POLITICS
01/29/2016 05:27 pm ET Updated Jan 29, 2016

HUFFPOST HILL - Mailer Daemon Haunts Hillary One More

Mike Allen will leave Politico next year, presumably to do penance for asking about Rahm Emanuel’s vacation. A House panel investigating the Flint water crisis didn’t subpoena Rick Snyder -- perhaps he was too busy not doing anything about it. And the government said more than twenty of Hillary Clinton’s emails contained top secret information, a scandal that will culminate four years from now in a really, REALLY boring Michael Bay film. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, January 29th, 2016:

POLITICO SETS ITSELF ON FIRE IN ULTIMATE ATTEMPT TO WIN MORNING - Michael Calderone, Sam Stein and Grim: "Politico CEO Jim VandeHei and chief White House correspondent Mike Allen will leave the news organization they helped launch nine years ago and built into a politics and policy juggernaut. VandeHei told staff Thursday that he was departing after the election and that Allen, chief operating officer Kim Kingsley, chief revenue officer Roy Schwartz and executive vice president Danielle Jones would also be 'seeking their own new adventures' late this year, confirming an earlier HuffPost report on the shake-up...VandeHei, meanwhile, has expressed interest in moving back to Wisconsin and running for office, a well-placed source said...But rumors of tumult have been rampant for some time, mainly centered on Susan Glasser, whose tenure as top editor began in fall 2014 with significant turnover and who has been expected to leave the top newsroom job and move to Israel after the election. Her husband, New York Times reporter Peter Baker, is in line to become the paper’s next Jerusalem bureau chief. In a separate memo, Allbritton wrote that Glasser would continue to run the newsroom through the year before joining her husband in the Middle East. He said Glasser will become director of editorial innovation and continue to play a key role in the newsroom from abroad. " [HuffPost]

Ryan Grim explains to Poynter why every HuffPost story about Donald Trump calls him a liar.

TOP SECRET INFO FOUND IN HILLARY'S EMAILS - This news will serve as some serious methadone for conservatives reeling over the secret Planned Parenthood filmer's indictment. AP: "The Obama administration confirmed for the first time Friday that Hillary Clinton's unsecured home server contained closely guarded government secrets, censoring 22 emails with material requiring one of the highest levels of classification. The revelation comes just three days before the Iowa presidential nominating caucuses in which Clinton is a candidate. Department officials also said the agency's Diplomatic Security and Intelligence and Research bureaus will investigate whether any of the information was classified at the time of transmission, going to the heart of one of Clinton's primary defenses of her email practices. The State Department will release its next batch of emails from Clinton's time as secretary of state later Friday." [AP]

Clinton campaign responds: "Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is urging the State Department to release all emails from her private server and criticizing the decision to withhold 22 messages classifed as 'top secret.' 'This appears to be over-classification run amok,' Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said in a lengthy statement. 'We will pursue all appropriate avenues to see that her emails are released in a manner consistent with her call last year.' "We firmly oppose the complete blocking of the release of these emails,' he added." [The Hill]

NO RICK SNYDER ON THE HILL - Weird. It's not like Snyder hasn't been talking about Flint every day. Kate Sheppard: "The House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, on Feb. 3. But the list of witnesses does not include Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), an omission that some are calling inexcusable. The oversight committee has called a hearing for next Wednesday at 9 a.m. focusing on violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act in Flint. The Flint water crisis came as a result of officials in the Snyder administration telling city officials not to use corrosion treatment after the city began pulling drinking water from the Flint River. The water then corroded the city's pipes, causing lead contamination. State officials dismissed complaints from Flint residents about the water quality for over a year." [HuffPost]

Haircuts: Jen Bendery, Sam Levine, Jeffrey Young.

DELANEY DOWNER - Fox News host Brett Baier asked Ohio Gov. John Kasich during Thursday night's Republican debate how he'd handle a water crisis like the one in Flint, Michigan. "I don't know all the details of what Rick Snyder has done," Kasich said, referring to Michigan's embattled Republican governor. "I know people who have been fired, people are being held accountable, but the fact is, every single engine of government has to move when you see a crisis like that." It was a curious question for Kasich, since there's currently a water crisis in Ohio that's similar in some ways to the one in Flint. Schools in Sebring, Ohio closed this week over concerns of high lead levels in the town's water, which residents have been told not to drink. [HuffPost]

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ADMINISTRATION TO ISSUE NEW SALARY DATA RULES - This is begging for a Donald Trump soundbite. Danielle Paquette and Drew Harwell: "President Obama proposed a new rule Friday that would require every large company in America to report employees' pay based on race and gender, an effort to reduce longstanding pay inequities for women and minorities. The new policy, already drawing criticism from some business leaders, would order companies with at least 100 employees to add salary numbers on a form they already annually submit that reports employees’ sex, age and job groups. The new pay information would alert the EEOC to companies with significant wage disparities, which could result in hefty fines. During the updated data collection process, officials would not publicly name employers or employees, said Jenny Yang, chairwoman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which published the proposed rule with the Department of Labor. If disciplinary action is taken, however, companies found to write discriminatory paychecks could appear in public record." [WaPo]

Listen to Ta-Nehisi Coates, Adam McKay and Tim Canova on the HuffPost Politics podcast. Coates thinks Bernie Sanders is being super lame about reparations.

TRUMP TRUMPS - Too late to get Steve King or Louie Gohmert's endorsements, unfortunately. Elise Foley: "The 'anchor baby' slur is back in the GOP presidential race, and this time, it's being thrown at one of the candidates. Republican front-runner Donald Trump said Friday that Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is an "anchor baby." It was all part of the real estate mogul's repeated riffing on the fact that Cruz was born in Canada. 'Now, Ted Cruz may not be a U.S. citizen. Right? But he's an anchor baby in Canada. No, he's an anchor baby. Ted Cruz is an anchor baby in Canada,' Trump said at an event in New Hampshire, according to ABC News. His insult doesn't make much sense, other than as an excuse to throw out the words "anchor baby." Cruz is definitely a U.S. citizen. He was born in Canada to a U.S. citizen mother, making him an American by birth. He also had dual citizenship with Canada, because the country automatically confers citizenship on people born there." [HuffPost]

TRUMP KEEPS GREAT FRIENDS -- JUST FANTASTIC PEOPLE - Real winners. Christina Wilkie: "Trump did what he's always done when he needs to fund the Donald J. Trump Foundation: He called up a small group of people who do business with him, or who owe him favors, and asked them to pony up… Mall developer J.J. Cafaro, who socializes with Trump in Palm Beach, gave Trump's foundation $50,000, prompting Trump to describe Cafaro as 'a fantastic man.' What Trump didn't mention is that Cafaro has pleaded guilty two different times in federal court to charges related to illegal political campaign donations. In 2002, Cafaro pleaded guilty to attempting to bribe then-Rep. Jim Traficant (D-Ohio), part of a deal Cafaro made to avoid jail time. Six years later, he again pleaded guilty to a campaign-related offense -- this time, failing to disclose a $10,000 loan he'd made to his daughter's failed bid for a seat in Congress." [HuffPost]

GOP BASE WARMING TO DONALD - Ariel Edwards-Levy and Natalie Jackson: "The most politically active members of the Republican Party have warmed to Donald Trump’s bid for the party’s presidential nomination since last summer, according to a new Huffington Post/YouGov poll, which finds 68 percent now think he could win the general election. While most surveys attempt to reflect the entire electorate, this one is the latest in a trio of polls focusing solely on Republican activists: well-informed party stalwarts who've run for or held office, served as party officials, worked on campaigns or volunteered their time before elections. Their views shouldn't be seen as representative of the horserace as a whole, but they provide some insight into the role of GOP political leaders in an election cycle where public opinions have repeatedly flouted the establishment." [HuffPost]

The things we do for love: "A super PAC supporting former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s flagging campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination raised only $514,000 in the second half of last year, but $100,000 of that came from Eliot Spitzer and his mother, Anne Spitzer, according to a report filed Friday afternoon with the Federal Election Commission...The Spitzers’ donations came in late September, three months before it was reported that Eliot Spitzer and his former girlfriend Lis Smith, who is O’Malley’s deputy campaign manager, broke up." [Politico's Ken Vogel]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a toddler encountering a baby gorilla.

GUN CONTROL GROUPS UPSET BY VA. GOV - "Gun-safety activists reacted with fury on Friday to a deal Gov. Terry McAuliffe struck with Republicans to recognize most out-of-state concealed-handgun permits, fanning out across the Capitol, placing hundreds of calls and writing to the Democrat who won office two years ago bragging about his 'F' rating from the National Rifle Association...The gun agreement, which still needs the General Assembly’s approval, would reverse Democratic Attorney General Mark R. Herring’s decision last month to sever the reciprocity rights of gun owners in 25 states with standards looser than Virginia’s. The deal would require gun-rights groups to give on a couple fronts. The state could take guns away from anyone under a two-year protective order for domestic-violence offenses. And state police would have to attend all gun shows to provide background checks for private sellers who choose to vet potential buyers." [WaPo]

COMFORT FOOD

- Polar bear cub is adorable.

- It's all connecticut: the Sandlerverse.

- Cat stares at fox.

TWITTERAMA

@jamieson: Most of this debate is candidates being invited to walk back reasonable things they did or said

@MEPFuller :We Had A Criminologist And A Psychiatrist Evaluate Bill Clinton's Movie Choices While In Office. You'll Never Believe What They Say About Bi

@GlennThrush: There are so many f---ing reporters in Des Moines right now, it makes me want to be a bartender. There the only ones getting any actual news

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