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9:45 PM ET, February 9, 2018


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
A second White House aide has resigned amid past domestic abuse allegations, which he denies  —  The abrupt departure of speechwriter David Sorensen comes after his former wife claimed that he was violent and emotionally abusive during their turbulent two-and-a-half-year marriage — allegations that he vehemently denied.
Elise Viebeck / Washington Post:
Second White House official departs amid abuse allegations, which he denies … A White House speechwriter resigned Friday after his former wife claimed that he was violent and emotionally abusive during their turbulent two-and-a-half-year marriage — allegations that he vehemently denied, saying she was the one who victimized him.
New York Times:
Trump Praises Top Adviser Accused of Abusing Ex-Wives  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday praised Rob Porter, the White House staff secretary who resigned on Wednesday amid spousal abuse allegations, saying it was a “tough time” for the disgraced former aide and noting that Mr. Porter had denied the accusations.
Jonathan Karl / ABC News:
Sources: Chief of Staff John Kelly expressed to President Trump willingness to resign  —  President Donald Trump, furious over the handling of domestic abuse allegations involving one of his closest aides, has spoken to confidantes about the possibility of replacing embattled Chief of Staff John Kelly …
Washington Post:
Kelly offers account of Porter exit that some White House aides consider untrue … White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly on Friday morning instructed senior staff to communicate a version of events about the departure of staff secretary Rob Porter that contradicts the administration's previous accounts …
Trump frustrated with Hicks' role in Porter scandal  —  Porter's ex-wife: I don't think he's changed  —  Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump has grown increasingly frustrated with Hope Hicks, his communications director and one of his closest confidantes, amid the fallout from the Rob Porter scandal …
Dozens of Trump officials still lack full security clearance  —  Source: Kelly knew of abuse claims for months  —  Washington (CNN)Thirty to 40 White House officials and administration political appointees are still operating without full security clearances, including senior adviser …
Discussion: Boing Boing
Jeremy Diamond / CNN:
Top White House official to leave West Wing to become drug czar  —  WH: We all could have done better with Porter  —  (CNN)White House deputy chief of staff Jim Carroll, who has served in that role for nearly three months, is expected to leave the White House to helm the Office …
Discussion: Raw Story
Stephen L. Miller / Fox News:   John Kelly needs to go
The Daily Beast:
In Private, Donald Trump Voices Doubt About Rob Porter's Accusers
Thomas Burr / Salt Lake Tribune:
Mormon bishops told ex-wives of former Hatch, White House staffer to consider his 'career ambitions …
Discussion: Religion News Service
Matthew Rosenberg / New York Times:
American Spies Paid $100,000 to Russian Who Wanted to Sell Material on Trump  —  BERLIN — After months of secret negotiations, a shadowy Russian bilked American spies out of $100,000 last year, promising to deliver stolen National Security Agency cyberweapons in a deal that he insisted …
James Risen / The Intercept:
U.S. Secretly Negotiated With Russians to Buy Stolen NSA Documents — and the Russians Offered Trump-Related Material, Too  —  The United States intelligence community has been conducting a top-secret operation to recover stolen classified U.S. government documents from Russian operatives, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Katie Benner / New York Times:
No. 3 Official at the Justice Department Is Stepping Down  —  WASHINGTON — Rachel L. Brand, the No. 3 official at the Justice Department, plans to step down after nine months on the job as the country's top law enforcement agency has been under attack by President Trump, according to two people briefed on her decision.
Pierre Thomas / ABC News:
No. 3 in command at the Justice Department will be soon stepping down: Source
Discussion: Politico and Breitbart   Rachel Brand Joins Walmart as Executive Vice President, Global Governance and Corporate Secretary
Nicholas Fandos / New York Times:
Trump Blocks Release of Memo Rebutting Republican Claims  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump blocked on Friday the release of a classified Democratic memo rebutting Republican claims that top federal law enforcement officials had abused their surveillance powers in spying on a former Trump campaign aide …
Associated Press:
Trump won't declassify Democratic memo on Russia probe
Discussion: Power Line
Washington Post:
Breaking with tradition, Trump skips president's written intelligence report and relies on oral briefings … For much of the past year, President Trump has declined to participate in a practice followed by the past seven of his predecessors: He rarely if ever reads the President's Daily Brief …
Michael Lewis / Bloomberg:
Has Anyone Seen the President?  —  Michael Lewis goes to Washington in search of Trump and winds up watching the State of the Union with Steve Bannon.  —  Back when he was president, Barack Obama told me that only two people treated any interaction with him as a zero-sum game.
Jeremy Barr / Hollywood Reporter:
Fox News Removes Exec's “Darker, Gayer” Olympics Column After Uproar  —  Three gay rights organizations had criticized the piece.  —  Fox News has removed an online column by executive vp and executive editor John Moody following intense criticism online and from gay rights activists, who roundly attacked the piece.
Rob Delaney:
I have very sad news.  My two and a half year year old son Henry has passed away.  Henry had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016, shortly after his first birthday, following persistent vomiting and weight loss.  He had surgery to remove the tumor and further treatment through the early part of 2017.
Discussion: IndieWire, AOL and KFOR-TV
Roll Call:
Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan Won't Seek Re-Election  —  Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan announced Friday he won't run for re-election, opening up a top targeted seat for Republicans in 2018.  —  “There is a time and a purpose for everything and now is the time for me to pass the baton to the next generation,” Nolan said in a statement.
Steven Shepard / Politico:
Minnesota Rep. Nolan won't run for reelection
Discussion: The Week
‘House of Cards’ Star Reg E. Cathey Dead From Cancer at 59  —  ‘House of Cards’ Star — Reg E. Cathey Dead at 59  —  EXCLUSIVE  —  Reginald E. Cathey, who had huge roles in “House of Cards” and “The Wire,” has died ... TMZ has learned.  —  The beloved actor passed away at his home in New York, surrounded by friends and family.
Discussion: Variety, The Root and KFOR-TV
Josh Feldman / Mediaite:
Fox News Host Questions Why Rubio's ‘Covering for’ Mark Warner: ‘How Deep Is the Deep State?’  —  As Fox News' The Five discussed the Democratic rebuttal memo and Christopher Steele this afternoon, guest host Rachel Campos-Duffy questioned Marco Rubio's defense of a Democratic colleague.
Discussion: Fox News
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
Newsweek Editors Blast Exec to His Face: 'What You're Doing Is Bulls**t.  You Don't Understand Journalism.' … During a private meeting with editors this week, a top Newsweek executive blamed his own journalists for the magazine's recent turmoil and refused to answer whether the company committed financial crimes.
Marist Poll:
2/9: Showdown with the Intelligence Community: Americans More Likely to Believe the FBI than President Trump  —  Two-thirds of Americans (66%) say, if President Donald Trump and the FBI disagree, they would believe the FBI over the president.  Only 24% of U.S. residents report they would take the side of Mr. Trump.
Uber Newsroom:
Uber and Waymo Reach Settlement  —  Share to FacebookShare to TwitterEmailMore sharing options  —  Below is a statement from Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, regarding a settlement reached in our litigation with Waymo.  —  My job as Uber's CEO is to set the course for the future of the company …
Sam Levin / The Guardian:
California police worked with neo-Nazis to pursue ‘anti-racist’ activists, documents show  —  Officers expressed sympathy with white supremacists and sought their help to target counter protesters after a violent 2016 rally, according to court documents
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
Arizona G.O.P. Tiptoes Between a Trump-Loving Base and a Leery Wider Electorate  —  PHOENIX — Representative Martha McSally of Arizona worked hard to carve out a moderate profile since her election in 2014 to a border district seat that had been held for decades by paragons of centrism from both political parties.
New York Times:
Developers Seek $6 Million Tax Break for Trump-Managed Hotel  —  As President Trump's family business prepares to open a hotel in the Mississippi Delta this fall, its local development partners have asked the state of Mississippi to subsidize the project with up to $6 million in tax breaks …
Will Stancil / The Atlantic:
Democrats' ‘Resistance’ to Trump Is Eroding, and So Are Their Poll Numbers  —  Remember “this is not normal?”  —  A year ago, it was the motto of the self-styled “Resistance”—the coalition of liberals, Democrats, and a few wayward conservatives who were implacably opposed to the Trump administration.
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 More Items: 
R. Kurt Osenlund / Out Magazine:
Andrew Garfield on Stage Fright, Spirituality & His Role in Broadway's Angels in America
Discussion: Breitbart, PinkNews and AOL
Sen. Rand Paul / TIME:
Sen. Paul: Congress Is Full of Hypocrites. I Took a Stand
Discussion: Washington Post
Zaid Jilani / The Intercept:
Justin Baragona / Mediaite:
Who Is Sara Carter, Hannity's Go-To Reporter on the Real Russia Scandal?
 Earlier Items: 
Sunlen Serfaty / CNN:
Blake Farenthold has still not paid back $84,000 settlement he said he would repay
Doug Donovan / Baltimore Sun:
Jared Kushner firm to return tenant lawsuit to Baltimore court to keep investors' identities secret
Discussion: Raw Story
Olivia Messer / The Daily Beast:
High-School Coach ‘Ignored’ Boy's Screams as Teammates Raped Him, Lawsuit Claims
Andrew Sullivan / New York Magazine:
We All Live on Campus Now
Rose Hackman / The Guardian:
The Michigan town where only Christians are allowed to buy houses