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3:20 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.
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  —  From the airwaves of conservative media to the hearing rooms of the House of Representatives, Republican allies of the White House are attacking the Department of Justice investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Brandon Carter / The Hill:
Mueller team defends obtaining Trump transition emails
Discussion: RedState
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
Discussion: Power Line, The Guardian and AOL
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.
Vladimir Isachenkov / Associated Press:
Kremlin says Putin thanked Trump for CIA tip on bombings  —  MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin telephoned U.S. President Donald Trump Sunday to thank him for a CIA tip that helped thwart a series of bombings in St. Petersburg, the Kremlin said.
Discussion: TASS, Axios and The Daily Caller
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
Putin thanks Trump for sharing intelligence that prevented bombings in Russia
Discussion: ABC News, The Guardian and NBC 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: Vox, Politico and The Week
Mallory Shelbourne / The Hill:
Newly elected Democrat doesn't think Trump should resign over sexual harassment accusations
Discussion: The Daily Caller
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
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 …
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
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
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: 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’
Discussion: Hullabaloo and New York Magazine
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: RedState and Raw Story
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 More Items: 
Washington Post:
‘We feel like our system was hijacked’: DEA agents say a huge opioid case ended in a whimper
ABC News:
‘This Week’ Transcript 12-17-17: Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Chris Van Hollen
Discussion: New York Times and Washington Post
Yonhap News Agency:
S. Korean, U.S. forces hold drill for removing North Korea's WMDs
Discussion: AOL
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
Jim Tankersley / New York Times:
File Your Taxes on a Postcard? A G.O.P. Promise Marked Undeliverable
 Earlier Items: 
Fox News Insider:
FIERY Bongino on FBI's Trump ‘Insurance Policy’ Emails: 'If This Happened in 2008, the Country Would've Exploded'
Discussion: IJR
Washington Post:
Journalists around the world sit behind bars for telling the truth
Salena Zito / New York Post:
Why depression and suicide are rampant among American farmers
New York Times:
The Winners and Losers in the Tax Bill
Sorry, NRA: The U.S. was actually founded on gun control
Discussion: RedState, NewsBusters and