The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 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: Breaking - 13 hit by speeding car in Times Square | Trump says he's victim of 'witch hunt' | GOP senator says Flynn 'not cooperating'| Ex-Fox news CEO Roger Ailes dies | Deputy AG to brief Senate | What to know about new special counsel | Wawa coming to DC | Dubya photobombs reporter 

BREAKING -- 10 PEOPLE HIT BY SPEEDING VEHICLE IN TIMES SQUARE: Via CBS New York, “Several people have been struck by a car in Times Square ... At least 10 people have reportedly been hit by a red Honda before it came to a stop at by crashing into steel barriers at 45th and 7th Avenue.” Motive: “So far the motive behind the incident in unknown – whether it was a medical condition or something else.”  President Trump has been briefed on the situation according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

Photos of the scene:

Photo of the first responders: "At least 5 fire trucks, an ambulance and other first responder vehicles now in Times Square."

ALSO BREAKING -- YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO WORK FOR IT: Lawyers for former national security advisor Michael Flynn say he will not comply with a subpoena issued by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard BurrKushner says he did not collude with Russia, had no improper contacts Dems slam Trump for 'stonewalling' oversight efforts Burr: Nunes 'created' unmasking allegations against Rice MORE (R-N.C.). What the Senate was demanding: Documents related to the committee's investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election.

Context from Journalist Dan Friedman: "Sounds like Flynn lawyers trying to bargain. Ignoring a subpoena is contempt of Congress, but process is onerous."

Oh, but keep in mind: "Burr says he may have spoke too soon and that "definitive answer" from Flynn's lawyers hasn't been received yet." (From HuffPost's Laura Barron-Lopez)

NEW INFO -- MAYBE NOT THE BEST TIME FOR FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS: Via Yahoo News, Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in April told friends that he remains in contact with President Trump despite the ongoing investigation into Flynn's contact with Russia. "I just got a message from the president to stay strong," Flynn told supporters following a meal in Virginia. What medium Trump used to contact Flynn: Unclear. Sources wouldn't say.

It's a chaotic Thursday. TGI(almost)F. 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 on Facebook.

ROGER AILES HAS DIED: Former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, one of the most influential media figures of recent decades, died Thursday at 77 years old, just 10 months after his stunning departure from Fox. The conservative website The Drudge Report announced the news with a statement from Ailes's wife Elizabeth.

Statement from Elizabeth Ailes as Drudge's breaking news banner:

The announcement live on Fox News:

JUST NOW — new info on the cause of death: Via AP, "Palm Beach police report: Fox News founder Roger Ailes fell, hit his head and was seriously bleeding 8 days before death."

REPORTED THIS A.M. -- COME ON, GUYS. YOU GOTTA STOP ORDERING THE BEEF STROGANOFF IN PUBLIC. PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO GET SUSPICIOUS!: Via Reuters's Ned Parker, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel, advisers to President Trump's campaign reportedly had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russian officials and those with ties to Moscow. Details on the 18 interactions: The 18 calls or emails were during the last seven months of the presidential campaign.

HAPPENING TODAY -- I IMAGINE SENATORS BOMBARDING ROSENSTEIN LIKE THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS COLLECTIVELY YELLING "SEAN" WHEN SPICER LEAVES THE ROOM: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expected to be grilled today on back-to-back political bombshells that have rattled the nation's capital. Why this is big: This briefing gives many lawmakers their first face-to-face meeting with an administration official since President Trump's surprise decision last week to fire FBI Director James Comey.

What to watch at 2:30 p.m. EDT: Senators will speak with reporters after their meeting. Livestream:

THE BIG NEWS LAST NIGHT -- THIS IS A "FUN" PROJECT TO TAKE ON: The Justice Department has appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russia's involvement in the U.S. presidential election.

