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



President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ 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!"

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

^^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."

Here's a list of Chinese products that now have a tariff:

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:


'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."

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."


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, @CateMartel and on Facebook.

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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."

Throwback -- here's a photo of Borges four days after the shooting:


Moana, make waves, make waves 

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.



This is confusing: 


We demand answers: 

Full-sized comparison photos:



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 ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Kremlin seeks more control over Russian internet | Huawei CEO denies links to Chinese government | Facebook accused of exposing health data | Harris calls for paper ballots | Twitter updates ad rules ahead of EU election Patients, health data experts accuse Facebook of exposing personal info Hillicon Valley: New York says goodbye to Amazon's HQ2 | AOC reacts: 'Anything is possible' | FTC pushes for record Facebook fine | Cyber threats to utilities on the rise 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.

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

Full list of D.C. events today celebrating MLK's life:

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:

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:

Op-ed: Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, on why 50 years after King, racism still matters.

April 11: The Hill is hosting an event with Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderDems ready aggressive response to Trump emergency order, as GOP splinters Congress must move forward on measure dealing with fentanyl GOP advances rules change to speed up confirmation of Trump nominees MORE (R-Tenn.), House Democratic Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOn unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 Dems ready aggressive response to Trump emergency order, as GOP splinters Winners and losers in the border security deal MORE (D-Md.) and Congressional Hispanic Caucus member Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.) Details and how to RSVP:



2:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives a press briefing. Livestream:

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:

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:



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: