The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump on Twitter attacks Cohen testimony

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: http://bit.ly/1M1mIfw

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: http://bit.ly/1Tt4hqN

--> 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 takes to Twitter to attack Cohen testimony | Accuses him of 'perjury on a scale not seen before' | Otto Warmbier's parents slam Kim after Trump remarks | Lawmakers angry over Trump comments on Warmbier | Pence at CPAC says Dems 'embracing' socialism | Sights and sounds from the conference | Inside Biden's campaign in waiting | Dem Inslee jumps into 2020 race 

  

NEWS THIS MORNING

'THE PRESIDENT has no public events scheduled':

I.e. -- Twitter day!

This morning, President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE had a string of tweets going after his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who testified yesterday. http://bit.ly/2XxF7zh

He tweeted: "Michael Cohen's book manuscript shows that he committed perjury on a scale not seen before. He must have forgotten about his book when he testified. What does Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMatt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' What to expect when Mueller testifies: Not much McConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch MORE's lawyer, Lanny Davis, say about this one. Is he being paid by Crooked Hillary. Using her lawyer?"

And discredited Cohen: "Congress must demand the transcript of Michael Cohen's new book, given to publishers a short time ago. Your heads will spin when you see the lies, misrepresentations and contradictions against his Thursday testimony. Like a different person! He is totally discredited!"

Read the full string of tweets: http://bit.ly/2XxF7zh

 

Yiiiikes, it's already March! Filing from CPAC, 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  -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox daily: http://bit.ly/2kjMNnn

  

HAPPENING TODAY

Pence among friends:

Vice President Pence just spoke at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md. Here are the highlights:

Pence's biggest applause line: "American will never be a socialist country." The crowd started chanting, "USA, USA, USA."  http://bit.ly/2GYhCuj

On North Korea: Pence assured the crowd that "'after decades of failure' dealing with North Korea, that America will not forget the mistakes of the past and will stand firm 'until we achieve the complete denuclearization of North Korea.'" http://bit.ly/2TmSYJr

Pence promised to build the wall: Here's the reaction in the crowd: http://bit.ly/2ErE7Un

Another big applause line: Pence vowed that the Trump administration will "never abolish ICE." http://bit.ly/2BYWShz

On religious freedom: "'Freedom of religion is under attack in our country,' Pence claims, saying 'media elites' and 'Hollywood liberals' now find it fashionable to mock religious beliefs. He cites the criticism of his wife for working at a school that bans gay students, teachers and parents." (Via The Toronto Star's Daniel Dalehttp://bit.ly/2tMV46M

Livestream of CPAC: http://bit.ly/2GPVp1e

  

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS AT CPAC:

This sums up CPAC well: "Sebastian GorkaSebastian Lukacs GorkaGorka criticizes reporter after heated Rose Garden exchange Trump declares Gorka 'wins big' after clash with reporters in Rose Garden Trump social media summit attendees clash with reporters in Rose Garden MORE is a huge star at CPAC. He enters to that 'Best Day of My Life' song, then gets huge cheers for calling Michael Cohen a 'rat fink.'"  (Via The Daily Beast's Will Sommerhttp://bit.ly/2VtFfhb

Wow, check out this art: http://bit.ly/2UdorLd

You can buy a Space Force hat: "The Trump campaign's join[t] fundraising committee with the [Republican National Committee] is selling Space Force hats." Photo: http://bit.ly/2H9eyum

From the 'activism bootcamp': "Nothing scares a Leftist more than a conservative with an iPhone." Photo of the inspirational slide: http://bit.ly/2ElOQjn  

Pence applauded his wife, Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Acosta resigns amid controversy over Epstein plea deal The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi looks to squash fight with progressives The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi looks to tamp down Dem infighting MORE: Photo: http://bit.ly/2ElXJt5

Diamond & Silk got huge applause: http://bit.ly/2EhkKNK

Also in the convention center: The NUVO Dance Convention. I'll be there if anyone needs me. ;) http://bit.ly/2Ue5zvN

