The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

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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: Rep. Slaughter dies at 88 | Talk of Trump, Kelly truce | Trump reportedly planning to remove McMaster | Stormy Daniels's lawyer claims client was threatened | National Panda Day



Rep. Louise SlaughterDorothy (Louise) Louise SlaughterPoll: Dem leads by 24 points in race to replace Louise Slaughter Reforms can stop members of Congress from using their public office for private gain GOP Rep. Chris Collins charged with insider trading MORE has died:

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Rules Committee, has died at age 88, her office announced this morning. Keep in mind: Slaughter had been hospitalized after suffering a concussion in her home from a fall, her office said earlier this week.

STATEMENT FROM HER CHIEF OF STAFF: "To have met Louise Slaughter is to have known a force of nature. She was a relentless advocate for Western New York whose visionary leadership brought infrastructure upgrades, technology and research investments, and two federal manufacturing institutes to Rochester that will transform the local economy for generations to come," Liam Fitzsimmons, Slaughter's chief of staff, said in a statement.  



Hmmmm, uh oh: 

Top of the morning to you. Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day. I'm Cate O'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.



McMaster, what a guy -- and what a festive name for today:

Via The Washington Posts' Ashley ParkerJosh DawseyPhilip Rucker and Carol D. LeonnigPresident TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE has reportedly decided to remove H.R. McMaster as national security adviser. According to sources: Trump is ready to oust McMaster, "but is willing to take time executing the move because he wants to ensure both that the three-star Army general is not humiliated and that there is a strong successor lined up."

SARAH SANDERS DISPUTES THE REPORT: The White House press secretary tweeted, "Just spoke to [President Trump] and Gen. H.R. McMaster -- contrary to reports they have a good working relationship and there are no changes at the [National Security Council]."

POTENTIAL REPLACEMENT: Via CBS News, McMaster is "expected to be replaced by former Bush administration official and frequent Fox News analyst John Bolton."

We're just going to be left with President O'Trump and Jared O'Kushner soon, aren't we?: 

Via CBS News's Major Garrett, White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE may leave his post soon. Yes, the man who was brought into the White House last summer to reduce the chaos

'A gentlemen's agreement' -- 'Huzzah!' -->

Via The Wall Street Journal's Michael C. Bender, "President Donald Trump and White House chief of staff John Kelly have settled on a truce, at least temporarily, as the latest round of staff tumult continues to ripple through the West Wing, according to people familiar with the discussions."

IT DOESN'T STOP AT KELLY -- WHO ELSE IS IN JEOPARDY: "Veterans Affairs Secretary David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinVeterans group sues to block advisers known as ‘Mar-a-Lago Crowd’ from influencing VA Mar-a-Lago insiders provided input on VA policy, personnel decisions: report Ahead of speech, Kansas City newspaper urges Trump to listen to veterans MORE could be forced out, with Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryPartisan politics at independent agency draws bipartisan rebuke Overnight Energy: House panel approves park funding, offshore drilling bills | Green group putting M into races | Perry applauds Russia boosting oil production Perry welcomes efforts by Russia, OPEC to boost oil production MORE in line to replace him. ... Sources said secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonBen Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh, accuser say they’re prepared to testify Report: A third of Ben Carson’s appointees have no housing experience MORE is also in jeopardy, after purchasing a $31,000 dining room set for his office. The order was eventually canceled."

REACTION FROM KEY REPUBLICANS -- WE. WANT. SHULKIN.: Via The Hill's Rebecca Kheel, key Republicans are backing VA Secretary David Shulkin as rumors of his firing swirl.

Oh and -- Vanessa O'Trump wanted part of the shakeup action

Vanessa Trump has filed for divorce from Donald Trump Jr. Why: "The reasons for the divorce filed Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court were not clear. The divorce was listed as 'uncontested,' indicating the split was amicable." More details:

STATEMENT FROM THE COUPLE: "After 12 years of marriage, we have decided to go our separate ways. We will always have tremendous respect for each other and our families. We have five beautiful children together and they remain our top priority. We ask for your privacy during this time."



Stormy O'Daniels's lawyer drops a teaser:

Adult-film star Stormy Daniels was threatened with physical violence in connection with her alleged affair with President Donald TrumpOn MNSBC's "Morning Joe": When Daniels's lawyer, Michael Avenatti, was asked whether his client was threatened, he succinctly replied, "Yes." Details?!: Avenatti declined to answer further questions on the subject, saying that "people will have to tune in to '60 Minutes' on March 25," when CBS is scheduled to air an interview with Daniels.

Actual photo of Michael Avenatti dropping this bomb then teasing the March 25 interview --> 

Back story on that photo:



This Paul McCartney song is all I could think of when I saw this photo


Nope nope nope nope nope:

Let's just say, people have not been pleased with this decision. Including a few of my favorites:

-- "Mother of God, haven't the Irish endured enough?"  (The Daily Beast's Lachlan Markay

-- "we need another Special Counsel." (Buzzfeed's David Mack

-- "how do I delete someone else's tweet" (@RedditCFB)

 More of the reactions -- they're pretty entertaining:

Phoebe Buffay would make a fantastic economic adviser: 



Congress is out.

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence, Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump identifies first soldier remains from North Korea | New cyber strategy lets US go on offense | Army chief downplays talk of 'Fort Trump' Pompeo backed continued US support in Yemen war over objections from staff: report Stand with veterans instead of predatory for-profit colleges MORE and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenFEMA head to reimburse government for use of federal vehicles: report US to prioritize attacks against foreign adversaries under new cyber strategy Paddlers sue Trump over frequent golf visits shutting down the Potomac River MORE.



1:30 p.m. EDT: The Heritage Foundation is holding an event on the national security implications of withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement. Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseMcConnell tamps down any talk of Kavanaugh withdrawal Senate approves 4B spending bill Grassley agrees to second Kavanaugh hearing after GOP members revolt MORE (R-Neb.) will be speaking. Livestream and details:

2 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives a press briefing. Livestream:

Sunday morning: Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerPoll: More voters oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination than support it Ford opens door to testifying next week Police arrest nearly two dozen Kavanaugh protesters MORE (R-Tenn.) appears on CBS's "Face the Nation."

8 p.m. EDT: Felix Sater will appear on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes."



Today is National Artichoke Heart Day. And as a nod to my Irish lads, tomorrow is National Corned Beef and Cabbage Day!

No one mentioned corned beef and cabbage :/ -- help the 12:30 Report out:

BuzzFeed has an interesting list of the best meals in each state, according to the people who live there. I'm lookin' at you, Frank Pepe Pizzeria in New Haven.

It's National Panda Day!:

Watch and try not to smile. I dare you.

And because you made it to the end, here is possibly the best news blooper I've ever seen. That is not Rodney.: