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2:15 PM ET, January 17, 2019


 Top Items: 
Domenico Montanaro / NPR:
Poll: Trump Approval Down, Slips With Base  —  While the longest government shutdown in U.S. history continues, President Trump's approval rating is down, and there are cracks showing with his base.  —  A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds Trump's approval rating down and his disapproval rating up from a month ago.
PBS NewsHour:
57 percent of voters say they won't support Trump in 2020  —  With the 2020 presidential election already underway, 57 percent of registered voters said they would definitely vote against President Donald Trump, according to the latest poll from the PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist.
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
Wall Street Journal:
Poll-Rigging for Trump and Creating @WomenForCohen: One IT Firm's Work Order  —  Behind the scenes, Michael Cohen hired RedFinch Solutions, then allegedly stiffed it—and his boss  —  In early 2015, a man who runs a small technology company showed up at Trump Tower to collect $50,000 …
Cohen says Trump directed him to pay for poll rigging
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Rudy Giuliani just contradicted nearly all the Trump team's past collusion denials  —  This is at least the 10th time the denials have been watered down.  It might be the most significant rollback.  —  President Trump's legal spokesman Rudolph W. Giuliani on Wednesday night appeared to grant …
New York Times:
Giuliani Backpedals on Statement About Trump Aides and Collusion
Discussion: Washington Post and Joe.My.God.
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Giuliani seeks to clarify comments on Trump campaign and Russia, saying he has ‘no knowledge of any collusion’
Discussion: emptywheel and The Daily Caller
Caroline Kelly / CNN:
Rudy Giuliani says Trump didn't collude with Russia but can't say if campaign aides did
POLITICO Playbook: Crisis
Yoni Appelbaum / The Atlantic:
Impeach Donald Trump  —  On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump stood on the steps of the Capitol, raised his right hand, and solemnly swore to faithfully execute the office of president of the United States and, to the best of his ability, to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Pew Research Center:
Generation Z Looks a Lot Like Millennials on Key Social and Political Issues  —  Among Republicans, Gen Z stands out in views on race, climate and the role of government  —  No longer the new kids on the block, Millennials have moved firmly into their 20s and 30s, and a new generation is coming into focus.
Reid Wilson / The Hill:   Generation Z may be most liberal demographic yet
Barbara Starr / CNN:
Trump is fraying nerves inside the Pentagon  —  Washington (CNN)Two years into his presidency, Donald Trump is fueling unprecedented uncertainty and anxiety inside the Pentagon.  In private conversations over the past month, many of them unsolicited, more than a dozen key military officers …
Discussion: Raw Story, KTLA, Defense One and FOX59
Joe Concha / The Hill:
Fox's Griffin: Was told by diplomat that Syria attack was ‘direct result’ of US pullout decision
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Key Justice Department officials, including Mueller deputy, knew about dossier  —  Testimony last year before a House task force investigating the Trump-Russia affair confirmed that top Justice Department officials knew about the Trump dossier earlier than first thought …
Lara Bazelon / New York Times:
Kamala Harris Was Not a ‘Progressive Prosecutor’  —  The senator was often on the wrong side of history when she served as California's attorney general.  —  Ms. Bazelon is a law professor and the former director of the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent in Los Angeles.
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
GOP Congressmen Meet With Accused Holocaust-Denier Chuck Johnson  —  The two Republican lawmakers say they didn't know about the alt-right troll's past.  —  Notorious alt-right figure and accused Holocaust denier Chuck Johnson met with two Republican lawmakers in Congress on Wednesday.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Michael Levenson /
As they head to Harvard, Gary Cohn and Heidi Heitkamp criticize shutdown  —  Gary Cohn, President Trump's former top economic adviser, and Heidi Heitkamp, a former Democratic senator from North Dakota, got to know one another when he was president of Goldman Sachs and she was on the Senate Banking Committee.
