The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Pfizer — White House aide under fire for mocking McCain

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 — Sponsored by Pfizer — White House aide under fire for mocking McCain | Meghan McCain suggests aide should lose job | AT&T says hiring Cohen was 'big mistake' | Why cities are turning down the 2020 GOP convention | Rosenstein's message for college graduates | Lightning, Caps Game 1 tonight



Yikes, this is not OK:

Via The Hill's Jonathan Easley and Jordan Fabian, during an internal meeting, White House official Kelly Sadler mocked Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainComey donates maximum amount to Democratic challenger in Virginia House race Live coverage: McSally clashes with Sinema in Arizona Senate debate Is there difference between good and bad online election targeting? MORE's (R-Ariz.) brain cancer diagnosis while discussing McCain's opposition to Trump's CIA nominee Gina Haspel.  Wooooow: "It doesn't matter, he's dying anyway," Sadler said, according to a source familiar with the remarks at the meeting. Reaction from the White House: Well, the White House did not deny the account of Sadler's remarks. "We respect Senator McCain's service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time," the White House said in a statement. http://bit.ly/2rzqZao

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT -- SADLER CALLED MEGHAN MCCAIN TO APOLOGIZE: White House special assistant Kelly Sadler called Sen. McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain to apologize for mocking her father's cancer diagnosis. http://bit.ly/2KWwSXg

JUST NOW -- MEGHAN MCCAIN FIRES BACK: Sen. McCain's daughter Meghan McCain suggested that Kelly Sadler should be fired. She said on "The View": "I don't understand what kind environment you're working when that would be acceptable and then you could come to work the next day and still have a job. And that's all I have to say about it." http://bit.ly/2rC2tVS

CONTEXT FROM JOURNALIST YASHAR ALI: "What Meghan McCain and Cindy McCain have had to put up with in terms of attacks while their father/husband is battling brain cancer is absolutely disgusting. I'm glad that most people agree with me and I'm sad that there are too many who don't." http://bit.ly/2wFn2Gf

Reaction from Sen. McCain's wife: 

Meghan McCain tweeted this yesterday: 




The timing makes this statement completely unsurprising:

In a memo to employees, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said that hiring President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE's personal attorney Michael Cohen was "a big mistake." In Stephenson's words: "There is no other way to say it -- AT&T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake. To be clear, everything we did was done according to the law and entirely legitimate. But the fact is, our past association with Cohen was a serious misjudgment." http://bit.ly/2KdhYum

ALSO IN THE MEMO -- BUH BYE: Stephenson announced that Bob Quinn, AT&T's senior executive vice president of external & legislative affairs, will step down.  

BACK STORY: AT&T paid Michael Cohen $600,000 for political consulting, in monthly $50,000 installments in 2017.  OK, stay with me here: AT&T paid a Cohen company, Essential Consultants LLC. That is the same company the Trump lawyer used to pay porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to not talk about an affair she claims she had with Trump. http://bit.ly/2KdhYum


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 cmartel@thehill.com, @CateMartel and on Facebook.



Don't test me, Don:

Via The New York Times's Michael D. Shear and Nicole Perlroth, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTucker Carlson says he 'can't really' dine out anymore because people keep yelling at him Top Judiciary Dems call for unredacted 'zero tolerance' memo The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Dem path to a Senate majority narrows MORE was close to resigning after President Trump berated her during a Cabinet meeting. The contentious issue: Trump scolded her for not doing more on border security and illegal immigration. How close she was to resigning?: She reportedly drafted a resignation letter. https://nyti.ms/2jNA1fz



But don't protesters sound fun? And you may even get to redesign your businesses with the insurance money!:

Via The Hill's Reid Wilson, cities are turning down the opportunity to host the 2020 Republican National Convention. Why -- cities insist it's not because of Trump's divisive politics: Cities are citing high security costs and disruptions to the flow of business and traffic. Reasoning from a Republican strategist: "Their leaders do not want to suffer blowback with their residents for hosting Trump and neither do they want to have local business owners angry because protestors smashed their store windows." http://bit.ly/2KRiuiO

CITIES THAT HAVE BEEN DISCUSSED: Charlotte, N.C. is the only city that is public and open about its interest.  Representatives from Las Vegas want the convention, but city officials disagree. San Antonio, TexasPhiladelphia, Pa., and Nashville, Tenn., pulled out. http://bit.ly/2KRiuiO



What kind of sick joke is this?????:


Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharIs there difference between good and bad online election targeting? Election Countdown: Minnesota Dems worry Ellison allegations could cost them key race | Dems struggle to mobilize Latino voters | Takeaways from Tennessee Senate debate | Poll puts Cruz up 9 in Texas Clusters of polio-like illness in the US not a cause for panic MORE (D-Minn.): 'Oooooops, did I say that?':



The House and Senate are out. 

Today: Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinFBI investigated media leak of McCabe comment about Flynn and Trump House Judiciary chairman threatens to subpoena Rosenstein Sessions unveils task force to combat transnational criminal groups like MS-13 MORE gives a commencement address at Campbell University's law school. 

11:45 a.m. EDT: President Trump met with automaker executives to discuss relaxing fuel efficiency regulations. Details: http://bit.ly/2jOPZpN

12:45 p.m. EDT: House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulSenate passes key cyber bill cementing cybersecurity agency at DHS Hillicon Valley: Trump stuns with election interference claim against China | FCC limits fees for 5G | Uber reaches 8M settlement over breach | Fox sells Sky stake to Comcast | House passes bills to fix cyber vulnerabilities Sessions calls on former colleagues to send drone legislation to Trump's desk MORE (R-Texas) speaks at a Council on Foreign Relations event. Details: https://on.cfr.org/2jPZCVm

2:40 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence travels from Indianapolis to Washington, D.C. The vice president stayed in Indiana after a Thursday night rally with the president.

3:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoIMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' MORE.

This weekend: Several Democratic presidential hopefuls visit New Hampshire. For example: Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. ​ (H/t/ Paul Steinhauser) Details: https://fxn.ws/2IfBGoR

Monday: The new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem opens. Tidbit: The embassy will have a staff of around 50. Details: http://bit.ly/2G5cjE9



2 p.m. EDT: President Trump gives remarks from the Rose Garden on lowering drug prices. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2KUs6t3

2:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives a press briefing. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2IuXmR5

8 p.m. EDT: The Tampa Bay Lightning play the Washington Capitals in game 1 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals. Preview: https://on.si.com/2rDit9g



Today is National 'Eat What You Want' Day. Tomorrow is National Nutty Fudge Day and Sunday is National Apple Pie Day.


Good, I love these lil' guys:

Via Washingtonian's Jessica Sidman, the D.C. Council has officially approved robots for food delivery in the city. Keep in mind: The council approved a pilot program in 2016, but now the robots can roam the city more permanently.  Video -- it never gets old: http://bit.ly/2rzVjS8


What I'm saying: Food is really getting out of hand these days.

What I'm thinking: Where can I find these?:

Driscoll's is testing a new fruit combination: "braspberries." It's a blueberry inside of a raspberry. Photo if you don't believe me -- this looks labor intensive: http://bit.ly/2Ih0VXC  


Announced this morning — behbehs:

This morning, The Social Security Administration released a list of the 1,000 most popular baby names in 2017. Top names: Liam and Emma. A name on the rise: Melania for a girl. OK, this is pretty smart: The Social Security Administration revealed the names on Facebook Live. "The agency uses the announcement to draw traffic to its website, where workers can begin tracking their benefits long before retirement." http://bit.ly/2IyfqK1

Livestream of the announcementhttp://bit.ly/2rBwWDI

List of top names: http://bit.ly/2rAg9kk


And to get your weekend off to the right start, here's an amazing video of birds laughing. The best part: one of the birds clearly doesn't understand the joke: http://bit.ly/2I7vi73