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9:15 AM ET, January 15, 2019


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Trump Discussed Pulling U.S. From NATO, Aides Say Amid New Concerns Over Russia  —  WASHINGTON — There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.
The Daily Beast:
Mueller Probes an Event With Nunes, Flynn, and Foreign Officials at Trump's D.C. Hotel  —  Devin Nunes has been a pitbull for the president, growling at the prosecutors investigating Trumpworld.  Now an event that Nunes himself attended is under Mueller's microscope.
Ariane de Vogue / CNN:
Barr sent or discussed controversial memo with Trump lawyers  —  Washington (CNN)Attorney General nominee William Barr shared a controversial memo last year with nearly all of President Donald Trump's lawyers concluding that an aspect of special counsel Robert Mueller's case could be “fatally misconceived,” Barr acknowledged Monday.
Discussion: KTLA
Trump's legal team rebuffed request for Mueller interview in recent weeks  —  (CNN)President Donald Trump's legal team rebuffed special counsel Robert Mueller's request in recent weeks for an in-person session with Trump to ask follow-up questions.  —  The request was made after Trump's …
Julie Kelly / American Greatness:
The Media's Trump-Russia Death Spasms
Luke Barr / ABC News:
AG nominee Barr promises he won't interfere with Mueller as confirmation hearing set to begin
Discussion: The Daily Beast
New York Times:
Steve King Faces Loss of House Committee Seats Over White Supremacy Remark  —  House Republican leaders will try to remove Representative Steve King of Iowa from the powerful Judiciary Committee and his other panel assignments on Monday night as the party officials scrambled to appear tough …
The Hill:
GOP leaders strip Steve King of committee assignments  —  House GOP leaders moved Monday to remove Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) from all of his committee assignments following a firestorm over remarks considered racist.  —  House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters …
Jacqueline Alemany / Washington Post:
Power Up: Missing in action McConnell suggests no shutdown deal in sight
Discussion: Politico and Roll Call
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
Republicans need to condemn Trump's brazen bigotry
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and Contemptor
Washington Post:
Trump and lawmakers paralyzed over shutdown as both sides remain dug in
Al Weaver / Washington Examiner:   McCarthy strips Steve King of committee assignments after accusations he backed white supremacy
Washington Post:
Rep. Steve King's inflammatory remarks roil a GOP already struggling on race
Discussion: Politico and Political Wire
Mike DeBonis / Washington Post:
House Republican leaders move to strip Rep. Steve King of his committee assignments over comments …
NPR:   How Damaging Are Rep. King's Comments To The GOP?
Emma Ockerman / VICE News:
Democrats are about to punish GOP Rep. Steve King for his “rabid racism”
Discussion: CNN, The Week and Mediaite
John Bresnahan / Politico:
Steve King stripped of committee seats — with more punishment coming
Discussion: ABC News and Breitbart
New York Times:
At Trump's Inauguration, $10,000 for Makeup and Lots of Room Service  —  At Trump's Inauguration, the Money Flowed Like Never Before  —  New details of spending on Mr. Trump's inaugural two years ago show that it roughly doubled that of his immediate predecessors.
John Santucci / ABC News:
President Donald Trump's inaugural fund spent lavishly at his DC hotel, new docs show  —  President Donald Trump's inaugural committee spent more than $1.5 million at the Trump International Hotel in Washington ahead of his 2017 swearing-in, according to internal documents reviewed by ABC News.
Annie Karni / New York Times:
Ivanka Trump to Help Choose New World Bank President  —  WASHINGTON — Ivanka Trump, the president's eldest daughter and senior adviser, will play a role in helping to select the next head of the World Bank, the White House said Monday.  —  Ms. Trump, who had been rumored to be a contender …
POLITICO Playbook: Trump amps up Dem pressure campaign  —  DRIVING THE DAY  —  SHUTDOWN ... DAY 25 ... THE WHITE HOUSE sent a bunch of moderate House Democrats invitations to meet with the president, as Heather Caygle and Jake first reported late Monday afternoon.
Discussion: Political Wire
Senior Trump Official / The Daily Caller:
I'm A Senior Trump Official, And I Hope A Long Shutdown Smokes Out The Resistance  —  The Daily Caller is taking the rare step of publishing this anonymous op-ed at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose career would be jeopardized by its disclosure.
Discussion: Mediaite and Daily Wire
Matt Shuham / Talking Points Memo:
‘Senior Trump Official’ On Shutdown: ‘We Do Not Want Most Employees To Return’
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Steve Liesman / CNBC:
Trump administration doubles estimate of shutdown cost to economy from original forecast: Source  — The original estimate that the partial shutdown would subtract 0.1 percentage point from growth every two weeks has now been doubled to a 0.1 percentage point subtraction every week, according to a Trump administration official.
Gillette: The Best a Questioning, Cishet, Non-Binary Ally Can Get  —  Jon Gabriel, Ed.  —  Gillette has had a rough few years.  The former shaving hegemon has seen its market share plummet due to a resurgence in classic “wet shaving,” online razor subscription services, and the popularity of beards.
Discussion: Instapundit
Betsy Woodruff / The Daily Beast:
Joe Lieberman Called Chinese Telecom Giant ZTE a National Security Threat.  Now He's a Lobbyist for It.  —  The former Senator says he can better serve his new client precisely because he was once a critic.  —  Betsy Woodruff  —  Joseph Lieberman, the former Connecticut senator …
Discussion: Raw Story
Brian Stelter / CNN:
Facebook, fighting off skeptics, plans to invest $300 million in journalism programs  —  New York (CNN Business)Facebook says it is making by far its biggest investment yet into struggling sectors of the news industry.  —  On Tuesday the company is announcing a three-year commitment …
Tom Vanden Brook / USA Today:
Pentagon to send more active-duty troops to southwest border  —  President Trump once said Mexico would pay directly for a wall; now he says his trade deal would do it.  But experts say that's a long shot.  —  CONNECT  —  WASHINGTON - The Pentagon will send a fresh deployment …
Discussion: CNN and Townhall
Associated Press:
Pentagon agrees to extended role on Mexico border mission
Discussion: ABC News
Rosalind S. Helderman / Washington Post:
Conservative writer Jerome Corsi says Mueller has summoned his stepson to testify before grand jury  —  The stepson of conservative writer Jerome Corsi has been summoned by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to testify before a grand jury, according to Corsi, a sign that Mueller's team remains focused …
Discussion: Joe.My.God. and Associated Press
The Hill:
GOP maps out early 2020 strategy to retake House  —  Republicans are crafting an early strategy to take back the House in 2020, zeroing in on districts carried by President Trump that recently flipped to Democrats and starting a recruitment process that will have a heavy emphasis on female candidates.
Discussion: Political Wire
The Sun:
BREX FROM THE DEAD Theresa May will force SECOND vote on her Brexit deal despite facing huge defeat  —  Allies claim that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has offered Theresa May last minute help after saying the EU could grant extra concessions if MPs shoot down the her deal
Washington Post:
Justice Department issues new opinion that could further restrict online gambling  —  The Justice Department late Monday issued a legal opinion that could further restrict online gambling even as some states have been moving to embrace it — a restriction long sought by GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson …
Discussion: Raw Story
Brian Stelter / CNN:
Welcome to the Stephen Colbert primary  —  (CNN)Iowa.  New Hampshire.  Donor enclaves on the coasts.  And... the Ed Sullivan Theater?  —  Yes, the home of Stephen Colbert's “Late Show” is proving to be a key stop for Democrats who are positioning themselves for 2020 presidential bids.
Micah L. Sifry / New Republic:
Resistance Training  —  Since Donald Trump became president, the United States has seen over 20,000 street protests.  While this number includes some pro-Trump rallies, most of the events voiced opposition to the administration.  Between hundreds of Women's Marches, the airport protests …
Edward-Isaac Dovere / The Atlantic:
Is This the Year for a Redistricting Revolution?  —  LOS ANGELES—Barack Obama and Arnold Schwarzenegger agree: Neither thinks Donald Trump has any business being anywhere near the White House, but the main political issue they're going to focus on for the next two years is redistricting reform.
Renato Mariotti / Politico:
Obstruction Is Collusion  —  The revelation that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation to determine whether President Donald Trump is compromised by or working for the Russian government is beyond disturbing.  To deepen the unease, another report disclosed that Trump went to …
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 More Items: 
Walter Russell Mead / Wall Street Journal:
Trump's Mideast Strategy
Emma G. Fitzsimmons / New York Times:
Leaks, Cancer-Causing Dust: L-Train Plan Similar to Cuomo's Was Rejected Over Safety
Jeff Carlson /
McCabe's FBI Tried to Re-engage Christopher Steele After Comey Was Fired
Bruce Haring / Deadline:
‘Family Guy’ Is Phasing Out Jokes About Gay People, Executive Producers Say
Discussion: Louder With Crowder
Peter Holley / Washington Post:
Giant Food Stores will place robotic assistants at 172 locations, company says
Discussion: Mashable
New York Times:
With New Voting Laws, Democrats Flex Newfound Power in New York
Discussion: Axios
 Earlier Items: 
Amy Goldstein / Washington Post:
Judge blocks Trump effort to roll back birth control mandate nationwide
Discussion: National Review and Townhall
Michael Kranish / Washington Post:
Old land deal quietly haunts Mick Mulvaney as he serves as Trump's chief of staff
Washington Post:
The shutdown is giving some Trump advisers what they've long wanted: A smaller government
Discussion: The Daily Beast
Richard N. Haass / Project Syndicate:
THE YEAR OF TRUMP?  —  The second truth is that peace negotiations are unlikely to work.
David Dayen / The Intercept:
Shuttered IRS Is Sending Automated Warnings of Asset Seizures, With Nobody to Call to Stop Them
Discussion: Boing Boing
Richard L. Hasen / Slate:
The House Democrats' Colossal Election Reform Bill Could Save American Democracy
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is going to Canada for surgery