To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: http://bit.ly/1M1mIfw
Sign up to receive the 12:30 Report right to your inbox: http://bit.ly/2kjMNnn
--> 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 VA pick under fire | Allegedly gave out prescriptions like a 'candy man' | Macron addresses Congress | Jokes about bromance with Trump | Justices hear travel ban case | GOP holds Arizona House seat | World Penguin Day
NEWS OF THE MORNING
Macron est: À. LA. MAISON!:
French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to a joint session of Congress this morning as part of his state visit to the United States. Here are some of the highlights: http://bit.ly/2r3Ef71
On Iran getting nuclear weapons: "Not now, not if five years, not in ten years,” Macron said. “Never." http://bit.ly/2r06jHd
On the Paris climate accord: Marcon predicted that the United States will come back to the Paris climate change agreement. “I’m sure, one day, the United States will come back and join the Paris agreement...” Full quote: http://bit.ly/2vPGCPy
Macron’s got jokes!: French President Macron told a story of Benjamin Franklin meeting Voltaire to joke about his own “bromance” with President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE. "[They hugged and they] kissed each other's cheeks. That can remind you of something." Watch — the room loved the joke: http://bit.ly/2I2gm72
On being positive: “Both in the United States and in Europe, we are living in a time of fear," Macron said. "You can play with fear and anger for a time, but they do not construct anything. Anger only freezes and weakens us." http://bit.ly/2r3Ef71
What Speaker Ryan’s intro should have included, in my humble opinion http://bit.ly/2HtL1Jl ;)
Livestream of the address: http://bit.ly/2FdCfNr
Tidbit about the broadcast: MSNBC and Fox News livestreamed the address on air. CNN did not.
Why the address is historic: “Macron is the 8th French President to address Congress. The last was Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007. And it was on this very date in 1960, that then-French Pres Charles de Gaulle addressed Congress as well.” (Via CBS’s Mark Knoller) http://bit.ly/2KfY5nh
Best tweet I've seen all morning:
The French have invaded the House press gallery and now I must befriend them and learn their bread-making secrets.— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) April 25, 2018
I’ve seriously been craving macarons since President Macron arrived:
Just a reminder, folks: pic.twitter.com/3dYV7hwm6Q— Cameron Joseph (@cam_joseph) April 23, 2018
Lolol — people are loving the 'bromance':
Top right is wedding, top left is save the date, https://t.co/WgaPvcnB4a— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) April 25, 2018
Full-sized Trump-Macron 'couple' photos — they’re pretty funny: http://bit.ly/2KbQlCO
MEANWHILE — THE IRANIAN PRESIDENT IS NOT PLEASED: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ripped into President Trump in the wake of his recent comments on the nuclear deal, saying Trump is a businessman who has no experience with politics or international affairs. In Rouhani’s words: "You don't have any background in politics. You don't have any background in law. You don't have any background on international treaties ... How can a tradesman, a merchant, a building constructor, a tower constructor make judgments about international affairs?” Full quote: http://bit.ly/2qXpbaL
Bonjour! C'est Mercredi. 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 email@example.com, @CateMartel and on Facebook.
If you've seen Miss Congeniality, then you might remember today is the perfect date: http://bit.ly/2qUDEV6
HEADACHE FOR TRUMP'S VA NOMINEE
The candy man could use some Advil:
The White House is defending Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, whom President Trump nominated to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. Why he's under scrutiny: Allegations of misconduct as lead White House doctor. Jackson denies these allegations but is on the ropes, with lawmakers from both parties raising questions about his nomination. How the White House is fighting back: http://bit.ly/2JrZBBN
ON TUESDAY NIGHT: The White House circulated talking points to defend Jackson and counter the allegations. https://politi.co/2vKbOzI
BACK STORY TO 'CANDY MAN': Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterDemocrats say Biden must get more involved in budget fight Senate backers of new voting rights bill push for swift passage The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Polls open in California as Newsom fights for job MORE (D-Mont.) said Ronny Jackson was known as "the candy man" in the White House. Tester "told CNN's Anderson Cooper that around 20 people raised concerns to his committee about Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, and according to those people, Jackson would hand out prescriptions 'like candy.' "
–– Ok, what drugs?: According to Tester, Jackson would "go down the aisle way of the airplane and say, 'All right, who wants to go to sleep?' And hand out the prescription drugs like they were candy ... and put them to sleep and then give them the drugs to wake them back up again." https://cnn.it/2vMTCFw
HOW EVERYONE IS FEELING RIGHT NOW: "The White House is frustrated by a steady stream of critical headlines on Dr. Jackson. The Hill is frustrated by a lack of info from WH. 'Salvaging his reputation and his nomination' are top goal -- but officials conceded both might be tough to do." (Via CNN's Jeff Zeleny) http://bit.ly/2HYkftw
ARIZONA SPECIAL ELECTION
The gist: A Republican wins the deep-red seat, but by a uncomfortably small margin:
Via The Hill's Lisa Hagen, Republican Debbie Lesko is projected to win Arizona's nationally watched special election, fending off a strong challenge from Democrats who have been overperforming in deep-red seats. http://bit.ly/2qXWGJj
Her Democratic opponent: Hiral Tipirneni, a former emergency room doctor and first-time candidate
The vote: Lesko had 53 percent of the vote; Tipirneni had 47 percent.
Why I said "uncomfortably small margin": Donald Trump won this district by 21 points in 2016.
Why the special election: Rep. Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksOn The Trail: Arizona is microcosm of battle for the GOP Arizona New Members 2019 Cook shifts 8 House races toward Dems MORE (R-Ariz.) resigned from Congress last December over claims of inappropriate behavior. Back story: https://cnn.it/2HRCB1W
REACTION FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP: President Trump congratulated Debbie Lesko (R) for her win and accused the national media of being "silent" on the race. Full tweet: http://bit.ly/2Hq69Ef
THE FREEDOM CAUCUS ADDS ONE: Via The Hill’s Scott Wong, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsGraham found Trump election fraud arguments suitable for 'third grade': Woodward book Allies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US prepares vaccine booster plan MORE (R-N.C.) told The Hill that Rep.-elect Debbi Lesko is expected to join his caucus. http://bit.ly/2KcJ0TC
INTERESTING GRAPHIC ON REPUBLICAN TURNOUT SINCE 2016: The New York Times's Alexander Burns and Denise Lu pulled together data that show "Republicans [have] lost support in every special election since Trump became president." The data: https://nyti.ms/2HZJ5Jo
EARLIER THIS MORNING -- RIGHT OUTSIDE OF D.C.
Republican lawmakers began baseball practice this morning in Alexandria, Va., to prepare for June's Congressional Baseball Game. Keep in mind: This is the first baseball practice since House GOP Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseHouse passes bill to prevent shutdown and suspend debt limit Democrats to nix B for Israel's Iron Dome from bill to avert shutdown Louisiana delegation split over debt hike bill with disaster aid MORE (La.) was shot last year on the same field. http://bit.ly/2vJCq3G
This chain link fence was bent and broken by a bullet nearly one year ago — today, Congressional Republicans were back in the dugout, their first time back together on Simpson Field in Alexandria pic.twitter.com/170KYxnSbl— Betsy Klein (@betsy_klein) April 25, 2018
Matt Mika (left), critically wounded by a gunman at baseball practice last year, made his return to the field today. @RepLoudermilk (right) remembered watching him go down. https://t.co/4UFyVz1sif pic.twitter.com/0qZmtkE1Re— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) April 25, 2018
I see what you did there, Zinke...:
of course Kourtney wore a crop top to Capitol Hill pic.twitter.com/llXE6MJsI1— Caitlin Yilek (@hausofcait) April 24, 2018
This is pretty unsurprising tbh:
Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Biden launches blitz for jobs plan with 'thank you, Georgia' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court sets in motion EPA ban on pesticide linked to developmental issues | Trump Interior Secretary Zinke files to run for Congress, again | Senate passes bipartisan B water infrastructure bill MORE (@SecretaryZinke) April 25, 2018
Why she's on Capitol Hill: To push for safer cosmetics. Details: https://abcn.ws/2KbFCIu
The House and Senate are in.
11 a.m. EDT: President Trump received his daily intelligence briefing.
1:15 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House. The House's schedule today: http://bit.ly/2jYhqPv
1:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Apple CEO Tim Cook in the Oval Office of the White House.
2:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence leaves for Milwaukee.
3:45 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.
Saturday: The annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner.
WHAT TO WATCH:
10 a.m. EDT: Oral arguments in the Supreme Court over President Trump's travel ban. Livestream of coverage: https://cs.pn/2Hp0xu1
10:30 a.m. EDT: French President Emmanuel Macron addressed a joint session of Congress. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2HqKKH2
Noon: The Senate debates Mike PompeoMike PompeoWashPost fact-checker gives Pompeo four 'Pinocchios' for 'zombie' claim about Obama Iran deal Poll: Biden, Trump statistically tied in favorability Majority of voters disapprove of execution of Afghanistan withdrawal: poll MORE's nomination for secretary of State. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2K8Faed
2 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives the daily press briefing. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2qYlOQg
2:30 p.m. EDT: Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE testifies at a Senate hearing over the Justice Department's 2019 budget. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2r2pjpJ
5:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks about tax cuts at an event in Wisconsin.
9:05 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in an event for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R). He then heads back to Washington, D.C.
8 p.m. EDT: Former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGiuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign DOJ watchdog unable to determine if FBI fed Giuliani information ahead of 2016 election Biden sister has book deal, set to publish in April MORE participates in a CNN town hall hosted by Anderson Cooper. Details: https://cnn.it/2qU8uw7
10:30 a.m. EDT Thursday: Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies at a House Appropriations Committee hearing. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2HKPmLi
NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:
Today is National Zucchini Bread Day. It's also National "Crotilla" Day.
What is a "crotilla" you ask? It's a cross between a croissant and a tortilla. Photos and where to buy them: http://bit.ly/2Kb2XKg
Gmail wants to be the new Snapchat:
Via CNN's Heather Kelly, Google is rolling out a redesigned Gmail layout this week. The biggest change: "Confidential mode" -- users can send emails that self-destruct in a set time frame and have to be opened with a passcode. Screenshot of the disappearing emails and a full list of changes: https://cnnmon.ie/2FfdGQn
Things are getting a little Spicey in New York today:
Former White House Press Secretary Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerPsaki defends move to oust Trump appointees from military academy boards Defense & National Security: The post-airlift evacuation struggle Conway and Spicer fire back at White House over board resignation requests MORE (ahh, what a throwback) will unveil a wax figure of first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpFormer aide sees Melania Trump as 'the doomed French queen': book If another 9/11 happened in a divided 2021, could national unity be achieved again? Former Trump aide Stephanie Grisham planning book: report MORE at New York's Madame Tussauds. Spicer will also talk about his time at the White House. Visitors: "Visitors will be able to tweet on Melania's behalf from a tweeting station nearby, which will then go live to a FLOMT (First Lady of Madame Tussauds) account." http://bit.ly/2Jsr9Xv
Happy World Penguin Day!:
Lilly the penguin is visiting the Library of Congress today for World Penguin Day. Live feed from WJLA-TV: http://bit.ly/2HulDmO
And because you read this far, here's a penguin who swims thousands of miles a year to visit his best friend. Awwwww: http://bit.ly/2HsCTwR