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2:45 AM ET, January 20, 2017

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 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates  —  WASHINGTON — American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials …
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Trump team prepares dramatic cuts  —  is ready to take an ax to government spending.  —  Staffers for the Trump transition team have been meeting with career staff at the White House ahead of Friday's presidential inauguration to outline their plans for shrinking the federal bureaucracy, The Hill has learned.
RELATED:
Devin Henry / The Hill:
Dems blast Trump plans for deep spending cuts  —  Several Democratic senators harshly criticized spending cuts planned by the Trump administration during a confirmation hearing Thursday for Rick Perry, who is nominated to lead the Energy Department.  —  “This is absolutely nuts in terms …
New York Times:
8 Highlights from the Confirmation Hearings
Jessica Schulberg / The Huffington Post:
Trump Sought Military Equipment For Inauguration, Granted 20-Plane Flyover  —  “It's very Red Square,” said Stephen Kerrigan, who oversaw the past two inaugurations.  —  Foreign Affairs Reporter, The Huffington Post  —  WASHINGTON Part of being a great president is showing off America's …
New York Times:
Washington Hotel Presents Trump With a ‘Minefield’ of Potential Scandal  —  WASHINGTON — With sirens blaring, a fleet of limousines and security personnel raced down Pennsylvania Avenue twice in less than the last 24 hours to deliver Donald J. Trump to inauguration events.
Discussion: TMZ.com
RELATED:
Camille Dodero / Hollywood Reporter:
Robert De Niro, Alec Baldwin Address Crowd at Anti-Trump Rally in NYC  —  Baldwin assured the crowd that “there is hope.  Trump and Pence think you're going to lay down.  That's one thing about New Yorkers: You don't lay down.”  —  The anti-Trump demonstration held just a half-mile from Trump Tower kicks off Thursday.
Discussion: RedState and The Daily Caller
RELATED:
Brooke Seipel / The Hill:
Michael Moore leads massive anti-Trump protest in NYC  —  Documentary director Michael Moore held a massive protest Thursday night outside Trump's New York City International Hotel featuring speeches from public figures including actors Robert De Niro and Mark Ruffalo.
Cyra Master / The Hill:
Report: Trump has given up personal cellphone  —  Less than 24 hours before his inauguration, the Associated Press reports President-elect Donald Trump  —  has given up his personal cellphone.  —  Trump apparently told a friend on Thursday that he has given up the phone on the advice of security agencies.
Discussion: RedState
Claudia Koerner / BuzzFeed:
Trump's Inaugural Concert Didn't Fill The National Mall  —  Here's the crowd outside the Lincoln Memorial on Thursday for a concert celebrating President-elect Donald Trump's upcoming inauguration. … The National Park Service declined to estimate how many people attended the concert.
RELATED:
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Trump begins inaugural festivities as he prepares for the presidency
Discussion: Politico and New York Times
Ariane de Vogue / CNN:
Trump on Supreme Court pick: ‘I think in my mind I know who it is’  —  Washington (CNN)President-elect Donald Trump suggested to an audience on Thursday that he has a good sense of who he plans to nominate to the Supreme Court.  —  “I think in my mind I know who it is,” …
Discussion: Hot Air and Talking Points Memo
RELATED:
Hugh Hewitt / Washington Post:
It's time to relax about Trump  —  Hugh Hewitt hosts a nationally syndicated radio show and is author of the forthcoming “The Fourth Way: The Conservative Playbook for a Lasting GOP Majority.”  —  My wife and I welcomed Mike and Debbie for dinner at our California home Tuesday night.
Meghan Keneally / ABC News:
First on ABC: George W. Bush's Inauguration Day Letter to Barack Obama  —  Writing a letter to the next commander-in-chief has been a tradition for outgoing presidents.  —  As Barack Obama prepares to hand the baton to Donald Trump, ABC News has obtained an exclusive look at the missive …
President Barack Obama / Blog Daily Listings RSS:
Thank You  —  Editor's note: President Obama sent this final message to the White House email list this morning.  —  My fellow Americans,  —  It's a long-standing tradition for the sitting president of the United States to leave a parting letter in the Oval Office for the American elected to take his or her place.
Ted Barrett / CNN:
Wyden objection to Pompeo could push vote to Monday  —  Trump CIA pick backs intel on Russian hacking  —  (CNN)Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, a Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a vocal privacy advocate, has formally objected to the Senate voting Friday on CIA director nominee …
Ernesto Londoño / New York Times:
Malia Obama's Secret Trip to Bolivia and Peru  —  The Bolivian guides were convinced it was the blonde.  It had to be the blonde.  American Embassy officials in November had told three brothers who led guided hikes across Bolivia's majestic Cordillera Real mountain range that they would soon be hosting an important American dignitary.
Lauren Fox / Talking Points Memo:
Cornyn: No One Covered Under Medicaid Expansion Will Lose Coverage  —  A group of Republican governors met with Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday, and some expressed concerns about the number of people who could lose insurance once GOP lawmakers repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Discussion: ACASignups.net and Mother Jones
John Ziegler / Mediaite:
A Final Reminder: Here's Who ‘Owns’ the Trump Presidency and Who Will Get the Blame/Praise  —  As we all brace for the official start to a Donald Trump presidency which most of us never thought would happen, it is important to set down some markers.  Specifically, who will get the credit/blame …
Heather Hansman / The Guardian:
Congress moves to give away national lands, discounting billions in revenue  —  Though recreation on federal lands creates $646bn in economic stimulus and 6.1m jobs, Republicans are setting in motion a giveaway of Americans' birthright  —  n the midst of highly publicized steps …
Discussion: The Slot and Occupy Democrats
Paul Mirengoff / Power Line:
Jim Brown backs Donald Trump  —  Who are the most formidable and iconic male African-Americans of the 1960s?  Martin Luther King and Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali are surely the top two.  —  Who is third?  For me, it's Jim Brown (and not John Lewis).  —  Brown is as great an athlete as I've ever seen.
Discussion: Washington Post and USA Today
Joshua Green / Bloomberg:
Trump's K Street Office Is Open for Business  —  Corey Lewandowski rebrands himself as a D.C. fixer peddling access to the White House.  —  by  —  Subscribe Reprints  —  “You see that window right there?  The one right next to the big arch?” says Corey Lewandowski, pointing at the second floor of the White House two blocks away.
New York Times:
A Trump Administration, With Obama Staff Members Filling In the Gaps  —  WASHINGTON — Donald J. Trump arrived in Washington the day before his inauguration as the nation's 45th president in a swirl of cinematic pageantry but facing serious questions about whether his chaotic transition …
Discussion: Gizmodo
Los Angeles Times:
Op-Ed How to stop Trump: Lessons from the tea party  —  Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin speaks to a crowd during the kickoff of the nationwide Tea Party Express bus tour in Reno, Nev. on Oct. 18, 2010.  (Scott Sady / Associated Press)  —  Gonzalo Martínez de Vedia, Jeremy Haile and Sarah Dohl
Discussion: Common Dreams
CNN:
CNN Announces Washington Correspondent Assignments  —  Washington, D.C. - Jan. 18 - Today, CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker announced the following assignments for the network's Washington, D.C. based correspondents.  — Dana Bash will continue as the network's chief political correspondent.
Neil Eggleston / Blog Daily Listings RSS:
The Reinvigoration of the Clemency Authority  —  Today, the President granted commutation to 330 individuals.  The President has now granted commutation to a total of 1,715 individuals, including 568 people who had been sentenced to life in prison.  The vast majority of these men and women …
David Weigel / Washington Post:
Democrats prepare for Trump with one of the earliest resistance movements ever to greet a new president  —  When Donald Trump takes the presidential oath of office on Friday, thousands of protesters will be marching his way from an “Occupy the Inauguration” rally at Malcolm X Park.
Discussion: Associated Press
Azam Ahmed / New York Times:
El Chapo, Mexican Drug Kingpin, Extradited to the U.S.  —  Mexico City — Joaquin Guzman Loera, the notorious drug lord known as El Chapo, who twice slipped out of high-security Mexican prisons and into criminal legend, was being extradited to the United States on Thursday night, officials said …
 
