The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump uses White House as campaign backdrop

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The Hill’s 12:30 Report — GOP convention edition: Trump uses White House as campaign backdrop | Blurs lines of governance and campaigning | Convention sights and sounds | ‘Every word’ of Melania speech ‘is from her’ | Pence to speak tonight | Business world braces for blue sweep | Biden’s lack of travel worries some Dems | McDonald's adds spicy McNuggets to menu



Hey, welcome! This is my house. I like it. Let me show you around a little!:



The Republican National Convention featured the White House as a backdrop for much of the evening’s programming, including a pardoning ceremony, a naturalization ceremony and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Memo: Specter of vaccine hesitancy rises after J&J blow Trump says Prince Philip's death an 'irreplaceable loss' for UK Twitter will not allow Trump account archive on platform MORE’s headline speech from the newly renovated Rose Garden. 

Why this is so controversial: Via NBC's Shannon Pettypiece, “It is unprecedented in modern politics for the White House to be used as the site of an explicitly political event, with past presidents maintaining some boundaries between the office of the presidency and their re-election bids. Trump has been smashing those norms for months — attacking Democratic rival Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Olympics, climate on the agenda for Biden meeting with Japanese PM Boehner on Afghanistan: 'It's time to pull out the troops' MORE from the Rose Garden and playing campaign-style videos in the White House briefing room — but his prime-time convention address will represent the most blatant blurring of the lines yet.”  https://nbcnews.to/2YALQdQ


Melania Trump wrote her own speech: Via The New York Times’s Annie Karni, Katie Rogers and Maggie HabermanMaggie Lindsy HabermanThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Pence sets the stage for 2024 Trump frustrated with pace of super PAC Media stumbles: Its bias shows in covering Biden v. Trump MORE, “’Every word’ of the address, Mrs. Trump’s chief of staff, Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamKayleigh McEnany joins Fox News as co-host of 'Outnumbered' Melania Trump says she was 'disappointed and disheartened' watching Capitol riots Trump resignations gaining steam MORE, said, ‘is from her.’” I.e.: Not to repeat her 2016 convention speech where she “ended up borrowing word-for-word phrases and themes from Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - US vaccine effort takes hit with Johnson & Johnson pause Biden, Obamas and celebrity guests announce coronavirus vaccination TV special Obamas describe meeting Prince Philip in statement mourning his death MORE’s speech at the Democratic convention eight years earlier.”  https://nyti.ms/3gr9teR

Trump broke with precedent in a few ways: “President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Illinois House passes bill that would mandate Asian-American history lessons in schools Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he MORE broke with precedent on the second night of the Republican National Convention, granting a pardon and participating in a naturalization ceremony at the White House in videos that aired Tuesday during the prime-time event. Speeches from Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoWhy the US needs to clear the way for international justice Tim Scott to participate in GOP event in Iowa Progressive lawmaker to introduce bill seeking more oversight of Israel assistance MORE and first lady Melania Trump also pushed the boundaries of rules surrounding the mix of politics and governance.” Full reasoning:  https://bit.ly/2YC6nyz 

How the GOP is seeking to detoxify Trump at the convention: Via The Hill’s Niall Stanagehttps://bit.ly/32vQPxL

This was a beautiful setup in the Rose Garden


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3hJbBQV

^ There are seats for around 100 people: According to Bloomberg’s Jordan Fabianhttps://bit.ly/3b0IzcA

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 cmartel@thehill.com — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.


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But the asymptomatic spr— And testing would tell peop— And … what?:

Via CNN’s Jamie Gumbrecht, Michael Nedelman and Maggie Fox, “In a shift that perplexed some doctors, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] has changed its Covid-19 testing guidelines to say some people without symptoms may not need to be tested, even if they've been in close contact with someone known to have the virus.” https://cnn.it/32reWxx

The guideline before: “Previously, the CDC said viral testing was appropriate for people with recent or suspected exposure, even if they were asymptomatic.”  

What the CDC now says on its site: "If you have been in close contact (within 6 feet) of a person with a COVID-19 infection for at least 15 minutes but do not have symptoms, you do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your health care provider or State or local public health officials recommend you take one." 

Why the change?: “The CDC did not explain the change, and doctors were puzzled by it.”  

Everything we knowhttps://cnn.it/32reWxx


From the speeches:

Melania is spot-on here: “Whether you like it or not, you always know what he’s thinking,” she says of President Trumphttps://bit.ly/3lm40cS

First lady Melania Trump on the coronavirus outbreak: “I have been moved by the way Americans come together in such an unfamiliar and often frightening situation.” https://bit.ly/32FaoUr 

Trump’s son Eric’s message to his father: “I miss working alongside you every single day, but I’m damn proud to be on the front lines of this fight … Dad, let’s make uncle Robert very proud this week. Let’s go get another 4 years. I love you very much.” https://bit.ly/31urFQC 

From Trump’s daughter Tiffany: "As a recent graduate, I can relate to so many of you who might be looking for a job. My father built a thriving economy once, and believe me, he will do it again." https://bit.ly/2EuBo0h  

From Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE, the White House's top economic adviser: "You know me from TV and radio. I'm Larry Kudlow" https://bit.ly/32u19Gx


Mike Pompeo’s speech was broadcasted in the Rose Garden: It looks like an outdoor summer movie night! Here’s a photohttps://bit.ly/2YQIzHF 

Mike Pompeo posed with a beautiful sunset in Jerusalem before his appearancehttps://bit.ly/34x6HT6

Meanwhile outside the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.:



Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3ld43YJ 

In the middle of the convention: “Trump hosts a naturalization ceremony in the White House conducted by Acting DHS Sec. Chad WolfChad WolfIntel heads to resume worldwide threats hearing scrapped under Trump Sunday shows preview: Democrats eye passage of infrastructure bill; health experts warn of fourth coronavirus wave Russia suspected of massive State Department email hack: report MORE.” Photohttps://bit.ly/34zf40k 

Fox News did not show the full convention: “It’s night two, and currently CNN and MSNBC are the only networks carrying the RNC. Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonCarlson hits back at Fauci: 'Never for a minute doubted' vaccines work Chelsea Clinton calls on Facebook to ban Tucker Carlson ADL hit with blowback over calls for Tucker Carlson to resign MORE is on Fox doing his show instead.” https://bit.ly/3lg8aTH 

Tidbit about the D.C. venue: “Andrew Mellon Auditorium is named for the man who was Herbert Hoover’s Secretary of the Treasury during the Great Depression.” https://bit.ly/2Qtb21A 

Who’s watching

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3aZ86Tu

This makes sense. 

Nick Sandmann’s remarks were staged at the same place as the 2019 incident: At the Lincoln Memorial. Photo:  https://bit.ly/3aXginB

Only a few are wearing masks:



The full photohttps://bit.ly/2CXDh59 

CNN’s Kate Bennett weighs in on Melania’s outfit: “Should note a sartorial observation:

@FLOTUS is wearing what has become her most recognizable silhouette and color scheme. Reminiscent of a ‘uniform,’ if you will, with squared shoulders, front button pockets, belted waist - and often in colors of olive or taupe.” https://bit.ly/3aXgItW


An effective strategy: “The ‘forgotten man & woman’ portion of Eric TrumpEric TrumpHunter Biden blasts Trump in new book: 'A vile man with a vile mission' Sunday shows preview: Spotlight on Georgia voting law; lawmakers tackle gun violence, border surge Chicago hospital exec resigns after improper Trump Tower vaccine distribution MORE’s speech is very effective.” (tweet from Politico’s John Bresnahanhttps://bit.ly/3gtDJ97

During Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Anti-Asian hate crimes bill overcomes first Senate hurdle Fauci on Tucker Carlson vaccine comments: 'Typical crazy conspiracy theory' MORE’s (R-Ky.) speech last night: “Don Jr. is currently on Fox, effectively counter programming the RNC.” https://bit.ly/34Bg97Y

Interesting point: “Notable tonight at the RNC: How incredibly tailored some of these personal-capacity speakers are to swing races: 

- Lobster (ME-02)

- Dairy (Wisconsin)

- Tribal issues (Arizona, Nevada)” https://bit.ly/2FUQwVn


Broadcasting live from his hometown, it’s Joe:

Via The Hill’s Amie Parnes, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s lack of travel plans are worrying some Democrats. https://bit.ly/2QpqjAa 

“Some Democrats say they’re increasingly nervous watching Trump on the go. Last week, in an effort to counter the Democratic National Convention, the president traveled to Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — the state where Democrats had planned to have their convention. All three states are considered swing states in the presidential race.” 

What ended up happening with Dems: “Democrats held their convention virtually, with only a handful of speakers holding down the fort in Wisconsin. Instead of flying to the Badger State, Biden, 77, accepted the nomination and spoke before an empty room.” 

What could happenhttps://bit.ly/2QpqjAa

Joe Biden needs a little more to happen than just winning:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “To achieve much of his agenda, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will need voters to do more than elect him to the White House. The battle for control of the Senate will play a crucial role in determining whether Democrats can notch major victories early on in a potential Biden administration, from confirming judicial and executive nominees to passing legislative priorities.” https://bit.ly/2FUuj9T


How so, via The Hill’s Niv Elishttps://bit.ly/3jmDUVH


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Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 5,788,185 

U.S. death toll: 178,578 

Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y 

For context: Three months ago today, 1,646,495 Americans had tested positive for the coronavirus and 97,794 had died. https://bit.ly/3dptzp5 


Brutal — This tweet has more than 290k likes so far:



Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3b3BpV9 


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

12:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with medical professionals to discuss COVID-19. 

10:20 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at the 2020 Republican National Convention. 


Noon: Democratic leaders held a briefing to rebut the Republican National Convention. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/34B5b2g

8:30 p.m. EDT: Night 3 of the Republican National Convention. Tonight’s lineup and livestreamhttps://nyti.ms/2Qqs14v


Today is National Cherry Popsicle Day.

Oooh, spicy!:

Starting on Sept. 16, McDonald's is adding two limited-time items to its menu: Spicy Chicken McNuggets and a Chips Ahoy! McFlurry. https://bit.ly/2Qn6TMy

And to leave you on a happy note, here’s one of the best dog videos I’ve seen in a while: https://bit.ly/34FjUsW



Hyperlink https://bit.ly/34FjUsW 

I’m not crying! You’re crying!