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8:30 AM ET, January 11, 2019


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Prosecutors Examining Ukrainians Who Flocked to Trump Inaugural  —  WASHINGTON — Hours after he was sworn in as America's 45th president, Donald J. Trump and his wife, Melania, swayed together to a rendition of the Frank Sinatra classic “My Way,” as hundreds of their wealthiest …
Katie Rogers / New York Times:
White House Memo: At White House, Empty Desks and Unpaid Bills as Trump Shows No Sign of Relenting  —  At White House, Empty Desks and Unpaid Bills  —  The pain of the partial government shutdown bit into all corners of America — even the White House, where there is often very little sympathy …
Discussion: CNN and The Week
NBC News:
Trump could take billions from disaster areas to fund wall  —  Under the proposal, Trump could dip into money set aside to fund civil works projects all over the country including storm-damaged areas of Puerto Rico.  —  President Donald Trump has been briefed on a plan that would use …
Washington Post:
Trump administration lays groundwork to declare national emergency to build wall  —  The White House has begun laying the groundwork for a declaration of national emergency to build President Trump's border wall, including searching for unused money in the Army Corps of Engineers budget …
New York Times:
White House Considers Using Storm Aid Funds as a Way to Pay for the Border Wall
Discussion: Just Security and Politico
POLITICO Playbook: Shutdown drags toward 3 weeks, without an inch of progress
Discussion: East Bay Times and CNN
Kristina Peterson / Wall Street Journal:
White House Looking Into Diverting Army Corps Funds to Build Wall
Discussion: Washington Post and Political Wire
Heather Caygle / Politico:
Exasperated Democrats try to rein in Ocasio-Cortez  —  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is already making enemies in the House Democratic Caucus — and some of its members are mounting an operation to bring the anti-establishment, democratic socialist with 2.2 million Twitter followers into the fold.
The Intercept:
Progressives Fought for Key Committee Spots, but Centrist New Dems Came Out on Top  —  Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez failed in her long-shot bid for a seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, according to an announcement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Wednesday evening.
Erica Newland / Washington Post:
I worked in the Justice Department.  I hope its lawyers won't give Trump an alibi.  —  Erica Newland is a counsel for the nonprofit group Protect Democracy and a former attorney adviser in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel.  —  President Trump said Thursday that he will …
Exclusive: Robert Mueller met with Trump's pollster  —  Washington (CNN)Special counsel Robert Mueller sought information directly last year from one of Donald Trump's campaign pollsters who is also a former business associate of Paul Manafort's.  —  Mueller's team met with pollster Tony Fabrizio …
As Robert Mueller writes his report, a potential battle brews over obstruction of justice
Discussion: Contemptor and Hullabaloo
Ben Hubbard / New York Times:
U.S. Begins Syria Withdrawal, Amid Uncertainty Over Strategy  —  BEIRUT, Lebanon — The United States has started withdrawing its troops from Syria, an American military spokesman said on Friday, further muddling the Trump administration's plans for disengagement from one of the Middle East's most complex battlefields.
Associated Press:
US official says troop withdrawal from Syria has started  —  BAGHDAD (AP) — After days of back and forth over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pullout American troops from Syria, a U.S. military official said Friday the process of withdrawal has begun, declining to comment on specific timetables or movements.
Discussion: ABC News and Axios
Louisa Loveluck / Washington Post:   U.S. military announces start of Syria troop withdrawal
Martin Matishak / Politico:
‘The secretary barely testified’: Pelosi rebukes Mnuchin after Russia sanctions meeting  —  The Treasury secretary said he was ‘somewhat shocked’ by the remarks following a briefing about lifting sanctions on three Russian companies.  —  House Democrats excoriated Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin …
Laura Rozen / Al-Monitor:
Pompeo's Cairo speech panned as ‘tone-deaf,’ ‘hyper-partisan,’ ‘offensive’  —  US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to students at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 10, 2019.  —  WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's stridently partisan speech in Cairo today chiding …
Aaron David Miller / Politico:
Pompeo's Speech vs. Trump's View of the World
Mark Landler / New York Times:   Trump and Pompeo Embrace Autocrats and Disparage Opponents at Home
Brianna Sacks / BuzzFeed News:
“I Felt Dirty”: Former Employees Of The Veteran Crowdfunding Trump's Wall Say He Pushed Fake News To Get Rich  —  “He never wanted the truth.  It was all just for clicks, and the more inflammatory, the better,” a former employee said.  “I felt dirty writing the stuff.”
Clare Foran / CNN:
Current shutdown ties record for longest government shutdown in US history  —  Where can't you travel during the shutdown?  —  Washington (CNN)The ongoing partial government shutdown hit a new milestone on Friday by matching the record for the longest government shutdown in US history.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:   Democrats will object to Senate adjourning amid shutdown
Rachel Silberstein / Albany Times Union:   Legislature to tackle electoral reform on Monday
Alex Samuels / The Texas Tribune:
Tarrant County GOP's vice-chairman survives recall vote over his religion  —  County party officials overwhelmingly rejected attempts to remove Shahid Shafi because he's Muslim.  The 139-49 vote came after the state's top Republican officials denounced the failed move to oust the trauma surgeon.
