The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report -- Nevada GOP caucus day | Obama pushes to bring Gitmo detainees to US | Carson says Obama 'raised white' | Trump's hot mic with 'Morning Joe' hosts

LATE THIS A.M. -- OBAMA ROLLS OUT PLAN TO CLOSE GUANTANAMO BAY PRISON: President Obama has rolled out his plan to close the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, calling on Congress to put aside partisan divisions over the controversial facility. "The detention facility at Guantánamo Bay does not advance our national security. It undermines it. It's counterproductive to our fight against terrorists." More from The Hill's Jordan Fabian:

The Los Angeles Times's Mike Memoli
Obama: Closing Guantanamo was one of the things GOP opponent Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP senator says Republicans didn't control Senate when they held majority Pence met with silence after mentioning Trump in Munich speech Mark Kelly's campaign raises over M in days after launching Senate bid MORE & I agreed on; Bush 43 wanted to close, too

The Hill's Jordan Fabian
Admin official: Gitmo plan says there are 13 potential sites to house detainees on US soil, but won't name sites or recommend specific one.

Politico's Jeremy Herb
Gitmo by the numbers: 91 detainees remaining, 35 to be transferred, 10 in mil commissions, 46 not in mil commissions/can't be transferred

Here's the full Gitmo closure plan from the Defense Department, if you're into that kind of thing:

I FEEL A STORM COMING ON THIS ONE: Ben Carson told Politico's Glenn Thrush that he believes President Obama was "raised white." "He's an 'African' American. He was, you know, raised white," the retired neurosurgeon said. "Many of his formative years were spent in Indonesia. So, for him to, you know, claim that, you know, he identifies with the experience of black Americans, I think, is a bit of a stretch."

Update: Carson stood by his comment in an interview on MSNBC this morning and suggested he wasn't criticizing the president. "He did not grow up in black America, he grew up in white America," Carson said. "Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with that." 

It's Tuesday. 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.

NEVADA CAUCUSES -- 5 THINGS TO WATCH FOR TONIGHT: Here's what The Hill is eying tonight: 

  • Can Trump win a caucus?
  • Can Rubio break out?
  • Can Cruz dominate with the base?
  • Is this Carson's swan song?
  • How will pre-caucus polls fare?

Ben Kamisar breaks down each question:

THE BUDGET LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL: Via The Hill's Sarah Ferris, we can all agree that budget fights can be hellish. Well, a proposal from House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) could break a bitter intra-party standoff. The Budget committee plans to propose a budget that would keep a deal with the White House on spending while letting members vote on other bills to slash government spending. Here's a detailed explanation:

ALL. THE. ENDORSEMENTS.: Via The Hill's Jonathan Easley, GOP lawmakers and party leaders are rushing to endorse Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio in Colombia to push for delivery of humanitarian aid to Venezuela On unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 On The Money: Trump declares emergency at border | Braces for legal fight | Move divides GOP | Trump signs border deal to avoid shutdown | Winners, losers from spending fight | US, China trade talks to resume next week MORE (R-Fla.) in hopes of stopping Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE's Terminator-like march to the nomination. Still, Rubio's chances of stopping Trump before Super Tuesday are slim. But here's where it can matter:

TALKED ABOUT ON SOCIAL -- THINGS ARE GETTING AWFULLY COZY: Gawker has the hot mic discussion between Donald Trump and MSNBC's "Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. They seem very chummy. This interaction is getting a lot of attention on social media. Here's The Hill's Ben Kamisar with the recap: 

A STICKY SITUATION FOR SENATE REPUBLICANS: Via The Hill's Alex Bolton, between the fight to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia and Donald Trump's domination in New Hampshire and South Carolina, it's a bad time to be a Senate Republican clinging to their majority. Here are the seats that are now in danger because of Trump's rise:

