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6:20 PM ET, February 16, 2017


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Flynn in FBI interview denied discussing sanctions with Russian ambassador  —  Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn denied to FBI agents in an interview last month that he had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country's ambassador to the United States before President …
Ashley Parker / Washington Post:   Trump says ‘I inherited a mess,’ blasts media and detractors at combative news conference
Madeline Conway / Politico:
Trump says he called Justice Department to ask them to investigate leaks
Discussion: RedState and ABC News
Tara Golshan / Vox:
A guide to what the GOP-led House Oversight Committee will and won't investigate on Trump
Louis Nelson / Politico:
Trump complains that he ‘inherited a mess’ in rant against media
Numbers / Pew Research Center:
In First Month, Views of Trump Are Already Strongly Felt, Deeply Polarized  —  Opposition to Trump's refugee policy; improved views of economy  —  Less than a month after Donald Trump took office, the public's initial impressions of the new president are strongly felt, deeply polarized and far more negative than positive.
Pew Research Center:
1. Early public attitudes about Donald Trump  —  Overall, 39% say they approve of how Trump is handling his job as president, while 56% say they disapprove and 6% do not offer a view.  Job ratings for Trump are more negative than for other recent presidents at similar points in their first terms.
Discussion: Mother Jones
Rasmussen Reports:
in Politics  —  The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 55% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump's job performance.  Forty-five percent (45%) disapprove.  —  The latest figures include 38% who Strongly Approve of the way Trump is performing and 36% who Strongly Disapprove.
German Lopez / Vox:
Trump keeps lying about his Electoral College victory  —  He made two false claims about his win at a news conference on Thursday.  —  President Donald Trump made two false claims about his 2016 victory early in his news conference on Thursday: He said he won 306 Electoral College votes …
Andrew Prokop / Vox:
President Trump's combative, freewheeling, “fake news” press conference, explained
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Trump unleashes fury after four long weeks
Discussion: New York Magazine
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Donald Trump's combative, grievance-filled press conference, annotated  —  A solemn President Trump turned his Thursday afternoon announcement of a new labor secretary nominee into a screed against the media and large-scale defense of his first four weeks as president.  —  It was remarkable.
Allegra Kirkland / Talking Points Memo:
The 8 Craziest Moments Of Trump's Impromptu Press Conference  —  In a hastily-called Thursday press conference carried live on national TV, President Donald Trump was completely off the map.  —  During the hour-plus event in the East Room of the White House, ostensibly held to announce …
Discussion: rubber hose
Dan Merica / CNN:
On false claims about his Electoral College win's spot in history
Discussion: RedState, KTLA and Balloon Juice
Cristiano Lima / Politico:
Trump asks black journalist to help set up meeting with Congressional Black Caucus
GOP May Cap Insurance Tax Break as ACA Repeal Bill Nears  —  Tax proposal is on ‘menu’ of options under consideration  —  Some Republicans say they're opposed to idea as a tax increase  —  Republicans are considering capping the U.S.'s tax break on job-provided health insurance …
Discussion: Vox and Balloon Juice
Hannah Devlin / The Guardian:
Woolly mammoth on the verge of resurrection, scientists say  —  Scientist leading ‘de-extinction’ effort says Harvard team just two years away from creating a hybrid embryo, in which mammoth traits would be programmed into an Asian elephant  —  The woolly mammoth vanished from the Earth 4,000 years ago …
Discussion: Mashable, AOL and
Sarah Knapton / Telegraph:
‘Woolly mammoth’ will be back from extinction within two years, say Harvard scientists
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Infowars
New York Times:
Full Transcript and Video: Trump News Conference  —  President Trump on Thursday announced his new nominee for labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, during a news conference at the White House.  Following is a transcript of that event, as prepared by the Federal News Service.
Kremlin Tells Media to Cut Back on Fawning Trump Coverage, Sources Say  —  Order comes as hopes fade for improved relations with U.S.  —  Trump was garnering more media mentions in Russia than Putin  —  The Kremlin ordered state media to cut way back on their fawning coverage of President Donald Trump …
Jon Schwarz / The Intercept:
Carter Page, at Center of Trump Russian Investigation, Writes Bizarre Letter to DOJ Blaming Hillary Clinton  —  Carter Page, briefly a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, sent a peculiar, rambling letter this week to the Department of Justice, asking it to review …
PBS NewsHour:
Discussion: Washington Times
Betsy Woodruff / The Daily Beast:
Leaked Emails Show Justice Clarence Thomas's Wife Pushing Travel Ban  —  Justice Clarence Thomas's wife is organizing in support of President Donald Trump's agenda.  And it might make her husband's life a little complicated.  —  In an email sent to a conservative listserv on Feb. 13 …
Drew Harwell / Washington Post:
Trump family's elaborate lifestyle is a ‘logistical nightmare’ — at taxpayer expense  —  On Friday, President Trump and his entourage will jet for the third straight weekend to a working getaway at his oceanfront Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla.  —  On Saturday, Trump's sons Eric and Don Jr. …
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
About ‘The Press Conference’  —  This is that rare time when I think the cliched phrase is appropriate: That press conference speaks for itself.  There's very little I can think to add.  It all amounts to a confirmation of what most of us already know.  This man is not emotionally …
Discussion: RedState
Philip Elliott / TIME:
Inside Donald Trump's White House Chaos  —  For two years, Donald Trump mastered the art of disruption.  Name a political precept and he probably broke it during his improbable march to the White House.  But disruption in government—the rulemaker breaking the rules—turns out to be more costly.
