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 threatens to 'get involved' in DOJ fight | Latest Mueller intrigue | Mueller floated subpoena for Trump | Trump swears in Pompeo | Pelosi confident she will run for Speaker after midterms | Trump's former doctor says health letter was dictated | Duck family on K Street | How NYC dog owners took over a public park

 

TALK OF THE MORNING

Trump is not pleased and wants us all to know: 

This morning, 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 lashed out at the ongoing special counsel investigation. He tweeted: "There was no Collusion (it is a Hoax) and there is no Obstruction of Justice (that is a setup & trap). What there is is Negotiations going on with North Korea over Nuclear War, Negotiations going on with China over Trade Deficits, Negotiations on NAFTA, and much more. Witch Hunt!" http://bit.ly/2JKir74

Keep in mind -- Mueller pulled a card out of his back pocket: Via The Washington Post's Carol D. Leonnig and Robert Costa, special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE warned President Trump's lawyers he could subpoena the president to appear before a grand jury. When this happened: Early March. How it came up: When Trump's lawyers said the president has no obligation to talk with special counsel investigators. Why this is so newsy: This is the first time a subpoena has been floated by Mueller in reference to the president. Full story -- it's an important update in the Russia investigation: https://wapo.st/2HIB5Qp

IMPORTANT CONTEXT: Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, speculation that President Trump is preparing to refuse an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller's team is on the rise after The New York Times published a list of purported questions that Mueller's team wants to ask Trump during an interview. Hmmm, seems fishy. How did those get out?: The careful phrasing of the questions has fueled suspicions that Trump's legal team orchestrated the release. How so and what it would mean: http://bit.ly/2w4HqA1

It's Wednesday. 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.

 

T-MINUS 6 MONTHS UNTIL THE MIDTERMS

*Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiTrump digs in amid uproar on zero tolerance policy Trump surprises with consumer agency pick On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump nominates budget official Kraninger for consumer chief | Senate votes to block Trump ZTE deal | Stocks fall on trade tensions | House panel moves to markup budget MORE mocks up business cards with a new title and saves them to her cart on Vistaprint*: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has vowed that Democrats will retake control of the House this year and that she would again run for Speaker. The chances of that happening: Democrats would need to pick up 25 House seats to do so. A RealClearPolitics average of generic ballot polls show Democrats with a nearly 7-point advantage over Republicans. So it's possible. http://bit.ly/2JL2AoJ

"IT'S [ALREADY] MAY" 

--> https://eonli.ne/2Ie0Uaa:

Via The Hill's Reid Wilson, here's a list of the important primaries on the calendar this month: http://bit.ly/2rldhIb

VULNERABLE GOP SEN. HELLER'S SURVIVAL PLAN: Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur Heller20 weeks out from midterms, Dems and GOP brace for surprises Trump to attend fundraiser for Heller Dems seek to seize on data privacy as midterm issue MORE (R-Nev.), the most vulnerable Republican in the Senate is locked in a pitched battle with President Trump over the future of Yucca Mountain, a massive nuclear waste repository located 90 miles outside Las Vegas. Heller is challenging Trump's plans to reopen the facility. The facility is deeply unpopular in Nevada. Why this is good for Heller: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonKoch brothers group won't back Stewart in Virginia Giuliani says his demand for Mueller probe to be suspended was for show Poll: GOP challenger narrowly leads Heitkamp in North Dakota MORE won Nevada in 2016. The clash allows Heller to show his political independence from Trump. http://bit.ly/2HLiK4U

 

FIRST IN THE 12:30 REPORT

All about dat data privacy: American Action Network, a conservative group aligned with House leadership, is launching a six-figure advocacy campaign on data privacy. The goal: To encourage the House Energy and Commerce Committee to protect Americans' online data. From AAN Executive Director Corry Bliss: "Time and time again, Americans have worried about their private information being misused online by bad actors. Members of the Energy and Commerce Committee are working to secure private information online while making the Internet a safer place for our kids. Through this campaign, AAN thanks these members for their hard work so far, and encourages them to keep up their efforts..." The ad: http://bit.ly/2HLDdqg

 

