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1:00 PM ET, October 19, 2018


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Conservatives mount a whisper campaign smearing Khashoggi in defense of Trump  —  Hard-line Republicans and conservative commentators are mounting a dark whisper campaign against Jamal Khashoggi that is designed to protect President Trump from criticism of his handling of the dissident …
Washington Post:
Mnuchin still plans to attend Saudi anti-terror financing meeting after Khashoggi disappearance  —  Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has decided to take part in an anti-terror finance meeting with Saudi security officials and their Middle Eastern counterparts in Riyadh later this month …
Discussion: Axios and Joe.My.God.
As Khashoggi crisis grows, Saudi king asserts authority, checks son's power: sources  —  DUBAI (Reuters) - So grave is the fallout from the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi that King Salman has felt compelled to intervene, five sources with links to the Saudi royal family said.
Spencer Ackerman / The Daily Beast:
Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro Accuses Kushner of Orchestrating Khashoggi Killing  —  Without evidence, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), a member of the House intelligence committee, said Jared Kushner might have passed a “hit list” to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman resulting …
Discussion: and The Daily Caller
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
A President Who Believes He Is Entitled to His Own Facts  —  WASHINGTON — He accepts less-than-credible denials from autocratic heads of state about nefarious acts.  He disputes the existence of man-made climate change and insists that photographic evidence of the crowd at his inauguration is fake, part of a media plot to harm him.
Ed Pilkington / The Guardian:
Trump praises Gianforte for assault on Guardian reporter: 'He's my guy'  —  President's comments at Montana rally in praise of violence against US journalist come amid international outcry over Khashoggi  —  Play Video  —  Donald Trump has praised Greg Gianforte, the Congress member from Montana …
Ian Pannell / ABC News:
Pompeo listened to an alleged recording of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi: Turkish Source  —  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has heard an alleged audio recording of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi's murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, according to a senior Turkish official.
Fareed Zakaria / Washington Post:
Khashoggi's alleged murder says as much about America as Saudi Arabia  —  The apparent barbaric killing of Jamal Khashoggi tells us something important about Saudi Arabia.  But it also tells us something important about the United States.  —  First, Saudi Arabia.
Caroline Orr / Shareblue Media:
Republicans smear murdered journalist to cover for Trump  —  Trump's allies are orchestrating a smear campaign against Jamal Khashoggi to take the heat off Trump for his failure to hold Saudi Arabia accountable.  —  In a sick new form of victim-blaming, Republicans and right-wing pundits …
NBC News:
Trump's closing argument is full of conspiracy theories and brute force. And it just might work.
Haley Britzky / Axios:
Top Democrats want fundamental changes in U.S.-Saudi relationship
Karen Tumulty / Washington Post:
As we mourn a colleague, Trump celebrates violence against a journalist
New York Post:
Why the Saudis despised Jamal Khashoggi
Discussion: Hürriyet Daily News
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Trump Praises Republican Criminal for Attacking Journalist
GOP Rep. Jason Lewis once mocked women who felt traumatized by unwanted touching  —  GOP rep. defends prior comments on ‘slut’ women  —  (CNN)Republican Rep. Jason Lewis once mocked women who were traumatized by unwanted sexual advances, including those inappropriately kissed …
Rebecca Morin / Politico:
Haley breaks with Trump: ‘In America, our political opponents are not evil’  —  Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley insisted Thursday night that “in America, our political opponents are not evil,” a shark rhetorical break from her boss, President Donald Trump …
Andrew Restuccia / Politico:
Trump considering Richard Grenell for U.N. ambassador
Annie Karni / Politico:
How Do You Solve a Problem Like Hillary?  —  She's not going away—and Democrats aren't sure what to do about it.  —  In recent months, some reporters who cover the Trump White House have received phone calls from the last person they would expect: Hillary Clinton.
New York Times:   In 2020, Democrats Expect a Female Front-Runner. Or Three.
Katie Benner / New York Times:
Justice Dept. Rank-and-File Tell of Discontent Over Sessions's Approach  —  WASHINGTON — During his 20 months in office, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has swept in perhaps the most dramatic political shift in memory at the Justice Department, from the civil rights-centered agenda of the Obama era …
Discussion: The Week, Law & Crime and Raw Story
Mark Joseph Stern / Slate:
Georgia Is Using Amateur Handwriting Analysis to Disenfranchise Minority Voters  —  The scourge of “signature mismatch” laws strikes again.  —  Say you live in Georgia.  You're eager to vote in this year's election—a tight race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Trump acolyte Brian Kemp …
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Uh Oh: Woman Claims “Unwanted” Sexual Advance By Senate Dem In “Late 1980s”  —  Shall we go by the old rules or the new rules?  Rep. Jim Renacci's (R-OH) Senate campaign has highlighted a claim by an anonymous woman that incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) might have sexually harassed or assaulted her in the late 1980s.
