The Note: Hillary Hearts New Hampshire


--HILLARY CLINTON SAYS REPUBLICANS 'TALKING ONLY ABOUT ME': During her first visit to New Hampshire this year as a presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton brushed off accusations about the Clinton Foundation's acceptance of donations from foreign governments, dismissing the reports made in a new book as simply being a "distraction" from the issues of her campaign. "Well, we're back into the political season and therefore we will be subjected to all kinds of distractions and attacks and I'm ready for that. I know that that comes unfortunately with the territory," Clinton remarked at the end of a roundtable discussion at a local business Monday afternoon, when asked by reporters about a new book, "Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich." The book, set to be released next month, reportedly asserts that foreign entities have received special favors from her and her husband after donating to the Clinton Foundation or from paying former President Bill Clinton for speeches, particularly during Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of State.

--THE QUOTABLE HILLARY: "It is, I think, worth noting," Clinton added, "the Republicans seem to be talking only about me. I don't know what they'd talk about if I wasn't in the race. But I am in the race and hopefully we'll get on to the issues and I look forward to that." ABC's LIZ KREUTZ and CECILIA VEGA have more.

--TODAY ON THE TRAIL with ABC's CHRIS GOOD: Hillary Clinton will tour the New Hampshire Technical Institute and hold a roundtable with students and educators at this morning. Meanwhile, in Washington, Bill Clinton delivers the third of four lectures in a series at Georgetown, the theme of this one being "purpose." New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will visit the U.S. State Dept. to appear at the Washington Conference of the Americas and be interviewed onstage by Susan Segal, president and CEO of the Americans Society and Council of the Americas. Carly Fiorina is in Iowa and will hold a meet-and-greet at the Council Bluffs Library before holding a town-hall at Morningside College.


ABC's RICK KLEIN: Hillary Clinton took a (very) few questions from reporters Monday, breaking an important seal in her campaign while in New Hampshire. That came after a roundtable discussion at a small printing business where she chatted about things that presidential candidates chat about - Social Security, mental health, how much she loves New Hampshire, and - of course - small businesses. It almost seemed normal, if maybe even a little boring. Score that as a win for the new Clinton campaign, which surely needs press less than the press will feed on it. She came, she stopped, she talked, she left. The campaign will need more flair than that, in good time. But for now, boring is good for Team Clinton.

ABC's ARLETTE SAENZ: Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Patty Murray, D-Washington, have been negotiating a deal on anti-human trafficking legislation and are "pretty close" to reaching an agreement, a Senate aide said Tuesday morning. A deal on the trafficking legislation could clear the way for a vote on Loretta Lynch to be the next attorney general. Republicans have insisted the trafficking legislation be passed before a vote on Lynch's nomination.



WHITE HOUSE WON'T COMMENT ON REPORTS OF PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT FOR CLINTON FOUNDATION DONORS. The White House Monday declined to address reports that Clinton Foundation donors were purportedly given preferential treatment by the administration while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, according to ABC's MARY BRUCE and JONATHAN KARL. "I know there's been a lot of accusations made about this, but not a lot of evidence," Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at the daily briefing. "The president continues to be extraordinarily proud of the work that Secretary Clinton did as the secretary of State. But for the details of some of those accusations, I'd refer you to Secretary Clinton's campaign." Monday in New Hampshire Clinton also refused to engage on the subject, telling ABC's CECILIA VEGA "we're back into the political season and therefore we will be subjected to all kinds of distractions and attacks and I'm ready for that."

TWO SENATORS BRIEFED ON CLINTON CASH BOOK BEFORE RELEASE. At least two senators, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, have been briefed on the "Clinton Cash" book, ABC News has learned. Corker, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told ABC News he was briefed by the book's author, Peter Schweizer, two or three weeks ago. The briefing was conducted in Corker's Senate office and consisted of a slideshow presentation. Corker said he was the only lawmaker in the briefing, and it was not conducted through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "Somebody sent me an e-mail and said that, you know, that he was in town and thought it would be worth my while to listen," Corker said. "It was just me." Asked about the contents of the briefing, Corker only said, "I saw it, he seemed like he had done a lot of research, and but I don't have any comment beyond that." Senator Rand Paul was also briefed on the book, but his aides repeatedly declined to provide any details about the briefing, ABC's ARLETTE SAENZ reports.

OTHER MEMBERS OF SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE NOT BRIEFED. ABC News reached out to all of the senators on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and only Corker and Paul confirmed they were briefed. 5 Republicans and 5 Democrats on the committee said they did not receive a briefing, according to ABC's ARLETTE SAENZ. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, one of Hillary Clinton's strongest defenders in the Senate, said any briefing "was clearly partisan in nature." "Today's New York Times reported that members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee were briefed on the latest anti-Hillary Clinton book. As the longest serving member of the Committee, I was never briefed on the book and I know of no other Democrats on the Committee who were briefed on it," Boxer said. "So if there was a briefing, it was clearly partisan in nature." "This is just another vicious, partisan and unfounded attack on Hillary Clinton," she added.

MORE ON HILLARY CLINTON'S TRIP TO THE GRANITE STATE. Hillary Clinton yesterday said that she was "thrilled" to be back in New Hampshire and said that the Granite State was the "first place I ever came for any political campaign in 1991" (with Bill Clinton). Republicans have already blasted this out, calling it a "false claim." In 1968, Clinton volunteered for Senator Eugene McCarthy in New Hampshire. A woman brought up drug abuse as an issue she wanted to discuss. Clinton said that issues regarding mental health are something she has heard from a number of people, both in Iowa and now in New Hampshire. She said she is "convinced" mental health will be a "big part" of her campaign. On Social Security, Clinton said she is "100% committed" to it and called efforts to privatize it "just wrong." Clinton also took on Wall Street, ABC's LIZ KREUTZ reports. She said capital gains and other tax incentives are the "root" of economic problems.

NO DEAL ON THE TRAFFICKING BILL -- MEANING LORETTA LYNCH VOTE STILL TBD. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid told reporters yesterday no deal will be reached Monday night on the anti-human trafficking bill - a measure that Republicans insist be passed before voting on Loretta Lynch's nomination to be attorney general. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, said last night she's "hopeful" a deal will be announced today. Republican and Democratic senators have been negotiating over abortion language included in the bill. Even if senators are able to come to an agreement on the abortion language by today, it could take much longer to reach a deal on procedural issues - meaning a vote on the trafficking bill, and subsequently Lynch's nomination, may not occur until later this week or early next week, ABC's ARLETTE SAENZ reports.


STAR STRUCK OBAMA HONORS BUCKEYES. President Obama seemed to get a little star struck Monday as he honored the Ohio State University Buckeyes for winning the first ever college football playoff national championship, ABC's MARY BRUCE notes. After lauding the "character and characters" of the team, the president was working the room and shaking hands when he spotted two famous Buckeyes. "Hold on a second, Archie Griffin is here!" the president exclaimed when he noticed the former running back and football's only two-time Heisman Trophy winner in the audience. Obama urged Griffin up on stage to take a photo with him and that's when the sports-fan-in-chief eyed Cris Carter. "Wow, Cris Carter!" he said, calling over the Hall of Famer, who looked equally star stuck to be meeting Obama. The three then posed for a photo, but not before a few members of the team gave Carter an assist, wiping the sweat from his brow and straightening his tie.


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