The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report -- New Hampshire edition: Rubio surges in NH | Trump drops in national poll | Carson cuts staff | A smirking Shkreli pleads the Fifth | New Clinton email probe

ANOTHER TWIST IN THE HILLARY EMAIL SAGA: Via The Hill's Cory Bennet and Julian Hattem, the House Oversight Committee is opening an investigation into federal record-keeping that is expected to encompass Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP warns Graham letter to Pelosi on impeachment could 'backfire' Hillary Clinton praises former administration officials who testified before House as 'gutsy women' Third-quarter fundraising sets Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg apart MORE's emails. A committee aide confirmed to The Hill that Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) is forging ahead with the probe. 

CARSON CUTS HALF HIS STAFF: As campaign funds dry up, Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonYes, President Trump, we do have a homelessness crisis and you're making it harder for us to address New HUD rule would eliminate housing stability for thousands of students Carson defends transgender comments, hits media for 'mischaracterizations' MORE's presidential campaign is cutting more than 50 staff positions, significantly reducing salaries, shrinking his travel entourage and might return to flying on commercial flights. More from The Hill's Jesse Byrnes.

A SURVEY TO BE RELEASED LATER TODAY – MAJOR TURN FOR TRUMP: Via The Hill's Rebecca Savransky, Republican presidential hopeful Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff MORE has dropped 9 points in a national poll following his loss in the Iowa caucuses, according to a survey that will be released Thursday, Business Insider reported. Trump still takes first place in the poll, at 25 percent, with rivals Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's Morning Report - Dem debate contenders take aim at Warren The Hill's Morning Report - Trump grapples with Turkey controversy This week: Congress returns to chaotic Washington MORE  and Marco Rubio tied at 21 percent; Ben Carson polls at 11 percent.

I'm Cate Martel, on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, with a quick update of what you've missed, what's going on for the rest of the day and insider tidbits on the trail. Send comments, story ideas and clever coffee drink concoctions for your overtired (but overly excited!) author to and on Facebook



NEW THIS A.M. – RUBIO SURGE: Marco Rubio has vaulted into second place among the GOP presidential field in a new daily tracking poll -- up 3 points since yesterday. Donald Trump leads (as per usual) at 36 percent. He's followed by Rubio, at 15 percent; Ted Cruz at 14 percent; Jeb Bush at 8 percent; John Kasich at 7 percent; Chris Christie at 5 percent; Ben Carson at 4 percent; and Carly Fiorina at 3.

BEEEP – LET'S BRING THAT IN A BIT: Via The Hill's Bradford Richardson, Hillary Clinton jumped 4 points overnight in a daily tracking poll, narrowing the gap with Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — House Dems change drug pricing bill to address progressive concerns | Top Republican rejects Dem proposal on surprise medical bills | Vaping group launches Fox News ad blitz Democrats have reason to worry after the last presidential debate Krystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' MORE. The Democratic presidential rivals are now at 58 percent support for him and 36 percent for her.

IS IT SOMETHING I SAID? DID?!: Via Yours Truly, While the final lineup for Saturday's GOP presidential debate hasn't been released, the Republican National Committee's requirements would make Carly Fiorina the only candidate who wouldn't qualify to be on stage.  This is also the first debate there won't be a "happy hour" contest. "It's hard to justify a single candidate, the only woman, being excluded," Fiorina said. Here's what else she has done to ensure she'll be on stage Saturday:

CENTER OF THE MEDIA WORLD: During the New Hampshire primary, the Radisson hotel is the place to be. Last night ONE, an anti-poverty nonprofit, hosted a primary kickoff party with former WMUR anchor and political director Scott Spradling and his band playing. Outside the room, PBS "NewsHour" was building its  set in the lobby of the hotel. A short walk through the hotel is JD's Tavern, where MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes" was broadcasting live in the back of the restaurant. Spotted: Bloomberg's Al Hunt, former New York Times exec Jill Abramson, NBC's Kelly O'DonnellRich Ashooh of the University of New Hampshire School of Law, Profile Strategy Group's Jamie Burnett, Americans for Prosperity's Greg Moore, The New Hampshire Union Leader's Grant Bosse, state GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Horn and The Washington Post's Dave Weigel

One New Hampshire primary veteran shared a story from a contest several cycles ago in that same restaurant: MSNBC's Chris Matthews was sitting at the bar eating a cheeseburger when he looked up at the TV and saw Darrell Hammond doing an impression of him on "Saturday Night Live." As people in the bar realized what was going on, they began to crowd Matthews in an attempt to get the MSNBC host, the television and themselves into a photo.