Josh Dawsey / Politico:
Priebus struggles to control fractious White House
Discussion: Raw Story, The Hill and Hot Air
Tillerson Forced to Stay at Sanitarium in German Village for G-20  —  Russian foreign minister asks why reporters were ushered away  —  Secretary of State is in ‘listening mode,’ official says  —  On his first trip abroad as U.S. secretary of state, Rex Tillerson was forced to stay …
Tillerson Has Awkward First Encounter With Lavrov at G-20
Discussion: RT, The Guardian and
Anthony Capaccio / Bloomberg:
Trump's F-35 Calls Came With a Surprise: Rival CEO Was Listening  —  Boeing CEO said to be in room as Trump phoned program chief  —  Lockheed has faced Trump attacks over cost of F-35 contract  —  Days before taking office, President-elect Donald Trump made two surprise calls …
Chicago Tribune:
Former Obama aide fined $90,000 for illegally lobbying Emanuel on Uber's behalf  —  David Plouffe speaks before United States President Barack Obama appears at campaign fundraiser at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL on April 14, 2011.  —  A former senior executive for Uber who once served …
Discussion: Axios and Business Insider
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
Admit it: Trump is unfit to serve  —  Let's not mumble or whisper about the central issue facing our country: What is this democratic nation to do when the man serving as president of the United States plainly has no business being president of the United States?
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
Senate Dems plan all-night protest over Trump's EPA pick  —  Senate Democrats are planning an all-night talkathon Thursday over President Trump's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  —  Asked whether Democrats are planning to hold the floor all night, a spokeswoman for Sen. Tom Carper
Discussion: Politico and RedState
Andrew Kaczynski / CNN:
Gov. Paul LePage on Trump: 'We got to tell him that the TV show's over and he's gotta move on now'  —  (CNN)Republican Gov. Paul LePage, a supporter of President Donald Trump, said Thursday morning that too many people are vying for power within the White House and that the President should stop treating it like a TV show.
Discussion: Political Wire
New York Times:
A HUD Official Once Criticized Trump.  Now He's an Ex-Official.  —  WASHINGTON — A top aide to President Trump's housing secretary nominee, Ben Carson, was fired and led out of the department's headquarters by security on Wednesday after writings critical of Mr. Trump surfaced in his vetting …
Max Chafkin / Bloomberg:
Elon Musk Is Really Boring  —  The billionaire visionary is digging in on a tunnel project to skirt gridlock, but there's a hole in his Trump-era business bet.  —  by  —  From Subscribe Reprints  —  The pit is at least 15 feet deep and more than 50 feet wide.
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 More Items:
Roman Polanski Wants Back in U.S. to Settle Child Rape Case
Discussion: IJR
Gene Johnson / Associated Press:
US gov't: Arrested Seattle ‘dreamer’ admitted gang ties
Heather Caygle / Politico:
House Democrats say they were kicked out of meeting with ICE official
Discussion: Daily Kos
Trump wants a wall. Border experts want a fence
Discussion: Hot Air, New York Magazine and Axios
David Brody /
This Just In From CNN: More Fake News!
Discussion: BizPac Review
 Earlier Items: 
Chris Brito / New York's PIX11:
Man found dead with zip-ties around neck inside TriBeCa jewelry store
Discussion: WREG-TV and Gothamist
Paulina Firozi / The Hill:
Martial arts academy posts how-to video for defending against Trump handshake
Discussion: Washington Post and RedState
Marianne LeVine / Politico:
Trump names Alexander Acosta as labor secretary nominee
Discussion: RedState and New York Magazine
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Trump: Leakers will ‘pay a big price’
Discussion: Politico and Political Wire
Katie Mettler / Washington Post:
‘This is really unprecedented’: ICE detains woman seeking domestic abuse protection at Tex. courthouse