The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Biden says he's 'not sorry' for past actions

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here:

--> 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 —  Biden addresses controversy | 'Not sorry for any of my intentions' | Offers jokes at speech | Trump says he doesn't see Biden 'as a threat' | Obama quiet as Biden under attack | Trump heading to the border | Accuses Dems of inventing a cover-up over Mueller report | Mnuchin faces test over Trump tax returns | Trump insists law '100 percent' on his side | Strong March jobs report | Trump to skip WHCA dinner




During Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio New study: Full-scale 'Medicare for All' costs trillion over 10 years MORE’s first event since the allegations of inappropriate touching, Biden joked about the controversy.

Omg, this happened: When Biden arrived on stage at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) conference, he shook the hand of the union president Lonnie Stephenson and gave him a brief hug. “I want you to know, I had permission to hug Lonnie,” Biden joked to the crowd. 

And then: Later in the remarks, Biden invited several children on stage and shook their hands. Then he pulled one of the boys close and put his arm around him.

"By the way, he gave me permission to touch him,” Biden said. 

Watch the back and forth:

For context — here's one opinion on the situation: The Washington Post’s Matt Viser tweeted, “Joe Biden's twice joked about his physical behavior toward others and made asking permission for it seem silly. If anyone's looking for contriteness after the last week, his speech makes clear: Joe Biden is Joe Biden. He’s 76 years old. And love him or hate him, he ain’t changing.”    


"'I wouldn't be surprised' if more women come forward to raise concerns about his behavior, Biden tells reporters. ‘But I've had hundreds and hundreds of people who contact me and say the exact opposite... I'm sorry I didn't understand more. I'm not sorry for any of my intentions.’ "


Happy Friday!  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.

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:



But first, let me take a selfie: 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE spoke to reporters on the White House lawn before departing for California. 

Livestream of Trump’s remarks:


On Joe Biden: "I don't see him as a threat. I think he's only a threat to himself. ... He’s been there a long time. His record’s not good. He’d have to run on the Obama failed record."

On Democrats battling to get his tax returns: Trump said the law is “100 percent” on his side. "That’s up to whoever handles it. Hey, I’m under audit. But that’s up to whoever it is. From what I understand the law is 100 percent on my side."

On the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner: He’s not going. "The dinner is boring and so negative that we’re going to hold a very positive rally.”

On the Federal Reserve: “I personally think the Fed should drop rates,” he said, arguing the economy would take off like "a rocket ship” if the Federal Reserve lowered borrowing costs.


Give me a J-O-B-S:

The U.S. economy added 196,000 jobs in March, bouncing back from a hiring slowdown in February.

For context: The economy added 311,000 jobs in January and 33,000 in February

The unemployment rate: The unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent and labor force participation rate stayed even at 63 percent.   





Blame it on the Dem-Dem-Dem-Dem-Democrats
—> ;)

This morning, President Trump took aim at Democrats who are trying to release Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network MORE’s full special counsel report, accusing them of inventing a cover-up.

Trump quoted an editorial in the Wall Street Journal: “Trolling the Mueller Report. Democrats Lost On Collusion. Now They’re Inventing A Coverup," Trump tweeted, tagging the associate editor of The Wall Street Journal's opinion page and Fox Business host Lou Dobbs.

Read the Wall Street Journal editorial:


Walk it back, now walk it back: 

Via The Associated Press’s Colleen LongPresident Trump withdrew his nomination of Ron Vitiello to lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

What happened: “The paperwork on Ron Vitiello was sent to members of Congress Thursday, the people said, and the decision was unexpected and met with confusion. Vitiello had been scheduled to travel with President Donald Trump to the border on Friday, but was no longer going, one official said. He will still remain acting director, they said.”

The reason for the withdrawal — conflicting reasons: “One Homeland Security official insisted it was nothing but a paperwork error that had later been corrected. But other, higher-level officials said the move did not appear to be a mistake, even though they were not informed ahead of time.”


Hello, rock! 


Hello, hard place!:

Via The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda and Sylvan Lane, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump grapples with Turkey controversy Trump hypes China trade deal as new doubts emerge Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump to slap sanctions on Turkey for Syria offensive | Trump calls on Turkey to broker ceasefire | Pelosi, Graham seek deal on sanctions | Ex-Trump aide testifies in impeachment probe MORE is in a tough spot after Democrats formally requested President Trump’s tax returns. Mnuchin will now have to balance his loyalty to the president with a request that many experts say leaves him little wiggle room. How this could play out:



OK, now Democrats’ problem is the first rule of fight club

You don’t talk about fight club:
Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, Democrats are facing pressure from the left to step up and play hardball after Republicans used the “nuclear option” to speed up President Trump’s nominations.

