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: GOP leaders back second special counsel | Congress eyes background check measure in funding bill | Latest on school shooting in Maryland | Trump beefs up legal team | Trump talks to Putin | FTC probes Facebook over use of consumer data | Another nor'easter on the way | 3D homes



Via NBC Washington, a student at Great Mills High School in Maryland shot two students -- a male and a female -- this morning. The suspect has died. 


What happened: "The student entered Great Mills High School in Great Mills at the beginning of the school day and shot a female student in a hallway, Sheriff Tim Cameron told News4. A male student also was hit by a bullet."

Motive?: Still unclear. It's also unclear if or how the students knew each other.

Condition of the victims: The two victims were sent to different hospitals. The female victim is in critical condition. The male victim is in stable condition.

How the suspect was brought down: "The shooter exchanged fire with a school resource officer, who is a trained, armed deputy sheriff ...  The officer was not hurt." The suspect is dead.

About the location: Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Md. is about 60 miles southeast of Washington, D.C.

While students were on lockdown: CNN anchors reached a student who was on lockdown in his math classroom. Quote from the student: "Police are going through classrooms and checking, making sure students are safe," Jonathan Freese said on the call. "Soon we're going to be escorted out of the school, so I'm not sure how much longer I can stay on the phone."

Parents of the students: Parents have been told not to go to the school, but instead to a nearby high school to see their children. Livestream of parents at nearby Leonardtown High School:  

When's the next press conference?: 1 p.m. EDT.

It's Tuesday -- today is the first day of spring; get excited for another nor'easter tomorrow. *eye roll* 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, @CateMartel and on Facebook.



Let's talk about it over some beef stroganoff:

President 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 just answered a few questions from the press. Highlights:

On Putin: "Trump: 'I had a call with President Putin,' said they 'will probably get together in the not-too-distant future,' and discuss 'the arms race, which is getting out of control,' Ukraine, Syria, and North Korea."

On the Iran deal: " 'You're going to see what I'm going to do.' Trump re Iran agreement. 'You will see what happens.' "



Funding fights are MUCH more exciting when the timing is tight:

Via The Hill's Scott Wong, the House is planning to vote Thursday on a $1.3 trillion omnibus bill, leaving little time for the Senate to take up the massive funding package before money for the government runs out on Friday. When the bill will be filed: House GOP leaders told rank-and-file lawmakers it will be released later today.

NEW DETAILS -- BACKGROUND CHECK LEGISLATION MAY BE INCLUDED: Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHow does the 25th Amendment work? Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act GOP super PAC drops .5 million on Nevada ad campaign MORE (R-Wis.) just said that leadership was talking to its members about adding a narrow background check bill for gun purchases to a must-pass government funding package before the end of the week. Details:

^KEEP IN MIND FOR THIS WEEKEND: Thousands of high school students are expected to congregate in Washington for the March to End Gun Violence.

TIDBIT: Politico's Jake Sherman just tweeted, "CHUCK SCHUMER just entered Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDemocrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act Internal RNC poll shows Pelosi is more popular than Trump: report MORE's office a few minutes ago."



One special counsel, two, red special counsel, blue:

Via The Hill's Scott Wong and Melania Zanona, House GOP leaders are starting to come out in strong support of a second special counsel to investigate conservative allegations of bias and abuse at the FBI. What this second special counsel would investigate: How law enforcement has handled the Russia probe. Who is in support: Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseOn The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills Midterms to shake up top posts on House finance panel On The Money: Senate approves 4B spending bill | China imposes new tariffs on billion in US goods | Ross downplays new tariffs: 'Nobody's going to actually notice' MORE (R-La.) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Would Trump like this?: Yes; neither Scalise nor McCarthy wants any daylight between themselves and Trump in the event Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) calls it quits after the November midterm elections.

SENATE GOP: WE'RE NOT WORRIED ABOUT MUELLER: Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, Senate Republicans are downplaying the need for legislation to protect special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MOREWhy: They are skeptical that President Trump will actually fire him.

