--CLINTON DIRECTS TEAM TO TURN OVER PRIVATE EMAIL SERVER, THUMB DRIVE: Hillary Clinton has directed her staff to give the Department of Justice the private email server that she used during her tenure as Secretary of State, ABC's LIZ KREUTZ reports. Clinton's team has also turned over a thumb drive containing emails that she has already provided to the State Department, according to a campaign official. The move comes amid a federal investigation into the security of the server and whether there was classified information in the emails. http://abcn.ws/1PjGTJA
--BACKSTORY: The State Department is in the process of reviewing and releasing some 30,000 emails that were sent during Clinton's time at the state department. A Clinton campaign official said the camp believes there are no State Department emails on the server and all of the emails on the thumb drive have already been turned over. The official also said that the inquiry was regarding the security of the server, not the content of the emails. http://abcn.ws/1PjGTJA
--ANALYSIS -- ABC's RICK KLEIN: If there was any doubt that Hillary Clinton was enjoying the summer of Trump, a thumb drive and a private server revealed the answers. Now comes the question of what else they'll reveal, and therein lies the challenge to the Clinton campaign. A campaign official said authorities will find nothing new, since the thumb drive is a copy of the emails already provided to the State Department, and the server has been wiped clean of her emails from her time at State. Yet even assuming the FBI doesn't have forensic capabilities that can reveal something previously erased, the turning over of the thumb drive and the server tell us a few important things. First, Clinton herself is no longer comfortable standing by her assertion that there's no reason to let authorities see her server. Second, the investigation into the emails is heading in a serious direction regarding the handling of classified and sensitive information. Third - and most lastingly, perhaps - the questions and storylines involving Clinton's unusual email practices are now guaranteed to last months or even longer. Remember that Congress is not seeing the server, and is being updated on investigations that are turning up highly classified information just in the emails that have been turned over to State.
--WHY AUG. 22 WILL BE A BIG DEAL FOR RAND PAUL: Mark your calendars for August 22nd, it's an important date for Rand Paul and his aspirations for the White House--and his backup plan. It's the day the Kentucky GOP central committee will vote on whether to change their May primary to a March caucus, ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE notes. It doesn't exactly allow Paul to appear on the ballot twice--illegal in Kentucky--but it kicks the issue down the road a bit. It will only rear its head again if he becomes the GOP nominee. The issue now for the state party is how much a caucus will cost and if the Paul campaign will pay. State GOP chairman Steve Robertson stressed that the committee members in order to vote for Paul's plan must not feel the party will be "financially impaired," and the first caucus they have will likely be the "most expensive." The upside is Kentucky will be more "relevant" and competitive in the presidential picking process and Robertson said a "critical feature" of the new plan is to ensure candidates campaign in the state. So, if it all comes down to money, will the Paul campaign pay? Paul's spokesperson Sergio Gor said only "Sen. Paul will honor his commitment."
FIVETHIRTYEIGHT IN THE NOTE
DONALD TRUMP IS WINNING THE POLLS -- AND LOSING THE NOMINATION. From FiveThirtyEight's NATE SILVER. "Twelve years ago, in August 2003, Joe Lieberman led in most polls of the Democratic primary. Eight years ago, in August 2007, Rudy Giuliani maintained a clear lead in polls of Republicans, while Hillary Clinton led in polls of the Democratic nomination contest...Only Clinton came close to winning the nomination. But the problem isn't just that the national polls at this stage in the race lack empirical power to predict the nomination; it's also that they describe a fiction. I don't mean to suggest that Donald Trump's support in the polls is 'fake.' I have no doubt that some people really love him or that he'd be the favorite if you held a national, winner-take-all Republican primary tomorrow. However, the 'election' these polls describe is hypothetical in at least five ways." http://53eig.ht/1TkUE0v
TODAY ON THE TRAIL with ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE: Jeb Bush is in Nevada. After he hit Clinton last night, blaming her for the rise of ISIS we will see if he continues that attack today or if he mentions his brother and his Iraq legacy. Rand Paul and John Kasich are campaigning in New Hampshire. Scott Walker is in Wisconsin. He will participate in the annual Governor's Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds at 6:30pmET in West Allis. Ted Cruz continues his bus tour of the "SEC primary" states with stops in Arkansas. Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee campaign in Iowa. Ben Carson holds events in New York. Lindsey Graham is in South Carolina. He attends a York County GOP Lunch at noon in Rock Hill.
THE BUZZ with ABC's VERONICA STRACQUALURSI
DONALD TRUMP SLAPS CHINA FOR SUCKING THE 'BLOOD OUT OF THE UNITED STATES'. Presidential candidate Donald Trump continued his tough talk in a speech last night to over 2,500 supporters in Michigan, ABC's JOHN SANTUCCI reports. The New York real estate mogul discussed the news that China had devalued its currency, the result of which, he said, is to "suck the blood out of the United States." Trump told the crowd his friend and businessman Carl Icahn, whom he called a "brilliant negotiator," is ready to jump in to trade negotiations with China and Japan. Experts and investors worry that the currency devaluation might make it harder for the Chinese to buy goods from Western companies. Trump received several standing ovations, including when he repeated his call to "build a wall," referencing his stance on illegal immigration and the United States' relationship with Mexico. Speaking to reporters before his speech, the front-running GOP presidential candidate said he plans to roll out specific policy ideas in the next two weeks but would not say which proposal would be coming first. http://abcn.ws/1DJCUVI
NOTED: TRUMP'S SURPRISINGLY HONEST LESSONS ABOUT BIG MONEY IN POLITICS. It's no secret that Donald Trump is rich. And it's no surprise that money influences politics. But few political candidates -- let alone presidential contenders -- speak about it with as much candor and openness as Donald Trump. Over the course of his campaign so far, Trump has unashamedly made a string of under-the-radar comments about using political donations to call in favors with politicians while they are in office, ABC's RYAN STRUYK and JILL ORNITZ write. He says his fortune has enabled him to run for the presidency without having to court donors, and it's led to the Donald offering some pretty poignant critiques of the American campaign finance system. And the comments shed some light on what many Americans suspect about the goals of big money donors in the political sphere. http://abcn.ws/1IIls0n
HILLARY CLINTON SLAMS GOP FOR IGNORING COLLEGE DEBT AT DEBATE. Hillary Clinton on Tuesday called out Republicans, and specifically Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, for "slashing" the investment in higher education and for ignoring the issue of college debt during the GOP primary debate. "I bet some of you might have sat through four hours and 17 candidates of debate the other night. Really I admire you, greatly, for that," Clinton said during a town hall at the River Valley Community College in Claremont, New Hampshire. Marco Rubio did make a mention of the need to improve higher education, but Clinton, who on Monday unveiled a $350 billion plan to make college more affordable and accessible, took aim at Walker, ABC's LIZ KREUTZ reports. "I don't know why he wants to raise taxes on students," Clinton continued, "But that's the result when you don't look for ways to help people, who are not sitting around asking for something, who are actually working hard every day to get ahead." Walker took to Twitter Tuesday to fight back against Clinton. http://abcn.ws/1IIrfmH
MEET BERNIE SANDERS' TOP CELEBRITY BACKERS. While Hillary Clinton may have a long list of celebrity backers, fellow Democrat hopeful Bernie Sanders boasts his own list of famous fans, according to ABC's SUMMER FIELDS and LOUISE SIMPSON. The man known for his ability to draw massive crowds is also a favorite among celebrities, due in part to his grassroots movement and enthusiasm. Actress and comedian Sarah Silverman, who introduced Bernie at his packed Los Angeles event Monday night, announced her support with a catchy tweet. Actress Susan Sarandon took to Facebook to declare her support for Sanders, calling him, "courageous and level-headed in times of crisis." See some of the other Sanders' star-studded supporters. http://abcn.ws/1DIaL1j
ONE CANDIDATE WHO MAY NOT MAKE CUT FOR NEXT GOP DEBATE. The Ronald Reagan Library Foundation and former First lady Nancy Reagan have already issued 16 invitations for next month's debate at the Reagan Library. CNN will use polling rankings to determine a top 10, then everyone else gets into the undercard debate, as with Fox. But a candidate has to get 1 percent in a national poll. The only one of the 17 candidates not on that list yet? Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore. These 16 folks have gotten invitations already: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker. The former Virginia governor is optimistic though, tweeting that he's in "contact with CNN and anticipates meeting the conditions to qualify" for the debate, according to ABC's BEN GITTLESON and RICK KLEIN.
MEET THE HARVARD PROFESSOR WHO WANTS TO BE PRESIDENT FOR A WEEK. Another Democratic presidential hopeful has his sights set on the White House, but if he wins, he doesn't want to be president for very long. Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard professor, announced on Tuesday that he will run for president with plans to vacate the highest office shortly after he is sworn in. Lessig said he intends to run as a "referendum president" with the goal of radically reforming the nation's campaign finance system, ABC's MATTHEW CLAIBORNE and INES DE LA CUETARA report. But Lessig will only run on two conditions. First, he said he needs to crowdfund $1 million by Labor Day. Second, he promised to run if the current candidates fail to make campaign finance reform a primary concern. http://abcn.ws/1Jcxy7r
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
DONALD TRUMP COULD SUPPORT SOME FEDERAL FUNDING FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD. Donald Trump suggested Tuesday he could support continued federal funding of Planned Parenthood - a position that puts him at odds with every other Republican Presidential candidate and virtually every Republican in Congress. In an interview with Chris Cuomo on CNN's "New Day," Trump said, "the biggest problem I have with Planned Parenthood is the abortion situation," he said. "It's like an abortion factory. You can't have it and you shouldn't be funding it and that should not be funded by the government." But he continued by saying he wouldn't necessarily defund the organization. Planned Parenthood hasn't exactly thanked Trump for his comments, ABC's JILL ORNITZ reports. In a statement to ABC News, Eric Ferrero, the vice president of communications for Planned Parenthood Action Fund said, "Donald Trump seems to have realized that banning all abortions, shutting down the government, and defunding Planned Parenthood are extreme positions that are way too far outside the mainstream for even him to take." http://abcn.ws/1IYW85g
@betsy_klein: Meanwhile in NH... Bernie Sanders beats Hillary Clinton in latest New Hampshire poll http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/12/politics/poll-bernie-sanders-hilary-clinton-new-hampshire/index.html ...
@ZekeJMiller: Inbox: Perry to SC on Thursday-Friday
@wjtuck: the Mike Huckabee travel company is making money off the Mike Huckabee super PAC: http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2015/08/mike-huckabee-super-pac-pays-mike-huckabees-company-nearly-30000/ ...
@alexis_levinson: Trump asks voters to trust him. And a lot of them appear willing to do just that. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/422416/donald-trump-michigan-speech-trust-me ...
@ananavarro: "Like sands through the hour glass, so are the Days of Trump's Life"...stay tuned for today's new episode of political drama.