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1:35 AM ET, February 17, 2017


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Flynn in FBI interview denied discussing sanctions with Russian ambassador  —  Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn denied to FBI agents in an interview last month that he had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country's ambassador to the United States before President …
Harward says no to national security adviser role  — A friend of Harward's said he was reluctant to take the job because the White House seems so chaotic  —  (CNN)Ret. Vice Admiral Bob Harward has turned down President Donald Trump's offer to be national security adviser, sources told CNN Thursday.
Bryan Bender / Politico:
Harward turns down Trump's national security adviser offer
Discussion: RedState
Evan Perez / CNN:   Flynn changed story to FBI, no charges expected
New York Times:
Full Transcript and Video: Trump News Conference  —  President Trump on Thursday announced his new nominee for labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, during a news conference at the White House.  Following is a transcript of that event, as prepared by the Federal News Service.
Stephen Collinson / CNN:
An amazing moment in history: Donald Trump's press conference  —  Trump: Press illegally gets information  — Trump sparred with the press for over an hour, calling reports “fake news” but decrying the leaks that led to them  — He touted his own poll numbers, victory over Hillary Clinton …
Congressman Elijah Cummings:
Cummings Issues Statement in Response to President Trump's Press Conference  —  Washington, D.C. (Feb. 16, 2017)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement in response to President Donald Trump's press conference:
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Donald Trump's combative, grievance-filled news conference, annotated  —  A solemn President Trump turned his Thursday afternoon announcement of a new labor secretary nominee into a screed against the media and large-scale defense of his first four weeks as president.  —  It was remarkable.
Andrew Prokop / Vox:
President Trump's combative, freewheeling, “fake news” press conference, explained
Christie says Trump made him order the meatloaf at meal together  —  TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says President Donald Trump made him order meatloaf when they dined together at the White House this week.  —  Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, joined Trump at the White House on Tuesday.
Discussion: The Week
Andrew Kaczynski / CNN:
Gov. Paul LePage on Trump: 'We got to tell him that the TV show's over and he's gotta move on now'
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
New York Times:
In 77 Chaotic Minutes, Trump Defends ‘Fine-Tuned Machine’  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump, smarting from a series of crises, moved his surrogates aside on Thursday and assigned the rescue of his month-old presidency to the only spokesman he's ever really trusted — himself.
Discussion: Eschaton
Los Angeles Times:
The White House has found ways to end protection for Dreamers while shielding Trump from blowback
Discussion: Daily Kos
German Lopez / Vox:
Trump keeps lying about his Electoral College victory
Discussion: ABC News and Politico
Julian Borger / The Guardian:
Out of the loop: Rex Tillerson finds state department sidelined by White House  —  America's top diplomat is operating with senior staff positions left vacant, his deputy vetoed and foreign policy made by an ideological clique around Trump  —  Rex Tillerson began his first foreign outing …
Discussion: RT, Bloomberg and The Mahablog
Hadas Gold / Politico:   Fox News anchor Heather Nauert in talks to be State Dept. spokesperson
Bloomberg:   Tillerson Forced to Stay at Sanitarium in German Village for G-20
Drew Harwell / Washington Post:
Trump family's elaborate lifestyle is a ‘logistical nightmare’ — at taxpayer expense  —  On Friday, President Trump and his entourage will jet for the third straight weekend to a working getaway at his oceanfront Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla.  —  On Saturday, Trump's sons Eric and Don Jr. …
Numbers / Pew Research Center:
In First Month, Views of Trump Are Already Strongly Felt, Deeply Polarized  —  Opposition to Trump's refugee policy; improved views of economy  —  Less than a month after Donald Trump took office, the public's initial impressions of the new president are strongly felt, deeply polarized and far more negative than positive.
Tara Palmeri / Politico:
White House dismisses 6 over failed background checks  —  Several White House staffers were dismissed Thursday morning after failing FBI background checks, according to sources familiar with the matter.  —  Some of the aides were “walked out of the building by security” …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Wall Street Journal:
Jared Kushner Delivers Critique of CNN to Time Warner Executive  —  Trump's son-in-law and adviser complains that coverage has been slanted against the president  —  Jared Kushner, senior White House adviser, has expressed the administration's deep concerns about CNN's news coverage.