 
 New Item Finder: 
45 minutes ago
Claudia Koerner / BuzzFeed:
Trump's Inaugural Concert Didn't Fill The National Mall   Find
2 hours ago
Joshua Green / Bloomberg:
Trump's K Street Office Is Open for Business   Find
3 hours ago
Camille Dodero / Hollywood Reporter:
Robert De Niro, Alec Baldwin Address Crowd at Anti-Trump Rally in NYC   Find
3½ hours ago
Paul Mirengoff / Power Line:
Jim Brown backs Donald Trump   Find
4½ hours ago
Hugh Hewitt / Washington Post:
It's time to relax about Trump   Find
 
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 More Items: 
Max Greenwood / The Hill:
Trump says his Cabinet has ‘highest IQ of any Cabinet’
Discussion: Politicus USA and TheBlaze
Max Greenwood / The Hill:
North Korea may be prepping missile launch to test Trump: report
Tim Mak / The Daily Beast:
The Troublemaker Behind Donald Trump's Words
Louis Nelson / Politico:
Ronna Romney McDaniel tapped to be new RNC chair
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
This is the most ominous Inauguration Day in modern history
Bloomberg:
BCBG to Close Stores, Restructure as Online Shift Takes Toll
Discussion: AOL and New York Magazine
 Earlier Items: 
Holly Christodoulou / The Sun:
ASSANGE LATEST WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stands by offer to be extradited to US following Chelsea Manning release
Reuters:
Executive actions ready to go as Trump prepares to take office
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Numbers / Pew Research Center:
On Eve of Inauguration, Americans Expect Nation's Deep Political Divisions to Persist
Discussion: Washington Post, NPR and Political Wire
Bloomberg:
Russia Fears That Trump Won't Be Such a Great Deal After All
Discussion: Hot Air and Shareblue