The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report -- Live from Trump's foreign policy address | 'Major' Cruz announcement | Hastert sentenced | Trump needs just 287 delegates | Ryan's Puerto Rico problem | Bernie at WHCD

FOR YOUR RADAR -- THIS IS GONNA BE YUUUUUGE: Republican presidential candidate Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP strategist predicts Biden will win nomination, cites fundraising strength 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters MORE is promising a "major announcement" during his 4 p.m. Indianapolis rally. Speculation: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has yet to endorse, and talk persists that he may lend his support to Cruz. And reports this week said Cruz has been vetting Carly Fiorina as a potential running mate and could even announce his No. 2 during the primary. Or maybe he's announcing that Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan moving family to Washington Embattled Juul seeks allies in Washington Ex-Parkland students criticize Kellyanne Conway MORE will take his place in the presidential race?! Just kidding about that last one ;)

BREAKING – FIORINA SPOTTED IN INDIANA: Via NBC's Hallie Jackson, "Carly Fiorina's in Indianapolis - spotted by NBC News cameras."

Happy Hump Day! Filing from The Mayflower Hotel where Donald TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE is delivering his foreign policy address -- and once again testing out a shiny, new teleprompter -- 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 upcoming events to and on Facebook.

HEY, I LOOK LIKE A PRESIDENT!: In an effort to prove critics wrong, today kicks off a series of policy speeches for Donald Trump. He is discussing his foreign policy at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Note: the event was originally scheduled for The National Press Club, but was moved at the last minute to the bigger venue. Trump is using a teleprompter for the second time, a major difference from his usual off-the-cuff speeches that tend to make news. Live stream: 

The Daily Mail's David Martosko
Trump FP brain trust enters, including Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsDOJ should take action against China's Twitter propaganda Lewandowski says he's 'happy' to testify before House panel The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE and Jim Gilmore ...

BREAKING – HASTERT SENTENCED: Former Speaker Dennis Hastert was just sentenced to 15 months in prison in the hush money case. The judge also ruled that Hastert must face 2 years of supervised release, during which he will be prohibited from contacting the alleged victims, noting that his sentencing was limited to the federal financial criminal charges. The crime is what federal prosecutors call his “known sexual acts against” a 14-year-old boy and other teenagers. Here are tweets from the courtroom:

Politico's Natasha Korecki
Judge directly asks Hastert if he sexually abused victims. At Stephen Reinbolt, Hastert pauses: "yes" Jolene Burdge breaks into sobs.

Fox News's Chad Pergram
Hastert attorney on Former Speaker: He sits alone at home confined to wheelchair unable to care for himself. 

MORE BREAKING NEWS – SANDERS ATTENDING WHCD: Via Politico's Hadas Gold, Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Top adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE is attending the White House Correspondents' Dinner as CBS's guest. Tweet from MSNBC's Alex Seitz-Wald: "I'm told he's not wearing a tux because he doesn't own one."

WINNAHS AND LOSAHS LAST NIGHT: Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, Donald Trump is the biggest winner of the night, winning all five states last night, giving him a nudge toward the nomination. Trump now needs 57 percent of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Polls flash warning signs for Trump Polls suggest Sanders may be underestimated 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall MORE, who won four of the five Democratic contests last night, is the second biggest winner. Clinton will likely end up over 300 pledged delegates ahead of Bernie Sanders. There's no real doubt she'll be the nominee at this point. Losers: Bernie Sanders had respectable results and even won Rhode Island, but it's a game of delegate math at this point, and Sanders is far behind Clinton. Ted Cruz and John Kasich had a miserable night with such distant finishes that it's going to be hard for them to claim they're credible contenders for the nomination, even if the battle goes beyond the first ballot at the Republican National Convention.

ANNOUNCED THIS MORNING ­– OBAMA TO FLINT: Via The Hill's Timothy Cama, President Obama is planning to visit Flint, Mich., next week to speak about the city's ongoing water contamination crisis. The White House said Wednesday in a Medium post that Obama made the pledge to visit in a letter to 8-year-old Mari Copeny, a Flint resident who wrote to him about the crisis. He'll visit May 4.

SO, COLLEAGUES, HOW DO WE FEEL ABOUT THIS?: Via The Hill's Kristina Wong and Rebecca Kheel, fears are growing in Congress about the deeper U.S. involvement in the Middle East. The latest flashpoint: President Obama's decision this week to send an additional 250 special operations troops to Syria, where they will support forces battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Obama's side: The president insists the new deployment is not a case of mission creep, arguing the troops are enabling local forces, not directly engaging in combat.

