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1:25 PM ET, December 7, 2018


 Top Items: 
Kaitlan Collins / CNN:
White House chief of staff John Kelly expected to resign soon  —  Washington (CNN)John Kelly is expected to resign as White House chief of staff in the coming days, two sources familiar with the situation unfolding in the West Wing tell CNN.  —  Seventeen months in, Kelly and President Donald Trump …
Trump's trio of traps ahead of 2020  —  President Trump faces three clear and imminent threats as he heads toward his 2020 reelection race — the economy slipping, Congress flipping and a Russia probe drip, drip, dripping.  And few inside the White House feel he is yet prepared or staffed for the hell about to hit them.
Caitlin Oprysko / Politico:
‘It violates the law’: Tillerson vents about having to repeatedly push back against Trump  —  Nearly nine months after his unceremonious firing by tweet, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is breaking his silence on his time in the Trump administration, venting that he had to repeatedly …
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Chris Geidner / BuzzFeed News:
The Justice Department Still Hasn't Told The Government Accountability Office That Jeff Sessions Quit  —  Federal law requires the vacancy and any acting appointment to be reported “immediately” to the Government Accountability Office.  A month after the shakeup at the Department of Justice, the GAO hasn't been informed.
Discussion: Political Wire
Wall Street Journal:
Kelly Is Expected to Leave Post as Trump Shakes Up Administration  —  Move comes amid new nominations for U.N. ambassador, attorney general  —  WASHINGTON—Chief of Staff John Kelly is expected to leave his post soon, people close to the White House said, as President Trump begins putting …
Sergio Chapa / Houston Chronicle:
Rex Tillerson makes rare public appearance in Houston  —  Russia interfered with the 2016 U.S. elections, former Secretary of State and Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson said during a Thursday evening visit to Houston.  —  Making his first public appearance in nearly nine months …
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Rex Tillerson on Trump: ‘Undisciplined,’ 'doesn't like to read' and tries to do illegal things  —  Rex Tillerson came a little bit closer Thursday to saying what he actually thinks of President Trump.  —  The fired secretary of state, who while in office reportedly called Trump a “moron” …
Dartunorro Clark / NBC News:
Tillerson says he often had to tell Trump that his directive ‘violates the law’  —  In rare public remarks, the fired former secretary of state also said Trump “doesn't like to read, doesn't read briefing reports.”  —  Rex Tillerson gave a blistering assessment of his time serving …
Ken Meyer / Mediaite:
Rex Tillerson Lets Loose on Working For ‘Undisciplined’ Trump: He 'Doesn't Like to Read' … Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered some revealing comments about President Trump on Thursday in a rare interview with CBS New' Bob Schieffer.  —  As the former Exxon Mobil CEO partook …
Discussion: CNN and The Week
Domenico Montanaro / NPR:   Poll: Republicans Are Only Group That Mostly Sees Mueller Probe As A ‘Witch Hunt’
Kevin Breuninger / CNBC:   Robert Mueller's big Friday: The special counsel is set to release new details about former …
Ryan Lucas / NPR:
The Mueller Russia Investigation: A Full Docket Of Developments Set For Friday
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA, HuffPost and Raw Story
Andrew Prokop / Vox:
Mueller's new filings on Manafort and Cohen could reveal more about the investigation
Discussion: Washington Post
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Federal Judge: Hillary E-Mail Dodge “One Of The Gravest Modern Offenses To Government Transparency”  —  Yes, Virginia, there actually is a corruption scandal in Hillary Clinton's e-mail choices — or at least that's what Judge Royce Lamberth thinks.  In allowing a lawsuit by Judicial Watch to continue …
Discussion: Politico
Fox News:
Clinton Foundation whistleblowers have come forward with hundreds of pages of evidence, Meadows says
Discussion: The Hill and The Daily Caller
Spencer S. Hsu / Chicago Tribune:
Judge orders Justice and State departments to reopen part of Hillary Clinton email inquiry
Trump to Pick Nauert to Replace Haley as UN Ambassador, Sources Say  — Nauert has been State Department spokeswoman, Fox News anchor  — Maintaining North Korea sanctions, defending Israel key jobs  —  President Donald Trump has decided to nominate State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert …
Wall Street Journal:
Only the Best Candidates for Federal Courts  —  We should stop bringing candidates with questionable track records on race before the full Senate for a vote.  —  Over the past two years the Senate has confirmed a record number of judicial nominees.  I have proudly voted for more than 99% of them …
Discussion: Vox, Talking Points Memo and Politico
Emily Jashinsky / The Federalist:
Kevin Hart Missed A Big Opportunity To Stare Down The Outrage Mob  —  Kevin Hart should be hosting the Oscars.  But now he won't, because of homosexuality-related jokes he made a decade ago.  —  Kevin Hart was supposed to host the Oscars.  The comedian was tapped by the Academy on Tuesday to preside over February's ceremony.
