The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by NSSF — Super Tuesday takeaways | New details on Korea summit

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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 — Takeaways from Super Tuesday primaries | Trump lashes out at 'vicious' Melania coverage | Ryan says 'obviously' Trump shouldn't pardon himself | Who is going to Korea summit | Trump considers follow-up at Mar-a-Lago | Aide who insulted McCain could get another job | 'Shark Tank' casting call in DC



Welcome, Kim Jong Un. You're going to love the golf and complimentary chocolates on the pillows:

Via Bloomberg's Jennifer JacobsPresident TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE is considering inviting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for a follow-up meeting.



Who's joining Trump: Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoClarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump Senate Judiciary Committee requests consultation with admin on refugee admissions State Department's top arms control official leaving MORE, national security adviser John Bolton and chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMOREPlus a few experts: "The CIA's top Korea expert, Andrew Kim; the National Security Council's point person on Korea, Allison Hooker; and White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin, who has negotiated much of the groundwork for the summit with the North Koreans." 

Who won't be joining Trump: Vice President Pence and Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico Trump needs a national security adviser who 'speaks softly' US could deploy 150 troops to Syria: report MORE.

How long the meeting is expected to last: It "could last as long as two days -- or just minutes."

When and where the summit is happening: 9 a.m. on June 12 at the Capella Hotel on Singapore's Sentosa Island. "If the first meeting goes well, there will be further events that day and perhaps even on June 13." 

Photos of the hotel:

Kim Jong Un's fear: The North Korean leader is reportedly worried about assassination attempts.

More details from Bloomberg:


It's Wednesday. 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.




BREAKING — Trump offers clemency: 

Via Axios's Jonathan SwanPresident Trump offered clemency to 63-year old Alice Johnson, who has been serving a life sentence since 1996 for drug possession and money laundering.




Via CNN's Kaitlan CollinsPresident Trump is considering pardoning at least 30 people. What this means: It would "[signal] that President Donald Trump is poised to exert his constitutional power and intervene, in some instances, where he believes the Justice Department has overstepped." For example: "Alice Johnson, the 63-year-old Tennessee woman who was sentenced to life in prison in 1996 on charges related to cocaine possession and money laundering."

SPEAKING OF PARDONS: Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate Krystal Ball touts Sanders odds in Texas MORE (R-Wis.) said this morning that "obviously" President Trump should not ever pardon himself. "No one is above the law," Ryan said. Keep in mind: Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Energy: California, 23 other states sue Trump over vehicle emissions rule | Climate strike protests hit cities across globe | Interior watchdog expands scope of FOIA investigation | Dems accuse officials of burying climate reports Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Zuckerberg to 'cooperate' on antitrust probes | Dems see victory after McConnell backs election security funds | Twitter takes down fake pro-Saudi accounts Liberal super PAC launches browser extension replacing 'Mitch McConnell' with 'Moscow Mitch' MORE (R-Ky.) agreed, but dismissed the likelihood of that scenario. Back story: Monday, the president tweeted that he has the right to pardon himself, but has done nothing wrong.


This a.m. — Too. Far.: 

President Trump lashed out at the media for its recent coverage of first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpClarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump pushes back over whistleblower controversy White House releases menu for Australian state dinner MOREWhy: Speculation of her whereabouts in the weeks after her kidney surgery. He tweeted: "The Fake News Media has been so unfair, and vicious, to my wife and our great First Lady, Melania. During her recovery from surgery they reported everything from near death, to facelift, to left the W.H. (and me) for N.Y. or Virginia, to abuse. All Fake, she is doing really well!"  

He also claimed: “Four reporters spotted Melania in the White House last week walking merrily along to a meeting. They never reported the sighting because it would hurt the sick narrative that she was living in a different part of the world, was really ill, or whatever. Fake News is really bad!”


And another one bites the dust: 

Kelly Sadler, the White House aide who mocked Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainAmerica's newest comedy troupe: House GOP Michelle Malkin knocks Cokie Roberts shortly after her death: 'One of the first guilty culprits of fake news' Arizona Democratic Party will hold vote to censure Sinema MORE's (R-Ariz.) brain cancer, has left her job at the White House. When did this happen?: Well, Sadler's name still appeared on press releases as recently as Monday.

WELL, HOLD ON NOW: White House adviser Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayClarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump George Conway: If Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate Biden, he 'should be impeached and removed from office' Obama, Bush among those paying tribute to Cokie Roberts: 'A trailblazing figure' MORE said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast today that Kelly Sadler is eligible to get another White House job. Conway said it is up to Sadler if she wants to remain in the administration, possibly in a Cabinet agency role. On Sadler leaving her current job: Conway would not say why she was pushed out. Reports though have suggested she lost her job after accusing her supervisor, strategic communications director Mercedes Schlapp, of leaking.


Practice that cheery grin and those pre-planned compliments: 

Via The Hill's Vicki Needham and Niv ElisPresident Trump is walking into the lion's den at this week's Group of Seven summit in Quebec, Canada. Why: The other G-7 participants aren't thrilled about the steep aluminum and steel tariffs Trump just imposed. How steep?: 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum. Why those countries are worried: Trump is bringing the nations to the brink of a trade war. And he's also threatening auto tariffs next.

SPEAKING OF TARIFFS: Via Reuters, the European Union has decided to retaliate against the U.S. with tariffs starting in July. Details:

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM TRUMP: Via The Washington Post’s Damian Paletta and Anne Gearan, President Trump will likely be confrontational. More on Trump’s approach:



August is the new September :( 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced he will cancel most of Congress's August recess.

McConnell's reasoning: Because of "historic obstruction" by Democrats, McConnell argued the Senate needs to play catch-up on confirming Trump's nominees and funding the government. 

What Democrats think the real reason is: To keep vulnerable Democrats off the campaign trail before the midterm elections in November. 

Keep in mind for the midterms: Democrats are defending 10 seats in states won by Trump during the 2016 presidential election. Republicans are only defending one seat won by Clinton. 



If you like your trade, you can keep it: 

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, Republican support is starting to grow in the Senate for legislation that prevents President Trump from imposing new tariffs. But that would be risky: Republicans are already facing headwinds in the midterms. Battling with Trump over one of his signature issues risks depressing turnout by GOP voters and turning attention to strife within the party.

THIS A.M. — TRUMP CALLS CORKER: GOP Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' MORE (Tenn.) said President Trump called him this morning and asked him not to move forward with legislation that would claw back some of his authority on tariffs. In Corker's words: "I talked at length with the president about it today. He's obviously not pleased with this effort."



Both parties breathe a (little) sigh of relief: 

Via The Hill's Reid Wilson, Lisa Hagen and Ben Kamisar, last night was the most critical night of primaries for the 2018 midterm elections, with voters in seven states casting their ballots.


  1. Dems got (almost) everything they wanted out of California.
  2. Republicans avoided disaster.
  3. The California gas tax increase could hurt Democrats.
  4. A liberal challenge to Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate Judiciary Committee requests consultation with admin on refugee admissions Trump reignites court fight with Ninth Circuit pick GOP's Kennedy sends warning shot to Trump nominee Menashi MORE (D) is proving a long shot.
  5. It was another good night for women.
  6. In New Jersey, Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezAs NFIP reauthorization deadline looms, Congress must end lethal subsidies Senate Democrats warn Trump: Don't invite Putin to G-7 Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid MORE (D) saw a sizeable protest vote over his ethics woes.

Context and details for each:

IN CALIFORNIA: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) advanced in California's Democratic primary. Who she's running against in the general: Former state Senate President Kevin de Leon (D), who is part of the progressive wing of the party.



Get ready, 'Shark Tank.' I have at least 15 brilliant ideas: 

ABC's "Shark Tank" held a casting call in Washington, D.C., yesterday. Livestream of the event:



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What do I have to do to get this title?: 


This clip has gotten a lot of traction. It's pretty funny: 



The House and Senate are in.

1:30 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House. The House's schedule today:

2 p.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Washington, D.C.

3:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Republican senators in the Cabinet Room.

8:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump hosts an iftar dinner to celebrate Ramadan.

9:30 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.

Today: The anniversary of D-Day. Op-ed:



Happening now: President Trump is holding a bill signing ceremony for the VA Mission Act of 2018. Livestream:

1 p.m. EDT: White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow holds a press briefing on this weekend's Group of Seven summit. Livestream:

2 p.m. EDT: A House Overnight subcommittee hearing on the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Livestream:



Today is National Applesauce Cake Day. 


I'm cringing. I'm laughing. I'm crying.: 

A local TV station in San Diego, KUSI, has what has been dubbed "the most awkward news clip in history." It involves a fun run and an inflatable mascot named Mr. Wacky.

Trust me, just watch it -->


Alright, too far: 

Broccoli-flavored lattes are now a thing. Photo:


And because you read this far, here's a black bear casually sitting in a picnic table. Yogi, is that you?!