HERE'S A FUN FACT: During a Facebook Live interview, The Hill's Jonathan Swan spoke with Brittany Kaiser of Ted Cruz's top data mining firm, Cambridge Analytics, about the data campaigns compile that can predict if and how a person will vote. When Swan asked how many data points the firm would have per person, Kaiser responded, "We would know about 2,000 to 5,000 things about you." Laughs nervously.

RYAN'S GOT 99 PROBLEMS AND A MAJORITY'S ONE (ERR... MOST): Via The Hill's Peter Schroeder, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is pressing his conference to back legislation providing debt relief to Puerto Rico, but it's not even clear if he can muster a majority of votes. Why: Conservatives are grumbling about helping the territory rework a massive debt burden built over decades, saying they won't back a "bailout."

POPULAR VOTE FACTOID: Via Politico's Kyle CheneyDonald Trump has surpassed Mitt Romney's popular vote total from four years ago. Trump is also on the track to break the GOP record. Numbers: Trump has received 9.9 million votes, already 100,000 more than Romney.

PAC OF THE DAY: "Delegate Ninjas for Liberty"

A NAME WE ALL KNOW MOVING TO AN OUTLET WE ALL KNOW: Journalist and former MSNBC host Alex Wager is joining The Atlantic as a senior editor. "She will write for The Atlantic, moderate events with AtlanticLIVE, and help to develop video and TV projects with The Atlantic Studios."

NEW HAMPSHIRE NEWS: Liz Johnson, Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteTrump makes rare trip to Clinton state, hoping to win back New Hampshire Key endorsements: A who's who in early states Sinema, Gallagher fastest lawmakers in charity race MORE's (R-N.H.) communications director, transitions this week from D.C. to Manchester, N.H., as communications director for Ayotte's reelection campaign. 



The Daily Beast's Gideon Resnick (this gif of Chris Christie's wife is painful)
This is brutal

Yahoo!'s Olivier Knox
Ryan and Obama see their roles the same way. Stay out (-ish) of the primary then try to unite the party. 

Bloomberg's Jennifer Epstein
Trump on Clinton, on MJ: "I haven't quite recovered... from her shouting" last night. Added he'll get used to her "shouting" for general. 

MTV's Hanif Abdurraqib (haha!)
you can see the exact point where that woman reconsiders her vote [for Ted Cruz] after he says "basketball ring"



11 a.m. EDT: The Senate took a cloture vote on the energy and water spending bill.

12 p.m. EDT: Donald Trump gives a foreign policy address at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.

1:45 p.m. EDT: Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is holding a town hall with millennials at the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service. Live stream: 

2:30–5:45 p.m. EDT: Two sets of votes for the House on suspension bills.

3 p.m. EDT: President Obama presents the "Commander-in-Chief" trophy to the U.S. Naval Academy football team. 

4 p.m. EDT: Ted Cruz holds a rally in Indianapolis. Note: He will be making a "major" announcement.

6 p.m. EDT: Donald Trump holds a rally with former basketball coach Bobby Knight in Indianapolis.



Today is National Prime Rib Day! To celebrate, Chart House has prime rib for $19.61 -- the year the restaurant was founded. 

HISTORY SECTION -- 4,800-YEAR OLD FOSSIL FOUND: A 4,800 year fossil of a mother embracing a baby was found in Taiwan. Here are photos:

AN EXHIBIT TO SEE THIS SPRING: Last summer's beach exhibit at the National Building Museum featuring 650,000 plastic balls is being repurposed for another exhibit. The new exhibit, called "Raise/Raze," features the same white balls glued together to form building blocks. After one day of tickets on sale, the entire first week is sold out. Act quickly if you want tickets!

HOPE YOU DIDN'T GET USED TO THAT WARM WEATHER YESTERDAY: ...because it was a TEASE. The Capital Weather Gang is reporting that today brings a cooler, cloudier and more unsettled weather pattern, which will stick around D.C. into next week. Oh well. Enjoy the cooler weather, I guess. It won't be around for long.

And with that, here is a penguin suffering from a fear of water who learns to swim. It's precious.


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This story was updated at 1:05 p.m.