobs gain of 1 to 3 million.

Jeffrey Epstein’s associate was arrested:

Via NBC’s Jonathan Dienst, Joe Valiquette, Tom Winter and Sarah Fitzpatrick, “Federal authorities arrested Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime confidant of Jeffrey Epstein, on Thursday in New Hampshire in connection with the late, accused sex trafficker, senior law enforcement officials said.”

“She was taken into custody … and she's expected to be charged with allegedly conspiring with Epstein to sexually abuse minors.” 

Keep in mind about Maxwell: “Multiple young women have accused Maxwell, 58, the youngest daughter of the late British publishing magnate Robert Maxwell, of complicity in Epstein's alleged sex trafficking ring. They say she either recruited them directly or provided logistical support, like scheduling visits to Epstein's home.”


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 2,686,928 

U.S. death toll: 128,064

Breakdown of the numbers


Via Politico’s Joanne Kenen, “America’s told-you-so moment: How we botched the reopening. The resurgence of COVID-19 was preventable, but the country’s rush to end shutdowns triggered disaster.” 

It won’t be just the dogs who are having severe anxiety about the Fourth this year:

Via The Hill’s Jessie Hellmann, experts are worried about the spread of COVID-19 as people gather for the Fourth of July weekend. 

“Memorial Day weekend — when people flocked to beaches, pools, parties, restaurants and bars after a weeks-long lockdown — helped spur many of the outbreaks the U.S. is seeing across parts of the country. But now the stakes are even higher.”

Where we stand: “The U.S. is averaging 40,000 new cases a day, exceeding the numbers seen in May. This is partially because of increased testing, but the percentage of tests coming back positive is also going up, an indicator of a growing outbreak.” 

How this could play out

The highest number of coronavirus infections in a day:

The U.S. reported more than 50,000 confirmed coronavirus cases yesterday, the highest number of cases reported in a single day. 

The previous single-day high: 45,300 cases 



The new normal:





Re *clap* tweet:





The House is out. The Senate is in. President Trump is in Washington, D.C. Vice President Pence is on his way to Tampa, Fla. for the afternoon.

12:10 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence left for Tampa, Fla. 

1:30 p.m. EDT: A cloture vote in the Senate. The Senate’s full schedule today

3 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisDeSantis: It's safe to hug with PPE on Police say man spat on child in restaurant and said 'you now have coronavirus' On The Money: White House warns there's likely no deal with no agreement by Friday | More generous unemployment benefits lead to better jobs: study | 167K workers added to private payrolls in July MORE (R) in Tampa to discuss the COVID-19 response.

3:45 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence holds a press gaggle with DeSantis.

6:50 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence lands in Washington, D.C.


10 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participated in a naturalization ceremony at the White House. Livestream

11:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump spoke at the Spirit of America Showcase in the Grand Foyer of the White House. Livestream


Today is National Anisette Day.

How to have a fun holiday weekend during this weird, WEIRD year:

Via The New York Times’s Sara Aridi, “This year, Fourth of July revelers will have to swap many traditions — peppy parades, large family reunions and patriotic concerts — with low-key celebrations. But there are plenty of safe ways to commemorate America’s birthday. Here are some suggestions.”

And to get your holiday weekend off to a good start, here’s an affectionate puppy: