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 CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care: Trump eases rules on insurance outside ObamaCare | HHS office on religious rights gets 300 complaints in a month | GOP chair eyes opioid bill vote by Memorial Day HHS official put on leave amid probe into social media posts Trump, Pence to address CPAC this week 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 John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE." "I'm one of them," she added, describing Cruz as "the only guy who can beat Donald Trump." http://bit.ly/1QLRdJQ

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 Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map 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. http://bit.ly/1QDhZ9A

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 cmartel@thehill.com@CateMartel and on Facebook.

WINNERS AND LOSAHS: The Hill's Niall Stanage broke down the results in the primary contests last night: http://bit.ly/1RzAol7

Winner: Donald Trump
Mixed: Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states After Florida school shooting, vows for change but no clear path forward MORE (I-Vt.)
Losers: Hillary Clinton, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) and Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioColbert: Students taking action on gun violence 'give me hope' Lawmakers feel pressure on guns Florida lawmaker's aide fired after claiming shooting survivors were 'actors' 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: http://nyti.ms/1QM4kdX

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: http://bit.ly/1R74Pyx

'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 CornynLawmakers feel pressure on guns Kasich’s campaign website tones down gun language after Florida shooting Murphy: Trump’s support for background check bill shows gun politics ‘shifting rapidly’ MORE (Texas) warned a nominee would be a "piñata" and Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneFlake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan Congress punts fight over Dreamers to March The 14 GOP senators who voted against Trump’s immigration framework 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? http://bit.ly/1W8HTDA

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." http://bit.ly/1QLox3N

LET ME READ HOW HE REALLY FEELS: Former Republican nominee Mitt Romney read mean Donald Trump tweets on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Watch: http://bit.ly/1TLrXd5



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. http://bit.ly/1nw5UZb

REALIZATION OF THIS --> Tweet from The Washington Post's Dave Weigel: "Hey remember that Trump is Collapsing narrative? That was cool and fun" http://bit.ly/1QGTqK8

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. http://bbc.in/1QLGDT4

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." http://cbsn.ws/1LcQVin



NPR's Carrie Johnson

Politico's Glenn Thrush
Dude in CNN just compared Trump to Lincoln http://bit.ly/1R7eJq6

CNN's Dan Merica
Something that should give the Clinton campaign pause: Ohio is less diverse than Michigan and has a larger white population. http://bit.ly/1R6qWVP 

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" http://bit.ly/1R7mv3i 



Today and tomorrow: Former first lady Nancy Reagan will lie in repose at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi, Calif. http://bit.ly/1UbSkqF

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 James 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 LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewBig tech lobbying groups push Treasury to speak out on EU tax proposal Overnight Finance: Hatch announces retirement from Senate | What you can expect from new tax code | Five ways finance laws could change in 2018 | Peter Thiel bets big on bitcoin Ex-Obama Treasury secretary: Tax cuts 'leaving us broke' 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: http://bit.ly/1XcqxpF 

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. http://bit.ly/1Ue6Vls

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. http://bit.ly/24QzoTp

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. http://wapo.st/1R7kTXo

And because you made it this far, this guy photoshopped his dog into a giant in all these photos -- and it's amazing. http://bit.ly/222K67a


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