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7:40 AM ET, December 15, 2017

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 Top Items: 
Del Quentin Wilber / Wall Street Journal:
FBI Agent Removed From Russia Probe Held Dim Views of Holder, Sanders  —  Texts between agent and FBI lawyer reveal harsh words for several prominent figures  —  Two FBI employees who used to work for Special Counsel Robert Mueller have already been criticized by Republicans for texts they shared insulting President Donald Trump.
RELATED:
Matt Vespa / Townhall.com:
So, What's This ‘Insurance Policy’ Against Trump That These FBI Agents Discussed In Text Messages?  —  Editor's Note: Strzok was removed by Mueller in August, not July.  Post has been corrected and updated.  —  Piggybacking off of Katie and Cortney on these texts between FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
Jennifer Jacobs / Bloomberg:
Trump to Visit FBI Academy After Saying Agency ‘In Tatters’  —  President Donald Trump plans to visit the FBI Academy in Quantico in Virginia on Friday, the White House said in a statement, an appearance that comes less than two weeks after he said the agency's reputation was “in Tatters.”
Discussion: NPR
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
Democrats want to know why Justice Department released FBI texts
Discussion: Business Insider
Benjamin Wittes / Lawfare:
Thoughts on Rod Rosenstein's Testimony
Del Quentin Wilber / Wall Street Journal:
Full Texts: FBI Employees' Messages Bashed Trump, Sanders, Congress
Discussion: Mother Jones
Rebecca Ballhaus / Wall Street Journal:
Mueller Sought Emails of Trump Campaign Data Firm  —  Special counsel asked Cambridge Analytica to hand over employees' emails, in sign of investigators' interest in campaign data operation  —  Special Counsel Robert Mueller has requested that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that worked …
Discussion: Raw Story, Politicus USA and The Week
RELATED:
Natasha Bertrand / Business Insider:
Democrats want to know more about a strange omission from the Trump campaign's digital director …
Discussion: Raw Story
Natasha Bertrand / Business Insider:
Former high-level officials submit ‘unusual’ Russia brief in lawsuit against Trump and Roger Stone
Discussion: AOL and Raw Story
Daniel Holloway / Variety:
Dustin Hoffman Accused of Exposing Himself to a Minor, Assaulting Two Women (EXCLUSIVE)  —  Cori Thomas was in high school when she says Dustin Hoffman exposed himself to her in a hotel room.  Melissa Kester was a recent college graduate when Hoffman allegedly sexually assaulted her while recording audio for the film “Ishtar.”
Washington Post:
Trump allies say Tillerson has ‘not learned his lesson’ and cannot continue in job for long … Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seemed focused this week on rebooting his image as a beleaguered Cabinet member on the outs with his boss and his own employees — holding a rare town hall with employees …
RELATED:
CNN:   UN official who visited Pyongyang sees ‘high risk’ of miscalculation
Uri Friedman / The Atlantic:
Lindsey Graham: There's a 30 Percent Chance Trump Attacks North Korea
Associated Press:
Trump thanks Putin for remarks on strong US economy
Discussion: Politico, The Week, Axios and ABC News
ag.ny.gov:
A.G. Schneiderman: I Will Sue To Stop Illegal Rollback Of Net Neutrality  —  News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman  —  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  —  Attorney General's Press Office / 212-416-8060  —  nyag.pressoffice@ag.ny.gov … Today, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman released …
RELATED:
Cecilia Kang / New York Times:
F.C.C. Repeals Net Neutrality Rules
Rachael Bade / Politico:
Paul Ryan Sees His Wild Washington Journey Coming to An End  —  Spirits were high inside the House chamber on Thursday, November 16, when, in the early afternoon, the gavel fell and a measure to rewrite the American tax code passed on a partisan tally of 227 to 205.
RELATED:
Jenn Abelson / BostonGlobe.com:
At ESPN, the problems for women run deep  —  When ESPN canceled its new program with Barstool Sports this fall after just one episode, the network tried to distance itself from the men's blog that has stoked criticism for everything from calling Rihanna fat to saying girls wearing skinny jeans deserve to be raped.
