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9:55 PM ET, February 13, 2018


 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.
Washington Post:
White House reels as FBI director contradicts official claims about alleged abuser … The White House struggled Tuesday to contain a widening crisis over its handling of domestic violence allegations against a senior official, as it reeled from sworn testimony by the FBI chief …
Discussion: Political Wire, Mediaite and Raw Story
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 …
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.
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:
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.
Josh Gerstein / Politico:   Jared Kushner credit line debts increased in 2017
Eliana Johnson / Politico:
Porter blamed ex-wife's black eye on an accident in off-the-record meeting with reporters
Discussion: IJR and Business Insider
Emily Stephenson / Politico:
White House imposed a ban on new interim security clearances last fall
Discussion: Raw Story and Vox
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 …
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 …
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
Trump's Longtime Lawyer Says He Paid Stormy Daniels Out of His Own Pocket  —  Michael D. Cohen, President Trump's longtime personal lawyer, said on Tuesday that he paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to a pornographic-film actress who had once claimed to have had an affair with Mr. Trump.
Discussion: NBC News
Gideon Resnick / The Daily Beast:
Democrat Margaret Good Flips Seat in Florida, the 36th Democratic Flip Since Trump's Inauguration … Margaret Good won a special election for state representative in Florida's 72nd district on Tuesday night, the Democratic party's 36th legislative flip since President Donald Trump's inauguration last year.
Zac Anderson / Sarasota Herald:
Democrat Margaret Good wins upset victory in state House race  —  Democrats seized the national spotlight with another victory in a legislative district that President Donald Trump carried and added more momentum to their midterm election ambitions by propelling Siesta Key attorney Margaret …
Marc Caputo / Politico:
In third bellwether contest, Florida Democrats again carry the day and hope for a blue wave  —  Strike three.  —  For the third Florida bellwether election in a row, the Republican candidate lost to the Democrat, giving activists and elites in both parties a sense that the GOP's political grip …
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 …
Discussion: Mediaite
Brett Samuels / The Hill:
FBI chief: Trump hasn't directed me to stop Russian meddling in midterms
Discussion: IJR
Washington Post:
The nation's top spies said Russia will attempt to undermine the 2018 midterm elections
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.
Gregg Carlstrom / Politico:
Can Netanyahu Survive?  —  Israel's prime minister might …
Discussion: Breitbart
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.
Matt Lopez / Priorities USA:   RE: New Poll & Messaging Guidance: Democrats Must Keep Focus on Economy and Health Care
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
New York Times:
Dozens of Russians Are Believed Killed in U.S.-Led Syria Attack  —  MOSCOW — Four Russian nationals, and perhaps dozens more, were killed in fighting between pro-government forces in eastern Syria and members of the United States-led coalition fighting the Islamic State, according to Russian and Syrian officials.
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
Corker Reconsiders Retirement, but He Must Win Over Trump to Do It  —  WASHINGTON — Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee has been reconsidering his decision to retire this year, but Mr. Corker's hopes for retaining his seat are running into a potentially insurmountable object: President Trump.
Discussion: Axios and Political Wire
bluestockings magazine:
Silencing and “Free” Speech  —  Today, February 13th, 2018, the Brown Republicans and the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs are hosting an event entitled, “The Millennial Conservative: A Conversation with Guy Benson” on Brown's campus.  Benson, a conservative journalist …
Discussion: The College Fix and
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 …
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 …
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 More Items: 
Dana Hedgpeth / Washington Post:
The toll on I-66 inside the Beltway hit $46.50 on Tuesday
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 /
Court rules Gardendale can't form school system, finds racial motives; city to appeal
Discussion: Mother Jones, The 74 and The Root
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
Salon Wants to Hijack Your Browser to Mine Cryptocurrency
Dan Levine / Reuters:
Second U.S. judge blocks Trump administration from ending DACA program
 Earlier Items: 
Paul Waldman / Washington Post:
Trump and Republicans are preparing an all-out assault on the safety net
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Darwin Paz / Governor Tom Wolf:
Governor Tom Wolf Rejects Partisan Gerrymandered Map
Discussion: Washington Post, Mother Jones and Axios
Washpostpr / Washington Post:
Megan McArdle named Washington Post Opinions columnist
David Brooks / New York Times:
The End of the Two-Party System
Dan Alexander / Forbes:
Trump's Biggest Potential Conflict Of Interest Is Hiding In Plain Sight