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6:35 PM ET, November 16, 2018


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Is Mike Pence Loyal?  Trump is Asking, Despite His Recent Endorsement  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump's post-midterm election news conference at the White House last week took a surprising turn when a reporter asked about locking down his 2020 ticket.  —  “Mike, will you be my running mate?”
Associated Press:
Only on AP: Abrams prepares push for new Georgia Gov. vote  —  ATLANTA (AP) — Stacey Abrams' campaign and legal team is preparing an unprecedented legal challenge in the unresolved Georgia governor's race that could leave the state's Supreme Court deciding whether to force another round of voting.
New York Times:
Stacey Abrams Ends Fight for Georgia Governor  —  ATLANTA — Stacey Abrams, who galvanized Georgia Democrats in her quest to become the first black woman to be elected governor anywhere in the United States, ended her campaign to lead this state on Friday.  —  Ms. Abrams, who sharply criticized …
Associated Press:
The Latest: Kemp says Georgia race over, state to look ahead
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Jessica Taylor / NPR:
Democrat Stacey Abrams Ends Bid For Georgia Governor, Decrying ‘Suppression’
Discussion: Vox
Washington Post:
CIA concludes Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi's assassination  —  The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, contradicting the Saudi government's claims that he was not involved in the killing …
Discussion: Political Wire, TalkLeft and Splinter
Robin Wright / New Yorker:
Saudi Arabia's Investigation of Jamal Khashoggi's Murder Is a Tragic Farce
Kevin Alexander / Thrillist:
I Found the Best Burger Place in America.  And Then I Killed It.  —  n my office, I have a coffee mug from Stanich's in Portland, Oregon.  Under the restaurant name, it says “Great hamburgers since 1949.”  The mug was given to me by Steve Stanich on the day I told him that …
“I dont feel comfortable being a Republican anymore” |  Skullduggery on acast  —  In this episode of Skullduggery, co-hosts Michael Isikoff and Dan Klaidman sit down for an exclusive and highly sought after interview with George T. Conway III, husband to the Counselor of the President, Kellyanne Conway.
Michael Isikoff / Yahoo News:
George Conway: Republican Party has become a ‘personality cult’ under Trump  —  WASHINGTON — George T. Conway III, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, said the Republican Party has become “a personality cult” under President Trump and that he would “move to Australia” rather than vote for the president again.
Pamela Brown / CNN:
Trump legal team balks at Mueller's questions on post-2016 election activity  —  Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump and his legal team have taken issue with some of the questions from special counsel Robert Mueller that cover the transition period after the 2016 election …
Discussion: The Atlantic, Washington Post and CNBC
Alayna Treene / Axios:
Trump says he “just finished” answering Mueller's questions
Discussion: ABC News, TheBlaze and Politico
Jennifer Jacobs / Bloomberg:
Trump Offered to Nominate Ricardel as Ambassador to Estonia, Sources Say  — Deputy national security adviser said to turn down Baltic post  — Ricardel says ‘I admire the president and first lady’  —  President Donald Trump offered to nominate Mira Ricardel as ambassador to Estonia …
Heidi Przybyla / NBC News:
U.S. Marshals Service spending millions on DeVos security in unusual arrangement  —  The cost to taxpayers could be as much as $19.8 million through next year, according to figures provided to NBC News.  —  WASHINGTON — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos began receiving around-the-clock security …
New York Times:
Two Years In, Trump Struggles to Master Role of Military Commander  —  WASHINGTON — He canceled a trip to a cemetery in France where American soldiers from World War I are buried.  He did not go to the observance at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day.  He has not visited American troops in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Lara Seligman / Foreign Policy:
How the Generals Are Routing the Policy Wonks at the Pentagon
The Daily Beast:
Top Cheney Aide in Mueller's Sights as Probe Expands  —  Mueller's investigators have examined an array of operatives with ties to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the UAE—including John Hannah, Dick Cheney's former national security adviser.  —  Dick Cheney's former top national security aide …
Rachael Bade / Politico:
Progressives back Pelosi for speaker — in return for more power  —  It wasn't a coincidence that moments after Nancy Pelosi promised progressive House leaders more power in the next Congress, a host of liberal groups announced they were supporting her for speaker.
