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1:10 PM ET, July 16, 2018


 Top Items: 
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Trump is now repaying Putin for helping him win the presidency  —  THE MORNING PLUM:  —  The events of the past few days — culminating in President Trump's meeting today with Russian President Vladimir Putin — have rendered this interpretation inescapable: Trump is currently in the process …
Charles M. Blow / New York Times:
Trump, Treasonous Traitor  —  The president fails to protect the country from an ongoing attack.  —  Put aside whatever suspicions you may have about whether Donald Trump will be directly implicated in the Russian investigation.  —  Trump is right now, before our eyes and those of the world …
Justin Wise / The Hill:
‘Fox & Friends’ host: 'I don't understand' Trump tweet blaming US for bad Russia relations  —  “Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade on Monday questioned why President Trump  —  would send a tweet blaming the U.S. for poor relations with Russia before his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Discussion: Mediaite
David Morgan / CBS News:
Trump fist-bumped Turkish leader Erdogan, said he “does things the right way”  —  In the days before his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki Monday, President Donald Trump upset relations with America's allies during a visit to the United Kingdom and a contentious meeting with NATO leaders in Brussels.
Rebecca Ballhaus / Wall Street Journal:
Trump Blames U.S. for Poor Relations With Moscow  —  Hours before one-on-one meeting with Vladimir Putin, U.S. president tweets about many years of ‘U.S. foolishness and stupidity’  —  *President Trump Starts Private Meeting With Vladimir Putin Saying He Expects An “extraordinary relationship”
Michael McFaul / Washington Post:
I've been in meetings with Putin.  Here's what Trump can expect.  —  Michael McFaul is director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and a Hoover fellow at Stanford University and a contributing columnist to The Post.  He is the author of “From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia.”
Jim VandeHei / Axios:
An unforgettable Trump scene in unforgettable Trump story  —  Two years of Donald Trump, of Russia, of federal investigations, of fake news, of Fox all come together today in a made-for-the-big-screen and destined-for-the-history-books scene.  —  The big picture: At today's Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki …
Discussion: Washington Post
Brett Samuels / The Hill:
Fox's Hannity, Carlson to get first interviews with Trump after Putin summit
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Angela Charlton / Associated Press:
Trump wins sympathy from Russian media ahead of summit
Discussion: CNN
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Scoop: The time Putin actually enraged Trump
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
Putin must wonder what else America knows about Russia
Associated Press:
Amid investigations and tensions, Trump-Putin going 1-on-1
Discussion: The Week
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
What Will Happen When Trump Meets Putin in Helsinki?
Discussion: NBC News, Common Dreams and Vox
Emily Crane / Daily Mail:
Bombshell Bourdain interview is published one month after his suicide: Celebrity chef unloads on 'rapey, gropey and disgusting Bill Clinton and hopes Weinstein is ‘beaten to death in jail’  — Anthony Bourdain gave a lengthy, wide ranging interview to journalist Maria Bustillos for her recently launched magazine Popula
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Maria Bustillos / Popula:
Bourdain Confidential  —  Anthony Bourdain had started smoking again, was the first thing I noticed as he sat down with me last February.  He was a bit hung over from a recent working trip to south Louisiana for Cajun Mardi Gras; “Harder partying than I'm used to, I gotta say,” he said, laughing.
Garrett M. Graff / Wired:
What Robert Mueller Knows—and 9 Areas He'll Pursue Next  —  The special counsel has collected a mountain of evidence in the Trump-Russia investigation, but so far only a tiny amount of it has been revealed in official indictments.  Here are nine areas where we should expect answers as the inquiry unfolds.
Plutonium went missing in San Antonio, but the government says nothing  —  Losses of civilian nuclear material are usually disclosed but when the government loses nuclear bomb ingredients it stays mum  —  Two security experts from the Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory drove to San Antonio …
Michelle Martin / Reuters:
Germany: We can no longer fully rely on U.S. White House  —  BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's foreign minister said on Monday Europe could not rely on Donald Trump and needed to close ranks after the U.S. president called the European Union a “foe” with regard to trade.
FCC sends Sinclair mega-deal to likely doom  —  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Monday he has “serious concerns” about Sinclair Broadcast Group's acquisition of Tribune Media, saying he would send the transaction through a lengthy administrative process often viewed as a deal-killer.
Ryan Lizza / Esquire:
Vanishing Point  —  As the GOP increasingly comes to resemble a personality cult, is there any red line—video tapes?  DNA evidence? a war with Germany—President Trump could cross and lose party support?  “Very doubtful,” say a dozen GOP members of Congress stuck hard behind the MAGA eight ball.
Discussion: Raw Story
Associated Press:
Muslim candidates running in record numbers face backlash  —  SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A liberal woman of color with zero name recognition and little funding takes down a powerful, long serving congressman from her own political party.  —  When Tahirah Amatul-Wadud heard …
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA and Axios
David Weigel / Washington Post:
The Midwest eases its Trump swoon and flirts again with Democratic candidates
Discussion: Mother Jones
The Daily Beast:
Russia Hawk Axed From National Security Council Right Before Trump-Putin Summit … Shortly before Donald Trump detonated a NATO summit, shanked the beleaguered British prime minister and prepped for a face-to-face love session with Vladimir Putin, his White House quietly divested itself …
Discussion: Washington Post
Kevin Nicholson / Fox News:
I'm running for Senate as a Republican.  My Democrat parents are so furious they're backing my opponent  —  My decision to be a Democrat was never a decision.  It was just expected of me.  It was understood.  Born into a family of Democrats, my grandfather would often spend weekends talking …
Tory Newmyer / Reuters:
The Finance 202: Trump's trade offensive is producing brutal local headlines  —  THE TICKER … President Trump's trade war is serving up a public relations migraine for the administration in local press across the country.  —  Coverage from the front lines of where the tariffs …
Micaela Marshall / 13abc:
Arrest made in racially charged vandalism on Ogden Ave.  —  TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Toledo police arrested Patricia Edelen for spray painting racial slurs on her neighbor's home Friday night.  —  “She had multiple warrants.  She ran from the officers inside her residence.
Discussion: The Root
New York Times:
He Preyed on Men Who Wanted to Be Priests.  Then He Became a Cardinal.  —  As a young man studying to be a priest in the 1980s, Robert Ciolek was flattered when his brilliant, charismatic bishop in Metuchen, N.J., Theodore E. McCarrick, told him he was a shining star, cut out to study in Rome and rise high in the church.
Tamar Auber / Mediaite:
Rob Reiner's Shock and Awe Earns a Measly $41,000 on Opening Weekend  —  Director Rob Reiner's new movie Shock and Awe, about journalists during the Iraq War, debuted this weekend... to disappointing numbers.  —  According to the movie's description on Rotten Tomatoes, the film is …
New York Times:
$88 Million and Counting: Trump Amasses Huge Head Start for 2020 Campaign  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump has raised more than $88 million for his re-election campaign over the last year and a half, giving him a dramatic head-start on prospective Democratic challengers in the 2020 race.
New York Times:
Tracing Guccifer 2.0's Many Tentacles in the 2016 Election  —  The message from WikiLeaks in July 2016 to a group of Russian intelligence officers who prosecutors say were posing as a Romanian hacker named Guccifer 2.0 urged swift action before the opening of the Democratic National Convention that month.
Jennifer Medina / New York Times:
Judge Orders Los Angeles Times to Delete Part of Published Article  —  LOS ANGELES — A federal judge ordered The Los Angeles Times to remove information from a published article on Saturday, a step that legal experts said was extremely unusual and conflicted with the First Amendment.
New York Times:
A Better Way to Run Schools  —  The New Orleans turnaround shows the power of giving more freedom to teachers and principals — and then holding them accountable for their performance.  —  NEW ORLEANS  —  Twelve years later, Nigel Palmer still remembers the embarrassment of his first days …
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 More Items: 
Most Trump Voters Say MS-13 Is A Threat To The Entire U.S.
Discussion: New Republic
Harriet Sherwood / The Guardian:
Shock over ruling that ‘brides of Christ’ need not be virgins
Iran nuclear deal: US rejects EU plea for sanctions exemption
Discussion: Sputnik International
Joe Garofoli / San Francisco Chronicle:
Maxine Waters on Trump: He doesn't even know how to spell his wife's name
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Breitbart
The Times & The Sunday Times:
Justine Greening: New Brexit referendum ‘is only way to end deadlock’
Discussion: Leave.EU
Strong retail sales report suggests robust economic growth in the second quarter
 Earlier Items: 
Emily Birnbaum / The Hill:
Gowdy rules out Rosenstein impeachment
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Ben Schreckinger / Politico:
Schultz's 2020 ambitions give Starbucks the jitters
Discussion: Forbes
Daily Mail:
Newspapers run IDENTICAL letters slamming Trump's SCOTUS pick
Joe Gamp / Daily Express:
Julian Assange could be EVICTED from Ecuador embassy as he's branded ‘STONE in the shoe’
Discussion: Common Dreams and Raw Story
Charlie Warzel / BuzzFeed:
The MAGA Trolls Meet Their Match In Sacha Baron Cohen And “Who Is America?”
New York Times:
White House Orders Direct Taliban Talks to Jump-Start Afghan Negotiations
Discussion: The Week and The Daily Caller