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 ConwayBiden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Biden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Watchdog group launches petition to demand Kellyanne Conway resign for violating Hatch Act 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 TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment 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 McCain#JohnMcCainDay trends on Trump's 73rd birthday #JohnMcCainDay trends on Trump's 73rd birthday New poll finds little GOP support for spending cuts to specific federal programs 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-CortezOcasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment Trump cites Ocasio-Cortez to defend himself against impeachment 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 HarrisBiden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Biden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Confused by polls? Watch early primary states — not national numbers MORE (D-Calif.) is making a strong push in Texas, the home state of competing presidential candidate Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeDemocrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate Democrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate Campaign dads fit fatherhood between presidential speeches MORE

And she's courting Texans: "Harris has already reached out to Congressional Black Caucus members from Texas, including Reps. Eddie Bernice JohnsonEddie Bernice JohnsonReturning to the moon to gain soft political power Some Dem chairmen have changed tune on Trump impeachment Hillicon Valley — Presented by CTIA and America's wireless industry — Prosecutors used FISA warrant to get info on Huawei | Study finds discrimination in Facebook ads | Bezos retains voting control over ex-wife's Amazon stocks MORE, Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeHouse to hold first hearing on slavery reparations in over a decade House to hold first hearing on slavery reparations in over a decade Democrats begin Mueller hearings with Watergate-era witness MORE, Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenCongress should make Interior's Bernhardt 'manage the land to stop climate change' The Pentagon emits more greenhouse gases than Sweden: study The Pentagon emits more greenhouse gases than Sweden: study MORE, Colin Allred and Marc VeaseyMarc Allison VeaseyLawmakers clash after Dem reads letter on House floor calling Trump supporters 'racist,' 'dumb' Lawmakers clash after Dem reads letter on House floor calling Trump supporters 'racist,' 'dumb' Democrats face voters clamoring for impeachment 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 BidenBiden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Biden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Yang: Standing next to Biden on debate stage would help boost name recognition 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 ObamaCampaign dads fit fatherhood between presidential speeches Trump: Obama 'had to know' of 'setup' to block presidential bid 2020 Democrats mark 7th anniversary of DACA 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: