By MICHAEL FALCONE
- HILLARY CLINTON USED A PERSONAL EMAIL ACCOUNT EXCLUSIVELY WHILE SERVING AS SECRETARY OF STATE, and may have violated federal requirements, The New York Times reported last night. According to the Times, Clinton did not have a government email address during her four years at the State Department, and her aides took no action to preserve her emails - which is required by law under the Federal Records Act. These new revelations raise questions about transparency, legality, and certainly security. It is not clear whether any encryption protection existed on her private email account, as is required on government emails, ABC's KATHERINE FAULDERS notes. http://abcn.ws/1F3DOrz ABC's JONATHAN KARL reported on the latest for "Good Morning America": http://abcn.ws/1M2Zoib
- WORD FROM CLINTON WORLD: Clinton's personal spokesman, Nick Merrill, issued a statement in response to the New York Times report. "Like Secretaries of State before her, she used her own email account when engaging with any Department officials. For government business, she emailed them on their Department accounts, with every expectation they would be retained. When the Department asked former Secretaries last year for help ensuring their emails were in fact retained, we immediately said yes," the statement reads. "Both the letter and spirit of the rules permitted State Department officials to use non-government email, as long as appropriate records were preserved. As a result of State¹s request for our help to make sure they in fact were, that is what happened here. As the Department stated, it is in the process of updating its record preservation policies to bring them in line with its retention responsibilities." http://abcn.ws/1F3DOrz
- HAPPENING TODAY: Hillary Clinton speaks tonight in Washington, DC at an event organized by Emily's List.
- JEB SPEAKS: Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a potential 2016 candidate for the White House, released more than 275,000 emails last month from his time as governor in the name of "transparency." Bush tweeted late Monday "Transparency matters. Unclassified @HillaryClinton emails should be released. You can see mine, here. Jebbushemails.com."
ABC's RICK KLEIN: The New York Times report on Hillary Clinton's use of a private email account raises questions of legality, propriety, policy, and simple judgment. It also highlights the odd political position she continues to find herself in - one that's of her own choosing. Yes, it's been fun for Team Hillary to sit back and watch Republicans start to claw each other. Yes, it'd be nice from their perspective to see this dominate the next six or nine months. But the decision to not engage with political issues or questions, or to engage only minimally and after the fact of publication, only feeds frenzied coverage. Clinton will have to come off the sidelines at some point. Sooner might be better, given the last few news cycles.
ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE: It is a huge scoop, but it was news the Clinton team (and the State Department) must have known would break at some point. The New York Times reporting last night Hillary Clinton exclusively used a private e mail account while at the State Department. She didn't even have a government e mail address. Now that it's out, is Team Clinton relieved it broke this early before the campaign is in full swing or would it be better when they have a full team in place to hit back against the story and Republicans who want to use it against her? What will they do now? Jeb Bush also at times used a private e mail account, but not only archived each e mail-as required by law-but, released them to the public (also required by Florida's open records laws). Will Clinton do the same? It's one way to make the story a non-issue, but also unlikely to happen. Don't expect Republicans, especially Bush, to forget the story though. It may be early, but this one will appear in ads and on the campaign trail.
with ABC's VERONICA STRACQUALURSI
ON IRAN, A QUESTION OF WHETHER OBAMA AND NETANYAHU REALLY HAVE THE SAME GOAL. When it comes to nuclear negotiations with Iran, President Obama has said America's goal is to prevent Iran from ever producing a nuclear weapon, while Israel has described a different one: denying Iran the capability of ever getting there. "Our goal here is to be able to verify that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon," Obama said after a meeting with the emir of Qatar last week. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a different take. "We must prevent Iran from having the capability to produce nuclear weapons. And I want to reiterate that point. Not just to prevent them from having the weapon, but to prevent them from having the capacity to make the weapon," Netanyahu said last year when he spoke at the 2014 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington. So do the U.S. and Israel really want the same thing? Here's Earnest's full response with ABC's JONATHAN KARL, in which he defended the White House's aims in pursuing the nuclear talks that have sparked so much controversy. WATCH: http://abcn.ws/1GcRQuJ
BILL CLINTON'S OFFICIAL PORTRAIT ARTIST SECRETLY INCLUDES MONICA LEWINSKY. Here's one issue the Clintons may - or may not - not want to brush off. In a recent interview with the Philadelphia Daily News, the artist who painted the official portrait of President Bill Clinton that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. revealed a surprise - the portrait "subtly" incorporated Monica Lewinsky, ABC's A.J. FEATHER writes. Artist Nelson Shanks told the newspaper that the shadow on the left side of the portrait was cast by a mannequin in a blue dress - a nod to the president's affair with his 22-year-old intern. Shanks, who described Clinton as "the most famous liar of all time," told the Philadelphia Daily News that the shadow represents a metaphorical "shadow on the office he held." According to Shanks, the Clintons are pressuring the National Portrait Gallery to remove the painting. However, a museum spokesperson told ABC News that they have not received any requests from the Clintons to remove the portrait. http://abcn.ws/1Dxcjo0
BARBARA MIKULSKI: FROM GIRL SCOUT TO SENATOR, 7 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT THE RETIRING SENATOR. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, the longest-serving woman in Congressional history, announced Monday that she will retire. Mikulski, who was first elected to the Senate in 1986, said she made the decision to fight for the people of Maryland instead of campaigning for herself another time around. "I'm gonna be around. I'm Senator Barb," Mikulski said at a news conference in Baltimore. "I don't want to spend my time campaigning for me. I want to campaign for the people." ABC's ARLETTE SAENZ notes some of the things you might not know about the storied career of the senator known to many as "Senator Barb." http://abcn.ws/1EaJm5c
2016 CAMPAIGN PLAYLIST: POTENTIAL PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES PICK THEIR THEME SONGS. Though none of the potential 2016 candidates has yet to formally announce a presidential campaign, each contender has likely spent plenty of time thinking about what their campaign platforms will look like. But what will their campaigns sound like? ABC News recently asked prospective Republican candidates to pick a campaign theme song. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said he'd probably go with one of his favorite tunes, "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor, ABC's JORDYN PHELPS writes. http://abcn.ws/1BzFtq6
CH UCK NORRIS WILL 'PRAY' FOR HUCKABEE TO BE PRESIDENT. Over the weekend, Chuck Norris wrote an op-ed for WorldNetDaily website, saying he will "pray" for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee to run in 2016 and become president. "Mike truly is a first-class patriot and a renowned man of integrity. Our country can truly use his caliber of character back in the White House not only to help restore the Oval Office but also our nation. Gena and I pray he will run for president and be our next president," Norris wrote. "Mike's not ready to make that decision yet, but he's sure hinting strongly at the prospects." This isn't too surprising since he endorsed Huckabee in the 2008 race - even making a "Chuck Norris Approved" ad for him, ABC's ARLETTE SAENZ notes. In 2012, Chuck Norris backed Newt Gingrich.
WHITE HOUSE: OBAMA PROBABLY WON'T WATCH FULL NETANYAHU SPEECH. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest Monday underscored the strength of the US-Israeli relationship, despite the tension over Netanyahu's visit. "The relationship between the United States and Israel is one that has been strong for generations, for a variety of reasons," Earnest said. "It has been strengthened under the leadership of this president." Asked about the recent change in tone from the administration and Kerry's comment that Netanyahu is "welcome to speak" in the U.S., Earnest noted that the Prime Minister can "set his own schedule." "He gets to take the actions that he believes are consistent with his own objectives…whatever they may be," Earnest said. "This has been true even in other situations when we've had differences of opinion with the Israeli leadership, even on entirely different topics." Asked if President Obama will watch Netanyahu's speech to Congress, Earnest responded: "I doubt that he will spend his whole time watching the speech." Earnest also sounded a warning that Netanyahu should not divulge any information about the nuclear negotiations, ABC's MARY BRUCE and CHRIS GOOD note.
@HuffPostPol: Martin O'Malley won't run for the Senate http://huff.to/1wGQQMG
@PhilipRucker: Interesting @AlecMacGillis piece on Jeb Bush's complicated shift on the Ex-Im bank http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/03/jeb_bush_turns_on_the_u_s_export_import_bank.html …
@FusionIsNews: The never-ending DHS shutdown fight does matter to you. Here's why: http://fus.in/1EdCFPL