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12:40 PM ET, June 19, 2018


 Top Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
The GOP's Immigration Meltdown  —  Restrictionists may cost Republicans their majorities in Congress.  —  Are Republicans trying to lose their majorities in Congress this November?  We assume not, but you can't tell from the party's internal feuding over immigration that is fast becoming …
Nielsen becomes face of Trump's border separations  —  The Homeland Security secretary has been seen as weak on enforcement, but on Monday she defended decisions that have left kids warehoused on the border.  —  Kirstjen Nielsen, President Donald Trump's secretary of Homeland Security …
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
A reporter at the White House decided to play the audio of children sobbing.  Somebody had to.  —  Olivia Nuzzi had no plans of playing the heart-rending audio of Central American children crying for their parents when she arrived in the White House briefing room Monday.
Salvador Rizzo / Washington Post:
The facts about Trump's policy of separating families at the border  —  “I hate the children being taken away.  The Democrats have to change their law.  That's their law.”  —  “We have the worst immigration laws in the entire world.  Nobody has such sad, such bad and actually, in many cases …
New York Times:
Forget Tax Cuts.  Trump Wants to Rally G.O.P. Base Over Immigration  —  WASHINGTON — As Republicans try to keep their midterm election strategy focused on the economy, tax cuts and falling unemployment, President Trump sent his clearest signal yet on Monday that he intends to make divisive …
McKay Coppins / The Atlantic:
The Outrage Over Family Separation Is Exactly What Stephen Miller Wants  —  When the news stories began to surface last month of sobbing young migrant children being forcibly removed from their parents at the border, many close White House watchers instantly suspected Stephen Miller was behind it.
Former U.S. Attorneys:
Bipartisan Group of Former United States Attorneys Call on Sessions to End Family Separation  —  Dear Attorney General Jefferson B. Sessions:  —  We write as former United States Attorneys who have served under both Republican and Democratic Presidents.  Like the majority of Americans …
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Trump loses temper over border wall funding  —  The president complained in a private meeting that Senate Republicans won't fully fund his wall — and threatened a shutdown in September.  —  President Donald Trump is getting frustrated with his administration's own demands for border wall funding.
Discussion: Raw Story
New York Times:   How Anti-Immigration Passion Was Inflamed From the Fringe
David A. Graham / The Atlantic:
From ‘I Alone Can Fix It’ to ‘Change the Laws!’
Ginger Thompson / ProPublica:
Listen to Children Who've Just Been Separated From Their Parents at the Border
John Kruzel / @politifact:
No, Donald Trump's separation of immigrant families was not Barack Obama's policy
Discussion: The Guardian, Vox and HuffPost
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
How to mislead with statistics, DHS Secretary Nielsen edition
Anita Kumar / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Buyers tied to Russia, former Soviet republics paid $109 million cash for Trump properties  —  WASHINGTON  —  Aleksandr Burman, a Ukrainian who engaged in a health care scheme that cost the federal government $26 million and was sentenced to a decade in prison, paid $725,000 cash for a condo …
Betsy Woodruff / The Daily Beast:
Erik Prince: I ‘Cooperated’ With Mueller … Erik Prince, the founder of private security company Blackwater, has found himself embroiled in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.  —  During the campaign …
Discussion: Raw Story
Nick Wadhams / Bloomberg:
U.S. Plans to Withdraw From UN Human Rights Council Today  — Haley has said panel wages ‘pathological’ anti-Israel campaign  — U.K.'s Johnson has said council is flawed but has value  —  The Trump administration plans to announce its withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Carol Morello / Washington Post:   U.S. expected to back away from U.N. Human Rights Council
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
QAnon, the Crazy Pro-Trump Conspiracy, Melts Down Over OIG Report … A man armed with a rifle and a handgun drove an armored truck to the Hoover Dam last Friday and started blocking traffic.  He brought a homemade sign with him that said, “Release the OIG report.”  —  Except the report was already out.
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
Call to suspend Mueller probe was just posturing, Giuliani says
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and HuffPost
Dow tumbles 400 points, wiping out gain for year, as Trump directs more tariffs at China  —  Stocks fell sharply on Tuesday after President Donald Trump's latest threat to China increased fears of an impending trade war between the world's largest economies.
Don Junior cancels fundraiser with Bush son  —  Donald Trump Jr. and George P. Bush had formed an unlikely alliance despite their fathers, Donald Trump and Jeb Bush, loathing each other — with Don Jr. backing George P. in his re-election campaign for Texas land commissioner …
George Takei / Foreign Policy:
‘At Least During the Internment ...’ Are Words I Thought I'd Never Utter  —  I was sent to a camp at just five years old — but even then, they didn't separate children from families  —  Imagine this scene: Tens of thousands of people, mostly families with children, are labeled by the government …
Hiroko Tabuchi / New York Times:
How the Koch Brothers Are Killing Public Transit Projects Around the Country  —  NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A team of political activists huddled at a Hardee's one rainy Saturday, wolfing down a breakfast of biscuits and gravy.  Then they descended on Antioch, a quiet Nashville suburb, armed with iPads full of voter data and a fiery script.
Julia Ainsley / NBC News:
Former ICE Director: Some migrant family separations are permanent  —  “You could be creating thousands of immigrant orphans in the U.S.,” said ex-Acting Director John Sandweg.  —  WASHINGTON — The former head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told NBC News that migrant parents separated …
Discussion: CNN
Isaac Chotiner / Slate:
“Just Me.  The President of the United States, Facing a Mob of Accusers”  —  “It's a role like any other, a coat she puts on when necessary and sheds as soon as she's done, but she can see it's working: the men trying for eye contact, checking the cleavage she's made sure to reveal …
U.S. Department of Justice:
Joshua Adam Schulte Charged With The Unauthorized Disclosure Of Classified Information And Other Offenses Relating To The Theft Of Classified Material From The Central Intelligence Agency  —  Geoffrey S. Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, John C. Demers …
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Ex-CIA engineer charged with massive leak to WikiLeaks
Discussion: New York Times and CNN
Jonathan Blitzer / New Yorker:
In ICE Detention, a Honduran Woman Fears Deportation Without Her Son  —  On May 5th, just after midnight, a Honduran woman named Ana Rivera and her five-year-old son, Jairo, tried to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.  They were caught scaling a fence in El Paso, and spent the night in a holding cell …
Jochen Bittner / New York Times:
What Trump Gets Right About Europe  —  HAMBURG, Germany — Most people can agree that international affairs should not be conducted by tweet — especially when the tweeter in question is Donald Trump.  Among other reasons, it's easy to dismiss the president's mercurial rage and flagrant insults as little more than temper tantrums.
Nick Juliano / Politico:
Exclusive: Zinke linked to real estate deal with Halliburton chairman  —  WHITEFISH, Mont. — A foundation established by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and headed by his wife is playing a key role in a real-estate deal backed by the chairman of Halliburton, the oil-services giant that stands …
Thomas J. Donohue / U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
Separating Children from Families Must End Now  —  President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce  —  Thousands of children are being forcibly removed from their parents by our government.  There is no other way to say it, this is not who we are and it must end now.
Monmouth University Polling Institute:
No Change in House Ballot  —  Nation on right track is up, tax reform approval is down  —  West Long Branch, NJ - Democrats hold a 7 point lead over Republicans in the generic House ballot, which is basically the same as the 8 point lead they held in a Monmouth University Poll taken in late April.
Discussion: Political Wire and NTK Network
Joseph Cox / Motherboard:
FOIA: DHS Did Not Investigate Hundreds of Civil Rights Abuse Complaints  —  DHS's Office of the Inspector General says it has ‘limited resources’ to investigate hundreds of civil liberties and detainee abuse complaints, but one expert said the figures “demand a closer look.”
Discussion: Axios
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 More Items: 
Allegra Kirkland / Talking Points Memo:
House Dems Use DOJ IG Hearing To Go After GOP For Child Border Separations
Discussion: RedState, CNN and Fox News
Guy Benson / Townhall:
For the Record: Yes, Hillary Clinton Should Have Been Prosecuted for Willful Gross Negligence
Discussion: American Thinker
Eli Rosenberg / Washington Post:
Migrant kids are ‘child actors,’ Ann Coulter says on Fox News, telling Trump not to be fooled
Discussion: The Hill and Washington Press
William McGurn / Wall Street Journal:
Impeach Rod Rosenstein
 Earlier Items: 
Sohrab Ahmari / Commentary Magazine:
The SPLC Has Its Nose Rubbed in the Dirt
Steve Hendrix / Washington Post:
Bob Dole's final mission
William Wan / Washington Post:
What separation from parents does to children: ‘The effect is catastrophic’
Discussion: The Guardian and BuzzFeed
Mike Morken /
New poll shows close race for U.S. Senate Race in North Dakota
Discussion: NTK Network