After Republicans went nuclear: A flurry of Democrats gave angry speeches on the floor, calling it a “sad day” for the Senate. 

For context: “The changes marked the second and third time Republicans have gone “nuclear” since President Trump’s election, leaving progressive groups fuming over Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump-GOP tensions over Syria show signs of easing Trump again vetoes resolution blocking national emergency for border wall Trump invites congressional leaders to meeting on Turkey MORE’s (R-Ky.) tactics and annoyed at what they see as a lack of a response from Democrats.”


Interesting read — ‘What the heck does Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingIowa Steak Fry to draw record crowds for Democrats Ocasio-Cortez rips Steve King after he shares video drinking from toilet-fountain hybrid at border Steve King says he drank from toilet at detention center MORE do all day?’:

Via The Washington Post’s Ben Terris, “Shunned by his party’s leadership, bounced from congressional hearings, removed from key parts of the legislative process, and serving in the House minority — the Republican from Iowa has less to do than any congressman in recent history. But he still must do something, right? Does anyone know?”

Oh.: "‘I’m not sure what he’s been up to,’ said Rep. Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseFurious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria Five ways Trump's Syria decision spells trouble Cheney slated to introduce bill to place sanctions on Turkey MORE (R-La.), the minority whip and man in charge of knowing what other Republicans are up to.” 

The full piece:



Getting traction — *Takes a sip of water and dramatically spits it out*:

President Trump shared an edited version of former Vice President Joe Biden’s apology video. It’s ... something.

Reaction from Biden: "I see that you are on the job and presidential, as always," Biden tweeted in response.

Tidbit — whose voice has been silent throughout the Biden ordeal?: Former President Obama



Individuals with kidney diseases are living longer and fuller lives, but there’s more to be done. A continued focus on earlier diagnoses and innovative approaches to treatment are critical. Learn more.



The House and Senate are out. President Trump is in California today and Vice President Pence is in Texas. Trump and Pence both head to Las Vegas tonight. 

12:25 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence receives a briefing from Homeland Security Investigation and ICE agents in Houston. He then delivers remarks.

2:05 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with Venezuelan families.

2:40 p.m. EDT: President Trump arrives in El Centro, Calif.

2:45 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

3:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a roundtable on immigration and border security at U.S. Border Patrol Calexico Station in California.

4:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump visits the New Border Wall in Calexico, Calif.

5:25 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves El Centro, Calif., for Los Angeles.

7 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at an event honoring the late President George H.W. Bush at his presidential library in College Station, Texas. He then heads to Las Vegas.

7:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with supporters in Beverly Hills, Calif.

8:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at a joint fundraising dinner in Beverly Hills.

12:20 a.m. EDT Saturday: President Trump leaves Los Angeles for Las Vegas. Details: 

Saturday: President Trump and Vice President Pence speak at a Republican Jewish Coalition conference in Las Vegas. 



This morning: President Trump spoke to reporters before leaving for California. Livestream of his remarks:

11:15 a.m. EDT: Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers conference in Washington, D.C. Livestream:



Today is National Caramel Day.


Ahahahaha — My abs hurt from reading this:

Politico’s Zoya Sheftalovich, Cristiano Lima and Zack Stanton published a newsletter with an “international” spin — everything Westeros from HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

The title: “Westeros Playbook: Who’s Jonny? — Night King’s landing — Cersei you later.” The best part: It’s written completely seriously. 

For example:Who to watch... In her short time on the scene, Lady Lyanna Mormont has won a reputation as a precocious straight-shooter. Rumor has it she’s less than pleased with Snow bending the knee. If she withdraws her support, he’s in trouble.” 

Omg: BUMP WATCH: Daenerys Targaryen may think dragons are the only children she will ever have, but speculation is building that her relationship with Snow may result in a royal baby.”

OK, this one and I’m done:MIGRATION CRISIS: Many a country has tried to build a wall to keep migrants out. But as the Night’s Watch discovered, bricks and ice can only do so much in the face of thousands of desperate refugees fleeing war and certain undeath — not to mention an ice dragon. In the end, perhaps channeling a leader from another continent, Jon Snow let the Wildlings in.”

Read it — trust me:


And to get your weekend off to the right start, here’s a little girl who is extremely honest during the science fair Q&A: