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9:20 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 …
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
That Didn't Go Great  —  Let me share a few thoughts …
Discussion: Mother Jones
New York Times:
Advisers Urge Trump to Hire Outside Lawyer in Russia Inquiry
Devlin Barrett / Washington Post:
Comey prepared extensively for his conversations with Trump
Discussion: Political Wire
New York Times:
Julian Assange Rape Investigation Is Dropped in Sweden  —  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 …
Statement on Julian Assange  —  BST  —  Following today's decision by the Director of Public Prosecution, Ms Marianne Ny, in relation to the Swedish authorities investigation into Julian Assange the Metropolitan Police Service's position is:  —  Westminster Magistrates' Court issued …
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: The Hill and Just Security
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 …
Anne Applebaum / Washington Post:
Yes, GOP leaders were making a joke about Putin and Trump.  But then it sunk in.  —  It really was a joke.  The transcript of the conversation that took place in June 2016, published by The Post, is very clear.  So is the context.  Republican politicians are discussing Russia and Ukraine at a congressional leadership meeting.
Discussion: Daily Kos and Vox
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
House leaders worry more meetings secretly recorded
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 …
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
The Daily Beast:
Donald Trump Talked Michael Flynn Into White House Job
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.
New York Times:
Anthony Weiner to Plead Guilty to Resolve ‘Sexting’ Inquiry  —  Anthony D. Weiner, the former Democratic congressman whose “sexting” scandals ended his political career and embroiled him in a tumultuous F.B.I. investigation of Hillary Clinton before the election, is to appear in a federal courtroom …
Discussion: RedState and Political Wire
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
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
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 …
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.
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
Dan Merica / CNN:
Wooed by Trump's promises, opioid advocates now worry they were all empty  —  Opioids create generation of American orphans  —  Washington (CNN)Erin Canterbury had voted for New Hampshire Democrats for over a decade.  Then she met Donald Trump at a roundtable on the state's opioid epidemic …
Discussion: Raw Story
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
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
Cameron Easley / Morning Consult:
Trump's Approval Sinks Further Amid Avalanche of Bad Headlines  —  Political observers have said it's been a very bad week for President Donald Trump, and that notion is underscored by a new Morning Consult/POLITICO survey that shows his support continues to decline as many voters expressed concern about his fitness for office.
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 More Items: 
Adam Lashinsky / Fortune:
Portrait of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick on March 18, 2013. Jeffery Salter — Redux Pictures
Abby Phillip / Washington Post:
Embassies court Ivanka Trump to build a relationship with her father's administration
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
Michael Birnbaum / Washington Post:
European leaders fear Trump's political chaos is undermining U.S. power
New York Times:
U.S. Warplanes in Syria Hit Pro-Government Militia Convoy
Michael Kranish / Washington Post:
Trump needs private attorney to navigate complex probe, his ex-lawyer says
 Earlier Items: 
Ronald Orol / TheStreet:
Obama Administration VP Biden Says He Could Run for President But “Probably” Won't
Sam J. /
'Stop making sh*t up." Guy Benson posts Comey footage, throws wrench into Trump memo conspiracy
Radley Balko / Washington Post:
A David Clarke dossier
Tom LoBianco / CNN:
First on CNN: Devin Nunes continues reviewing Russia intelligence, despite recusal
Discussion: Politicus USA
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
Senate Dems say Trump's company a ‘pass-through for income’ to president
Discussion: Political Wire
Bryan Menegus / Gizmodo:
The Mad King of Juice: Inside the Dysfunctional Origins of Juicero
Jason Chaffetz / Chaffetz:
Chaffetz Letter to Utah's 3rd Congressional District