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11:35 PM ET, January 13, 2019

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 Top Items: 
Betsy Woodruff / The Daily Beast:
Kremlin Blessed Russia's NRA Operation, U.S. Intel Report Says  —  When Maria Butina and Alexander Torshin's brought NRA bigwigs to Moscow, it wasn't a rogue mission.  It was okayed from the very top, according to a report reviewed by The Beast.  —  Betsy Woodruff
RELATED:
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Trump Confronts the Prospect of a ‘Nonstop Political War’ for Survival  —  WASHINGTON — So it has come to this: The president of the United States was asked over the weekend whether he is a Russian agent.  And he refused to answer.  —  The question, which came from a friendly interviewer …
Max Boot / Washington Post:
Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset  —  On Friday, the New York Times reported that “in the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president's behavior that they began investigating whether …
Strobe Talbott / Politico:
It's Already Collusion  —  On Friday, the New York Times revealed an FBI investigation whether Candidate Trump had colluded—the word he hates and denies—with Russians to help his campaign.  The next day, the Washington Post probed into President Trump's refusal to let his own government …
Tom Nichols / USA Today:
All signs point the same way: Vladimir Putin has compromising information on Donald Trump  —  Trump's behavior toward Russia has always been a security concern, and the FBI had no choice but to open a counterintelligence operation.  It did its job.  —  CONNECT
Jason Lemon / Newsweek:
Mueller Draft Report Says Trump ‘Helped Putin Destabilize the United States’, Watergate Journalist Says  —  Legendary journalist Carl Bernstein has said that he's been told that special counsel Robert Mueller's report will show how President Donald Trump helped Russia “destabilize the United States.”
Andrew McCarthy / Fox News:
FBI Russia investigation was always about Trump  —  McCarthy on the Russia investigation: I really think that the investigation was about Trump from the beginning  —  On Friday night, the New York Times published what was clearly intended to be a blockbuster report that …
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
No president has ever been asked: Are you a Russian agent?
Discussion: FOX6Now.com, Mediaite and RedState
Asha Rangappa / Washington Post:
The FBI can't neutralize a security threat if the president is the threat
Catherine Herridge / Fox News:
Republican uncovered secret FBI debate over Trump motivation for Comey firing during House questioning
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Associated Press:
Trump's weekend: new Russia questions, shutdown irritants
Discussion: Breitbart
Timothy L. O'Brien / Bloomberg:
Trump, Putin and a Test of Presidential Power
Discussion: New York Times, AOL and CNN
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Scoop: Trump dressed down Mulvaney in front of congressional leaders  —  President Trump chastised his new chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, over his handling of shutdown talks, creating an awkward scene in front of congressional leaders of both parties, according to two sources who were present.
Andrew Kaczynski / CNN:
Tulsi Gabbard once touted working for anti-gay group that backed conversion therapy  —  (CNN)Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in the early 2000s touted working for her father's anti-gay organization, which mobilized to pass a measure against same-sex marriage in Hawaii and promoted controversial conversion therapy.
Washington Post:
‘They screwed this whole thing up’: Inside the attempt to derail Trump's erratic Syria withdrawal  —  President Trump dispatched national security adviser John Bolton on a cleanup mission a week ago, with a three-day itinerary in Israel that was intended to reassure a close ally …
RELATED:
Dion Nissenbaum / Wall Street Journal:
White House Sought Options to Strike Iran
Cara Lombardo / Wall Street Journal:
Hedge-Fund-Backed Media Group Prepares Bid for Gannett  —  Digital First Media has taken 7.5% stake in USA Today publisher, seeks other bids  —  A hedge-fund-backed media group known for buying up struggling local papers and cutting costs is planning to make an offer for USA Today publisher …
Marisa Kendall / Mercury News:
Landlord rents $1,500 studio to two cats, hits ‘peak Silicon Valley’  —  San Jose studio even has an Apple TV  —  SAN JOSE — Looking to make some extra cash, David Callisch found the perfect tenants for the $1,500-a-month studio apartment behind his Willow Glen home — a pair of cats.
Catherine Lucey / Associated Press:
Analysis: Stagecraft won't win shutdown battle for Trump  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Military salutes.  Heaps of contraband.  Oval Office optics.  —  President Donald Trump, who has long put a premium on stagecraft, is discovering he cannot resolve the partial government shutdown simply by putting on a show.
RELATED:
Quinn Scanlan / ABC News:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer 'don't want to reach a solution …
Discussion: Politico
Associated Press:
Judge blocks Trump birth control coverage rules in 13 states  —  OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A U.S. judge in California on Sunday blocked Trump administration rules, which would allow more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control, from taking effect in 13 states and Washington, D.C.
Dalton Ross / EW.com:
Anthony Scaramucci among 12 new Celebrity Big Brother houseguests  —  Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci will be among 12 new contestants competing on season 2 of Big Brother: Celebrity Edition when the reality show hosted by Julie Chen Moonves premieres Monday, Jan. 21 on CBS.
Discussion: Breitbart, Mediaite and news.avclub.com
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
“There isn't a clear path to an exit”: Officials see Washington stuck in shutdown mode  —  I've spent the weekend calling Trump administration and congressional sources to get a read on what's going to happen with the government shutdown.  Nobody could confidently describe the exit ramp, and it seems there's no immediate end in sight.
RELATED:
Aubree Eliza Weaver / Politico:
Ron Johnson would ‘hate to see’ a national emergency
Discussion: Breitbart
Associated Press:
Canada air traffic controllers buy pizza for US colleagues  —  MONTREAL (AP) — Canadian air traffic controllers have bought hundreds of pizzas for their American counterparts over the past few days in what has become an industry-wide show of support during the U.S. government's partial shutdown.
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
We the Press  —  Frank Bruni, formerly the New York Times's White House reporter and now a columnist for the paper, has a long, long op-ed that is unintentionally revealing.  It is headlined, “Will the Media Be Trump's Accomplice Again in 2020?”  As though the press were pro-Trump in 2016!
Washington Post:
Revelations about Manafort's 2016 interactions with Russian associate show special counsel's intense focus on Russia contacts  —  New revelations about Paul Manafort's interactions with a Russian associate while he was leading President Trump's campaign provide a window into how extensively …
NBC News:
Federal worker forced to ration insulin because of government shutdown  —  “I can't afford to go to the ER.  I can't afford anything.  I just went to bed and hoped I'd wake up,” Mallory Lorge said about her blood sugar going high.  —  Mallory Lorge, who suffers from Type 1 diabetes …
Discussion: Splinter and The Root
 
 
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
Stung by Florida Midterm Losses, Democrats See a Swing State Drifting Away
Melissa Etehad / Los Angeles Times:
Is Tehran spying on Southern California?  Feds say O.C. waiter and ‘Chubby’ from Long Beach were agents of Iran
Jillian Jorgensen / New York Daily News:
Mayor de Blasio won't rule out running for President in 2020
Discussion: Breitbart
Edward Luce / Financial Times:
The Clinton-Obama era ends as US Democrats seek a radical new voice
Walker Bragman / The Intercept:
The Union Fight That Defined Beto O'Rourke's City Council Days
Shane Goldmacher / New York Times:
Ocasio-Cortez Pushes Democrats to the Left, Whether They Like It or Not
Discussion: twitchy.com
Los Angeles Times:
FBI corruption probe goes beyond L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar to include other City Hall figures
 Earlier Items: 
Louise Matsakis / Wired:
MacKenzie Bezos and the Myth of the Lone Genius Founder
Judy L. Thomas / Kansas City Star:
They roam public buildings, making videos. Terrorism experts say they may be dangerous
Mitch Smith / New York Times:
Students in Rural America Ask, ‘What Is a University Without a History Major?’
New York Times:
Why Autocrats Love Emergencies
Janet Hook / Los Angeles Times:
Old, young, liberal, centrist: Democrats will have no end of choices for president in 2020
Louis Casiano / Fox News:
Dems fly to Puerto Rico on chartered jet, meet with lobbyists, see ‘Hamilton’ as shutdown drags on
CNN:
CNN Poll: Trump bears most blame for shutdown