The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Fiorina endorses Cruz | Big upset for Bernie | Comey's FBI becomes political problem for WH | Cherry blossom bloom date moved

BREAKING THIS MORNING -- FIORINA ENDORSES CRUZ: Former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has endorsed Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzBrietbart CEO reveals that Trump donors are part owners At CPAC, Trump lashes out at media Conquering Trump returns to conservative summit MORE (R-Texas) for president. "Ted Cruz has always been a constitutional conservative," Fiorina said, describing Cruz as "a fearless fighter and reformer." Fiorina noted that many in the Republican Party are "horrified by Donald TrumpDonald TrumpState Dept. halts plan for back-channel US-North Korea talks: report If Democrats want to take back the White House start now White House rejects DHS research on travel ban: report MORE." "I'm one of them," she added, describing Cruz as "the only guy who can beat Donald Trump."

THE FBI IS RUFFLING WHITE HOUSE'S FEATHERS: Via The Hill's Cory Bennett and Julian Hattem, the aggressive posture of the FBI under Director James Comey is becoming a political problem for the White House. Reasons why: First, the FBI's probe into Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonViral website imagines US if Clinton had won Brazile: DNC staffers got death threats after email hack Manchin: Sanders backers should challenge me in Dem primary MORE's email server. Second, the FBI's demand for Apple to unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino killers has outraged Silicon Valley (a significant source of political support for President Obama and Democrats). Third, Comey has stirred tensions by linking violent crime rates to the Black Lives Matter movement. And fourth, Comey is warning about "gaps" in screening Syrian refugees.

It's Wednesday, and we're 11 days away from spring! 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 LOSAHS: The Hill's Niall Stanage broke down the results in the primary contests last night:

Winner: Donald Trump
Mixed: Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBrazile: DNC staffers got death threats after email hack Manchin: Sanders backers should challenge me in Dem primary DNC chair vote: live coverage MORE (I-Vt.)
Losers: Hillary Clinton, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) and Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioAt CPAC, Trump lashes out at media Conquering Trump returns to conservative summit Rubio brushes off demonstrator asking about town halls MORE (R-Fla.); super-PACs; and hopes for a brokered convention


SandersMichigan (!)
TrumpHawaiiMichigan and Mississippi


Clinton: 86 delegates last night
Sanders: 69 delegates last night
Trump: 69 delegates last night
Cruz: 50 delegates last night
Kasich: 17 delegates last night
Rubio: 0 delegates last night

Details from the New York Times:

BUT IT'S COMPLICATED: Via The Hill's Ben Kamisar, Hillary Clinton is projected to add slightly to her delegate lead after splitting Mississippi and Michigan with Bernie Sanders on Tuesday night. The key to the delegate count is the margin of victory. Here's the explainer:

'YOU'RE IN FOR A BUMPY RIDE -- MWAHAHA': Via The Hill's Alex Bolton, Republicans are promising that whoever is nominated for the Supreme Court by President Obama is in for a rough ride. Senate GOP Whip John CornynJohn CornynCornyn: Border wall 'makes absolutely no sense' in some areas Ryan on border: ‘We will get this done’ Ryan tours Mexican border on horseback MORE (Texas) warned a nominee would be a "piñata" and Sen. John ThuneJohn ThuneYahoo reveals new details about security Conquering Trump returns to conservative summit Low-income consumer broadband credits mean competitiveness, choice and compassion MORE (R-S.D.) promised a "process without an end." Yesterday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch formally asked to be taken out of the running. What, the confirmation process doesn't seem fun to you?

ALL THE POLITICIAN BUZZ WORDS: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) sent a blunt message to the establishment after his upset win in Michigan. "The corporate media counted us out," Sanders tweeted when thanking Michigan. "Corporate" and "media" in one phrase -- the only words missing are "billionaires," "Wall Street" and "our children."

LET ME READ HOW HE REALLY FEELS: Former Republican nominee Mitt Romney read mean Donald Trump tweets on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Watch:



WHAT BERNIE'S UPSET IN MICHIGAN MEANS: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had a surprise victory in Michigan, despite polling and predictions. Why it's important: His win in a large, demographically diverse state (!) with a big manufacturing base shows he's still in it for the long game.

REALIZATION OF THIS --> Tweet from The Washington Post's Dave Weigel: "Hey remember that Trump is Collapsing narrative? That was cool and fun"

BEATLES RECORD PRODUCER DIES: Record producer Sir George Martin, known as the "fifth Beatle," has died at age 90. Beatles drummer Ringo Starr broke the news on Twitter.

RUBIO'S FOGGY PATH FORWARD: Via CBS's Major Garrett, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) did not qualify for delegates in Michigan, Mississippi or Idaho last night. Rubio's advisers are debating his path forward, fearing an embarrassing loss in his home state of Florida next week but equally fearful of quitting before his potential boost. "It was unclear if Rubio was personally considering quitting, but advisers say his entire inner circle was forced into some tough conversations about the path forward and whether to continue."



NPR's Carrie Johnson

Politico's Glenn Thrush
Dude in CNN just compared Trump to Lincoln

CNN's Dan Merica
Something that should give the Clinton campaign pause: Ohio is less diverse than Michigan and has a larger white population. 

IJ Review's Hunter Schwarz
CNN calling them "Trump Steaks" this a.m. Took 1 min. to call the company on the label and find out they're not actually "Trump Steaks" 



Today and tomorrow: Former first lady Nancy Reagan will lie in repose at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi, Calif.

12 p.m. EST: The Senate is voting on amendments to a bill on combating opioid abuse.

2 p.m. EST: Agriculture Secretary Tom VilsackThomas J. VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE testifies before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the department's $25 billion fiscal year 2017 budget request.

2:30 p.m. EST: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) holds a town hall in Palatine, Ill. 

3:15 p.m. EST: President Obama meets with Treasury Secretary Jack LewJack LewOne year later, the Iran nuclear deal is a success by any measure Chinese President Xi says a trade war hurts the US and China Overnight Finance: Price puts stock trading law in spotlight | Lingering questions on Trump biz plan | Sanders, Education pick tangle over college costs MORE

7 p.m. EST: Donald Trump holds a rally in Fayetteville, N.C.



8 p.m. EST: MSNBC is holding a town hall with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in Miami, moderated by Chuck Todd.

9 p.m. EST: Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) debate in Miami, hosted by The Washington Post and Univision. You can watch it on CNN and Fusion. Live stream: 

8:30 p.m. EST tomorrow: Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) also debate in Miami, hosted by CNN, The Washington Times and Salem Media Group.



Today is National Crab Day and National Meatball Day!

FREE BEER ALERT: ...because I gotchu guys! The Spotluck app is hosting a Capitol Hill Launch Party today from 6–9 p.m. EST. There's unlimited free beer as long as you download the Spotluck app.

CHERRY BLOSSOMS, COMIN' ATCHA HOT: This week's unseasonably warm temperatures have expedited the date for the cherry blossoms in D.C. to bloom. Original prediction: March 31–April 3. New date: March 18–23 -- two days before the festival even starts. Uhhh ohhh.

HEY, YOU KIDS! GET OFF MY LAWN, ER, AIRSPACE?: Officials at Reagan National Airport in D.C. received 8,670 noise complaints in 2015. The part that made me laugh out loud: 6,500 of those complaints came from the same person. Yes, that boils down to just over 18 complaints every day for 365 days. That's dedication, dude.

And because you made it this far, this guy photoshopped his dog into a giant in all these photos -- and it's amazing.


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