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3:45 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 …
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 …
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 …
NBC News:
Piecing Together the Russian Story Amid Flynn Fallout
James Hohmann / Washington Post:
The Daily 202: It's bigger than Flynn. New Russia revelations widen Trump's credibility gap.
David Corn / Mother Jones:
Why Trump Can't Come Clean on Russia
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:   Flynn Doesn't Matter. This Is About Trump
Rachael Bade / Politico:
House intel chairman dismisses call for expanded Russia probe
Discussion: ABC News and Daily Kos
Madeline Conway / Politico:
Brian Fallon responds to Trump: He's trying to distract from ‘very serious allegations’ about Russia
Discussion: Associated Press and ABC News
Aidan Quigley / Politico:
Graham: Any Trump ally working inappropriately with Russia ‘needs to pay a price’
Discussion: Political Wire and ABC News
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:
McConnell to White House: Andrew Puzder lacks the votes to win confirmation
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.
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 …
Sara Murray / CNN:
The hottest invite in town: Donald Trump's supper club  —  Washington (CNN)Less than a week before President Donald Trump's meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he settled down to dinner to discuss the upcoming visit — and America's approach to Mideast peace …
Madeline Conway / Politico:
Trump says he can ‘live with’ either two-state or one-state solution for Israel
Discussion: ABC News
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.
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 …
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
Akil Yunus / The Star Online:
Clearer image of Jong-nam's alleged killer caught on CCTV  —  PETALING JAYA: CCTV cameras at KLIA2 have captured a clearer image of a woman believed to be one of the assassins who killed Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.  —  The image zooms in on the alleged …
Watch | Woman arrested over death of Kim Jong-nam
Discussion: Sputnik International
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 …
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
Ed O'Keefe / Washington Post:
Democrats bracing for town hall protests directed at them ask Bernie Sanders for help  —  Senior Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday sought to stave off town hall protests from their own party, asking Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to reach out and urge activists to redirect their anger …
Marc Caputo / Politico:
Invitation to a primary? Doubts among Democrats bedevil Sen. Nelson against Scott in 2018
Discussion: BizPac Review
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 …
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 …
Christopher Muther /
Trump's travel ban is causing a large drop in US tourism  —  President Trump's travel ban targeting nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries may not have held up in court, but it appears quite successful at keeping plenty of other people out of the United States.
Jessie Hellmann / The Hill:
Republicans make first move targeting Planned Parenthood funding  —  Republicans are taking their first shot of 2017 at Planned Parenthood.  —  The House is expected this week to vote on a resolution that would rescind an Obama-era regulation barring states from defunding the organization for political reasons.
Discussion: Daily Wire and The Federalist
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 More Items: 
Fabrice Pothier / Politico:
NATO survival will depend on Germany
Josh Hicks / Washington Post:
Maryland lawmakers give AG blanket authority to sue Trump administration
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Steve Bannon privately unloaded on Breitbart reporter
Tim Collins / Daily Mail:
Scientists discover massive reservoir of greenhouse gases
Discussion: Infowars and Business Insider
David Weigel / Washington Post:
Freedom Caucus ready for Obamacare replacement that expands HSAs, bans abortion funding
Lukas Mikelionis / Heat Street:
Teen With Cancer Fires Back at Accusations of ‘Cultural Appropriation’ For Wearing a Turban
Discussion: Daily Wire
 Earlier Items: 
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar / Hollywood Reporter:
How ‘La La Land’ Misleads on Race, Romance and Jazz
Discussion: Daily Wire, 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 …
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
Deena Shanker / Bloomberg:
Americans Just Broke the Psychologists' Stress Record
Discussion: The Week
Hannah Devlin / The Guardian:
Trump's likely science adviser calls climate scientists ‘glassy-eyed cult’
Discussion: Raw Story and The Daily Caller
Tom Dart / The Guardian:
Arizona unveils new death penalty plan: bring your own lethal injection drugs