February 29, 2016

Presidential candidates are traditionally given the opportunity to make their case before The New York Times' editorial board while seeking the paper's coveted endorsement. Donald Trump stopped in to speak to the paper on Jan. 5 and in the days since, his recording has taken on a "near-mythical" status with the staff, BuzzFeed reports. Not for what was said on record, though — but for a rumored bombshell in the off-the-record part of the talk.

Speculation grew on Saturday when columnist Gail Collins wrote, "The most optimistic analysis of Trump as a presidential candidate is that he just doesn't believe in positions, except the ones you adopt for strategic purposes when you're making a deal. So you obviously can't explain how you're going to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, because it's going to be the first bid in some future monster negotiation session." As Collins was privy to the private and unreleased conversation, BuzzFeed questions if her words are truly speculative:

So what exactly did Trump say about immigration, about deportations, about the wall? Did he abandon a core promise of his campaign in a private conversation with liberal power brokers in New York?

I wasn't able to obtain the recording, or the transcript, and don't know exactly what Trump said. Neither [editor-in-chief Dean] Baquet, Collins, nor various editorial board members I reached would comment on an off-the-record conversation, which the Times essentially said they cannot release without approval from Trump, given the nature of the the off-the-record agreement. [BuzzFeed]

And as Trump has a hard enough time releasing his tax returns, it might mean the off-the-record recording will forever remain a Holy Grail of journalistic intrigue. Jeva Lange

10:10 p.m. ET
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On Monday, Verizon will announce it has agreed to buy Yahoo for about $5 billion, sources with knowledge of the deal have told Bloomberg.

The deal includes Yahoo real estate assets, but the company will keep its stakes in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Yahoo Japan Corp., with a combined market value of close to $40 billion, the sources told Bloomberg. If the deal goes through, it will double the size of Verizon's digital advertising, and will likely end the tenure of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. "The deal speaks to a clear strategy shift at Verizon," analyst Craig Moffett told Bloomberg Sunday. "They are trying to monetize wireless in an entirely new way. Instead of charging customers for traffic, they are returning to charging advertisers for eyeballs." A spokesman for Verizon and spokeswoman for Yahoo declined to comment on the report. Catherine Garcia

9:11 p.m. ET
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President Obama's older half-brother, Malik Obama, is on the Trump Train.

"I like Donald Trump because he speaks from the heart," he told The New York Post. "'Make America Great Again' is a great slogan. I would like to meet him." Malik Obama now lives in the rural Kenyan village of Kogelo, but is still registered to vote in Maryland, where he worked as an accountant for several years. He said he plans to return to Maryland in November to vote for Trump, who he believes is "providing something new and something fresh."

The 58-year-old said he's been a Democrat his entire life, but was "disappointed" by his brother's tenure, upset by FBI Director James Comey recommending not prosecuting Hillary Clinton over her use of a private server while secretary of state, and bothered by same-sex marriage. "I feel like a Republican now because they don't stand for same-sex marriage, and that appeals to me," he said. Trump was quick to tout the endorsement, tweeting that Malik Obama was "probably treated badly by president — like everybody else!"

Malik Obama, who has called the late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi one of his best friends, didn't meet his brother until 1985, and now runs a charity named after their father, which he says raises money to help their family village. He also is said to have at least three wives, including a woman he married in 2011 when she was a teenager, but would not reveal how many children he has. In 2013, he lost his bid to become governor of the southwestern Kenyan county of Siaya. "I don't think politics is my thing," he told The Post. "Honestly, I'll be happy when my brother is out of office, and I will finally be out of the limelight and be able to live like a human being." Catherine Garcia

7:54 p.m. ET

Police say 12 people were injured after a man who earlier had been turned away from a music festival blew himself up outside a bar in Ansbach, Germany, late Sunday.

The Bavarian interior minister said the man was a 27-year-old Syrian who had been denied asylum, and it's unclear if he "planned on suicide or if he had the intention of killing others." Of the 12 victims, three sustained serious injuries, The Associated Press reports. Last week, a gunman opened fire in Munich, killing nine, and an ax-wielding attacker injured several people on a train in Wuerzburg.

This is a developing story and has been updated throughout. Catherine Garcia

4:32 p.m. ET
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Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced on Sunday that she will step down after leaked emails seem to show the committee's bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders. In one email, the DNC's chief financial officer, Brad Marshall, suggested attacking Sanders for his religious beliefs and painting him as an atheist. Marshall apologized on Saturday, but on Sunday, Sanders said the emails were "outrageous" and called for Wasserman Schultz to resign. "I mean there's no question to my mind and I think no question to any objective observer's mind that the DNC was supporting Hillary Clinton, and was at opposition to our campaign," Sanders said.

The leaked emails, and the resignation, come one day before the start of the Democratic National Convention and at a time when the Democratic Party is showing signs of division after a tense primary season between Sanders and Clinton. Wasserman Schultz will step down at the end of the convention. In a statement following the announcement, Clinton called Wasserman Schultz a "fighter" and thanked her for her service. Jessica Hullinger

2:58 p.m. ET
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In a surprising move, Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire media executive and the former mayor of New York City, will endorse Hillary Clinton for president, The New York Times reports. Bloomberg left the Democratic Party in 2000 to become a registered Republican. Earlier this year, he was considering his own presidential run as an independent. While Bloomberg disagrees with Clinton on a variety of subjects, including gun control and immigration, the Times reports he is dismayed at the thought of a Donald Trump presidency, and believes Clinton to be a "far better choice," said Howard Wolfson, a Bloomberg adviser.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg will make his case for Clinton on stage at the Democratic National Convention, alongside other convention headliners like President Barack Obama, and Clinton's VP pick, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). The hope, it seems, is that Bloomberg's endorsement will speak to undecided moderates. "As the nation's leading independent and a pragmatic business leader, Mike has supported candidates from both sides of the aisle," Wolfson told the Times. Jessica Hullinger

2:28 p.m. ET

Chris Froome won the Tour de France on Sunday, becoming the first Briton to win the race three times. After 89 hours, six minutes, and one second in the saddle over the race's 21 stages, Froome, 31, crossed the finish line in Paris almost three minutes before his closest rival. He won in 2015 and in 2013, and is only the eighth man with three Tours under his belt. Jessica Hullinger

10:39 a.m. ET

The International Olympic Committee said Sunday that it will not completely ban Russia from competing at the Rio Olympics, Reuters reports. Instead, the IOC is putting the responsibility of deciding who can compete in the Games on the bodies that govern the individual sports.

The announcement comes after an independent report found evidence of widespread state-sponsored doping among Russian Olympic athletes. Competitors will need to meet a set of criteria to demonstrate they are clean, and anyone who has previously been caught doping will not be allowed to compete. Jessica Hullinger

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