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4:50 PM ET, September 16, 2016


 Top Items: 
Hadas Gold / Politico:
Network pools refuse to cover Trump hotel tour  —  In a show of joint defiance, the major television networks collectively voted to pull a camera and erase video of Donald Trump giving a tour of his hotel, a protest of the campaign preventing any editorial presence on the tour.
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Trump Outsmarts the Press  —  Sometimes you really have to hand it to Donald Trump.  The press has been after him recently about whether he believes the Hillary Clinton campaign's claim that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. For years, the press has obsessed on “birtherism,” …
NBC News:
First Read: Why Trump Can't Escape His ‘Birther’ Past  —  Donald Trump's campaign - but not the candidate - says Obama was born in US 3:00  —  First Read is a morning briefing from Meet the Press and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
Judd Legum / ThinkProgress:
Trump is trying to rewrite his history of birtherism.  This is what really happened.  —  ‘We have to keep the suspense going’  —  Since 2011, Donald Trump has been the most prominent spokesperson for birtherism—the racist conspiracy theory that Barack Obama is not a U.S. citizen.
New York Times:
Trump Drops False ‘Birther’ Theory, but Floats a New One: Clinton Started It  —  Donald J. Trump publicly retreated from his “birther” campaign on Friday, tersely acknowledging that President Obama was born in the United States and saying that he wanted to move on from the conspiracy theory that he has been clinging to for years.
Andrew Prokop / Vox:
Trump fanned a conspiracy about Obama's birthplace for years.  Now he pretends Clinton started it.  —  The GOP nominee was the highest-profile figure to question President Obama's birthplace.  —  One of the oddest features of the 2016 presidential race is that the Republican nominee …
Joel B. Pollak / Breitbart:
Hillary Clinton Campaign Manager Admits 2008 Birther Link
Donald J Trump for President:
Erica Scott / ABC News:
First Ladies Obama and Bush Urge Next President to Prioritize Veterans
Discussion: Politico
Alex Pappas / The Daily Caller:
Media Outraged After Trump Tricks Them To Cover Endorsements From Military Heroes
Media Matters for America:
As Trump Prepares To Discuss His Birtherism, Top Adviser Roger Stone Says Trump Still Has …
Discussion: Mediaite
Robert Costa / Washington Post:
Trump defiant as polls rise, won't say Obama was born in United States
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
Megyn Kelly Grills Trump Spox On Birtherism: 'That's A Dodge!'
Discussion: The Week and Fox News Insider
Nick Gass / Politico:
Trump concedes Obama was born in the U.S.
Jenna Johnson / Washington Post:
Trump admits Obama was born in U.S., but falsely blames Clinton for starting rumors
Commission on Presidential Debates:
CPD Invites Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump to Debate  —  Washington, D.C. (September 16, 2016) - The nonpartisan, non-profit Commission on Presidential Debates ("CPD") announced today that it has applied its Nonpartisan Candidate Selection Criteria for 2016 General Election Debate participation …
Harper Neidig / The Hill:
Third-party candidates miss cut for first debate  —  The Commission on Presidential Debates announced on Friday that Hillary Clinton  —  and their running mates are the only candidates who will participate in the first debates.  —  This means Trump and Clinton will take part in the Sept. 26 debate …
Discussion: Political Wire and
Gabriel Debenedetti / Politico:
Gary Johnson cuts into Clinton's lead
Byron Tau / Wall Street Journal:   Gary Johnson, Jill Stein Fail to Qualify for First Presidential Debate
David Sims / The Atlantic:
The Embarrassment of Jimmy Fallon  —  The Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, went on NBC's Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon yesterday.  Here, in chronological order, is every question Fallon asked his guest.  —This is getting real.  You still have time, do you still want to do this?
Discussion: ThinkProgress and The Daily Caller
Maxwell Strachan / The Huffington Post:
People Are Justifiably Infuriated With How Jimmy Fallon Handled Trump  —  “The Tonight Show” host humanized a dangerous man on Thursday night.  —  Jimmy Fallon had Donald Trump on “The Tonight Show” Thursday night, and all some people could talk about afterward was a head rub.
Matt Taibbi / Rolling Stone:
Stop Whining About ‘False Balance’  —  Everyone wants to blame reporters for the rise of Donald Trump.  How about the media consumer?  —  All Stories »  —  News media outlets are increasingly coming under fire for the sin of “false balance” or “false equivalency.”
Raf Sanchez / Telegraph:
American commandos ‘forced to run away’ from US-backed Syrian rebels  —  Video footage appears to show US commandos fleeing a Syrian town under a barrage of abuse and insults hurled at them by fighters from the American-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebel group.
Allen Abel /
Why I'm voting for Donald Trump  —  These are Donald Trump's “deplorables,” as Hillary Clinton calls them—11 unashamed Trump-train riders from across the United States, writing in their own words.  —  To Clinton, they—or at least “half of them,” as the Democratic nominee chuckled last weekend …
Sam Wang / Princeton Election Consortium:
Sometimes life comes at you fast  —  National polls currently show Clinton ahead by only 1.0 ± 0.6 % (median ± estimated SEM, 7 pollsters with at least some post-Phlegmghazi respondents).  However, our state poll-based analysis moves more slowly.
Discussion: Vox, Mother Jones and Politico
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Why the Senate Couldn't Pass a Crime Bill Both Parties Backed  —  WASHINGTON — A major criminal-justice overhaul bill seemed destined to be the bipartisan success story of the year, consensus legislation that showed lawmakers could still rise above politics and take on a serious societal problem.
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 More Items: 
Dave Dormer / CBC News:
Student's Donald Trump hat stirs controversy at Calgary's Mount Royal University
Marc Caputo / Politico:
Rubio leads by 2 in internal Murphy campaign poll
Dirk VanderHart / Portland Mercury:
Police Say Three Children Were Pepper Sprayed, Called a Racial Epithet
Discussion: KPTV-TV, The Root and Raw Story
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
Democratic Senator Blasts Clinton Over “Basket Of Deplorables” Remark
Los Angeles Times:
Man vs. machine: L.A. sheriff's deputies use robot to snatch rifle from barricaded suspect, end standoff
Discussion: Engadget
Jonah Goldberg / National Review:
For the Separation of Stadium and State
Discussion: The Atlantic and alicublog
Tierney Sneed / Talking Points Memo:
Trump Introduced By A Birther At Event Where He Walked Back Birtherism
Discussion: Vox, The Daily Beast and The Federalist
 Earlier Items: 
Mark Ballard / The Advocate:
John Kennedy won't stop pressing prostitution claims involving Charles Boustany
Nick Gass / Politico:
Trump Jr.: 'I've never even heard of Pepe the Frog'
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
New York Post:
Man shot by cops after meat cleaver attack over parking boot
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:
Samsung Recalls Galaxy Note7 Smartphones Due to Serious Fire and Burn Hazards
Todd S. Purdum / Politico:
What's Really Ailing Hillary