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7:40 PM ET, February 26, 2017


 Top Items: 
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Sean Spicer targets own staff in leak crackdown  —  Press secretary Sean Spicer is cracking down on leaks coming out of the West Wing, with increased security measures that include random phone checks of White House staffers, overseen by White House attorneys.
Julie K. Brown / miamiherald:
Slain SEAL's dad wants answers: 'Don't hide behind my son's death'  —  When they brought William “Ryan” Owens home, the Navy SEAL was carried from a C-17 military plane in a flag-draped casket, onto the tarmac at Dover Air Force Base, as President Donald Trump, his daughter, Ivanka, and Owens' family paid their respects.
David Edwards / Raw Story:
‘I want an investigation’: Father of slain SEAL blames Trump's carelessness and ego for son's death
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Talking Points Memo
Benny Johnson / IJR:
Inside Trump's Secret Dinner: A Side of the President You Don't Ever See  —  The animosity between the press and President Trump has reached a fever pitch in recent days.  Much of the grudge match stems from access, or lack thereof, between the President and the press.
Dozens of headstones damaged at Philadelphia Jewish cemetery  —  HEADSTONES DAMAGED AT PHILADELPHIA JEWISH CEMETERY  —  Dozens of headstones at a Jewish cemetery in the Wissinoming section of Philadelphia have been broken and overturned.
Molly O'Toole / Foreign Policy:
Trump Administration Seeks to Loosen Hiring Requirements to Beef Up Border Patrol  —  According to an internal memo, laxer standards are needed to expand the number of Border Patrol agents, but that could come at a cost in security.  —  The Trump administration is seeking to loosen …
Matt Bruenig:
Be clear about what happened to Keith Ellison  —  On the Monday after the 2016 election, Keith Ellison announced that he intended to run for DNC chair.  At the time of his announcement, Ellison had the support of prominent establishment Democrats (Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer) …
Discussion: Washington Post
Jeff Stein / Vox:
Keith Ellison's supporters say Israel attacks helped sink his DNC bid
David Edwards / Raw Story:
Rick Santorum: ‘Millions of Americans’ with preexisting conditions are scammers stealing health care  —  DON'T MISS STORIES.  FOLLOW RAW STORY!  —  CNN contributor Rick Santorum suggested on Sunday that it was a mistake to guarantee health care coverage for people with preexisting conditions because …
Paul Blumenthal / The Huffington Post:
Buoyed By Anti-Trump Activism, Democrat Wins Delaware Special Election  —  An army of volunteers, many from out of state, flooded the state Senate district for Stephanie Hansen.  —  MIDDLETOWN, Del. This is what democracy looks like.  —  It's been a chant that has animated marches …
Discussion: Political Wire
Carrie Dann / NBC News:
Trump's Job Approval Stands at Just 44 Percent as Partisan Splits Reign  —  Trump's Approval Falls Into Negative Territory 0:54  —  President Donald Trump's job approval rating stands at just 44 percent — a record low for a newly inaugurated commander-in-chief — and half of Americans …
Millions May Lose Coverage in Obamacare Repeal, Governors Told  —  Consultants offer estimates to governors meeting in Washington  —  Expansion of Medicaid program for poor targeted for cutbacks  —  Policies supported by Republican congressional leaders to repeal and replace Obamacare …
Justin Baragona / Mediaite:
'That's Not Acceptable': John Kasich on Republicans Who Want to Completely ‘Get Rid’ of Obamacare
Discussion: Breitbart and The Week
Nicholas Kristof / New York Times:
Trump Voters, Your Savior Is Betraying You  —  You've been had.  President Trump sold you a clunker.  Now that he's in the White House, he's betraying you — and I'm writing in hopes that you'll recognize that betrayal and hold him accountable.  —  Trump spoke to your genuine pain …
Jeremy Herb / Politico:
Nominee for Navy Secretary withdraws  —  President Donald Trump's nominee for Navy secretary, Philip Bilden, withdrew from consideration Sunday, becoming the second Pentagon pick unable to untangle his financial investments in the vetting process.  —  “Mr. Philip Bilden has informed …
Discussion: Mother Jones
Bill Paxton — Dead at 61  —  EXCLUSIVE  —  Bill Paxton has died ... TMZ has learned.  —  We're told the actor died suddenly Saturday due to complications from surgery.  —  Paxton had a string of hits, including “Twister,” “Titanic” and “Aliens.”  He won an Emmy for “Hatfields and McCoys.”
