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2:05 PM ET, March 30, 2017


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
2 White House Officials Helped Give Nunes Intelligence Reports  —  WASHINGTON — A pair of White House officials played a role in providing Representative Devin Nunes of California, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, with the intelligence reports that showed President Trump …
FBI Director James Comey tried to reveal Russian tampering months before election  —  U.S. JAMES COMEY FBI RUSSIA 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION  —  FBI Director James Comey attempted to go public as early as the summer of 2016 with information on Russia's campaign to influence …
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Senior White House aide Katie Walsh moving to pro-Trump political group  —  President Donald Trump on Thursday launched his first West Wing shake-up less than three months into his term, sending deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh to bolster the flagging outside groups that were meant to support his agenda …
House GOP health care peacemaking deteriorates  —  There was an effort yesterday to get House GOP conservatives — the House Freedom Caucus and Republican Study Committee — to meet with GOP moderates — the Tuesday Group — to talk about a path forward after last week's failed health care effort.
Discussion: CNBC
Peter Sullivan / The Hill:
Centrist group in House ‘will never’ meet with Freedom Caucus  —  The centrist Tuesday Group affirmed at a meeting Wednesday that it will not meet with the conservative House Freedom Caucus to negotiate changes to an ObamaCare replacement bill, according to Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.).
Discussion: Politico, Political Wire and Axios
Rich Lowry / Politico:
The Crisis of Trumpism  —  Trumpism is in crisis.  —  This isn't a function of poll numbers, or the Russia controversy, or any other melodrama of the past three months, but something more fundamental: No officeholder in Washington seems to understand President Donald Trump's populism …
Glenn Thrush / New York Times:
‘We Must Fight Them’: Trump Goes After Conservatives of Freedom Caucus
Raleigh News & Observer:
Lawmakers vote Thursday on deal to repeal HB2  —  RALEIGH  —  North Carolina lawmakers could repeal House Bill 2 on Thursday under a deal struck late Wednesday night by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican legislative leaders.  —  Senate leader Phil Berger announced the deal shortly …
Raleigh News & Observer:
HB2 repeal compromise clears Senate, heads to House
Discussion: Towleroad
Paul Wood / BBC:
Trump Russia dossier key claim ‘verified’  —  The BBC has learned that US officials “verified” a key claim in a report about Kremlin involvement in Donald Trump's election - that a Russian diplomat in Washington was in fact a spy.  —  So far, no single piece of evidence has been made public proving …
Nick Gutteridge / Daily Express:
EU could BREAK UP the US: Juncker in jaw-dropping threat to Trump over support for Brexit  —  EUROPEAN Union boss Jean-Claude Juncker this afternoon issued a jaw-dropping threat to the United States, saying he could campaign to break up the country in revenge for Donald Trump's supportive comments about Brexit.
Bryan Lowry / Kansas City Star:
McCaskill warns Democratic donors of pitfalls of blocking Trump nominee for high court  —  Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri warned Democratic donors that blocking President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee could have dire consequences, according to audio obtained by The Star.
Nan Aron / USA Today:
Don't torpedo Senate rules for Gorsuch: Nan Aron
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
Gorsuch battle brings Senate to brink of a new low
Discussion: Daily Kos
Yashar Ali / New York Magazine:
What George W. Bush Really Thought of Donald Trump's Inauguration  —  The inauguration of Donald Trump was a surreal experience for pretty much everyone who witnessed it, whether or not they were at the event and regardless of who they supported in the election.
Lachlan Markay / The Daily Beast:
Bannon May Have Violated Ethics Pledge by Communicating With Breitbart  —  Top Trump advisor Steve Bannon may have violated a White House ethics agreement by communicating with employees of his former media company, the vociferously pro-Trump outlet Breitbart News.
Discussion: Washington Post
David Ovalle / miamiherald:
Trump strategist Bannon won't be charged in Miami voter registration probe
Discussion: Raw Story and
Putin says claims that Russia interfered in US elections are ‘lies’  —  Accusations that Russia interfered in last year's U.S. elections are “lies” used for “domestic American politics,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.  —  “We said on numerous occasions and I reiterate …
Decision Desk HQ:
Creating a National Precinct Map … In January 2011, I sent an email to the Washington State Democratic Party asking about precinct results from the 2008 presidential caucus race.  State party chairman Jaxon Ravens replied simply with the question, “Why would you want them?”
