On Wednesday morning, President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, saying the top judge on the influential DC Circuit has earned the respect of both Republicans and Democrats and is "uniquely prepared to serve immediately."

"I've selected a nominee who is widely recognized, not only as one of America's sharpest legal minds, but someone who brings to his work a spirit of decency, modesty, integrity, evenhandedness, and excellence," Obama said in a press conference from the Rose Garden with Vice President Joe Biden and Garland. "These qualities and his long commitment to public service have earned him the respect and admiration of leaders from both sides of the aisle. Today I am nominating Chief Judge Merrick Brian Garland to join the Supreme Court."

Garland called the president's nomination the "greatest honor of his life" and was visibly emotional in his acceptance speech. His nomination should now be considered by the Senate. But following the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February, Senate Republicans have refused to hold hearings and vowed to block any of Obama's nominations to replace the late justice's seat on the bench. They argue the next justice should be the choice of the next president.

Obama has hit back at such demands, slamming Republicans for politicizing the court system.

"The Constitution is pretty clear about what is supposed to happen now," Obama said after Scalia's death. "When there is a vacancy on the Supreme Court, the president of the United States is to nominate someone. The Senate is to consider that nomination—and either they disapprove of that nominee or that nominee is elevated to the Supreme Court. Historically, this has not been viewed as a question."

Obama stressed the same point Wednesday: "In putting forward a nominee today, I am fulfilling my constitutional duty, I'm doing my job. I hope that our senators will do their jobs and move quickly to consider my nominee. That is what the Constitution dictates, and that's what the American people expect and deserve from their leaders."

On March 8, Morning Joe's Mika Brzezinski asked Donald Trump whether he had a foreign policy team. Trump gave a rambling response, saying, "Yes, there is a team. There's not a team. I'm going to be forming a team. I have met with far more than three people." On Wednesday morning, Brzezinski gave Trump another shot at the question. She asked him again about his foreign policy team and strategy and, more specifically, whom he consults with consistently. 

Trump replied: "I'm speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I've said a lot of things. I know what I'm doing, and I listen to a lot of people, I talk to a lot of people, and at the appropriate time I'll tell you who the people are. But my primary consultant is myself and I have, you know, a good instinct for this stuff."

After crushing Sen. Marco Rubio in his home state of Florida on Tuesday, Donald Trump addressed supporters from his Mar-a-Lago estate to rebut recent allegations that his campaign manager assaulted a female reporter during a rally last week.

"There's nothing like it—lies, deceit, viciousness, disgusting reporters," Trump told the crowd in Palm Beach.

While Trump did not specifically call out Michelle Fields—the former Breitbart News reporter who filed a criminal complaint against Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, for allegedly grabbing her forcefully—the Republican front-runner did take a moment in his victory speech to commend Lewandowski and effectively brush aside Fields' accusations.

"Good job, Corey," Trump said. "Good job to our whole squad, right?"

In recent days, the real estate magnate has fired back at Fields, claiming she "made up" the attack, despite growing photo and video evidence of the assault.

Trump was also declared the winner in Illinois and North Carolina, but lost big in the winner-takes-all state of Ohio to Gov. John Kasich, who won his first primary tonight.

"We have to bring our party together," Trump said in Florida. "We have something happening that actually makes the Republican Party the biggest political story anywhere in the world."

Rosemary Carver, a Donald Trump supporter, arrives at his primary election night event at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida on Tuesday night.

On Tuesday night, Donald Trump's campaign reportedly turned away a Politico reporter who covers the candidate, after the reporter had helped write a story critical of Trump's campaign manager earlier in the day.

So who did get into the ritzy victory party at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida? Rich people. NBC reporter Katy Tur shared the decadent outfits at the party for the candidate whose campaign depends on economically struggling voters.

Trump did have cause to celebrate: He is the projected winner in the Florida, North Carolina, and Illinois primaries on Tuesday. John Kasich won his home state of Ohio, while Missouri has not yet been called.

Shortly after Donald Trump was declared the winner of the Florida primary on Tuesday, Sen. Marco Rubio announced he was suspending his presidential campaign.

"May god strengthen our eventual nominee," Rubio said.

This is a breaking news post. We will update as more news becomes available.

Volunteers on the mission to "Make America Great Again" are apparently chill with signing away their First Amendment rights.

According to a report from the Daily Dot, which got ahold of a leaked contract from Donald Trump's presidential campaign, volunteers are forbidden from speaking ill of the real estate magnate or any of his family members—for life. The contract also forbids volunteers from jumping ship and working for another presidential candidate "should they change their minds."

But as legal experts who talked to the Daily Dot explained, the contract is likely to have little legal legitimacy and would have a difficult time not getting laughed out of court.

"He's apparently so afraid that people would say something bad about him after spending some time on his campaign that they have to sign some sort of agreement," lawyer Davida Perry told the site. "I don't see how this stands up. I don't see how a court enforces this."

Perry's take on the document might be comforting to the volunteers who still care about their own free speech. But it might not matter! As he's admitted recently, Trump enjoys suing people just to make their lives pure hell.

"I spent a couple of bucks on legal fees, and they spent a whole lot more," he told the Washington Post. "I did it to make his life miserable, which I'm happy about."

Read the Daily Dot's entire report here.

Donald Trump has backed off from his pledge to pay the legal fees of supporters who attack protesters at his rallies—a reversal that has come after a Trump supporter sucker-punched a protester in the face at a rally in North Carolina last week.

"I don't condone violence," Trump told Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday. "I didn't say I would pay for his fees."

"So you're not going to?" Stephanopoulos asked, pressing the Republican front-runner on how he could reconcile paying for such legal fees with his own claim of being a peaceful person.

"Nobody has asked for fees and I haven't even seen it so I never said I was going to pay for fees," Trump said.

These statements come amid intense condemnation over the escalating violence at several chaotic Trump rallies last week.

But the real estate magnate seems to have forgotten the times he has publicly vowed to cover the legal fees his supporters might incur when roughing up protesters.

"So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of him, would you?" he told a crowd in Iowa in February. "Seriously, okay, just knock the hell. I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees; I promise, I promise."

As recently as this past Sunday, Trump appeared to stand by his previous statements, telling Meet the Press he had directed his staff to see about covering the legal expenses for the man who attacked a protester at the rally in North Carolina. That, however, no longer appears to be the case.

"I'm going to make a decision," he said on Tuesday. "But I certainly don't condone violence and maybe you're right and maybe that's why I wouldn't do it."

During a visit to the White House on Monday, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the star and creator of the enormously popular Broadway show "Hamilton," stopped by the Rose Garden to showcase his freestyle skills with an assist from President Obama.

The performance featured the president holding up cue cards with words such as "Constitution" and "Obamacare" for Manuel to weave into his performance—and the result was pure magic:

The performance concluded with both Miranda and Obama dropping the mic.

"You think that's going viral?" Obama joked. "That's going viral."

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Saturday told Republicans in Florida that Donald Trump is promoting the kind of "hate" that can lead to violence, and reminded them of the shooting of black churchgoers in Charleston last year.

Haley was speaking at a county GOP dinner in The Villages, the world's largest retirement community, on behalf of Sen. Marco Rubio. Like Rubio, who tore into Trump (and his protesters) at an earlier event in Tampa, Haley wanted voters to think hard about the footage of Trump rallies they'd seen on TV.

"I just want to be honest about the leader we have now," she told the almost exclusively senior-citizen crowd. "After seeing what happened in Chicago, after seeing what happened in North Carolina, after seeing what happened in Ohio, we are are seeing a division that is not us. That is not who we are as Republicans. And we are seeing a division that is dangerous. We are seeing a division that's got hate to it. And I want to tell you what that division can mean."

She reminded the audience of Walter Scott, an African American man who was shot and killed by a police officer last April in North Charleston. "Everyone wanted to come in and riot, [but] the Scott family gave us the opportunity to right a wrong," Haley explained. "And we stood with the Walter Scott family a month to the day and signed the first body camera bill in the country. The Republicans of South Carolina did. And that was showing—we didn't protest; we solved the problem, and we got it right and we did it together."

