The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: 10 top Trump VP contenders | WaPo's Dana Milbank will literally eat his column | Sasse's sassy tweet | Trump names finance chairman | Why many German men are getting drunk today

GET YOUR BRACKETS READY – VEEPSTAKES PICKS: Here are the top 10 names being floated for Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE's ticket. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Memo: 'Whistleblower' furor gains steam Liberal super PAC launches browser extension replacing 'Mitch McConnell' with 'Moscow Mitch' Trump faces difficult balancing act with reelection campaign MORENew Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis, Tennessee Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnTaylor Swift 'obsessed' with politics, says she's cautious about celebrity support backfiring for Democrats The evolution of Taylor Swift's political activism Kellyanne Conway responds to Taylor Swift criticism by invoking pop star's lyrics MORE and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Here's the reasoning and chances for each from The Hill's Jonathan Easley

It's Thursday and a Happy Cinco de Mayo! 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 Cinco de Mayo celebration photos to and on Facebook.

JUST IN – ROMNEY TO SKIP GOP CONVENTION: Via The Washington Post's Philip Rucker, "Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, plans to skip this summer's Republican National Convention in Cleveland where Donald Trump will be officially nominated -- an unusual move that underscores the deep unease many Republican leaders have about the brash celebrity mogul as their standard bearer.

ANNOUNCED THIS MORNING – TRUMP NAMES FINANCE CHAIRMAN: Steven Mnuchin will serve as Donald Trump's National Finance Chairman, the campaign announced Thursday. Trump, now the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, regularly touts his ability to self-fund his bid and will be "putting up substantial money toward the general election," according to a statement. But Trump has also said he'll welcome donations as he gears up for the fall. 

AN INTERESTING TURN OF EVENTS: BuzzFeed's Tarini Parti is reporting that Trump's new finance chair has given twice as much to Democrats as to the GOP. This includes working for George Soros.

NO, WE LIKE INDEPENDENCE: The Republican National Committee (RNC) is denying that staffers were told to support presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump or leave by the end of the week. "100% not true," tweeted RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer, linking to a story The New York Times published Wednesday that made the claim. 

TO ENDORSE OR NOT TO ENDORSE: Via The Hill's Alex Bolton, now that Donald Trump is the presumptive presidential nominee, Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzState Department's top arms control official leaving Sanders NASA plan is definitely Earth first Trump judicial picks face rare GOP opposition MORE is in a tough spot on whether to endorse him. Cruz's campaign on Wednesday refused to speculate on an endorsement. In his concession speech Tuesday night, when he ended his own bid, Cruz didn't even mention Trump.

AND IT'S NOT JUST CRUZ: The Hill's Julian Hattem spoke with GOP foreign policy veterans who formed The John Hay Initiative, and with Donald Trump as the nominee, they plan to sit out rather than work to elect him.

GET YOUR POPCORN READY: Last October, The Washington Post's Dana Milbank wrote, "I'm so certain Trump won't win the nomination that I'll eat my words if he does. Literally: The day Trump clinches the nomination I will eat the page on which this column is printed in Sunday's Post." YES, this is going to happen. "The recipes we've assembled look quite promising," Milbank told CNN Money's Brian Stelter. "But we need time to assemble all the, er, ingredients."

THIS IS WHEN THAT PUTTING COAL MINERS OUT OF WORK LINE COMES BACK TO HAUNT YOU: Via The Hill's Devin Henry, ever since Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonUkrainian official denies Trump pressured president The Memo: 'Whistleblower' furor gains steam Missing piece to the Ukraine puzzle: State Department's overture to Rudy Giuliani MORE's March promise to "put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business" as president, she has been struggling in West Virginia. It's now shaping up to be "Feel the Bern" territory.

NOT SO HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: Today, it has officially been one year since the first lab-confirmed case of the Zika virus. It was declared a global health crisis in February 2016. (h/t The Hill's Sarah Ferris.)

I GET IT. C-SPAN IS COOL.: The National Review's Alexis Levinson has a fascinating obituary of John Kasich's presidential campaign. Best line: "He waxed rhapsodic about the dark-chocolate nonpareils ("you don't find these just anywhere") in a northern New Hampshire candy store ... He marveled that moose could keep their heads up with antlers so big, and expressed joy at the most mundane parts of campaigning, like the discovery that he was on C-SPAN."



Bloomberg's Matt Negrin
today I wrote a script so funny it made John Heilemann cry on camera

The Atlantic's Molly Ball
Just ran into Jim Gilmore. "What a nightmare, what a nightmare," he muttered. "Are you going to vote for him?" "Sure."

The Republican Party's official Twitter account (well played, Sen. Sasse.)
Thank you to the entire Republican field for a hard fought race. The Party is better for your efforts.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) responded: I assume this is a parody account?



Congress is still in recess.

Today – tomorrow: World leaders and U.S. officials meet in Washington for the Climate Action 2016 summit. Speakers include Jonathan Pershing, President Obama's climate change envoy; Sens. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinSenate confirms two Treasury nominees over Democratic objections Congress passes bill to begin scenic byways renaissance GOP lawmaker: 'Dangerous' abuse of Interpol by Russia, China, Venezuela MORE (D-Md.) and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyMarkey challenges Democratic Senate campaign opponents to climate change debate Kennedy launches primary challenge against Markey Markey fundraises ahead of Kennedy primary challenge MORE (D-Mass.); and former Vice President Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreGinsburg calls proposal to eliminate Electoral College 'more theoretical than real' Difference between primaries and caucuses matters in this election Emma Thompson pens op-ed on climate change: 'Everything depends on what we do now' MOREAgenda: 

Today – tomorrow: The Medical Device Manufacturers Association is holding its annual meeting at the Hyatt Regency. Speakers include FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf and White House adviser Valerie Jarrett. Agenda: 

3 p.m. EDT: Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonTrump administration floats background check proposal to Senate GOP Republicans wary of US action on Iran Democratic senator warns O'Rourke AR-15 pledge could haunt party for years MORE (R-Wis.), who is in a tough reelection fight, is holding a rally with Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate Krystal Ball touts Sanders odds in Texas MORE (R-Wis.) in Burlington, Wis.

3 p.m. EDT Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll The polls are asking the wrong question Sanders unveils plan to eliminate Americans' medical debt MORE holds a rally in Charleston, W.Va.

4:05 p.m. EDT: President Obama and Vice President Biden host a Cinco de Mayo reception in the East Room of the White House. A president in his final year of office and Joe BidenJoe BidenUkrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' Warren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll MORE celebrating Cinco de Mayo -- anyone else think this sounds like a blast? 

6 p.m. EDT: President Obama, Vice President Biden and first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaPortraits of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeff Bezos headed for National Portrait Gallery Trump: House Judiciary should investigate Obama Netflix deal instead of his business 2020 is not a family affair, for a change MORE celebrate the fifth anniversary of "Joining Forces" and the 75th anniversary of the USO at Joint Base Andrews.

7 p.m. EDT: Donald Trump holds a rally in Charleston, W.Va.

7 p.m. EDT: Bernie Sanders holds a rally in Morgantown, W.Va.

7:45 p.m. EDT: Hillary Clinton holds a campaign event in Los Angeles.



4 p.m. EDT: Speaker Paul Ryan will join Jake Tapper on CNN's "The Lead."



Today is National Enchilada Day!

HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!: Here's a list of where to celebrate with food and drink specials in D.C.

SPOT-ON OR SO, SO WRONG?: Stephen Colbert released a short video outlining how Americans have felt during Donald Trump's rise in the polls.

BEST STORY YOU'LL READ ALL DAY: Via The Washington Post's Rick Noack, "Most male Germans will be drunk today for no particular reason." Here's the back story (although there really isn't much of one. There really is no reason.) Today is German Father's Day, but don't think ceramic hands and "Best Dad" mugs. 

-- "German men traditionally meet up in large groups that are equipped with at least one carefully decorated carriage filled with beer. They then descend on a day-long hike with their very own beer vehicles, but few make it to the end." Oh and while most men choose to leave their phones at home for this weird version of Father's Day, others tweet with the German hashtag #Vatertag.

THIS SOUNDS VILE: Via AdWeek's Tim Nudd, KFC just made edible "finger lickin' good" nail polish that tastes like chicken. "This campaign is designed to be intriguing and fun to increase excitement around the KFC brand in Hong Kong." Excitement? Really? Will it?

And with that, here is what the intro to "Game of Thrones" would look like if it had been made in the 1990s. Spot on, guys.


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