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1:15 PM ET, January 12, 2019

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
New York Times:
F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia  —  F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working For Russia  — In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials were alarmed by the president's behavior.
RELATED:
Benjamin Wittes / Lawfare:
What if the Obstruction Was the Collusion?  On the New York Times's Latest Bombshell  —  Shortly before the holidays, I received a call from New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt asking me to meet with him about some reporting he had done.  Schmidt did not describe the subject until we met up …
Isaac Chotiner / New Yorker:
How the Times Reported the F.B.I. Counterintelligence Investigation Into President Trump: An Interview with the Journalist Adam Goldman  —  On Friday evening, the Times reported that, days after President Trump fired the F.B.I. director James Comey, on May 9, 2017, the Bureau opened …
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Why the FBI might've thought Trump could be working for Russia  —  The theory that President Trump is or has been a Russian asset is a popular one among his detractors.  But for the first time, we're learning that it's something the FBI suspected strongly enough to dig into.
The Daily Beast:
Ex-FBI Officials Say Spy Inquiry into President Trump Is ‘Uncharted Territory’  —  If the Times' story is right, retired agents and officials say that means the highest levels of Justice and the FBI knew the president was—and may still be—under investigation.
Politico:
POLITICO Playbook: The longest shutdown ever  —  DRIVING THE DAY  —  THE INVESTIGATIONS — BOMBSHELL — NYT'S ADAM GOLDMAN, MIKE SCHMIDT and NICK FANDOS: “F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia”: “In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey …
Discussion: Political Wire
Caroline Kelly / CNN:
Tulsi Gabbard says she will run for president in 2020  —  (CNN)Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said Friday she will run for president in 2020.  —  “I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week,” the Hawaii Democrat told CNN's Van Jones during an interview slated …
New York Times:
Trump Pulls Back From Declaring a National Emergency to Fund a Wall  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump has stepped back from declaring a national emergency to pay for a border wall, under pressure from congressional Republicans, his own lawyers and advisers, who say using it as a way out of …
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and Raw Story
RELATED:
Cristina Alesci / CNN:
Trump Organization hires former White House ethics lawyer to handle Hill investigations
Discussion: Forbes
Associated Press:   Shutdown becomes longest federal closure in US history
Enjoli Francis / ABC News:
Drone captures California man surfing with dolphins  —  Breathtaking drone video of a pod of friendly, playful dolphins joining a surfer as he took to the waves near the coast of Ventura, California, is making the rounds on social media and bringing smiles — and wow's — to viewers.
Maggie Astor / New York Times:
Julián Castro, Former Housing Secretary, Announces Presidential Run  —  Julián Castro, the former housing secretary and former mayor of San Antonio, announced on Saturday that he would run for president, one of the most high-profile Latino Democrats ever to seek the party's nomination.
Discussion: Axios
Daniel Strauss / Politico:
'You couldn't spend a dime?':  Jay Inslee ticks off the wrong state  —  When Washington Gov. Jay Inslee heads to the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state of New Hampshire later this month to test the 2020 waters, he might want to consider adding an apology tour.
Discussion: CNBC and Washington Free Beacon
Jeff Hauser / HuffPost:
Prosecute Donald Trump To The Full Extent Of The Law  —  Want Americans to feel like the country is fair?  Think the rule of law is important?  Prosecute powerful people when they commit crimes.  Even people who worked for a president.  Even a former president.
Ian Livingston / Washington Post:
D.C.-area forecast: Snow develops later today, with at least several inches likely tonight through Sunday  —  * Winter storm warning for immediate D.C. metro area and south 4 p.m. Saturday to 1 p.m. Sunday |  Winter weather advisory for northern areas 4 p.m Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday *
New York Times:
It's Final: Megyn Kelly and NBC Part Ways.  And She Will Be Paid in Full.  —  After a drawn-out negotiation period, NBC and Megyn Kelly have formally agreed to part ways.  —  The network and the onetime cable news star reached a final agreement on Friday, nearly three months after she wondered aloud …
RELATED:
Lisa Ryan / The Cut:
Megyn Kelly Is Officially Walking Away from NBC With $69 Million
David Bauder / Associated Press:
TV station backs off accusation that CNN played politics  —  NEW YORK (AP) — An executive at a San Diego television station that accused CNN of rejecting an appearance by one of its reporters for political reasons conceded Friday he didn't really know why the network turned him down.
Discussion: Contemptor, Mediaite and KUSI-TV
New York Times:
Mercurial Trump Has Made Path Out of Shutdown Much Harder to Find  —  WASHINGTON — Officially, Republicans blame Democrats for what is now the longest government shutdown in the nation's history.  Privately, many concede, the stalemate over President Trump's demand for a border wall …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
James Griffiths / MIT Technology Review:
When Chinese hackers declared war on the rest of us  —  Many thought the internet would bring democracy to China.  Instead it empowered rampant government oppression, and now the censors are turning their attention to the rest of the world.  —  Late one Wednesday in March 2015 …
Stephen F. Hayes / Washington Post:
The country needs a Republican to challenge Trump in 2020  —  Stephen F. Hayes is the former editor in chief of the Weekly Standard.  —  Elizabeth Warren was just in Iowa.  Cory Booker's been hanging out in New Hampshire.  Julián Castro is giving interviews to anyone who asks.
Astead W. Herndon / New York Times:
Kamala Harris Is Hard to Define Politically.  Maybe That's the Point.  —  If Senator Kamala Harris's book tour is a preview of her likely presidential campaign, the early signs point to a catchall message meant for Democrats across the spectrum.  —  Speaking Friday night at the 92nd Street Y …
Discussion: Axios and The Atlantic
Alex Horton / Washington Post:
He helped U.S. troops and fled Afghanistan.  CBP detained him in Houston, an advocacy group said.  —  KABUL — A former interpreter for U.S. troops in Afghanistan was detained Friday in Houston's international airport with his family and threatened with deportation to Kabul …
Paul Kane / Washington Post:
A McCain staffer and an institution within the institution bids farewell to Senate  —  They don't make staffers like Joe Donoghue anymore.  —  Donoghue, 49, just ended a more than 31-year run working his way up from the mail room to the pinnacle of power in the U.S. Senate …
Alexandra DeSanctis / National Review:
Are Democrats Testing a Future Strategy against Amy Coney Barrett?  —  One way to understand the Democratic opposition to the judicial nomination of Brian Buescher over his membership in the Catholic group the Knights of Columbus is as a test run in preventing their worst nightmare …
Discussion: Power Line
RELATED:
Matthew Continetti / Washington Free Beacon:
The Outrageous Assault on the Knights of Columbus
Discussion: GetReligion
Laura Bassett / HuffPost:
Conservative Men Are Obsessed With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Science Tells Us Why.  —  Conservatives respond to fear more strongly than liberals do, says one neuroscientist who studies political anxiety.  —  Conservatives' bizarre, escalating obsession with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez …
Discussion: twitchy.com
RELATED:
Matt Wilstein / The Daily Beast:
Fox News Frets Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Could Enter 2020 Race
Discussion: Hot Air
The Daily Beast:
GoFundMe Border Wall Campaign Implodes, Turns to Kris Kobach and Sheriff Clarke  —  The wall won't build itself.  —  A decorated veteran who raised more than $20 million to finance construction of a wall along the southern U.S. border has announced that he will instead use the money to finance …
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 More Items: 
Erica Doyle Higgins / The Sun:
SWARM & BUZZY Huge swarm of locusts descends on Mecca leaving worshippers at Islam's holiest site covered in insects
Discussion: Breitbart
New York Times:
Saudi Women, Tired of Restraints, Find Ways to Flee
Discussion: Gizmodo
TYT Network:
Christian Group Reported Expenses for Having Russians at National Prayer Breakfast
Discussion: Raw Story
Aidan McLaughlin / Mediaite:
Shepard Smith Appears to Swipe at Outnumbered For Trashing NYC: Crime is Low and ‘Streets Are Clean’
Discussion: Contemptor
David DeBolt / Mercury News:
Entire East Bay Express editorial staff laid off on Friday
Megan Garnache / WTKR-TV:
Trump expected to ditch career diplomat, nominate Scott Taylor as Qatar ambassador
 Earlier Items: 
Christian Caryl / Washington Post:
There's a way to know if Russia threw the election to Trump
Zachary Basu / Axios:
John Bolton calls Venezuela's Maduro an “illegitimate” leader
NBC News:
Behind the viral #GoFundTheWall fundraiser, a rising conservative star and a shadowy email harvesting operation
Katy Tur / NBC News:
Senate intel committee grilling ex-Trump campaign members in Russia probe
Discussion: Raw Story
Dan Diamond / Politico:
Trump wants to bypass Congress on Medicaid plan
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA
Washington Post:
‘Could you make these guys essential?’: …
Konstantin von Hammerstein / Spiegel Online:
Trump's Ambassador Finds Few Friends in Germany
Discussion: Joe.My.God.