Then Haley brought up the mass shooting a few months later at Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, mentioning three of the victims—Ethel Lance, Tywanza Sanders, and Cynthia Hurd—by name. There, too, Haley said, the families of the victims encouraged unity, not division.

"The reason why I'm telling you that story," she said, "is we have someone running for president who instead of bringing [people] back together like we did in South Carolina, he's telling his supporters to punch a guy in the face! He's telling them if they don't do the right thing to carry him out on a stretcher. He's telling them to say, do it again. He's not denouncing the KKK when this is exactly the same group that protested on my statehouse grounds. We can't have Donald Trump as president! We can't."

Haley's remarks to that point were one of the toughest condemnations of Trump from a fellow Republican this campaign. But as with Rubio, who couldn't bring himself to say he wouldn't support Trump as the nominee, Haley hedged just enough to undermine the whole thing. "It's not that I think there's anything wrong with Mr. Trump," she said, acknowledging the large number of Trump supporters in the room. "He's a supporter. He supported me in my race. It's just lack of judgment."

Nor would she say Trump was necessarily wrong in blaming protesters for the violence in Chicago. "We don't need to blame—I'm not saying it's not the protesters' fault," she said. "It takes two people to fight. But leadership is being able to say we are a country that needs to unite. We have had a divider-in-chief for seven years. We don't need another. We need someone who's gonna say, show your passion, show your energy, show it in the right way. But don't do it with violence, don't do it with outrage, don't do it with hate."

Then Haley headed off to deliver another speech to another Lincoln dinner, part of a frantic scramble by the Rubio campaign to shore up his base of support ahead of Tuesday's primary. But his campaign's newfound courage in attacking the front-runner may be a little too late: An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll on Sunday showed Trump with a 21-point lead.

My Dad Was at the Trump Rally in Chicago. Here's What He Saw.

A Donald Trump rally in Chicago turned violent Friday evening just hours after a man was bloodied at an earlier rally in St. Louis. Several fights broke out at the rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion before a Trump staffer, citing safety concerns, announced the event had been postponed about 30 minutes after the scheduled 6 p.m. start time.

Trump had this to say about violence at the canceled rally in an interview with MSNBC'S Chris Matthews:

My dad, James Patterson, was at the rally. Here's what he told me about what he witnessed.

Thousands of people showed up to the rally. About a third of the attendees or more were anti-Trump demonstrators, he said, but that only became clear once he had passed through metal detectors and security pat downs and made it inside.

I think most people were very strategic in not having their signs out—people weren't protesting in the line. I didn't know who was a Trump supporter and who wasn't until I got in. And then, it almost seemed just by luck, a lot of the students were organized on the same side of the building that I was on. There were a lot of Latino students. There were a lot of Muslim students. There were a lot of black students there. There was some demonstrating going on prior to the time Trump was scheduled to come out. The Trump supporters started to shout "Trump!" And the counter protesters were creating their own counter protests. "Dump Trump!" "Stop Trump!" "F**k Trump!" And to some extent they drowned out the Trump supporters. But It was on both sides where people got out of hand and tried to get in people's faces. There were little skirmishes. I probably saw two or three skirmishes that were clearly altercations between Trump supporters and anti-Trump supporters.

He also says it was clear that a lot of the anti-Trump demonstrators were Bernie Sanders supporters.

It was a lot of UIC people there clearly. And a lot of them were Bernie supporters. Especially after it was announced that the rally was canceled, cheers just broke out and people were excited. And in addition to saying, "We stopped Trump!" people were saying "Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!" And they started pulling out their Bernie signs and some of them were wearing Bernie badges. So it was very clear to me that there were a lot of Bernie supporters in the crowd. To some extent it was almost like a mini Bernie rally at points. It was clearly a Bernie crowd.

My dad said that as far as he could tell, Sanders supporters and Trump supporters were the only clearly delineated groups at the rally. He had seen posts on Facebook about counter demonstrations but says he made the decision to protest as soon he heard Trump would be in town. "You can't have this man come to your city and let his hate go unanswered," he told me.

Hundreds if not thousands of other people apparently felt the same way.