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: Rep. Slaughter dies at 88 | Talk of Trump, Kelly truce | Trump reportedly planning to remove McMaster | Stormy Daniels's lawyer claims client was threatened | National Panda Day



Rep. Louise SlaughterDorothy (Louise) Louise SlaughterOur democracy demands weekend voting Lawmakers remember Slaughter in Capitol ceremony McGovern tapped to replace Slaughter as top Dem on Rules panel MORE has died:

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Rules Committee, has died at age 88, her office announced this morning. Keep in mind: Slaughter had been hospitalized after suffering a concussion in her home from a fall, her office said earlier this week.

STATEMENT FROM HER CHIEF OF STAFF: "To have met Louise Slaughter is to have known a force of nature. She was a relentless advocate for Western New York whose visionary leadership brought infrastructure upgrades, technology and research investments, and two federal manufacturing institutes to Rochester that will transform the local economy for generations to come," Liam Fitzsimmons, Slaughter's chief of staff, said in a statement.  



Hmmmm, uh oh: 

Top of the morning to you. Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day. I'm Cate O'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.



McMaster, what a guy -- and what a festive name for today:

Via The Washington Posts' Ashley ParkerJosh DawseyPhilip Rucker and Carol D. LeonnigPresident TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN analyst Kirsten Powers: Melania's jacket should read 'Let them eat cake' CNN's Cuomo confronts Lewandowski over 'womp womp' remark Sessions says FBI agent Peter Strzok no longer has his security clearance MORE has reportedly decided to remove H.R. McMaster as national security adviser. According to sources: Trump is ready to oust McMaster, "but is willing to take time executing the move because he wants to ensure both that the three-star Army general is not humiliated and that there is a strong successor lined up."

SARAH SANDERS DISPUTES THE REPORT: The White House press secretary tweeted, "Just spoke to [President Trump] and Gen. H.R. McMaster -- contrary to reports they have a good working relationship and there are no changes at the [National Security Council]."

POTENTIAL REPLACEMENT: Via CBS News, McMaster is "expected to be replaced by former Bush administration official and frequent Fox News analyst John Bolton."

We're just going to be left with President O'Trump and Jared O'Kushner soon, aren't we?: 

Via CBS News's Major Garrett, White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE may leave his post soon. Yes, the man who was brought into the White House last summer to reduce the chaos

'A gentlemen's agreement' -- 'Huzzah!' -->

Via The Wall Street Journal's Michael C. Bender, "President Donald Trump and White House chief of staff John Kelly have settled on a truce, at least temporarily, as the latest round of staff tumult continues to ripple through the West Wing, according to people familiar with the discussions."

IT DOESN'T STOP AT KELLY -- WHO ELSE IS IN JEOPARDY: "Veterans Affairs Secretary David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinOvernight Defense: Trump orders Pentagon to help house immigrant families | Mattis says 'space force' needs legislation | VA pick gets hearing date Senate panel schedules hearing on Trump VA pick Press: Drain the swamp – of Scott Pruitt MORE could be forced out, with Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryOvernight Energy: DNC to reject fossil fuel donations | Regulators see no security risk in coal plant closures | Senate committee rejects Trump EPA, Interior budgets DNC to reject fossil fuel company donations Energy commission sees no national security risk from coal plant closures MORE in line to replace him. ... Sources said secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonPress: Drain the swamp – of Scott Pruitt An ode to fathers Ben Carson walks back plan to triple rent for poor MORE is also in jeopardy, after purchasing a $31,000 dining room set for his office. The order was eventually canceled."

REACTION FROM KEY REPUBLICANS -- WE. WANT. SHULKIN.: Via The Hill's Rebecca Kheel, key Republicans are backing VA Secretary David Shulkin as rumors of his firing swirl.

Oh and -- Vanessa O'Trump wanted part of the shakeup action

Vanessa Trump has filed for divorce from Donald Trump Jr. Why: "The reasons for the divorce filed Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court were not clear. The divorce was listed as 'uncontested,' indicating the split was amicable." More details:

STATEMENT FROM THE COUPLE: "After 12 years of marriage, we have decided to go our separate ways. We will always have tremendous respect for each other and our families. We have five beautiful children together and they remain our top priority. We ask for your privacy during this time."



Stormy O'Daniels's lawyer drops a teaser:

Adult-film star Stormy Daniels was threatened with physical violence in connection with her alleged affair with President Donald TrumpOn MNSBC's "Morning Joe": When Daniels's lawyer, Michael Avenatti, was asked whether his client was threatened, he succinctly replied, "Yes." Details?!: Avenatti declined to answer further questions on the subject, saying that "people will have to tune in to '60 Minutes' on March 25," when CBS is scheduled to air an interview with Daniels.

Actual photo of Michael Avenatti dropping this bomb then teasing the March 25 interview --> 

Back story on that photo:



This Paul McCartney song is all I could think of when I saw this photo


Nope nope nope nope nope:

Let's just say, people have not been pleased with this decision. Including a few of my favorites:

-- "Mother of God, haven't the Irish endured enough?"  (The Daily Beast's Lachlan Markay

-- "we need another Special Counsel." (Buzzfeed's David Mack

-- "how do I delete someone else's tweet" (@RedditCFB)

 More of the reactions -- they're pretty entertaining:

Phoebe Buffay would make a fantastic economic adviser: 



Congress is out.

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence, Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Pentagon asked to prep housing for up to 20K migrant children | Senators move to block F-35 transfer to Turkey | Trump Mar-a-Lago trips cost Coast Guard M Pentagon asked about housing 20K migrant children at military bases Senate moves to block F-35 transfer to Turkey MORE and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenSchiff: Nielsen privately said family separations could resume Protester who interrupted DHS chief's dinner works for Justice Department Stephen Miller called 'fascist' by protester at Mexican restaurant MORE.



1:30 p.m. EDT: The Heritage Foundation is holding an event on the national security implications of withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement. Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseGOP senators introduce bill to prevent family separations at border The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Defiant Trump meets with House GOP amid border blowback Sasse: Trump should end 'wicked' family separation policy MORE (R-Neb.) will be speaking. Livestream and details:

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

Sunday morning: Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerOn The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending Senators hammer Ross over Trump tariffs GOP senator demands details on 'damaging' tariffs MORE (R-Tenn.) appears on CBS's "Face the Nation."

8 p.m. EDT: Felix Sater will appear on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes."



Today is National Artichoke Heart Day. And as a nod to my Irish lads, tomorrow is National Corned Beef and Cabbage Day!

No one mentioned corned beef and cabbage :/ -- help the 12:30 Report out:

BuzzFeed has an interesting list of the best meals in each state, according to the people who live there. I'm lookin' at you, Frank Pepe Pizzeria in New Haven.

It's National Panda Day!:

Watch and try not to smile. I dare you.

And because you made it to the end, here is possibly the best news blooper I've ever seen. That is not Rodney.: