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10:00 AM ET, July 21, 2018


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Trump's Putin fallout: Inside the White House's tumultuous week of walk backs  —  Executive time began early on Thursday, just after sunrise.  —  Feeling exasperated and feisty as he awoke in the White House residence, President Trump fired off his grievances on Twitter about how the media had been covering his Helsinki summit.
Associated Press:
Inside Trump's isolation after Putin summit, walkbacks  —  BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) — Facing condemnation from allies and foes alike on Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump was outnumbered even in the Oval Office.  Top aides gathered to convince the president to issue a rare walk-back of the comments …
Olivia Nuzzi / New York Magazine:
'I Couldn't Stop Laughing.  It's So Ridiculous.' A Surreal Week of Excuse-Making at the White House.  —  It's the end of the week in Washington, and there are some things that we know to be true: It's 83 degrees and partly cloudy, with 47 percent humidity.  At 11:30 a.m., Donald Trump's …
Wall Street Journal:
Trump Digs In Against Criticism on Multiple Fronts  —  A hectic week that began with the controversial Putin summit ends with new tariff threats, public pressure on Fed  —  WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump ended a turbulent week by shrugging off criticism of his dealings with Russia …
Discussion: Raw Story
Karen DeYoung / Washington Post:
Russia continues to shape narrative of Helsinki summit
Discussion: Brookings, Vanity Fair and Vox
New York Times:   Trump Doubles Down on Russia. The Spies Shake Their Heads in Disbelief.
Jeremy Shapiro / Foreign Policy:
Trump Is Coming Off as Putin's Poodle, But That Actually Undermines Russia's Main Goal
Discussion: The Daily Beast and Townhall
Michael Sykes / Axios:
Trump floats season suspension for NFL players protesting anthem  —  President Trump took to Twitter Friday to call out the NFL on their national anthem policy.  —  The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again - can't believe it!  Isn't it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart?
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
FBI seizes records from Trump lawyer Michael Cohen  —  Materials include privileged communications with clients.  —  The FBI seized records from President Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen on Monday, acting on a “referral” from special counsel Robert Mueller's office, according to a lawyer for Cohen.
Discussion: Politico
Adam Shaw / Fox News:
Trump calls Cohen's taping of phone call ‘inconceivable,’ possibly illegal  —  Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded a conversation with then-candidate Trump two months before the presidential election in which they discussed payments, which were never made, to a former Playboy model.
Discussion: Washington Post, The Guardian and RT
Wall Street Journal:
Bad Debts, Fraud Claims Trail Boyfriend of Alleged Russian Agent  —  Paul Erickson, a smooth-talking U.S. political activist, was romantically involved with alleged Russian agent  —  They both had secrets.  —  Maria Butina worked clandestinely as an agent of the Russian government …
Discussion: Post and Courier
Paul Waldman / Washington Post:
The entire Republican Party is becoming a Russian asset
Jamil Smith / Rolling Stone:
The NRA Is Awfully Quiet About Maria Butina
Discussion: Politico
How Mark Sanford met Maria Butina
Discussion: NPR
Casey Michel / ThinkProgress:
Neo-Confederates reach out to their ‘Russian friends’ in new project
Manhattan Madam Kristin Davis — Subpoenaed by Robert Mueller  —  EXCLUSIVE  —  Kristin Davis, the Manhattan Madam who went to prison and was connected to former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, is being subpoenaed in the Robert Mueller investigation ... TMZ has learned.
Manuel Roig-Franzia / Washington Post:
Mueller seeking to question ‘Manhattan madam,’ a friend of Roger Stone, in Russia probe, she says
Discussion: CNBC and Mediaite
Mueller team wants to talk to ‘Manhattan Madam’
Discussion: KTLA
Nico Hines / The Daily Beast:
Inside Bannon's Plan to Hijack Europe for the Far-Right … LONDON—Steve Bannon plans to go toe-to-toe with George Soros and spark a right-wing revolution in Europe.  —  Trump's former White House chief advisor told The Daily Beast that he is setting up a foundation in Europe called …
Discussion: Politico, Joe.My.God. and Althouse
Anne Applebaum / Washington Post:
Did Putin share stolen election data with Trump?  —  Data is the energy, the lifeblood, the food and drink of any modern election campaign.  From the mundane — names, addresses, voting districts — to the specifics of habits and interest, data matters more than television time …
Ben Shapiro / Daily Wire:
So, Here's A Giant List Of All The Dumb Stuff I've Ever Done (Don't Worry, I'll Keep Updating It)  —  This week, in the space of 24 hours, I went from a nice person with good intentions who differs politically from liberals but doesn't bend the truth to a racist, sexist, bigot homophobe …
Discussion: Conservative Review, Mediaite and Vox
Lily Hay Newman / Wired:
The Midterm Elections Are Already Under Attack  —  WITH PRIMARIES UNDERWAY and less than four months to go until this year's midterm elections, early signs of attack have already arrived—just as the US intelligence community warned.  And yet Congress has still not done everything in its power to defend against them.
