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6:00 PM ET, February 13, 2018

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Eliana Johnson / Politico:
Kelly increasingly isolated as Porter scandal rages on  —  Turbulence in this West Wing is typically generated by President Donald Trump, but for the past week, it's been chief of staff John Kelly — the man brought in to be a steadying hand — who's inspiring what one White House official described as a crisis of confidence.
RELATED:
Michael D. Shear / New York Times:
White House Was Warned of Aide's Background Months Earlier Than Acknowledged  —  WASHINGTON — Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, contradicted on Tuesday the White House timeline about the domestic abuse scandal involving Rob Porter, the president's former staff secretary.
Wall Street Journal:
FBI Director's Timeline of Porter Probe Contradicts White House  —  Christopher Wray tells Senate committee that agency ‘administratively closed’ file on Rob Porter, contradicting White House claim that probe was ongoing  —  The head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation said his agency …
Discussion: CNN, Talking Points Memo, Mediaite and Axios
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
White House official: “Kelly cover-up is unraveling”  —  Chief of Staff John Kelly's White House enemies are ready to use FBI Director Chris Wray's testimony as a weapon: “Wray's FBI timeline makes one thing clear: the Kelly coverup is unraveling right before our eyes,” a White House official says.
CNN:
Porter was up for promotion despite abuse allegations  —  (CNN)Rob Porter was involved in serious discussions to be promoted when he abruptly resigned from the White House last week amid allegations that he abused his two ex-wives, multiple sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.
Eliana Johnson / Politico:
Porter blamed ex-wife's black eye on a fall in off-the-record meeting with reporters  —  When now-former White House staff secretary Rob Porter sat down for an off-the-record meeting with four reporters hours after the publication of a Daily Mail story showing his first wife with a black eye …
Lisa de Moraes / Deadline:   White House: Personnel Security Office To Blame For Delay In Ousting Rob Porter
Deb Riechmann / Associated Press:   US intelligence boss to AP: Security clearances are ‘broken’
David Edwards / Raw Story:   Sanders flails after she's busted lying about Porter scandal: ‘We relay the best and most accurate information’
Carrie Battan / ELLE:
Louise Linton Is Super-Duper Sorry  —  Louise Linton has accomplished the near-impossible task of locating an ordinary meeting place in the most moneyed stretch of the Upper East Side, where she and her husband, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, own an apartment.
Sean Hannity:
PORTRAIT PERVERSION: Obama Portrait Features ‘SECRET SPERM,’ Artist Joked About ‘Killing Whitey’  —  The widening scandal surrounding former President Barack Obama's official portrait continued to swirl on Tuesday, with shocking allegations the artist included ‘secret sperm cells’ within …
RELATED:
Lawrence Bonk / Mediaite:
Hannity's Blog Posts, Then Deletes Story That Obama Portrait Has Hidden ‘Secret Sperm’ (UPDATED)
Discussion: Breitbart and Right Wing Watch
Alex Roarty / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Internal Dem polling shows Trump's standing on the rise  —  A leading Democratic group — Priorities USA — is warning party leaders they could squander a strong political climate in 2018 if they don't start to emphasize pocketbook issues over loose and unfocused critiques of Donald Trump.
RELATED:
Matt Lopez / Priorities USA:   RE: New Poll & Messaging Guidance: Democrats Must Keep Focus on Economy and Health Care
Bloomberg:
U.S. Strikes Killed Scores of Russian Fighters in Syria, Sources Say  —  More than 200 contract soldiers are said to have been killed  —  The casualties dwarf official Russian army death toll in Syria  —  U.S. forces killed scores of Russian contract soldiers in Syria last week …
RELATED:
New York Times:
Netanyahu Should Be Charged With Bribery and Fraud, Israeli Police Say  —  JERUSALEM — The Israeli police recommended on Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust, casting a pall over the future of a tenacious leader who has become almost synonymous with his country.
Discussion: Vox, BBC, NPR, Political Wire and Mother Jones
RELATED:
Haaretz:
To really understand Israeli politics and the Netanyahu cases - subscribe to Haaretz
Washington Post:
The nation's top spies said Russia will attempt to undermine the 2018 midterm elections … The nation's top intelligence chiefs testified Tuesday that they fully expect Russia to seek to disrupt the 2018 midterm elections.  —  Appearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee …
RELATED:
Matthew Rosenberg / New York Times:
Russia Sees Midterm Elections as Chance to Sow Fresh Discord, Intelligence Chiefs Warn
Rick Noack / Washington Post:
Cryptocurrency mining in Iceland is using so much energy, the electricity may run out … The value of bitcoin may have stumbled in recent months, but in Iceland it has known only one direction so far: upward.  The stunning success of cryptocurrencies around the globe has had a more unexpected repercussion …
RELATED:
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:   Salon Wants to Hijack Your Browser to Mine Cryptocurrency
Helena Bottemiller Evich / Politico:
Trump pitches plan to replace food stamps with food boxes  —  The Trump administration is proposing to save billions in the coming years by giving low-income families a box of government-picked, nonperishable foods every month instead of food stamps.  —  White House OMB Director Mick Mulvaney …
Dan Savage / The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper:
Pennsylvania Pastor Caught in Parked Car with Bound Naked Man  —  “I have nothing to hide,” says Pastor George Gregory of Waterfront Christian Community Church, “I did nothing wrong.”  But according to the police report, Pastor George Gregory of Munhall, PA, was sitting fully clothed …
Travis Waldron / HuffPost:
Ban The United States From The Olympics  —  The U.S. Olympic Committee enabled systemic sexual abuse in order to win medals.  By what moral logic is that not worse than Russia's crimes?  —  At a press briefing last week with International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
WTTG-TV:
White powdery substance under investigation at former President Obama's DC office  —  WASHINGTON - The Secret Service is investigating after reports that a white powdery substance had been found at former President Barack Obama's D.C. office.  —  The incident was reported Tuesday around 12:30 p.m …
David Brooks / New York Times:
The End of the Two-Party System  —  In the first half of the 1990s, I worked in Europe for The Wall Street Journal.  I covered nothing but good news: the reunification of Germany, the liberation of Central Europe, the fall of the Soviet Union, the end of apartheid in South Africa, the Oslo peace process in the Middle East.
Washpostpr / Washington Post:
Megan McArdle named Washington Post Opinions columnist  —  The Washington Post today announced Megan McArdle will be a columnist for the Opinions section starting March 1.  In this role, McArdle will write columns with a focus on the intersection of economics, business and public policy.
U.S. Department of Justice:
Chelsea Bomber Ahmad Khan Rahimi Sentenced to Life in Prison for Executing September 2016 Bombing and Attempted Bombing in New York City  —  Ahmad Khan Rahimi, aka, Ahmad Rahami, 30, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, was sentenced to life in prison for his execution and attempted execution of bombings in New York City on Sept. 17, 2016.
Discussion: The Daily Caller
RELATED:
Tracy Connor / NBC News:
New York City bomber Ahmed Rahimi sentenced to life in prison
Discussion: Fox News, Axios, IJR, KTLA and NBC News
Dan Levine / Reuters:
Second U.S. judge blocks Trump administration from ending DACA program  —  (Reuters) - A second U.S. judge on Tuesday blocked President Donald Trump's decision to end a program that protects immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children from deportation.
Discussion: Daily Kos
Darwin Paz / Governor Tom Wolf:
Governor Tom Wolf Rejects Partisan Gerrymandered Map  —  Analyses, Non-Partisan Experts Say GOP Submission is Partisan, Gerrymandered  —  Harrisburg, PA - Governor Tom Wolf today told the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that he will not accept the proposed map Republican legislative leaders submitted because it …
Discussion: Mother Jones, Washington Post and Axios
Mike Allen / Axios:
Bill Gates: tech companies inviting government intervention  —  In an interview with Axios, Bill Gates warned Apple and other tech giants that they risk the kind of nightmarish government intervention that once plagued his Microsoft if they act arrogantly.  —  The big picture …
Brian Stelter / CNNMoney:
CNN restructuring digital operation, will lay off staffers  —  CNN is restructuring its digital news operation and laying off some staffers.  —  The layoffs are symptomatic of problems throughout the digital media marketplace.  The ad sales climate is bleak and getting bleaker …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Chicago Tribune:
Chicago police commander shot to death at Thompson Center in Loop
Seattle Subway / Seattle Transit Blog:
An Opportunity to Make Light Rail Exceptional
Richard Wolf / USA Today:
Trump's 87 picks to be federal judges are 92% white with just one black and one Hispanic nominee
Discussion: Axios
Peter Morici / MarketWatch:
Opinion: Trump's immigration plan is a sound start for an ultimate compromise
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Paul Waldman / Washington Post:
Trump and Republicans are preparing an all-out assault on the safety net
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Edmund Lee / Recode:
Janice Min was approached to edit the Los Angeles Times
Rob Port / Say Anything:
Emineth Says Cramer Is in Senate Race as He Withdraws His Candidacy
 Earlier Items: 
Andrew Dodson / MLive.com:
Rising star in Michigan Republican Party blasts Trump and resigns
Discussion: The Hill, Washington Press and RedState
Lisa Bonos / Washington Post:
'It's tough for me to know where the line is': The #MeToo era is making dating more confusing
Jake Seiner / 2018 Winter Olympics:
Inside the halfpipe finals with Chloe Kim's Korean family
Alexia Fernández Campbell / Vox:
3 Trump properties posted 144 openings for seasonal jobs. Only one went to a US worker.
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
Trump's Lawyer Michael Cohen Is Shopping a Book About the First Family, Stormy Daniels, and Russia
Discussion: Mediaite and Axios
Dan Alexander / Forbes:
Trump's Biggest Potential Conflict Of Interest Is Hiding In Plain Sight