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8:50 AM ET, May 19, 2017


 Top Items: 
Michael S. Schmidt / New York Times:
Comey Is Said to Have Become Unsettled by Interactions With Trump  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump called the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, weeks after he took office and asked him when federal authorities were going to put out word that Mr. Trump was not personally under investigation, according to two people briefed on the call.
Bwittes / Lawfare:
What James Comey Told Me About Donald Trump  —  The New York Times is reporting tonight: … I did not know this particular fact, but it doesn't surprise me at all.  The principal source for the rest of this story is, well, me—specifically a long interview I gave to reporter Michael Schmidt …
Devlin Barrett / Washington Post:
Comey prepared extensively for his conversations with Trump
Discussion: Political Wire
New York Times:
Advisers Urge Trump to Hire Outside Lawyer in Russia Inquiry
Billy House / Bloomberg:
House May Be Forced to Vote Again on GOP's Obamacare Repeal Bill  —  Two weeks after passage, measure still not sent to Senate  —  CBO report could force Ryan, other party leaders into redo  —  House Republicans barely managed to pass their Obamacare repeal bill earlier this month …
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
House leaders worry more meetings secretly recorded
Anne Applebaum / Washington Post:
Yes, GOP leaders were making a joke about Putin and Trump. But then it sunk in.
Discussion: Daily Kos and Vox
Elizabeth Landers / CNN:
Pence is a loyal solider, but news cycle is wearing on him  —  What did Mike Pence know about Flynn?  —  Story highlights  —  Washington (CNN)After a fast and furious news cycle at the White House this week, the last few days may have worn on Vice President Mike Pence.
Discussion: The Week
Vaughn Hillyard / NBC News:
Source: Pence Never Informed About Flynn  —  Vice President Mike Pence has been kept in the dark about former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn's alleged wrongdoing, according to a source close to the administration, who cited a potential “pattern” of not informing the vice president and calling it …
The Daily Beast:
Donald Trump Talked Michael Flynn Into White House Job … President Donald Trump pressured a “reluctant” Michael Flynn into accepting a job as the White House's top national security official even after Flynn warned the president that he was under investigation over undisclosed lobbying …
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Tips for Leaders Meeting Trump: Keep It Short and Give Him a Win  —  WASHINGTON — As Saudi Arabia's leaders prepared to make a pitch to the White House for a visit by President Trump, a PowerPoint presentation was put together complete with slides describing Saudi demographics …
Annie Karni / Politico:
Ivanka and Jared get a rabbinical pass to fly Air Force One  —  Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner will be flying aboard Air Force One to Saudi Arabia with President Donald Trump on Friday, after receiving a rabbinical dispensation to travel on the Jewish Sabbath, according to a White House official.
New York Times:
$110 Billion Weapons Sale to Saudis Has Jared Kushner's Personal Touch
Discussion: Just Security and The Hill
Jason Willick / The American Interest:
After Mueller, Trump Critics Worry: Maybe There's No Scandal  —  Eli Lake is right: The DOJ's appointment of widely-respected former prosecutor Robert Mueller to lead the special inquiry into the Trump campaign's potential collusion with Russia is a reprieve for a Trump Administration in crisis …
Karoun Demirjian / Washington Post:
Appointment of Mueller could complicate other probes into alleged Russian meddling
Discussion: Lawfare
Bill O'Reilly / USA Today:
Roger Ailes had my back at Fox News  —  Roger experienced hatred, and it killed him.  —  CONNECT  —  To say that Roger Ailes led a full life is a massive understatement.  A force of nature with an agenda, RA, as fellow executives called him, was a man on a mission.
Michael Wolff / Hollywood Reporter:
Michael Wolff on Roger Ailes' Final Days and a Complicated Murdoch Relationship
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
Senate Democrats reject Lieberman for FBI director  —  President Donald Trump may be dramatically miscalculating how much support Sen. Joe Lieberman would have among his former Democratic colleagues if nominated to become FBI director.  —  Some Senate Democrats hold a grudge against Lieberman …
Matthew Yglesias / Vox:
Joe Lieberman might be FBI director. Really.
Jenna McLaughlin / Foreign Policy:
Trump Team Planning Possible Retaliation for Classified Leak Allegations  —  White House officials concoct “ludicrous” revenge plan targeting former Obama administration.  —  President Donald Trump's inner circle is war-gaming how best to respond to the Washington Post's bombshell report …
New York Times:
F.B.I. Once Warned G.O.P. Congressman That Russian Spies Were Recruiting Him  —  WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. warned a Republican congressman in 2012 that Russian spies were trying to recruit him, officials said, an example of how aggressively Russian agents have tried to influence Washington politics.
