The Hill's 12:30 Report

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: Spicer's apology tour | United changes passenger removal policy | Trump touts Kansas win | GOP infighting could hurt agenda | Clinton campaign's bickering | Ben Carson gets stuck in an elevator | National Grilled Cheese Day

STEPPING BACK FROM IT ALL -- OMG GUYS, THIS IS A REAL HEADLINE: From CNN: "United CEO: We won't let police drag people off planes anymore." Context: United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" today, where he said he felt "shame" when he saw the viral video of a bloodied passenger dragged off an overbooked plane. "This will never happen again," Munoz said. Full interview with United's CEO: http://abcn.ws/2p7YWM6 

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.

SPICER'S APOLOGY TOUR -- LET'S SAY IT ALL TOGETHER: "NEVER SAY HITLER FROM THE PODIUM": White House press secretary Sean Spicer spent Tuesday afternoon and this morning apologizing on several outlets, including CNN, MSNBC and Politico, for his Hitler blunder. "Frankly, I mistakenly used an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust, for which frankly there is no comparison." Watch the apology: http://bit.ly/2oyvy49 

Back story -- Sean say whaaaa?: White House press secretary Sean Spicer caused an uproar yesterday when he said that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, whose regime gassed millions of Jews during the Holocaust, did not use chemical weapons during World War II. Oh, and!: He also appeared to refer to concentration camps as "Holocaust centers." How did that even come up...?: Spicer was trying to make a point about Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is accused of employing chemical weapons against civilians in the country's ongoing civil war. http://bit.ly/2p7CRh3

Keep in mind: It's Passover...

Watch April Ryan's reaction when she realizes what Spicer said: http://bit.ly/2ptJiKz

Reaction from the Anne Frank Center: The center on Tuesday called for Spicer to be fired. "On Passover no less, Sean Spicer has engaged in Holocaust denial, the most offensive form of fake news imaginable, by denying Hitler gassed millions of Jews to death," executive director Steven Goldstein said in a statement. The center's statement came out before Spicer's public apologies. http://bit.ly/2nEj63k

What the White House is saying about Spicer's future: Two White House advisers don't think Spicer will lose his job. "'If the administration can regain the message, I think Sean will be OK. If not, I think he could be in trouble,' one outside adviser said. A White House official said Trump hadn't shown anger toward Spicer, even though he had after previous briefings." http://politi.co/2oyse91

Latest from Spicer: Spicer on Wednesday said he let President Trump down by saying Nazi leader Adolf Hitler did not use chemical weapons during World War II. Watch: http://bit.ly/2o5UJqw

THAT WASN'T IT IN THIS EPISODE OF SPICER AND THE TERRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY: While apologizing for the Hitler blunder last night, Spicer apparently misspoke again, saying that President Trump is trying to "destabilize" the Middle East. However: Later in the interview, Spicer clarified that the U.S. wants to "bring stability" to the region. http://bit.ly/2p7Oswt

EH THAT RELATIONSHIP DIDN'T MEAN THAT MUCH TO ME, ANYWAY: President Trump on Tuesday seemed to downplay Stephen Bannon's role in his administration when asked how much confidence he has in his chief strategist. "I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late," Trump said. "I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn't know Steve. I'm my own strategist and it wasn't like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary." http://nyp.st/2p6daQP

MOVING HIS WAY TO THE TOP: Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson was reportedly stuck in an elevator this morning for 20 minutes. Firefighters then freed Carson and his wife. Fun fact: Retired NBA player Alonzo Mourning was also at the scene, though he was not in the elevator with Carson. Video: http://bit.ly/2nEgQt1

CONGRATS FROM THE BIG GUY: President Trump tweeted: "Great win in Kansas last night for Ron Estes, easily winning the Congressional race against the Dems, who spent heavily & predicted victory!" http://bit.ly/2pttg3h