Discussion: Roll Call and
Peter Hasson / The Daily Caller:
CNN's Jim Acosta Sends Vulgar Twitter DM To Former Trump Staffer  —  CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta late Thursday night sent a vulgar direct message on Twitter to a former staffer in President Donald Trump's administration.  —  “Fuck you,” Acosta wrote to Justin Caporale …
Kathryn Dunn Tenpas / Brookings:
Record-setting White House staff turnover continues with news of Counsel's departure  —  With the recent departure of White House Counsel, Don McGahn (and premature announcement of his successor, Pat Cipollone), turnover within the most senior level of White House staff members bumped up to 83 percent.
Discussion: Axios and Washington Post
Betsy Woodruff / The Daily Beast:   Obama's First National Security Adviser Now Works for the Saudis
The Guardian:
I pulled a 1,500-year-old sword out of a lake  —  People are saying I am the queen of Sweden because of the legend of King Arthur  —  Every summer, my parents, my six-year-old brother and I go to stay in a cabin by a lake called Vidöstern in Tånnö in southern Sweden, not far from where we live.
Discussion: Maggie's Farm
Ylan Mui / CNBC:
Kamala Harris and other prominent Democrats want to repeal Trump's tax cuts and replace them with cash payouts for the poor and working class  — With midterm elections 2½ weeks away and the 2020 presidential race around the corner, prominent Democrats are embracing an ambitious idea …
Naomi Jagoda / The Hill:
Harris rolls out bill to create new middle class tax credit
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
Mueller report PSA: Prepare for disappointment  —  And be forewarned that the special counsel's findings may never be made public.  —  President Donald Trump's critics have spent the past 17 months anticipating what some expect will be among the most thrilling events of their lives …
Discussion: USA Today
New York Times:
Bryan Lowry / Kansas City Star:
Fake intern who recorded McCaskill campaign had access to voter info, campaign says  —  A conservative activist with Project Veritas posed as an intern with U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill's campaign and had access to voter information, according to a stack of documents McCaskill's lawyer delivered …
Del Quentin Wilber / Los Angeles Times:
Fentanyl smuggled from China is killing thousands of Americans  —  The Zheng drug trafficking organization was hardly clandestine.  The Shanghai-based network sold synthetic narcotics, including deadly fentanyl, on websites posted in 35 languages, from Arabic and English to Icelandic and Uzbek.
Alan Fram / Associated Press:
AP-NORC Poll: Just 1 in 4 thinks Kavanaugh told entire truth  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Just 1 in 4 people thinks Brett Kavanaugh was completely honest when as a Supreme Court nominee he gave sworn testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, with Republicans and Democrats holding …
Discussion: Law & Crime
Nate Cohn / New York Times:
For a Change, Democrats Seem Set to Equal or Exceed Republicans in Turnout  —  Polls show enthusiasm surging in many mostly white suburban districts, but less so among young and nonwhite voters.  —  A wide range of evidence indicates that Democratic voters are poised to vote in numbers unseen …
Rebecca Morin / Politico:
Schumer blasts GOP on health care, says Senate election races now ‘neck and neck’  —  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday that Democrats are running “neck and neck” for the majority in the Senate, telling MSNBC that Republicans have handed the minority party a “gift” …
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
What does Trump's ascendance mean about America?  —  It is a sign of the times — the kind involving the seven-horned beast, and the rain of fire, and the end of days — that recent news has been dominated by Kanye, Stormy and the misogynist boor who is president of the United States.
Discussion: Raw Story
Libor Jany / Star Tribune:
Ex-FBI agent gets 4 years in prison for leaking sensitive documents to press  —  Four-year sentence part of increased enforcement of federal leaks to media.  —  TEXT SIZE  —  Confronted with what he saw as the FBI's mistreatment of minorities, former Minneapolis special agent Terry Albury said he felt the need to act.
Discussion: Power Line
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 More Items: 
Simon Marks / Politico:
EU trade action on Cambodia looms after unsuccessful talks
Jane Coaston / Vox:
Trump praises a Montana Congress member for body-slamming a reporter
Caroline Orr / Shareblue Media:
Putin touts downfall of US as a global leader: 'It's almost done'
Rob Picheta / CNN:
Spain to lead Japan in global life expectancy, US continues to slide
Discussion: MinnPost
Aryssa Damron / The College Fix:
White privilege symposium will feature ‘racial justice’ board game
Antonio Olivo / Washington Post:
Getting a jump: Absentee voting in Virginia soars three weeks ahead of election
Krista Mahr / Associated Press:
South African city set to seize land in national ‘test case’
Discussion: The Daily Caller
 Earlier Items: 
Laura Nahmias / Politico:
‘Fiasco’: The short life and ignominious death of de Blasio's national progressive agenda
Robert Samuels / Washington Post:
A week after Hurricane Michael, rural residents feel stranded
Dan Merica / CNN:
South Dakota hasn't had a Democratic governor in decades. Republicans fear that could change.
Discussion: Raw Story
Becket Adams / Washington Examiner:
PolitiFact is forced to retract a story claiming Claire McCaskill didn't say what she definitely said
Indianapolis Star:
HBO's ‘Veep’ gag and new Joe Donnelly political ad are basically the same
Discussion: IndieWire, The Federalist and Mediaite
Burlington Free Press:
Burlington police chief reacts to Madelyn Ellen Linsenmeir obituary: ‘I have a problem’