The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump blames 'lousy earpiece' for KKK flap | Final Clinton emails coming today | Super Tuesday scorecard | John Oliver's Trump takedown | Justice Thomas asks question from bench

IT'S EMAIL RELEASE DAY: Via The Hill's Julian Hattem, Today, the State Department will release the final batch of Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump told leaders 'illegals' cost him popular vote Trump continues to insist voter fraud robbed him of popular vote Xavier Becerra confirmed as California attorney general MORE's emails. Oh what timing: The emails are being released the day before a dozen states vote on "Super Tuesday," putting the controversy over the former secretary of State's private email server back in the headlines. http://bit.ly/21Dlzp5

ANNOUNCED THIS A.M. -- AN ENDORSEMENT FOR YOU AND ONE FOR YOU: Former Oklahoma Sen. Tom CoburnTom CoburnCoburn: Trump's tweets aren't presidential The road ahead for America’s highways Rethinking taxation MORE (R) has endorsed Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioOvernight Energy: Senate panel clears Tillerson for State Senate panel votes to confirm Tillerson Overnight Defense: Trump nominates Air Force secretary | Senate clears CIA director | Details on first drone strike under Trump MORE (R-Fla.) for president. Oklahoma is holding its primary tomorrow, so the timing was strategic. http://bit.ly/21wgcv7 Florida Rep. Alan GraysonAlan GraysonWhy Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog Could bipartisanship rise with Trump government? Schumer under pressure to add Sanders to leadership team MORE (D) -- a superdelegate -- is endorsing Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Finance: Trump takes US out of Pacific trade deal | WH says Trump has left his businesses | Lobbyists expect boom times The Rockefeller scheme to attack Exxon Mobil AT&T beefs up lobbying after merger proposal MORE (I-Vt.). http://bit.ly/2169mqM Flashback: Grayson held an online poll to let supporters decide who he'd support.

Happy Leap Day! Too bad the extra day had to be a Monday -- but here are some food and drink deals in D.C. to celebrate. The Red Sox play their first spring training games today against Boston College and Northeastern today at 1:05 p.m. EST. Spring is coming! 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 tips, comments, story ideas and upcoming events to cmartel@thehill.com, @CateMartel and on Facebook.

SUPER TUESDAY SCORECARD -- WHAT TO WATCH: Via The Hill's Jonathan Easley, a dozen states will vote tomorrow. Here's a quick summary of the delegates at stake in each -- and how the rules in a few states could help Trump vastly increase his lead. http://bit.ly/2168bYh

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THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS -- OPIOIDS, IRAN, MEDICAID and ENVIRONMENT: Via The Hill's Cristina Marcos and Jordain Carney. Heroin: The Senate plans to take up legislation to address the opioid crisis. Hurdles: Democrats who want to add $600 million in emergency funding to the bill. The otherwise bipartisan bill authorizes -- but doesn't appropriate -- funding for opioid abuse programs. Iran: The House is expected to vote Monday to call on Iran to assist with the case of Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent who disappeared in 2007. Environment: The House will be voting on the Clean Air Act and to address Medicaid payments. Here's a detailed explanation on both: http://bit.ly/1Qn79Wb

AND NOW LET'S CUE THE GOP IMPLOSION: Via The Washington Post's Philip Rucker and Robert Costa. At a moment when Republicans thought they would be taking on Hillary Clinton, the GOP is instead consumed by a crisis over its identity and values. Here's the line that divides the party: http://wapo.st/1QfXAac

I CAN'T BELIEVE WE'RE ARGUING ABOUT DISAVOWING THE KKK... Donald TrumpDonald TrumpEPA freezes grant programs: reports Kellyanne Conway gets Secret Service protection Report: Pittsburgh man’s ear bitten off in fight over Trump MORE is blaming a "lousy earpiece" after he failed to disavow former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke in an interview over the weekend. What he said today: "I sit down and I have a lousy earpiece provided by them," Trump said on the "Today" show. "You could hardly hear what [CNN anchor Jake Tapper] was saying. ... "What I heard was 'various groups.'" http://bit.ly/1RzW3Mw Trump also hit CNN, saying he'd already disavowed Duke's support before the interview.

EVEN SCARBOROUGH ISN'T HAVING IT: "That's disqualifying right there," MSNBC's "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough said after showing a clip of Trump refusing to disavow David Duke and the KKK. "It's breathtaking. That is disqualifying right there, to say you don't know about the Ku Klux Klan, you don't know about David Duke." http://bit.ly/1oSKR4J

I CAN'T IMAGINE STAYING QUIET FOR 10 YEARS: Via The Hill's Lydia Wheeler, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas reportedly broke his silence, asking a question from the bench for the first time in 10 years during oral arguments Monday morning. And not just one question -- many! -- as the justices heard a gun rights case. Context: Thomas is now one of the court's four remaining conservative judges after Justice Antonin Scalia passed away. http://bit.ly/1QgpLpD

GAWKER LANDED ON ITS OWN JACKPOT: Via The Hill's Caitlin Yilek, Donald Trump got backlash for retweeting a quote attributed to Benito Mussolini. "It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep," he tweeted. The backstory: Gawker is claiming it created a fake Twitter account and has been tweeting Mussolini quotes at Trump several times a day since December, hoping he'd take the bait. And he sure did. http://bit.ly/1oJbcl1

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

The New York Times's Nick Confessore
One thing seems certain: If Bernie Sanders loses, it won't be because he didn't have enough money. http://bit.ly/1KXZJZp

CONTEXT: Bernie Sanders raises $36M in February and eyes $4M more by Super Tuesday. http://bit.ly/1LPGCvd

Catherine Olsen of Washington, D.C.
You know they're filming a JFK movie downtown when... http://bit.ly/24wVJ8u

Rick Tyler, former communications director for Ted CruzTed CruzTrump's America: Businessmen in, bureaucrats out When Trump says 'Make America Great Again,' he means it Booker is taking orders from corporate pharmaceuticals MORE (who was fired last week); now an MSNBC contributor
Donald Trump biographer Michael D'Antonio says the Donald doesn't read books -- he only reads media about himself. http://bit.ly/1T48uDv

 

ON TAP:

Today: Candidates are bouncing around the Super Tuesday states before tomorrow's contests. Here's where each candidate will be:

Hillary Clinton: Massachusetts and Virginia

Bernie Sanders: Massachusetts and Minnesota

Ben Carson: Alabama, Kentucky and Virginia

Ted Cruz: Minnesota and Texas

John Kasich: Massachusetts and Vermont

Marco Rubio: Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Oklahoma

Donald Trump: Georgia and Virginia

5:30 p.m. EST: The Senate votes.

6:30 p.m. EST: The House votes.

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Frog Legs Day (??) The restaurant Poste in D.C. is having a special today if anyone wants to try it. http://wapo.st/21DyK9u

FROM ONE KYLIE TO ANOTHER: Kylie Jenner is trying to trademark the name "Kylie" because, why not! And Australian pop artist Kylie Minogue is not having it. This entire story is pretty hilarious. http://on.mash.to/21vGbmj

STEP INTO JOHN OLIVER'S WRATH: HBO host John Oliver spent an entire show taking down Donald Trump. And damn, it's fascinating. http://bit.ly/1pkTViP

NOOOOO, HERE WE GO AGAIN: One year after the disputed colors of #TheDress ruined everyone's day, a photo of a jacket has emerged. Blue/black? Black/brown? I MUST KNOW. http://bzfd.it/1RzTVoa

And with that, here are some cats trying some absurd things. Maybe that snobby species shouldn't be so arrogant all the time. http://on.fb.me/2168fr1

 

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