The Hill's 12:30 Report

If you'd like to subscribe to The Hill's midday political newsletter, please click here:


The Hill's 12:30 Report – Super Tuesday edition: Ryan rebukes Trump over KKK controversy | Rand might run again? | Fake Warren endorsement | Rolling Stones headed to Cuba

BREAKING THIS MORNING – RYAN AIN'T HAVIN' IT WITH TRUMP: Via The Hill's Scott Wong, House Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanCures bill in jeopardy amid drug pricing push Brent Budowsky: An epic battle for the future of Congress NRCC ad touts GOP rep for bucking Trump MORE (R-Wis.) delivered a scathing rebuke of Donald TrumpDonald TrumpThird-party candidate McMullin: We can win Idaho and Wyoming Pence's plane skids off runway in New York Trump lashes out over 'illegal' Access Hollywood tapes MORE over his comments related to the KKK, warning the GOP presidential front-runner that he cannot engage in "evasion" or "games" when it comes to rejecting white supremacy groups. Re-upping this: I cannot believe we're arguing over whether to denounce the KKK in 2016.

–– But he still did vow to support the eventual Republican nominee when specifically asked about Trump. Here's @darth the friendly Twitter troll's response: Lol. 

YEP, WE DEFINITELY TAKE THAT BACK: Joe McQuaid of the New Hampshire Union Leader retracted the newspaper's endorsement of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) following Christie's backing of Donald Trump. "Boy, were we wrong [about Christie.]"

–– AND BREAKING: ANYONE ELSE FEEL LIKE THIS ELECTION HAS TURNED INTO ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ?  Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulWhat the 'Bernie Sanders wing of the GOP' can teach Congress GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election How low is the bar for presidential candidates, anyway? MORE (R-Ky.) tweeted that if the Union Leader endorses him, he'll un-suspend his presidential campaign.

Happy Super Tuesday! Today will be beautiful in D.C., in the 60s, but snow may be headed our way for the end of the week. COME OOONN.  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 suggestions for how I too can make ice- cream-filled, Nutella-lined donuts to and on Facebook.

NERDY SUPER BOWL DAY IS HERE: (eeeek!) Today is Super Tuesday and 595 of the 2,472 total Republican delegates and 865 of the more than 4,000 Democratic delegates will be awarded today. Here's what The Hill is watching for: 

How much will Trump dominate?
Can Marco RubioMarco RubioObama plans 'aggressive' blitz for Clinton in campaign's final days One way or another, 2016 was all about Donald Trump's hands Poll: Clinton has 4-point lead over Trump in Florida MORE win anywhere?
Is a Texas win enough for Ted CruzTed CruzDemocrats pounce on Cruz's Supreme Court comments Brent Budowsky: An epic battle for the future of Congress Cruz: Precedent exists for keeping Supreme Court short-staffed MORE?
Will Tuesday winnow the GOP field?
Is Super Tuesday the end for Bernie SandersBernie SandersPicking longtime fixer as chief of staff proves Clinton hasn't changed The Trail 2016: Wikissues Brent Budowsky: An epic battle for the future of Congress MORE?

Here's context for each question from Jonathan Easley: 
And here's The Hill's Niall Stanage on the GOP panic over Trump:

PULLING OUT THE BIG OL' AAA MAP: On the Republican side, Alabama, Arkansas, Alaska, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia will award delegates today.  On the Democratic side, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and American Samoa will award delegates.

TEAM CLINTON VS. STATE DEPT. WATCHDOG: Via The Hill's Amie ParnesJohn Podesta, the chairman of Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonThird-party candidate McMullin: We can win Idaho and Wyoming Clinton, Kaine raise over 0M in October Local leaders turning the heat up on Citizens United MORE's presidential campaign, says there are "serious questions" about the integrity of the State Department Office of Inspector General (OIG). Why it matters: The OIG is locked in an increasingly contentious fight with Clinton's campaign on a host of issues, including her use of a private email account during her time as secretary of State. 

BET THE CLINTON TEAM IS HAPPY THIS STAGE IS OVER: Via The Hill's Rebecca Kheel and Megan R. Wilson, the State Department released the final batch of emails turned over from Hillary Clinton's private server. Total classified emails: 2,079. Here's a closer look:

WHY OLDER PEOPLE TELL US SOCIAL MEDIA IS EVIL AND RUINING THE WORLD: A fake New York Times article claimed that Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenEmbattled GOP senator fires back at Warren Brent Budowsky: An epic battle for the future of Congress President Obama’s antitrust enforcement MORE (D-Mass.) had endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for president. The fake article has been viewed over 50,000 times on Facebook, with 15,000 shares. Why this is big: Massachusetts votes today. Warren has yet to endorse, but her backing could change the outcome.

WELL THE OPTICS HERE DON'T LOOK SO HOT... : Via The Des Moines Register's Jennifer Jacobs, Donald Trump ordered Secret Service agents to remove a number of black students who were quietly standing on the bleachers from his Georgia rally last night. "We didn't plan to do anything," said Tahjila Davis, student who was removed. "They said, 'This is Trump's property; it's a private event.' But I paid my tuition to be here." Watch the video:

Trump's Communications Director Hope Hicks told Jacobs: "Campaign had no knowledge of this incident before being alerted to your false reporting." 

Jacobs responded via Twitter: "Suggesting Valdosta students lied?"

ALL RIGHT, SO REAL TALK HERE FROM DEMS REGARDING TRUMP: Via The Hill's Mike Lillis, most leading Democrats view Trump as an election-year gift, alienating women, minorities and keeping GOP establishment-friendly voters away from the polls. But there's another group of Dems warning that Trump's unconventional approach means the rules underlying past elections are out the window this time. Why this matters: This could affect congressional Democrats vying for reelection.

TALKED ABOUT ON SOCIAL – POTENTIAL BOMBSHELL IN OFF- THE-RECORD TAPES? The New York Times is refusing to release an audio recording from an off-the-record meeting with Donald TrumpWhat's on the tape: There's speculation that Trump discusses how he'd follow through on his immigration promises if elected. How they could be released: The off-the-record agreement means the presidential hopeful would have to sign off on the newspaper releasing the conversation.

UPDATE: Trump later said much of his immigration policy is flexible, dismissing reports that the off-the-record interview contradicts his public rhetoric. "It's negotiable," he said.  And of the NYT, Trump said, "Yeah, of course they're leaking it," he said. "[It is] the most dishonest media group. And it's also failing. I call it the failing the New York Times. It's doing so badly, it's dying." 

GOT THOSE MOVES (IN CUBA) LIKE JAGGER: The Rolling Stones announced they will play a free concert in Havana, Cuba, on March 25, becoming the biggest act to play on the island since 1959.



CBS's Jacqueline Alemany (the video is worth watching)
Reporter at Trump Rally accuses SS agent of choking him.

The Hill's Jonathan Swan has the full story on the chokeslam:

Politico's Jake Sherman (about a lawmaker who resigned from office in 2015) 
SPOTTED walking out of Longworth this morning: Aaron Schock!

Fox News's Chad Pergram
McConnell on SCOTUS: We will observe the 'Biden Rule.' now become well-acquainted with that advice from the Vice President

The Washington Post's Katie Zezima (ooooof that we're at this point.)
Outside a polling place in Houston where Ted Cruz will cast his ballot. 



11:30 a.m. EST: President Obama met with leaders of the Senate and its Judiciary Committee to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy.

1 p.m. EST: The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on encryption. FBI Director James Comey and Apple will both testify. Should be interesting. Live stream: 

1:30 p.m. EST: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) campaigns in Andover, Minn.

2 p.m. EST: The House Financial Services Committee is having a hearing on helping the developing world fight terror financing Info: 

2-3 p.m. EST: The House votes. 

3 p.m. EST: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle ObamaThe Trail 2016: Wikissues VIDEO: Michelle Obama hails Clinton's friendship, experience First lady joins Clinton to rally NC Dems MORE and Jill Biden will honor female veterans in the Capitol's Statuary Hall.

4 p.m. EST: Donald Trump holds a rally in Louisville, Ky. Details: 

6 p.m. EST: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) holds a Super Tuesday rally in Essex Junction, Vt. Singer-songwriter Ben Folds will be performing!

6:30 p.m. EST: Vice President Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, are holding a reception at the Naval Observatory in honor of Black History Month.

7 p.m. EST: Polls close in Vermont, Georgia and Virginia.

7 p.m. EST: Ben Carson holds an election night party in Baltimore, but Maryland doesn't vote until April 26.

8 p.m. EST: Polls close in Alabama, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee and most of Texas.

8 p.m. EST: Rubio holds a Super Tuesday rally in Miami; Florida votes on March 15.

Tonight: Hillary Clinton will also hold a campaign event in Miami, Fla. The exact time has not been announced.

8 p.m. EST: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) holds an election night party in Stafford, Texas.

8:30 p.m. EST: Polls close in Arkansas.

8:30 p.m. EST: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) will give his Super Tuesday remarks in Hilton, Miss.

9 p.m. EST: Polls close in Minnesota, Colorado and the rest of Texas.

9 p.m. EST: Trump holds a Super Tuesday press conference in Palm Beach, Fla.

Midnight: Polls close in Alaska. 



Today is National Peanut Butter Lover's Day! Two thumbs up ;)

THERE'S A SCARY FUTURE AHEAD OF US: Bloomberg Politics's Matt Negrin posted a video interviewing college students at "Thirsty Thursday" about their presidential preferences. These are our future leaders errbody. Gulp.

WHY NOT MAKE YOUR JEANS MATCH YOUR HAIR?: There's a new trend of dying hair the color of denim. See for yourself:

I DON'T KNOW WHETHER TO BE HORRIFIED OR MYSTIFIED BY THIS: A café in Prague has created donuts in the shape of ice cream cones, filled them with soft-serve ice cream and lined this beauty with some Nutella (or berry compote if you're into that kind of thing.) Discuss.

And with that, here are photos posted by a veterinarian of a puppy with braces -- and they're going insanely viral:


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: