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7:35 PM ET, February 23, 2017

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
CNN:
FBI refused White House request to knock down recent Trump-Russia stories  —  Washington (CNN)The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign …
RELATED:
CNN:
White House effort to justify travel ban causes growing concern for some intelligence officials  —  Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump has assigned the Department of Homeland Security, working with the Justice Department, to help build the legal case for its temporary travel ban on individuals …
Discussion: Political Wire
Darius Tahir / Politico:
Boehner: Republicans won't repeal and replace Obamacare  —  Former House Speaker John Boehner predicted on Thursday that a full repeal and replace of Obamacare is “not what's going to happen” and that Republicans will instead just make some fixes to the health care law.
RELATED:
Hadas Gold / Politico:
Project Veritas ‘CNN Leaks’ fall flat  —  For a few days, Project Veritas founder and conservative activist James O'Keefe has been hyping the release of what he said were hundreds of hours of undercover audio recordings of employees at CNN.  —  Some staffers at CNN were legitimately alarmed …
Tyler Durden / Zero Hedge:
O'Keefe Drops “Bombshell” Undercover Footage From Within CNN  —  As promised two days ago on the Sean Hannity radio show, James O'Keefe and his team at Project Veritas just released covertly captured, previously unheard audio footage from within the CNN newsroom.
YouTube:
CNNLeaks: Project Veritas Releases Over 100 Hours of Audio From Inside CNN
Discussion: Vox Popoli
Jeff Stein / Newsweek:
EXCLUSIVE: LISTEN TO CONTROVERSIAL WHITE HOUSE TERRORISM ADVISER SEBASTIAN GORKA'S ANGRY CALL TO A CRITIC  —  An embattled White House terrorism advisor whose academic credentials have come under widespread fire telephoned one of his main critics at home Tuesday night and threatened legal action against him, Newsweek has learned.
RELATED:
Washpostpr / Washington Post:   Devlin Barrett to join The Washington Post as national security reporter
David Weigel / Washington Post:
Alt-right leader expelled from CPAC after organizer denounces ‘left-wing fascist group’  —  Richard Spencer, a founder of the alt-right movement that seeks a whites-only state and that strongly backed Donald Trump for president, was expelled from the Conservative Political Action Conference …
RELATED:
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Bannon: Trump administration is in unending battle for ‘deconstruction of the administrative state’
Discussion: The Atlantic and Common Dreams
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Ted Cruz's very strange prediction of an upcoming Supreme Court vacancy  —  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) made a pretty odd prediction Thursday: He said he believed there would be a Supreme Court vacancy shortly after Neil Gorsuch's likely confirmation to the existing one.
RELATED:
BBC:
Not best of times for US - Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg
Madeline Conway / Politico:
Ted Cruz predicts a Supreme Court seat will open up this summer
Discussion: ABC News
Center for American Progress:
Why the Emerging Bill to Repeal the Affordable Care Act Will Fail  —  Last week, the House majority released an outline for repealing the Affordable Care Act, or ACA.  Although the document provides no new details, it does provide enough information to evaluate the adequacy of financing …
Discussion: Business Insider
RELATED:
Nathaniel Herz / Alaska Dispatch News:
Murkowski tells Legislature she'll consult Alaska leaders before voting on repeal of Medicaid expansion
Discussion: Vox, KTUU-TV, TheBlaze and Axios
Manu Raju / CNN:
Hill GOP asks governors to help save Obamacare repeal
Discussion: Axios
Dow Jones Newswires:
‘You Have to Stop,’ Renaissance Executive Tells Boss About Trump Support  —  A clash involving Renaissance Technologies hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer, who supports President Donald Trump, and another executive of the firm, who opposes the president, reflects divides at other U.S. workplaces.
Sari Horwitz / Washington Post:
Law professors file misconduct complaint against Kellyanne Conway  —  A group of law professors from around the country has filed a professional misconduct complaint against White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, a graduate of George Washington University Law School who was admitted to the D.C. Bar in 1995.
Discussion: Raw Story
RELATED:
Fox News Insider:
Fox News Channel's Alan Colmes Dies at Age 66  —  Fox News Channel's Alan Colmes has passed away at age 66 after a brief illness.  —  Colmes leaves behind his wife, Jocelyn Crowley, who issued the following statement:  —  Alan Colmes passed away this morning after a brief illness.  He was 66-years-old.
RELATED:
Rumana Ahmed / The Atlantic:
I Was a Muslim in Trump's White House  —  In 2011, I was hired, straight out of college, to work at the White House and eventually the National Security Council.  My job there was to promote and protect the best of what my country stands for.  I am a hijab-wearing Muslim woman …
Discussion: The Guardian and Raw Story
Steve Holland / Reuters:
Exclusive: Trump wants to expand U.S. nuclear arsenal, make it ‘top of the pack’  —  President Donald Trump said on Thursday he wants to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal to ensure it is at the “top of the pack,” saying the United States has fallen behind in its atomic weapons capacity.
Nolan D. McCaskill / Politico:
DHS chief softens Trump's talk on immigration  —  Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly softened the administration's rhetoric on immigration Thursday, contradicting President Donald Trump's characterization of his deportation plan as he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sought to repair …
RELATED:
Howard Fischer / Arizona Capitol Times:
Arizona Senate votes to seize assets of those who plan, participate in protests that turn violent  —  Claiming people are being paid to riot, Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything actually happened.
Washington Post:
France's National Front scandal has exposed the dirty little secret of Europe's far right  —  The chief political aide of Marine Le Pen, the leader of France's far right National Front party and candidate for the French presidential election, has just been put under investigation by French magistrates.
Nicholas Kristof / New York Times:
Even if Trump Is the Enemy, His Voters Aren't  —  A few days ago, I blithely tweeted a warning that Democrats often sound patronizing when speaking of Trump voters.  That provoked a vehement reaction. … “Sorry,” Jason tweeted back, “but if someone is supporting a racist ignoramus who wants …
Discussion: Shakesville
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
Wash. governor orders agencies to ignore immigration requests  —  Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on Thursday signed an executive order blocking state law enforcement agencies from detaining undocumented immigrants at the request of federal officials, days after the Trump administration began ramping up immigration enforcement actions.
Discussion: RedState
RELATED:
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
Connecticut governor to cops: Don't follow Trump immigration orders
Discussion: IJR
Joe Concha / The Hill:
Hannity apologizes for sharing ‘inaccurate’ story about McCain  —  Fox's Sean Hannity has apologized for sharing a story on Twitter that calls Sen. John McCain  —  (R-Ariz.) a “war criminal.”  —  “I retweeted an inaccurate article.  My apologies to @SenJohnMcCain,” the “Hannity” host wrote on Thursday afternoon.
Madeline Conway / Politico:
Spicer: Expect to see ‘greater enforcement’ of federal marijuana law  —  White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday that he expects states to see “greater enforcement” of the federal law against marijuana use, a move that would be at odds with a growing number of states' decisions to legalize it.
Discussion: Vox and The Stranger …
Chris Sommerfeldt / New York Daily News:
Undocumented woman with brain tumor refused surgery, forcibly removed from Texas hospital: lawyer  —  An undocumented woman in desperate need of brain surgery has been forcibly removed from a Texas hospital — and her relatives in New York fear she could lose her life, a family representative said early Thursday.
Josh Meyer / Politico:
Manafort faced blackmail attempt, hacks suggest  —  A purported cyberhack of the daughter of political consultant Paul Manafort suggests that he was the victim of a blackmail attempt while he was serving as Donald Trump's presidential campaign chairman last summer.
McKay Coppins / The Atlantic:
The Bow-Tied Bard of Populism  —  Tucker Carlson is selling me hard on the swamp.  It is an unseasonably warm afternoon in late January, and we are seated at a corner table in Monocle, an upscale Capitol Hill eatery frequented by the Fox News star.  (Carlson, who typically skips breakfast …
Discussion: Mediaite and The Daily Caller
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
Closed-Door Events Become Minefields For GOPers Who Shirk Public Town Halls  —  Back home in their districts while Congress is in recess, some Republicans have ducked the raucous crowds at town halls in favor of more tightly controlled conference calls and private events.
Lizzie Dearden / The Independent:
Danish man who videoed himself burning the Quran charged with blasphemy  —  Case is first time Danish prosecutors have charged anyone with blasphemy in 46 years  —  A Danish man who posed a video of himself setting fire to the Quran on Facebook has been charged with blasphemy in the first such prosecution for 46 years.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Chicago Tribune:
Homicides in Chicago outpacing last year after deadliest day so far in 2017
CNN:
An underground network is readying homes to hide immigrants
Discussion: TheBlaze
Erin Dooley / ABC News:
Justice Department reverses Obama guidance on reducing private prisons
Discussion: Politico
Annie Karni / Politico:
Ivanka Trump, Kushner publicly silent as White House rolls back transgender protections
Discussion: Axios
Thomas Fox-Brewster / Forbes:
Amazon Argues Alexa Speech Protected By First Amendment In Murder Trial Fight
Discussion: The Daily Caller
New York Times:
A Paid Hour a Week for Sex? Swedish Town Considers It
Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept:
The Increasingly Unhinged Russia Rhetoric Comes From a Long-Standing U.S. Playbook
 Earlier Items: 
Katie Orr / NPR:
Trump's Election Drives More Women To Consider Running For Office
Daily Mail:
Get off my grass!  Protests erupt in LA after off-duty cop was filmed pulling his GUN …
Discussion: IJR
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Trump calls deportation push a ‘military operation’
Discussion: RedState, Daily Kos and ABC News