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4:15 PM ET, December 17, 2017


 Top Items: 
Mike Allen / Axios:
New: Trump officials demand Mueller return thousands of emails  —  Officials of President Trump's transition team plan to ask Special Counsel Robert Mueller to return “many tens of thousands” of transition emails they contend were unlawfully provided to him.
Brandon Carter / The Hill:
Mueller team defends obtaining Trump transition emails  —  Special counsel Robert Mueller's office on Sunday defended its work after a lawyer for President Trump  —  's transition team accused investigators of improperly obtaining thousands of emails from transition officials.
Discussion: RedState and AOL
Chris Geidner / BuzzFeed:
Key Officials Push Back Against Trump Campaign's Claim That A Federal Office Illegally Turned Over Emails To Special Counsel  —  A lawyer for the Trump transition team on Saturday accused a federal agency of illegally and unconstitutionally turning over thousands of emails to the Special Counsel's Office.
Carrie Johnson / NPR:   3 Ways Trump Or His Allies Might Try To Disrupt The Mueller Russia Probe
Martin Matishak / Politico:   Firing Mueller ‘obviously’ up to Trump, Mnuchin says
Gregg Jarrett / Fox News:
Mueller's allegedly lawless acts have corrupted his probe and demand his removal
Discussion: IJR
Kyle Cheney / Politico:
Trump transition lawyer accuses Mueller of unlawfully obtaining emails
Anne Gearan / Washington Post:
Trump transition team charges Mueller obtained emails improperly, but legal experts challenge those claims
CBS News:
Sen. John McCain returns to Arizona, will miss vote on GOP tax bill  —  Republican Sen. John McCain is returning to Arizona after spending several days in a Maryland hospital recovering from side effects from chemotherapy treatment for brain cancer, CBS News has learned.
Discussion: The Daily Beast and The Hill
David Sirota / International Business Times:
Tax Bill: John Cornyn Says Tax Cut Potentially Benefiting Bob Corker Was Part Of Effort To Secure Votes For Passage
Discussion: Daily Kos
Washington Post:
Putin phoned Trump to thank him for CIA intel that foiled a planned terrorist attack in Russia, the Kremlin says  —  Russian President Vladimir Putin phoned President Trump to thank him for information from the CIA that foiled a terrorist attack being planned in St. Petersburg.
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
Putin thanks Trump for sharing intelligence that prevented bombings in Russia
Discussion: ABC News
Mallory Shelbourne / The Hill:
Jones promises he will consider voting Republican in the Senate  —  Sen.-elect Doug Jones (D-Ala.) on Sunday said he will “of course” consider voting with Republicans on certain issues once he is sworn into the upper chamber.  —  He also pledged to look for areas where he can work across the aisle.
Discussion: RedState, Vox, Politico and The Week
Joseph Weber / Fox News:
Jones supports DACA, says it's time for GOP opponent Roy Moore to ‘move on’
Discussion: ThinkProgress, Washington Post and CNN
Mallory Shelbourne / The Hill:   Newly elected Democrat doesn't think Trump should resign over sexual harassment accusations
Mark Murray / NBC News:
Democrats hold biggest lead in congressional preference since 2008  —  WASHINGTON — Fresh off their victory in Alabama's special Senate election, Democrats now enjoy their largest advantage in congressional preference in nine years, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll …
Discussion: Axios
Janet Hook / Wall Street Journal:
Voters Increasingly Favor Democrats for Congress, New Poll Shows
Discussion: Business Insider
Lolita C. Baldor / Associated Press:
APNewsBreak: US soldier ambushed in Niger wasn't captured  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — An American soldier killed in an ambush in Niger with three comrades but recovered days later wasn't captured alive by the enemy or executed at close range, The Associated Press has learned, based on the conclusion of a military investigation.
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Axios
Josh Feldman / Mediaite:
CNN's Stelter Goes Off on ‘Friends of Trump’ at Fox News: ‘Talking Like Propagandists’  —  CNN's Brian Stelter opened this morning talking about Fox News' coverage of the Robert Mueller probe in the last week and how the anti-FBI rhetoric has been seriously ratcheted up.
Brian Stelter / CNNMoney:
How Fox News and President Trump create an anti-Mueller ‘feedback loop’
Gregory S. Schneider / Washington Post:
A Democratic winner in Virginia says it's time for bipartisanship  —  Gov.-elect Ralph Northam said he wants to lead Virginia in a civil, bipartisan manner.  He said voters are “looking for a moral compass right now.”  (Salwan Georges/The Washington Post)  —  RICHMOND — Virginia …
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Matthew Goldstein / New York Times:
The Next Crisis for Puerto Rico: A Crush of Foreclosures  —  Puerto Rico has had an awful decade — and it's about to get worse.  —  First came a brutal 10-year recession and financial crisis that drove businesses from this island and left 44 percent of the population impoverished.
Discussion: Splinter
New York Times:   The Winners and Losers in the Tax Bill
Amber Athey / The Daily Caller:
NBC Made Payment To Staffer After Sexual Harassment Claim Against Chris Matthews  —  An NBC spokesman confirmed Saturday the company made a separation-related payment to one of Chris Matthews employees after the woman complained about sexual harassment.  —  Two sources familiar …
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
A War Trump Won  —  There is nothing more characteristic of the Trump era, with its fire hose of misinformation, scandal and hyperbole, than that America and its allies recently managed to win a war that just two years ago consumed headlines and dominated political debate and helped Donald Trump himself …
New York Times:
As Venezuela Collapses, Children Are Dying of Hunger  —  For five months, The New York Times tracked 21 public hospitals in Venezuela.  Doctors are seeing record numbers of children with severe malnutrition.  Hundreds have died.  —  Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world.
Discussion: Power Line and
Tiffany Stanley / Politico:
This Evangelical Leader Denounced Trump.  Then the Death Threats Started.  —  Last fall, Jen Hatmaker, a popular evangelical author and speaker, started getting death threats.  Readers mailed back her books to her home address, but not before some burned the pages or tore them into shreds.
Discussion: Raw Story and RedState
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 More Items: 
Power outage cripples Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson airport
Rachael Bade / Politico:
Paranoia grips Capitol Hill as harassment scandal spreads
Washington Post:
‘We feel like our system was hijacked’: DEA agents say a huge opioid case ended in a whimper
Yonhap News Agency:
S. Korean, U.S. forces hold drill for removing North Korea's WMDs
Discussion: AOL
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
Kirsten Gillibrand, Long a Champion of Women, Finds the Nation Joining Her
Discussion: Mediaite
Scott Johnson / Power Line:
What happened in Wisconsin, cont'd
Salena Zito / New York Post:
Why depression and suicide are rampant among American farmers