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2:00 PM ET, January 18, 2019

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 Top Items: 
BuzzFeed News:
President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project  —  President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved …
RELATED:
Oliver Darcy / CNN:
Reporter with checkered past comes back with Trump Tower Moscow bombshells for BuzzFeed  —  New York (CNN Business)Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier, two reporters for BuzzFeed News, may have just scored the scoop that, if it is ultimately confirmed, irrevocably changes the course of the Trump presidency.
Colby Hall / Mediaite:
Buzzfeed News Bombshell Reporter: No We Have Not Seen the Evidence Supporting Our Report  —  Anthony Cormier is one of the two investigative reporter at BuzzfeedNews who co-authored the bombshell report published Thursday night — a report which claimed President Donald Trump directed …
Natasha Bertrand / The Atlantic:
Why Democrats Have Suddenly Started Talking About Impeachment  —  Late Thursday night, BuzzFeed News published a report that, if true, could prove historic: President Donald Trump allegedly directed his then-personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about a real-estate deal he was pursuing in Moscow during the 2016 election.
Tim Elfrink / Washington Post:
Democrats demand investigation after report that Trump ordered Michael Cohen to lie to Congress  —  Democratic leaders reacted with fury and demanded an investigation late Thursday following a new report that President Trump personally directed his former attorney, Michael Cohen …
Andrew Egger / The Bulwark:
Trump, Cohen, and Buzzfeed: Is This the Big One?
CNN:
Trump startled by cozy Barr-Mueller relationship
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Mary Clare Jalonick / Associated Press:
Congress to probe report that Trump directed lawyer to lie
Discussion: National Review and POLITICUSUSA
Jacqueline Alemany / Washington Post:
Power Up: Cohen bombshell could significantly change Mueller debate
Discussion: CNN, Talking Points Memo and Vox
Grant Stern / The Stern Facts:   Did Russian developers give Trump a $1 million payment on the Moscow Trump Tower contract?
Steve Benen / MSNBC:
Trump White House reportedly sought to put Pelosi ‘in her place’  —  One of the most striking aspects of Donald Trump's petty decision to cancel House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Afghanistan is the degree to which it was lacking in any sense of proportionality.
RELATED:
Axios:
Exclusive: Former aide describes in new book how Trump demanded names of leakers  —  President Trump was frustrated about leaks — specifically leaks attributed to “White House officials” — that were critical of him.  —  Behind the scenes: Cliff Sims, a young White House communications aide …
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
“Are We Really Where We Are?”:  Trump, Putin, and Washington's Unbelievable New Normal  —  Regardless of whether Trump ends up making a speech on Capitol Hill on January 29th, the state of the union is not strong, and everyone knows it.  —  Sunday will mark the second anniversary of Donald Trump's Presidency.
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McKay Coppins / The Atlantic:
Waiting for a Shutdown to End in Disaster  —  As the longest government shutdown in American history lurches toward its fifth week, a grim but growing consensus has begun to emerge on Capitol Hill: There may be no way out of this mess until something disastrous happens.
Discussion: Althouse
Debbie Wasserman Schultz / USA Today:
Why I refuse to walk with the Washington Women's March  —  It should not be this difficult to condemn hate speech.  Until national leaders get it right, local marches will carry the mission forward.  —  CONNECT  —  I walked away from the Women's March on Washington two years ago absolutely electrified …
Politico:
POLITICO Playbook PM: What the shutdown tea leaves tell us  —  NEW ... ACTING OMB DIRECTOR RUSS VOUGHT has issued official guidance about congressional travel during the shutdown.  The guidance  —  READING THE SHUTDOWN TEA LEAVES ... VP MIKE PENCE and White House aide JARED KUSHNER met …
RELATED:
Thomas Kaplan / New York Times:
Federal Courts, Running Out of Money, Brace for Shutdown's Pain
Discussion: CNN
Washington Post:
Trump meets with top North Korean official amid speculation of a second summit with Kim Jong Un
Discussion: Politico, Axios, VICE News and Breitbart
Adam Serwer / The Atlantic:
Trump's Prayer-Rug Paranoia  —  The president is tweeting again.  —  Three weeks into a government shutdown triggered when the president reneged on a deal to fund the government, insisting instead that any deal had to include money for a wall on the southern border, Donald Trump tweeted …
Discussion: ThinkProgress, Mediaite and VICE News
RELATED:
Nicole Weisensee Egan / The Daily Beast:
Is a Serial-Killer Gang Murdering Young Men Across the U.S.?  —  Dozens of college-age men dead from ‘accidental’ drownings—but a team of retired detectives say the boys were drugged and killed by a shadowy gang with a sinister symbol.  —  On the evening of Dec. 15, 2016, Dakota James called his friend Shelley in a panic.