Discussion: IJR, Deadspin, TheBlaze, Mediaite and TVNewser
RELATED:
Tyler Lauletta / Business Insider:
Boston Globe report alleges ESPN has a culture of sexism and sexual misconduct against women
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Fox News:
Comey edits revealed: Remarks on Clinton probe were watered down, documents show  —  Newly released documents obtained by Fox News reveal that then-FBI Director James Comey's draft statement on the Hillary Clinton email probe was edited numerous times before his public announcement …
RELATED:
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Poll: 54 percent say Mueller has conflict of interest
Discussion: The Right Scoop and RedState
Jana Winter / Foreign Policy:
Head of Congressional Ethics Office Sued for Abusing Position, Accused of Assaulting Women  —  A key official involved in House investigations faces a federal lawsuit alleging misconduct.  —  A top congressional ethics official who oversees investigations into misconduct by lawmakers …
Bloomberg:
Ivanka Opens Her First Store Just In Time For Christmas  —  Located in the lobby of Donald Trump's tower in midtown Manhattan, the store is equal parts gift shop and tourist attraction.  —  To get to Ivanka Trump's store in Trump Tower, shoppers must first walk past metal barricades and police in body armor toting automatic weapons.
Daniel Lippman / Politico:
RUBIO pulls emergency brake on tax debate — PUTIN to Congress: Are you normal at all ... FAIR QUESTION — SPOTTED: Frank Luntz and Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan lunching at the DEM CLUB  —  DRIVING THE DAY  —  THE INEVITABLE TURBULENCE — SEUNG MIN KIM, BRIAN FALER and COLIN WILHELM …
Discussion: New York Times
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Rubio a ‘no’ on GOP tax bill unless tax credit for working poor is expanded
David French / National Review:
What if America Won a War and No One Cared?  —  The momentous news of ISIS's defeat was greeted, in large part, with silence.  Why?  —  The announcement came on Saturday.  Just three days before the Alabama special election that transfixed the nation, and on the same day that President Trump fact-checked …
Oli Coleman / Page Six:
Kelly Cutrone: Russell Simmons tried to rape me  —  Furious about Russell Simmons denying rape allegations against him, Kelly Cutrone has come forward to say that Simmons attempted to rape her in 1991.  —  Cutrone, who founded fashion PR powerhouse People's Revolution and has starred in MTV's …
Discussion: CBS New York, WIVB-TV and The Root
CNN:
Homeland Security senior adviser promoted birtherism, said Obama knew ‘nothing about the black American experience’  —  STORY HIGHLIGHTS  —  (CNN)A White House senior adviser at the Department of Homeland Security previously promoted conspiracy theories about former President Barack Obama's birthplace …
Discussion: Mediaite and Splinter
Brandon Carter / The Hill:
‘The Simpsons’ depicts Trump trying to bribe Mueller … “The Simpsons” released a new video Thursday mocking President Trump  —  that depicts him attempting to bribe special counsel Robert Mueller into not charging him for a crime.  —  The video, posted to the show's Twitter account, begins with Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Discussion: RedState and Mediaite
Joe Pompeo / Vanity Fair:
“We Know the Difference Between a Glenn and a Matt Lauer”: Inside The New York Times, the Glenn Thrush Scandal Is a Sex-Reckoning Test Case  —  Some three dozen detailed interviews will determine whether the star White House correspondent will keep his job—but chances are he won't be going back to cover the West Wing.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Amanda Taub / New York Times:
How One Harasser Can Rob a Generation of Women
Bloomberg:
Samsung Targets First Half of 2018 for Smart Speaker
Ewen MacAskill / The Guardian:
Russia could cut off internet to Nato countries, British military chief warns
Brent Scher / Washington Free Beacon:
Tom Carper Admitted to Hitting His Wife in 1998 Interview
Cristiano Lima / Politico:
Murdoch: Sexual harassment allegations against Fox News ‘largely political’
Discussion: Sky News, Axios and Business Insider
Associated Press:
White House aims to sway opinion on immigration overhaul
Discussion: Axios
 Earlier Items: 
George Dvorsky / Gizmodo:
Preliminary Scan Suggests This Interstellar Visitor Is Not an Alien Spaceship
Discussion: The Atlantic
Lydia Wheeler / The Hill:
NLRB overrules joint-employer decision on labor violations
Rosalind S. Helderman / Washington Post:
Music promoter dangled possible Putin meeting for Trump during campaign
Discussion: CNBC
Veronica Stracqualursi / ABC News:
Outgoing adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman: ‘Lack of diversity’ at WH left her lonely, but Trump ‘not a racist’
New York Times:
An Alabama Sheriff, a Mystery Check and a Blogger Who Cried Foul
Nate Cohn / New York Times:
Once Unthinkable, Now Possible: Senate Looks Like a Tossup in 2018