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12:00 PM 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 …
New York Times:
Trump Doubles Down on Russia.  The Spies Shake Their Heads in Disbelief.  —  WASHINGTON — When President Trump directed aides to ask President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to the White House this fall, the invitation was his latest attempt to use personal diplomacy in the pursuit of better relations with the Kremlin.
Alexander Gabuev / Foreign Policy:
The Kremlin Is Celebrating Helsinki.  For Now.  —  Vladimir Putin achieved his goal of embarrassing the United States.  But Russians are already bracing for the backlash.  —  “Awesome, better than super.”  That was the initial assessment offered by Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister …
Discussion: Breitbart, ABC News and HeraldScotland
Wall Street Journal:
Trump Digs In Against Criticism on Multiple Fronts
Discussion: Raw Story
Karen DeYoung / Washington Post:
Russia continues to shape narrative of Helsinki summit
Discussion: Brookings, Vanity Fair and Vox
Olivia Nuzzi / New York Magazine:
'I Couldn't Stop Laughing. It's So Ridiculous.' A Surreal Week of Excuse-Making at the White House.
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?
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.
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: CANNONFIRE, Reuters and Politico
Alexander Burns / New York Times:
There Is a Revolution on the Left.  Democrats Are Bracing.  —  DETROIT — For Rachel Conner, the 2018 election season has been a moment of revelation.  —  A 27-year-old social worker, Ms. Conner voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primaries, spurning the more liberal Bernie Sanders, whom many of her peers backed.
Discussion: The Guardian and The Daily Beast
Alex Roarty / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Centrist Dems begin arguing against far-left agenda as 2020 play  —  Leading moderate Democrats forcefully argued this week that their party can still nominate a presidential candidate who praises capitalism, downplays income inequality, and embraces only modest changes to the social safety net.
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
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.
Discussion: Splinter
Bethany Mandel / New York Post:
It's no crime to be happy in the age of Trump  —  A fellow mom friend recently posted an idyllic picture of her kids online, writing about what a magical summer they've had so far.  She ended the post by saying “even in dark times like these, my kids are such a bright spot.”
Jeffrey T. Lewis / Wall Street Journal:
Mnuchin Says He 'Wouldn't Minimize' Chance of Tariffs on All Chinese Imports  —  Treasury secretary, attending a meeting among G-20 finance ministers and central bankers in Latin America, also played down Trump remarks on currency markets  —  BUENOS AIRES—U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he …
Discussion: Axios and Sarah Palin
David Lawder / Reuters:   Exclusive: U.S. open to lifting sanctions off aluminum giant Rusal - Mnuchin
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 …
Max Jaeger / New York Post:
Sheriff who backed Roy Moore allegedly had sex with teen girl  —  The Alabama sheriff who threw his support behind accused jailbait-chaser Roy Moore's failed Senate bid is now under investigation for allegedly having sex with an underage girl.  —  SEE ALSO
Discussion: WHNT-TV
David M. Halbfinger / New York Times:
Israel Cements Right-Wing Agenda in a Furious Week of Lawmaking  —  JERUSALEM — Wrapping up its business before a long summer recess, the right-wing, religious coalition that rules Israel's Parliament moved aggressively this week to push through its polarizing agenda, piling up points at the expense of its already weakened foes.
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: Mediaite and Conservative Review
Emilie Eaton / San Antonio Express-News:
Six times, a SAPD lieutenant has been fired.  Will he get his job back again?  —  A San Antonio police lieutenant with a long history of disciplinary problems — including four firings and 11 suspensions — is in trouble again, accused of making a homophobic remark about Police Chief William McManus.
Joshua Posaner / Politico:
Spanish conservatives pick Pablo Casado to replace Rajoy  —  Lawmaker beat ex-deputy prime minister in the final round.  —  Spain's conservative Popular Party elected communications secretary Pablo Casado as leader at a party congress Saturday.  —  He replaces Mariano Rajoy who was ousted as prime minister in June.
Paul Kane / Washington Post:
Midterm history 101: Trump's win a boost to chances for Senate Democratic incumbents  —  In 2012, Sen. Sherrod Brown faced more than $24 million in ads from conservative groups opposing his first reelection.  —  Six years later, the Democrat has been forgotten as outside groups …
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.
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
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.
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
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
Lisa Napoli / Columbia Journalism Review:
CNN cameraman has 40 years in the field, and the storage units to prove it  —  A bumper sticker from the network's earliest days.  —  After nearly four decades as a CNN cameraman, Dave Rust hasn't just collected the typical journalists' larder of press passes and selfies from the thousands of stories he's covered.
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 More Items: 
Ovetta Wiggins / Washington Post:
Hogan tells Great Mills students he would reject an NRA endorsement
Discussion: HuffPost
Mona Chalabi / The Guardian:
Terror attacks by Muslims receive 357% more press attention, study finds
Andrew Jeong / Wall Street Journal:
North Korea Signals Reluctance on Reunions, Nuclear Program
Ana Swanson / New York Times:
Republicans Bow to White House on Chinese Telecom Firm ZTE
Ryan Faughnder / Los Angeles Times:
Paramount Television President Amy Powell is fired over inappropriate comments
BuzzFeed News:
Here Are The Victims Of The Missouri Duck Boat Accident
Discussion: FOX59, IJR and AOL
 Earlier Items: 
The Daily Beast:
Seb Gorka in Talks to Be Salem Radio's New Host, as Network Plots a ‘Coup’ Against Its Trump Critics
Paul Waldman / Washington Post:
The entire Republican Party is becoming a Russian asset
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Four reasons we've reached a tipping point on Trump
Hollywood Reporter:
James Gunn Fired as Director of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
Why I Needed to Pull Back From Twitter
Discussion: Althouse, Splinter and Mediaite