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11:45 AM 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 …
Eugene Scott / CNN:
King: Leakers should be ‘purged’ from intelligence community
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
Rand Paul: Flynn probe would be ‘excessive’
Washington Post:
Pence remains above the fray, but is he outside the inner circle?
Discussion: Raw Story
John Podhoretz / New York Post:
Why you should fear the leaks that felled Mike Flynn
Discussion: RedState and The Week
Media Matters for America:   Fox Hosts Claim Media Are Unfairly Paying More Attention To Trump's Flynn Scandal Than They Did To Benghazi
Washington Post:
Flynn's swift downfall: From a phone call in the Dominican Republic to a forced resignation at the White House
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 …
Associated Press:
The Latest: Trump denounces ‘Russian connection non-sense’  —  The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):  —  President Donald Trump appears to be faulting the Obama administration for being “too soft” on Russia, pointing to Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine on President Barack Obama's watch.
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
Corker: We Must Address WH Russia Ties So It Doesn't ‘Destabilize’ Country
Discussion: The Week
Louis Nelson / Politico:   McConnell: Trump's powers aren't above judicial review
Elana Schor / Politico:
Capitol Hill consumed by reports on Trump-Russia ties
Discussion: Joe.My.God. and Vox
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 …
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 …
Tasneem Nashrulla / BuzzFeed:
Kellyanne Conway Claims She Doesn't Know Who Retweeted A White Nationalist From Her Twitter Account
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.
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  —  Senior ranks of the administration are creating headlines of their own as they jockey for power and influence with the president  —  WASHINGTON—Dining at his oceanside resort in Florida on Friday, President Donald …
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
What Trump Is Doing Is Not O.K.  —  Thank God for the resignation in shame by Mike Flynn, President Trump's national security adviser.  And not just because he misled the vice president and engaged in deeply malignant behavior with Russia, but, more important, because maybe it will finally …
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.
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 …
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: AOL and Business Insider
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.
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 …
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
Erin Cox / Baltimore Sun:
Maryland House moves toward expanding attorney general's power to sue Trump administration … The House of Delegates on Tuesday advanced a measure that would let Attorney General Brian Frosh sue the federal government without Gov. Larry Hogan's permission, nearly assuring the measure's final passage on Wednesday.
Discussion: Slate and WCBM-AM
Washington Times:
The continuing liberal meltdown  —  Whining actors, comedians and music performers compete in the Rage and Ruin Derby  —  ANALYSIS/OPINION:  —  During the election and after the inauguration of President Trump we've been swamped with vile, sanctimonious lectures from the smug smart set …
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 More Items: 
Tom Dart / The Guardian:
Arizona unveils new death penalty plan: bring your own lethal injection drugs
Abha Bhattarai / Washington Post:
This beloved grocery chain is the latest company to face Trump-related boycotts
Pew Research Center:
Americans Express Increasingly Warm Feelings Toward Religious Groups
Eric Lichtblau / New York Times:
Jeff Sessions Resists Pressure to Remove Himself in Russia Inquiries
Discussion: Daily Kos and New York Magazine
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
Lorraine Mirabella / Baltimore Sun:
Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank responds to Trump tempest with letter to Baltimore
Discussion: CBS Boston and New York Magazine
 Earlier Items: 
Sarah Kliff / Vox:
No Limits  —  How Obamacare made health insurance work …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Marc Caputo / Politico:
Invitation to a primary? Doubts among Democrats bedevil Sen. Nelson against Scott in 2018
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Josh Feldman / Mediaite:
'You're a Little Obsessive About Fox': Tucker Carlson and WaPo Media Reporter Go At It
Discussion: IJR
Jennifer Haberkorn / Politico:
Doubts grow that GOP can repeal Obamacare
The Local:
Mass sexual assaults by refugees in Frankfurt ‘completely made up’
Discussion: Hit & Run and RT
Jason Noble / Des Moines Register:
Iowa Poll: Trump's approval rating is underwater with Iowans
Discussion: BizPac Review
The Guardian:
Journalists shot dead in Dominican Republic during Facebook Live video