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12:40 PM ET, August 1, 2018


 Top Items: 
Eileen Sullivan / New York Times:
Trump Calls on Sessions to ‘Stop the Rigged Witch Hunt Right Now’  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday to end the special counsel investigation, an extraordinary appeal to the nation's top law enforcement official to end an inquiry directly in to the president.
Washington Post:
Trump calls Manafort prosecution ‘a hoax,’ says Sessions should stop Mueller investigation  —  President Trump on Wednesday said Attorney General Jeff Sessions should terminate the investigation into Russian election interference and called the prosecution of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort “a hoax.”
Marc Fisher / Washington Post:
Manafort on trial: A scorched-earth prosecutor and not a mention of Trump  —  No one mentioned Donald Trump.  Robert S. Mueller III, either.  The word “Russia” was not uttered.  —  On the first day of the first trial to result from the special counsel's investigation of Russian interference …
Bloomberg:   Trump Calls on Sessions to Stop Mueller's Russia Probe
Manu Raju / CNN:
In private, Kavanaugh hints at views on Mueller
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Isaac Stanley-Becker / Washington Post:
‘We are Q’: A deranged conspiracy cult leaps from the Internet to the crowd at Trump's ‘MAGA’ tour  —  On Tuesday evening, the dark recesses of the Internet lit up with talk of politics.  —  “Tampa rally, live coverage,” wrote “Dan,” posting a link to President Trump's Tampa speech in a thread on 8chan …
Erica Orden / CNN:
Exclusive: Mueller refers foreign agent inquiries to New York prosecutors  —  Trump assails Mueller ‘conflicts’ though evidence scant  —  (CNN)Special counsel Robert Mueller has referred a collection of cases to New York federal prosecutors concerning whether several high-profile American lobbyists …
New York Times:
Mueller Passes 3 Cases Focused on Illicit Foreign Lobbying to Prosecutors in New York  —  WASHINGTON — Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, has referred three investigations into possible illicit foreign lobbying by Washington insiders to federal prosecutors in New York who are already handling …
Kansas City Star:
Kobach promised cities help.  It cost them millions — and powered his political rise  —  Kris Kobach likes to tout his work for Valley Park, Mo. He has boasted on cable TV about crafting and defending the town's hardline anti-immigration ordinance.  He discussed his “victory” there at length on his old radio show.
Matt Dixon / Politico:
Putnam supporters mull jumping ship as Trump rallies for DeSantis  —  TALLAHASSEE — Adam Putnam has tried to ride Donald Trump's coattails to the governor's office, but on Tuesday the president came to his backyard and dealt a potential death blow to the agriculture commissioner's campaign.
Discussion: The Capitolist
Associated Press:
Promoting voter ID, Trump says ID needed to buy groceries
Discussion: Political Wire
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
The AP's War on Donald Trump, Voter ID Edition
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Splinter
Trump says Americans need ID to buy groceries while making case for voter ID
Discussion: Shakesville and New Republic
Betsy Woodruff / The Daily Beast:
Accused Russian Spy Maria Butina Told American CEO: Send Cash to Moscow … Maria Butina, the accused Russian operative, didn't just allegedly cultivate the NRA on behalf of the Kremlin.  The 29-year-old Russian national also braced one of America's best-known businessmen …
BuzzFeed News:
Russian “Agent” And A GOP Operator Left A Trail Of Cash, Documents Reveal  —  A $45,000 payment to an undisclosed law firm.  A cash withdrawal for $14,000.  Almost $90,000 sent to or from a Russian bank.  These and other bank transactions totaling nearly $300,000, none of which have been made public …
Elizabeth Williamson / New York Times:
Alex Jones, Pursued Over Infowars Falsehoods, Faces a Legal Crossroads  —  AUSTIN, Tex. — In the five years since Noah Pozner was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., death threats and online harassment have forced his parents, Veronique De La Rosa and Leonard Pozner, to relocate seven times.
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Trump is leading a ‘hate movement’ against the media  —  THE MORNING PLUM:  —  When the owner of a Virginia restaurant asked the White House press secretary to leave out of dismay over the administration's policies, the civility refs threw a blizzard of flags onto the field.
Discussion: RedState, Mediaite, IJR and
John Wagner / Washington Post:
Trump uses Twitter to promote video of supporters chanting ‘CNN sucks’
Discussion: Shareblue Media, Vox and ThinkProgress
Ryan Gallagher / The Intercept:
Google Plans to Launch Censored Search Engine in China, Leaked Documents Reveal  —  Google is planning to launch a censored version of its search engine in China that will blacklist websites and search terms about human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest, The Intercept can reveal.
