The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: ISIS No. 2 killed | Trump's gender gap | Candidate tax plan calculator | Manchin's angry call to Clinton | Cherry blossom weekend

DEVELOPING THIS MORNING – ISIS NO. 2 KILLED: A man considered to be the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's second in command was killed by U.S. forces earlier this week, the Pentagon announced. "Removing this [ISIS] leader will hamper the organization's ability to conduct operations both inside and outside Syria and Iraq," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Friday. Carter declined to provide any more details on the operation that killed Haji Imam. More from The Hill's Rebecca Kheelhttp://bit.ly/1VNuNO3 

It's Friday, and the cherry blossoms are peaking this weekend! Engage maximum tourist and allergy overdrive. I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of what you missed this morning and what's on tap for the rest of the day. Send comments, story ideas and your cherry blossom photos to cmartel@thehill.com@CateMartel and on Facebook.

NEW THIS MORNING – NOW THAT'S A SLAP IN THE FACE TO TRUMP: Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Republican (!), said he's open to voting for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Monica Lewinsky responds to viral HBO intern's mistake: 'It gets better' Virginia governor's race poses crucial test for GOP MORE over Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care MORE for president. This story is a taste of how a Trump/Clinton general election could result in total chaos. Gulp. http://bit.ly/1q5KunM

YES, UNFORTUNATELY THIS STORY IS STILL GOING ON: A Donald Trump aide has fulfilled the businessman's threat to "spill the beans" on Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Ted Cruz says critical race theory is as racist as 'Klansmen in white sheets' Pentagon pulling 'certain forces and capabilities,' including air defenses, from Middle East MORE's wife, Heidi. The dirt: "She is a Bush operative, she worked for the architect of NAFTA, which has killed millions of jobs in this country, she was a member on the Council on Foreign Relations who in Sen. Cruz's own words called a nest of snakes that seeks to undermine national sovereignty and she's been working for Goldman Sachs, the same global bank that Ted Cruz left off of his financial disclosure," said Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson. The gist: Trump thinks Heidi Cruz was working against what Ted Cruz stands for. http://bit.ly/1UNU0Iw

WE'LL LET THAT BE A 'WHEN WE RETURN FROM RECESS' PROBLEM: Via The Hill's Sarah Ferris, Republicans have departed Washington for a two-week recess without moving any closer to a budget deal. Now, when they return in mid-April, Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanNow we know why Biden was afraid of a joint presser with Putin Zaid Jilani: Paul Ryan worried about culture war distracting from issues 'that really concern him' The Memo: Marjorie Taylor Greene exposes GOP establishment's lack of power MORE (R-Wis.) will have just four days to bridge wide gaps. Here's where the budget battle stands now: http://bit.ly/1Sl214d

AN INTERESTING PERSPECTIVE – BELGIUM'S UNDERSTATED MOOD: Via The New York Times's Dan Bilefsky, following 9/11 and the Paris attacks, there was an outpouring of patriotism with the American and French flags plastered everywhere. But not so in Belgium. "We Belgians do not wrap ourselves in the flag -- it is not our way," said Nicolas Gallet, 19. Why: The country is politically fragmented between the Dutch-speaking area in the north and the French-speaking part of the south. http://nyti.ms/1RkogbN

I BET THIS WAS A FUN CONVERSATION: Via The Wall Street Journal's Peter Nicholas, Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Manchin is right on the filibuster, but wrong on the PRO Act Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (D-W.Va.) was so livid over Hillary Clinton's remarks about the coal industry that he called her up and said, "My God." http://on.wsj.com/1RkqCr9

DEVELOPMENT IN THE HRC EMAIL SERVER INVESTIGATION: Via The Hill's Julian Hattem, conservative legal watchdogs have discovered new emails from Hillary Clinton's private email server dating back to the first days of her tenure as secretary of State. Why this matters: Clinton's presidential campaign has previously claimed she did not use her clintonemail.com account before March 2009, weeks after she was sworn in as secretary of State. The discovered email was dated Feb. 13, 2009. http://bit.ly/1UpjjkK

