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2:40 PM ET, February 26, 2017


 Top Items: 
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.
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.
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.”
Justin Baragona / Mediaite:
'That's Not Acceptable': John Kasich on Republicans Who Want to Completely ‘Get Rid’ of Obamacare … During today's broadcast of CBS's Face the Nation, Ohio Governor and former Republican presidential candidate John Kasich discussed the conundrum Congressional Republicans are in when it comes …
Discussion: Breitbart and The Week
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 …
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 …
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
Mike DeBonis / Washington Post:
Chris Christie tells GOP lawmakers to hold town halls: ‘You asked for the job.  Go do it.’  —  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Sunday that the Trump administration needs to be more mindful of “perception” and urged GOP lawmakers not to shy away from holding town hall events, though they might be confronted by protesters.
Rebecca Savransky / The Hill:
Christie: I don't think Priebus will have that kind of conversation with the FBI again ‘nor should he’
Discussion: Politico
Kate Bennett / CNN:
Trump social team prepares to host ritzy Governors' Dinner  —  (CNN)While many Americans watch the Academy Awards on Sunday, governors of the United States will be reveling in a different kind of glamor — in person, at the White House.  —  The first big social event of President Donald …
Discussion: The Week
Maquita Peters / NPR:
Trump Will Be First President In 36 Years To Skip White House Correspondents Dinner
Arlene Washington / Hollywood Reporter:
Donald Trump Says He Will Not Attend the White House Correspondents' Dinner
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 …
Brooke Seipel / The Hill:
Breitbart gets exclusive interview with Trump  —  Breitbart has snagged an exclusive interview with President Trump scheduled for Monday afternoon in the Oval Office, according to a report by Axios on Saturday.  —  Breitbart's Washington editor Matthew Boyle is slated to conduct the interview, Axios reported.
Discussion: Axios and RedState
Jeff Stein / Vox:
Keith Ellison's supporters say Israel attacks helped sink his DNC bid  —  An 11th hour campaign targeted Ellison as “anti-Israel.”  And his allies are furious.  —  ATLANTA — One day before the Democratic Party chose its new leader, supporters of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) …
Brooke Seipel / The Hill:
Perez fires back at Trump: I'll be your worst nightmare
David Weigel / Washington Post:
Thomas Perez elected the first Latino leader of Democratic Party
Tim Alberta / Politico:
‘The Conservative Movement Is Donald Trump’  —  NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — They should have known better.  The college kids, crammed into the back-right corner of an overflow ballroom here at the Gaylord National Resort, should have recognized that the props being distributed to them were, in fact, miniature Russian flags.
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: Political Wire and CBS Miami
Paulina Firozi / The Hill:
New York Times executive editor: Trump is the best thing to happen to our subscriptions … The executive editor of the New York Times said in an interview Sunday that President Trump's attempts to smear the publication have instead encouraged more people to read it.
ABC News:
‘This Week’ Transcript 2-26-17: Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Rep. Jim Jordan, and Tom Perez  —  THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT FOR ‘THIS WEEK’ on February 26, 2017 and it will be updated.  —  GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC HOST: And what happens next with the president and Russia?
Pat Rynard / The Daily Beast:
Iowa Lawmakers Face Rage-Filled Recess  —  So much for “Iowa Nice.”  —  Rowdy town hall forums are the new normal in the Hawkeye state.  Contentious scenes of older, grey-haired Iowans lobbing hostile questions at Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst made national news this week.
Ashley Parker / Washington Post:
Trump's Cabinet has to work as a cleanup crew  —  After President Trump said that deporting undocumented immigrants was “a military operation,” Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, speaking in Mexico, clarified that there would be “no use of military force in immigration operations.”
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 More Items: 
Jynnah Radford / Pew Research Center:
Since travel order lifted, more than 1,800 refugees from affected countries have entered U.S.
Discussion: IJR and TheBlaze
John Sexton / Hot Air:
Brian Stelter: 'We don't see CNN or NY Times rooting for any president'
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
Discussion: Political Wire
Chris Tomlinson / Breitbart:
Farage at CPAC: 2016 Was The Beginning of a Great Global Revolution
 Earlier Items: 
Oliver Darcy / Business Insider:
Gretchen Carlson in talks to join MSNBC, sources say
Robin McKie / Observer:
Biologists say half of all species could be extinct by end of century
Discussion: Vox Popoli and Instapundit
Dnexon / Lawyers, Guns & Money:
The Gorka Dissertation, Part II
France's Hollande fires back at Trump over Paris comments
Eliana Johnson / Politico:
Sources: U.S. considers quitting U.N. Human Rights Council
Australian children's author Mem Fox detained by US border control: ‘I sobbed like a baby’
Discussion: Daily Kos and ABC