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7:25 AM ET, February 24, 2017


 Top Items: 
FBI refused White House request to knock down recent Trump-Russia stories  —  Washington (CNN)The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign …
White House effort to justify travel ban causes growing concern for some intelligence officials  —  Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump has assigned the Department of Homeland Security, working with the Justice Department, to help build the legal case for its temporary travel ban on individuals …
Discussion: Political Wire
Darius Tahir / Politico:
Boehner: Republicans won't repeal and replace Obamacare  —  Former House Speaker John Boehner predicted on Thursday that a full repeal and replace of Obamacare is “not what's going to happen” and that Republicans will instead just make some fixes to the health care law.
Numbers / Pew Research Center:
Support for 2010 health care law reaches new high  —  With congressional Republicans discussing proposals to replace the Affordable Care Act, public support for the 2010 health care law has reached its highest level on record.  —  Currently, 54% approve of the health care law passed seven years ago …
Manu Raju / CNN:
Hill GOP asks governors to help save Obamacare repeal
Discussion: Daily Kos, The Resurgent, TheBlaze and Axios
Center for American Progress:
Why the Emerging Bill to Repeal the Affordable Care Act Will Fail
Wall Street Journal:
Kushner, Ivanka Trump Pushed to Remove Words Critical of Climate Deal From Executive Order  —  Trump plans to issue orders aimed at rolling back Obama climate agenda soon; language critical of Paris accord removed  —  WASHINGTON—At the request of President Donald Trump's son-in-law …
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Axios
Annie Karni / Politico:
Ivanka Trump, Kushner publicly silent as White House rolls back transgender protections
Discussion: ABC News and Axios
Kansas City Star:
Suspect in Olathe shooting allegedly told bartender he killed two Middle Eastern men  —  The suspect in Wednesday night's triple shooting in Olathe allegedly told a bartender in Clinton, Mo., before he was arrested that he had killed two Middle Eastern men, The Star has learned.
Michelle Goldberg / Slate:
CPAC invented an alternate history of the alt-right to justify Steve Bannon's invite.  —  NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—On Thursday, white nationalist Richard Spencer was thrown out of the Conservative Political Action Conference.  As security escorted him to the door, a college junior in a blue blazer and fashy haircut followed him.
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Bannon: Trump administration is in unending battle for ‘deconstruction of the administrative state’
David Weigel / Washington Post:
Alt-right leader expelled from CPAC after organizer denounces ‘left-wing fascist group’
New York Times:
Weakened Democrats Bow to Voters, Opting for Total War on Trump  —  WASHINGTON — Reduced to their weakest state in a generation, Democratic Party leaders will gather in two cities this weekend to plot strategy and select a new national chairman with the daunting task of rebuilding the party's depleted organization.
Discussion: Mother Jones
Gabriel Debenedetti / Politico:
2020 race lures sprawling Democratic field  —  An extraordinary alignment of ambition, opportunity and timing is raising the prospect that the Democratic Party in 2020 could have its biggest presidential field in a generation.  —  A sprawling roster of potential primary candidates …
New York Times:
Kim Jong-nam Was Killed by VX Nerve Agent, Malaysians Say  —  KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The poison used to kill Kim-Jong-nam, the brother of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was VX nerve agent, a substance listed as a chemical weapon, the Malaysian police announced on Friday.
Tom LoBianco / CNN:
GOP congressman: Trump should release tax returns  —  Congress could force release of Trump's taxes  — As a candidate, Trump was the first major-party nominee in decades not to release his tax returns  —  Pace, Florida (CNN)A conservative member of Congress called on President Donald …
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
Closed-Door Events Become Minefields For GOPers Who Shirk Public Town Halls  —  Back home in their districts while Congress is in recess, some Republicans have ducked the raucous crowds at town halls in favor of more tightly controlled conference calls and private events.
Dow Jones Newswires:
‘You Have to Stop,’ Renaissance Executive Tells Boss About Trump Support  —  A clash involving Renaissance Technologies hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer, who supports President Donald Trump, and another executive of the firm, who opposes the president, reflects divides at other U.S. workplaces.
An underground network is readying homes to hide immigrants  —  Los Angeles (CNN)A hammer pounds away in the living room of a middle class home.  A sanding machine smoothes the grain of the wood floor in the dining room.  —  But this home Pastor Ada Valiente is showing off in Los Angeles …
Discussion: TheBlaze
Ryan Cooper / The Week:
Ivanka Trump wants to help the wealthy pay their au pairs  —  One of the biggest lingering questions about the Donald Trump presidency is the degree to which his campaign shtick of being a working-class populist was an open fraud.  So far, all signs point towards “completely.”