Judge orders White House to return Jim Acosta's press pass  —  (CNN)Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly sided with CNN on Friday, ordering the White House to reinstate chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta's press pass.  —  The ruling was an initial victory for CNN in its lawsuit against President Trump and several top aides.
Tim Miller:
Setting the Record Straight on Regarding My Facebook Work  —  Setting the Record Straight Regarding My Facebook Work  —  Over the past 48 hours I've had some extremely serious accusations leveled against my integrity and my work.  So I want to be upfront about this and share my personal thoughts.
Tom Winter / NBC News:
Alleged Russian operative Mariia Butina negotiating with prosecutors  —  A document filed in federal court indicates prosecutors and Butina's lawyers are working towards a plea agreement.  —  Lawyers for alleged Russian operative Mariia Butina have entered into negotiations with federal prosecutors …
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
Carrie Johnson / NPR:
Maria Butina, Accused Of Being A Russian Agent, May Be In Talks For Plea Deal
Eric Levitz / New York Magazine:
For First Act in Power, Democrats Consider Making Their Own Agenda Impossible to Pass  —  This week, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi unveiled a list of new procedural rules that her caucus intends to implement when the next Congress is seated.  Most of these measures are unobjectionable “good government” reforms.
Discussion: Splinter and Washington Post
Eric Bradner / CNN:
Hyde-Smith appears to joke that making it harder for students to vote is a ‘great idea’  —  Senator deflects over ‘public hanging’ comment  —  Washington (CNN)Mississippi Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith appeared to say laws that make it “just a little more difficult” for attendees …
Melania Trump racked up $174,000 in hotel bills for a day trip to Toronto  —  US first lady Melania Trump ran up a six-figure hotel bill for a one-day trip to Toronto last year, according to federal spending records.  —  Government spending data show at least six separate Toronto hotel charges ranging …
Discussion: Refinery29
John Bresnahan / Politico:
Mark Meadows, Ruben Kihuen sanctioned over sexual harassment-related allegations  —  The House Ethics Committee has formally sanctioned two members — GOP Rep. Mark Meadows (N.C.) and Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen (Nev.) — over sexual harassment-related allegations, the latest sign that fallout …
Adam Kredo / Washington Free Beacon:
Iran to Be Declared in Breach of Chemical Weapons Bans  —  Sources: Trump admin will announce Iran in breach for first time  —  The Trump administration is set to announce that Iran is not in compliance with the Chemical Weapons Conventions, marking a significant departure …
Christina Cauterucci / Slate:
Michael Avenatti Never Should've Been a Resistance Hero  —  I can't say I was surprised when Michael Avenatti was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence on Wednesday.  It's not that he seems like someone who'd assault a romantic partner.  For one thing, that's not something …
Anita Kumar / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Trump to meet with Florida's Bondi as he searches for new attorney general  —  WASHINGTON  —  President Donald Trump will meet with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi — who is on his short list be his next attorney general — while he vacations at his Mar-A-Lago resort in Palm Beach …
Jonathan Bernstein / Bloomberg:
Trump's White House Chaos Is Worsening  —  Distractions and disarray are threatening to upend Trump's presidency.  Can he possibly stay focused?  —  As my Bloomberg Opinion colleague Timothy L. O'Brien argues, the Trump administration, always veering toward chaos, is in the process of diving in head first.
