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5:45 PM ET, January 4, 2018


 Top Items: 
Michael Wolff / Hollywood Reporter:
“You Can't Make This S— Up”: My Year Inside Trump's Insane White House  —  Author and columnist Michael Wolff was given extraordinary access to the Trump administration and now details the feuds, the fights and the alarming chaos he witnessed while reporting what turned into a new book.
Rosalind S. Helderman / Washington Post:
Mercer issues rare public rebuke of former ally Bannon  —  Stephen K. Bannon's main financial backer is formally cutting ties with the former Trump adviser.  —  In a new statement Thursday, billionaire conservative donor Rebekah Mercer said that she has not spoken to Bannon …
Discussion: RedState
Wall Street Journal:
Breitbart Owners Debate Ousting Bannon Amid Trump Feud  —  Former White House strategist's longtime benefactors, billionaires Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, are distancing themselves from him  —  President Donald Trump's growing feud with Steve Bannon is threatening …
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Trump Demands That Publisher Halt Release of Critical Book  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump escalated his attack on a new book portraying him as a volatile and ill-equipped chief executive on Thursday as his legal team demanded that the author and publisher halt the release of the account scheduled …
Mike Allen / Axios:
Scoop: Wolff taped interviews with Bannon, top officials  —  Michael Wolff has tapes to back up quotes in his incendiary book — dozens of hours of them.  —  Among the sources he taped, I'm told, are Steve Bannon and former White House deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh.
Timothy L. O'Brien / Bloomberg:
Forget Treason.  Money Laundering Is Serious.  —  Steve Bannon's charge against Trump's son isn't the worst thing he's saying about the president's inner circle.  —  Trump watchers have been treated to a world-class cage match over the last couple of days between President Donald Trump …
Wolff's Trump book going on sale four days early amid furor  —  The publisher of Michael Wolff's new book about President Trump is rushing it onto bookshelves.  —  “Due to unprecedented demand, we are moving the on-sale date for all formats of ‘Fire and Fury,’ by Michael Wolff, to Friday …
Michael Wolff / British GQ:
How Donald Trump's White House team handles his giant ego  —  Soon after the inauguration of Donald Trump on 20 January 2017, GQ columnist Michael Wolff was granted special access to the White House.  Over seven months, in more than 200 interviews with the president and his staff …
James Fallows / The Atlantic:
It's Been an Open Secret All Along  —  Three months ago, when Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of The New York Times unloaded their first big report about Harvey Weinstein's pattern of sexual aggressiveness and abuse, the depth of detail made the story unforgettable—and as it turned out, historic.
Mike Allen / Axios:
Axios AM  —  Jeffrey Smith / New York Magazine (Used by permission)  —  Amid the firestorm over Michael Wolff's forthcoming book “Fire and Fury,” a lawyer for President Trump says legal action against Steve Bannon is “imminent,” accusing the former White House aide of breaking a confidentiality …
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Scoop: White House officials discuss removing Katie Walsh from outside group
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Breitbart
John Santucci / ABC News:
Trump attorney sends Bannon cease and desist letter over ‘disparaging’ comments
John Harwood / CNBC:   Questions about Trump's fitness raised by bombshell new book pose growing threat for Republicans in 2018 elections
Joe Concha / The Hill:
Hannity rejects claims in Wolff book: ‘I never provided questions ahead of time to any candidate’
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Brian Stelter / CNNMoney:
President Trump tries to quash bombshell book
Discussion: Raw Story and Daily Kos
Sadie Gurman / Associated Press:
AP NewsBreak: US to end policy that let legal pot flourish  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding the Obama-era policy that had paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in states across the country, two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.
Washington Examiner:
Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan: It's time for Jeff Sessions to go, as shown by the latest FBI leak … As the first year of the Trump administration comes to a close, one can't help but look back on how allegations of “Russian collusion” dominated the headlines of almost every news agency.
Betsy Woodruff / The Daily Beast:
Justice Department ‘Looking Into’ Hillary Clinton's Emails— Again … Justice Department officials are taking a fresh look at Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state, The Daily Beast has learned.  —  An ally of Attorney General Jeff Sessions who is familiar …
Darryl Fears / Washington Post:
Trump administration to expand drilling off U.S. continental waters  —  The Trump administration unveiled a controversial plan Thursday to permit drilling in most U.S. continental shelf waters, including protected areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic, where oil and gas exploration is opposed …
Richard Morgan / Washington Post:
I read decades of Woody Allen's private notes.  He's obsessed with teenage girls.  —  His 56-box archive is filled with misogynist and lecherous musings.  —  Woody Allen is making a new movie.  Just kidding: He doesn't make new movies.  What he's editing now, “A Rainy Day in New York,” …
Discussion: AOL and Shakesville
New York Times:
U.S. Will Withhold Security Aid From Pakistan  —  WASHINGTON — The United States will suspend nearly all security aid to Pakistan, the Trump administration announced on Thursday, in a sign of its frustration with the country's refusal to confront terrorist networks operating there.
Max Greenwood / The Hill:
Trump admin suspends security assistance to Pakistan
Discussion: IJR
Kira Lerner / ThinkProgress:
Democrat on defunct voting commission says Kobach lied about why it dissolved  —  Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap (D) had strong words for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) on Thursday after Kobach tried to lay blame for the failure of President Trump's Election Integrity Commission …
Discussion: Washington Post, Splinter and Daily Kos
Andrew Prokop / Vox:
Virginia just determined control of its state house by picking a name out of a bowl  —  The random drawing to settle a tied race delivered the house majority to Republicans.  —  Virginia settled the outcome of a tied House of Delegates race that would determine control of the chamber …
Discussion: ABC News and Politico
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
Republican wins drawing to decide control of Virginia statehouse
New York Daily News:
Socialite Jacqueline Kent Cooke accused of smacking lawyer with her glass purse in anti-Semitic attack  —  Millionaire NFL heiress Jacqueline Kent Cooke allegedly got blitzed on New Year's Eve, spewed anti-Semitic remarks in a Manhattan restaurant and then bashed a man bloody with her glass purse …
Mark Zuckerberg:
Every year I take on a personal challenge to learn something new.  I've visited every US state, run 365 miles, built an AI for my home, read 25 books, and learned Mandarin.  —  I started doing these challenges in 2009.  That first year the economy was in a deep recession and Facebook was not yet profitable.
Sydney Ember / New York Times:
Los Angeles Times Newsroom Voting on Whether to Unionize  —  Newsroom employees at The Los Angeles Times will cast ballots Thursday on whether to form a union, in what they believe is the first time journalists have held a union vote in the newspaper's 136-year history.
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 More Items: 
Chicago Tribune:
Kennedy accuses Emanuel of ‘strategic gentrification plan’ to force blacks out of Chicago
Discussion: Fox News and The Daily Caller
Department of Homeland Security:
Privacy Incident Involving DHS Office of Inspector General Case Management System
Nathan Bomey / USA Today:
Macy's announces 5,000 job cuts, 7 new store closures
Discussion: WGN-TV
David M. Perry / The Nation:
Republicans Are Using Fear of Eugenics to Attack Reproductive Rights
Discussion: Students for Life and
U.S. Department of the Treasury:
Treasury Sanctions Iranian Entities
Discussion: Axios and Washington Free Beacon
Brian Flood / Fox News:
ABC News' mistake-prone Brian Ross doesn't return from suspension as planned after botching report on Trump, Russia
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Max Greenwood / The Hill:
Meryl Streep rips Melania and Ivanka Trump over ‘silence’ on sexual harassment
Discussion: RedState
 Earlier Items: 
Lisa Rapaport / Reuters:
Heart benefit of moderate drinking greater in wealthy people
Jessica Wehrman / The Columbus Dispatch:
Tiberi's last day in Congress will be Jan. 15
Tracy E. Gilchrist / Advocate:
Mike Pence Swears In Doug Jones as Gay Son Looks On
Discussion: AOL and Mashable
Jennifer Jacobs / Bloomberg:
White House Bans Staff From Using Personal Mobile Phones at Work
Lee Drutman / Vox:
There is no separation of powers without divided government