Noam N. Levey / Los Angeles Times:
Health insurers and state officials say Trump is undermining Obamacare, pushing up rates  —  President Trump meets in February with the heads of major health insurers.  Many industry officials and state regulators now believe they cannot rely on Trump to effectively manage the country's insurance markets.
New York Times:
Sweden Drops Investigation of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Founder  —  STOCKHOLM — Prosecutors in Sweden said on Friday that they would drop their investigation into Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who sought refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London five years ago after the authorities …
NBC News:
State Department Summons Turkish Ambassador After Bloody Brawl in D.C.  —  Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kiliç was called in to the State Department to meet with U.S. Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon hours after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's guards violently entered a crowd of protesters, U.S. officials said Thursday.
Discussion: Raw Story and CNBC
US summoned Turkish ambassador after protester violence
New York Times:
U.S. Warplanes in Syria Hit Pro-Government Militia Convoy  —  WASHINGTON — American warplanes in southern Syria attacked a convoy of pro-government forces on Thursday after they ignored warnings and violated a restricted zone around a base where American and British Special Forces …
Discussion: Fox News, Power Line and Just Security
Michael Birnbaum / Washington Post:
European leaders fear Trump's political chaos is undermining U.S. power  —  BRUSSELS — Washington's closest allies in Europe are increasingly worried that rising political chaos in the United States is undermining the strength of the most powerful nation in the world.
Tom LoBianco / CNN:
First on CNN: House Russia investigators get access to Treasury data  —  (CNN)Investigators on the House intelligence committees have obtained access to valuable data from the Treasury Department, a development that will open their doors to investigate possible connections between President …
Tom LoBianco / CNN:
First on CNN: Devin Nunes continues reviewing Russia intelligence, despite recusal
Discussion: Politicus USA
Charles Krauthammer / National Review:
The Guardrails of American Democracy Can't Contain Trump  —  But that doesn't mean he should be removed via the 25th Amendment.  —  The pleasant surprise of the first 100 days is over.  The action was hectic, heated, often confused, but well within the bounds of normalcy.
Discussion: Axios
Sam J. /
'Stop making sh*t up.  " Guy Benson posts Comey footage, throws wrench into Trump memo conspiracy  —  From Comey's own mouth: … In his experience they have not been told to stop an FBI investigation for political reasons.  —  Guy Benson's tweetstorm about Comey, the footage and the need for further testimony is brilliant:
New York Times:
A Basquiat Sells for ‘Mind-Blowing’ $110.5 Million at Auction  —  Joining the rarefied $100 million-plus club in a salesroom punctuated by periodic gasps from the crowd, Jean-Michel Basquiat's powerful 1982 painting of a skull brought $110.5 million at Sotheby's, to become the sixth most expensive work ever sold at auction.
Discussion: Daily Mail
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 More Items: 
Danielle Paquette / Washington Post:
U.S. could get first paid family leave benefit under Trump budget proposal
Discussion: The Week
Tessa Stuart / Rolling Stone:
Elizabeth Warren Tests the Waters for 2020
Matt Suiche / Comae Technologies:
WannaCry — Decrypting files with WanaKiwi + Demos
Discussion: Forbes
Chris Tomlinson / Breitbart:
Austrian Burqa Ban Passed into Law
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Michael Kranish / Washington Post:
Trump needs private attorney to navigate complex probe, his ex-lawyer says
Ronald Orol / TheStreet:
Obama Administration VP Biden Says He Could Run for President But “Probably” Won't
The Hill:
WATCH: FBI investigation ‘not’ a witch hunt, GOP rep says
Discussion: Raw Story
Lois Weiss / New York Post:
Lower East Side's Landmark Sunshine Cinema to close
Discussion: Gothamist
 Earlier Items: 
Nicole Blades / New York Times:
Help! It's Wear Your Teacher's Favorite Color Day
Radley Balko / Washington Post:
A David Clarke dossier
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
That Didn't Go Great  —  Let me share a few thoughts …
Discussion: Mother Jones
Bryan Menegus / Gizmodo:
The Mad King of Juice: Inside the Dysfunctional Origins of Juicero