LET'S START A TALLY: In just the past 3 days of mail at my family's house in New Hampshire, we have received 19 mailers from campaigns and super-PACs.  Here's a photo of the count yesterday:

WHAT TO WATCH IN TONIGHT'S DEBATE: Here are the questions The Hill is watching for in tonight's Democratic presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, sans Martin O'Malley: How negative do both Clinton and Sanders go? Can Sanders hold his own on national security? How does each candidate appeal to independents? Does Sanders look beyond New Hampshire? After Iowa, which Republicans do they go after? The Hill's Lisa Hagen dives into each of these questions:



EXCLUSIVE – FEMALE SENATORS URGE WARREN TO BACK HILLARY: Via The Hill's Alex Bolton and Amie Parnes, as the race between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton is heating up, female Democratic senators are privately urging Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to endorse Clinton for president. This weekend: a group of Democratic senators is taking a bus tour of New Hampshire to stump for Clinton, and they want the liberal Massachusetts powerhouse to participate.

THE MOST AWKWARD INTERVIEW TODAY: Via The Hill's Bradford RichardsonRick Santorum dropped out of the presidential race on Wednesday and endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). But in a Thursday morning interview, he couldn't name a single accomplishment of Rubio's in the Senate when asked by Joe Scarborough on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." Oopsies.

WHAT EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT ON SOCIAL: Politico's Roger Simon has a column on Donald Trump. "Trump is not the golden boy he thought he was. He thought he could build an invincible campaign by combining media manipulation on one hand and nativist bigotry on the other ... But he did not win. To use his term, he got schlonged." It's worth reading.

ON CAPITOL HILL – DRUG CEO TESTIFYING: Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical CEO who raised the price of a drug by more than 5,000 percent overnight, appeared before Congress today. Shkreli, though, refused to testify at the hearing, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and antagonizing lawmakers.

The Hill's Sarah Ferris was in the room. Here's her take

Tweet from Shkreli: Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government.

Tweet from Sarah Ferris: Wu Tang Album mentioned at least 3 times in today's hearing

NEW THIS MORNING – IN BERNIE'S SQUAD: Via CNN's Nia-Malika Henderson, Ben Jealous, a former head of the NAACP, will endorse Bernie Sanders for president.

CHECKING THE MATH: Via The Hill's Ben Kamisar, The Des Moines Register is calling for a "complete audit" of the Iowa Democratic caucuses in light of concerns by Bernie Sanders about the razor-thin margin. Hillary Clinton edged out Sanders by just 0.2 percentage points, a margin the Register notes would trigger recounts in other states. 



Presidential candidate Jim Gilmore
Started out as 1 of 17 GOP Candidates, now with Rand Paul & Rick Santorum out, 1 or 9. #StillStanding

CNN's Jeff Zeleny
Not sure I've seen this before: a candidate's communications director gaggling as Hillary Clinton speaks.



11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST: The House votes, including on the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act. 

1:15 p.m. ESTTed Cruz attends a Baptist church in Hooksett, N.H., for a discussion on addiction and recovery.

3 p.m. EST: Carly Fiorina speaks at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, N.H.

3:45 p.m. EST: Cruz holds a town hall in Weare, N.H. – where?? (sorry, had to make that joke)

4 p.m. EST:  Chris Christie holds a town hall in Henniker, N.H.

4:20 p.m. EST: President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with the president of Colombia in the Oval Office. 

5 p.m. EST: Fiorina speaks at the Hillsborough County Republican Committee's Primary Gala.

5:30 p.m. EST: Jeb Bush is speaking in Concord, N.H.

6 p.m. ESTJohn Kasich speaks in Alton, N.H.

6:15 p.m. EST: Cruz holds a town hall in Laconia, N.H.

7 p.m. EST: Jeb Bush holds a town hall in Derry, N.H.

7 p.m. EST: Donald Trump holds a rally in Portsmouth, N.H.



9 p.m. EST: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will participate in the presidential debate they agreed to, and which the Democratic National Committee eventually sanctioned. This is their first debate one-on-one!

7-8 a.m. EST tomorrow: Carly Fiorina will join Jack Heath for the full hour on "New Hampshire Today" on WGIR Radio. Listen here:



Today is National Homemade Soup Day! 

THE IMPORTANT INFO: Gawker has a pie chart of how much each candidate has spent on pizza during the election. No. 1: Hillary Clinton at $9,046; No. 2: Ben Carson at $3,707; No. 3: Jeb Bush at $3,583; No. 4: Bernie Sanders at $3,354 ... down to John Kasich at $69 and Carly Fiorina at $0.

WELL THIS CONFIRMS IT – NOT SLEEPING TONIGHT: A monster 17-foot snake was found dead (ugh, thank god) in a California dump.

CUE THE VEGAN FREAKOUT: Ben and Jerry's has created a nondairy ice cream. As a major fan of their regular ice cream, I remain skeptical until I try it.

And with that, send me your predictions for the primary!


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