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: Trump slams Amazon | Company's stock drops | Inside Trump's VA shake-up | Shulkin hits back, calls DC 'toxic, chaotic' | Frenzy over DC 'Hamilton' tickets

 

TODAY IN TRUMP TWEETS THAT AFFECT A COMPANY'S STOCK

Trump's Amazon Prime order must have come after the two-day guarantee: 

This morning, President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE publicly criticized Amazon, citing how the company pays its taxes. He tweeted: "I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!" http://bit.ly/2GTpY3l

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WHAT SPARKED THIS TWEET: Yesterday, Axios reported that the president wants to take aim at the retail giant, citing the company's tax treatment. One source: "He's obsessed with Amazon. Obsessed." Another source: "He's wondered aloud if there may be any way to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law." Don't forget: Trump has gone after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos before and The Washington Post, which Bezos owns. http://bit.ly/2GVA7wq

Live look of how Amazon's stock reacted to the Trump tweet --> http://bit.ly/2E4fj2R ;)

Via CNBC's Thomas Franck, "Amazon shares fell 2 percent Thursday following the president's comments, adding to their 4 percent loss after Wednesday's Axios report." https://cnb.cx/2GhnWgu

YEAH, BUT...: Deutsche Bank advised clients not to worry about the Amazon stock. Reasoning: https://cnb.cx/2GhnWgu

Happy Thursday -- it's opening day of the MLB season! The first game starts at 12:40 p.m. EDT. Today's schedule: https://atmlb.com/2pOxMfs 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.

 

TALK OF THE MORNING

Trump lawyers reportedly look into cloning the president for future Cabinet picks: 

Late yesterday, President Trump announced he is removing 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 and replacing him with his White House physician, Adm. Ronny JacksonDid we see this coming?: Yes, there has been uncertainty about Shulkin's status for weeks. Shulkin was on the hot seat after a report accused him of misusing taxpayer dollars on travel. http://bit.ly/2pRyDLt

THROWBACK -- HOW YOU KNOW SHUKIN'S REPLACEMENT: Adm. Ronny Jackson became the presidential physician in 2013. He gained national attention in January when he gave an hourlong press conference praising Trump's health and crediting his "good genes." Watch: http://bit.ly/2BaktIT

NEWLY PUBLISHED -- REACTION FROM SHULKIN: Shulkin wrote an op-ed in The New York Times describing his tenure as Veterans Affairs secretary. The $$ line: "As I prepare to leave government, I am struck by a recurring thought: It should not be this hard to serve your country." On working at the VA: Shulkin railed against the work environment as "so toxic, chaotic, disrespectful and subversive that it became impossible for me to accomplish the important work that our veterans need and deserve." Full op-ed: https://nyti.ms/2E3c4sv

SHULKIN: THE WHITE HOUSE MUTED ME: On NPR's "Morning Edition," David Shulkin said the White House banned him from speaking out on the ethics controversy that consumed the end of his tenure. In his words: "There was nothing improper about this trip, and I was not allowed to put up an official statement or to even respond to this by the White House. I think this was really just being used in a political context to try to make sure that I wasn't as effective as a leader moving forward."

ON HIS MAJOR DISAGREEMENT AT THE VA: Shulkin also said several people in the Trump administration want to privatize the VA, but he disagreed. In his words: "I think that it's essential for national security and for the country that we honor our commitment by having a strong VA. I was not against reforming VA, but I was against privatization."

