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5:15 PM ET, July 11, 2018


 Top Items: 
Rebecca Tan / Washington Post:
When Trump attacked Germany in Brussels, his aides pursed their lips and glanced away  —  President Trump kicked off his trip to Europe with a biting critique of the United States' longtime allies, declaring at a breakfast meeting that Germany “is captive to Russia.”
Discussion: CNN, Bustle, Mediaite, CNBC and WGN-TV
Washington Post:
Trump says Germany ‘is captive to Russia’ in fiery opening salvo against NATO  —  BRUSSELS — President Trump unleashed a blistering attack Wednesday on Germany and other NATO allies, wasting no time to take the offensive before a week of high-stakes diplomacy on both sides of the former Cold War divide.
Trump Urges Doubling Target for Arms Budgets to 4%: NATO Update  — U.S. president accuses Germany of being ‘captive of Russia’  — Back in the U.S., his comments drew criticism from lawmakers  —  Donald Trump is on the offensive as leaders gathered at a two-day North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit.
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
This remarkable exchange at NATO perfectly captures Trump's ugly bad faith  —  THE MORNING PLUM:  —  This morning, at the NATO summit, President Trump got into an extended dust-up with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and the exchange generating the headlines is the one in which Trump ripped …
Associated Press:
No shove, but Trump body language speaks to frosty relations  —  BRUSSELS (AP) — He didn't shove anyone this time, but President Donald Trump's body language during NATO events Wednesday suggested his relationships with key U.S. allies aren't exactly buddy-buddy.
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
Worried about Russia? Then Keep an Eye on Germany's Former Chancellor
Discussion: Atlantic Council, Daily Wire and Axios
Associated Press:
The Latest: Trump to watch military parade at Windsor Castle
Discussion: The Hill and Taylor Marsh
Corker: Trump rhetoric ‘diminishing’ American leadership around the world
Discussion: and Townhall
Calvin Woodward / Associated Press:   AP FACT CHECK: Trump keeps promoting myth about NATO debt
Katie Benner / New York Times:
Rosenstein Asks Prosecutors to Help With Kavanaugh Papers in Unusual Request  —  WASHINGTON — Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, has asked federal prosecutors to help review the government documents of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee …
Monica Hesse / Washington Post:   What men are trying to say when they show off their Female Relationship Résumé
Joe Manchin: Brett Kavanaugh “has all the right qualities”
Discussion: Breitbart, Power Line and Lawfare
Matt Naham / Law & Crime:
Judge to Manafort: Don't Worry, the Jail You're Going to Knows How to Handle Terrorists, Traitors and Spies  —  The legal saga of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort took another turn Wednesday as Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) Judge T.S. Ellis has denied his bid to stay put at the jail he is currently residing at.
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
Mueller team listening to Manafort's jail phone calls  —  Contrary to his lawyers' court filings, the former Trump campaign chairman says he's being treated like a ‘VIP’ in prison.  —  Paul Manafort may not be a free man.  But the former Donald Trump campaign chairman's jail conditions are hardly the stuff of Alcatraz.
Discussion: The Daily Beast
Rachel Weiner / Washington Post:
Paul Manafort to be moved from jail where prosecutors say he has ‘VIP’ treatment
Discussion: Political Wire
Colleen Long / Associated Press:
Border Protection says NYC mayor crossed border illegally  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his security detail violated both Mexican and U.S. immigration laws by crossing the border on foot during a visit near El Paso, Texas, U.S. Customs and Border Protection alleges …
New York Times:
Battling Fake Accounts, Twitter to Slash Millions of Followers  —  Twitter will begin removing tens of millions of suspicious accounts from users' followers on Thursday, signaling a major new effort to restore trust on the popular but embattled platform.  —  The reform takes aim at a pervasive form of social media fraud.
Pew Research Center:
Obama Tops Public's List of Best President in Their Lifetime, Followed by Clinton, Reagan  —  Reagan is top choice among Boomers, Silents  —  When asked which president has done the best job in their lifetimes, more Americans name Barack Obama than any other president.
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
Once partners, ‘Game Change’ authors feuding over their shattered franchise  —  Until their split last year, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann were the golden boys of American political journalism.  Their collaboration led to a best-selling book about the 2008 presidential campaign, “Game Change …
Los Angeles Times:
Papa John's founder reportedly used racial slur in conference call  —  A media agency working with Papa John's International Inc. decided to cut ties after the pizza maker's founder and chairman, John Schnatter, allegedly used a racial slur and graphic descriptions of violence against minorities …
Noah Kirsch / Forbes:
Papa John's Founder Allegedly Used N-Word On Conference Call
Former Obama Officials Are Riding Out The Trump Years By Cashing In  —  The revolving door takes a spin.  —  The last 18 months have been difficult for former members of the Obama administration.  They've been replaced by a regime, which, in the words of former Domestic Policy Council …
Discussion: Common Dreams
Daniella Greenbaum / Weekly Standard:
Here Is the Column That Business Insider Spiked  —  Defending an actress for being hired to do a job is apparently beyond the pale these days. … Scarlett Johansson is the latest target of the social-justice warrior mob.  The actress is being chastised for, well, acting.