Dan Diamond / Politico:
Trump administration separated thousands more migrants than previously known  —  The Trump administration separated thousands more migrant kids at the border than it previously acknowledged, and the separations began months before the policy was announced, according to a federal audit released Thursday morning.
Congressman Tom Marino:
Congressman Tom Marino Announces Resignation  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Tom Marino (PA-12) released the following statement announcing his resignation from the United States House of Representatives.  —  Rep. Marino said the following:  —  “As of January 23, 2019, I am officially stepping down from Congress.
LGBTQ Statement by Tulsi Gabbard … Aloha.  —  In my past I said and believed things that were wrong, and worse, hurtful to people in the LGBTQ+ community and their loved ones.  —  Many years ago, I apologized for my words and, more importantly, for the negative impact that they had.
Discussion: Politico and Talking Points Memo
New York Times:
In a West Wing in Transition, Trump Tries to Stand Firm on the Shutdown  —  In a West Wing in transition, President Trump is trying to stand firm on the shutdown.  —  White House Redefines Who Is Essential to Get Parts of Government Moving Again  —  The administration is opening …
The Hill:
Schumer recruiting top-notch candidate for McCain Senate seat  —  Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is recruiting Rep. Ruben Gallego (Ariz.), a rising Democratic star in the House, to run for the Arizona Senate seat long held by John McCain.  —  Schumer and Democratic …
Yvonne Wingett Sanchez / Arizona Republic:   Science advocacy group bids to draft astronaut Mark Kelly for Arizona's 2020 Senate race
Bill Todd / US Department of State:
Urgent Message from the Deputy Under Secretary for Management  —  As a national security agency, it is imperative that the Department of State carries out its mission.  We are best positioned to do so with fully staffed embassies, consulates, and domestic offices.
Discussion: Politico and Axios
Removing Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior from Russia  —  Today we removed multiple Pages, groups and accounts that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook and Instagram.  The two operations we found originated in Russia, and one was active in a variety of countries while the other was specific to Ukraine.
Eli Rosenberg / Washington Post:
A Latino Marine veteran was detained for deportation.  Then ICE realized he was a citizen.  —  Richard Kessler, an immigration lawyer in Grand Rapids, Mich., said he was surprised when a woman he had worked with called to tell him that her son, a 27-year-old Marine veteran with mental-health issues …
Alexander C. Kaufman / HuffPost:
EPA Nominee Andrew Wheeler Downplays Climate Threat At Testy Confirmation Hearing  —  The former coal lobbyist's view of climate change hasn't changed much over the last two years.  —  Andrew Wheeler, the former coal lobbyist chosen by President Donald Trump to serve as the next Environmental …
Discussion: Common Dreams
Russell Worth Parker / New York Times:
I'm Prepared to Talk About the Things I Did in Iraq.  Are People Ready to Listen?  —  In Iraq I had a device called a Phraselator, an unwieldy specimen of 2004 military technology that resembled a cross between a fancy walkie-talkie and an early model PalmPilot.
Tim Cook / TIME:
You Deserve Privacy Online.  Here's How You Could Actually Get It  —  We all deserve control over our digital lives.  That's why we must rein in the data brokers  —  In 2019, it's time to stand up for the right to privacy—yours, mine, all of ours.  Consumers shouldn't have to tolerate another year …
David Corn / Mother Jones:
A New Right-Wing Smear Campaign Targets a Former FBI Official to Distract From Russia Scandal  —  The politics of personal destruction meet a Trumpian conspiracy theory—and it involves me  —  What happens when the politics of personal destruction intersect with a Trumpian conspiracy theory?
Donovan Slack / USA Today:
Former VA secretary violated ethics rules by allowing employee to drive his wife around  —  WASHINGTON - An investigation of former Veterans Affairs secretary David Shulkin largely cleared him of allegations he misused his security detail for shopping and other errands, but concluded …
Ronald Brownstein / The Atlantic:
Trump Isn't Even Trying to Convince Voters on the Shutdown  —  A government shutdown that most Americans oppose, on behalf of a border wall that most Americans oppose, might be the logical end point for a president and a political party that appears more and more unconcerned about attracting support from a majority of the public.
