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: China hits back with tariffs | Tariffs target $50B in US goods | Trump insists US is not in a trade war | Mueller tells Trump lawyers president not a criminal target | Zuckerberg to testify on April 11 | How DC is honoring MLK | Last Parkland victim leaves hospital

 

TALK OF THE MORNING, WELL, WITH A FEW QUESTIONS

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: It's a no from me.

 

'We are not in a trade war!'
(Are we in a trade war?): 

This morning, President Trump tweeted that the U.S. is not in a trade war with China. His tweet: "We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S. Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!" http://bit.ly/2Gvy3y1

WHAT SPARKED THE TWEET: Early this morning, China announced a $50 billion package of tariffs targeting U.S. soybeans, automobiles and other exports. http://bit.ly/2GCMhsU

^^WHAT SPARKED THAT: Yesterday, the White House announced a 25 percent tariff on more than 1,300 Chinese products. For example: Televisions and medical devices. Ah, an exception: "The list of goods excludes many Chinese-made consumer products available for sale at Target or Walmart, including clothing, shoes and toys." https://nyti.ms/2q3PziF

Here's a list of Chinese products that now have a tariff: http://bit.ly/2JgflIN

OH AND -- 'THE KIDS AREN'T FIGHTING. THEY'RE JUST ROUGHHOUSING': The Trump administration has made confronting Chinese intellectual property theft a top priority in recent days, while China has promised reciprocal actions. 

SOME CONTEXT -- WHAT ALL OF THIS MEANS FOR COMPANIES: The Hill's Niv Elis explains how companies are bracing for a trade war. What companies are worried about: http://bit.ly/2Ithuzu

 

'He is not the criminal target!'
(Is he the criminal target?): 

Via The Washington Post's Carol D. Leonnig and Robert Costa, special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE told President Trump's lawyers last month that he does not consider the president to be a criminal target at this point in his investigation. Yeah, but: Mueller did say he is continuing to investigate the president. This could be newsy: "The special counsel also told Trump's lawyers that he is preparing a report about the president's actions while in office and potential obstruction of justice, according to two people with knowledge of the conversations." https://wapo.st/2GvZUOM

WILL THAT MUELLER REPORT ON TRUMP BE RELEASED?: Via The Washington Post's Greg Sargent, "Most likely, yes. But there are some very unpleasant scenarios that could intervene -- including the very real possibility that congressional Republicans will do all they can to keep Mueller's report under wraps. This is something they can try to do, it turns out." https://wapo.st/2Gyg71H

 

It's Wednesday -- the Washington Nationals play their home opener this time tomorrow! Best time of the year. 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.

To view the 12:30 Report online -->  http://bit.ly/2GyDMza

 

IN OTHER NEWS

Good news -- the last Parkland victim is out of the hospital!: 

Via CNN's Eric Levenson and Jennifer Henderson, the final patient from the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school has been released from the hospital. Who: 15-year-old Anthony Borges, who "was shot five times while protecting his classmates from the gunman on the day of the shooting. He had barricaded a door with his body and was shot through the door." https://cnn.it/2GQGYK5

Throwback -- here's a photo of Borges four days after the shooting: http://bit.ly/2JjFlmu

 

Moana, make waves, make waves 
--> http://bit.ly/2GxsdfB:

Via The Hill's Lydia Wheeler, nearly one year into his tenure, Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was nominated by President Trump, seems to be having the time of his life. How he's been making waves: Gorsuch is reveling in his role, diving into arguments with gusto and so far fulfilling the expectation that he would be a rock-ribbed conservative in the mold of his predecessor, the late Antonin Scalia. In doing so, he's shaken up the dynamics of the highest court in the land. http://bit.ly/2EiXhdi

  

NOTABLE TWEETS:

This is confusing: 

 

We demand answers: 

Full-sized comparison photos: http://bit.ly/2GxcWvh

 

ON TAP:

Congress is out.

7:10 p.m. EDT: President Trump has a private dinner with supporters in Washington, D.C.

April 11: Facebook chief executive Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergFight looms over national privacy law Facebook teaming with nonprofits to fight fake election news China may be copying Facebook to build an intelligence weapon MORE will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Why: Data privacy concerns after it was revealed political data firm Cambridge Analytica accessed 50 million Facebook users' date without their consent. https://ti.me/2q9TFFx

50 years ago today: Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. 

Full list of D.C. events today celebrating MLK's life: http://bit.ly/2Gx00BH

On the National Mall: A rally and march to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'s life. Actor Danny Glover and Ben & Jerry's founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are among the featured speakers. Details: http://bit.ly/2GOrmXq

This morning, President Trump tweeted: "Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the 50th anniversary of his assassination. Earlier this year I spoke about Dr. King's legacy of justice and peace, and his impact on uniting Americans..." Watch Trump's message: http://bit.ly/2uKS6mS

Op-ed: Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, on why 50 years after King, racism still matters. http://bit.ly/2q72wIH

April 11: The Hill is hosting an event with Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Cruz gets help from Senate GOP in face of serious challenge from O’Rourke MORE (R-Tenn.), House Democratic Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDems' confidence swells with midterms fast approaching Trump's Puerto Rico tweets spark backlash Hoyer lays out government reform blueprint MORE (D-Md.) and Congressional Hispanic Caucus member Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.) Details and how to RSVP: http://bit.ly/2GARZvF

 

WHAT TO WATCH:

2:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives a press briefing. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2q4dZZD

1:05 p.m. EDT Thursday: The Washington Nationals play the New York Mets in their home opener.

Thursday -- Sunday: The 2018 Masters Tournament. Details and schedule: http://bit.ly/2Gyev8k

Friday: "Chappaquiddick" is released in theaters. Back story: The movie is about former Sen. Ted Kennedy's (D-Mass.) car accident that resulted in the death of a 28-year-old woman. Review from Entertainment Weekly: http://bit.ly/2H7F4Cy

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Chicken Cordon Bleu Day. It's also National Hug a Newsperson Day

And because you read this far, here's a puppy who could really use an afternoon pick-me-up: http://bit.ly/2EiRapa