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10:20 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 …
Tyler Durden / Zero Hedge:
Senate Demands White House Tapes, Comey Memos On Just About Everyone  —  Following Jason Chaffetz' lead from last night, the Senate Judiciary Committee has demanded that The FBI hand over all Comey's memos “memorializing interactions” with Trump, Obama, Sessions, Lynch, Rosenstein, Boente, and Yates...
Discussion: Vox Popoli
New York Times:
Senate Inquiries Narrow as Rosenstein Suggests Plan to Fire Comey Predated Memo  —  WASHINGTON — Republican senators signaled on Thursday that the Justice Department's special counsel investigation into Russia's interference in the presidential election and possible collusion by associates …
Discussion: The Hill, ABC News and Washington Post
Brooke Seipel / The Hill:
Comey was ‘disgusted’ by hug with Trump
Discussion: RedState
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 …
Associated Press:
Anthony Weiner Faces Charges in Sexting Case
Discussion: Politico
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 …
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
Dylan Matthews / Vox:
Why the special counsel should make Trump's aides very nervous
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Biden disses Clinton: ‘I never thought she was a great candidate.  I thought I was a great candidate.’  —  Former vice president Joe Biden stirred the Democratic pot a little bit on Thursday night.  —  Appearing at the SALT hedge fund conference in Las Vegas, the possible 2020 presidential candidate weighed …
Discussion: Political Wire and The Week
John Bowden / The Hill:
Biden on Clinton: ‘I never thought she was a great candidate’
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Tessa Stuart / Rolling Stone:   Elizabeth Warren Tests the Waters for 2020
Matt Egan / CNN:   Biden isn't ruling out 2020 run for president
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.
Isaac Chotiner / Slate:
We Live in the World Roger Ailes Broke  —  Roger Ailes, the former head of the Fox News Channel, passed away on Thursday at the age of 77.  The news was announced via a statement from his wife, Elizabeth, who wrote that “his work in entertainment, in politics, and in news affected the lives of many millions.”
Matt Taibbi / Rolling Stone:
Roger Ailes Was One of the Worst Americans Ever
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.
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.
Discussion: Breitbart, Axios, Daily Kos and Shareblue
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.
Discussion: The Hill
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.
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
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:
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: AOL and Daily Mail
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
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
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 More Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Examines Russia's Grip on Citgo Assets
Robert Snell / Detroit News:
Feds use anti-terror tool to hunt the undocumented
John Bowden / The Hill:
‘Art of the Deal’ co-writer: Trump will resign so he doesn't ‘lose’
Discussion: RedState
Chaos Engulfing Trump Stirs Anxiety in Russia Over U.S. Ties
Brian Rogers / Houston Chronicle:
14-year-old could face life as sex offender for sex with 12-year-old girlfriend
Discussion: Raw Story and Hit & Run
Washington Post:
Secret report shows ‘special’ treatment for public officials in D.C. school lottery
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
 Earlier Items: 
Danielle Paquette / Washington Post:
U.S. could get first paid family leave benefit under Trump budget proposal
Discussion: The Week
Matt Suiche / Comae Technologies:
WannaCry — Decrypting files with WanaKiwi + Demos
Discussion: emptywheel and 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
Sam J. /
'Stop making sh*t up." Guy Benson posts Comey footage, throws wrench into Trump memo conspiracy
Bryan Menegus / Gizmodo:
The Mad King of Juice: Inside the Dysfunctional Origins of Juicero
The Daily Beast:
Donald Trump Talked Michael Flynn Into White House Job