KANSAS SPECIAL ELECTION UPDATE -- TAKE A DEEP BREATH IN TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE DOOR: Republican candidate Ron Estes won the special election for Kansas's 4th Congressional District, overcoming an unexpectedly tough challenge and denying Democrats a major upset -- albeit by a much slimmer margin than his Republican predecessor. Yikes that's close: With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Estes has 53 percent of the vote to James Thompson's (D) 46 percent. http://bit.ly/2ot41jZ

GOOD EVENING, SIR. WILL YOU BE HAVING THE TICKING TIME BOMB OR THE POLITICAL FIRESTORM?: Via The Hill's Scott Wong, some Capitol Hill Republicans have envisioned the nightmare scenario for 2017, and it goes like this: No ObamaCare repeal. No tax reform. No trillion-dollar infrastructure package. No border wall. And that could very well happen: Skeptics say the GOP infighting during last month's healthcare collapse may have poisoned the well for future big-ticket legislative deals. http://bit.ly/2ooC3nM

THE NEXT NATURAL QUESTION -- WHAT'S NEXT?: Republicans at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are now debating what to tackle next. Scenarios that could play out: http://bit.ly/2oszAuq

SNEAK PEEK FROM AN UPCOMING CLINTON BOOK: The Hill's Amie Parnes and journalist Jonathan Allen have a new Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: The center strikes back Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE book coming out on April 18. Tidbit: A look at the campaign's internal bickering. "[Clinton had] been humiliated in the Michigan primary ... and now, Jake Sullivan, her de facto chief strategist, was giving her lip about the last answer she'd delivered in the prep session. 'That's not very good,' Sullivan corrected. 'Really?' Hillary snapped back. The room fell silent. 'Why don't you do it?' The comment was pointed and sarcastic, but she meant it." Full excerpt: http://bit.ly/2nEhV49

BETTER UPDATE THOSE RESUMES!: The White House announced it will lift the federal hiring freeze. Let's not get too crazy: "It does not mean the agencies will be free to hire willy-nilly," OMB Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters Tuesday. Why there was a freeze in the first place: From Mulvaney: It "was put in place on day one and [we're]replacing it with a smarter plan, a more strategic plan, a more surgical plan." http://bit.ly/2nEYEzw



Washington Nationals mascot "Screech the Eagle"
Last night I met Reince Priebus at the game! Photo: http://bit.ly/2o5D8zh

CNBC's John Harwood
Mulvaney on infighting: "put it this way. WH gets along better w/itself right now than House of Representatives" http://bit.ly/2oyrT6n 

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus (The clip merges Spicer with a "Veep" clip.)
This feels like an Emmy winning episode to me. Watch: http://bit.ly/2o5nN1m

Time's Ryan Teague Beckwith retweeted, adding: "Turning clips into Veep credits is the new adding the theme from Arrested Development" http://bit.ly/2oXBy7m



Congress is out.

Trump today: President Trump met with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteBottom line No documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden Press: Trump's final presidential pardon: himself MORE (R-Va.) this morning and will meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg this afternoon.

Noon: Girls' education activist Malala Yousafzai is meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and "will become Canada's sixth honorary citizen today, a rare gesture of respect for her bravery in overcoming a brutal Taliban attack to become a champion for girls' education around the world." Livestream of her noon address to Parliament: http://bit.ly/2nE7YUm

April 23: Martin O'Malley, a former governor of Maryland and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, travels to New Hampshire for his first trip of the 2020 campaign cycle. http://bit.ly/2ptyyfd



4 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens StoltenbergLivestream: http://bit.ly/2oym4pm



Today is National Licorice Day! It's also National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day!

LOL AND YOU THOUGHT YOU'VE HAD TACO PIZZA...:Via Thrillist, a pizza restaurant in Hoboken, N.J., now serves pizza topped with actual tacos and guacamole. It's an incredible (albeit disgusting) sight. Video of them assembling the pizza: http://bit.ly/2p5GOFG

And because you were having a far too productive morning, here's a chicken playing "America, the Beautiful" on the piano: http://bit.ly/2nEqeN2


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