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 lashes out after Comey interview | Accuses Comey, McCabe of 'many crimes' | What we learned from Comey's '20/20' sitdown | Trump lawyer Cohen expected in court today | Syria strikes revive war debate | GOP looks for path forward after Ryan | Senate panel to take up bill protecting Mueller | Bad weekend for DC sports | Flood phone alert wakes up Washington

 

THIS A.M.

Future story prediction: Trump demands royalties on Comey book:

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 accused former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGiuliani says his demand for Mueller probe to be suspended was for show Cuomo, Smerconish and Melber – Where facts matter Hillicon Valley: Supreme Court takes up Apple case | Senate votes to block ZTE deal | Officials testify on Clinton probe report | Russia's threat to undersea cables | Trump tells Pentagon to create 'space force' | FCC begins T-Mobile, Sprint deal review MORE and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeLive coverage: FBI chief, Justice IG testify on critical report Gowdy: House will use 'full arsenal' of constitutional weapons to get DOJ, FBI compliance on subpoenas James Comey's higher disloyalty to America MORE of committing "many crimes." It was only the last salvo: Trump tweeted about Comey over the weekend, including calling him "Slippery James Comey" and blasting the forthcoming book. http://bit.ly/2EQh049

It's a dreary Monday in April -- this is not the spring we signed up for! I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and puppy videos to cmartel@thehill.com@CateMartel and on Facebook.

 

TALK OF THE MORNING


Comey: 'Just make sure you spell my name right' ;)

Fired FBI Director James Comey has begun his media blitz, gearing up for his memoir's release tomorrow. The kickoff: Comey pulled no punches in the highly anticipated ABC News "20/20" interview that aired last night, calling President Trump "morally unfit" to lead the nation. http://bit.ly/2H44ZOG


FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE INTERVIEW: 

  1. It's on -- Comey hit Trump full-force -- Comey threw big punches from start to finish.
  2. Did he go too far? -- Given how Comey holds himself out as a paragon of ethical leadership -- his book is titled "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership" -- it seemed incongruous to hear him mock Trump's hairstyle and facial coloring.
  3. Fresh ammunition for both sides-- Those who like Comey and those who loathe him will both find enough in the ABC interview to reinforce their positions.
  4. No big regrets -- Comey was forthright about how he felt in the closing stretch of the 2016 election campaign.
  5. A shadow campaign is underway -- The White House clearly sees the threat Comey poses.

More from The Hill's Niall Stanage: http://bit.ly/2JQTjfS


$$ LINES: 

Talking to Obama: Comey told former President Obama he dreaded prospect of working under Trump. http://bit.ly/2HIg0lX

On Russia: "I think it's possible," Comey said when asked if the Russians "have something" on Trump. http://bit.ly/2HqID9a

On obstruction of justice: Comey said there's "certainly some evidence" that Trump obstructed justice. "It would depend and -- and I'm just a witness in this case, not the investigator or prosecutor, it would depend upon other things that reflected on his intent," Comey said. http://bit.ly/2EQ7Oww

On reopening the Clinton probe right before the election: "I felt like I was totally alone, that everybody hated me," Comey said. "And that there wasn't a way out because it really was the right thing to do." Watch: http://bit.ly/2EPmpbS

On Trump's morals: "I think he's morally unfit to be president. A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they're pieces of meat, who lies constantly." http://bit.ly/2H4c6T8

 

Here are a few highlights on his upcoming media tour: 

Keep in mind: "Comey's DC book party is the same night [as] the first Trump administration State Dinner." (h/t CNN's Kate Bennetthttp://bit.ly/2viyXJn



HAPPENING AT 2 P.M.

If Bravo doesn't show up to this hearing with cameras, I will:

President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen will appear in court today to dispute a raid of his office and hotel room. Livestream of the courthouse in New York: http://bit.ly/2JQLve6

NEW -- In a court filing this morning: President Trump's lawyers said that the raids last week to gather evidence about Cohen's business dealings were "completely unprecedented." http://bit.ly/2qE3POH

What to expect during the hearing: "Cohen will continue his attempt to have a restraining order placed against the U.S. for materials taken from his office and residences following a court-authorized search a week ago." https://nbcnews.to/2IYsNQo

Expected at the hearing -- wow: "[Michael Cohen], his attorneys, Trump's attorneys, federal prosecutors, and Stormy Daniels with her attorney are all expected to be in court Monday." https://nbcnews.to/2IYsNQo

What to know about the case: Here's a breakdown of why this case matters. https://wapo.st/2qDtLdc



LIKE WHAT YOU SEE HERE

The Hill's Jonathan Easley and Alexis Simendinger just launched The Hill's Morning Report for your a.m. commute. The inaugural newsletter: http://bit.ly/2J0yGN3

 

THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS

Bring us your leader:

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney and Juliegrace Burfke, House Republicans are grappling with the future of their caucus amid intense jockeying in the wake of Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump digs in amid uproar on zero tolerance policy Mark Sanford’s troubles did not begin with Trump NY Post blasts Trump, GOP over separating families at border MORE's (R-Wis.) decision to retire at the end of the term. The likely replacement: House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Outcry raises pressure on GOP for immigration fix Hillicon Valley: Trump hits China with massive tech tariffs | Facebook meets with GOP leaders over bias allegations | Judge sends Manafort to jail ahead of trial | AT&T completes Time Warner purchase McCarthy: 'The Mueller investigation has got to stop' MORE (R-Calif.), but the House Freedom Caucus could complicate things. http://bit.ly/2EQmbRC

WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING IN CONGRESS THIS WEEK:

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE: The Senate Judiciary Committee has added legislation limiting Trump's ability to fire special counsel Robert Mueller to its agenda for a Thursday business meeting.

Taxes: The House Rules Committee is expected to take up three bills aimed at modernizing and revamping the IRS.

Tribal sovereignty: The Senate will take up legislation making it harder for labor unions to organize workers at casinos owned and operated by Native American tribes and located on tribal land.

Details for each: http://bit.ly/2EQmbRC

Op-eds: Here's an argument for the Syrian bombing campaign http://bit.ly/2qBQkjs and an argument on why they were "a wasted opportunity." http://bit.ly/2HByy77

 

IN OTHER NEWS


Another day, another painful Washington sports loss: ^Now that's an evergreen headline if I've ever seen one.

Last night, the Washington Capitals once again blew a two-goal lead against the Columbus Blue Jackets, losing in overtime again. The situation: The Caps lost its first two home games and now head to Columbus for Games 3 and 4 in the first round of the playoffs. Whoever wins four games first advances. https://wapo.st/2JPSMuH

The next game: Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

AND THE WIZARDS...:

Over the weekend, the Washington Wizards lost, 114-106, to the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the NBA playoffs. https://wapo.st/2J0acUe

The next game: Tomorrow at 7 p.m. EDT.

 

A SERIES TO READ THIS WEEK

The opioids crisis gets pretty personal:

The Hill has talked to House and Senate lawmakers with a personal connection to the opioid crisis for a five-part series.

FIRST INSTALLMENT: 

Via The Hill's Rachel Roubein, here's how the opioid crisis has taken a personal toll on Washington, D.C. The graphics are fascinating: http://bit.ly/2H5mvhm



NOTABLE TWEETS:

Angering the DMV this morning:

 

 


Same -- and I think we should both be concerned: 


ON TAP:

The House is in. The Senate will meet later this afternoon. President Trump is in Florida and Vice President Pence is in Colorado for the day.

This morning: President Trump left the White House for Miami.

This morning: Vice President Pence leaves Washington, D.C., for Colorado Springs, Colo.

Today: The Boston Marathon.

12:40 p.m. EDT: President Trump hosts a roundtable on tax cuts with small business leaders in Hialeah, Fla. He then travels to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

1:05 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in a roundtable with the Space Foundation Board of Directors in Colorado.

1:15 -- 6:30 p.m. EDT: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Transatlantic Business Works Summit in Washington, D.C. Schedule and speakers: https://uscham.com/2qGNkCz

1:55 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at the 34th annual Space Symposium in Colorado.

3 p.m. EDT: The House meets.

5:30 p.m. EDT: Votes in the Senate. Their schedule today: http://bit.ly/2vjoj4N

6:20 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence gets back to Washington, D.C.

6:30 p.m. EDT: Votes in the House.

Tuesday: Tax Day. 

Tuesday: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe heads to President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for meetings. https://cnn.it/2HtcZIe

8:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday: Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSenate chaplain offers prayer 'as children are being separated from their parents' Senate passes 6B defense bill This week: House GOP caught in immigration limbo MORE (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will speak at a Christian Science Monitor event. http://bit.ly/2EPxppH

100 days away -- July 25: "JAY-Z and Beyoncé begin the North American leg of their 'On The Run II' tour." (h/t AP Planner) http://bit.ly/2IVqI7R

 

WHAT TO WATCH:

Tuesday night: Former FBI Director James Comey will appear on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." This is his first appearance on a late-night comedy program. http://bit.ly/2oWPD2v

10 a.m. EDT Friday: Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson speaks at an American Enterprise Institute event. Details and livestream: http://bit.ly/2qAinQc

 


NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Eggs Benedict Day.

 

Trending -- This little girl is all of us: 

At the Washington Capitals game last night, a little girl tried to catch a puck and failed. One of the players noticed and what then happened is hilarious and adorable: http://bit.ly/2HCBrVp

Watch --> http://bit.ly/2HC7a8X

 

And because it's a dreary Monday and you deserve happy thoughts, here's one of my favorite videos: a beagle casually riding a scooter: http://bit.ly/2IXzzpw