Discussion: Raw Story
GOP May Cap Insurance Tax Break as ACA Repeal Bill Nears  —  Tax proposal is on ‘menu’ of options under consideration  —  Some Republicans say they're opposed to idea as a tax increase  —  Republicans are considering capping the U.S.'s tax break on job-provided health insurance …
Discussion: Balloon Juice and Vox
New York Times:
House G.O.P. Leaders Outline Plan to Replace Obama Health Care Act
Discussion: Mother Jones and The Week
Chicago Tribune:
Former Obama aide fined $90,000 for illegally lobbying Emanuel on Uber's behalf  —  David Plouffe speaks before United States President Barack Obama appears at campaign fundraiser at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL on April 14, 2011.  —  A former senior executive for Uber who once served …
Discussion: Business Insider and Axios
Trump Winery Seeks Even More Foreign Workers  —  The Virginia wine producer, owned by Eric Trump, is the latest Trump family business to seek foreign guest workers for US jobs.  Latest request asks for 23 laborers, on top of six sought in December.  —  WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 16 …
Discussion: The Hill and Raw Story
Eli Watkins / CNN:
Trump tells Jewish magazine's reporter to ‘sit down,’ blames anti-Semitism on ‘the other side’  —  Trump: I am the least anti-Semitic person  — A reporter from a Jewish magazine asked Trump about threats to dozens of Jewish Community Centers  —  Washington (CNN)In response …
Associated Press:
Chaffetz seeks charge of ex-Clinton aide in email inquiry  —  WASHINGTON — The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, who has refused Democratic requests to investigate possible conflicts of interest involving President Donald Trump, is seeking criminal charges …
Ian Cross /, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC …:
FBI arrests man in Myrtle Beach allegedly planning attack ‘in the spirit of Dylann Roof’  —  MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A man with connections to a white supremacy group was arrested in Myrtle Beach Wednesday after purchasing a gun from an undercover FBI agent, apparently intending to commit an attack “in the spirit of Dylann Roof.”
Mark Zuckerberg / Facebook:
Building Global Community  —  On our journey to connect the world, we often discuss products we're building and updates on our business.  Today I want to focus on the most important question of all: are we building the world we all want?  —  History is the story of how we've learned …
Eliana Johnson / Politico:
Ryan struggles to sell tax reform plan to fellow Republicans  —  Paul Ryan showed up to Senate Republicans' weekly lunch on Tuesday hoping to salvage a controversial pillar of his tax reform plan that would change how imports and exports are taxed.  “Keep your powder dry,” the House speaker pleaded.
Sydney Brownstone / The Stranger …:
Detained Dreamer's Lawyers Say Government Doctored Legal Document to Try and Prove False Gang Affiliation  —  Daniel Ramirez Medina's lawyers say the government doctored his request to be removed from the Northwest Detention Center's gang unit.  —  Lawyers for Daniel Ramirez Medina …
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 More Items: 
Alex Thompson / VICE News:
Duck and cover  —  Members of Congress are set to return …
Liam Deacon / Breitbart:
French police have been filmed fleeing from armed mobs as riots continue in Paris for the second week …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Ted Goodman / The Daily Caller:
EXCLUSIVE: Ted Nugent Discusses Possible U.S. Senate Race In 2018
Discussion: Fox News Insider
Peter Baker / New York Times:
R. Alexander Acosta, Law School Dean, Is Trump's New Pick for Labor
Discussion: The Atlantic and Balloon Juice
Lucas Nolan / Breitbart:
The Atlantic VP: ‘Democratization’ of News via the Internet Left People ‘Overwhelmed with Information’
Discussion: Instapundit
Josh Eidelson / Bloomberg:
Unions Are Losing Their Decades-Long ‘Right-to-Work’ Fight
 Earlier Items: 
Coral Davenport / New York Times:
E.P.A. Workers Try to Block Pruitt in Show of Defiance
Discussion: Politico
Jon Ralston / The Nevada Independent:
Chief gaming regulator secretly recorded conversation with attorney general, turned tape over to FBI
David Brody /
This Just In From CNN: More Fake News!
Discussion: BizPac Review
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
About ‘The Press Conference’
Discussion: RedState
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
Admit it: Trump is unfit to serve