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12:15 PM ET, July 19, 2018

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 Top Items: 
New York Times:
From the Start, Trump Has Muddied a Clear Message: Putin Interfered  —  WASHINGTON — Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election.
RELATED:
CBS News:
CBS News poll: Most Americans disapprove of Trump's handling of Putin summit  —  Only a third of Americans (32 percent) approve of the way Donald Trump handled his summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a CBS News poll shows.  Sixty-eight percent of Republicans approve.
Washington Post:
As Russians describe ‘verbal agreements’ at summit, U.S. officials scramble for clarity  —  Two days after President Trump's summit with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, Russian officials offered a string of assertions about what the two leaders had achieved.
Axios:
Poll: Huge GOP majority backs Trump's Putin performance  —  Republicans overwhelmingly approve of President Trump's handling of his press conference in Helsinki when he seemed not to side with U.S. intelligence agencies instead of Russian President Vladimir Putin over election meddling, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.
Erica Werner / Washington Post:
House GOP refuses to renew election security funding as Democrats fume over Russian interference  —  House Republicans plan to vote Thursday on a spending bill that excludes new money for election security grants to states, provoking a furious reaction from Democrats amid a national controversy over Russian election interference.
Brian Bennett / TIME:
Trump Wanted a Summit With Putin.  He Got Way More Than He Bargained For  —  ‘Who do you believe?’  —  It was a simple question, asked of President Trump by a seasoned reporter, but it sent a jolt through the assembled media at the July 16 press conference held at an ornate palace in Helsinki.
Joe DePaolo / Mediaite:
Trump Calls Media ‘Real Enemy of the People’ While Revealing ‘Second Meeting’ With Putin  —  Amid widespread blowback this week over his comments relating to the summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump is declaring the meeting a success …
Spencer Ackerman / The Daily Beast:
U.S. Officials ‘at a Fucking Loss’ Over Latest Russia Sellout … Current and former American diplomats are expressing disgust and horror over the White House's willingness to entertain permitting Russian officials to question a prominent former U.S. ambassador.
Daniel W. Drezner / Washington Post:
We should have a debate over whether treason is being committed by the White House.  Yes, I just typed those words.  —  Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a regular contributor to PostEverything.
Eliana Johnson / Politico:
Trump's Russia spin falls flat with GOP
Kate Irby / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Nunes used political dollars for $15K in Celtics tickets, winery tours and Vegas trips  —  WASHINGTON  —  Rep. Devin Nunes used political donations to pay for nearly $15,000 in tickets to Boston Celtics basketball games as well as winery tours and lavish trips to Las Vegas …
Discussion: Raw Story
Adam Rawnsley / The Daily Beast:
Accused Russian Spy's Boy Toy Is a Serial Fraud: Lawsuits … This isn't the first time Paul Erickson, the Republican political consultant at the center of a Russian espionage probe, has found himself in middle of some drama.  —  Erickson—who served as a media advisor to a famously-emasculated porn actor …
Discussion: Argus Leader, Boing Boing, CNBC and HuffPost
RELATED:
Vera Bergengruen / BuzzFeed News:
Maria Butina Spent Years Wooing US Conservatives. Here's How She Did It.
Discussion: Vox
Shan Wang / Nieman Lab:
The investigations and reporting of BuzzFeed News — *not* BuzzFeed — are now at their own BuzzFeedNews.com
Discussion: The Daily Caller and TechCrunch
CNN:
Democratic push to investigate Russia stymied by partisan acrimony  —  Schiff: GOP House Intel protecting Trump  —  (CNN)Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee thought they had scored a coup in their efforts to continue investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election …
RELATED:
Martin Matishak / Politico:
House Republicans defeat attempt to subpoena Trump interpreter
Discussion: Breitbart
Vivian Wang / New York Times:
New York Is Said to Open Tax Inquiry Into Trump Foundation  —  The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has opened an investigation into whether the Donald J. Trump Foundation violated state tax laws, a move that could lead to a criminal referral for possible prosecution …
Discussion: Law & Crime and Reuters
Christopher Mathias / HuffPost:
Steve King Is A White Supremacist, And The GOP Doesn't Care  —  Among other white supremacist views, the congressman refused to apologize for promoting a neo-Nazi on Twitter.  Republicans continue to look the other way.  —  On June 12, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) tweeted: “Europe is waking up …
ITV:
‘Russian suspects identified’ from CCTV in Skripal poison attack  —  Police are believed to have identified the suspected perpetrators of the Novichok attack on Russian former spy Sergei Skripal.  —  Officers think several Russians were involved in the attempted murder of the former double agent …
Discussion: Sputnik International and Politico
RELATED:
Guy Faulconbridge / Reuters:
Britain has identified Russians suspected of Skripal nerve attack: PA
Discussion: The Guardian and The Daily Caller
Jamelle Bouie / Slate:
Trump's Ties  —  For the better part of two years now, reporters have been trying to find the issue or offense that could fracture Donald Trump's base of support.  They have traveled to “Trump country” for regular updates from working-class whites and other key Trump constituents …
CBS News:
Trump on a 2020 Joe Biden run: “Obama took him out of the garbage heap”  —  For the first time as president, Donald Trump is holding his Russian counterpart responsible for interfering in the 2016 election.  In an exclusive interview with “CBS Evening News” anchor Jeff Glor …
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Reporters, Facing a Hostile White House, Try a New Tactic: Solidarity  —  Reporters, Facing a Hostile White House, Try Solidarity  —  The Town at the Heart of  —  Nicaragua's Opposition Movement  —  Masaya is one of the few places in Nicaragua where President Daniel Ortega's crackdown on protesters has faltered.
New York Times:
A Democratic Blue Wave?  Don't Forget the Republicans' Big Hill  —  One seems like an unstoppable force, but a G.O.P. structural advantage may represent an immovable object.  —  Democrats are optimistic about riding a so-called blue wave to control of the House this November, and it's easy to see why.
Geoffrey Skelley / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
Three Republican Governors Face Increasingly Tough Election Contests  —  Ratings changes in Arizona, Illinois, and Iowa  —  KEY POINT FROM THIS ARTICLE  — The Crystal Ball has three ratings changes in gubernatorial contests, all shifts in the Democrats' direction …
Monica Hesse / Washington Post:
He thought white men were vanishing from TV.  I disagreed.  So we conducted an experiment.  —  I have this friend I'll call Tom, and when we each watch TV, we notice different things.  Recently, Tom had been noticing white men like him — or rather, noticing a lack of them.
Noam Scheiber / New York Times:
Trump Nominee Is Behind Anti-Union Legal Campaign  —  Even before the Supreme Court struck down mandatory union fees for government workers last month, the next phase of the conservative legal campaign against public-sector unions was underway.  —  In March, with the decision looming …
Astead W. Herndon / New York Times:
The Districts Are Mostly White.  The Candidates Are Not.  —  NORTH AURORA, Ill. — Most of the room's occupants looked nothing like Lauren Underwood, but no one seemed to care.  —  Ms. Underwood, the Democratic congressional nominee in northern Illinois's pivotal 14th District …
France 24:
Weinstein lawyers claim actress Judd made sexual ‘deal’ with disgraced mogul  —  Harvey Weinstein's lawyers are calling on a US judge to dismiss a lawsuit from actress Ashley Judd — who accuses the disgraced mogul of torpedoing her career — on the grounds that she had made a sexual “deal” with him.
Discussion: Daily Wire
Nick Timiraos / Wall Street Journal:
Deficit Projected to Top $1 Trillion Starting Next Year  —  Most recent administration estimates show challenge of reducing red ink  —  WASHINGTON—The Trump administration expects annual budget deficits to rise nearly $100 billion more than previously forecast in each of the next three years …
Discussion: MSNBC
Arielle Buchmann / WUSA:
MedStar Washington Hospital investigating after initial reports of active shooter  —  Police are responding to initial reports of an active shooter at MedStar Washington Hospital.  A spokesperson for the hospital said they don't believe it is an active shooter situation, however they are still investigating the incident.
Discussion: Raw Story and The Daily Caller
Maura Dolan / Los Angeles Times:
State Supreme Court removes measure to split California into three states from November ballot  —  The California Supreme Court decided Wednesday to remove from the November ballot a measure aimed at dividing California into three states.  —  In a brief order, the court said it acted …
Coleman Hughes / Quillette:
Black American Culture and the Racial Wealth Gap  —  There is arguably no racial disparity more striking than the wealth gap.  While the median white household earns just 65 percent more income than its black counterpart, its net worth is fully ten times as high.
Kevin Collier / BuzzFeed News:
Democrats Say The Final Russian Computer Intrusion Netted Nothing For The Hackers  —  Russian intelligence officers were probably seeking information on likely Hillary Clinton voters when they hacked into a leased Democratic Party computer server just two months before the 2016 election …
Charlotte Graham-McLay / New York Times:
A 4-Day Workweek?  A Test Run Shows a Surprising Result  —  WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A New Zealand firm that let its employees work four days a week while being paid for five says the experiment was so successful that it hoped to make the change permanent.
David Ettinger / At the Lectern:
Governor who has kept Supreme Court waiting for a new justice asks court to expedite his case  —  Today is Day 497 since Justice Kathryn Werdegar announced that she would be retiring from the Supreme Court and it's been almost 11 months since she actually left the court.
John Allen Gay / The Federalist:
No, Montenegro Is Not Essential To U.S. National Security Interests  —  Critics suggest it is ridiculous to question the idea that defending Montenegro via the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is necessary to keep America safe.  They're wrong.  —  “Why should my son go to Montenegro …
Françoise Mouly / New Yorker:
Barry Blitt's “Thumbs-Up”  —  A little more than three years ago, Donald Trump descended an escalator in Trump Tower to announce his candidacy for the Presidency.  That image makes a return in Barry Blitt's latest cover, which remarks on Trump's performance during and after his summit with Vladimir Putin, in Helsinki.
Michael Anton / Washington Post:
Citizenship shouldn't be a birthright  —  Michael Anton is a lecturer and research fellow at Hillsdale College and a former national security official in the Trump administration.  —  A Supreme Court confirmation fight always raises constitutional hopes and stokes constitutional fears.
 
 
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 More Items: 
United States Senator Jeff Flake:
Flake, Coons Introduce Resolution Reaffirming Support for U.S. Intelligence Community …
Ronald Brownstein / The Atlantic:
Can Trump's Republican Critics Find Strength in Numbers?
Celine Ryan / Campus Reform:
‘Anti-Oppression Guide’ spreads to multiple college libraries
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Charles P. Pierce / Esquire:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Scares Joe Lieberman. Good.
Stephanie Murray / Politico:
Don Jr. and Eric Trump racked up nearly $250,000 in Secret Service costs in one month, watchdog says
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
 Earlier Items: 
Portal Vlade Crne Gore:
Government of Montenegro: we are proud of our history, our friendship and alliance with USA is strong and permanent
Discussion: Washington Times and Politico
Ryan Hutchins / Politico:
Christie to offer ‘frank appraisals’ of Trump allies in new book
Discussion: Political Wire and HuffPost
Khaleda Rahman / Daily Mail:
Man who is 90 per cent covered in tattoos has his genitals removed because they spoiled the view of his body art
Justin Wise / The Hill:
Ted Nugent bars guns from his concert in last-minute switch
Discussion: WSLS-TV and Contemptor
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
Senate GOP breaks record on confirming Trump picks for key court
Discussion: The Daily Caller
CBS Philly:
Bacon Is Bad For Your Mental Health, Say Researchers
Heather Caygle / Politico:
House Dems unveil new midterm campaign slogan