What to know about a special counsel: They can prosecute individuals. The position is appointed directly by the attorney general and reports directly to the AG (or deputy attorney general in this case). "This person can pursue criminal indictments ... but the attorney general can fire them at any time and overrule any decisions they make when it comes to investigating or prosecuting the case." More on that:

What to know about Robert Mueller: Here are five fast facts:

Oh wow: Time's magazine cover.

Timeline: Lol, remember when this was supposed to be a quiet week? For processing purposes, here's a timeline of the past eight days:

THIS MORNING -- TRUMP SEEMS TO BE TAKING THE NEWS, UM, WELL --> President Trump responded to the appointment of a special counsel on Twitter. Tweet: "With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel [sic] appointed!" Followed by this tweet: "This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

HAPPENING MONDAY -- EDU-MUH-CATION: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is set to reveal the Trump administration's plans on school choice Monday, according to a new report. DeVos is slated to speak at an Indiana summit hosted by the American Federation for Children, a group that advocates for school choice. What we know: It'll be an education tax credit scholarship proposal.


REPUBLICANS: At least two Republican congressmen -- Reps. Carlos Curbelo (Fla.) and Justin AmashJustin AmashOvernight Defense: Military won't lift transgender ban until Trump sends directions | House passes national security spending | Russian sanctions bill heads to Trump Overnight Finance: House passes spending bill with border wall funds | Ryan drops border tax idea | Russia sanctions bill goes to Trump's desk | Dems grill bank regulator picks House approves spending bill with funds for Trump's border wall MORE (Mich.) -- have now raised the prospect of impeachment if the Comey memo, which purportedly claims President Trump asked Comey to end the FBI's investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, turns out to be true. Most Republicans have kept their statements limited. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellGOP senators: House agreeing to go to conference on ObamaCare repeal Ryan drops border-tax proposal as GOP unifies around principles Pence raises million for PAC at fundraiser: report MORE (R-Ky.) confined himself to calling for Comey to testify in public.

DEMOCRATS: Democratic leaders have a message for those members of their caucus beating the drum to impeach President Trump: not so fast. "I would suggest ... there needs to be a full investigation first," said Rep. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. In the eyes of several Democrats, however, the facts already lead to impeachment.

KEEP IN MIND: There is a long road to travel before impeachment proceedings might get underway.



IJ Review's Haley Byrd
I've never related to a CSPAN caller more than the one who just ended his call by saying "love you, bye" 



The House and Senate are in.

2 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House.

2 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at the Laffer Associates 57th Washington Conference at the Capitol.

2:50 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and will hold a bilateral meeting.

4 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.



12:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Invest in America! 2017 Summit in Washington, D.C. Livestream:

12:15 p.m. EDT: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) holds her weekly press conference, following Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanRyan assures GOP senators House will go to conference Overnight Healthcare: Four GOP senators threaten to block 'skinny' repeal | Healthcare groups blast skinny repeal | GOP single-payer amendment fails in Senate Overnight Finance: House passes spending bill with border wall funds | Ryan drops border tax idea | Russia sanctions bill goes to Trump's desk | Dems grill bank regulator picks MORE's (R-Wis.) at 11:30 a.m.

2:30 p.m. EDT: Senators will speak with reporters after their closed-door meeting on Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election. What to expect: Livestream:

3:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a joint press conference with President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia. Livestream:

6:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sean Spicer is headlining a fundraiser for Virginia Republicans at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va. Invitation screenshot:



Today is National Cheese Soufflé Day.

THIS IS MESMERIZING The Hirshhorn Museum released a time lapse video of visitors adding dots to Yayoi Kusama's "The Obliteration Room." Watch: 

I'M ECSTATIC TO SHARE THIS NEWS WITH YOU: Via PoPville, Wawa is coming to Washington, D.C.!! The details have yet to be announced, but here's the unveiling:

AND I THINK TO MYSELF...WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD: Former President George W. Bush photobombed a reporter's live shot during The Texas Rangers game last night. Watch:

And because you read this far, here are baby goats doing parkour.


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Updated at 12:43 p.m.