Stephanie Murray / Politico:
Poll: Biden leads Trump in early 2020 match-up  —  Former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by 7 percentage points in a head-to-head match-up, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.  —  A plurality of registered voters, 44 percent, said they'd choose Biden …
Robert Burns / Associated Press:
NKorea provided just 1 dog tag with 55 sets of war remains  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — When North Korea handed over 55 boxes of bones that it said are remains of American war dead, it provided a single military dog tag but no other information that could help U.S. forensics experts determine …
Discussion: The Week and The Daily Caller
Julie Hirschfeld Davis / New York Times:
White House Weighs Another Reduction in Refugees Admitted to U.S.  —  The White House is considering a second sharp reduction in the number of refugees who can be resettled in the United States, picking up where President Trump left off in 2017 in scaling back a program intended to offer protection …
Discussion: Splinter and Political Wire
Republicans abuzz over Schmidt's divorce from GOP  —  The onetime McCain strategist won't comment on his talks with potential 2020 Democrat Howard Schultz.  —  Steve Schmidt's public break from the GOP and quiet departure from his corporate PR gig earlier this summer are fueling speculation …
Discussion: Political Wire
Melody Gutierrez / San Francisco Chronicle:
“Fatigue is starting to set in,” Allen said.  —  Nearly 300,000 acres of state and local lands have burned in California since January, 70,000 acres more than at this time last year and close to triple the five-year average for the date.  Cal Fire has had to tap agencies in 12 other states …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Hollywood Reporter:
The Stakes Are High for ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ — And That's the Point  —  The new film's creators turned down a “gigantic payday” at Netflix to ensure the first Asian-American-focused studio movie in 25 years would be seen in theaters and, if all goes well, reshape the Hollywood landscape …
Max Greenwood / The Hill:
Poll: Senate race between Cruz, O'Rourke a dead heat  —  The Texas Senate race between Sen. Ted Cruz  —  (D-Texas) is neck and neck, according to a new poll released Wednesday.  —  The 2018 Texas Lyceum Poll showed Cruz leading O'Rourke by a hair — 41-39 percent among likely voters.
Discussion: Political Wire
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Sanders, Warren question whether Dem primary is big enough for both of them  —  debated whether to enter the 2016 presidential race, one of the first people he consulted was Sen. Elizabeth Warren  —  (D-Mass.).  —  One of us has to run, Sanders (I-Vt.) told his Senate colleague at the time …
Washington Post:
President Trump has made 4,229 false or misleading claims in 558 days  —  Because of summer vacation schedules, we had fallen a month behind in updating The Fact Checker's database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president.
Discussion: Daily Kos
Lesley Goldberg / Hollywood Reporter:
Hillary Clinton, Steven Spielberg Bringing Women's Voting Drama to TV (Exclusive)  —  Amblin TV has optioned the rights to Elaine Weiss' 'The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote," with the former secretary of state and first lady attached as an executive producer.
Nathaniel Rich / New York Times:
Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change  —  Photographs and Videos by George Steinmetz  —  Editor's Note  —  This narrative by Nathaniel Rich is a work of history, addressing the 10-year period from 1979 to 1989: the decisive decade when humankind first came …
Trump jumps into Ohio special election as GOP alarm grows  —  The president is heading to a suburban Columbus House district that Republicans — until recently — were widely expected to hold.  —  President Donald Trump will travel to Ohio on Saturday to campaign for Republican special …
Mark R. Warner / USA Today:
It's past time to learn from failures, adapt our laws to the internet age: Mark Warner  —  National conversation about privacy, data and social media is long overdue.  I've released 20 proposals on how to balance technology regulation and innovation.  —  CONNECT
Ian Mohr / Page Six:
There's a ‘serial farter’ on the loose in the West Village  —  West Village residents are kicking up a stink over a “serial farter” who's polluting the neighborhood.  —  Earlier this year, a local blog posted, “It's happened thrice, so it can't be a coincidence: There's some guy who I believe …
City has to pay $65K to white cop who says he was taunted for saying he was part black  —  (CNN)A white police officer in Michigan who says he was taunted by fellow officers when he told them that he was part black will receive a $65,000 settlement, his attorney said.
Discussion: The Root
Caroline Orr / Shareblue Media:
Trump declares ‘polls are fake’ right before touting his poll numbers  —  Trump says all poll numbers are fake — unless they're favorable, in which case they're real.  —  Speaking at a rally in Florida on Tuesday night, Trump told the crowd that “polls are fake” — just seconds before bragging …
James Hohmann / Washington Post:
The Daily 202: Koch network warns of ‘McCarthyism 2.0’ in conservative efforts to harass professors  —  THE BIG IDEA:  —  COLORADO SPRINGS—Leaders of the donor network led by billionaire Charles Koch say they want college students to study Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong.
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 More Items: 
Associated Press:
Inflation, gas prices, tariffs squeeze consumers
Guns Down America:
Stop 3-D Printed Guns!
Avery Anapol / The Hill:
Trump rally attendee holds up sign linked to conspiracy theory
Discussion: Mediaite and Contemptor
Kaitlin Benz / CNET:
3D-printed guns: Nationwide restraining order granted after 8 states sue
The Guardian:
Tommy Robinson freed on bail as court orders retrial
Discussion: Politico
Ben Geman / Axios:
A closer look at the Trump-EU natural gas plan
Discussion: Breitbart
 Earlier Items: 
Heather Caygle / Politico:
Democratic takeover could bring first black speaker
Discussion: The Daily Beast
Joe Concha / The Hill:
BBC, Fox News, PBS ranked as TV's most trusted news brands
Discussion: JONATHAN TURLEY, TVNewser and MediaPost
Jonathan Oosting / Detroit News:
Mich. Supreme Court: Redistricting plan goes on Nov. ballot
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money and Splinter