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8:50 AM ET, December 14, 2018

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
Trump Inauguration Spending Under Criminal Investigation by Federal Prosecutors  —  Probe looking into whether committee misspent funds and top donors gave money in exchange for access to the administration  —  Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating whether President Trump's …
RELATED:
George Stephanopoulos / ABC News:
Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen says Trump knew it was wrong to make hush-money payments during campaign  —  Donald Trump directed Michael Cohen to arrange hush-money payments with two women because then-candidate Trump “was very concerned about how this would affect the election” …
Tom Winter / NBC News:
Trump was in the room during hush money discussions, NBC News confirms  —  A source confirms to NBC News that the “other member of the campaign” present when Michael Cohen and David Pecker agreed to silence women was Donald Trump.  —  Donald Trump was the third person in the room in August 2015 …
New York Times:
Trump Inaugural Fund and Super PAC Said to Be Scrutinized for Illegal Foreign Donations  —  WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors are examining whether foreigners illegally funneled donations to President Trump's inaugural committee and a pro-Trump super PAC in hopes of buying influence over American policy …
Discussion: Middle East Eye and Raw Story
Washington Post:
Trump's claim that he didn't violate campaign finance law is weak — and dangerous  —  The case against the president would be far stronger than the case against John Edwards was.  —  Last week, in their case against Michael Cohen, federal prosecutors in New York filed a sentencing brief concluding that …
Los Angeles Times:
Trump increasingly isolated as aides leave, friends flip and investigations advance … It was almost noon Thursday when a Marine suddenly appeared outside the West Wing doors, a sign that President Trump had belatedly reported to the Oval Office.  —  For the second day in a row …
Discussion: Raw Story
Washington Post:
Trump's falsehoods on hush-money payments are ‘coming home to roost’  —  For months, President Trump's spokesmen, his lawyer and his lawyer's lawyer denied that Trump knew about payments during his 2016 campaign to buy the silence of women who alleged sexual encounters with him.
George Stephanopoulos / ABC News:   Michael Cohen talks to George Stephanopoulos: TRANSCRIPT
Tommy Christopher / Mediaite:
Former Apprentice Staffer Claims Trump Was ‘Speed Freak,’ Invited Teen Beauty Queens to His Suite
Caleb Ecarma / Mediaite:   Watch Napolitano Debunk All of Fox & Friends' Trump Defenses: ‘John Edwards Case Actually Hurts the President’
The Daily Beast:
How Jared Kushner Replaced Michael Cohen as Trump's National Enquirer Connection  —  The president's son-in-law grew tight with David Pecker during the early months of the administration.  —  Shortly after the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner was handed …
Discussion: Politico and Raw Story
RELATED:
HuffPost:
Trump Considering Son-In-Law Jared Kushner For Next Chief Of Staff  —  The president is in the third round of his search for a job not many people seem to want.  —  WASHINGTON Having run through his first choices for his chief of staff vacancy without any luck, President Donald Trump is considering his own son-in-law for the job.
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Trump meets with Chris Christie to discuss chief of staff role  —  President Trump met with Chris Christie on Thursday evening and considers him a top contender to replace John Kelly as chief of staff, according to a source familiar with the president's thinking.
Associated Press:   Trump's search for a new chief of staff has reality TV feel
Washington Post:
7-year-old migrant girl taken into Border Patrol custody dies of dehydration, exhaustion  —  A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock after she was taken into Border Patrol custody last week for crossing into the United States illegally with her father and a large group …
Dan Morain / CALmatters:
Chief justice of the California Supreme Court leaves the Republican Party, citing Kavanaugh  —  California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has quietly given up her Republican registration and re-registered as a no-party-preference voter, saying Thursday she had become increasingly uncomfortable …
Discussion: Raw Story and HuffPost
RELATED:
Morgan Gstalter / The Hill:
Chief Justice of California Supreme Court leaves GOP over Kavanaugh confirmation
Discussion: CALmatters
George Packer / The Atlantic:   The Corruption of the Republican Party
Jason Schwartz / Politico:
Washington Post to run full-page ad on Khashoggi killing  —  The Washington Post plans to run a full-page ad Friday drawing attention to the death of columnist Jamal Khashoggi, part of a broader push that publisher Fred Ryan told POLITICO would continue “until meaningful action is taken” over Saudi Arabia's role in the killing.
Discussion: CNN and VICE News
RELATED:
United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations:
Corker Offers Resolution Condemning Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Wall Street Journal:
Yemen Foes Agree on Cease-Fire Amid U.S. Pressure
Discussion: Vox
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
Sanders and Warren Meet and Agree: They Both Are Probably Running  —  WASHINGTON — Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders met Wednesday night at her condominium in Washington to discuss their political intentions but did not reach any accord about coordinating …
RELATED:
Politico:   POLITICO Playbook: How Trump might avoid a shutdown
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
“This Is Not a Normal Time”: Trump and the Rapidly Expanding “Witch Hunt”  —  The criminality of the key figures in the President's inner circle is now established, and they have started to implicate Trump himself.  —  Shortly after 11 a.m. on Thursday, Senator Jeff Flake, of Arizona, took to the Senate floor for his farewell speech.
New York Times:
Behind CBS's Secret $9.5 Million Settlement With the Actress Eliza Dushku  —  In March 2017, Eliza Dushku, an actress known for her work on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” signed on to play a major role in three episodes of the CBS prime-time drama “Bull,” and there were plans to make her a full-time cast member.
Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller:
Mueller Target Raised $25,000 In Charity To Pay Cancer Doctor Who Doesn't Appear To Exist  — Business records and evidence from social media raise questions about a cancer fundraiser touted during the summer by Jerome Corsi, the right-wing author ensnared in the Mueller probe.
Washington Post:
‘Her skills are real’: How Pelosi put down a Democratic rebellion in bid for speaker  —  Rep. Nancy Pelosi's opponents knew they had an opportunity.  But what they really needed was an alternative.  —  This past summer, they thought they had identified the perfect candidate to replace Pelosi …
Washington Post:
N.C. congressional candidate sought out aide, despite warnings over tactics  —  North Carolina congressional candidate Mark Harris (R) directed the hiring of a campaign aide now at the center of an election-fraud investigation, according to three individuals familiar with the campaign …
Discussion: Splinter and CNN
Christine Stapleton / Palm Beach Post:
BREAKING: Trump plans 16-day holiday visit to Mar-a-Lago  —  President Donald Trump is expected to spend 16 days at Mar-a-Lago over the Christmas and New Year's holidays, according to an alert issued by the Federal Aviation Administration this morning.  —  The alert warns pilots to avoid …
Pete Thamel / Yahoo! Sports:
How Craig James went from the voice of college football to TV pariah to seminary graduate  —  DALLAS - Craig James' square jaw, perfectly coiffed hair and All-American charisma helped make him one of the most recognizable faces of college football for nearly two decades.
Allan Smith / NBC News:
McCaskill's parting shot: Too many ‘embarrassing uncles’ serving in the Senate  —  The Democrat said that the U.S. Senate is no longer the world's greatest deliberative body and lawmakers should stop claiming that.  —  In her farewell speech on the Senate floor, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill …
George F. Will / Washington Post:
This candidate may be the optimum challenger to Trump in 2020  —  “The money man dealing himself a hot royal flush.  Then giving you and me a phony hand like a pair of tens or something.”  —  Clifford Odets, 1935  —  With his gravelly voice and his lack of senatorial sheen …
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA
Jessica Contrera / Washington Post:
The boy on the bridge … Story by Jessica Contrera Video by Joyce Koh  —  There was no way she could have seen him, the boy on the bridge.  —  Marisa Harris was driving her Ford Escape down a Northern Virginia highway, heading home after a peaceful afternoon hike at Burke Lake.
Devlin Barrett / Washington Post:
Mueller's treatment of cooperating witnesses suggests end of Russia investigation may be near  —  Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is setting a curious pattern as he squeezes cooperation and guilty pleas out of suspects in his investigation, one that suggests he may be nearing the end of his work.
Discussion: CNN
 
 
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 More Items: 
Katie Lobosco / CNN:
Betsy DeVos will cancel $150 million in student debt after being sued for delays
Discussion: Axios
Matthew Continetti / Washington Free Beacon:
The Great Wall of Democracy
Joe Otterson / Variety:
Number of Streaming Shows Overtakes Basic Cable, Broadcast for First Time, FX Reports
Steven Overly / Politico:
China's ZTE taps Joe Lieberman for D.C. damage control
Discussion: Washington Post
Sean Sullivan / Washington Post:
For Arizona governor, McSally's star dims as possible choice for Senate seat
 Earlier Items: 
Steven Hayward / Power Line:
Settled Science: There Really Are ‘Latte Liberals’
Sarah McGregor / Bloomberg:
U.S. Budget Deficit Hits Widest on Record for Month of November
Discussion: Mother Jones
Peter Aldhous / BuzzFeed News:
The Cities Where The Cops See No Hate
Kate Bennett / CNN:
Melania Trump's poll numbers plummet
Discussion: Mediaite, Washington Times, AOL and Splinter
Stephen Robinson / Wonkette:
Totally Non-Evil ICE Arrests 170 Immigrants Trying To Save Babies From Baby Jails