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4:20 PM ET, June 30, 2016


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Chris Christie Becomes Powerful Figure in Donald Trump Campaign  —  Defeated by Donald J. Trump in the 2016 primaries and derided by fellow Republicans for his subsequent embrace of Mr. Trump, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has quietly emerged as one of the most influential advisers …
NBC News:
RNC Rules Fight Begins With Plan to Lock In Donald Trump  —  The fight over rules that could upend the Republican National Convention officially began in earnest Thursday, as delegates began circulating the first proposed rule for this year's convention in Cleveland.
Chris Christie being vetted for Donald Trump VP, source says  —  Washington (CNN)New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — a former Donald Trump rival turned top defender — is being vetted as a possible running mate for the presumptive Republican nominee, a source confirmed to CNN on Thursday.
NBC News:
Indiana's Mike Pence ‘In Play’ as Possible Trump VP Pick
Discussion: Political Wire
Josh Margolin / ABC News:
Gov. Chris Christie Being Vetted as Potential Vice-Presidential Pick for Trump
Discussion: Politicus USA
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
‘Never Trump’ plots its last stand
Tim Mak / The Daily Beast:
GOP National-Security Experts Are #ReadyForHer
Discussion: Politicus USA
Paul Bedard / Washington Examiner:
Fox targeted by FEC Dems in first-ever vote to punish debate sponsorship  —  Finally making good on long-harbored anger at conservative media, Democrats on the Federal Election Commission voted in secret to punish Fox News' sponsorship of a Republican presidential debate …
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
Trump skepticism hardens in GOP  —  Over the past several weeks, Donald Trump has managed to deliver several scripted speeches that stayed on message.  He's hired top staffers to bulk up his skeletal campaign.  And he's kick-started a fundraising operation, while focusing most of his rhetorical fire on Hillary Clinton.
Discussion: RedState and Daily Kos
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
GOP Senator Mike Lee Goes Off On Radio Host Who Asks Why He Hasn't Endorsed Trump  —  Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah delivered a forceful response when asked on Wednesday why he hasn't endorsed Donald Trump.  —  Lee chastised Trump for parroting conspiracy theories about Ted Cruz's father …
Pam Key / Breitbart:
GOP Sen Mike Lee, Newsmax's Malzberg Get Into Heated Debate Over Lack of Trump Endorsement
Discussion: CNN and
Aram Roston / BuzzFeed:
Sources: Donald Trump Listened In On Phone Lines At Mar-A-Lago  — Several workers said Trump used the equipment to secretly listen in on phone calls in the mid-2000s.  —  At Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach resort he runs as a club for paying guests and celebrities, Donald Trump …
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Presidential Race Shaping Up Similarly to 2012  —  PPP's newest national poll continues to find the Presidential race shaping up pretty similarly to how the 2012 contest played out, with Hillary Clinton holding a 4 point lead that matches Barack Obama's final margin of victory last time around.
Discussion: and Raw Story
Daily Mail:
Trump on top: Republican pulls ahead of Hillary Clinton by 4 points in shock poll after trailing by 5 a week ago
NBC News:
After Saying He Forgave Loans to Campaign, Trump Won't Release Proof  —  When Donald Trump said last Thursday he was forgiving over $45 million in personal loans he made to his campaign, the announcement drew plenty of coverage.  Many even reported Trump's statement as if the deal was done.
Lindsey McPherson / Roll Call:
House Plans Vote on Guns Next Week  —  Ryan tells members package would prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns  —  Democrats Plan Dozens of Events Wednesday to Protest Gun Violence Another Gun Protest on the House Floor In the End, Gowdy Declines to Assign Blame for Benghazi
Discussion: Washington Post and Daily Kos
Billy House / Bloomberg:
Speaker Ryan Plans House Vote on Gun Provision After Sit-In
Discussion: Politicus USA
Howie Carr / Boston Herald:
Nothing sorry about Trump One  —  ABOARD TRUMP ONE — The candidate loosened his tie and offered me some advice.  —  “Whatever you do, don't apologize,” he said.  “You never hear me apologize, do you?  That's what killed Jimmy the Greek way back.  Remember?  He was doing okay 'til he said he was sorry.”
Jessica Elgot / Guardian:
Boris Johnson rules himself out of Tory leadership race  —  Main public face of Brexit makes shock announcement hours after his key ally Michael Gove launched his own campaign  —  Boris Johnson has unexpectedly ruled himself out of the Conservative leadership race, hours …
Nick Gass / Politico:
Democrats groan after Bill Clinton meets Loretta Lynch  —  Attorney General Loretta Lynch described her Monday meeting with Bill Clinton aboard a private plane as “primarily social,” but some Democrats are struggling to stomach the optics of the attorney general's meeting with the former president …
Emily Smith / Page Six:
Mika's hush-hush divorce fuels Joe romance chatter  —  MORE FROM:  —  “Morning Joe” hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough could soon go public as a couple.  Page Six has exclusively learned that Brzezinski and her husband of 23 years have quietly divorced.
Sara Jerde / Talking Points Memo:
Celeb Chef Says He Won't Let Trump Dine At His Restaurants During RNC  —  A darling of Cleveland's culinary scene said Thursday that he wouldn't allow Donald Trump to set foot in his restaurants when the Republican National Convention rolls into town next month.
Discussion: Plain Dealer and
Ronald Brownstein / The Atlantic:
Culture Is Replacing Class as the Key Political Divide  —  When United Kingdom voters last week narrowly approved a referendum to leave the European Union, they underscored again how an era of unrelenting economic and demographic change is shifting the axis of politics across much of the industrialized world from class to culture.
Seth Abramovitch / Hollywood Reporter:
Nancy Grace to Depart HLN After 12 Years (Exclusive)  —  EMAIL ME  —  One of cable's most recognizable and controversial figures tells THR she will embark upon a new chapter involving “a very large digital component.”  —  Nancy Grace, who parlayed her stint as a successful prosecutor …
New York Post:
Naked man takes over Times Square, screams about Donald Trump  —  A naked man screaming “Donald Trump where are you!” turned Times Square into an open-air peep show Thursday morning, ambling to the top of the red staircase in Duffy Square where he put on a bizarre one-hour spectacle, and then jumped off.
Navy report: Failure at every level for US ships captured by Iran  —  Iran video appears to show U.S. sailor in tears  —  Washington (CNN)A devastating new report by military investigators released Thursday found that the 10 sailors captured by Iranians in January suffered from “failed leadership” …
Jay Reeves / Associated Press:
At 150, KKK sees opportunities in US political trends  —  BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Born in the ashes of the smoldering South after the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan died and was reborn before losing the fight against civil rights in the 1960s.  Membership dwindled, a unified group fractured …
Discussion: Boing Boing and Politicus USA
Palestinian Media Watch:
who killed 13-year-old girl in her sleep  —  Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik  —  This morning, a 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist stabbed and murdered a 13-year-old Israeli girl, Hallel Yaffa Ariel, while she slept in her bed.  The Palestinian terrorist Muhammad Taraireh …
ISIS leadership involved in Istanbul attack planning, Turkish source says  —  Istanbul (CNN)[Breaking news update at 8:20 a.m.]  —  Turkish officials have strong evidence that the Istanbul airport attackers came from the Syrian ISIS stronghold of Raqqa and that the group's leadership …
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 More Items: 
Matt Vespa /
R. Lee Ermey Has Some Advice For Americans On Firearms-And Liberals Are Sure To Hate It
Discussion: Bearing Arms
Jennifer Rizzo / CNN:
Pentagon ends transgender ban
Joseph Tanfani / Los Angeles Times:
Trump was once so involved in trying to block an Indian casino that he secretly approved attack ads
Discussion: Raw Story
Jessie Hellmann / The Hill:
French president endorses Clinton
Discussion: Weasel Zippers, Daily Wire and Politico
Bill Gertz / Washington Times:
Russia to release Clinton emails?
Lucas Nolan / Breitbart:
Wikipedia Removes Orlando Shooting From ‘Islamist Terror Attack’ List
Discussion: Jihad Watch
 Earlier Items: 
Gray Rohrer / Sun-Sentinel:
Lawyer seeks federal bribery charges against Bondi over Trump donation
Discussion: Raw Story
Alan I. Abramowitz / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
Donald Trump, Partisan Polarization, and the 2016 Presidential Election
Discussion: Mother Jones
Eliza Newlin Carney / American Prospect:
Don't Blame the Voters  —  Supporters of Republican presidential …
Discussion: Real Clear Politics
Lisa Hagen / The Hill:
Trump: Rivals who don't back me shouldn't be allowed to run for office
Discussion: The Daily Caller and RedState