The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump's first congressional endorsements | Nevada caucus chaos | Adelson tries to keep his caucus vote secret | Trump creeps up on Cruz in Texas

ANNOUNCED THIS MORNING -- TRUMP'S FIRST CONGRESSIONAL ENDOSEMENTS: Reps. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) are the first sitting members of Congress to endorse Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump and Kim fight PR war as summit talks collapse Trump appears to confirm deal on Chinese firm ZTE Judge rejects Manafort's attempt to throw out some charges MORE's presidential bid. Here's the story:; and here's the most recent list of congressional endorsements: 

NEW POLL -- NOT ON MY HOME TURF, DUDE: Donald Trump is creeping up on Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP senators introduce Trump's plan to claw back billion in spending Pro-Trump super PAC raises .5 million in 6 weeks Trump has exposed Democratic hypocrisy on prison reform MORE in Cruz's home state of Texas in the Republican presidential primary. Cruz has 29 percent support, followed by Trump, at 28 percent (within the margin of error); Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump appears to confirm deal on Chinese firm ZTE Hillicon Valley: Experts worry North Korea will retaliate with hacks over summit | FBI works to disrupt Russian botnet | Trump officials look to quell anger over ZTE | Obama makes case for tighter regs on tech Putting pressure on Trump, House passes bill barring government from doing business with ZTE MORE, at 25 percent; John Kasich, at 9; and Ben Carson, at 4.

Happy (cold and rainy) Hump Day! I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of what you missed this morning -- and what's on tap for the rest of the day. Send comments, story ideas and upcoming events to and on Facebook.

WINNERS AND LOSERS FROM THE NEVADA CAUCUSES: The Hill's Niall Stanage has a great analysis of the winners and losers last night in Nevada's Republican caucuses.

Winner: Donald Trump
Mixed: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
Losers: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio), Ben Carson and the Nevada caucuses.
Here's the explanation for each:

LET'S GO TO THE NUMBERS: Here's the breakdown of the numbers in each category from The Hill's Ben Kamisar: With record turnout in Nevada, Trump took 45.91 percent -- his largest win of the cycle, sweeping all ideological segments. The rest of the field: Rubio: 23.85 percent; Cruz: 21.38 percent; Carson: 4.8 percent; and Kasich: 3.6 percent. Here's what that means going forward:

TIDBIT LOOKING FORWARD: The states that have casted ballots so far divide their delegates proportionally among the votes. But beginning on March 15, winner-take-all states will begin casting ballots. This is a grim thought for Trump's rivals.

RNC VS. WAPO IS THE NEW UNION LEADER FIGHT: Via The Hill's Jesse Byrnes, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Wednesday ripped The Washington Post over an editorial that faulted him in part for the rise of GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump. "That is the stupidest editorial that I've ever seen," Priebus said.

SOME INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING -- HOW ADELSON CAUCUSED: Via The Wall Street Journal's Alexandra Berzon and Reid Epstein, "A caucus volunteer, Katherine Cento, handed Mr. [Sheldon] Adelson his ballot. Spooked that a small handful of reporters were standing around watching him vote, Mr. Adelson covered the top half of his ballot with his left hand as he checked a box on the lower third of his ballot -- where the names Marco RubioRick Santorum and Donald J. Trump appear, with his right."

WELL, THAT DIDN'T TAKE LONG: Via The Hill's Jordan Fabian and Kristina WongPresident Obama's plan to close the military prison at Guantánamo Bay ran into significant opposition mere minutes after Obama sent Congress his blueprint. How: Republicans declared it dead on arrival. What this means: It underscores how difficult it'll be to fulfill a major campaign promise during his final year.

OBAMA OP-ED THIS A.M.: President Obama described the perfect nominee to replace Justice Scalia in an op-ed on the popular Supreme Court website SCOTUSblog. Summed up: The perfect nominee is someone with impeccable credentials and a non-ideological approach to the law.

ANALYSIS FROM TRUMP'S VICTORY LAST NIGHT: This morning, the American Enterprise Institute hosted a discussion of the Republican race so far looking ahead to Super Tuesday on March 1. Henry Olsen of the Ethics and Public Policy Center provided a theory on why Trump performed so well in Nevada. Olsen pointed to voters who moved en masse from California and who believe their economic and social views are under siege. Trump tells them the past can come back. And to sum up the event, Olsen was asked where the center of gravity is in the Republican Party. "Well, we all saw the movie 'Gravity' a few years ago ... and there was none."

THINGS THAT KEEP ME ENTERTAINED: Attendees at the AEI event received nametags with the company they represent below. One man's nametag labeled him "National Association of." Talk about a stereotypical D.C. title...



Mashable's Emily Cahn
Man here says "it's a disaster." No one is checking in or checking IDs. They're handing out ballots willy nilly. Some guy voted trump twice

The Tampa Bay Times's Alex Leary (wow he looks young)
Marco Rubio working in Miami-Dade for the Dole campaign in 1996. Sign: "Stop lying to America." 

NPR'S Jessica Taylor
Friend from NC just called and said they got a Jeb! mailer today and two [Right to Rise] mailers attacking Rubio & Kasich today. Whoops. 

The Dallas Morning News's Wayne Slater
Mean no disrespect, but CNN is promoting Thursday's GOP debate in Houston as "the biggest battle ever in Texas." Really? 1836, anyone?

NRO's Alexis Levinson
Hearing a lot of angst tonight from Nevada Rs upset that 2015 efforts to switch to a primary failed in the legislature.


ON TAP: Know of an event coming up? Email me and I'll include in future editions.

12:15 p.m. EST: Sens. Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Finance: White House planning new tax cut proposal this summer | Schumer wants Congress to block reported ZTE deal | Tech scrambles to comply with new data rules OPEC and Russia may raise oil output under pressure from Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — GOP centrists in striking distance of immigration vote MORE (D-N.Y.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenRepublicans are strongly positioned to win Congress in November Senators introduce bill to overhaul sexual harassment policy Ex-White House ethics counsel: More evidence against Trump than there ever was against Nixon MORE (D-Minn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallDem senator presses EPA over reporter 'intimidation' Dems expand 2018 message to ‘draining the swamp’ Overnight Energy: Pruitt taps man behind 'lock her up' chant for EPA office | Watchdog to review EPA email policies | Three Republicans join climate caucus MORE (D-N.M.) are holding a press conference on Republican opposition to an Obama Supreme Court nominee.

1 p.m. EST: Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump lashes out at 'rigged' Russia probe in pair of tweets Clapper: 'More and more' of Steele dossier proving to be true Republicans are strongly positioned to win Congress in November MORE speaks at the State of South Carolina luncheon in Columbia, S.C. Info: 

1:30–2:30 p.m. EST: The House votes, including on the Eric Williams Correctional Officer Protection Act of 2015.

3 p.m. EST: Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanRepublicans are strongly positioned to win Congress in November Don't let them fool you — Republicans love regulation, too Senate harassment bill runs into opposition from House MORE (R-Wis.) and congressional leaders present a Congressional Gold Medal in the Capitol Visitor Center to honor the foot soldiers of the 1965 voting rights marches. Live stream: 

3:15 p.m. EST: Former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonTrump must move beyond the art of the deal in North Korea talks To woo black voters in Georgia, Dems need to change their course of action 2018 midterms: The blue wave or a red dawn? MORE campaigns in Alexandria, Va.

4 p.m. EST: The Atlantic Council is hosting a discussion on the cybersecurity of media devices. Live stream: 

5 p.m. EST: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) holds a town hall in Metairie, La. 

5:30 p.m. EST: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) campaigns in Houston.

6 p.m. EST: The Council on Foreign Relations is holding an event on how nations interact, trade and fight in the digital age. Speakers include Adam Segal and James M. Lindsay of the Council on Foreign Relations. Live stream: 

8 p.m. EST: Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersTrump: ‘Clapper has now admitted there was spying on my campaign’ Overnight Defense: Trump decision on Korea summit coming 'next week' | China disinvited from major naval exercise | Senate sends VA reform bill to Trump Senate sends major VA reform bill to Trump's desk MORE (I-Vt.) campaigns in Tulsa, Okla. 

11:30 a.m. EST tomorrow: Hillary Clinton campaigns in Kingstree, S.C. Details: 

9:15 – 2:45 p.m. EST tomorrow: The American Enterprise Institute, The Center for American Progress and Brookings hold an event to discuss the country's demographic changes (race, age, marital status, education, and voting eligibility.) Live stream:



1 p.m. EST: Former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Trent Lott will speak on Sirius XM's POTUS channel on the impact of political polarization on governance and public opinion.

9 p.m. EST: Megyn Kelly hosts a Fox News town hall for Republican presidential candidates in Houston. Ted Cruz and Ben Carson will participate on location. Marco Rubio and John Kasich will join via satellite. Donald Trump has said he will not participate. Here's the info: 

8:30 p.m. EST tomorrow: CNN, Telemundo and Salem Radio host the next Republican presidential debate in Houston. CNN's Wolf Blitzer will moderate.



Today is National Tortilla Chip Day! This should have been the day before National Margarita Day on Monday! Oh well...

THE BAFFLING REASON MILLENNIALS DON'T EAT CEREAL: Warning: It's pathetic. "Almost 40 percent of the millennials surveyed by Mintel for its 2015 report said cereal was an inconvenient breakfast choice because they had to clean up after eating it." And the cereal industry is struggling because of it.

I. MUST. TRY.: These bottle-shaped gummies are taking over YouTube. Here's how they're made:

NEW WAYS TO "FEEL" ON FACEBOOK: Facebook is now rolling out the emotions to comment on posts. How to get them: Upload the most recent mobile version of Facebook on an Android or iOS in the next few days.

And with that, here is the most adorable dog, posing with its self-portrait.


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