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: Breaking - Dragged United passenger had concussion, plans to sue | Insiders push back on talk of Bannon exit | Trump flips on four policies in one day | Trouble for Trump's Mar-a-Lago kitchen | State lawmaker compares Lincoln to Hitler

BREAKING -- WELP, THIS HAS BECOME QUITE THE PRICEY AIRLINE SEAT, HUH?: The passenger who was violently dragged off a United Airlines flight is planning on suing the airline over his treatment. How we know: His lawyer just held a lengthy press conference, which aired on cable news (!) His injuries: A concussion, a broken nose and the loss of two teeth. Dr. David Dao will need to undergo reconstructive surgery, according to his lawyer.

'IS IT TOO LATE TO SAY SORRY?': United Airlines is reportedly compensating all customers who were on the flight.

NEW -- UNITED AIRLINES IS DEVELOPING ACTUAL 'WESTWORLD' TECHNOLOGY TO REWIND THIS WEEK AND LEAVE NO MEMORIES: Via The Los Angeles Times's David Lazarus, United Airlines bumped another passenger this week, this time threatening the passenger with handcuffs. Who they bumped: Geoff Fearns, 59, president of TriPacific Capital Advisors, who paid about $1,000 for a full-priced, first-class ticket. What happened: After Fearns boarded, a United employee told him to get off the plane. "That's when they told me they needed the seat for somebody more important who came at the last minute," Fearns said. "They said they have a priority list and this other person was higher on the list than me ... they said they'd put me in cuffs if they had to." Calling all freshmen PR students -- is this how we handle crisis communications?

It's Thursday. 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 and on Facebook.

COME ONNNN, I THOUGHT WE WENT OVER THIS YESTERDAY. REPEAT AFTER ME -- NO! HITLER! REFERENCES!: Via The Charlotte Observer's Jim Morrill, a North Carolina lawmaker in a Facebook post compared Abraham Lincoln as "the same sort [of] tyrant" as Adolf HitlerFace palm. Quote: "Lincoln was the same sort if [sic] tyrant, and personally responsible for the deaths of over 800,000 Americans in a war that was unnecessary and unconstitutional." Yiiiiiikes

FIRST MUSLIM FEMALE U.S. JUDGE FOUND DEAD IN THE HUDSON RIVER: Via BuzzFeed's Claudia Koerner, "The body of Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first Muslim woman judge in the US, was found Wednesday along the Hudson River in Manhattan." Cause of death: To be determined, but there were no signs of injury or trauma to her body. Keep in mind: "Abdus-Salaam had been reported missing by her husband on Tuesday, police said. The New York Post reported that her death appeared to be suicide."

OK, YOU HAVE TO ADMIT THIS IS SEMI-IMPRESSIVE: Via The Hill's Sylvan Lane, President Trump managed to flip positions on four (!) policies issues yesterday. Ch, ch, ch, chaaaanges: 

1) Labeling China a currency manipulator -- Trump said on Wednesday that China is not artificially deflating the value of its currency, a big change after he repeatedly pledged during his campaign to label the country a currency manipulator.

2) Janet Yellen's future -- Trump said he'd consider nominating Yellen for another term as chairwoman of the Federal Reserve despite attacking her during his presidential campaign.

3) Export-Import Bank -- Trump also threw his support behind the Export-Import Bank, which helps subsidize some U.S. exports, after opposing it during the campaign.

4) NATO -- Trump said NATO is "no longer obsolete" during a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, backtracking on his past criticism of the alliance.

Update:  Stoltenberg said on CNN's "New Day" insisted Trump has been "very consistent" in his support of NATO despite calling it "obsolete."

*COLLEAGUES QUICKLY HIDE THE GOING AWAY PARTY DÉCOR IN A CLOSET*: Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, President Trump has taken chief strategist Stephen Bannon down a peg or two in public, but sources inside and outside the White House tell The Hill that they do not expect Bannon to be ousted despite mounting speculation that his firing is imminent. Reasoning:

A LITTLE TOO LATE: Via CNN's Barbara Starr, the U.S. intelligence community intercepted communications between Syrian military officials and chemical weapons experts discussing preparations for a chemical weapons attack in northern Syria last week. The problem: The communications were intercepted hours AFTER the attack.

