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7:50 PM ET, February 13, 2018

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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.
RELATED:
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.
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 …
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.
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 an accident 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 …
Discussion: Business Insider
David Edwards / Raw Story:   Sanders flails after she's busted lying about Porter scandal: ‘We relay the best and most accurate information’
Deb Riechmann / Associated Press:   US intelligence boss to AP: Security clearances are ‘broken’
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:
Matt Wilstein / The Daily Beast:
Sean Hannity Promotes, Then Deletes Bonkers Obama Portrait ‘Secret Sperm’ Conspiracy Theory … The official portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama received a wide array of reactions when they were unveiled on Monday.  But none has been quite as insane …
CNN:
Trump still unconvinced Russia meddled in 2016 election  —  Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump still isn't buying that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.  —  Even as his intelligence chiefs unanimously told a Senate panel Tuesday that Russia meddled in 2016 and is planning to do so again in 2018 …
RELATED:
Matthew Rosenberg / New York Times:
Russia Sees Midterm Elections as Chance to Sow Fresh Discord, Intelligence Chiefs Warn
Brett Samuels / The Hill:
FBI chief: Trump hasn't directed me to stop Russian meddling in midterms
Discussion: IJR
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
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
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Haaretz:
To really understand Israeli politics and the Netanyahu cases - subscribe to Haaretz
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:
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Jared Kushner credit line debts increased in 2017  —  Jared Kushner, a White House aide and President Donald Trump's son-in-law, appears to have drawn more money out of three separate lines of credit in the months after he joined the White House last year, a newly released document shows.
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
Salon Wants to Hijack Your Browser to Mine Cryptocurrency … If you want to read Salon and you don't want to deal with ads, you'll have to agree to get into the cryptocurrency business.  —  On Sunday night, the famously liberal site began testing a new formula: If non-subscribers using ad-blocking software …
RELATED:
Rick Noack / Washington Post:
Cryptocurrency mining in Iceland is using so much energy, the electricity may run out
Chicago Tribune:
Chicago police commander shot to death at Thompson Center in Loop  —  A high-ranking Chicago police officer died after he was shot Tuesday afternoon while assisting a tactical team responding to a robbery at the Thompson Center, sources said.  —  The officer, identified as a commander …
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 …
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 …
Joe Pompeo / Vanity Fair:
BuzzFeed Is Suing the D.N.C. Over Issues Involving the Russia Dossier  —  BuzzFeed believes that evidence of the alleged D.N.C. break-in by Russian hackers might help the online publisher in a libel suit.  But the D.N.C. says releasing information might make it vulnerable to more hacking.
Jim Dalrymple II / BuzzFeed:
In The Wake Of Rob Porter Allegations, Mormon Women Say Church Leaders Encouraged Them To Stay With Their Abusers  —  Nearly two dozen women told BuzzFeed News they went to Mormon church leaders after suffering abuse at home and were counseled to remain in their relationships.
Discussion: Raw Story, Jezebel and thecut
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.
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
Joe Concha / The Hill:
Trump proposes eliminating federal funding for PBS, NPR  —  's newly proposed budget includes a proposal to end federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), part of a package that includes $300 billion in new spending overall.  —  CPB provides federal funding for PBS and National Public Radio stations.
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: Washington Post, Mother Jones 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 …
Dan Alexander / Forbes:
Trump's Biggest Potential Conflict Of Interest Is Hiding In Plain Sight  —  The largest American office of China's largest bank sits on the 20th floor of Trump Tower, six levels below the desk where Donald Trump built an empire and wrested a presidency.  It's hard to get a glimpse inside.
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
 
 
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 More Items: 
Dana Hedgpeth / Washington Post:
The toll on I-66 inside the Beltway hit $46.50 on Tuesday
Reuters:
Exclusive: U.S. pushes motion to put Pakistan on global terrorist - financing watchlist
Discussion: Axios
Glen Weyl / Politico:
What If You Could Get Your Own Immigrant?
Amir Vera / CNN:
Why women in Arizona are sending a state representative pads and tampons
Kent Faulk / al.com:
Court rules Gardendale can't form school system, finds racial motives; city to appeal
Discussion: Mother Jones, The Root and The 74
 Earlier Items: 
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
Paul Waldman / Washington Post:
Trump and Republicans are preparing an all-out assault on the safety net
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Washpostpr / Washington Post:
Megan McArdle named Washington Post Opinions columnist
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
Helena Bottemiller Evich / Politico:
Trump pitches plan to replace food stamps with food boxes