Discussion: AOL, Mother Jones and Politicus USA
Tim Dickinson / Rolling Stone:
Border Patrol Agents Stop Domestic Travelers at New York Airport  —  A search for a deportation target leads to a demand for travelers' “papers” at JFK  —  Passengers of a domestic Delta flight from San Francisco to New York were told to show their identity documents to uniformed agents …
Not best of times for US - Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg  —  Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says the US is “not experiencing the best of times” - but the “pendulum” will swing back.  —  Speaking to BBC Newsnight in a rare interview, Justice Ginsburg reiterated the importance of the free press.
Eliza Collins / USA Today:
Where in the world is Sarah Palin?  Her political star is fading  —  NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — As the Conservative Political Action Conference kicked off just outside of Washington this week, there was one name noticeably missing from the roster of speakers: Sarah Palin.
Katherine Rodriguez / Breitbart:
The Social Security Administration paid $1 billion in benefits to those who did not have a Social Security number (SSN), according to a recent audit.  —  The agency's inspector general found errors in how the government documented representative payees or individuals who are designated …
Rebecca Mead / New Yorker:
Betsy DeVos's Spineless Transgender Bathroom Politics  —  When historians write their accounts of the Trump era—assuming the practice of historical scholarship survives it—a small but significant portion of those chronicles will be concerned with the bewildering phenomenon …
Sari Horwitz / Washington Post:
Law professors file misconduct complaint against Kellyanne Conway  —  A group of law professors from around the country has filed a professional misconduct complaint against White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, a graduate of George Washington University Law School who was admitted to the D.C. Bar in 1995.
Discussion: Western Journalism and Raw Story
Josh Eidelson / Bloomberg:
AFL-CIO Dismissing Staff Amid Declines in U.S. Union Membership  —  GOP control of court, states, White House brings major threats  —  Largest union federation cutting support for some programs  —  The AFL-CIO is dismissing dozens of staff members as part of a restructuring amid continuing declines …
Discussion: Hot Air
Hadas Gold / Politico:
Project Veritas ‘CNN Leaks’ fall flat  —  For a few days, Project Veritas founder and conservative activist James O'Keefe has been hyping the release of what he said were hundreds of hours of undercover audio recordings of employees at CNN.  —  Some staffers at CNN were legitimately alarmed …
Joe Concha / The Hill:
New York Times launches major ad campaign: ‘The Truth’  —  The New York Times will run its first-ever advertising during the Academy Awards this Sunday with a spot that appears to target the Trump administration titled “The Truth.”  —  The ad lists conflicting statements that all start with three words, “The truth is.”
Numbers / Pew Research Center:
Latinos and the New Trump Administration  —  Growing share say situation of U.S. Hispanics is worsening  —  Hispanics are divided about what a Donald Trump presidency means for their place in America, according to a Pew Research Center survey of Hispanic adults taken before his inauguration.
Discussion: Politico
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 More Items: 
Mnuchin Says He Won't Label China a Currency Manipulator...Yet
Discussion: Politico, Reuters and The Guardian
Ryan Devereaux / The Intercept:
Donald Trump Plans to Bypass the Courts to Deport as Many People as Possible
Discussion: Vox Popoli and NPR
Kim Hjelmgaard / USA Today:
European welfare benefits help fund ISIS fighters
Discussion: Geller Report
One of Duterte's Biggest Critics Arrested on Drug Charges
Discussion: The Week
The Guardian:
Byelections: Labour defeated by Tories in Copeland, but wins in Stoke - live
Cristiano Lima / Politico:
Rep. McCaul: We don't need ‘a 2,000-mile wall’ with Mexico
Alana Goodman / Daily Mail:
EXCLUSIVE: Illegal fundraiser for the Clintons made secret tape because he feared being ASSASSINATED …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
US News:
CARTOON GALLERY … The bathroom issue is the first skirmish …
Discussion: Joanne Jacobs and Eduwonk
 Earlier Items: 
Chicago Tribune:
Homicides in Chicago outpacing last year after deadliest day so far in 2017
Discussion: The Hill and Politicus USA
Washington Post:
France's National Front scandal has exposed the dirty little secret of Europe's far right
New York Times:
A Paid Hour a Week for Sex? Swedish Town Considers It