Discussion: Political Wire
New York Times:
U.S. War Footprint Grows in Middle East, With No Endgame in Sight  —  BEIRUT, Lebanon — The United States launched more airstrikes in Yemen this month than during all of last year.  In Syria, it has airlifted local forces to front-line positions and has been accused of killing civilians in airstrikes.
New York Times:
Trump Said to Ease Combat Rules in Somalia Intended to Protect Civilians
Discussion: KTLA and The Daily Signal
Brooke Seipel / The Hill:
Energy Department tells staff not to use phrase ‘climate change’: report  —  Staffers at the Department of Energy's (DOE) international climate office have been asked to stop using the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction” and “Paris Agreement,” Politico reported Wednesday.
Wall Street Journal:
Trump Administration Signals It Would Seek Mostly Modest Changes to Nafta  —  One change would be in government-procurement section of deal that could open up door for ‘Buy American’ policies  —  WASHINGTON—The Trump administration is signaling to Congress it would seek mostly modest changes …
Tom James / Reuters:
Seattle sues Trump administration over threat to ‘sanctuary’ cities  —  The city of Seattle sued U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Wednesday over its executive order seeking to withhold federal funds from “sanctuary cities,” arguing it amounted to unconstitutional federal coercion.
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Judge maintains broad block on Trump travel ban
Discussion: Daily Kos and New York Magazine
Tommy Christopher / Shareblue:
Watch real climate scientist shoot down climate “skeptic” at GOP's sham “science” hearing  —  Donald Trump's presidency continues to be a disaster for the environment.  The Energy Department's Climate Office banned use of the phrase “climate change,” and Trump recently signed an executive order …
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Annals of the CBP (Good Times Edition)  —  That was fascinating.  As a coda to our family vacation, when we came through customs at JFK last night we learned that (actually it took some time to learn what was going on) Daniel, our eight year old son, had been flagged as a person of interest …
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Why Trump's unpopularity is historically unique  —  President Trump is not the first president to see his approval rating drop to 35 percent, as it did in Gallup's most recent tracking poll.  —  But he is the first president on record to go that low without it owing to one of three things: war, Watergate or economic strife.
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 More Items: 
Brianna Ehley / Politico:
Pence breaks tie in Senate vote on Planned Parenthood funding
Discussion: Washington Post and Vox
Associated Press:
Top aide to President Donald Trump leaves administration
Discussion: ABC News
Elizabeth Spiers / Washington Post:
I worked for Jared Kushner. He's the wrong businessman to reinvent government.
Noah Smith / Noahpinion:
The blogs vs. Case-Deaton
US Department of State:
State Department Terrorist Designations of El Shafee Elsheikh, Anjem Choudary, Sami Bouras …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Jeff Cox / CNBC:
Debt and deficits are going to explode in the next 30 years, CBO says
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
Dems on offense in gubernatorial races
Discussion: Politico and The Daily Caller
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Trump, Ryan Both Hit Record Low Approval
Discussion: Business Insider and Politico
 Earlier Items: 
Richard L. Hasen / Politico:
How States Could Force Trump to Release His Tax Returns
Jeff Greenfield / Politico:
A Liberal Fantasy Ripped from a Hollywood Script
Discussion: Washington Monthly and The Week
Ben Terris / Washington Post:
Who is Julia Hahn? The unlikely rise of Steve Bannon's right-hand woman.
Jason L. Riley / Wall Street Journal:
Is the Ivy League's Admission Bias a ‘Trade Secret’?
Discussion: Power Line
CBS News:
Paul Ryan on Russia probe, health care bill “growing pain”
Brent Scher / Washington Free Beacon:
It Took Three People Two Months to Create Hillary Clinton's Campaign Logo
Discussion: Power Line
Daniel Miller / Los Angeles Times:
Dustin Hoffman and son invested $3 million in now-bankrupt real estate venture of Paul Manafort's son-in-law
Discussion: Daily Mail