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2:05 AM ET, November 18, 2017


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Top Russian Official Tried to Broker ‘Backdoor’ Meeting Between Trump and Putin  —  WASHINGTON — A senior Russian official who claimed to be acting at the behest of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia tried in May 2016 to arrange a meeting between Mr. Putin and Donald J. Trump, according to several people familiar with the matter.
Discussion: CNN, The Daily Caller and Mediaite
Kushner testified he did not recall any campaign WikiLeaks contact  —  Washington (CNN)White House senior adviser Jared Kushner told congressional Russia investigators that he did not communicate with WikiLeaks and did not recall anyone on the Trump campaign who had, a source with knowledge of his testimony told CNN.
NBC News:
Kushner failed to disclose outreach from Putin ally to Trump campaign  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, failed to disclose what lawmakers called a “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite” involving a banker who has been accused of links …
Discussion: Raw Story
Robert Windrem / NBC News:
Rob Goldstone ready to come to U.S. and talk to Mueller  —  The British publicist who helped set up the fateful meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office, according to several people familiar with the matter.
Discussion: emptywheel, RedState and Raw Story
Jenna McLaughlin / Foreign Policy:
How Jared Kushner's Newspaper Became a Favorite Outlet for WikiLeaks Election Hacks
Discussion: KTLA and Raw Story
Jeremy Diamond / CNN:   Trump begins paying legal bills from own pocket
Shannon Pettypiece / Bloomberg:
Trump to Pay His Own Legal Bills, Set Up Fund to Cover Staff
Discussion: Politico, CNBC and KTLA
Seth A. Richardson / Plain Dealer:
Sitting Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill, responding to Franken allegations, claims bedding 50 women  —  CLEVELAND, Ohio - Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill, a Democratic candidate for governor, apparently trying to head off any criticisms from his opponents, revealed his sexual escapades over the years on a Facebook post.
Bill O'Neill:
Now that the dogs of war are calling for the head of Senator Al Franken I believe it is time to speak up on behalf of all heterosexual males.  As a candidate for Governor let me save my opponents some research time.  In the last fifty years I was sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females.
Nolan D. McCaskill / Politico:
Trump releases updated short list of potential Supreme Court nominees
Discussion: Axios
Rosie Gray / The Atlantic:
Conservatives Reap the Whirlwind of Their War on the Media  —  All news is “fake news”—at least if you're a diehard Roy Moore supporter.  —  With sexual misconduct allegations continuing to mount against the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, Moore has defied calls to drop out of the race …
Discussion: Raw Story and Right Wing Watch
John Verhovek / ABC News:
Roy Moore's wife: President Trump ‘owes us a thank you’ for diverting attention from Russia probe
Discussion: Axios
Julia Carrie Wong / The Guardian:
Greg Gianforte misled police after assault of Guardian journalist, report reveals … US congressman Greg Gianforte misled police after his assault of Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs in May, falsely stating that Jacobs had initiated physical contact and that the “liberal media …
Timothy Cama / The Hill:
GOP chairman breaks with Trump on elephant trophy imports  —  The Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee slammed President Trump Friday for allowing imports of hunted elephant trophies from Zimbabwe.  —  Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), who has prioritized fighting wildlife crime …
Ashley Parker / Washington Post:
Trump halts Interior's elephant trophy decision  —  President Trump abruptly reversed his administration's Thursday decision to allow elephants shot for sport in Zimbabwe and Zambia to be imported back to the United States as trophies, saying in a tweet Friday night that he was putting the decision “on hold” until further review.
Discussion: The Hill and ABC News
Committee on Foreign Affairs:
Chairman Royce Statement on Big Game Trophy Decision
Discussion: Axios, New York Times and RT
Kimberly Kindy / Washington Post:
How a conservative group dealt with a fondling charge against a rising GOP star  —  On a fall evening two years ago, donors gathered during a conference at a Ritz-Carlton hotel near Washington to raise funds for a 31-year-old candidate for the Ohio legislature who was a rising star in evangelical politics.
Discussion: BuzzFeed and Joe.My.God.
