March 2, 2016
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For those who think John Kasich is taking votes away from Marco Rubio in the Republican presidential race, the Ohio governor would like you to flip the script.

"Maybe he's taking votes away from me," he told reporters Wednesday in Michigan. Kasich came in second in Vermont and Massachusetts on Super Tuesday, and claimed he would have won both had Rubio not sent a "hit man" to discredit him. He didn't name the person, but The Associated Press reports that Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado hit the campaign trail in Vermont for Rubio a few days ago, and suggested Kasich exit the race.

Kasich is moving forward with the belief that he will win Ohio on March 15, the same day Rubio will lose his home state of Florida. He told reporters that Rubio spent a lot of time and energy attacking frontrunner Donald Trump over the past week, but only had a win in Minnesota on Tuesday to show for it, and said the talk about him dropping out of the race should end. "Frankly, it doesn't even aggravate me, because it's just silly," he said. Catherine Garcia

9:16 a.m. ET

When a conversation with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi shortly after the election took a turn toward women's issues, President-elect Donald Trump handed the phone off to his daughter, Ivanka Trump, The New York Times reports.

While the report suggests that Ivanka, 35, is poised to be the most powerful presidential daughter since Alice Roosevelt Longworth, it has also raised concerns about Trump's position, or interest, in women's issues:

The president-elect has described himself as pro-life and has proposed tax deductions for child care expenses, six weeks of family leave for new mothers, and said that working mothers should be "fairly compensated." But Trump also faced massive amounts of criticism throughout his presidential campaign for his often sexist way of speaking about women. "Nobody has more respect for women than I do. Nobody. Nobody has more respect," he defended in late October.

Ivanka has vowed to back working women with the "heightened visibility" afforded by her father's election. "[Ivanka] elevated issues that weren't part of the Republican agenda because she cares about them," her friend, Maggie Cordish, told The New York Times. Jeva Lange

8:10 a.m. ET
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Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski are reportedly in touch with Donald Trump several times a week despite the president-elect not having appeared on the show in months, Politico reports. The morning show hosts were criticized for having a cozy relationship with Trump during the Republican primary and general election, and are now being blasted for becoming "transition spokesmen," in the words of CNN's Chris Cuomo and others alarmed by the ethics of the relationship.

"With Trump, only those most willing to essentially, if unofficially, join the team themselves will get continued, dependable access,” Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan has said.

The Morning Joe hosts claim they have never held back on their criticism of Trump, with Scarborough telling Politico "we're just as blunt in person as we are on TV, whether we happened to be critical on the show that particular day or not." Scarborough claimed he talks with Trump "a few times a week," and Politico added that Brzezinski visited Trump Tower last week to meet with Ivanka Trump over coffee.

Scarborough defended his relationship with Trump, saying he and his team weren't playing favorites. "This is nothing new for Mika and me," he told Politico. "We spoke regularly to Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod in the Obama White House, and we have always maintained good relations with congressional leaders and Cabinet secretaries. Most of them watch the show and call us if they have an issue they want to discuss." Jeva Lange

7:19 a.m. ET
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Monday that he will visit the site of the Pearl Harbor attack later this year, making him the first sitting Japanese leader to do so. Abe plans to visit the Hawaiian naval base for the 75th anniversary of the Dec. 7 surprise attack alongside President Obama on Dec. 26 and 27, The New York Times reports.

"We must never repeat the horror of war," Abe said. "I want to express that determination as we look to the future, and at the same time send a message about the value of U.S.-Japanese reconciliation."

The bombing of Pearl Harbor killed more than 2,000 Americans and sank several U.S. warships in 1941. Abe's gesture is seen as a reciprocation of Obama's visit to Hiroshima earlier this year. Jeva Lange

7:04 a.m. ET
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Donald Trump announced Monday that he has chosen retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson for secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Trump had teased the appointment in late November on Twitter, writing, "I am seriously considering Dr. Ben Carson as the head of HUD. I've gotten to know him well — he's a greatly talented person who loves people!" Carson, though, had expressed through a surrogate that he felt he did not have enough government experience to run a federal agency and "the last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency." But "Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a presidency representing all Americans," Trump said Monday. Jeva Lange

3:08 a.m. ET
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At least 11 people were killed and more than 50 injured early Monday when a huge fire swept through the Regent Plaza Hotel in Karachi, Pakistan.

Police say the fire started in the hotel kitchen, but the exact cause is undetermined. A doctor at a Karachi hospital where victims were taken said several deaths were caused by suffocation, and there are foreigners being treated for burns. Local television news crews captured footage of guests at the four-star hotel using sheets to climb down from windows, and survivor Hamid Ali told one station that a man was standing on his balcony, pleading for help, but the hotel did not have a way to rescue him. Catherine Garcia

2:39 a.m. ET
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A federal judge ruled late Sunday night that Michigan must start its presidential recount at noon Monday.

In Michigan, Donald Trump received 10,704 more votes than Hillary Clinton, and Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein, citing reports that computer science experts noticed irregularities in the state's election results, has raised millions of dollars to fund a recount. Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette and the Trump campaign filed suits last week, asking state courts to put a stop to the hand-counting of 4.8 million ballots. They argued that Stein, who received about 1 percent of the vote, is not "aggrieved," because it's impossible for her to win the recount. Judge Mark Goldsmith ruled Stein did show "the likelihood of irreparable harm" if the count was delayed, and rejected arguments by the state about the cost to taxpayers. The deadline to complete the count is Dec. 13. Catherine Garcia

1:55 a.m. ET
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During his eighth and final Kennedy Center Honors celebration as president, Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were treated to cheers and standing ovations by the audience.

Sunday's gala, hosted by Stephen Colbert, recognized Al Pacino, Mavis Staples, Martha Argerich, James Taylor, and Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmidt, and Joe Walsh, surviving members of the Eagles, for influencing American culture. The Obamas were introduced after the honorees, with Colbert saying, "For the past eight years, the White House has given us a leader who's passionate, intelligent, and dignified." The audience rose to give Obama a standing ovation, and the president stood and waved. "Sir, I don't even know why you stood up," Colbert quipped. "I was talking about Michelle."

At an earlier reception, Obama said the arts have "always been part of life at the White House, because the arts are always central to American life." During the ceremony, Don Cheadle spoke about Staples and her family's civil rights legacy; Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, and Darius Rucker performed medleys of Taylor's music; and Kevin Spacey shared instructions on how to sound like Pacino. The Eagles were to be honored in 2015, but postponed their participation due to founding member Glenn Frey's poor health. Frey died in January, and his widow, Cindy Frey, stood with his band mates on Sunday night. The ceremony will air Dec. 27 on CBS. Catherine Garcia

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