Carrie Johnson / NPR:
Senate Confirms New Boss For Justice Department Criminal Division  —  The Senate voted 51-48 on Wednesday to confirm Brian Benczkowski as an assistant attorney general at the Justice Department, ending an 18-month delay in which its Criminal Division operated without a permanent leader.
The Professor At The Center Of The Trump-Russia Probe Was A No-Show In Court  —  At a hearing in Palermo, Italy, Joseph Mifsud was described as “a ghost.”  —  Reporting From Palermo, Italy  —  PALERMO, Italy — Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious professor at the center of the Trump-Russia probe, was due in court in Italy on Wednesday.
Washington Post:
The elite world of Brett Kavanaugh  —  The Chevy Chase Lounge is a neighborhood joint where bartender Tim Higgins is accustomed to bantering with long-standing patrons, including a middle-aged guy named Brett who likes to pop in for a Budweiser and a burger after coaching his daughters' basketball games.
Discussion: CityLab
Hollie McKay / Fox News:
New Sacha Baron Cohen series a Hollywood hit job on GOP, source says
Discussion: Vox, Townhall and Althouse
Alan Blinder / New York Times:
Alabama Moves to Ban Sheriffs from Pocketing Jail Food Money  —  Alabama's governor has cut off a gravy train for the state's sheriffs: the unspent money for prisoners' meals that the sheriffs have long been allowed to keep for themselves.  —  The practice, born of a bickered-over ambiguity in a state law …
Discussion: Political Wire
Sean T. Collins / The Outline:
The only good online fandom left is Dune  —  As corporations take control of nerd culture, science fiction's most esoteric epic remains gloriously untamed.  —  Escapism in the year 2018 is a strange thing.  If you want to refresh a brain beshitted by weeks and months of workaday corruption and brutality …
Natasha Korecki / Politico:
Pence launches Midwest damage control mission  —  With anxiety rising over Trump's trade policies, the vice president is stumping for endangered incumbents and reassuring big GOP donors.  —  CHICAGO — Vice President Mike Pence begins a campaign swing through the Midwest on Wednesday designed …
Mike Snider / USA Today:
Nabbed at airport, ex-Apple engineer was fleeing with secrets to self-driving cars, FBI says  —  Most new cars come with a range of connected options, from Bluetooth to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.  Here's how to distinguish among them and how to determine what you need.  Kim Komando, Special for USA TODAY
Washington Post:
Can a liberal agenda that sells in the Bronx win over voters in Kansas?  —  PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. — Brent Welder walked into his campaign office to share the good news.  Ever since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's upset victory in a Democratic House primary in New York, he'd been deluged with calls.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Jamie Tarabay / CNN:
Pompeo's North Korea meeting went ‘as badly as it could have gone’  —  Kim Jong Un snubbed Mike Pompeo, source says  —  (CNN)It began with great expectations, an eagerly-anticipated meeting with a reclusive leader, and a gift bag that included an Elton John CD.
Taylor W. Anderson / Salt Lake Tribune:
The Utah Gun Exchange is following the Parkland students around the country to combat their call for more gun laws  —  From Texas to New York to Utah, students continue to hold rallies and town halls calling for new gun regulations after repeated mass shootings.
Discussion: Bearing Arms and Raw Story
Julia Manchester / The Hill:
Michael Cohen has made ‘a declaration of independence’ from President Trump, lawyer says  —  Michael Cohen's new attorney says his client has made a “declaration of independence” from Donald Trump  —  and no longer would take a bullet for the president in any investigation.
Mary Ellen Klas / miamiherald:
Rick Scott and family made $550M in one transaction.  How ‘blind’ is his blind trust?  —  TALLAHASSEE  —  The reason Gov. Rick Scott's net income rose 55 percent in 2017 has to do with electric cars, China partnerships, a company turnaround, and a single transaction that resulted …
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 More Items: 
David Corn / Mother Jones:
While America Sleeps: Trump's Treachery and the Russia Scandal
Renter believes he was racially profiled after being confronted at apartment pool, asked to leave
Discussion: Raw Story and The Root
Dan Murtaugh / Bloomberg:
China and U.S. Impose Tariffs on Trade Flows That Don't Exist
Discussion: BloombergQuint
Humeyra Pamuk / Reuters:
NATO formally invites Macedonia to join alliance
Tim Hains / RealClearPolitics:
Mollie Hemingway: Never Trumpers Way Overrepresented In Media, They Represent “Incredibly Small Fraction” Of People
Rachel Chason / Washington Post:
Nancy Floreen to run for Montgomery County executive as an independent
 Earlier Items: 
Salt Lake Tribune:
Tribune editorial: Our treatment of refugee children is a national disgrace
Nicole Hensley / New York Daily News:
Woman calls cops on black 12-year-old boy delivering newspapers in Ohio neighborhood
Discussion: AOL, Hit & Run and The Root
Esmeralda Bermudez / Los Angeles Times:
'You don't love me anymore?':  A son is separated from his father at the border, then comes a wrenching call
Lisa Fain / Washington Post:
A taste of Chipotle's new menu items proves: It's no Taco Bell
Brooke Medina / Civitas Institute:
CIVITAS POLL: McCready Leads in NC-09 Congressional Race
Betsy Woodruff / The Daily Beast:
Inside Mueller's New Army