The Wrap:
‘Girls’ Writer Murray Miller Accused of Raping Underage Actress Aurora Perrineau (Exclusive)  —  “Passengers” star says she woke up in 2012 with Murray “on top of me having sexual intercourse with me”  —  Actress Aurora Perrineau has gone to police to accuse “Girls” writer …
Marc Caputo / Politico:
‘A lot of boob stuff:’ Fla. Democratic Party chair apologizes after six women complain of ‘demeaning’ behavior  —  TALLAHASSEE — Six former Florida Democratic Party staffers and consultants say that current party chairman Stephen Bittel has created an unprofessional workplace environment …
Tegna / KREM-TV:
Graphic: Navy admits to being involved in obscene skydrawings spotted in Okanogan Co. … WARNING: Some viewers may find the photos in this story offensive  —  OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash. - Officials with the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island said one of their aircraft was involved in the obscene skywritings spotted in Okanogan County.
Annie Karni / Politico:
Aides give up on trying to control Trump's tweets  —  When candidate Donald Trump waged a Twitter war against Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who rebuked him from the stage of the Democratic National Convention, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were sent in for a …
Discussion: Raw Story
Alayna Treene / Axios:
White House on sexual allegations: Franken admitted wrongdoing, Trump hasn't
Discussion: ABC News
Daniel Prendergast / New York Post:
Subway rider: I asked manspreader to stop, so he punched me in the face  —  A woman says she was slugged in the face by a racist lunatic on the subway — all because she asked him to stop “manspreading.”  —  The aftermath of Thursday's violent exchange was caught on video as a good Samaritan tries …
Vanity Fair Fashion Staff Nonplussed by New Editor's Personal Style  —  Radhika Jones joins the magazine next month with extensive literary and editorial experience.  —  WELCOME TO CONDÉ NAST: Radhika Jones is learning the ways of One World Trade.  Having been named the new editor …
Talal Ansari / BuzzFeed:
The NFL Is Investigating Jameis Winston For Allegedly Groping An Uber Driver In 2016  —  “The League has been informed that you may have been the victim of such a violation perpetrated by Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Jameis Winston.  The League takes allegations of this nature very seriously …
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr / NBC Chicago:
Rev. Jesse Jackson Reveals Parkinson's Diagnosis  —  The founder of Chicago's Rainbow PUSH coalition has remained a prominent religious and political figure  —  NOTE: Read Jackson's full letter to supporters here.  —  Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, he announced Friday.
Discussion: NBC News and The Root
Amy Sherman / @politifact:
No, Bowe Bergdahl didn't wander off during court  —  Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, held for about five years by the Taliban after disappearing in Afghanistan, has taken off again — this time during his own court proceeding, says Duffel Blog.  —  “Bowe Bergdahl wanders off during court-martial,” said the October headline in Duffel Blog.
Discussion:, BizzyBlog and NewsBusters
Alex Tabarrok / Marginal REVOLUTION:
The Uber Tipping Equilibrium  —  What is the effect of tipping on the take-home pay of Uber drivers?  Economic theory offers a clear answer.  Tipping has no effect on take home pay.  The supply of Uber driver-hours is very elastic.  Drivers can easily work more hours when the payment per ride increases …
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
There's a Digital Media Crash.  But No One Will Say It  —  Yesterday I appeared on a panel about digital publishers who are ‘pivoting to video’.  I've written about this before.  But in case you're new to it, there have been numerous cases over the last six months to a year in which digital publishers …
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 More Items: 
Associated Press:
US puts Palestinians on notice: DC office may be shuttered
Discussion: RedState
Kyle Cheney / Politico:
Congressional aides may have answers on pro-Russia GOP platform change
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
Unemployment rate hit record low in 13 states this year
Discussion: Washington Post and IJR
Jonathan Rothwell / New York Times:
Myths of the 1 Percent: What Puts People at the Top
David Nather / Axios:
The tax bill's not looking so popular
Howard Altman / Tampa Bay Times:
Tampa church warns: We are armed and ready to use deadly force
Discussion: IJR, Faithwire and TheBlaze
Louis Nelson / Politico:
Sessions jokes about Russian meetings in Federalist Society address
Discussion: ABC News
Ian Schwartz / RealClearPolitics:
Hatch Blows Up On Dem Sen. Brown: Tired Of “That Crap” That Republicans Only Help The Rich
Discussion: IJR
 Earlier Items: 
Trisha Thadani / San Francisco Chronicle:
Trump administration has plans to wipe out work permits for H-1B spouses
Discussion: Axios
Kate Harding / Washington Post:
I'm a feminist. I study rape culture. And I don't want Al Franken to resign.