12:30 Report — Boeing launches its first manned mission to space

A chronicle of Donald Trump's Crimes or Allegations

12:30 Report — Boeing launches its first manned mission to space


12:30 REPORT

Happy Wednesday. It’s a space launch day and those always make me so giddy! Here’s what’s happening:

Boeing just successfully launched its first manned mission to space. Scroll down for the video of the launch.
Former President Trump was dealt a surprise blow in New Jersey’s Tuesday primary.50 Cent was spotted in ‘da Capitol’ this morning. Don’t worry, I have another relevant pun below. 😉
Senate Democrats are already worried about violence if Trump wins in November.


I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send tips, commentary, feedback and cookie recipes to cmartel@thehill.com. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.  

🚀 News this Morning

I’d watch the show, ‘Butch and Suni Go to Space.’ Are you reading this, Netflix?:

After several delays, Boeing just launched its first-ever manned Starliner mission this morning! NASA commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore and co-pilot Sunita “Suni” Williams are on board and headed to the Space Station.

📹 Watch the launch
💻 NASA’s livestream channel has great analysis and context
📹 Watch the preparations this morning
📹 Wilmore and Williams take their seats in the aircraft
📹 The rocket and spacecraft


Why the launch happened at precisely 10:52 a.m. EDT: “That’s roughly the moment Earth’s rotation carries the pad into alignment with the space station’s orbit — a requirement for rendezvous missions.” (CBS News) The use of the word “roughly” makes me laugh. Nothing in NASA-world seems like a rough estimate. 😂


How long will the astronauts spend in space?: A little more than 24 hours. They will return around 12:15 p.m. Thursday.


The purpose of the mission: The Starliner is carrying a pump that is necessary to fix the space station’s urine processor that failed last week, according to CNN. “Now, the urine has to be stored onboard in containers, so Starliner’s anticipated arrival to the space station can’t come soon enough.” Brutal.


Well, first lady Jill Biden is in court today for her son Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial.


The Daily Mail’s Emily Goodin posted that “she flies to France tonight, per East Wing. She and [President Biden] separated at Joint Base Andrews last night. He left for France. She went to Wilmington.”


📸 See Biden leaving for France on Air Force One

💸 In Congress

There is always — and I stress *always* — a funding battle:

House Republicans just passed their first government funding bill for fiscal 2025.


Why it’s controversial: It includes partisan policies, including funding related to abortion, which are nonstarters for Democrats. The White House has already threatened to veto it.


Keep in mind: These partisan bills are unlikely to go anywhere.


Read more from The Hill’s Aris Folley: ‘House Republicans pass first funding bill despite White House veto threat’

🍭‘I’ll take you to the Cap-it-ol. I’ll let you see them pass-the-bill’ 🎵: 

Rapper 50 Cent was seen on the House side of the Capitol this morning. 📸 Photo 📸 Another photo 📸 And one more


^ What do you think of my ‘Candy Shop’ mashup?!

Keep in mind: He’s on the Hill to advocate for increased Black representation in the liquor industry.

🗳️ The Campaign Trail

‘Could Trump beat Biden in a blowout?’:

President Biden’s poor polling numbers are raising this very question. Despite former President Trump grappling with his 34-felony conviction, his polling in key swing states is strong, according to The Hill’s Julia Mueller and Brett Samuels.


What does a blowout mean in this context?: It doesn’t necessarily mean a landslide victory like President Reagan in 1984, but it would mean that Trump wins more Electoral College votes than expected. While it’s still early, it’s possible that Trump flips most (if not all!) of the swing states that Biden won in 2020. Trump could even flip some unexpected states, like Minnesota or Virginia.


The polls are all close. Doesn’t this seem premature?: Not really! “Though Trump’s leads in the battleground states are narrow, the polls underscore alarm about Biden’s support. Even small gaps could make a big impact, as presidential elections have in recent cycles increasingly trended toward close races decided by just a handful of states.”


Read Mueller and Samuels’s full report


The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports that Senate Democrats are worried about potential violence if former President Trump loses to President Biden in November.


I already have enough to worry about, John: Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) speculated, “It is unclear if we were to lose the election in November whether he would peacefully tell his supporters, ‘Well, it was a great battle, but we just couldn’t pull it off.’ If you want to worry about hypotheticals.”


Read more: ‘Democrats fear Trump verdict furor could lead to violence after election’

^ But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies

Former President Trump received a surprising blow in one of Tuesday’s primaries. New Jersey Republican voters nominated an establishment-backed Republican Curtis Bashaw over Trump-backed candidate Christine Serrano Glassner in the Republican Senate primary.


Other highlights:

Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D) got his general election opponent, Tim Sheehy.
Andy Kim (D-N.J.) won the Democratic Senate primary but will be running against embattled Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who is running as an independent despite facing criminal charges.
A number of Democrats voted uncommitted instead of voting for President Biden. And a number of GOP voters opted for Nikki Haley, despite her dropping out months ago. This tells me everything I need to know about the mood of this election.

More takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries


Politico’s Ry Rivard writes how Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) ended up in the middle of an FBI stakeout at a steakhouse.


Excerpt: “On May 21, 2019, two FBI surveillance teams were sent to the Morton’s steakhouse a few blocks from the White House. They were not there looking for Sen. Bob Menendez, but then he showed up. That’s according to testimony Tuesday from an FBI investigator called as a witness in the New Jersey Democrat’s corruption trial.”


Wow, this sounds like a movie: “[Two] FBI investigators, posing as a husband and wife, were inside the steakhouse eavesdropping on a trio of Egyptian men seated at a table, including one who was the subject of their investigation. Then Menendez and his now-wife, Nadine, joined the men. And the senator — who infamously goes to Morton’s much of the time he’s in D.C. and charges meals to his political action committee — ended up in the middle of the steakhouse stake out.” Read the ful Politico report

🐝 Internet Buzz

🍅 Celebrate: Today is National Ketchup Day!


💊 Wow, that is one large IUD: A 20-foot IUD has been placed outside Union Station ahead of today’s Right to Contraception Act vote. 📸 Photo of the 20-foot IUD


🦅 Nooo, Kellie!: A bird landed on NewsNation’s Kellie Meyer right before her live shot right outside of the White House. I am so glad the cameraperson was rolling. 📹 Watch the clip

🗓️ On The Agenda

The House and Senate are in. President Biden is in Paris, and Vice President Harris is in California. (all times Eastern)

12:30 p.m.: NASA officials hold a press conference after the Starliner launch. 💻 Livestream

1:15 p.m.: State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller briefs reporters. 💻 Livestream

3:45 p.m.: The Senate holds a cloture vote on the Right to Contraception Act. 📆 Today’s full agenda

3:55 p.m.: Harris speaks at two political events near Oakland, Calif.

11:15 p.m.: Harris returns to Washington.

👋 And Finally…

Enjoy this adorable moment between a horse and a dog.

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