Christopher Caldwell / New York Times:
What Does Steve Bannon Want?  —  President Trump presents a problem to those who look at politics in terms of systematic ideologies.  He is either disinclined or unable to lay out his agenda in that way.  So perhaps it was inevitable that Mr. Trump's chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon …
Rebecca Savransky / The Hill:
Christie: I don't think Priebus will have that kind of conversation with the FBI again ‘nor should he’  —  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Sunday appeared to defend the Trump administration after reports that the FBI rejected a request by the White House to publicly knock down news coverage …
Discussion: Politico
Mike DeBonis / Washington Post:   Chris Christie tells GOP lawmakers to hold town halls: ‘You asked for the job. Go do it.’
Daily Mail:
Swedish policeman blames migrants for the majority of country's rapes and shootings and accuses politicians of ‘turning a blind eye’  —  A Swedish detective who has triggered a row by blaming violent crime on migrants has gone one step further and accused politicians of turning a blind eye …
Discussion: Vox Popoli
Maureen Callahan / Reuters:
God help us if Chelsea Clinton runs for office  —  Chelsea Clinton speaks at a campaign rally as her parents, Hillary and Bill, look on.  —  MORE FROM:  —  Last Sunday Chelsea Clinton, usually such a reticent public figure, took to Times Square with her 2-year-old daughter, Charlotte, to march in the Muslim solidarity rally.
Discussion: BizPac Review
Marc Caputo / Politico:
Rubio on skipping town halls: Activists will ‘heckle and scream at me’  —  Sen. Marco Rubio won't participate in town hall meetings because he says political activists will crash them to create a media spectacle of people who “heckle and scream at me in front of cameras.”
Discussion: CBS Miami and Political Wire
Amy B Wang / Washington Post:
Trump to skip White House correspondents' dinner: ‘No reason for him to go in and sit and pretend’  —  President Trump will not attend the White House Correspondents' Association dinner, after a campaign and early tenure during which he has continually battled with the press.
Salena Zito / Washington Examiner:
A referendum on Trump in Newt's old district  —  The headlines this week read: “Republican Lawmakers Face Hostile Town-Hall Crowds” in the Atlantic, “GOP Town Halls Are Getting Flooded with Angry Constituents” in Mother Jones, and “Angry political meetings ignite US town halls” in the Financial Times.
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 More Items: 
J. David Goodman / New York Times:
Why de Blasio Might as Well Be Running Unopposed
Paul Jacob /
The Stars of Sexist and Racist Hollywood Shine Bright Tonight
Laurence H. Silberman / Wall Street Journal:
A ‘Notorious’ 2016 for Ginsburg and Comey
Tom Barrack / CNN:
Give President Trump the chance that Ronald Reagan got
Steve Kuhlmann / The Eagle:
International scholar visiting Texas A&M “mistakenly detained” by customs officials
Discussion: Washington Post and ThinkProgress
Kate Bennett / CNN:
Trump social team prepares to host ritzy Governors' Dinner
Discussion: The Week
John Sexton / Hot Air:
Brian Stelter: 'We don't see CNN or NY Times rooting for any president'
 Earlier Items: 
Tim Alberta / Politico:
‘The Conservative Movement Is Donald Trump’
David Siders / Politico:
House Intel chair: Trump-Russia investigation calls ‘almost like McCarthyism’
Discussion: Raw Story
Kyle Smith / New York Post:
Meet the terrorist behind the next women's march
Carole Cadwalladr / Observer:
Revealed: how US billionaire helped to back Brexit
Brooke Seipel / The Hill:
Breitbart gets exclusive interview with Trump
Discussion: Axios and RedState
Oliver Darcy / Business Insider:
Gretchen Carlson in talks to join MSNBC, sources say
Pat Rynard / The Daily Beast:
Iowa Lawmakers Face Rage-Filled Recess