Laurence Norman / Wall Street Journal:
EU Nations Set to Snub Washington's Latest Anti-Iran Push  —  Some ministers prepare to skip summit in Warsaw focused on Tehran, Mideast  —  BRUSSELS—A U.S. effort to enlist Europe in its pressure campaign against Iran faced a setback after officials said ministers from several European Union members …
Mark Niquette / Bloomberg:
Trump's Tariffs Are Producing Billions, But China Isn't Paying  — More than $13 billion in duties were assessed as of Dec. 18  — Trade economists say companies and consumers ultimately pay  —  President Donald Trump is right to say that his tariffs are generating billions of dollars …
Discussion: Raw Story
Andrew Desiderio / Politico:
House rebukes Trump for easing Russia sanctions  —  The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to block the Trump administration from lifting sanctions on a Russian oligarch with deep ties to Vladimir Putin.  —  The effort, a joint resolution of disapproval …
Discussion: The Daily Beast
Peter Hasson / The Daily Caller:
‘Disrespectful’: Google Employees Melt Down Over The Word ‘Family’  — Google employees melted down after the word “family” was used in a company presentation, documents obtained by TheDCNF show.  — Employees were upset that the word was used in a way that links families with children, which they argued was homophobic.
Inside the GM plant where nooses and ‘whites-only’ signs hung  —  This story addresses hate speech and contains offensive language that may upset some readers.  The N-word is spelled out several times in this story to detail the hostile work environment alleged in a lawsuit against GM.
Associated Press:
Trump says US will develop space-based missile defense  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Declaring that space is the new warfighting domain, President Donald Trump on Thursday vowed the U.S. will develop an unrivaled missile defense system to protect against advanced hypersonic and cruise missile threats from competitors and adversaries.
McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Democratic leaders fret: Can we keep our big tent in 2020?  —  Progressive activists are emboldened as the 2020 presidential primary season begins, but other Democratic leaders are already questioning whether a nominee chosen by energized liberals can both excite the base and hold onto red-district voters …
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 More Items: 
McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Nasty or frugal? Key Democrats out to stop House members from living in offices
Charlie Cooper / Politico:
Theresa May to skip Davos as Brexit crisis rolls on
Pankaj Mishra / New York Times:
The Malign Incompetence of the British Ruling Class
Timothy P. Carney / The American Conservative:
Why Ex-Churchgoers Flocked to Trump
Thomas Brewster / Forbes:
Massive Oklahoma Government Data Leak Exposes 7 Years of FBI Investigations
Discussion: RT, Washington Post and KFOR-TV
Katie Mettler / Washington Post:
Trump keeps mentioning taped-up women at the border. Experts have no idea what he's talking about.
Discussion: Daily Kos
Lilliana Mason / Politico:
Many Voters Think Trump's a Self-Made Man. What Happens When You Tell Them Otherwise?
Cortney O'Brien / Townhall:
Watch: MSNBC Host Suggests Trump Must Know ‘Something Extreme’ About Lindsey Graham
Discussion: CNN, National Review and Daily Wire
 Earlier Items: 
Julie Bykowicz / Wall Street Journal:
For Democrats in 2020, Small Donors Are Gauge of Fundraising Success
Presidential Profiteering: Trump's Conflicts Got Worse in Year Two
The Daily Beast:
Trump Goes MIA in Effort to Win Dems Over in Shutdown Fight
Discussion: Raw Story and Contemptor
'She's satin and steel': Pelosi wages war on Trump
Kate Sullivan / CNN:
House Judiciary chair says they'll subpoena Mueller report if necessary
Washington Post:
Top HUD official's departure follows disagreements over housing policy and Puerto Rico disaster funds
Discussion: Vox, VICE News and Splinter