NERD PROM IS A MONTH AWAY: Via The Hill's Judy Kurtz, the White House Correspondents' Association dinner is a month away, and here are the Hollywood names already expected to attend: Alan Cumming and Chris Noth of "The Good Wife," "Orange is the New Black" actress Natasha LyonneAnnaLynne McCord of "90210," and "Quantico" star Priyanka Choprahttp://bit.ly/1UgSZcb

THE CAPITOL IS EMERGING FROM ITS SHELL!: Scaffolding removal is complete at the cupola level of the U.S. Capitol dome. Here's a photohttp://bit.ly/1pLPwG9

YOU GOTTA BE POPULAR WITH DA LADIES: Via The Hill's Ben Kamisar -- first Megyn Kelly, then Carly Fiorina, now Heidi Cruz. GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump's controversial attacks on Ted Cruz's wife are spotlighting what could be one of Trump's biggest vulnerabilities in the general election: his poll numbers with women.  A new CNN survey, taken before the spat with the Cruzes, showed 73 percent of registered female voters have an unfavorable view of Trump. http://bit.ly/1ob1bwf

TAX PLAN CALCULATOR: Vox has a simple calculator that tells you how each presidential candidate's tax plan affects you. http://bit.ly/1LMnPXh

KIMMEL MANSPLAINS: Hillary Clinton appeared on Jimmy Kimmel's show last night, where he mansplained her stump speech. Three-minute clip: http://bit.ly/1MpAjUL



C-SPAN'S Howard Mortman
Shhhh.....Don't tell the tourists about the best, easiest, quietest, beautifulest place to see Cherry Blossoms in DC http://bit.ly/1ob4wLO

CBS's Mark Knoller
First Family even got a drive-by the Cherry Blossoms along 15th St NW. http://bit.ly/1RAWpjj 

GOP Strategist Rick Wilson (Gilmentum, baby!)
Second look at Gilmore? http://bit.ly/1Pv5tVF 

Politico's Katelyn Fossett
Onion headline from 2006: 80 percent of Al-Qaeda's No. 2s Now Dead: http://bit.ly/1ZAfnN8 



1 p.m. EDT: Hillary for America will hold a press call featuring former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leon Panetta, retired Maj. Gen. Tony Taguba and former senior U.S. government official Rand BeersRand BeersNational security figures urge Trump to disclose foreign business ties DNC creates cybersecurity board The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE.

3:45 p.m. EDT: Bernie SandersBernie SandersCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay MORE holds a rally in Portland, Ore.

10 p.m. EDT: Sanders holds a rally in Seattle.

1 p.m. tomorrow: The Washington State Democratic caucus starts. At stake: 101 bound delegates.

2 p.m. tomorrow: The Alaska Democratic caucus starts. At stake: 16 bound delegates

6 p.m. EDT tomorrow: Sanders holds a rally in Madison, Wis.

7 p.m. tomorrow: The Hawaii Democratic presidential preference poll will be held. At stake: 25 bound delegates

Sunday: Easter!

Sunday morning: Ted Cruz will appear on "Fox News Sunday."

Sunday morning: Sanders will appear on CNN's "State of the Union."



Today is International Waffle Day! And in the spirit of weekend creativity, here's a short video of chefs putting odd foods into waffle makers – and most worked! I'm lookin' at you, "waffle quesadilla." ;) http://bit.ly/1RDdFuu

FUN READ – THE WORLD'S MOST UNUSUAL COLORS: There's a library at Harvard that stores and protects the world's rarest colors. Included in the most unusual colors are beetle extracts, poisonous metals, and human mummies. These photos are pretty cool. http://bit.ly/1RAUdYX

I MEAN, THIS PROBABLY WON'T HELP PERCEPTIONS OF THE METRO...: Via PopVille, The Columbia Heights metro stop is installing new escalators (!) But they're closing the entire East side entrance for nine months (!) to build it. http://bit.ly/1Sl5gJ8

HERE'S SOME WEEKEND POSITIVE MOTIVATION: J.K. Rowling shares her publishing rejection letters. Slay on, J.K.! http://ti.me/1WNXl8n

And to kick off the weekend vibes, here's a puppy that is doing it (life) correctly: http://bit.ly/22zNIB4


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