Update from Assad: Syrian President Bashar Assad called the chemical attacks a "100 percent fabrication."

SPOTTED IN DUPONT CIRCLE: A massive inflatable Trump chicken. Wow that's...something. Photo:

NEXT UP IN THE SHARK TANK -- TRUMP'S ARMY PICK: President Trump is facing a tough confirmation battle in the Senate over Mark Green, his nominee for Army secretary. Why: Green once said that "transgender is a disease" and that "armed citizens" should fight against efforts to allow transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice. Yeah, sooo, this should be a fun one... 

THAT TIME WHEN...: Former president George W. Bush asked his daughter what it means to be "trending." "I wish I had gotten the rain poncho on a little more cleanly," Bush said. "My daughters were aghast. You know, 'Dad, you're a national tweet sensation,' or whatever they say. 'You're trending,' or whatever the words are. And I said, 'I don't know what the heck that means.' But then I saw the pictures, and I can see why I was trending."

AND ON A MORE SERIOUS NOTE: During the NPR interview, Bush defended foreign aid spending as a moral and security imperative in the face of massive cuts President Trump has proposed to the State Department and United Nations agency budgets.



NBC Nightly News
Police: Ohio boy, 8, says took sister, 4, for ride to McDonald's after learning to drive by watching YouTube videos. 

Media Matters' Matthew Gertz  (The clip is hilarious.)
[Journalist Michael] Wolff: Trump doesn't like NYT's Maggie Haberman.
[Kellyanne] Conway: Why would you say that?
Wolff: Because he's told me.
Conway: That is not true, how dare you.



The House is out. The Senate met pro forma this morning.

2 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the I-85 bridge first responders after the highway collapse in Atlanta.

2 p.m. EDT: The State Department is hosting a live chat for users with questions about applying for or traveling with passports.

3:30 p.m. EDT: CIA Director Mike Pompeo speaks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

5 p.m. EDT: Roger Stone will appear on MSNBC's "MTP Daily" with Chuck Todd

Tonight: President Trump arrives at the Mar-a-Lago resort in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Fun fact: Trump has spent seven of the 13 weekends since becoming president at Mar-a-Lago. "According to NBC News' estimates by Sunday Trump will have spent 28 percent of his term traveling to or staying at Mar-a-Lago."

Another fun fact: Inspectors reportedly found 13 health code violations in the Mar-a-Lago kitchen days before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit.

7 p.m. EDT: Game 1 for the Washington Capitals in the NHL playoffs. What to know:

Sunday: The White House Easter Egg Roll. Back story:

April 20: Marijuana advocates are giving away free joints on Capitol Hill this week. Lol, yep. That is happening

April 26: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will appear in "The Hill's Newsmaker Series: Prospects for Tax Reform." Topics will include key priorities when it comes to overhauling the tax code, prospects for bipartisanship and a timeline for action. RSVP:



1 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sean Spicer gives the daily press briefing -- first one after the Hitler debacleLivestream:

April 27: The creator of "Law & Order" has made a new USA series that looks inside the FBI. Why it's interesting: FBI Director James Comey revealed that he allowed the producers to have access to the FBI's New York offices to boost the agency's image. Trailer:

Released today: U.S. Sikhs launched an ad campaign called "We Are Sikhs" to educate Americans about Sikh Americans.



Today is National Peach Cobbler Day!

HOW TO SURPRISE ANY '90s GIRL YOU KNOW: The Japanese toy maker that created the Tamagotchi is re-releasing the iconic toy 20 years later.

AMERICA IS A BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL PLACE: According to a new report, the average American has 17 different burger options on any 10-minute drive. By comparison: In the same radius, Americans have 4 to 6 options for pizza or Mexican food, which is still a respectable number.

OH WOW -- WHAT AN UBER'S 4-STAR RATING ACTUALLY MEANS: BuzzFeed's Caroline O'Donovan figured out what each of the 5-star ratings actually mean for Uber. Yikes: A 4-star rating is considered failing by Uber's standards. "If you drop below a 4.6, then your career becomes a question."

And because I kept you this long, here's a dog trying to imitate a little girl doing a cartwheel:


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