Discussion: The Big Picture
Lisa Friedman / New York Times:
Trump Says He'll Nominate Andrew Wheeler to Head the E.P.A.  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday said he intends to nominate Andrew R. Wheeler to be the permanent administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.  —  The E.P.A. has been at the center of Mr. Trump's deregulatory agenda …
Discussion: HuffPost
Washington Post:
Julian Assange has been charged, prosecutors reveal in inadvertent court filing  —  WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange has been charged under seal, prosecutors inadvertently revealed in a recently unsealed court filing — a development that could significantly advance the probe into Russian interference …
Sean Trende / Real Clear Politics:
So, Was It A Wave?  —  There's been an ongoing discussion about whether the 2018 midterms can be properly considered a “wave” election.  While I think they certainly can be considered a wave, that doesn't get to the question of whether they ought to be considered as such.  —  At its core, this debate is pretty silly.
David French / National Review:
Betsy DeVos Strikes a Blow for the Constitution  —  The proposed Title IX rules highlight how bad things have become on campus.  —  The Department of Education has issued its long-awaited proposed regulations reforming sexual-assault adjudications on college campus.
Discussion: Hit & Run and Daily Wire
Alexandra Petri / Washington Post:
I'm fine with women in power, just not this one specific woman currently in power  —  The first thing I need to make clear is that I love and support women.  I am eager to see more women rise to positions of power.  Hashtag pink wave!  Hashtag pink hat!  —  But I have to say …
Elana Schor / Politico:
Grassley to trade Judiciary gavel for Finance  —  Chuck Grassley plans to trade his Senate Judiciary Committee gavel to lead the Finance Committee next year, he said on Friday — leaving Lindsey Graham in line to replace him as chairman.  —  Grassley's move to Finance wasn't a given …
Emily Crockett / Shareblue Media:
Way too many Americans say suppression tactics stopped them from voting  —  This is a scandal for anyone who cares about free and fair elections in America.  —  Democrats dominated the midterm elections this year and took back the most House seats they have since Watergate.
Discussion: The Guardian
New York Times:
McConnell Tells Trump a Criminal Justice Bill Is Not Likely This Year  —  WASHINGTON — Senator Mitch McConnell told President Trump in a private meeting on Thursday that there is not likely to be enough time to bring a bipartisan criminal justice bill up for a vote this year …
Drew Armstrong / Bloomberg:
Pfizer to Raise Prices, Ending Freeze Imposed at Trump's Request  —  Pfizer Inc., the U.S.'s biggest drugmaker, will raise prices on about 10 percent of its pharmaceutical products next year after briefly halting such increases at the request of President Donald Trump earlier this year.
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 More Items: 
Ann Gibbons / Science:
Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Matthew Mosk / ABC News:
There are dozens of sealed criminal indictments on the DC docket. Are they from Mueller?
Meridith McGraw / ABC News:
Trump awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the ‘King’ and the ‘Sultan of Swat’
Discussion: Washington Post
Joe Uchill / Axios:
Fancy Bear hackers may be impersonating State Department
U.S. Department of Justice:
Wells Fargo Personal Banker Indicted for Money Laundering
Discussion: Breitbart
New York Times:
Gun Control Groups Eclipse N.R.A. in Election Spending
Steve Benen / MSNBC:
Friday's Campaign Round-Up, 11.16.18
Discussion: The Daily Caller
 Earlier Items: 
Dave Burke /
Fury over rare white lion being auctioned off ‘to be shot by trophy hunters’
Associated Press:
North Korea deports American even as it boasts of new weapon
New York Times:
De Blasio Ousts Investigations Chief, Citing Abuse of Power
Brianna Sacks / BuzzFeed News:
Nothing Can Prepare The People Who Have To Search For Charred Bodies After The California Wildfires
Daniel Dale / Washington Post:
It's easy to fact check Trump's lies. He tells the same ones all the time.
Discussion: Toronto Star
Karen Zraick / New York Times:
Neo-Nazis Have No First Amendment Right to Harassment, Judge Rules
Alec MacGillis / New York Times:
Why the Perfect Red-State Democrat Lost