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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: White House counsel to lead Supreme Court search | Cohen says ‘first loyalty’ is to family and country, not Trump | Dems struggle with generation gap | Mexico gets new president | Why Trump isn’t talking about the stock market | Mueller team may have access to NRA donor list | Man accused of plotting July 4 attack in Cleveland | Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJuly vote to repeal medical device tax may bolster vulnerable GOP lawmaker Judge temporarily blocks end to housing assistance for displaced Puerto Ricans Dem senator: ‘Abolishing ICE will accomplish nothing’ unless we change Trump’s policies MORE gets a puppy | Wimbledon begins


Major development — add Michael Cohen to the list of Trump’s exes: 

Via ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump congratulates Mexico’s new president: ‘I look very much forward to working with him’ Comedian who allegedly prank-called Trump says he has hired Michael Avenatti Ex-Trump aide pushes for Hope Hicks as chief of staff: Trump will ‘listen to women more than men’ MORE‘s former personal attorney Michael Cohen has a new lead legal counsel, Guy Petrillo. And once Petrillo takes over in the coming days, the joint defense agreement between Cohen and Trump will be terminated.

How Michael Cohen’s tone has changed: Cohen has always touted his loyalty to the president, but he appeared to change his tune in a new interview. The $$ line: “To be crystal clear, my wife, my daughter and my son, and this country have my first loyalty.” 

When Stephanopoulos asked Cohen his plan if Trump’s lawyers come after him: Cohen sat up straight and said, “I will not be a punching bag as part of anyone’s defense strategy. I am not a villain of this story, and I will not allow others to try to depict me that way.”

Why the National Rifle Association may want to send fruit baskets to their private donors — and to Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE: 

Via McClatchy’s Greg Gordon and Peter Stone, legal experts says that special counsel Robert Mueller has likely accessed the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) tax filings and a list of secret donors. Keep in mind: Private donors have funded $21 million in pro-Trump spending and because the NRA is a nonprofit, the group can hide the names and companies. Full story:

WHY THIS IS SO NEWSY: “A central question for Mueller’s office is whether any of the confidential donors’ names hold clues that could enable investigators to trace a donation camouflaged to hide its Russian origins – such as a shell company that might be the end point in a chain of offshore transactions. It is illegal for foreign funds to be spent to influence U.S. elections.”

It’s Monday of the holiday week. 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.


Where to send your resume if you’re interested in replacing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy: 

Via The Hill’s Jordan Fabian, White House counsel Don McGahn is overseeing the search for President Trump’s Supreme Court justice nominee. What McGahn will do: Vet potential nominees and prepare materials for Trump. Why McGahn: “The move is part of a temporary reshuffle of the West Wing designed to swiftly confirm a new justice on the high court by the fall.”

A possible Fourth of July terrorist attack was stopped: 

Via The Cleveland Plain Dealer, the FBI has arrested 48-year-old Demetrius N. Pitts, who is accused of planning to set off a bomb during the Fourth of July celebration in Cleveland. Any ties to terrorist organizations?: Pitts told an undercover agent of his desire to join al Qaeda and kill Americans. “Pitts is charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to al Qaeda, a designated foreign terrorist organization, authorities said during a news conference at the FBI office in downtown Cleveland.” Full story:

When Pitts was arrested: Sunday. 

Watch the FBI’s press conference this morning on the case:


‘I look forward to battle.’ 

‘As do I.’:

A left-wing populist who has vowed to take a tougher stance against President Trump has won the presidential election in Mexico.

The New York Times rundown of the campaign and election results:

How Trump reacted: President Trump congratulated the winner of Mexico’s presidential election. He tweeted: “Congratulations to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on becoming the next President of Mexico. I look very much forward to working with him. There is much to be done that will benefit both the United States and Mexico!”

Mexico’s current president: Trump has had a tense relationship with Mexico’s current president, Enrique Peña Nieto.

Why the U.S.-Mexico relationship is so tense: Trump’s vow to build a wall on the southern border and have Mexico pay for it. Trump also announced new tariffs on Mexican imports to the U.S., leading to retaliatory tariffs.

Miss the Mooch?: Former White House director of communications Anthony ScaramucciAnthony ScaramucciScaramucci warns Trump must ‘change tactics now’ on trade Scaramucci: Trump’s warning to Maxine Waters ‘obviously not acceptable’ The Memo: Trump caves after negative images, pressure from family MORE wrote an op-ed in USA Today, saying President trump is “largely correct” about immigration. His reasoning:

Op-ed on the Mexican election:


Interesting read — Why the stock market is no longer part of Trump’s daily tweets: 

Via The Hill’s Niv Elis, “President Trump spent the first year of his presidency singing the praises of the stock market, which rose precipitously in anticipation of GOP tax cuts and business-friendly deregulation. Nearly seven months into 2018, Trump barely mentions the markets anymore.” Why: The stock markets have become volatile, partly due to concerns over Trump’s tariffs. Reasoning:

Age before beauty:

Via The Hill’s Scott Wong, “Some septuagenarian House Democrats have a message for their younger colleagues clamoring for a spot at the leadership table: Age ain’t nothin’ but a number.” But Dems in their 70s are pushing back at younger members: “They say it’s their decades of experience fighting in the trenches on a range of issues — from the gender pay gap and gun control to LGBT rights — that make them the right ones to lead the fight against President Trump and the Republicans.”


Hey, Sen. Warren: If you want to share custody of this adorable new pupper, just let me know! 😉 


The House and Senate are out.

11:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoMcMaster to join Hoover Institution, take on ‘infected’ national security discourse Ex-US ambassador to Mexico laments Trump administration’s ‘vilification of Mexicans’ Top US envoy for East Asia to retire this month MORE.

2 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the prime minister of the Netherlands.

Wednesday: The Fourth of July. How to celebrate all week in D.C.:

July 9: President Trump will announce his Supreme Court nominee. What we know:


3:45 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives a press briefing. Livestream:

Something you can’t watch — CNN’s Jim Acosta on Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerAcosta turns down request to go on Spicer’s talk show: He wants to resurrect his career, bash CNN Trump boosts Spicer’s new book: It’s ‘really good’ Judge denies Manafort’s motion to dismiss indictment MORE‘s new talk show: CNN’s Jim Acosta said he politely declined appearing on former White House press secretary Sean Spicer‘s new talk show. Acosta’s reasoning: “My sense of it is that Sean has crossed the line from being somebody who was a former press secretary to somebody who wants to resurrect his career and go on Fox News and bash CNN.”


Today is National Anisette Day.

Wimbledon kicks off: 

The Wimbledon tennis tournament kicked off this morning. The bracket of matchups and TV schedule:

A useful read with an entertaining headline: 

Via The Washington Post, “How to roast peppers — the unsung heroes of your produce bin.” Full story:

And to keep your holiday weekend vibes going, here’s a raccoon doing parkour: