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6:20 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 …
David Corn / Mother Jones:
Why Trump Can't Come Clean on Russia  —  There is an old chestnut that gets tossed out whenever a scandal hits: It's not the crime, it's the cover-up.  The saying traces back to Watergate.  Sen. Howard Baker, the top Republican on the Senate Watergate committee, once noted …
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 …
NBC News:
Piecing Together the Russian Story Amid Flynn Fallout
Ashley Parker / Washington Post:
Trump says Flynn was treated unfairly, a day after Spicer said he was fired because of a lack of trust
New York Times:
Flynn Was Brought Down by Illegal Leaks to News Media, Trump Says
Rachael Bade / Politico:
House intel chairman dismisses call for expanded Russia probe
Discussion: Raw Story, ABC News and Daily Kos
Karoun Demirjian / Washington Post:
Senate Democrats unify around congressional probe of Trump ties to Russia
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 …
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.
Manu Raju / CNN:
First on CNN: Top Senate Republicans urge White House to withdraw Puzder nomination  —  4 GOP senators waver on Trump's labor pick  —  (CNN)Top Senate Republicans have urged the White House to withdraw the Andrew Puzder nomination for labor secretary, a senior GOP source said …
Ed O'Keefe / Washington Post:
Andrew Puzder withdraws nomination for labor secretary
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.
Barbara Starr / CNN:
Pentagon might propose sending ground troops to Syria
Alyssa Canobbio / Washington Free Beacon:
Mattis on Flynn's Resignation: ‘Frankly, This Has No Impact’
Discussion: IJR
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 …
J.D. Durkin / Mediaite:
Mika Brzezinski Firmly Says Conway Will No Longer Be Booked on Morning Joe: 'She's Not Credible Anymore'
Brad Reed / Raw Story:
Kellyanne Conway to do fewer TV appearances after leaks allege she's been backstabbing Sean Spicer
Discussion: Mediaite
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 …
Nolan D. McCaskill / Politico:
Trump to take breather from White House, hold rally this weekend
Discussion: Political Wire
Sara Murray / CNN:   The hottest invite in town: Donald Trump's supper club
Rick Maese / Washington Post:
Trump will not fill out an NCAA tournament bracket  —  It appears that President Trump is passing on March Madness.  He will not continue his predecessor's annual tradition of filling out an NCAA tournament bracket on ESPN.  —  The network reached out to Trump's staff and invited the president …
Discussion: USA Today, Mediaite, AOL and CBS Los Angeles
Ricky O'Donnell /
Donald Trump declines ESPN's offer to fill out March Madness bracket
Discussion: USA Today
Us Weekly:
Melania Trump Is ‘Miserable’ as First Lady, ‘Unhappy With How Her Life Ended Up’  —  While her husband, Donald Trump, wields his power as president, first lady Melania Trump is struggling with the realities of her new role and the scrutiny that comes with it, insiders reveal in the new issue of Us Weekly.
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Steve Bannon privately unloaded on Breitbart reporter  —  Shortly after Breitbart's Matt Boyle published an extensive attack on White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, Boyle's former boss Steve Bannon exploded.  —  Far from Bannon orchestrating the leaks — as some have speculated — Trump's chief strategist was furious.
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 he is the worst president in the past three-quarters of a century.  Forty-three percent of voters are ready to vote …
Madeline Conway / Politico:
Brian Fallon responds to Trump: He's trying to distract from ‘very serious allegations’ about Russia
Discussion: ABC News and Associated Press
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.
Peter Van Voorhis / Campus Reform:
Student suspended for recording ‘act of terrorism’ prof  —  The student who filmed his professor calling Donald Trump's election “an act of terrorism” has received a one-semester suspension from Orange Coast College (OCC).  —  The previously anonymous student, Caleb O'Neil …
Roxana Kopetman / Orange County Register:
OCC student suspended after filming teacher saying Trump's election was ‘an act of terrorism’
Discussion: Geller Report
John Podhoretz / Commentary Magazine:
Beware Triggering the Coup Theory  —  I can't believe I'm writing this after the administration has been in office for 26 days, but here goes.  The idea that Donald Trump is now inexorably on a path to impeachment has taken almost gleeful hold in the wake of the Michael Flynn resignation among liberal elites …
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
Azeen Ghorayshi / BuzzFeed:
An Antivaxxer And Robert De Niro Just Announced A $100,000 “Challenge” Over Vaccine Safety  —  Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose vaccine safety claims have been widely denounced, said that Trump still wants a controversial vaccine safety committee.  —  Robert F. Kennedy Jr. moved forward …
Washington Post:
Do voter identification laws suppress minority voting?  Yes.  We did the research.  —  The Justice Department just got a new boss: Jeff Sessions.  He is raising alarms in the civil rights community.  The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is concerned about his “record of hostility” …
Discussion: Right Wing Watch
Devin Henry / The Hill:
Report: Trump aiming to sign executive orders on EPA  —  President Trump aims to sign executive orders cutting into the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) climate work shortly after his nominee to lead the agency is confirmed by the Senate, according to a report.
Discussion: Hot Air and Hullabaloo
Mark Potok / Southern Poverty Law Center:
The Year in Hate and Extremism  —  The radical right was more successful in entering the political mainstream last year than in half a century.  How did it happen?  —  After half a century of being increasingly relegated to the margins of society, the radical right entered the political mainstream …
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 More Items: 
Stephen Lacey / Greentech Media:
US Solar Market Grows 95% in 2016, Smashes Records
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Erin Kelly / USA Today:
Bipartisan bill seeks warrants for police use of ‘stingray’ cell trackers
Discussion: The Verge
Andrew Follett / The Daily Caller:
California Schools Cut Meat, Cheese From Lunches To Fight Global Warming
Discussion: Common Dreams
Joel Achenbach / Washington Post:
NASA, heeding Trump, may add astronauts to a test flight moon mission
Discussion: Daily Mail
Aetna CEO: Obamacare in ‘Death Spiral’
Discussion: Business Insider and Axios
Milo Wendt / Little Green Footballs:
Trump's Key Aide Stephen Miller Follows David Duke On Twitter
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money and The Root
The Daily Californian:
Conservative speech will not be stifled by violence
Discussion: Hit & Run
 Earlier Items: 
Jessie Hellmann / The Hill:
Republicans make first move targeting Planned Parenthood funding
Discussion: Daily Wire and The Federalist
Tim Collins / Daily Mail:
Scientists discover massive reservoir of greenhouse gases
Discussion: Business Insider and Infowars
Lukas Mikelionis / Heat Street:
Teen With Cancer Fires Back at Accusations of ‘Cultural Appropriation’ For Wearing a Turban
Discussion: Daily Wire
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar / Hollywood Reporter:
How ‘La La Land’ Misleads on Race, Romance and Jazz
Discussion: TheBlaze, Daily Wire and IndieWire
Mark P. Painter /
Republican Painter: It's time to impeach Trump
Discussion: Raw Story
Akil Yunus / The Star Online:
Clearer image of Jong-nam's alleged killer caught on CCTV