Discussion: Daily Kos and Axios
Michael Gordon / The Charlotte Observer:
A mother and her son turned up for a domestic-violence case.  Then ICE arrested them.  —  A Charlotte woman and her 16-year-old son, who are both involved in a domestic-violence dispute, were arrested in the Mecklenburg courthouse by federal immigration agents after they turned up for a hearing, their attorneys said.
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Four reasons we've reached a tipping point on Trump  —  As a preliminary matter, I'm delighted to be back from vacation and back in the United States.  Easily forgotten during the coverage of the incompetent and intellectually corrupted officials who populate this administration are the honorable men …
Washington Post:
Russian operatives blasted 18,000 tweets ahead of a huge news day during the 2016 presidential campaign.  Did they know what was coming?  —  On the eve of one of the newsiest days of the 2016 presidential election season, a group of Russian operatives fired off tweets at a furious pace, about a dozen each minute.
Ruby Cramer / BuzzFeed News:
A Top Bernie Sanders Adviser Is Named In The Evidence List For Paul Manafort's Trial  —  An exhibit list released this week in the Mueller investigation cites emails from 2014.  It was previously reported that Tad Devine, a top Sanders strategist, stopped working in Ukraine in 2012.
BuzzFeed News:
Here Are The Victims Of The Missouri Duck Boat Accident  —  At least 17 people are dead after a tourist duck boat sank during a sudden storm Thursday near Branson, Missouri.  —  Nine members of an 11-person family group from Indianapolis, Indiana, aboard the vessel are among the victims, Gov. Mike Parsons said Friday.
Discussion: FOX59, AOL and FOX 61
New York Times:
Trump Endorsement in Georgia Race Surprised, and Frustrated, Some Republicans  —  SANTA FE, N.M. — President Trump's unexpected endorsement of Brian Kemp this week in the Georgia governor's race blindsided and alarmed Republican governors, who fear that Mr. Trump's penchant for capriciously intervening …
Discussion: The Atlantic
GOP congressman said blacks have ‘entitlement mentality’ and view themselves as victims  —  (CNN)Republican Rep. Jason Lewis has a long history of racist rhetoric about African-Americans, pushing claims of a “racial war” by blacks on whites and arguing that violence regularly occurs at black gatherings.
Andrew Jeong / Wall Street Journal:
North Korea Signals Reluctance on Reunions, Nuclear Program  —  Pyongyang dials back apparent commitments to South and U.S. in statements Friday  —  SEOUL—North Korea put planned reunions of families separated by the Korean War into question and denounced South Korea's latest demands …
David Lawder / Reuters:
Exclusive: U.S. open to lifting sanctions off aluminum giant Rusal - Mnuchin  —  SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury is open to removing Russian aluminum producer Rusal from a U.S. sanctions list, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday, adding the objective was “not to put Rusal out of business.”
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 More Items: 
Paul Kane / Washington Post:
Midterm history 101: Trump's win a boost to chances for Senate Democratic incumbents
Mona Chalabi / The Guardian:
Terror attacks by Muslims receive 357% more press attention, study finds
Ana Swanson / New York Times:
Republicans Bow to White House on Chinese Telecom Firm ZTE
Charles Collins / Crux:
Scottish university fires chaplain who called pride parade ‘gross offense to God’
Discussion: Daily Wire and Breitbart
The Daily Beast:
Seb Gorka in Talks to Be Salem Radio's New Host, as Network Plots a ‘Coup’ Against Its Trump Critics
 Earlier Items: 
Kyle Rempfer / Military Times:
Ever heard of ‘deep fake’ technology?  The phony audio and video tech could be used to blackmail US troops
Hollywood Reporter:
James Gunn Fired as Director of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
Ta-Nehisi Coates is leaving the Atlantic
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
Why I Needed to Pull Back From Twitter
Discussion: Althouse, Splinter and Mediaite