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2:15 PM ET, January 12, 2018

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 Top Items: 
Samantha Schmidt / Washington Post:
'This is CNN Tonight.  I'm Don Lemon.  The president of the United States is racist.'  —  It's not every day you hear a television news anchor unabashedly calling a public figure “racist.”  Broadcast journalists tend to tread lightly when describing racism, using terms such as “racially charged” or “racially tinged.”
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Adam Edelman / NBC News:
Trump denies Haiti slur amid fallout from ‘shithole’ comment  —  President Donald Trump on Friday appeared to deny he insulted Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” but admitted he used “tough” language during a discussion about an immigration deal with lawmakers.
Christina Wilkie / CNBC:
Mar-a-Lago, Trump's exclusive club, reportedly hires more of its seasonal foreign workers from Haiti than it does from nearly any other country  — President Donald Trump reportedly stunned lawmakers Thursday when he asked, “Why do we need more Haitians” in the United States
Washington Post:
‘Here is what my #shithole looks like’: African countries and Haiti react to Trump's remark … ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — President Trump's dismissal of Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as “shithole countries” whose inhabitants are not desirable for U.S. immigration shocked people around the world and provoked swift condemnation.
Josh Dawsey / Washington Post:
Trump attacks protections for immigrants from ‘shithole’ countries in Oval Office meeting  —  President Trump grew frustrated with lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office when they floated restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part …
Daniel Lippman / Politico:
JUST when you thought things were calming, TRUMP's THURS was wild from wire to wire …
New York Times:
Trump Alarms Lawmakers With Disparaging Words for Haiti and Africa
Henrik Pryser Libell / New York Times:
From Norway to Haiti, Trump's Comments Stir Fresh Outrage
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and The Hill
Benjamin Freed / Washingtonian:
Washington Post: “When the President Says It, We'll Use It Verbatim”
Evens Sanon / Associated Press:
Haiti ‘shocked and outraged’ over reported Trump remarks
Discussion: IJR and The Week
David A. Graham / The Atlantic:
There's No Way Out  —  Last week, which brought the release of Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury, was rough for the White House.  But this week has been worse still, and the damage has been almost entirely inflicted by the president himself.  —  Consider the highlights:
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Wall Street Journal:
Transcript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal  —  President Donald Trump sat down for an interview Thursday morning with four reporters from The Wall Street Journal: Rebecca Ballhaus, Michael C. Bender, Peter Nicholas and Louise Radnofsky.
Heather Stewart / The Guardian:
Donald Trump visit to London called off amid fears of mass protests
Joe Scarborough / Washington Post:
There is nothing ‘professional’ about this president
Discussion: Townhall.com and CNN
Thomas Frank / BuzzFeed:
Secret Money: How Trump Made Millions Selling Condos To Unknown Buyers  —  A BuzzFeed News review of every sale of a Trump-branded condominium in the United States provides the first comprehensive look at how many went to unidentified buyers who paid cash, an indication of possible money laundering.
Discussion: Raw Story, The Week and Political Wire
Harriet Alexander / Telegraph:
US ambassador to Panama resigns, saying he can no longer serve under Trump administration  —  US Ambassador to Panama John Feeley, a career diplomat and former Marine Corps helicopter pilot, has resigned, telling the State Department he no longer feels able to serve President Donald Trump.
Discussion: Weekly Standard, Mother Jones and Axios
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Jon Sharman / The Independent:
US ambassador to Panama resigns because he can ‘no longer work for Trump’  —  John Feeley says he is ‘honour-bound’ to step down if he cannot stand by President's policies  —  Mysterious ‘relativistic jets’ that shoot from black holes simulated  —  ‘Mr President, are you a racist?’:
Discussion: The Daily Caller
James Hohmann / Washington Post:
The Daily 202: Trump has no nominees for 245 important jobs, including an ambassador to South Korea
Charlie Warzel / BuzzFeed:
How The Alt-Right — And Paul Ryan's Challenger — Coordinate To Fight The “Jewish Media”  —  When Steve Bannon, Breitbart, and other conservatives cut ties with far-right activist and congressional candidate Paul Nehlen, he turned to his private Twitter direct message group, CityRevoltVoteNehlen.
Eve Peyser / VICE:
Biden Trashes Millennials in His Quest to Become Even Less Likable  —  “Give me a break,” he said of young people who “think they have it tough.”  —  In an apparent effort to make himself an even less appealing 2020 contender, former Vice President Joe Biden had some harsh words for millennials …
Discussion: Los Angeles Times and thecut
Raphael Satter / Associated Press:
Cybersecurity firm: US Senate in Russian hackers' crosshairs  —  PARIS (AP) — The same Russian government-aligned hackers who penetrated the Democratic Party have spent the past few months laying the groundwork for an espionage campaign against the U.S. Senate, a cybersecurity firm said Friday.
Discussion: Axios and Political Wire
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Post and Courier:
Sen. Tim Scott: Graham says reports of Trump's ‘shithole countries’ comment ‘basically accurate’  —  U.S. Sen. Tim Scott said he talked to fellow South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham about hearing President Donald Trump's “shithole countries” comment and Graham confirmed to him the president said it.
Nick Wingfield / New York Times:
Jeff Bezos Jumps Into ‘Dreamer’ Fight With Gift for Scholarships  —  SEATTLE — Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, on Friday injected himself into one of the most contentious political debates in the United States, announcing that he and his wife had donated $33 million to a college scholarship …
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Michael Crowley / Politico:
Trump extends Iran nuclear deal again  —  President Donald Trump is once again extending the Iran nuclear deal, but “this is the last such waiver he will issue,” unless the deal is strengthened by Congress and European allies, a senior administration official said Friday.
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ABC News:
Officials: Iran deal survives, Trump will waive sanctions
Discussion: Associated Press
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
Time to Say It: Trump Is a Racist  —  When it comes to President Trump and race, there is a predictable cycle.  He makes a remark that seems racist, and people engage in an extended debate about whether he is personally racist.  His critics say he is.  His defenders argue for an interpretation …
Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept:
The Same Democrats Who Denounce Donald Trump as a Lawless, Treasonous Authoritarian Just Voted to Give Him Vast Warrantless Spying Powers  —  Leading congressional Democrats have spent the last year relentlessly accusing Donald Trump of being controlled by or treasonously loyal to a hostile foreign power.
Discussion: Detroit Free Press and Splinter
RELATED:
John Hinderaker / Power Line:   Who's Senile?  —  The Democrats are hysterically shrieking …
Jesse Singal / New York Times:
Social Media Is Making Us Dumber.  Here's Exhibit A.  —  This week, a video surfaced of a Harvard professor, Steven Pinker, which appeared to show him lauding members of a racist movement.  The clip, which was pulled from a November event at Harvard put on by Spiked magazine …
Mike Allen / Axios:
Fits and fitness: Trump gives his skeptics plenty of fodder  —  A new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll shows that 55% of Americans (and 54% of independents) think Trump's mental fitness is a legitimate issue.  But this is as partisan as any other question, with most Republicans saying the questions are “unfair and politically motivated.”
Discussion: Political Wire
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Tanya Basu / The Daily Beast:
Will President Trump's Physical Show That He's Obese?
Discussion: NBC News and Vox
 
 
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 More Items: 
Greg Bluestein / politics.myajc:
AJC poll: Trump's approval ratings in Georgia erode
David M. Drucker / Washington Examiner:
Is the GOP ready for the midterms under Trump?
Discussion: Washington Post
Mark Oppenheimer / Politico:
How to Turn a Red State Purple (Democrats Not Required)
National Review:
A Garbage Deal on DACA
Katelyn Polantz / CNN:
Judge to review Comey memos before deciding whether to release to media outlets
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Cara Anna / Associated Press:
Africa startled by Trump's sudden and vulgar attention
Discussion: ThinkProgress
New York Times:
Some Assembly Required  —  In The New York Times Book Review …
 Earlier Items: 
Matthew Yglesias / Vox:
Arizona's already very complicated Senate race, explained
Discussion: Roll Call, Axios and CNN
Saleha Mohsin / Bloomberg:
Russia's Oligarchs Brace for U.S. Report Listing Putin Friends
YouTube:
Martha McSally Announcement Video
Jonathan Alter / The Daily Beast:
It's Time to Censure Trump for ‘Conduct Unbecoming’ of a President
Matt Labash / Weekly Standard:
The Book That Ate Washington
Edward-Isaac Dovere / Politico:
Obama: Presidents need to watch their behavior