The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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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: Comey: FBI investigating possible collusion between Trump team, Russia | WH says there's 'no evidence' | Gorsuch hearings begin | Crunch time for GOP's ObamaCare repeal push | Tom Brady's Super Bowl jersey found

BREAKING -- WHY TRUMP CAMPAIGN STAFFERS SHOULD THROW AWAY THEIR VODKA, RUSSIAN NESTING DOLLS AND BEEF STROGANOFF LEFTOVERS: FBI Director James Comey this morning confirmed that the bureau is investigating Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election -- including any links or coordination between members of President Trump's campaign and Moscow. We all have questions: Comey declined to provide more details, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation. Comey's explanation (49-second clip):

Live stream and coverage of the hearing:

Back story: FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers are testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the election.

The room: That’s a lot of cameras:

JUST NOW -- WHITE HOUSE SAYS 'NO WAY!': After Comey confirmed an FBI investigation, the White House asserted there is "no evidence" that President Trump's associates colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election. "Nothing has changed," a White House official wrote in an email. "Senior Obama intelligence officials have gone on record to confirm there is NO EVIDENCE of Trump-Russia collusion and there is NO EVIDENCE of a Trump-Russia scandal."

It's Monday -- happy first day of spring! 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, @CateMartel and on Facebook.

ALSO BREAKING -- EXISTENTIALLY, WHAT *PAUSE* IS *PAUSE* A WIRETAP?: The Department of Justice has "no information" to support President Trump's claim that former President Barack Obama "wiretapped" Trump Tower, FBI Director James Comey said during the hearing. Not going there: Comey refused to "characterize" the tweets containing the allegation from President Trump, saying only that "I have no information" that supports the claim. Awkward back and forth: 

Lol, wuuut?: "'hashtag lock her up' -- Rep. Schiff" 

Interesting tidbit: "Trey GowdyTrey GowdyGOP lawmaker wants former Obama aide to testify Overnight Cybersecurity: FBI pick says Russia probe not a 'witch hunt' | Massive Verizon data leak | Agencies restricted from using Russian security software GOP Rep. Gowdy slams Trump team for 'amnesia' on Russia meetings MORE is now suggesting that reporters who publish classified information from sources should be charged with a crime." 

Yikes -- those are some accusations: "Gowdy -- without citing evidence -- is strongly suggesting that Clapper, Brennan, Rice, Rhodes, Lynch, Yates and Obama leaked Flynn's name." (From NYT's Glenn Thrush) Gowdy asked Comey if former Obama officials, including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA director John Brennan, former national security adviser Susan Rice, former national security adviser Ben Rhodes, former attorney general Loretta Lynch, and former acting attorney general Sally Yates, had access to transcripts of Flynn's conversations.

Early this morning -- because what's a major news cycle without a Trump tweet?: President Trump this morning slammed the idea that his campaign colluded with Russia. He tweeted that Democrats "pushed the Russian story" to cover up for their poorly run presidential campaign. ""[Former director of national intelligence] James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!" Full flurry of tweets: 

OTHER FIREWORKS TO EXPECT THIS WEEK -- GIVE IT THE OLE COLLEGE, ERRR, 'GARLAND' TRY: Via The Hill's Lydia Wheeler, hearings on the confirmation of President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, kicked off Monday. Keep in mind: For now, Gorsuch needs the support of at least eight Democrats to win confirmation in the 52-48 GOP majority Senate.

Live stream and live blog of the updates: 

Jumping in the deep end: "Feinstein immediately raising the frozen truck driver case"

Back-story of the frozen truck driver: 

Five things to watch this week:  
1. How will Gorsuch handle pressure from Democrats to speak out against Trump? 
2. Where do red-state Democrats fall on Gorsuch?
3. How much does Gorsuch reveal about his views?   
4. Will Gorsuch give liberals any ammunition?
5. Will Gorsuch keep his composure? 

Keep in mind: "Opening statements from senators over in Judiciary means we won't hear from Gorsuch until at least 2:30 p.m. ish..."

LATEST WITH THE TRAVEL BAN -- 'IT'S STILL A NO FROM ME': A Hawaii federal judge refused to narrow his injunction that put a temporary halt on President Trump's revised travel ban. Details: The U.S. district court judge declined a Justice Department motion to restrict the restraining order to the temporary ban on nationals from six predominantly Muslim nations. The current halt also stays implementation of the executive order's 120-day ban on admitting refugees.

WELCOME! LET ME GET YOU A JUMBO SLICE -- ON ME!: Via TMZ, First lady Melania Trump and President Trump's 10-year-old son Barron will reportedly be moving to the White House in June, at the end of the school year.

THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS -- BASICALLY AN OBAMACARE DUEL: Via The Hill's Cristina Marcos and Jordain Carney, Republicans face a make-or-break moment this week as House leaders hope to pass legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Expect a floor vote Thursday. What else to expect:



U.S. News & World Report's David Catanese (What even is this?!)
The Washington Post is telling America this product will help them sleep on planes.



The Senate is in, but without any scheduled votes. The House is also in. Their schedule:

This morning, President Trump met with Bill Gates. Trump later met with Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanGOP divided over care for transgender troops Want bipartisan health reform? Make the debate honest again Ex-CBO directors defend against GOP attacks on ObamaCare analysis MORE (R-Wis.), Health Secretary Tom Price and Dr. Zeke Emanuel, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence.

12:30 p.m. EDT: Fox News's Bret Baier speaks at an American Enterprise Institute event.

1:35 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

7 p.m. EDT: Gil Kerlikowske, former commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, speaks at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. 

10 a.m. EDT Wednesday: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden deflects questions about 2020 run at OZY Fest The Hill's 12:30 Report Dems see huge field emerging to take on Trump MORE participates in an ObamaCare rally on the House steps with Democrats.

Thursday: The House will vote on the American Health Care Act, the Republican replacement plan for ObamaCare.



Happening now: Day 1 of Judge Neil Gorsuch's confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court. Live stream:

Happening now: FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Michael Rogers testify at a House Select Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia and the 2016 presidential election. Live stream:

1:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sean Spicer gives the daily press briefing. Live stream:

7:40 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Louisville, Ky.



Today is National Ravioli Day!

NATIONAL TREASURE III: Via Fox Sports, Tom Brady's Super Bowl LI jersey was found. "Houston police previously reported that since the jersey was estimated to be worth $500,000, that the theft would be considered a felony. Meanwhile, a source tells Comcast SportsNet New England's Tom E. Curran that authorities also found Brady's jersey from his 2015 Super Bowl win, which was reportedly taken by the same person and pawned outside the country."

And because funny videos are necessary on Mondays, here's a dog attempting to go through an agility course and making so many hilarious mistakes. Even the announcers are loving it.


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