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6:10 PM ET, December 7, 2018


 Top Items: 
Exclusive: Mueller investigators questioned John Kelly in obstruction probe  —  Washington (CNN)White House chief of staff John Kelly was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller's team in recent months, three people with knowledge of the matter told CNN.
Dana Bash / CNN:
Giuliani says Mueller has accused Manafort of lying about Trump  —  Washington (CNN)Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has made clear to Paul Manafort's attorneys that they believe the former Trump campaign chair is lying to them about President Donald Trump, according to the President's attorney Rudy Giuliani.
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
Discussion: ABC News, Hullabaloo and Politico
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” …
Olivia Beavers / The Hill:
Nadler: I'm ending investigation into FBI, DOJ when I become chairman  —  The Democrat poised to lead the House Judiciary Committee next year says he has no intention of continuing the GOP-led investigation into FBI and Justice Department (DOJ) decisionmaking during the 2016 election.
Discussion: Breitbart
Shane Harris / Washington Post:
Justice Department office issued guidance on Whitaker's role in Russia probe  —  A Justice Department ethics office has received requests for advice and issued guidance concerning acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker's involvement in the special counsel's investigation of Russian interference …
Discussion: ThinkProgress, Lawfare and Daily Kos
Associated Press:
House GOP unhappy with Comey's answers behind closed doors
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Federal Judge: Hillary E-Mail Dodge “One Of The Gravest Modern Offenses To Government Transparency”
Discussion: Politico and Daily Wire
Associated Press:
McConnell blocks sentencing bill, upsetting Grassley, GOP  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's reluctance to hold a vote on a popular criminal justice bill has angered top Republican senators and created an unusual rift with a longtime GOP ally, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Trump leans on McConnell to vote on criminal justice reform  —  President Donald Trump pressured Senate Majority Leader Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday to pass criminal justice reform, hoping to push a reluctant McConnell to put it on the floor during a crowded lame duck session.
Washington Post:
Self-professed neo-Nazi James A. Fields Jr. convicted of first-degree murder in car-ramming that killed one, injured dozens  —  CHARLOTTESVILLE — An avowed supporter of neo-Nazi beliefs who took part in the violent and chaotic white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in this city last year …
New York Times:   James Fields Guilty of First-Degree Murder in Death of Charlottesville Protester
James Fields convicted in Charlottesville death
Discussion: KBZK and KTLA
Washington Post:
New Mueller filing says Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen was in touch with a Russian seeking ‘political synergy’ with campaign  —  BREAKING NEWS: The unidentified Russian said that a meeting between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin could have a “phenomenal” impact …
Erica Orden / CNN:   Prosecutors want ‘substantial term of imprisonment’ for Michael Cohen
Zachary Basu / Axios:
Read the two Michael Cohen sentencing memos
Discussion: Politico and The Daily Beast
Allegra Kirkland / Talking Points Memo:
Prosecutors Seek ‘Substantial Prison Term’ For Michael Cohen
Discussion: The Guardian
VA secretary praised Confederate president as a “martyr to ‘The Lost Cause’” in 1995 speech  —  (CNN)Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie praised Confederate States President Jefferson Davis effusively in a 1995 speech, calling him a “martyr to ‘The Lost Cause’” and an “exceptional man in an exceptional age.”
Discussion: Raw Story, Political Wire and Mediaite
Washington Post:
Trump expected to tap Army chief as next chairman of the Joint Chiefs  —  President Trump is expected to choose the head of the Army to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tapping a voluble and unconventional combat veteran to become America's top military officer …
Discussion: CBS Boston and Task & Purpose
Washington Post:
Trump announces changes to his Cabinet; White House chief of staff may be gone soon
Chris Geidner / BuzzFeed News:   The Justice Department Still Hasn't Told The Government Accountability Office That Jeff Sessions Quit
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
Trump Hints He Has Picked His Next Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman
Discussion: Task & Purpose
Libby Watson / Splinter:
Access Journalism Must Die  —  In the Atlantic today, Elaina Plott published what she described as a piece about “why it's so annoying when people sneer at so-called ‘access journalism.’” She went there, folks.  —  Plott's piece is a defense of access journalism by way of praising Richard Ben Cramer's book What it Takes.