Robin Opsahl / Des Moines Register:
Rep. Steve King raising money off controversy from white nationalism, supremacy comments  —  The House has approved a Democratic measure disapproving of Republican Rep. Steve King's comments about white supremacy.  The nine-term Iowa congressman was among those supporting the measure, which was approved, 416-1.
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Larry Hogan stokes speculation he'll primary Trump in 2020  —  Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is acting a lot like a guy who wants to run against Donald Trump in 2020 — and the president's reelection team is taking notice.  —  The second-term Maryland governor has been implicitly going after Trump …
Discussion: National Review and Mediaite
RELATED:
Tim Miller / The Bulwark:
Unto the Breach  —  An open letter to those considering a Trump primary.
Discussion: Raw Story
Greg Bluestein / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
AJC poll shows a deeply divided Georgia and tough numbers for Kemp  —  Editor's note: For a detailed explanation about how this poll was conducted, see the end of this story.  —  After an intensely partisan race for Georgia governor, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll released Friday shows …
Brett McGurk / Washington Post:
Trump said he beat ISIS.  Instead, he's giving it new life.  —  The president decided to withdraw U.S. forces without consulting allies or understanding the facts on the ground.  —  On Dec. 17, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked for an important call with me and a few …
Discussion: CNN, KAJ-TV and Political Wire
CBC News:
Twins get some ‘mystifying’ results when they put 5 ancestry DNA kits to the test  —  Chief geneticist at a popular ancestry company admits it's ‘kind of a science and an art’  —  One set of identical twins, two different ancestry profiles.  —  At least that's the suggestion …
Pew Research Center:
Trump Begins Third Year With Low Job Approval and Doubts About His Honesty  —  Views of economy remain positive, divided by partisanship  —  At the second anniversary of his inauguration, public views of Donald Trump's job performance, as well as his honesty and administration's ethics, are decidedly negative.
Discussion: Political Wire and CNN
CNN:
A Biden campaign plan takes shape, waiting only for the candidate himself  —  Trump: Obama took Biden off the ‘trash heap’  —  Washington (CNN)Joe Biden knows more than most anyone about the nuts-and-bolts of running for president.  What he knows less about is how to win.
Discussion: KAJ-TV
 
 
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 More Items: 
Issie Lapowsky / Wired:
How the Feds Failed to Track Thousands of Separated Children
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
Fired Mic Staffers Go to War With Bustle Over Unfinished Stories
Gabriel Debenedetti / New York Magazine:
Kamala Harris Zeroes In on Baltimore for 2020 Headquarters
Discussion: Political Wire
Associated Press:
Iran's FM mocks John Bolton with ‘10-year challenge’
Benjamin Wallace-Wells / New Yorker:
How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Allies Supplanted the Obama Generation
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Christopher de Bellaigue / The Guardian:
Death on demand: has euthanasia gone too far?
Daily Mail:
Oh no, not again! …
Discussion: Bloomberg, Telegraph and The Guardian
Chris Christie / Politico:
How Jared Kushner Tried to Stop Me From Running the Trump Transition
 Earlier Items: 
Jon Ward / Yahoo News:
Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren have a history. If he runs, it may come back to haunt him.
Meagan Flynn / Washington Post:
Court rules against Planned Parenthood in Texas ‘sting videos’ case, bringing it a step closer to getting defunded
Alexandra DeSanctis / National Review:
Republican Senators Skip Vote on Key Pro-Life Legislation
Matthew Continetti / Washington Free Beacon:
The Lackluster Democratic Field
Jason Rezaian / Washington Post:
‘Their job is to scare me’: Jason Rezaian describes first terrifying hours inside Iranian prison
Jennifer Scholtes / Politico:
How the shutdown will inflict lasting damage
Washington Post:
McConnell courting Pompeo to run for an open Senate seat in Kansas
Julia Ainsley / NBC News:
Trump admin weighed targeting migrant families, speeding up deportation of children