Kristopher Tapley / Variety:
Kevin Hart Refuses to Apologize, Despite Academy Ultimatum, for Past Anti-Gay Comments
Washington Post:
German conservatives pick a Merkel ally to be party leader, signaling continuity and a long goodbye  —  HAMBURG, Germany — Germany's conservatives on Friday picked Chancellor Angela Merkel's preferred successor as party leader, delivering Merkel a badly needed victory that solidifies her legacy …
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer elected to succeed Merkel as CDU leader
Miriam Jordan / New York Times:
Victorina Morales Spoke Out Against President Trump.  What Price Will She Pay?  —  Victorina Morales, a housekeeper at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., disclosed in an interview with The New York Times this week that she had been working illegally at the facility for more than five years.
Michelle Goldberg / New York Times:
Anti-Zionism Isn't the Same as Anti-Semitism  —  American Jews have nothing to fear from the new congressional critics of Israel.  —  On Monday, in an interview with The Intercept, Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat who in November became the first Palestinian-American elected to Congress …
Fredreka Schouten / CNN:
Beto O'Rourke lands big Obama fundraiser — but many elite donors are playing the field in 2020  —  WaPo: Obama met with Beto O'Rourke last month  —  (CNN)One of the Democratic Party's most prolific fundraisers says he has pledged to raise campaign money for rising political star Beto O'Rourke …
Discussion: Breitbart, KBZK and CNBC
Associated Press:   Democrats speeding up their 2020 campaign launches
Carla Marinucci / Politico:
State GOP chairman warns California is ‘canary in the coal mine’ for national party  —  SAN FRANCISCO — The outgoing chair of the California GOP — the nation's largest state Republican Party — has issued a dire warning that his state represents “the canary in the coal mine” …
Discussion: Raw Story
Fareed Zakaria / Washington Post:
I'm not calling to revive WASP culture.  Just to learn from it.  —  The death of George H.W. Bush has occasioned a fair amount of nostalgia for the old American establishment, of which Bush was undoubtedly a prominent member.  It has also provoked a heated debate among commentators about that establishment …
Tucker Carlson / Die Weltwoche:
Trump is not capable  —  Weekday nights Fox News Channel star, Tucker Carlson, can be found merrily berating hapless guests, grilling liberal pundits, and defending America's working and middle classes.  Puckish and pugilistic, the 49-year-old insists the Washington elites among whom he grew up despise America's “normal people.”
TUI refunds holiday for ‘horrifying’ dead son tribute  —  Hotel staff created a “horrifying” effigy of a couple's dead son in a misguided attempt at a tribute.  —  Karen Baker had arranged for workers at a Jamaican resort to dress a room for friends Faye and Andrew Stephens, whose son Alex died in 2014.
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Trump to nominate William Barr as attorney general  —  President Donald Trump said Friday that he plans to nominate former Attorney General William Barr to his old job, naming a formal replacement for Jeff Sessions after ousting him last month and inserting a new controversial figure …
Salvador Hernandez / BuzzFeed News:
Ammon Bundy Is Quitting The Militia Movement After Breaking With Trump On Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric  —  For more than six years Ammon Bundy and his family amassed hundreds of followers and supporters willing to pick up a gun at a moment's notice and rally to their side for a confrontation with the federal government.
Nancy Cook / Politico:
Trump advisers fear 2020 nightmare: A recession  —  President Donald Trump's economic officials are reassuring investors about recent white-knuckle stock market volatility, while Trump's political advisers are increasingly alarmed that the economy could present a stiff 2020 campaign headwind.
Catherine Rampell / Washington Post:
Millennials aren't breaking traditions.  They're just broke.  —  Millennials are a murderous bunch, a generation of homicidal maniacs.  —  At least that's the impression you get from reading news stories about my generation.  —  According to the headlines, we've wreaked carnage across the economy with our fickle, selfish tastes.
Discussion: The Atlantic
Washington Post:
Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch, who signed letter opposing Rep. Nancy Pelosi's speaker bid, reverses course and announces support  —  The Massachusetts congressman said Friday that after several days of conversations, he will cast a vote for Pelosi when the full House votes on Jan. 3.
Discussion: Political Wire
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 More Items: 
Deanna Hackney / CNN:
George Papadopoulos released from prison
Allyson Chiu / Washington Post:
‘Make better choices’: Endangered Hawaiian monk seals keep getting eels stuck up their noses …
Pete /
Updated AlphaZero Crushes Stockfish In New 1,000-Game Match
CBS News:
Tesla CEO Elon Musk on smoking pot, impulsive tweets
Rory Appleton / Sacramento Bee:
Valadao concedes in California congressional race
Abby Livingston / Politico:
The Hardest Glass Ceiling in Politics
 Earlier Items: 
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
Trump is a political vampire
Discussion: Raw Story
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
We're now seeing the Trump economy
Nicholas Kristof / New York Times:
Your Tax Dollars Help Starve Children
Chuck Schumer / Washington Post:
No deal on infrastructure without addressing climate change
Nicole Chavez / CNN:
CNN's New York offices evacuated due to bomb threat
Wall Street Journal:
Prosecutors Looking at Turkey Lobbying by Michael Flynn's Ex-Firm
Discussion: Talking Points Memo