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 says 'pain' from China tariffs will make US 'stronger' | Weak March jobs report | Trump doesn't plan to attend correspondents' dinner | Trump denies talk of replacing Sessions with Pruitt | New sanctions on Russian oligarchs | World's biggest Chick-fil-A opening | National Caramel Popcorn Day



New jobs report -- womp.:

The U.S. economy added 103,000 jobs in March, well below expectations, as President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE's calls for billions in tariffs on imports raises concerns about their effects on the nation's steady expansion. But the employment rate hasn't changed: The unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent for the sixth straight month, the lowest level since December 2000.

THIS A.M. -- TRUMP ACKNOWLEDGED SOME 'PAIN' FOR THE U.S. ECONOMY: During an interview on 77 WABC, President Trump said that tariffs targeting China over intellectual property theft could cause some "pain" in the U.S. economy, but promised that America would emerge stronger as a result. He also acknowledged the initial reaction from markets is likely to be negative. "We're going to be much stronger for it," he added later in the interview.


Happy Friday. 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 and on Facebook.


Another Trump-less dinner:


President Trump will not attend the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) dinner this year. Instead: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will represent the White House at the head table. No Trump, but: The president won't attend, but "he will actively encourage members of the executive branch to attend and join us as we celebrate the First Amendment," the WHCA wrote in a statement on Twitter. Full statement:



Ohhh so that's who's been showing up for work with a fake mustache and nose: 

Via The Hill's Katie Bo Williams, Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight The Memo: Trump and McCabe go to war MORE quietly tapped U.S. Attorney John Huber -- apparently last fall -- to work in tandem with the Justice Department's inspector general to determine whether conservative allegations of abuse at the FBI and the Justice Department merit investigation. Why this is newsy: It's an unusual arrangement, and one that falls short of demands from the right that Sessions name a second special counsel. What to know about Huber: He is known as a no-nonsense prosecutor whose primary experience is fighting violent crime. Full story -- it's pretty interesting:



Are we feeling blue or are we feeling red?: 
The nonpartisan election analyst Cook Political Report has shifted 13 House races toward the Democratic Party ahead of November's midterm elections. Including: Races in New Jersey, California and North Carolina. What this means for November:



The biggest move against Russia yet: 
The Trump administration announced this morning it will sanction seven Russian oligarchs and a dozen companies they own and control. Context: This is the administration's most aggressive effort yet to curb the activities of influential Russian business elites.

Included in the sanctions: Oleg Deripaska, an oligarch with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Trump former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortMueller subpoenas former Cambridge Analytica employee Make the special counsel report public for the sake of Americans Paul Manafort should not be sentenced to 20 years in prison MORE; the chairman of Russian energy giant Gazprom; Putin adviser Suleiman Kerimov; and Kirill Shamalov, who married Putin's daughter in 2013.



*Snaps in a Z formation*:

Former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaEx-W.Va. official who made racist Michelle Obama remark defrauded ,000 from FEMA: report GOP senator dedicates heart photo to wife from Senate floor for Valentine's Day Barack Obama sends Valentine's message to Michelle: 'She does get down to Motown' MORE compared her husband's presidency to having "the good parent" at home. Full quote — on her husband's presidency: The Obama administration "was like having the 'good parent' at home. The responsible parent, the one who told you to eat your carrots and go to bed on time." Full quote — on the Trump administration: "And now we have the other parent. We thought it’d feel fun — maybe it feels fun for now because we can eat candy all day and stay up late and not follow the rules." Where she said this: At the Simmons Leadership Conference in Boston.



The waters are still stormy: 

Yesterday, President Trump broke his silence on Stormy Daniels, saying he had no knowledge of a $130,000 payment his personal attorney made to the porn star days before the 2016 presidential election. Show us the money: Trump said he did not know his attorney Michael Cohen got the money to pay Daniels. Why this is so newsy: Never shy about sharing his opinions, Trump had remained conspicuously silent about Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, during weeks of press coverage.

Ooooph, this New York Daily News cover -->

REACTION FROM DANIELS'S LAWYER -- THANKS!: Stormy Daniels's attorney, Michael Avenatti, said President Trump helped his client's case "exponentially" by claiming not to have any knowledge of the $130,000 payment his personal attorney made to the porn star days before the 2016 election. His reasoning: "You can't have an agreement when one party claims to know nothing about it."


Should he stay or should he go?

President Trump just denied reports that he is considering replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions with Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: EPA to make formal decision on regulating drinking water contaminant | Utility to close coal plant despite Trump plea | Greens say climate is high on 2020 voters’ minds EPA to announce PFAS chemical regulation plans by end of year Court tosses challenge to EPA's exclusion of certain scientists from advisory boards MORE, whom he said is "doing a great job" leading the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but "TOTALLY under siege." He tweeted: "Do you believe that the Fake News Media is pushing hard on a story that I am going to replace A.G. Jeff Sessions with EPA Chief Scott Pruitt, who is doing a great job but is TOTALLY under siege? Do people really believe this stuff? So much of the media is dishonest and corrupt!"

WHAT SPARKED THIS TWEET, OTHER THAN THE OBVIOUS: Minutes before the president's tweet, CNN aired a report stating that Trump has privately discussed the Cabinet move as recently as this week, even as Pruitt facing mounting ethics scrutiny. More details:



Oh, D.C...:


The Onion wins again:


Fun times at 1600 Penn.:



Congress is out.

11 a.m. EDT: President Trump receives an intelligence briefing.

Tuesday, April 10: President Trump will host Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the White House. Keep in mind: This meeting is happening as the Trump administration tries to encourage several Middle Eastern nations to reestablish diplomatic ties with the country.



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

8 p.m. EDT: MSNBC is airing a special on Apple, featuring an interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook



Today is National Caramel Popcorn Day.


*Slowly starts chanting* Chick-fil-A, Chick-fil-A! CHICK-FIL-A!: 

The world's largest Chick-fil-A has opened in New York City. "With floor-to-ceiling windows on each level, there's three levels of dining with seating for 140 guests and two kitchens. A staircase with a skylight will lead you to a rooftop terrace that offers views of One World Trade Center." But as expected: This store will be closed Sunday.


And because you read this far, here's a hamster eating a tiny slice of pizza: