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11:20 AM ET, December 12, 2017


 Top Items: 
Mike Allen / Axios:
Trump lawyers want second special counsel appointed now  —  President Trump's legal team believes Attorney General Jeff Session's Justice Department and the FBI — more than special counsel Robert Mueller himself — are to blame for what they see as a witch hunt.
The Guardian:
Robert Mueller is closing in on Trump.  Congress must protect his investigation  —  Mueller is coming.  —  The investigation into Trump campaign coordination with Russia appears to be closing in on the president.  The three indictments earlier this month of Trump campaign chairman …
Michael Tomasky / The Daily Beast:
Will the Senate Still Protect Robert Mueller From Donald Trump's Ax? … Remember the first round of gossip about whether President Trump would fire special prosecutor Robert Mueller, back during the summer?  Republican senators were quick to say what a grave error this would be.
Discussion: CNN, Hullabaloo, Salon and Washington Post
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Inside Trump's legal team: Trying to protect the president from Mueller's ‘killers’
Discussion: Roll Call
Josh Gerstein / Politico:   Justice Department won't disclose details on Mueller ethics waiver
Peter Holley / Washington Post:
‘Brothers in arms’: The long friendship between Mueller and Comey
Discussion: RedState
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
What The Hell Is Happening With These Alabama Polls?  —  Somebody's going to be wrong in Alabama.  —  We've already urged caution when interpreting polls of Alabama's special election to the U.S. Senate, which will be held on Tuesday.  Some of that is because of the media's usual tendency …
Andy Metzger / WBUR:
Baker Backing Democrat Jones In Alabama Senate Race  —  Gov. Charlie Baker supports the Democrat running for U.S. Senate in Alabama against Roy Moore, the controversial Republican who has been dogged by multiple accounts that he made sexual advances towards teenage women well into his adult years.
Alexandra Petri / Washington Post:
Some good reasons to vote for Roy Moore  —  On the one hand, The Post has reported that Roy Moore made advances on numerous women when they were in their teens and he was in his 30s.  On the other hand, though, he thinks America was last great when slavery was still legal and “families were united.”
Eli Rosenberg / Washington Post:
‘How is my daughter a pervert?’:  Alabama dad's plain-spoken rebuke of Roy Moore strikes a nerve  —  Perhaps it was the man's strong but plain-spoken rebuke outside a Roy Moore rally on the campaign's final night, condemning the candidate's past comments lambasting homosexuality.
Discussion: KTLA, Mashable, Splinter, The Week and Mediaite
Evan Siegel / The Daily Beast:
Alabama Special Election Results: Roy Moore vs. Doug Jones
Discussion: ABC News
Scott Bixby / The Daily Beast:
Doug Jones and Sir Charles Urge Alabamians to Break With History
Discussion: The Week and Mediaite
Daniel Oliver / Washington Times:
Roy Moore and the politics of winning
Discussion: Instapundit
Sean Sullivan / Washington Post:
Voters head to the polls in contentious Senate race in Alabama
Discussion: Daily Kos
Judd Legum / ThinkProgress:
Speaker at Moore event says he accidentally went with Moore to a brothel with child prostitutes  —  Roy Moore, who is running for U.S. Senate in Tuesday's special election, is facing multiple allegations of child sex abuse.  He has largely avoided the campaign trail since these allegations first surfaced.
Olivia Nuzzi / New York Magazine:
Roy Moore Emerges From Hiding for Election Eve Rally, and Good Lord, Was It Weird  —  Have you ever traveled down a dirt path in rural southeast Alabama in December and arrived at a barn in the woods to find Steve Bannon, Representative Louie Gohmert, Sheriff David Clarke, Roy and Kayla Moore …
Margaret Hartmann / New York Magazine:
Roy Moore's Wife: We're Not Anti-Semitic, ‘One of Our Attorneys Is a Jew’
Jonathan Lemire / Associated Press:
MeToo spotlight increasingly pointed at past Trump conduct  —  NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump sailed past a raft of allegations of sexual misconduct in last year's presidential election.  —  Now the national #MeToo spotlight is turning back to Trump and his past conduct.
Susan Cornwell / Reuters:
U.S. House Democratic women seek probe of Trump misconduct accusations
Discussion: ThinkProgress and NBC News
Jacqueline Thomsen / The Hill:
Trump angered by Haley saying his accusers ‘should be heard’: report
Discussion: RedState, Mediaite and Raw Story
Alan Feuer / New York Times:
Suspect in Times Square Bombing Leaves Trail of Mystery  —  On the surface, Akayed Ullah seemed to be an ordinary member of a Bangladeshi enclave in Brooklyn.  He often prayed at a mosque in an unassuming brownstone in the Kensington section of the borough, where a few thousand of his countrymen reside.
Associated Press:
The Latest: Subway bomb suspect faces federal charges  —  NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the blast in the New York City subway system (all times local):  —  An immigrant from Bangladesh arrested on charges of using a weapon of mass destruction in the New York City subway system in a suicide attack has been charged in federal court.
Discussion: New York Post and IJR
NFL Harassment Suit Alleges Groping by Top Executive, Ex-Players  —  Former employee says ex-producer sent several nude photos  —  NFL Network says employees suspended pending investigation  —  A former executive producer at the National Football League's TV network and ex-players including Marshall Faulk …
Emma Baccellieri / Deadspin:
NFL Network Suspends Marshall Faulk, Ike Taylor, Heath Evans After Sexual Harassment Lawsuit  —  NFL Network has suspended Marshall Faulk, Ike Taylor and Heath Evans while investigating claims of sexual harassment from a lawsuit filed by one of their former colleagues.
Discussion: ProFootballTalk
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Tawdry Tales Depict a Texas Congressman's Frat House on the Hill  —  WASHINGTON — When Lauren Greene, a former communications director for Representative Blake Farenthold, sued him claiming sexual harassment, among her complaints was that he “disclosed that a female lobbyist had propositioned him for ‘a threesome.’”
Abby Livingston / The Texas Tribune:
Amid sexual harassment controversy, U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold faces tough re-election
Discussion: The Week and Off the Kuff
Fox News:
Wife of demoted DOJ official worked for firm behind anti-Trump dossier  —  EXCLUSIVE: A senior Justice Department official demoted last week for concealing his meetings with the men behind the anti-Trump “dossier” had even closer ties to Fusion GPS, the firm responsible for the incendiary document …
James Freeman / Wall Street Journal:   Is CNN Protecting Adam Schiff?
Washington Post:
‘Journalism for rent’: Inside the secretive firm behind the Trump dossier
San Francisco Chronicle:
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee dead at 65  —  San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee died early Tuesday morning at age 65, his office said.  —  The sudden news came in an email from the office at 2:23 a.m. It read: “It is with profound sadness and terrible grief that we confirm that Mayor Edwin M. Lee passed away …
Zephyr Teachout / New York Times:
I'm Not Convinced Franken Should Quit  —  I care passionately about #MeToo.  Women are routinely demeaned, dismissed, discouraged and assaulted.  Too many women's careers are stymied or ended because of harassment and abuse.  In politics, where I have worked much of my adult life, this behavior is rampant.
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
Germany Accuses China of Using LinkedIn to Recruit Informants
Travis M. Andrews / Washington Post:
Sean Spicer announces book to ‘set the record straight’ about Trump's campaign, presidency
Michelle Fox / CNBC:
People are taking out mortgages to buy bitcoin, says securities regulator
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel:
Our View: Collins should drop support for tax bill
J.K. Trotter / Washington Post:
If you miss Gawker, don't let Peter Thiel buy its archives
How a Democrat could win in Alabama, in charts
Wall Street Journal:
As the Fed Deliberates, Amazon Is Making Its Job More Difficult
Discussion: Mother Jones
 Earlier Items: 
Angie Drobnic Holan / PolitiFact:
2017 Lie of the Year: Russian election interference is a ‘made-up story’
Discussion: Raw Story
Jimmy Kimmel Returns with Baby Billy After Heart Surgery
China, Taiwan spar over Chinese diplomat's invasion threat
Piers Morgan / Daily Mail:
It's true, we've NEVER had a president like Trump …
Discussion: Washington Times
The Guardian:
Macron awards US scientists grants to move to France in defiance of Trump
Discussion: The Week, Politico and Axios