The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump attacks on McCain rattle GOP senators

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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: Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump searches for backstops amid recession worries Florida first lady to miss Women for Trump event due to planned execution Trump adopts familiar mantra on possible recession: fake news MORE weighs in on feud between husband, Trump | Says Trump being 'protective of me' | Trump attacks on McCain rattle GOP senators | Biden advisers mull Abrams as running mate | 2020 Dems face pressure on liberal litmus tests | Trump may deploy emergency workers to staff detention centers | March Madness begins (!) | Bush 43 scores first hole-in-one



Hey, uh Jerry Springer, Dr. Phil -- what are you two up to?

And maybe Judge Judy depending on how things go:

'Pretend I'm telling you something really funny and we're having the best conversation.'


White House counselor Kellyanne Conway finally weighed in on the extremely public feud between her husband and her boss.

Conway said it's "very unlike" her husband, George Conway, to publicly ridicule President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE. 

On Trump going after George Conway: Kellyanne says she believes President Trump is looking out for her by attacking her spouse. "I appreciate the president defending what he thinks is unfairness."

On why George could not keep the feud private: "You can ask George that, but I certainly have had those conversations." 

Watch Kellyanne's interview on Fox Business Network -- this is all so awkward:


This morning from George Conway -- 'But I won't back down, no I'll stand my ground': 

This morning, George Conway went on a Twitter rampage against President Trump



"He's worst kind of dumb."

"He lies even when it makes no sense to lie. As one of his lawyers once told me, Trump couldn't be allowed to talk to [Robert] Mueller because 'he'd lie his ass off.'"


It’s Thursday — March Madness has just begun! 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 follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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PROGRAMMING NOTE: The 12:30 Report will be off tomorrow for "Executive Time." ;) We will be back Monday. Don't have too much fun without me.



Let me just read this again:

Via The Hill's Niv Elis, President Trump is considering sending natural disaster workers to staff overcrowded detention centers for migrants trying to cross the U.S. border.

Why this is idea is getting some weird looks: It's highly unusual and would put federal employees who signed up to help natural disaster victims in a new, controversial role. 

How many employees would Trump send?: 1,000 federal workers.

BACK STORY: "The detention centers for migrants and asylum-seekers who crossed the border have become a flashpoint in the immigration debate. Democrats have excoriated the Trump administration for separating families, holding children for prolonged periods and treating migrants in ways that they say constitutes neglect. Two adults and two children have died while in custody."



New Zealand gun ban:
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the country will ban the sale of assault rifles and semi-automatic guns.

From Ardern: "We will ban all high-capacity magazines. We will ban all parts with the ability to convert semi-automatic or any other type of firearm into a military-style semi-automatic weapon. We will ban parts that cause a firearm to generate semi-automatic, automatic or close to automatic gunfire."

What sparked this: A gunman opened fire on two New Zealand mosques last week, killing 50 people. 

REACTION IN THE UNITED STATES: Lawmakers are putting pressure on social media companies to root out white supremacists. How that's going:



Republicans slide back in their chairs and hope to slide out of the room entirely:
Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, "President Trump's disparaging attack on the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death Anti-gun violence organization endorses Kelly's Senate bid McCain's family, McCain Institute to promote #ActsOfCivility in marking first anniversary of senator's death MORE (R-Ariz.) is upsetting Senate Republicans who see the repeated insults on a war hero and former pillar of the Senate as unnecessary and corrosive."

The line yesterday that brought took Trump's comments to another level: "I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as president I had to approve," President Trump told workers, who went silent during the remarks, at a tank factory in Lima. "I don't care about this, I didn't get a thank you. That's OK." Watch Trump:

Timing: These comments come days after President Trump's first veto of a measure blocking his national emergency to build a border wall. Twelve Senate Republicans voted against the emergency. I.e.: It's getting tense between the president and his party on Capitol Hill. 


Celeb status:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezPoll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas NJ college censures trustee over posts targeting 'the squad' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (D-N.Y.) made this week's cover of Time magazine. 

Photo of the cover:

The cover story: "'Change Is Closer Than We Think.' Inside Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Unlikely Rise"



Turf wars:

Via Politico's Christopher Cadelago and David Siders, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Top adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (D-Calif.) is making a strong push in Texas, the home state of competing presidential candidate Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes Harris to appear in CNN climate town hall after backlash Castro qualifies for next Democratic primary debates MORE

And she's courting Texans: "Harris has already reached out to Congressional Black Caucus members from Texas, including Reps. Eddie Bernice JohnsonEddie Bernice JohnsonThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump applauds two-year budget deal with 0 billion spending hike Overnight Energy: Historic heat wave is double whammy for climate change | Trump sees 'bigger problems' than plastic straws | House Science chair threatens EPA over 'stonewalled' answers Science committee chair threatens EPA over 'stonewalled' answers to lawmakers MORE, Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeJackson Lee: 'Racism is a national security threat' Most oppose cash reparations for slavery: poll Poll: Most Americans oppose reparations MORE, Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenDanish prime minister: Trump's idea to buy Greenland 'absurd'  Juan Williams: Democrats finally hit Trump where it hurts We need a climate plan for agriculture MORE, Colin Allred and Marc VeaseyMarc Allison VeaseyLawmakers clash after Dem reads letter on House floor calling Trump supporters 'racist,' 'dumb' Democrats face voters clamoring for impeachment Current, former lawmakers celebrate release of new book on Jack Brooks, 'The Meanest Man in Congress' MORE, according to a Democrat familiar with the calls." 


Who can run furthest to the left:

Via The Hill's Max Greenwood and Mike Lillis, "Democratic presidential hopefuls, under fierce pressure from liberal activists and base voters, are racing to embrace a series of progressive policy proposals that are quickly emerging as litmus tests ahead of 2020."

How so: "At town halls and meet-and-greets in early primary states, the Democrats are being pushed to stake out positions on 'Medicare for all' and the Green New Deal, the progressive plan to combat climate change and economic inequality."


Oooh fancy – Biden may announce a running mate early:

Via Axios's Mike Allen, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTop adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' 'Forever war' slogans short-circuit the scrutiny required of national security choices MORE's advisers are considering combining Biden's presidential announcement with naming Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams as his running mate. Details:


The Onion, winning the hearts of America:


Interesting tidbit:

MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough tweeted, "Mika and I have been overwhelmed by the reaction Pete Buttigieg got after being on the show. The only other time in twelve years that we heard from as many people about a guest was after Barack ObamaBarack Hussein Obama'Forever war' slogans short-circuit the scrutiny required of national security choices Which Democrat can beat Trump? Middle East scholars blame Trump for an Iran policy 40 years in the making MORE appeared on Morning Joe."



What a gloomy morning:



The House and Senate are out.

11 a.m. EDT: President Trump held a business roundtable in Washington, D.C.

3:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump signs an executive order requiring colleges to allow free speech or lose federal funding. Details:

3:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence receives a briefing from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Atlanta.

8:45 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence gets back to Washington, D.C.



3:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump has a signing ceremony for his executive order on free speech. Livestream:

4:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees. Livestream:



Today is National French Bread Day.


Congrats, Mr. President! Now go celebrate at the 19th hole:

Former President George W. Bush recorded his first hole-in-one while golfing on Wednesday. Details

Bush's celebratory Instagram post:


And because you made it this far, here's a big group of puppies banding together to break out: