The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump spars with NY Times over Mueller reporting

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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 — Presented by Kidney Care Partners —  Trump hits NY Times over Mueller reporting | DOJ defends Barr from Mueller staff criticism | House votes to end support for Yemen war in rebuke to Trump | More women come forward with allegations about Biden | Dem Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanBiden, Buttigieg bypassing Democratic delegate meeting: report Tim Ryan jokes he's having 'dance-off' with Andrew Yang The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape MORE jumps into 2020 race | New momentum for reparations bill | 'Queer Eye' crew in DC | AOC asks for office decorating help | National Burrito Day



Joseph and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day:

Yesterday afternoon, 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 released a two-minute video where he pledged to be more mindful of women's personal space. Watch Biden's apology video:

But the video shows no signs of putting the controversy to rest. After the video's release, three more women came forward about instances in which they said Biden made them feel uncomfortable. Read their accounts in The Washington Post:


The Washington Post's senior political reporter Aaron Blake writes, "Biden's new video is well done. But it's not an apology." His take:

AND FROM GOP SEN. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Cindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week MORE:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was asked about the Biden controversy and responded, "My bias is clear in terms of Joe Biden. I think he's one of the most decent people I've ever met. I don't believe for a second that he meant to do anything wrong, and I can understand why people took it differently than he meant." Watch:



It's Thursday. 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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Add a podium: 

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) announced he is running for president. 

What to know: "An outspoken moderate in the House who once challenged Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes Hobbled NRA shows strength with Trump MORE (D-Calif.) in a leadership race, Ryan is jumping into a nominating contest dominated by high-profile candidates angling their appeals toward the party's progressive flank."


New detail in the Ethiopian Airlines crash:

A top official in Ethiopia said the pilots aboard the Boeing 737 Max that crashed last month did follow proper safety procedures before the fatal crash.

From Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges: "The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft." 

Why that comment is newsy: It contradicts Boeing, which claims that the pilots could have avoided the crash by following safety procedures. 



*Slowly raises a single eyebrow*:

Via The New York Times's Nicholas Fandos, Michael S. Schmidt and Mark Mazzetti, some of the investigators on special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE's team have privately said they don't think Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrProsecutors are mainly to blame for the criminal justice crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall MORE's four-page summary of the report accurately portrays its findings.


During an interview on Fox's "The Ingraham Angle," 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's lawyer Rudy Giuliani ripped "disgruntled" investigators as "a bunch of sneaky, unethical leakers."

Watch Giuliani's interview on Fox:


The Justice Department defended Attorney General William Barr's decision to release a summary. 

Statement: "Given the extraordinary public interest in the matter, the Attorney General decided to release the report's bottom-line findings and his conclusions immediately – without attempting to summarize the report – with the understanding that the report itself would be released after the redactions process."


The president tweeted, "The New York Times had no legitimate sources, which would be totally illegal, concerning the Mueller Report. In fact, they probably had no sources at all! They are a Fake News paper who have already been forced to apologize for their incorrect and very bad reporting on me!"


Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyWhite House denies exploring payroll tax cut to offset worsening economy Schumer joins Pelosi in opposition to post-Brexit trade deal that risks Northern Ireland accord GOP senators call for Barr to release full results of Epstein investigation MORE (R-Iowa) tweeted this morning, "I support release of the Mueller report." Why this is newsy: Grassley served as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee through 2018. 


Nope. FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers that he has not read special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report.



Just now -- breaking the veto ice:

"The House passed a resolution Thursday to end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, sending it to President Trump's desk and likely forcing him to issue the second veto of his presidency."

The resolution: "The resolution, which would require Trump to withdraw U.S. military forces in or 'affecting' Yemen unless they are fighting al Qaeda, gained considerable momentum after Khashoggi's killing last year in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul."

The vote: 247-175.


Momentum for slavery reparations:

Via The Hill's Mike Lillis and Scott Wong, "House legislation to form a commission to study whether black Americans should receive reparations for slavery is getting a significant boost from Democrats on the presidential campaign trail." 

What's happening: "Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassKing incites furor with abortion, rape and incest remarks Reuniting families is a critical step in diplomacy with North Korea Democrats warn of Trump trap MORE (D-Calif.), the head of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), suggested that action on a reparations measure sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) is all but certain, with Democrats now in control of the lower chamber and the idea gaining prominence on the national stage." 

What Jackson Lee's bill would do: "Jackson Lee's bill would form a commission to study the issue of reparations but does not call for black Americans to receive payments."

How that is playing on the campaign trail:



In Dupont Circle:

Former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenNative American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment Reid says he wishes Franken would run for Senate again Al Franken urges Trump to give new speech after shootings: 'Try to make it sound like you're sincere, even if you're not' MORE (D-Minn.) was outside a Dupont Circle cafe greeting passersby. (Via CNN's Betsy Klein)


'Queer Eye' in D.C.:

The "Queer Eye" crew has been seen around Washington, D.C., this week.



"Cast members of the hit Netflix show "Queer Eye" are lending their star power to push lawmakers to pass the Equality Act, legislation which would ensure federal protections for LGBTQ individuals."



Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez blasts Electoral College as a 'scam' Trump slams Tlaib after press conference on Israel ban: I don't buy her tears Scaramucci calls on GOP to save country from Trump 'depredations' MORE (D-N.Y.) has been tweeting with Bobby Berk, the Netflix show's interior design expert.

Berk: "Hey @AOC! I'm in DC all week girl! Put me to work! 'Have time... will work for democracy!' " 

AOC: "Swing by our office! We've barely had time to hang anything up, three of my staffers are expecting babies, and we've got a bach pad/warehouse type situation out here. SOS!  (The good news is that people are leaving a rainbow of positive post-its on our wall so that's cute)"



Rest in peace:

The Hill's Vicki Needham died last week of cancer at the age of 50.

"Since 2010, Vicki covered financial issues for The Hill, including trade and the economy. She was a fixture on Capitol Hill, pressing lawmakers and aides on the big story of the day. She was inquisitive and insightful, and her articles told readers what was going on and what was likely to come next. Vicki, who could always be counted on to make sense of the complicated world of politics, appeared on C-SPAN more than 40 times.

"Since her death on March 25, Vicki's friends and colleagues have remarked on her incredible courage and positivity as she faced cancer for the past two years. Vicki researched her treatments and grilled her doctors with tough questions."

Read her obituary in The Hill:

Watch Vicki's appearances on C-SPAN:



From The Hill's Editor-in-Chief Bob Cusack: "A great reporter. Brave. Kind. Always smiling. Truly special. We miss you Vicki. Rest In Peace."

From Shareblue Media's Emily C. Singer: "Vicki was one of the nicest people on Capitol Hill. When I was an intern at The Hill she was always kind and willing to lend a hand. What a loss :( "

From Hamilton Place Strategies' Tony Fratto: "Vicki Needham was a smart, talented reporter. You knew when she called that you'd better know what you're talking about, but I always looked forward to talking to her. Vicki was fun. It's so sad to hear that cancer took her. She is already deeply missed."

From former Obama spokesman Trevor Kincaid: "Just learned that [Vicki Needham] lost her fight with cancer. Having battled Vicki myself, I know she fought like hell. She was a kind person who had integrity and took her role of journalist - to inform - seriously. I respected her and will remember her fondly. #cancersucks"

From The Hill's finance reporter Sylvan Lane: "A few of you might have already heard, but we're sad to share with you that we lost our colleague Vicki last month. She was a fantastic reporter who taught me a lot and helped me find my footing as an economic policy reporter. I'll miss her dearly."






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The House and Senate are in.

10:30 -- 11:30 a.m. EDT: First and last votes in the House.

11:10 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence spoke at the University of Notre Dame's "Insight & Outlook on National and Global Affairs."

11:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump participated in the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Meeting.

12:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump receives an intelligence briefing.

1:20 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and second lady Karen PenceKaren Sue PencePence on battling critics: 'Spend more time on your knees than on the internet' The 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 MORE leave Washington, D.C., for Indianapolis, Ind.

4 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence tours Lamb Farms, Inc.

4:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the vice premier of China.

Today: The 51st anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. Op-ed:

April 9: Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's. Details



This morning: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOmar says US should reconsider aid to Israel I'm not a Nazi, I'm just a dude: What it's like to be the other Steve King Trump finds consistent foil in 'Squad' MORE (R-Calif.) held a press briefing. Livestream:



Today is National Burrito Day. Oh and it's also National Hug A Newsperson Day… 


D.C. spring is the best: 

Here's a list of events in the Washington, D.C., area this weekend: 


And because you made it this far, here's a cat who is ~thrilled~ about his family's new puppy: