The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by NSSF — Trump hits allies with steel tariffs

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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 — Sponsored by NSSF — Trump hits EU, Canada, Mexico with steel tariffs | Mexico immediately retaliates, EU vows to follow suit | Trump claims he didn't fire Comey over Russia | Trump to pardon conservative Dinesh D'Souza | Considers clemency for Martha Stewart | How Trump, Sessions feud is growing more toxic | Magnolia Bakery coming to Union Station DC



All I can picture is Trump singing "Summer Nights" from "Grease" back and forth alternating between both costumes:

--> ;)

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE insists he did not fire former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyWarren: Officials have duty ‘to invoke 25th amendment’ if they think Trump is unfit McCabe: Trump 'may have' committed a crime in blocking Russia probe Trump: 'Disgraced' McCabe, Rosenstein look like they were planning 'very illegal act' MORE over the Russia investigation. He tweeted: "Not that it matters but I never fired James Comey because of Russia! The Corrupt Mainstream Media loves to keep pushing that narrative, but they know it is not true!"

(Yes, we're still talking about why Trump fired Comey.)



May 11, 2017: President Trump told NBC's Lester Holt: "Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey," Trump said, insisting "there was no good time to do it. And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, 'You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story.'" Watch Trump's explanation right after:

May 19, 2017: President Trump told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak: "I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off." (Via The New York Times's Matt Apuzzo, Maggie Haberman and Matthew Rosenberg


It's Thursday, May 31. Where did May go??  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.





President Trump announced that he will pardon conservative author Dinesh D'Souza later today. "He was treated very unfairly by our government!" Trump tweeted.

BACK STORY: D'Souza pleaded guilty to violating campaign laws in 2014 and was convicted of a felony.

WHO ELSE TRUMP HAS PARDONED: Former Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former Bush administration official I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby are two of the president's notable pardons. 

TIMING: Yesterday, Trump met with reality TV star Kim Kardashian West to discuss prison reform.


Just now — More pardons coming?!:

Via The Hill’s Jordan FabianPresident Trump just said he is considering commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) and pardoning TV personality Martha Stewart (!)


Just announced -- Trump's new tariffs:

Starting Friday, the Trump administration will place hefty aluminum and steel tariffs on the European Union, Canada and Mexico. What changed: "Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossWhite House confirms new trade talks with China EU threatens ‘swift and adequate’ action if Trump imposes tariffs on imported cars Supreme Court to hear census citizenship case this term MORE on Thursday said President Trump has decided to end the temporary exemptions for the three key trading allies despite their two months of lobbying to avoid the tariffs." Ross told reporters: "We look forward to continued negotiations with Canada and Mexico on one hand and with the European Commission on the other hand as there are other issues we need to get resolved."

Keep in mind: Those countries are likely to retaliate, and it puts the North American Free Trade Agreement at risk.


Mexico retaliates: The government of Mexico quickly announced that it will implement new duties on various U.S. products. For example: “Flat steels (hot and cold foil, including coated and various tubes), lamps, legs and shoulders of pork, sausages and food preparations, apples, grapes, blueberries, various cheeses, among others, up to an amount comparable to the level of affectation.”

The European Union: The EU quickly announced it will file a case against the United States at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and take retaliatory action, most likely in the form of reciprocal tariffs.


Trump's response to the controversial Roseanne Barr tweet, take two: 

President Trump again responded to Roseanne Barr's controversial tweets. Oh, did he address the tweet this time? No: Trump again criticized Disney CEO Bob Iger for not apologizing for a corrected ABC News report last year. He tweeted: "Iger, where is my call of apology? You and ABC have offended millions of people, and they demand a response. How is Brian Ross doing? He tanked the market with an ABC lie, yet no apology. Double Standard!"



The Parkland shooting suspect made videos describing his plot: 
Via NBC's Phil Helsel, Florida high school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz, who confessed to the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, recorded cellphone videos before the massacre, describing his plan at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The videos included this remark: "I'm going to be the next school shooter of 2018."

KEEP IN MIND -- RELEASING THESE VIDEOS WAS CONTROVERSIAL: Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed that day, is worried about the media coverage of the videos. "I don't want other kids to see what he said and think they'll do it better," he told the Miami Herald.



No, no, Bill Bennett. You don't understand. This is different. Trump likes me. He does!:

Via The Washington Post's Matt Zapotosky, Josh Dawsey and Robert Costa, President Trump said yesterday that he wishes he picked a different attorney general, again attacking Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports McCabe: Trump's 'relentless attack' on FBI prompted memoir Trump: 'Disgraced' McCabe, Rosenstein look like they were planning 'very illegal act' MORE, who recused himself from the Russia investigation. Reagan administration alum Bill Bennett, who supporters Sessions, gave some tough advice. "There is one rule: If the president doesn't want you, you don't stay," Bennett said. "You've got to be ready to go once you sense the president's displeasure with you."




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This kid is all of us: 

Watch -- it's cringeworthy but incredible:


This tweet has gone pretty viral: 



Congress is out. President Trump is bouncing around Texas for the day and Vice President Pence has no public events on his schedule.

12:10 a.m. EDT: President Trump is meeting with family members and community leaders from Santa Fe, Texas.

1:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a roundtable with supporters in Houston.

2:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at a National Republican Senatorial Committee lunch in Houston.

4:40 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with supporters in Dallas.

10 p.m. EDT: President Trump gets back to the White House.



10 p.m. EDT Friday: NBC's Kate Snow sits down with Andrea Constand, the first woman to pursue charges against Bill Cosby.



Today is National Macaroon Day.


Spotted -- First a Chick-fil-A, now this! 2018 is a great year for Union Station's food options: 


And to break up your Thursday afternoon, here's a mesmerizing time lapse of baby fish growing.