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12:30 PM ET, February 13, 2018

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 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:
Colbie Holderness / Washington Post:
Rob Porter is my ex-husband.  Here's what you should know about abuse.  —  Colbie Holderness was the first wife of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter.  —  White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Sunday that she has no reason not to believe statements that Jennifer Willoughby …
Peter Baker / New York Times:
A Whirlwind Envelops the White House, and the Revolving Door Spins  —  WASHINGTON — The doors at the White House have been swinging a lot lately.  A deputy chief of staff moved on.  A speechwriter resigned.  The associate attorney general stepped down.  The chief of staff offered to quit.
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.
Discussion: Political Wire
Daniel Lippman / Politico:
VETERAN REPUBLICAN pulls ISSA into his divorce case …
Discussion: Chicago Tribune, Variety and The Week
Chris Cillizza / CNN:
People are leaving the Trump White House in record numbers
Discussion: Vox and The Daily Caller
New York Times:
Accusations Against Aide Renew Attention on White House Security Clearances
Discussion: National Review and Raw Story
Tara Palmeri / ABC News:
Rob Porter told White House senior staff ex-wife's black eye was accidental: Sources
Louis Nelson / Politico:
Rob Porter's first ex-wife responds to Kellyanne Conway
Discussion: CNN
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 …
RELATED:
Erica Hunzinger / NPR:
Trump Administration Wants To Decide What Food SNAP Recipients Will Get  —  The Trump administration is proposing a major shake-up in one of the country's most important “safety net” programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.
Caitlin Dewey / Washington Post:
Trump wants to slash food stamps and replace them with a ‘Blue Apron-type program’
Peter Weber / The Week:   Trump budget chief promises food stamp recipients a ‘Blue Apron-like’ replacement, is clearly unfamiliar with Blue Apron
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:   Dozens of Russians Are Believed Killed in U.S.-Led Syria Attack
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.
Matthew Rosenberg / New York Times:
Russia Sees Midterm Elections as Chance to Sow Fresh Discord, Intelligence Chiefs Warn  —  WASHINGTON — As the midterm elections approach, Russia is likely to throw more propaganda at Americans, using people sympathetic to their messages and fake personalities on social media …
Discussion: The Guardian
RELATED:
Kyle Cheney / Politico:
Intelligence officials say Russia intent on disrupting U.S. elections
Discussion: Axios and One America News Network
Chris Massie / CNN:
GOP Senate candidate's parents max out donations to primary campaign of Democrat he hopes to unseat  —  (CNN)Just months after Republican Kevin Nicholson announced his bid to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin in 2018, his own parents donated the legal maximum to her primary campaign.
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.
Jake Seiner / 2018 Winter Olympics:
Inside the halfpipe finals with Chloe Kim's Korean family  —  PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) _ Chloe Kim's father pointed to himself and said “American dream!” then let out a whoop.  —  Nearly a decade after the Korean immigrant quit his job in California to help his precocious daughter become a snowboarder …
RELATED:
Walter Russell Mead / Wall Street Journal:
Kim Yo Jong's Shattered Olympic Dream
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.
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.
Discussion: CPB, Breitbart and Washington Press
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
Trump's Lawyer Michael Cohen Is Shopping a Book About the First Family, Stormy Daniels, and Russia … Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer is writing a book about his life and relationship with the president.  —  According to a proposal shopped to multiple publishers and obtained by The Daily Beast …
Discussion: Axios and Mediaite
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.
Discussion: Political Wire
Kim Janssen / Chicago Tribune:
WLS-Ch.7 blames graphics ‘mix-up’ for confusion between P.F. Chang's and Pyeongchang  —  Pyeongchang is a mountainous county 110 miles southeast of Seoul in South Korea, and the host of the 2018 Winter Olympics.  —  P.F. Chang's is an Asian-inspired chain restaurant with 210 U.S. locations …
Lynette Rice / EW.com:
Celebrity Big Brother: Omarosa calls Vice President Mike Pence ‘scary’  —  Omarosa may be on her way out but she still has plenty more to say about her time in the White House.  —  In this clip from tonight's episode of Celebrity Big Brother, Omarosa tells her fellow houseguests …
USA Today:
Justice Department turnover is bad news for Mueller, ethics and democracy  —  Rachel Brand had the backbone to refuse wrongful orders.  She provided a measure of protection for Mueller and Justice independence.  But now she's gone.  —  CONNECT  —  Under normal circumstances …
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Comey told Congress FBI agents didn't think Michael Flynn lied … In March 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey briefed a number of Capitol Hill lawmakers on the Trump-Russia investigation.  One topic of intense interest was the case of Michael Flynn, the Trump White House national security adviser …
Aruna Viswanatha / Wall Street Journal:
Former Prosecutors Take Frustrations With Trump to the Campaign Trail  —  A number of Democrats running for Congress are ex-employees who left Justice Department  —  Chris Hunter was preparing to take a health-care fraud case to trial when he says he became concerned about the dynamics …
Discussion: Politicus USA and Political Wire
Associated Press:
KS Sec. of State's Office: Hutch dog not allowed to run for governor  —  HUTCHINSON, Kan. Update 9: 15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12:  —  Not so fast.  The Kansas Secretary of State's Office says Angus cannot serve as the state's governor.  While there is nothing specifically written …
Andrew Dodson / MLive.com:
Rising star in Michigan Republican Party blasts Trump and resigns  —  BAY CITY, MI — Expressing disappointment over President Donald Trump and vowing to no longer be affiliated with any political party, the chairman of the Bay County Republican Party has stepped down from his post.
Discussion: The Hill and RedState
Joe DePaolo / Mediaite:
Maria Bartiromo Confronts Paul Ryan on Budget Deal: 'You Don't Look Like' a Deficit Hawk  —  Conservatives — true, fiscal conservatives — are not at all happy about the bipartisan budget deal which passed Congress last week.  It's legislation that Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) called “a debt junkie's dream.”
Lee Smith / Tablet Magazine:
Was Christopher Steele Paid by Russian Oligarch and Putin Ally Oleg Deripaska? … If Steele was employed by Deripaska or by his lawyer to do work on his behalf, it is likely to cast the dossier he allegedly authored in a new light.  —  In January, Deripaska filed a lawsuit against Paul Manafort …
Jonah Engel Bromwich / New York Times:
Candidate Ejected From West Virginia House Floor for Listing Lawmakers' Oil and Gas Donors  —  John H. Shott, a West Virginia state lawmaker, did not appreciate when, during a public hearing on the House floor on Friday, a citizen began listing donations he and some of his colleagues had received from the oil and gas industry.
Rachael Bade / Politico:
GOP congressman pulls Issa into ugly divorce  —  Rep. Darrell Issa was a groomsman in Rep. Mike Turner's wedding to Majida Mourad in December 2015.  Now, Turner is locked in a contentious divorce with Mourad — and he wants Issa deposed by his attorneys.  —  Turner (R-Ohio) approached Issa …
Antonio Olivo / Washington Post:
Va. Republicans move to dump controversial leader over anti-Semitic online post … For several years, Fredy Burgos has been a controversial but tolerated figure within Virginia's Republican Party — a verbal bomb thrower whose attacks against Muslims, immigrants and others have turned off moderates …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jason Rezaian / Washington Post:
Two journalists exposed a massacre in Burma. Now they'll be awarded for their work — from prison.
Lisa Bonos / Washington Post:
'It's tough for me to know where the line is': The #MeToo era is making dating more confusing
Discussion: RedState
Philly.com:
Philadelphia's DA office keeps secret list of suspect police
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Dennis Ross / Washington Post:
America should get behind Saudi Arabia's revolutionary crown prince
Soopermexican / The Right Scoop:
LONE STAR SENATOR issues LONE VOTE against McConnell's immigration scheme!  [Update: CRUZ statement!]
Discussion: New York Times and RedState
Alexia Fernández Campbell / Vox:
3 Trump properties posted 144 openings for seasonal jobs. Only one went to a US worker.
Mike Allen / Axios:
Bill Gates: tech companies inviting government intervention
Discussion: Gizmodo, The Daily Caller and AOL
 Earlier Items: 
WBNS-TV:
Gigantic “Pigzilla” caught rummaging through dumpster
Discussion: VICE and The Daily Caller
Victor Davis Hanson / National Review:
Scandal, Corruption, Lawbreaking — And So What?
Robert Kuttner / American Prospect:
The Deficit Hawks Have It Wrong
Discussion: HuffPost
David M. Drucker / Washington Examiner:
GOP worries North Dakota Senate race is lost without Kevin Cramer
Mike Lofgren / New York Times:
Reagan's ‘Party of Ideas’ Is Down to Just One: Tax Cuts
Kevin Allen / USA Today:
U.S. women's hockey goalies may have to remove Statue of Liberty image from masks
Discussion: RedState and RT
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Corker weighs his options as GOP frets about losing Tennessee