JUST NOW FROM SPEAKER RYAN - MUELLER'S GOING TO BE FINE: Via The Hill's Melania Zanona, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he has received "assurances" that Robert Mueller won't be fired.

I believe the technical term for this is a 'come to Jesus' meeting: 

Yesterday: The Washington Post's Carol D. Leonnig reported that President Trump's lawyers are trying to limit the scope of a potential Trump interview with special counsel Robert MuellerWhy: They think a lengthy talk could leave the president vulnerable.

Then last night: CNN's Pamela Brown, Gloria Borger and Katelyn Polantz reported that Trump's attorneys sat down with the special counsel investigation's lawyers to discuss potential interview topics. Is this unusual?: Yes; a face-to-face discussion like this is very rare.

Fill in this sentence with a headline that hasn't existed yet: 'Trump considers firing XX':

Via The New York Times's Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman, "President Trump's legal team was poised for a shake-up [yesterday], according to two people briefed on the matter, as he openly discussed firing one of his lawyers [Ty Cobb], another considered resigning [John Dowd] and a third [Joseph diGenova] -- who pushed theories on television that Mr. Trump was framed by the F.B.I. -- joined the roster." Keep in mind about Ty Cobb: Cobb has pushed for cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

WELCOME TO THE TEAM: Here's what to know about Joseph diGenova, who has joined President Trump's personal legal team.

WE. WANT. YOU.: Via The Washington Post's Robert Costa and Carol D. Leonnig, President Trump's legal team is also trying to hire veteran GOP lawyer Theodore B. Olson



Joeeey B!:

Via CNN's Dan Merica, former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenBiden to campaign for Stacey Abrams next week Dems with political experience could have edge in 2020 primary, says pollster Ford taps Obama, Clinton alum to navigate Senate hearing MORE is meeting with Latino leaders in Miami for a fundraiser. Expected to attend: Univision personality Raúl de Molina and Puerto Rican lobbyist Luis A. Miranda Jr. Keep in mind: "Biden, who considered running for president in 2016 and has said he now regrets not running, has left the door open to running in 2020."



Not cool if true:

Via Bloomberg's David McLaughlin, the Federal Trade Commission is launching an investigation into whether Facebook violated its terms of consent by misusing personal information. Why: Reports that a data firm, Cambridge Analytica, harvested information from millions of Facebook profiles without users' consent. Keep in mind: Cambridge Analytica is the data firm used by the Trump campaign.

Op-ed: Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro argues that former President Obama's 2012 reelection campaign also used Facebook data.



Happens to the best of us:


Now THAT'S a hypoallergenic dog:



Congress is in. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C.

10:25 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence spoke at the Agriculture Department.

Noon: President Trump meets with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and has a working lunch with him.

12:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate breaks for weekly caucus luncheons. The Senate's schedule today:

1:30 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House. The House's schedule today:

3:30 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.

4 p.m. EDT: Roll call vote in the Senate. 

6:55 p.m. EDT: President Trump attends the National Republican Congressional Committee March Dinner at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.



This morning: Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosColleges, universities seeing rise in sexual assault claims, lawsuits Support for educational choice continues to grow Stand with veterans instead of predatory for-profit colleges MORE testifies on Capitol Hill. Livestream:

This morning: 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 testifies on Capitol Hill. Livestream:

This morning: Housing and Urban Development Secretary 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 testifying on Capitol Hill. Livestream:

1:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders holds a press briefing. Livestream:

2:15 p.m. EST: President Trump hosts a law enforcement roundtable on sanctuary cities. Livestream:



Today is National Ravioli Day.

This is pretty cool:

Via CNN's Sara Ashley O'Brien, "El Salvador may be the first country to have a community of 3D-printed homes." Details: "A nonprofit called New Story is raising $1 million to bring more than 100 3D-printed homes to the country over the next two years. The organization funds homes for families in need and people displaced by natural disasters." Photos and vide of homes being printed -- they look pretty cool:

And because you made it this far, here's a dog who is so focused on catching a soccer ball that it does a back flip: