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: House Intel releases final Russia report | Faults both Trump, Clinton campaigns | 'No evidence' of collusion | Ryan defends decision to dismiss chaplain | Trump hails Korea breakthrough | Kim Jong Un to seek peace deal | Merkel visiting White House | What to know for WHCA dinner weekend | ABBA's first new songs since 1982

 

MAJOR PROGRESS IN NORTH KOREAN TALKS

OK, so at what point can we talk to Kim Jong Un about that haircut...?:

Back story on the haircut situation: Men in North Korea are only permitted to get one of 15 state-approved haircuts. The list *does not* include Kim's own style: https://nyp.st/2r4inqZ

Anyway...

Via The New York Times's Choe Sang-Hun, North and South Korea have agreed to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Oh and: The two countries have agreed to talks with the United States to officially end the Korean War -- which was fought from 1950–1953. How this happened: A historic meeting when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stepped into South Korea and vowed to negotiate a peace treaty. https://nyti.ms/2FllBfb

Now what -- so, 'bout those nukes: President TrumpDonald John TrumpAl Gore: Trump has had 'less of an impact on environment so far than I feared' Trump claims tapes of him saying the 'n-word' don't exist Trump wanted to require staffers to get permission before writing books: report MORE "and his aides are expected to seek a quick timetable for the North to eliminate its nuclear weapons, mindful that it has failed to deliver on its promises in the past, including a pledge not to develop such weapons." I.e.: Don't get too excited yethttps://nyti.ms/2FllBfb

Video of Kim Jong Un stepping into South Korea: It's pretty fascinating. Watch: https://nyti.ms/2r4Kbfb

REACTION FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP: The president tweeted: "KOREAN WAR TO END! The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!" http://bit.ly/2r5wcp5

 

Happy Friday! It's officially White House Correspondents' Association dinner weekend. 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.

 

BREAKING LATE THIS MORNING

The gist of the House committee's Russia report: All of you acted poorly, but... --> http://bit.ly/2B0odRJ ;)

via GIPHY

The House Intelligence Committee just released its final report on the 2016 presidential election, which found "no evidence" of ties between President Trump's campaign and Russia. Yeah, but: The report did criticize "poor judgment and ill-considered actions" by Trump's campaign -- as well as Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillicon Valley: FBI fires Strzok after anti-Trump tweets | Trump signs defense bill with cyber war policy | Google under scrutiny over location data | Sinclair's troubles may just be beginning | Tech to ease health data access | Netflix CFO to step down Signs grow that Mueller is zeroing in on Roger Stone Omarosa claims president called Trump Jr. a 'f--- up' for releasing Trump Tower emails MORE's campaign. http://bit.ly/2HvN43z

Full report, if formerly top secret documents are your thing: http://bit.ly/2HBojyO

If some of this news sounds familiar: It should. Last month, the committee released a one-page summary of these findings that concluded there was no collusion. But we're now learning the details.

What else we learned: The report said Russia did carry out a "multi-faceted" campaign against the U.S. to "sow fear and division in American society."

REACTION FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP -- THIS WHOLE 'DIRECT-LINE-TO-THE-PRESIDENT'S-THOUGHTS' THING IS CONVENIENT: He tweeted, "Clinton Campaign paid for Opposition Research obtained from Russia- Wow! A total Witch Hunt! MUST END NOW!" http://bit.ly/2I68ukE

 

IN OTHER NEWS

Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanVulnerable Republicans include several up-and-coming GOP leaders Trump ally suspends reelection campaign Congress should prohibit members from serving on company boards MORE: OK, hear me out:

Via The Hill's Melanie Zanona, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) explained to the House Republican Conference this morning why he fired Chaplain Patrick ConroyThe reason: Members felt like their "pastoral needs" were not being met, according to several Republicans inside the room. http://bit.ly/2r4uQLj

BACK STORY: Yesterday afternoon, The Hill's Melanie Zanona and Mike Lillis reported that Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) forced out Chaplain Patrick Conroy, who has been in the role for seven years. The news surprised many members of Congress. What a few Democratic lawmakers think was the real reason: Conroy was critical of the GOP tax-cut bill. Full story -- you can make up your mind: http://bit.ly/2HAwBaq

 

'Don's Hate Reads' is the new 'Oprah's Book Club':

Via The Hill's Amie ParnesPresident Trump is fueling best-seller lists. How: Trump's presidency has been good for business and book sales -- and little evidence of an oversaturated market. Proof: Trump-related books have held the top spot on bestseller lists since January. The books: http://bit.ly/2FocGJA

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

Oh how times have changed -- throwback to 2001's WHCA Dinner:

 

An American gem:

He later tweeted: "*Spoiler Alert* The 'temporary restrooms' in Penn Station are Port o Potties out in the street." http://bit.ly/2HwlP4G 

 

ON TAP:

The House was in this morning. The Senate is out. Both chambers will be out next week.

11:40 a.m. EDT: President Trump welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House. They have a meeting and a working lunch.

2:40 p.m. EDT: President Trump hosts the 2018 White House Correspondents' Association scholarship winners in the White House. It's closed press.

Today: The Supreme Court will likely vote in private on President Trump's travel ban case. Yeah, but: Their decision likely won't come out until June. "Predictions based on oral arguments can be perilous. The justices will likely vote in a scheduled Friday meeting, which is private, and the decision is not expected for about two months. Much can happen behind the scenes during that period." Context from CNN​: https://cnn.it/2FjPgFr

Op-ed on the case: How the court's ruling could have a far-reaching impact. http://bit.ly/2I3Z9tR

  

WHAT TO WATCH:

10:30 a.m. EST: President Trump hosted Team USA Olympic athletes in the White House. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2vMKJM6

10 out of 10 would pet:

1:50 p.m. EDT: President Trump hosts a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the East Room of the White House. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2HxZ2FH

8 p.m. EDT Saturday: The annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2r4A1vD

Parties: Here's a list of the events and parties surrounding the WHCA dinner: https://wapo.st/2HZ2JYM

^Meanwhile: Instead of attending the dinner, President Trump is holding a campaign rally in Washington, Mich. What to know: https://cbsloc.al/2HyfsxV

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Prime Rib Day.

 

'Dancing queen, young and sweet, [no longer] 17, ohhh yeaaah...':
Please oh please bring back those hair styles --> http://bit.ly/2HuQpje 

The pop group ABBA is releasing its first new music since 1982! The group posted on Instagram: "We all four felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the studio. And it was like time stood still." Details: https://bbc.in/2JxcoCL

 

Does Pepper make home visits? I could use a life assistant:

The Smithsonian has a new robot named Pepper who assists museum visitors. She also poses for selfies. Video of Pepper in action: http://bit.ly/2HVFf6s

 

The name really rolls off the tongue:

William and Kate, the duke and duchess of Cambridge, announced the name of their newborn son: Louis Arthur CharlesThat's a long name, so for short: "The baby will be known as His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge." Graphic of the British royal line of succession -- Louis is 5th: https://cnn.it/2KhfjAK

 

And to get your weekend off to the right start, here's a puppy sitting in a watermelon having a snack: http://bit.ly/2r3ZSUF