Peter Hamby / Vanity Fair:
“They're All Too Old”: Democrats Face a Generational Reckoning  —  The choice in the 2020 primary ultimately comes down to one thing: who is best prepared to beat Trump at a time when Trump owns the culture?  Someone who actually understands culture would be a start.
Amy Gardner / Washington Post:
N.C.'s Harris: ‘I would wholeheartedly support a new election’ if evidence of fraud emerges  —  Mark Harris, the Republican candidate in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District election, issued a video Friday saying he would “wholeheartedly support” a new election if evidence emerges …
New York Times:
North Carolina Republican Owes $34,310 for Disputed Absentee Ballot and Turnout Work, Records Show
Matt Egan / CNN:
Brutal week: Dow plunges 1,150 points  —  New York (CNN Business)Worries about the US-China trade war unleashed another round of heavy selling on Friday, capping off a brutal week on Wall Street.  —  The Dow fell 559 points, or 2.2%, on Friday as investors were left confused …
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.
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Andrew Sullivan / New York Magazine:
America's New Religions  —  Everyone has a religion.  It is, in fact, impossible not to have a religion if you are a human being.  It's in our genes and has expressed itself in every culture, in every age, including our own secularized husk of a society.  —  By religion, I mean something …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Townhall
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 …
McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Lynn Jenkins sets up lobbying business — but she's still a Kansas congresswoman  —  WASHINGTON  —  Lynn Jenkins hasn't left Congress yet, but the Kansas Republican has already launched a new lobbying firm.  —  Jenkins' term in the U.S. House doesn't officially end until the first week …
Isaac Stanley-Becker / Washington Post:
Heather Nauert cited D-Day as the height of U.S.-German relations.  Now she's headed to the U.N.  —  The United Nations came into existence to vanquish Germany, as 26 nations jointly pledged in 1942 not to surrender to “savage and brutal forces seeking to subjugate the world.”
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.
Allyson Chiu / Washington Post:
‘Make better choices’: Endangered Hawaiian monk seals keep getting eels stuck up their noses and scientists want them to stop  —  A relaxed-looking juvenile Hawaiian monk seal lounges near a sandy white beach on some green foliage.  Its eyes are half-closed, and it has a serene expression on its face.
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.
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
The World Still Isn't Meeting Its Climate Goals
Hugh Hewitt / Washington Post:
A week to push back against America's steady creep toward cruelty
Wall Street Journal:
David Boies's Risky Next Act
Bob Pisani / CNBC:
Trump's trade war has cost the S&P 10% this year, JP Morgan estimates
Amy Lieu / Fox News:
Pearl Harbor ceremonies will go on — without 5 remaining survivors of USS Arizona
Discussion: KBZK
Jemele Hill / The Atlantic:
Sometimes I Wish the Obamas Wouldn't ‘Go High’
Daily Mail:
Arrested: Ali R. was arrested at the scene after stabbing Irish university lecturer John Dowling …
Jonathan Oosting / Detroit News:
Embezzlement probe clouds GOP senator's campaign finance push
 Earlier Items: 
ICE arrests 58 in New England enforcement action
Discussion: IJR
Jason Dick / Roll Call:
For Riverby Books, a Time to Close
Cortney O'Brien / Townhall:
Sacramento Bee Editorial Board to Kamala Harris: You Should Have Known Better
Miriam Jordan / New York Times:
Victorina Morales Spoke Out Against President Trump. What Price Will She Pay?
Michelle Goldberg / New York Times:
Anti-Zionism Isn't the Same as Anti-Semitism
Domenico Montanaro / NPR:
Poll: Republicans Are Only Group That Mostly Sees Mueller Probe As A ‘Witch Hunt’
Discussion: Vox and CNBC
Carla Marinucci / Politico:
State GOP chairman warns California is ‘canary in the coal mine’ for national party
Discussion: Raw Story