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8:30 AM ET, February 19, 2018


 Top Items: 
David Willman / Los Angeles Times:
Former Trump aide Rick Gates to plead guilty; agrees to testify against Manafort, sources say … A former top aide to Donald Trump's presidential campaign will plead guilty to fraud-related charges within days - and has made clear to prosecutors that he would testify against Paul J. Manafort Jr. …
Blake Hounshell / Politico:
Confessions of a Russiagate Skeptic  —  If, like me, you've been following every twist and turn of the Russia investigations, you've probably wrestled with the same question that has been gnawing at me for more than a year now: What if there's nothing there?
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
Whatever Trump Is Hiding Is Hurting All of Us Now  —  Our democracy is in serious danger.  —  President Trump is either totally compromised by the Russians or is a towering fool, or both, but either way he has shown himself unwilling or unable to defend America against a Russian campaign to divide and undermine our democracy.
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
A non-alarmist reading of the Mueller Russia indictment
Discussion: Betsy's Page
David Frum / The Atlantic:
America Is Under Attack and the President Doesn't Care
Jacqueline Thomsen / The Hill:
Gates agrees to testify against Manafort in Mueller probe: report
Discussion: Mother Jones and RedState
CBS News:
Rick Gates, ex-Trump aide and Manafort associate, expected to plead guilty in Russia probe
New York Times:
Trump's Evolution From Relief to Fury Over the Russia Indictment  —  WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Trump began the weekend believing that something good had just happened to him.  An indictment leveled against 13 Russians for interfering with the 2016 election had not accused him or anyone around him of wrongdoing.
Washington Post:
Trump lashes out over Russia probe in angry and error-laden tweetstorm … WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Trump lashed out with fresh anger about the intensifying Russia probe over the weekend, accusing Democrats of enabling a foreign adversary to interfere in the 2016 election and attacking …
Josh Feldman / Mediaite:   Jill Stein Downplays Russian Meddling: Media and DNC Interfered in 2016 Election Too
Associated Press:
Trump fumes about Russia investigation as nation mourns  —  WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — As the nation mourned, President Donald Trump kept largely silent about the Florida school shooting victims and the escalating gun control debate, instead raging at the FBI for what he perceived …
David Edwards / Raw Story:   Rush Limbaugh attacks Parkland students for marching and ‘bashing’ NRA: ‘This is totally political’
Christine Yared / New York Times:   Don't Let My Classmates' Deaths Be in Vain
Wesley Lowery / Washington Post:
He survived the Florida school shooting. He vows not to return to classes until gun laws change.
Parkland students say, ‘We are going to be the last mass shooting’
CBS News:
Oprah follows up with the partisan voters in Michigan  —  Last fall, Oprah Winfrey spoke with 14 Michigan voters, seven of whom voted for Donald Trump.  Winfrey sat down with the voters again to get their thoughts on Trump's first year in office  —  Oprah Winfrey
Jill Abramson / New York Magazine:
Do You Believe Her Now?  —  With new evidence that Clarence Thomas lied to get onto the Supreme Court, it's time to talk seriously about impeachment.  —  Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas testifying before the Senate in 1991.  Paul Hosefros/The New York Times/Redux (Hill); Jose R. Lopez/The New York Times/Redux (Rhomas)
Discussion: thecut
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
Conservatives urge Trump to grant pardons in Russia probe  —  As special counsel Robert Mueller builds his case, relatives of former national security adviser Michael Flynn are among those pressing the president to use his unique legal power and ‘put these defendants out of their misery.’
Discussion: Raw Story
Abigail Tracy / Vanity Fair:
“The Canaries Are Dying”: How Trump Is Making Republicans Pick Their 2018 Poison  —  Caught between the president's rabid, loyal base and suburban women, Republican candidates may not survive a blue wave election.  —  “These races are like canaries in the coal mine,” Steve Israel …
Discussion: Raw Story
National Journal:
Democrats Hoping for a Shocker in Trump Country
Discussion: Politico and Political Wire
New York Times:
Tools of Trump's Fixer: Payouts, Intimidation and the Tabloids  —  As accounts of past sexual indiscretions threatened to surface during Donald J. Trump's presidential campaign, the job of stifling potentially damaging stories fell to his longtime lawyer and all-around fixer, Michael D. Cohen.
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Scoop: Skirmish in Beijing over the nuclear football  —  On Thursday Nov. 9, when President Trump and his team visited Beijing's Great Hall of the People, Chief of Staff John Kelly and a U.S. Secret Service agent skirmished with Chinese security officials over the nuclear football.
Wall Street Journal:
Russian Curler Fails Drug Test, Authorities Explore Sabotage Possibility  —  Aleksandr Krushelnitckii, who won a bronze medal in mixed doubles with his wife last week, has tested positive for a high dose of meldonium, the same medication that Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova was suspended in 2016 for using
Discussion: New York Magazine
Gabrielle Tetrault-Farber / Reuters:   Russian medalist at Games suspected of doping: source
Tariq Panja / New York Times:
Russian Athlete May Lose Olympic Medal After Failed Doping Test
Discussion: Mashable and AOL
Max Boot / Washington Post:
Trump is ignoring the worst attack on America since 9/11  —  Imagine if, after 9/11, the president had said that the World Trade Center and Pentagon could have been attacked by “China” or “lots of other people.”  Imagine if he had dismissed claims of al-Qaeda's responsibility as a “hoax” …
Josh Delk / The Hill:
Dem senator warns Mueller against issuing Russia report near 2018 election  —  Jr. (D-Pa.) on Sunday warned special counsel Robert Mueller  —  against issuing a report on his findings in the ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election near the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.
Discussion: Breitbart, RedState and
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 More Items: 
Julie Kelly / American Greatness:
The Media's Walk-of-Shame Won't End
Discussion: The Daily Caller, The Root and TheBlaze
Margaret Brennan / CBS News:
Rex Tillerson opens up in rare, wide-ranging interview
Discussion: Business Insider
Mark L. Rosenberg / Politico:
What's Missing From the Gun Debate
Discussion: The Federalist and NewsBusters
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Kelly skeptical of Ivanka's paid family leave push
Discussion: Splinter
David Ferguson / Raw Story:
Eric and Don Jr. egged on Trump's weekend Twitter tirade against the FBI: CNN
Discussion: HuffPost and The Hill
Adam Taylor / Washington Post:
The Russian journalist who helped uncover election interference is confounded by the Mueller indictments
 Earlier Items: 
Matt Philbin / NewsBusters:
NBC Hires Anti-Pence Gay Skater
Discussion: USA Today, RedState and Deadline
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Appeasing the Trigger Gods
Tom Boggioni / Raw Story:
'He's scared out of his mind': Ex-official nails Trump over blaming FBI for shooting to deflect from Russia probe
Associated Press:
Florida suspect's red flags weren't enough to stop gun buy
Discussion: The Capitolist
Max Londberg / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Third-graders are selling AR-15 raffle tickets in Missouri
Honor Jones / New York Times:
Why Yoga Pants Are Bad for Women
Discussion: The Daily Caller