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2:35 AM ET, July 19, 2018


 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.
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.
Spencer Ackerman / The Daily Beast:
U.S. Officials ‘at a Fucking Loss’ Over Latest Russia Sell Out … 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.
Vivian Salama / Wall Street Journal:
White House Weighs Allowing Russia to Question Ex-U.S. Envoy  —  Prospect prompts immediate alarm among former diplomats and on Capitol Hill  —  WASHINGTON—The White House is reviewing a request by Russian President Vladimir Putin to allow Russian investigators to question a number …
Discussion: RedState, Mother Jones and POLITICUSUSA
Eliana Johnson / Politico:
Trump's Russia spin falls flat with GOP  —  The more President Donald Trump talks about Russia, the more Republicans cringe.  —  The president's effort to clean up his disastrous Monday news conference is falling flat on Capitol Hill — and White House aides are doing little to assuage an increasingly frustrated GOP.
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
How Trump Turned the Right's Biggest Russia Hawk Into a Dove
Kara Swisher / Recode:
Mark Zuckerberg clarifies: 'I personally find Holocaust denial deeply offensive, and I absolutely didn't intend to defend the intent of people who deny that.'  —  The Facebook founder has attracted controversy for how the social network deals with content that is offensive to many, such as Holocaust deniers
Kara Swisher / Recode:
Zuckerberg: The Recode interview
Karen Zraick / New York Times:
Zuckerberg Tries to Clarify Remarks About Holocaust Deniers After Outcry
Discussion: Recode
Sheera Frenkel / New York Times:
Facebook to Remove Misinformation That Leads to Violence
Vera Bergengruen / BuzzFeed News:
Maria Butina Spent Years Wooing US Conservatives.  Here's How She Did It.  —  It's hard to tell how much of the story 29-year old Maria Butina told Americans about herself for years is real.  But it's clear that her persona — a scrappy girl from Siberia fighting for Russian gun rights …
Zoe Tillman / BuzzFeed News:
Prosecutors Say Accused Russian Agent Maria Butina Appeared To Have Ties To Russian Intelligence
Discussion: Boing Boing
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.
Heather Caygle / Politico:
House Dems unveil new midterm campaign slogan  —  House Democrats have finalized their campaign slogan heading into the last months before the midterm election: “For the People.”  —  The new motto, which Democratic leaders unveiled in a private meeting with members Wednesday morning …
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.
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.
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 …
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.
CBS News:
Trump on whether he holds Putin responsible: “I would, because he's in charge of the country”  —  President Trump told “CBS Evening News” anchor Jeff Glor Wednesday it's “true” Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, and he “would” hold Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible for interference.
Ben Lefebvre / Politico:
Interior watchdog opens probe of land deal linking Zinke, Halliburton chairman  —  The Interior Department's internal watchdog has launched a full investigation into a real estate deal involving a foundation established by Ryan Zinke and developers including Halliburton Chairman David Lesar …
Ryan Browne / CNN:
Trump's military parade expected to cost nearly as much as ‘tremendously expensive’ canceled war games  —  Here's how other countries do military parades  —  Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump's military parade in DC is likely to cost nearly as much as the now canceled military exercise …
Discussion: Joe.My.God. and Axios
Bill Melugin / KTTV:
EXCLUSIVE: Riverside gun store confronts Sacha Baron Cohen after he comes to business in disguise  —  RIVERSIDE, CA (FOX 11) - A Riverside gun store owner has harsh words for Sacha Baron Cohen after he says he caught the actor showing up to his business in disguise and under false pretense, and it was all caught on surveillance video.
