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3:00 AM ET, October 19, 2018


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Conservatives mount a whisper campaign smearing Khashoggi in defense of Trump  —  Hard-line Republicans and conservative commentators are mounting a dark whisper campaign against Jamal Khashoggi that is designed to protect President Trump from criticism of his handling of the dissident …
Ian Pannell / ABC News:
Pompeo listened to an alleged recording of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi: Turkish Source  —  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has heard an alleged audio recording of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi's murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, according to a senior Turkish official.
New York Times:
Saudi Arabia Weighs Blaming Intelligence Official for Khashoggi Killing  —  ISTANBUL — The rulers of Saudi Arabia are considering blaming a top intelligence official close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, three people with knowledge of the Saudi plans said Thursday.
NBC News:
Exclusive: Twitter pulls down bot network that pushed pro-Saudi talking points about disappeared journalist  —  Twitter became aware of some of the bots on Thursday when NBC News presented the company with evidence of coordinated activity.  —  Twitter suspended a network of suspected Twitter bots …
NBC News:   U.S. intel officials: Inconceivable Saudi prince had no link to Khashoggi death
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Karen Attiah, Jamal Khashoggi's Editor, on the Writer and His Work
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and CNBC
Madawi Al-Rasheed / New York Times:
Why King Salman Must Replace M.B.S.
Discussion: Washington Post, The Hill and The Week
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
What did U.S. spy agencies know about threats on Khashoggi — and when?
Discussion: NPR, Mother Jones and Politico
Jennifer Jacobs / Bloomberg:
Kelly, Bolton Get in Profane Shouting Match Outside the Oval Office  —  President Donald Trump's chief of staff and his national security adviser engaged in a profanity-laced argument outside the Oval Office on Thursday, according to three people familiar with the episode.
Bolton and Kelly get into heated shouting match sparking resignation fears  —  Washington (CNN)A heated argument in the West Wing between chief of staff John Kelly and national security adviser John Bolton over a recent surge in border crossings turned into a shouting match Thursday, two sources familiar with the argument told CNN.
Paul LeBlanc / CNN:
Ambassador of Mexico says he doesn't know of deal with Trump to stop migrant caravan
Discussion: Politico and New York Times
Washington Post:
Trump administration does about-face on announcement that top HUD aide would lead Interior watchdog  —  Interior Department officials said Thursday that they did not approve the hiring of a political appointee as the agency's acting watchdog, calling the announcement of her move by Housing …
Ben Lefebvre / Politico:
Interior Dept. probe faults Zinke for travels with wife
Ari Natter / Bloomberg:
Interior Department Says Inspector General Can Keep Her Job After All
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
A President Who Believes He Is Entitled to His Own Facts  —  WASHINGTON — He accepts less-than-credible denials from autocratic heads of state about nefarious acts.  He disputes the existence of man-made climate change and insists that photographic evidence of the crowd at his inauguration is fake, part of a media plot to harm him.
Bryan Lowry / Kansas City Star:
Fake intern who recorded McCaskill campaign had access to voter info, campaign says  —  A conservative activist with Project Veritas posed as an intern with U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill's campaign and had access to voter information, according to a stack of documents McCaskill's lawyer delivered …
Trump Closely Involved In Killing FBI's Move Out Of Washington, Emails Show  —  Opening up the FBI's Pennsylvania Avenue location for redevelopment would have created competition for Trump International Hotel.  —  WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump personally intervened to stop the FBI …
Discussion: USA Today and Political Wire
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform:
New Emails and Photo Show President Intervened Directly in Decision Not to Sell FBI HQ Property …
Discussion: NPR
Thomas Kaplan / New York Times:
Trump's Focus on a Washington Building Project Draws Scrutiny
Amanda Macias / CNBC:
Putin says Russia will deploy hypersonic missiles in ‘coming months,’ surpassing US and China  — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Moscow will deploy hypersonic weapons in the “coming months.”  — A hypersonic weapon is a missile that travels at Mach 5 or higher …
Discussion: Yahoo and Shakesville
Henry Foy / Financial Times:
Vladimir Putin uses speech to herald end of US hegemony
Discussion: HuffPost and Raw Story
Indianapolis Star:
HBO's ‘Veep’ gag and new Joe Donnelly political ad are basically the same  —  Dwight Adams,  —  Many Hoosiers who saw the latest Joe Donnelly ad entitled “Axe” may have viewed it and thought, “well, there's a fella who likes to chop his own wood!”
Discussion: The Federalist and Mediaite
Chris Cillizza / CNN:
Paul Manafort is spending A LOT of time with Robert Mueller these days  —  (CNN)Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and special counsel Robert Mueller have been spending a whole lot of time together of late, according to CNN's Katelyn Polantz and Evan Perez.  The duo write:
Richard Thornburgh / USA Today:
Let Mueller finish Russia investigation, it's most consequential in 30 years
Discussion: Sputnik International
Nicholas Hautman / Us Weekly:
Rihanna Declined Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show Offer in Support of Colin Kaepernick … Rihanna stands with Kap.  The “Work” singer declined an offer to headline the Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show because she “supports Colin Kaepernick,” a source tells Us Weekly exclusively.
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
A Defector From Conservatism With a Clear Vision of Trump's Rise  —  When Max Boot was a young conservative apparatchik on the make, the key moment in his career occurred when he got a meeting with Robert Bartley, editor of The Wall Street Journal editorial page, one of the movement's most prestigious and influential organs.
Madeline Shi / Business Insider:
A day in the life of an HSBC exec who wakes up at 5:30 a.m. to work out, always eats green, and studies at Stanford in her free time  —  Melania Edwards is always on the move.  —  The HSBC exec, who's part of the bank's Global Venture Capital Coverage Group, works from two Northern California offices an hour apart.
Burlington Free Press:
Burlington police chief reacts to Madelyn Ellen Linsenmeir obituary: ‘I have a problem’  —  Burlington police Chief Brandon del Pozo posted this to his Facebook account on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018.  —  I have a problem with this obituary.  —  Born here in Burlington, Madelyn was the 30-year old mother of a toddler.
Asawin Suebsaeng / The Daily Beast:
Ex-Trump Adviser Jason Miller Sues Will Menaker of ‘Chapo Trap House’ Over Tweet  —  First, he sued Gizmodo Media and a reporter over a claim he gave an abortion pill to a stripper.  Now he is suing the reporter's boyfriend over a tweet.  —  Jason Miller, a former senior campaign aide to Donald Trump …
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
A Conservative Group's Closed-Door ‘Training’ of Judicial Clerks Draws Concern  —  The conservative legal movement has long cultivated law students and young lawyers, partly to ensure a deep bench of potential judicial nominees  —  A bipartisan Senate truce has fallen apart as Republicans renew …
Tom Scocca / Hmm Daily:
Your Real Biological Clock Is You're Going to Die  —  In April, in a small town on a small island in a small string of islands trailing down from the main part of Japan, the world's then-oldest person died.  Nabi Tajima was 117 years old—the last surviving human being born in the 19th century.
Beto O'Rourke takes questions at CNN town hall … Transfer your debt and pay no interest until 2020  —  Getting approved for 1 of these cards means you have excellent credit  —  7 cards that generate serious amounts of cash back  —  5 cards charging 0% interest until 2020
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
Texas Dems ask noncitizens to register to vote, send applications with citizenship box pre-checked  —  The Texas Democratic Party asked non-citizens to register to vote, sending out applications to immigrants with the box citizenship already checked “Yes,” according to new complaints filed …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and Daily Wire
How Trump frames the 2018 election choice: “Democrats create mobs.  Republicans create jobs”  —  From CNN's Betsy Klein and Kevin Liptak  —  President Trump, at his rally in Missoula, Montana, framed the midterms as “an election of Kavanaugh, the caravan, law and order, and common sense.
Fran Brennan / NTK Network:
Cory Booker: Canada Is More American Than America  —  “Canada - I can't stand how they're out-Americaning us in Canada.  Trudeau - give me a break.”  —  Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a possible 2020 candidate for president, said that he “can't stand how they're out-Americaning us in Canada” …
Discussion: Daily Wire
Liz Mair / The Daily Beast:
Dear God, Hillary Clinton.  Please, Just Go.  —  No one benefits from her latest venture back onto the political scene.  —  We're three weeks out from the 2018 midterm election, and Hillary Clinton is popping up again like a Halloween ghoul who keeps rising from the grave to terrorize the American public …
U.S. Department of Justice:
Former FBI Agent Sentenced for Leaking Classified Information  —  Terry J. Albury, 39, a former Special Agent of the FBI, was sentenced today to 48 months in the District of Minnesota in connection with his unauthorized disclosure and retention of classified national defense information.
Discussion: Jamie Dupree - AJC
Barnini Chakraborty / Fox News:
FBI agents raid San Juan government offices as part of investigation into fraud, corruption  —  FBI agents this week raided the municipal offices in San Juan, Puerto Rico - rooting through documents and seizing digital records as part of a widespread investigation into fraud and obstruction …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Alicia P.Q. Wittmeyer / New York Times:
Eight Stories of Men's Regret  —  Late on the Friday afternoon of Sept. 21, the same week that Christine Blasey Ford went public with accusations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh, The New York Times invited male readers to tell us about their high school experiences.
Amazon's Jeff Bezos ranks No. 1 among S&P 500 CEOs in political spending  —  His $10 million gift to a nonpartisan, veterans-focused fund ‘could be seen as an act of goodwill’  —  There's political giving by the S&P 500 CEOs, and then there's Jeff Bezos's giving.
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 More Items: 
George Joseph / The Appeal:
In Alabama, Black People Are 4 Times More Likely Than White People To Be Arrested For Marijuana Possession
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
House sets Rosenstein interview next week
Discussion: The Hill and The Daily Caller
Wesleyan Media Project:
Huge Advertising Advantages for Democrats in 2018
Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller:
Republicans Push For Declassification Of ‘Exculpatory’ Information On George Papadopoulos
Discussion: Fox News
Tori Truscheit / Slate:
The Rage of All Women  —  “Man-hating dyke” is the worst thing you can call a lesbian.
Edward Wong / WRAL-TV:
Uighur Americans Speak Against China's Internment Camps. Their Relatives Disappear
New York Times:
Who's Winning the Social Media Midterms?
Discussion: The Week and Althouse
Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
How a stranger's offer to help an elderly blind woman vote led to fraud charges
 Earlier Items: 
Tim Johnson / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Three secretaries of state are refereeing the election while running in the field
Max Brantley / Arkansas Blog, Arkansas Times:
The slime gets deep in the race for 2nd District UPDATE
Alexandra Glorioso / Politico:
The sexual harassment case Rick Scott won't talk about
Discussion: Raw Story
Monmouth University Polling Institute:
Menendez Leads Hugin for Senate
Matthew DeFour /
Fourth former Scott Walker secretary comes forward to criticize governor