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1:15 PM ET, February 15, 2017


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence  —  WASHINGTON — Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year …
Trump aides were in constant touch with senior Russian officials during campaign  —  Trump campaign aides communicated with Russians  — The communications stood out to investigators due to the frequency and the level of the Trump advisers involved  —  (CNN)High-level advisers close …
Mike Allen / Axios:
White House staff in “survival mode ... scared to death”  —  Here's a twist that has top GOP sources buzzing:  — On Jan. 26, Sally Yates, then the acting attorney general, tells the White House that national security adviser Mike Flynn — who has just been grilled by FBI agents — had …
New York Times:
Flynn Was Brought Down by Illegal Leaks to News Media, Trump Says  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump lashed out at the nation's intelligence agencies again on Wednesday, saying that his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, was brought down by illegal leaks to the news media …
James Hohmann / Washington Post:
The Daily 202: It's bigger than Flynn.  New Russia revelations widen Trump's credibility gap.  —  THE BIG IDEA: The credibility gap - maybe chasm is a better word at this point - keeps widening for Donald Trump and his White House.  —  Two days after Trump's victory, Russia's deputy foreign minister told …
Washington Post:
Pence remains above the fray, but is he outside the inner circle?
Discussion: ABC News, Lawfare and Raw Story
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
Corker: We Must Address WH Russia Ties So It Doesn't ‘Destabilize’ Country
Discussion: The Week
Aidan Quigley / Politico:
Graham: Any Trump ally working inappropriately with Russia ‘needs to pay a price’
Discussion: Political Wire and Raw Story
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:   Flynn Doesn't Matter. This Is About Trump
Alex Pfeiffer / The Daily Caller:
Journalists Go Nuts Over Rehashed New York Times Story
Discussion: Infowars
Dylan Byers / CNN:
Sean Spicer isn't finished  —  Washington (CNN)Sean Spicer has barely moved into his office.  —  Three weeks after the inauguration, the only things adorning the White House press secretary's shelves are a framed picture of himself at the podium, a book on Naval Special Warfare …
Wall Street Journal:
Mike Flynn Is First Casualty of Turmoil in Trump Administration
Brad Reed / Raw Story:
Kellyanne Conway to do fewer TV appearances after leaks allege she's been backstabbing Sean Spicer
Thomas E. Ricks / Foreign Policy:
Robert Harward plans a housecleaning of Trump's National Security Council staff  —  President Donald Trump offered the job of national security advisor to retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward on Monday night, and was a bit surprised when Harward responded by saying he needed a couple of days to think it over.
Andrew Puzder / National Review:
No to Puzder  —  Andrew Puzder was from the start an odd choice to head Donald Trump's Labor Department.  The chief of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of fast-food chains such as Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, Puzder has long been one of corporate America's most high-profile advocates of Gang of Eight-style …
Discussion: Mother Jones
J.D. Durkin / Mediaite:
Mika Brzezinski Firmly Says Conway Will No Longer Be Booked on Morning Joe: 'She's Not Credible Anymore'  —  Mika Brzezinski of Morning Joe revealed a tidbit that many may not know about the way Kellyanne Conway gets herself booked onto so many shows on behalf of the administration …
Paulina Firozi / The Hill:
‘Morning Joe’ host says show will no longer book Conway
Jake Sherman / Politico:
Poll: Trump trails generic Democrat, but not Warren, in 2020  —  Donald Trump begins his presidency facing unprecedented polling headwinds: Roughly a quarter of voters think Donald Trump is the worst president in the past century.  Forty-three percent of voters are ready to vote …
Louis Nelson / Politico:   McConnell: Trump's powers aren't above judicial review
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
‘This is . . .  Nixonian’: Reporter was taped by White House in heated exchange  —  A top aide to President Trump said she has a recording of a dispute with a White House reporter, and has shared parts of it with journalists.  —  Omarosa Manigault, a communications official …
U.S. detains Mexican immigrant in Seattle covered by Obama program  —  U.S. immigration authorities have detained a 23-year-old Mexican man who was brought to the United States illegally as a child and given a work permit during the Obama administration, according to a lawsuit challenging the detention in Seattle federal court.
Tarini Parti / BuzzFeed:
Corey Lewandowski's Potential Clients Say He's Bragging About Access To Trump's Twitter Account  —  Trump's former campaign manager, who now has a lobbying and consulting shop, has mentioned having access to Trump's Twitter account as a selling point in pitch meetings with at least …
Discussion: Raw Story and Mediaite
Sherrilyn Ifill / Washington Post:
The president lays the groundwork for a nationwide voter intimidation program  —  Sherrilyn Ifill is president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.  —  White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller argued Sunday that President Trump was the victim of voter fraud in the election.
Discussion: Politico
Washington Post:
Do voter identification laws suppress minority voting? Yes. We did the research.
Discussion: Right Wing Watch
Suspect arrested over death of Kim Jong Un's half-brother  —  Hong Kong (CNN)A woman has been arrested in connection with the death of Kim Jong Un's half-brother, Malaysian police said.  —  She was detained Wednesday at Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 carrying a Vietnamese travel document.
Discussion: Business Insider and AOL
Akil Yunus / The Star Online:
Clearer image of Jong-nam's alleged killer caught on CCTV
Discussion: New York Times
Timothy Noah / Politico:
Exclusive: Puzder's ex-wife told Oprah he threatened ‘you will pay for this’  —  The ex-wife of President Donald Trump's labor secretary nominee told “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that he “vowed revenge” when she made public spousal abuse allegations, according to a 1990 tape reviewed by POLITICO on Tuesday night.
NBC News:
Harrison Ford in Incident With Passenger Plane at California Airport  —  Actor Harrison Ford was involved in a potentially serious incident Monday in California as he was piloting his private plane, a single-engine Husky, NBC News has learned.  —  Ford, an experienced pilot who collects vintage planes …
Peter Suderman / Hit & Run:
Major Blow to Obamacare Mandate: IRS Won't Reject Tax Returns That Don't Answer Health Insurance Question  —  How much difference does a single line on a tax form make?  For Obamacare's individual mandate, the answer might be quite a lot.  —  Following President Donald Trump's executive …
Verizon Said to Near Yahoo Deal at Lower Price After Hacks  —  Tentative deal said to cut $4.8 billion fee by $250 million  —  Parties said to agree to share legal responsibilities  —  Verizon Communications Inc. is close to a renegotiated deal for Yahoo! Inc.'s internet properties …
Dan Lamothe / Washington Post:
Defense Secretary Mattis issues new ultimatum to NATO allies on defense spending  —  BRUSSELS — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis issued an ultimatum Wednesday to allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), warning that if they do not boost their defense spending to goals set by the alliance …
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 More Items: 
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar / Hollywood Reporter:
How ‘La La Land’ Misleads on Race, Romance and Jazz
Discussion: IndieWire and Althouse
Mark P. Painter /
Republican Painter: It's time to impeach Trump
Discussion: Raw Story
Ted / Walid Shoebat:
Both Stephen Bannon And Ann Coulter Are Absolutely Evil, They Are Filled With The Spirit …
Deena Shanker / Bloomberg:
Americans Just Broke the Psychologists' Stress Record
Discussion: The Week
Wall Street Journal:
Amazon, Google Dial Up Plans to Turn Smart Speakers Into Home Phones
Hannah Devlin / The Guardian:
Trump's likely science adviser calls climate scientists ‘glassy-eyed cult’
Tom Dart / The Guardian:
Arizona unveils new death penalty plan: bring your own lethal injection drugs
Pew Research Center:
Americans Express Increasingly Warm Feelings Toward Religious Groups
 Earlier Items: 
J.D. Durkin / Mediaite:
‘Go Eff Yourself’: Ernie Els Fires Back at Critics Upset That He Golfed With Trump
Paul Demko / Politico:
Aetna CEO: Obamacare markets are in a ‘death spiral’
Discussion: Business Insider
Sarah Kliff / Vox:
No Limits  —  How Obamacare made health insurance work …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Washington Times:
The continuing liberal meltdown
Josh Feldman / Mediaite:
'You're a Little Obsessive About Fox': Tucker Carlson and WaPo Media Reporter Go At It
Discussion: IJR
Jason Noble / Des Moines Register:
Iowa Poll: Trump's approval rating is underwater with Iowans
Discussion: BizPac Review