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 ClintonPoll: 85 percent of Clinton supporters would vote for her again OMB director: Government shutdown not a 'desired end' Poll: Almost half say Trump off to poor start 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.

ANNOUNCED THIS A.M. -- AN ENDORSEMENT FOR YOU AND ONE FOR YOU: Former Oklahoma Sen. Tom CoburnTom CoburnFreedom Caucus saved Paul Ryan's job: GOP has promises to keep Don't be fooled: Carper and Norton don't fight for DC Coburn: Trump's tweets aren't presidential MORE (R) has endorsed Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioTop Trump officials push border wall as government shutdown looms Rubio defends Trump: 'This whole flip-flop thing is a political thing' Rubio: Shutdown would have 'catastrophic impact' on global affairs MORE (R-Fla.) for president. Oklahoma is holding its primary tomorrow, so the timing was strategic. Florida Rep. Alan GraysonAlan GraysonThe Hill's 12:30 Report Why Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog Could bipartisanship rise with Trump government? MORE (D) -- a superdelegate -- is endorsing Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPelosi: 'Of course' Dems can be against abortion Kasich: 'I think political parties are on their way out' Sanders: Democratic Party's model is 'failing' MORE (I-Vt.). 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, @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.

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:

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:

I CAN'T BELIEVE WE'RE ARGUING ABOUT DISAVOWING THE KKK... Donald TrumpDonald TrumpReport: Senate's Russia probe understaffed Trump won't comment on Le Pen's advancement in French election Le Pen and the right wing hit a wall in French vote 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.'" 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."

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.

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.



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.

CONTEXT: Bernie Sanders raises $36M in February and eyes $4M more by Super Tuesday.

Catherine Olsen of Washington, D.C.
You know they're filming a JFK movie downtown when...

Rick Tyler, former communications director for Ted CruzTed CruzWarren builds her brand with 2020 down the road Trump wall faces skepticism on border No Congress members along Mexico border support funding Trump's wall 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.



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.



Today is National Frog Legs Day (??) The restaurant Poste in D.C. is having a special today if anyone wants to try it.

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.

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

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.

And with that, here are some cats trying some absurd things. Maybe that snobby species shouldn't be so arrogant all the time.


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