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Evening Report — Biden, Trump barrel toward round two after Haley drops campaign

A quick recap of the day and what to look forward to tomorrow

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It’s a rematch few voters said they wanted, but President Biden and former President Trump are on track to face off again in November, after former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley put her long-shot bid for the GOP nomination to bed Wednesday.

 

Biden, 81, and Trump, 77, faced each other in a blistering 2020 election that could become even more bitter in round two.

 

Both Biden and Trump called on Haley’s supporters to join their campaigns.

 

Haley didn’t endorse Trump, but she encouraged him to try to win over her supporters.

 

“It is now up to Donald Trump to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond it who did not support him, and I hope he does that,” she said in a public address. “At its best, politics is about bringing people into your cause, not turning them away. And our conservative cause badly needs more people. This is now his time for choosing.”

 

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Welcome to Evening Report! I’m Liz Crisp, catching you up from the afternoon and what’s coming tomorrow. Not on the list? Subscribe here.

 

  • Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and her romantic relationship with a special prosecutor assigned to handle the President Trump‘s 2020 election interference case in Georgia grows was the subject of a Republican-led Georgia state Senate panel probe.

  • Republicans on the House Oversight Committee have invited Hunter Biden and several of his former business associates to testify publicly during a March 20 hearing.

  • A Texas man has been accused of attempting to swindle then-Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), actor Danny Masterson and others facing legal issues.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has (publicly, at least) set aside his feud with former President Trump by endorsing his presidential campaign after Trump’s last rival dropped out.

 

“Shortly after the attack on the Capitol, I said I would support the nominee for president even if it were the former president,” McConnell told reporters Wednesday afternoon. “He obviously is going to be the nominee of our party.”

 

McConnell and his family have faced repeated personal attacks from Trump following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol that prompted McConnell’s rebuke.

 

Senate Republicans told The Hill that McConnell’s decision to endorse now was driven by his goal for the GOP to regain control of the Senate in November, even though he recently announced he won’t seek the GOP leader’s position in the coming term.

 

While McConnell and Trump have had a strained relationship, Biden often fondly refers to McConnell as his friend. A profile in the New Yorker this week identified McConnell among Biden’s “occasional calls” that he makes to get feedback from his critics.

 

Trump posted onto Truth Social thanking McConnell for the endorsement.
“Thank you, Mitch. I look forward to working with you and a Republican Senate MAJORITY to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” he wrote.

 

President Biden will give his annual State of the Union address on Thursday a high-profile, high-stakes address as Biden seeks a second term with historically low approval numbers.

 

“He’s looking forward to talking about the accomplishments that he’s made the last three years and also the vision that he has for this country,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters this week.

 

The Hill’s Alex Gangitano and Brett Samuels have broken down what Biden needs to accomplish with his last State of the Union before the November election.

 

Biden will notably have a “chance to dispel doubts about his age and vigor, at least for one night,” they write.

 

Here’s the guest list for the event, slated to take place in the House chamber.

 

GOP response: Sen. Katie Britt (R-Ala.) is scheduled to deliver the Republican rebuttal to Biden’s speech.

 

Former President Trump says he will be conducting a live play-by-play on social media.

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) is sending in the National Guard to patrol New York City subways amid rising safety fears following a spate of high-profile violent crimes.

 

“You’ll start seeing them at the tables, making sure that weapons are not being brought in, working in… concert with our New York State Police, as well as our [New York Police Department (NYPD)], because no one heading to their job, or to visit family or to go to a doctor appointment should worry that the person sitting next to them possesses a deadly weapon,” Hochul said Wednesday in announcing the plan, which will include a return to bag checks.

 

Mayor Eric Adams (D) also announced plans this week to reinstate bag checks carried out by law enforcement.

 

A Russian missile strike landed near Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s motorcade Wednesday in the city of Odesa, where he was meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The attack came just days after a Russian strike on an apartment building in the area reportedly killed 12 people, including five children. (The Hill)

“We need to talk about antisemitism on all campuses, not just the elite ones,” writes Logan Swerdloff, economics major at Binghamton University.

 

“Biden cannot ignore the Latino State of the Union,” writes Raul A. Reyes, an attorney and contributor to NBC Latino and CNN Opinion.

 

132 days until the Republican National Convention. 

167 days until the Democratic National Convention.  

244 days until the 2024 general election. 

 

President Biden delivers his State of the Union address at 9 p.m. Thursday.

You’re all caught up! Stay with TheHill.com for the latest and recommend this newsletter to others: TheHill.com/Evening. See you tomorrow!

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