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  —  A cancer survivor who tattooed almost 90 per cent of his body has had his genitals removed - because they spoiled the view of his body art.  —  Adam Curlykale, 32 …
Craig Silverman / BuzzFeed News:
American Conservatives Played A Secret Role In The Macedonian Fake News Boom Ahead Of 2016  —  A joint investigation by BuzzFeed News and partners has uncovered new information that rewrites the story of the fake news boom in the Macedonian town of Veles.  —  A week before Election Day in 2016 …
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
Senate GOP breaks record on confirming Trump picks for key court  —  Senate Republicans broke a record on Wednesday for the number of appeals court judges confirmed during a president's first two years.  —  Senators voted 50-49 on Andrew Oldham's nomination to be a judge on the 5th Circuit …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Caroline Orr / Shareblue Media:
Russian state TV: Trump ‘smells like an agent of the Kremlin’  —  Trump's attacks on America this week are providing great fodder for Russian propagandists.  —  In the aftermath of Trump's disgraceful and humiliating performance at Monday's summit with Vladimir Putin, Russian state media …
Ken Meyer / Mediaite:
Jake Tapper Throws Wicked Shade on Tucker Carlson and Trump for Montenegro Remarks  —  CNN's Jake Tapper is bringing the shade on Wednesday morning in a rebuke to Donald Trump and Fox News's Tucker Carlson for their comments about NATO and Montenegro.  —  During Trump's interview with Carlson …
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 …
Nunes declares war on the media  —  The California GOP congressman says his local paper is working with ‘radical left-wing groups.’  —  LOS ANGELES — Devin Nunes is sitting on an eye-popping pile of money he's raised in recent months, with little reason to spend it yet.
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Washington Post:
Trump's tariffs on Mexico are causing layoffs in the United States  —  POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. — When a Mexican company bought Mid Continent Nail Corp. in 2012, workers at the factory here feared it was the beginning of the end.  Their jobs, they suspected, would be given to lower-paid workers in Mexico …
Jay-Z /
Jay-Z on Made in America: ‘We are disappointed that the Mayor of the City of Philadelphia would evict us from the heart of the city’ |  Opinion  —  The Made in America festival is a multicultural platform that represents strength, freedom of speech, and perseverance for artists and music lovers.
Foreign Policy:
State Department Silent on MH17 Anniversary Following Trump-Putin Firestorm  —  The department prepared to criticize Russia's role in the 2014 downing of a civilian airliner over Ukraine, but the statement was never released.  —  Every year since a Russian missile downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 …
Emily Davies /
Michelle Obama Launches Voter Registration Campaign with Tom Hanks and Lin-Manuel Miranda  —  Lin-Manuel Miranda is not throwing away his opportunity to vote this November — and he doesn't want you to either.  —  Miranda has joined forces with former First Lady Michelle Obama …
Discussion: Politico and Breitbart
CBS Philly:
Bacon Is Bad For Your Mental Health, Say Researchers  —  According to researchers at Johns Hopkins, people who eat meats cured with nitrates are three times more likely to experience a manic episode.
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 More Items: 
Nick Timiraos / Wall Street Journal:
Deficit Projected to Top $1 Trillion Starting Next Year
Elizabeth Zwirz / Fox News:
Anti-Trump protests outside White House, in Times Square decry DC ‘corruption’
Justin Wise / The Hill:
Ted Nugent bars guns from his concert in last-minute switch
Discussion: WSLS-TV and Contemptor
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Immigration Surges to Top of Most Important Problem List
Discussion: Breitbart
The Texas Tribune:
Immigrant infants too young to talk called into court to defend themselves
Karen Tumulty / Washington Post:
Trump's worst moment since Charlottesville
 Earlier Items: 
David Wasserman / The Cook Political Report:
IA-03: Young Moves From Lean Republican to Toss Up
Discussion: Political Wire
Solange Azor / Teen Vogue:
Lady Parts Justice League Fights Anti-Abortion Stigma With Humor
Discussion: Townhall, Daily Wire and
Lisa Rein / Washington Post:
Trump loyalists at VA shuffling, purging employees before new secretary takes over
Katelyn Polantz / CNN:
Special counsel still investigating Roger Stone
McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Now the party of Trump, GOP's midterm pitch is protecting him
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA and Hullabaloo
Joseph Bernstein / BuzzFeed:
A Stabbing On Samish Island: The Radicalization Of Lane Davis