THE REAL BATTLE BETWEEN CLINTON AND SANDERS: Via The Hill's Amie Parnes, both Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRoger Stone shares, quickly deletes Instagram photo of federal judge on his case Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report Why the national emergency? A second term may be Trump’s only shield from an indictment MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersCongress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support Booker seeks dialogue about race as he kicks off 2020 campaign Capitalism: The known ideal MORE (I-Vt.) know that winning the Hispanic vote is critical to securing the Democratic nomination -- and both camps aren't ceding any ground with that demographic. Here's where the race is headed:

NEW POLL -- CLINTON'S SLIM LEAD: Via The Hill's Jesse Byrnes, Clinton holds a 3-point lead against Sanders among Hispanics, 46 to 43 percent, according to a new NBC News/Survey Monkey online poll.

YES, EVERYONE. IT'S COME TO THIS: The 2016 election, best described in a single headline from The Washington Post's Greg Sargent: "Donald Trump is a black hole, sucking in all his GOP rivals."

BILL GATES SAYS NOOOOPE: Via The Hill's Cory Bennett, Bill Gates has split with other tech industry leaders. He's not supporting Apple's refusal to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. Gates's argument: The government isn't asking for a "back door," just asking for access to information in this particular case.



The Daily Beast's Tim Mak (ooooof)
"Heil Trump," said this supporter, who posed unprovoked before going into a rant about how Cubans are liars

Yahoo News's Meredith Shiner
Speaker Ryan has done 37 national TV & radio hits in his 1st 4 months as speaker. BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerOn unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 Bill Clinton jokes no one would skip Dingell's funeral: 'Only time' we could get the last word Left flexes muscle in immigration talks MORE did 38 in his 1st year.

The New York Times's Nick Confessore
Was on MSNBC, explaining that Trump doesn't need $ for ads because he gets so much free media, when they cut away from me to a Trump rally.

The Wall Street Journal's Kristina L. Peterson
How would Congress work with Trump? Rep Sanchez worries he would have the Congressional Hispanic Caucus deported.

Reuters's Patricia Zengerle
Pretty big turnout by Senate Foreign Relations members at this budget hearing with Kerry. Missing include Rubio.



3 p.m. EST: Donald Trump holds a rally in Sparks, Nev.

3:05 p.m. EST: President Obama attends a DSCC roundtable at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C. It cracks me up how specific the times are.

4:15 p.m. EST: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) campaigns in Minneapolis.

6 p.m. EST: The House returns for votes. 

6:15 p.m. EST: Hillary Clinton campaigns in Columbia, S.C.

7 p.m. EST: The Nation magazine and The New School are hosting a forum in New York on the 2016 election. Speakers include The Nation's Katrina vanden HeuvelJoan Walsh, Columbia University's Dorian Warren and authors Ari Berman and Laura FlandersDetails: 

11 p.m. EST: Trump holds a caucus watch party in Las Vegas.

8:45 a.m. EST tomorrow: The American Enterprise Institute is holding a discussion on the 2016 race so far -- and what to watch on Super Tuesday. Speakers include Michael Barone, Karlyn Bowman, John Fortier, Henry Olsen and Norman J. OrnsteinLive stream: 



Today is National Banana Bread Day! 

OH MY GOD, THIS IS BRINGING BACK EVERYONE'S FEAR OF PUBLIC SPEAKING: The leader of the Labour Party got up to speak in the British Parliament and was humiliated by the audience. It's so cringe worthy. This guy needs a hug.

TIME TO TAKE A BREAK FROM SNICKERS: Chocolate maker Mars has recalled Mars and Snickers bars in 55 countries after bits of plastic were found in a product.

AN INTERESTING READ FOR YOUR LUNCH BREAK: Via The Washington Post's Michael Miller, a mysterious skill recently discovered adds a new twist to the old legend of Kabul's "Cruel King."

And to follow up on yesterday's video of the 106-year-old woman meeting the Obamas, here's the woman watching video of the interaction for the first time.


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