IN OTHER NEWS

Trump: 'You don't want me involved here': President Trump threatened to "get involved" in a roiling dispute between conservative House Republicans and the top Justice Department official overseeing the Russia investigation. He tweeted: "A Rigged System - They don't want to turn over Documents to Congress. What are they afraid of? Why so much redacting? Why such unequal 'justice?' At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the Presidency and get involved!" Keep in mind: House conservatives recently drafted impeachment articles against Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinGowdy: House will use 'full arsenal' of constitutional weapons to get DOJ, FBI compliance on subpoenas Bannon says Trump should fire Rosenstein if he doesn’t comply with subpoenas James Comey's higher disloyalty to America MORE. Rosenstein hit back, saying that DOJ officials wouldn't be extorted. http://bit.ly/2HIT09D

This is completely unsurprising, but not OK at all: Via CNN's Alex Marquardt and Lawrence Crook III, Dr. Harold Bornstein, President Trump's former personal physician, claims that Trump dictated the 2015 letter he wrote praising the then-presidential candidate's health. In Bornstein's words: "He dictated that whole letter. I didn't write that letter. I just made it up as I went along." https://cnn.it/2FAwQAn

CONTEXT FROM THE DAILY BEAST'S SAM STEIN: "We giggle because it's Bornstein and of course his letter was ridiculous. But this should be a major scandal. A presidential candidate deprived voters of immensely critical information: that of his own health. We didn't and don't know what medical condition the president is in. In a fundamental way, this is worse than not releasing his tax returns. That was a deliberate failure of disclosure. This was active deception. And yet.... the doctor looks funny so hahahaha." http://bit.ly/2HGpG3f

KEEP IN MIND -- YESTERDAY: Dr. Bornstein said three Trump associates, including Trump's bodyguard and a top lawyer, showed up at his office in early 2017 and took the president's medical records. Bornstein referred to the incident as a "raid." https://nbcnews.to/2Kx1kqG

Oh and..: When speaking to NBC News, Bornstein said he felt "raped, frightened and sad." Watch: http://bit.ly/2reKrsI

WHITE HOUSE PUSHBACK: Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it was "standard operating procedure" to transfer a new president's medical records and disputed the characterization that it was a "raid."

Just now -- ​lovely: The Associated Press's Jonathon Lemire tweeted, "I just reached Dr. Harold Bornstein on the phone and identified myself as a reporter. His response: 'Oh, you're a reporter? Well, go back and report on how your toilet bowl works.' He then hung up." http://bit.ly/2rg59rk

 

SPOTTED IN DOWNTOWN D.C.

'scuse us, coming through -- make way for ducklings!

A mother duck walked with her ducklings, presumably to Constitution Gardens. A crowd formed and helped the ducks cross K Street.

 

 

 

From another angle: 

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

Lol:

 

The Huffington Post received an *interesting* correction request

 

Happy Birthday, Charlotte!: 

 

ON TAP:

Congress is out.

12:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

3:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in a swearing-in ceremony for the U.S. rep to the Organization of American States.

5:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosVoters should keep eye on 2018 races for state attorneys general Dem lawmakers demand review of Education Department ethics program over official tied to for-profit colleges Restoring the power of the purse MORE.

  

WHAT TO WATCH:

11 a.m. EDT: President Trump participated in the swearing-in ceremony of Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Trump directs Pentagon to create 'Space Force' | Lawmakers say new branch needs their approval | Senate passes 6B defense policy bill | Pentagon suspends planning for 'war game' with South Korea Pompeo: China's calls for trade openness, globalization 'a joke' A mandate for change in Armenia MORELivestream: http://bit.ly/2rhGse7

4:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at the National Teacher of the Year reception in the East Room of the White House. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2HPURVO 

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Truffle Day.

Ahhhhhh, hahaha: A few dog owners in New York found a public park, added a lock and began charging membership fees over Paypal for other dog owners to join. Oh and!: This started almost a decade ago and the city's Parks Department never noticed. "A Parks Department rep admitted the takeover somehow 'flew under the radar,' probably because the agency 'never received any complaints.' " Members have to adhere to 22 strict rules: Including "non-members were not allowed into the park and members were mandated to chase them out if they tried. If members failed to do so, they were kicked out of the group ... no children under 12 allowed; no food, and no 'socially inept dogs.' " The full story is seriously worth reading: https://nyp.st/2FDcjei

And to leave you on a happy note, here are two fluffy puppies just trying to figure out life together: http://bit.ly/2KvXHRY