On another seemingly quiet week in the Trump administration: 

IN OTHER NEWS

'Should I stay or should I go?' --> http://bit.ly/2E50HQC:

Rumors are building that 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.) might step down from his post since a GOP lawmaker in Nevada publicly discussed the idea. Nevada GOP Rep. Mark AmodeiMark Eugene AmodeiRevitalize our defense industrial base with mine permitting reform To reduce China's leverage, rebuild America's minerals supply chain GOP staves off immigration revolt — for now MORE on 'Nevada Newsmakers': "The rumor mill is Paul Ryan is getting ready to resign in the next 30 to 60 days and that 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 will be the new speaker." http://bit.ly/2pNbM4A

EHHH, KEEP IN MIND: Former Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBlue wave poses governing risks for Dems Nancy Pelosi: Will she remain the ‘Face of the Franchise’? Jordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker MORE (R-Ohio) and former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) are dismissing the idea that Ryan will exit. BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBlue wave poses governing risks for Dems Nancy Pelosi: Will she remain the ‘Face of the Franchise’? Jordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker MORE told The Washington Post: "The idea that he's going to walk out of there in the middle of the fight is ludicrous." Cantor: said the notion that Ryan would "abdicate and leave is preposterous." http://bit.ly/2pNbM4A

 

IN LIGHTER NEWS

Best correction I've seen in a long time:

In an article about the Environmental Protection Agency using technology from an Israeli company, The Wall Street Journal misquoted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuFull story: https://on.wsj.com/2GhUTJw

Well played, New York Daily News. Well played.:

New York Daily News reporter Kenneth Lovett was handcuffed and detained in the New York state capitol yesterday for talking on his phone. Then: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) helped free the reporter. Full back story: https://politi.co/2Ie6MN2

Best part of the story: The New York Daily News created this mock t-shirt to support Lovett. The pun is incredible: http://bit.ly/2pP6fK4

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

Wow, Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump vows to get rid of 'stench' at DOJ, FBI NY Times, McCabe give Trump perfect cover to fire Rosenstein, Sessions House Judiciary on NY Times article: I intend to subpoena 'McCabe Memos' MORE does look like John Boehner in this: 

 

Lol, classic Dingell:

Former Rep. John DingellJohn DingellFormer Rep. John Dingell returns to Twitter after heart attack John Dingell suffers heart attack, said to be ‘in good spirits’ Trump, Obamas and Clintons among leaders mourning Aretha Franklin MORE (D-Mich.), who is 91 years old, has quite the entertaining Twitter account. 

 

Buh dum tsss --> http://bit.ly/2Ierr3w:

 

ON TAP:

Congress is o-u-t, out.

Noon: President Trump leaves for Ohio.

1:55 p.m. EDT: President Trump arrives at the Local 18 Richfield Training Site in Richfield, Ohio, to deliver a speech on infrastructure.

3:20 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves Ohio for his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

6 p.m. EDT: President Trump lands in Palm Beach, Fla.

10 a.m. EDT Friday: The Brookings Institution is hosting an event that gives an update on the Afghanistan War. Details: https://brook.gs/2pMhm7k

April 28: The annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner.

 

WHAT TO WATCH:

2 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks about infrastructure in Richfield, Ohio. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2GUE0Sl

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day.

Heyo, Hamilton fans!:

Tickets are officially on sale for the "Hamilton" musical at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center. Details: http://bit.ly/2E6cuOQ

Viral video: This is extremely confusing, but really, I just have one question -- WHY?: 

Via The Huffington Post, during a family's party to reveal the gender of their baby, a man filled a watermelon with pink or blue Jell-O and fed it to a live alligator. Omg, this quote: "We have a few gators who like to eat fruit, so I figured fruit was great -- let's get a watermelon, drill a hole in it, add some Jell-O to it, and throw it in the gator's mouth? Let her bust it open, no big deal, you know?" the baby's father explained. There's obviously video -- watch: http://bit.ly/2J5dPc8

Cookie dough! *clap* Cookie dough!:

Via PoPville, D.C.'s first edible cookie dough shop is opening a second pop-up shop in the Shaw neighborhood. What to expect: "The dough will be available in jars to order a la carte, or customers can create 'mix & match' packs of their favorite flavors." What makes this location unique: "By popular demand, this location will also serve cookie dough scoops and coffee." http://bit.ly/2GmomxM

And because you read to the end, meet Gracie the golden retriever, who is attempting to catch every flake of snow. Keep going Gracie, I think you're close!: http://bit.ly/2GfH1PT