  

2020 NEWS

Exclusive -- Biden has a team frozen at the starting line:

Via The Hill's Amie Parnes, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden compares Trump to George Wallace Sanders unveils plan to guarantee the 'right to a secure retirement' CNN Democratic debate drawing finishes third in cable news ratings race MORE has a team waiting and ready to help him if he decides to run for president. http://bit.ly/2tK9ftF

Movement: "In recent weeks, the former vice president's longtime advisers Steve Ricchetti and Mike Donilon have led a string of meetings with potential aides to fill out the campaign if Biden makes a decision to enter the race, sources tell The Hill."

Who would likely be Biden's campaign manager: "Greg Schultz, who has run Biden's PAC American Possibilities and served as his political director in the White House, is expected to be campaign manager, sources say."

Other people who would likely be involved: Kate Bedingfield, Tony Blinken, Sarah Bianchi and Stef Feldman.

  

Can everyone slide over and make some space?

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced he will run for president in 2020. https://nbcnews.to/2Hejzlg

His campaign platform: Tackling climate change is his top priority.

From his announcement video: "This crisis isn't just a chart or graph anymore. The impacts are being felt everywhere. We have an opportunity to transform our economy, run on 100 percent clean energy that will bring millions of good paying jobs to every community across America, and create a more just future for everyone." https://nbcnews.to/2Hejzlg

Watch his announcement video: http://bit.ly/2tSBR41

FOR CONTEXT: Here's a list of who is running in 2020 and who is still on the fence: https://nyti.ms/2IKvzxA

  

LATEST WITH THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

Ah, the old 'get-your-son-in-law-a-security-clearance-and-overrule-intel' move:

Via The New York Times's Maggie Haberman, Michael S. Schmidt, Adam Goldman and Annie Karni, "President Trump ordered his chief of staff to grant his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Trump: 'We already started' talks to get A$AP Rocky home from Sweden Kim Kardashian West thanks Trump, Kushner for helping efforts to free A$AP Rocky from Swedish jail MORE, a top-secret security clearance last year, overruling concerns flagged by intelligence officials and the White House's top lawyer, four people briefed on the matter said." https://nyti.ms/2IJwe2c

How administration officials felt about that: "Mr. Trump's decision in May so troubled senior administration officials that at least one, the White House chief of staff at the time, John F. Kelly, wrote a contemporaneous internal memo about how he had been 'ordered' to give Mr. Kushner the top-secret clearance." 

 

Dems find fresh meat:

"The spotlight is shining brightly on the Trump Organization's chief financial officer following explosive testimony this week from Michael Cohen, who repeatedly pointed to Allen Weisselberg as someone who could tell Congress all it wants to know about the president's business." How so: http://bit.ly/2T7JD9c

  

IN CONGRESS

Republicans would like to have a word with the president:

Republican senators are fuming over President Trump's public statement that he believes North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was not involved in American student Otto Warmbier's death. 

From Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPoll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp Trump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report MORE (R-Maine): "I personally find that statement extremely hard to believe." 

From Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanFighting the opioid epidemic: Congress can't just pass laws, but must also push to enforce them The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet Rising number of GOP lawmakers criticize Trump remarks about minority Dems MORE (R-Ohio), who represents Warmbier's home state: "I want to make clear that we can never forget about Otto. His treatment at the hands of his captors was unforgivable and it tells us a lot about the nature of the regime. ... We can't be naive about what they did to Otto, about the brutal nature of the regime that would do this to an American citizen." Keep in mind: Portman is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. http://bit.ly/2Vw0nne

 

This morning -- Otto Warmbier's parents react:

Fred and Cindy Warmbier released a statement: "We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that." http://bit.ly/2TcSrL3

  

IN OTHER NEWS

Hug it out, hug it out:

Via The Hill's Cristina Marcos, Reps. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsLawmakers request documents on DC councilman ethics investigation House Republicans dismissive of Paul Ryan's take on Trump The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran MORE (R-N.C.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden compares Trump to George Wallace Padma Lakshmi on Trump's handling of 'send her back' chant: 'It's Charlottesville 2.0' Trump defends response to rally chant: I did not 'lead people on' MORE (D-Mich.) hugged on the House floor after getting into an argument about racism during Michael Cohen's testimony. http://bit.ly/2Ts6jju

How this started: "Tlaib criticized Meadows for bringing an African-American Trump administration official to the hearing to refute allegations the president is racist." 

How they made up: They cleared the air and hugged. 

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

This is the saddest "steak" I've ever see:

Watch: http://bit.ly/2TcSrL3

 

Did they consider putting this in The Washington Post? You know... for no reason...:

A few dozen New York local leaders published an open letter to Amazon's Jeff Bezos in The New York Times, asking him to reconsider building an Amazon headquarters in New York. Details: https://cnb.cx/2VsOJJF 

Read the letter: http://bit.ly/2T9APiP

  

ON TAP

The House and Senate are out for the weekend.

President Trump has no public events on his schedule.

Today–Saturday: The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md. Schedule: http://bit.ly/2m3SCHk

Starting today: Women's History Month. Op-ed: http://bit.ly/2H8336A

10 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence spoke at CPAC.

March 6: President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen returns to Capitol Hill to finish his testimony. http://bit.ly/2TaEbSW 

March 6: The Hill is hosting an event, "Overcoming Obstacles: Patient Access to Innovation." Featured speakers: FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors. Moderated by: The Hill's Bob CusackDetails and how to RSVP: http://bit.ly/2tNeVDf 

March 7: The Hill is hosting an event, "History Makers: Women & the 116th Congress." Featured speakers: Reps. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarOcasio-Cortez hits DHS chief for 'images of my violent rape' in Facebook group Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment Ocasio-Cortez defends being sworn in at hearing on conditions for migrants MORE (D-Texas), Virginia FoxxVirginia Ann Foxx58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill The GOP's commitment to electing talented women can help party retake the House When disaster relief hurts MORE (R-N.C.), Deb HaalandDebra HaalandDemocrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses Snoop Dogg says US women's soccer team deserves same pay as 'sorry ass' men's team Bipartisan House duo unveils amendment to block Iran strike without Congress's approval MORE (D-N.M.), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.), Carol MillerCarol Devine MillerGOP women's super PAC blasts 'out of touch' candidate in NC runoff GOP amps up efforts to recruit women candidates Kerry goes after Trump over climate on Capitol Hill MORE (R-W.Va.), Mikie SherrillRebecca (Mikie) Michelle SherrillOvernight Energy: Trump officials gut DC staff for public lands agency to move West | Democrats slam EPA over scientific boards | Deepwater Horizon most litigated environmental issue of decade Democrats, scientists slam Trump administration actions on scientific boards House Dems, Senate GOP build money edge to protect majorities MORE (D-N.J.) and Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerOvernight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border House votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale Katherine Clark quietly eyes leadership ascent MORE (D-Va.) and Del. Jenniffer González-Colón (R-Puerto Rico).

Moderated by: The Hill's Bob Cusack and Cate MartelDetails and how to RSVP: http://bit.ly/2NEZJkI

 

WHAT TO WATCH

Today: CPAC 2019. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2GPVp1e

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Peanut Butter Lover's Day.

 

Just in case a Nats fanatic hasn't told you yet (though I'm sure they have):

Former Washington Nationals outfielder and free agent Bryce Harper has signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. The contract: 13 years, $330 million. https://wapo.st/2T9WuaQ

For context: "Bryce Harper will make $69,000 every day for the next 13 years from this contract alone." http://bit.ly/2VvkjGJ

 

And because it's been a long week, here's a dog who was NOT ready for the mirror this morning: http://bit.ly/2NC6JP9