Bob Bauer / The Atlantic:
What Someone Needs to Explain to Trump About ‘National Emergencies’  —  When the recently arrived White House counsel Pat Cipollone took up his post, he could have had no illusions that the president he served would make his professional life easy.  Just weeks into the job …
Discussion: New Republic
Wall Street Journal:
Trump's Presidential Emergency
Discussion: Washington Post
New York Times:
Farm Country Stood by Trump.  But the Shutdown Is Pushing It to Breaking Point.  —  DENVER, Colo. — In Georgia, a pecan farmer lost out on his chance to buy his first orchard.  The local Farm Service Agency office that would have processed his loan application was shut down.
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
The International Crisis of Donald Trump  —  While Washington melts down over the government shutdown, the worst-case scenario for the President's foreign policy has actually happened.  —  Congressional committees, like the priorities of the politicians who run them, change with the times.
Alan Butterfield / Daily Mail:
EXCLUSIVE: ‘I killed JonBenét Ramsey!’  Convicted pedophile Gary Oliva has confessed to the murder of six-year-old pageant princess in prison letters to his friend - claiming it was ‘an accident’  — Gary Oliva, 54, has long been a suspect in the murder of JonBenét Ramsey …
Carla Marinucci / Politico:
Newsom promises unemployment insurance to California's federal workers  —  SACRAMENTO — California Gov. Gavin Newsom vowed Thursday that thousands of federal workers in California who are furloughed in the partial government shutdown will be made “quickly eligible” for unemployment insurance …
Discussion: ABC News and Townhall
Marissa J. Lang / Washington Post:
‘Pay the workers, furlough Trump’: Federal workers rally at White House for end to shutdown
David M. Drucker / Washington Examiner:
Republicans plotting to oppose Trump in 2020 waiting for Mueller and June before pulling trigger  —  Renegade Republicans intent on upending President Trump in 2020 are keeping their powder dry, waiting to see if legal and political controversies drive him from office first.
WV MetroNews:
Manchin considering running for Governor... again  —  U.S. Senator Joe Manchin is once again considering running for Governor of West Virginia, according to several people who are familiar with the Senator's thinking.  —  At first glance, the fact that the political veteran is even contemplating the idea may be surprising.
Steven Kull / Washington Post:
Americans don't want Trump's border wall.  This is what they want instead.  —  Americans have lately been spectators for a gladiatorial battle between President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  The president insists on getting $5.7 billion for a border wall in exchange for agreeing to fund the government and end the shutdown.
Daniel Strauss / Politico:
Sherrod Brown plans Iowa trip as top aide accelerates 2020 prep  —  Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is preparing the biggest step yet toward a potential presidential campaign: a trip to Iowa in the coming weeks, which is in the final stages of planning and will soon be announced, according to four people with knowledge of the trip.
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
The Great Issue of Our Time... whether, as a people, we are too dumb to sustain a democracy.  This question arises often; for me, most recently, upon seeing this Daily Mail headline: “Twitter user stuns the internet with math that proves one 18-inch pizza has more in it than TWO 12-inch helpings.”
Discussion: Daily Mail
Wall Street Journal:
Early Withdrawal Will Lead to More Terrorism  —  A recent lull in attacks is welcome, but it seems to have made American leaders complacent.  —  America has a new counterterrorism policy: retrenchment.  Declaring victory over ISIS, the Trump administration seeks to bring home the modest number …
Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller:
Fusion GPS-Linked Group Worked With Tech Company Tied To Russian ‘False Flag’ Operation  — A non-profit group linked to Fusion GPS has ties to a cybersecurity firm recently implicated in a self-described “false flag” operation in the Alabama Senate race.  — The Democracy Integrity Project …
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 More Items: 
Gillibrand plans first Iowa visit
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Taylor Telford / Washington Post:
Now on Craigslist, Facebook: Household items from furloughed workers trying to make ends meet
David M. Herszenhorn / Politico:
Juncker: Brexit ‘clarifications’ but no renegotiation
France 24:
China offers Elon Musk permanent residency
Jeremy Barr / Hollywood Reporter:
CBS News in Talks to Hire Former Sen. Jeff Flake
 Earlier Items: 
David Nakamura / Washington Post:
‘The story keeps changing’: Trump falsely asserts he never promised Mexico would directly pay for the border wall
Paul Mozur / New York Times:
Twitter Users in China Face Detention and Threats in New Beijing Crackdown
Albany Times Union:
Gillibrand reps lease 5,000 square foot Troy building
Bret Stephens / New York Times:
What Real Border Security Looks Like
The Seattle Times:
Q13 FOX staffer fired after TV station airs altered Trump video
Gabby Orr / Politico:
Trump White House urging allies to prepare for possible RBG departure