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: Trump says 'pain' from China tariffs will make US 'stronger' | Weak March jobs report | Trump doesn't plan to attend correspondents' dinner | Trump denies talk of replacing Sessions with Pruitt | New sanctions on Russian oligarchs | World's biggest Chick-fil-A opening | National Caramel Popcorn Day

 

ANNOUNCED THIS A.M.

New jobs report -- womp.:

The U.S. economy added 103,000 jobs in March, well below expectations, as President TrumpDonald John Trump20 weeks out from midterms, Dems and GOP brace for surprises Sessions responds to Nazi comparisons: 'They were keeping the Jews from leaving' Kim Jong Un to visit Beijing this week MORE's calls for billions in tariffs on imports raises concerns about their effects on the nation's steady expansion. But the employment rate hasn't changed: The unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent for the sixth straight month, the lowest level since December 2000. http://bit.ly/2Jq1Bv0

THIS A.M. -- TRUMP ACKNOWLEDGED SOME 'PAIN' FOR THE U.S. ECONOMY: During an interview on 77 WABC, President Trump said that tariffs targeting China over intellectual property theft could cause some "pain" in the U.S. economy, but promised that America would emerge stronger as a result. He also acknowledged the initial reaction from markets is likely to be negative. "We're going to be much stronger for it," he added later in the interview. http://bit.ly/2EpwBrh

 

Happy Friday. 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@CateMartel and on Facebook.

 

Another Trump-less dinner:

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President Trump will not attend the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) dinner this year. Instead: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will represent the White House at the head table. No Trump, but: The president won't attend, but "he will actively encourage members of the executive branch to attend and join us as we celebrate the First Amendment," the WHCA wrote in a statement on Twitter. Full statement: http://bit.ly/2EqcU2x

 

GETTING TRACTION

Ohhh so that's who's been showing up for work with a fake mustache and nose: 

Via The Hill's Katie Bo Williams, Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSessions responds to Nazi comparisons: 'They were keeping the Jews from leaving' Laura Ingraham: Migrant child detention centers 'essentially summer camps' Senate chaplain offers prayer 'as children are being separated from their parents' MORE quietly tapped U.S. Attorney John Huber -- apparently last fall -- to work in tandem with the Justice Department's inspector general to determine whether conservative allegations of abuse at the FBI and the Justice Department merit investigation. Why this is newsy: It's an unusual arrangement, and one that falls short of demands from the right that Sessions name a second special counsel. What to know about Huber: He is known as a no-nonsense prosecutor whose primary experience is fighting violent crime. Full story -- it's pretty interesting: http://bit.ly/2EoJylf

 

LATEST MIDTERM NEWS

Are we feeling blue or are we feeling red?: 
The nonpartisan election analyst Cook Political Report has shifted 13 House races toward the Democratic Party ahead of November's midterm elections. Including: Races in New Jersey, California and North Carolina. What this means for November: http://bit.ly/2EpEOeY

 

NEW RUSSIA SANCTIONS

The biggest move against Russia yet: 
The Trump administration announced this morning it will sanction seven Russian oligarchs and a dozen companies they own and control. Context: This is the administration's most aggressive effort yet to curb the activities of influential Russian business elites.

Included in the sanctions: Oleg Deripaska, an oligarch with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Trump former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortVirginia jail says Manafort is not receiving 'special privileges' Live coverage: FBI chief, Justice IG testify on critical report The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Outcry raises pressure on GOP for immigration fix MORE; the chairman of Russian energy giant Gazprom; Putin adviser Suleiman Kerimov; and Kirill Shamalov, who married Putin's daughter in 2013. http://bit.ly/2GILh6D

 

QUOTE THAT’S GETTING TRACTION

*Snaps in a Z formation*:

Former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaWhite House pushes back on Laura Bush criticism of family separation Rosalynn Carter: Separating families at border is ‘a shame to our country' Michelle Obama on Laura Bush op-ed: 'Sometimes truth transcends party' MORE compared her husband's presidency to having "the good parent" at home. Full quote — on her husband's presidency: The Obama administration "was like having the 'good parent' at home. The responsible parent, the one who told you to eat your carrots and go to bed on time." Full quote — on the Trump administration: "And now we have the other parent. We thought it’d feel fun — maybe it feels fun for now because we can eat candy all day and stay up late and not follow the rules." Where she said this: At the Simmons Leadership Conference in Boston. http://bit.ly/2GDzb2H

 

IN OTHER NEWS

The waters are still stormy: 

Yesterday, President Trump broke his silence on Stormy Daniels, saying he had no knowledge of a $130,000 payment his personal attorney made to the porn star days before the 2016 presidential election. Show us the money: Trump said he did not know his attorney Michael Cohen got the money to pay Daniels. Why this is so newsy: Never shy about sharing his opinions, Trump had remained conspicuously silent about Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, during weeks of press coverage. http://bit.ly/2uR3OfQ

Ooooph, this New York Daily News cover --> http://bit.ly/2GXHUfA

REACTION FROM DANIELS'S LAWYER -- THANKS!: Stormy Daniels's attorney, Michael Avenatti, said President Trump helped his client's case "exponentially" by claiming not to have any knowledge of the $130,000 payment his personal attorney made to the porn star days before the 2016 election. His reasoning: "You can't have an agreement when one party claims to know nothing about it." http://bit.ly/2q8ZLX8

 

Should he stay or should he go? http://bit.ly/2qbc2K1:

President Trump just denied reports that he is considering replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions with Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittPress: Drain the swamp – of Scott Pruitt Overnight Energy: Supreme Court to rehear Alaska moose hunter case | Greens to sue Trump's Chicago hotel | EPA stops having press aide review grants Supreme court to rehear Alaska moose hunter, hovercraft case MORE, whom he said is "doing a great job" leading the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but "TOTALLY under siege." He tweeted: "Do you believe that the Fake News Media is pushing hard on a story that I am going to replace A.G. Jeff Sessions with EPA Chief Scott Pruitt, who is doing a great job but is TOTALLY under siege? Do people really believe this stuff? So much of the media is dishonest and corrupt!" http://bit.ly/2GGyCkW

WHAT SPARKED THIS TWEET, OTHER THAN THE OBVIOUS: Minutes before the president's tweet, CNN aired a report stating that Trump has privately discussed the Cabinet move as recently as this week, even as Pruitt facing mounting ethics scrutiny. More details: https://cnn.it/2JlKwSN

  

NOTABLE TWEETS:

Oh, D.C...:

 

The Onion wins again:

 

Fun times at 1600 Penn.:

  

ON TAP -- NOT MUCH:

Congress is out.

11 a.m. EDT: President Trump receives an intelligence briefing.

Tuesday, April 10: President Trump will host Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the White House. Keep in mind: This meeting is happening as the Trump administration tries to encourage several Middle Eastern nations to reestablish diplomatic ties with the country. http://bit.ly/2Jq7bxB

 

WHAT TO WATCH:

2 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives a press briefing. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2HfKWJR

8 p.m. EDT: MSNBC is airing a special on Apple, featuring an interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Caramel Popcorn Day.

 

*Slowly starts chanting* Chick-fil-A, Chick-fil-A! CHICK-FIL-A!: 

The world's largest Chick-fil-A has opened in New York City. "With floor-to-ceiling windows on each level, there's three levels of dining with seating for 140 guests and two kitchens. A staircase with a skylight will lead you to a rooftop terrace that offers views of One World Trade Center." But as expected: This store will be closed Sunday. https://abcn.ws/2Hfouk8

 

And because you read this far, here's a hamster eating a tiny slice of pizza: http://bit.ly/2GXBmhb