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9:00 PM ET, February 5, 2019


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Before Expected Call for Unity, Trump Laced Into Democrats at Lunch for TV Anchors  —  WASHINGTON — For public consumption, President Trump planned to use his State of the Union address on Tuesday night to appeal for bipartisan unity.  But at a private lunch for television anchors earlier …
What to expect out of Trump's State of the Union
Chris Riotta / The Independent:
Newly unearthed video shows Trump ‘meeting with Russians in Moscow in 1995’ over ‘building project’  —  Video alleges to show US president meeting with former Russian officials in Moscow to discuss building an underground mall  —  The former mayor of Moscow has confirmed Donald Trump met …
Discussion: Political Wire and Raw Story
First on CNN: New York federal prosecutors seek interviews with Trump Organization executives  —  (CNN)Federal prosecutors in New York have requested interviews in recent weeks with executives at the Trump Organization, according to people familiar with the matter, signaling a growing potential threat …
Felix Sater Promised a Putin Meeting with Michael Cohen Minutes after Don Jr Promised to Revisit Magnitsky Sanctions
Washington Post:
Elizabeth Warren apologizes for calling herself Native American  —  Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Tuesday that she was sorry that she identified herself as a Native American for almost two decades, reflecting her ongoing struggle to quiet a controversy that continues to haunt her as she prepares to formally announce a presidential bid.
Tom Scocca / Hmm Daily:
Choose a Different Hill to Die On  —  The Worst Thing We Read Yesterday™  —  Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost the Georgia governor's race last year, is scheduled to give the official Democratic Party response speech after President Donald Trump's State of the Union address tonight …
Discussion: Mediaite
Ellie Hall / BuzzFeed News:
Customs And Border Protection Apologized After An Agent Questioned A BuzzFeed News Reporter About Trump Coverage  —  A top official of the Customs and Border Protection apologized Tuesday to a BuzzFeed News reporter who was aggressively questioned by an agent about articles regarding President Donald Trump …
Discussion: Mediaite
Nancy Cook / Politico:
The plan to keep Trump's taxes hidden  —  The new House Democratic majority is widely expected to test one of Donald Trump's ultimate red lines by demanding the president's personal tax returns — and the Trump administration has been gearing up for months to fight back hard.
Paul Waldman / Washington Post:
We may finally see Trump's tax returns, and Republicans are panicking
Discussion: Politico
Washington Post:
'This isn't me': Gov. Northam's defiance caught advisers off guard  —  RICHMOND — Most of his staff was gone for the night as Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and his wife, Pam, worked the phones in the Executive Mansion.  They called friends back in Norfolk, old classmates from his medical school …
Discussion: Fox News Insider, NBC News, STAT and Essence
Kirk Mitchell / Denver Post:
How the trail runner attacked by a mountain lion in Larimer County killed the animal  —  Necropsy: Jogger suffocated mountain lion in life-or-death struggle west of Fort Collins  —  The bloodied Colorado trail runner who fought off a rare mountain lion attack pummeled the young cat with a rock …
Discussion: Breitbart
Alex Johnson / NBC News:
Runner kills mountain lion that attacked him on Colorado trail
Anna Silman / The Cut:
How I Get It Done: Merchants of Truth author Jill Abramson  —  In her new book Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts, out February 5, Jill Abramson chronicles the upheaval that has rocked the media industry over the past decade, as told through the stories of four outlets …
Discussion: Instapundit
Devan Cole / CNN:
Here's who Nancy Pelosi is bringing to the State of the Union  —  State of the Union moments that mattered  —  Washington (CNN)With President Donald Trump set to deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday night directly in front of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, much attention will be paid …
Mike DeBonis / Washington Post:
Sharing the State of the Union spotlight, Pelosi softly makes her own statement
Discussion: Vox, The Hill, Political Wire and Eater
Media Matters for America:
Fox guest: “What you have in Ocasio-Cortez are Latin American values.  Instead of us assimilating them, they are assimilating us.”  —  Peter Morici: Ocasio-Cortez is “a demagogue” who wants “to bring the kind of socialism that destroyed Venezuela, and frankly Mexico, here.”
Discussion: ThinkProgress, Splinter and Joe.My.God.
Justin Baragona / The Daily Beast:   Fox Guest Warns: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Trying to ‘Assimilate Us’ to ‘Latin American Values’
Nancy Cook / Politico:
Trump plans SOTU reveal of two-day Kim Jong Un summit  —  President Donald Trump told a group of television news anchors hours before his State of the Union address on Tuesday that he plans to meet North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un for a two-day summit in Vietnam on Feb. 27 and 28.
Discussion: Vox
Sarah McCammon / NPR:
Woman Alleging Sexual Assault By Virginia's Lt. Gov. Hires Washington Law Firm  —  A California woman who has accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assaulting her 15 years ago, has hired the same law firm that represented Christine Blasey Ford in her allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball:
Yes, Virginia, This is Chaos
Lee Fang / The Intercept:
GOP Leadership Instructs Lawmakers to Play Up Gruesome Murders and Rapes by Immigrants  —  House Republican lawmakers are being encouraged by their party's leadership to play up gruesome murders, rapes, and other crimes committed by undocumented immigrants in the United States.
Discussion: Raw Story
Kenneth P. Vogel / New York Times:
Firms Recruited by Paul Manafort Are Investigated Over Foreign Payments  —  WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors in recent weeks have been interviewing witnesses about the flow of foreign money to three powerful law and lobbying firms that Paul Manafort recruited seven years ago to help improve …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Brad Reed / Raw Story:
‘I trusted you!’  Trump voters seethe after realizing they're getting screwed by the GOP's tax plan  —  Multiple supporters of President Donald Trump over the past couple of weeks have taken to Twitter to air their grievances about the president's signature tax cut plan.
Discussion: The Resurgent
Sam Stein / The Daily Beast:
Top Progressive Firm Tells Dems to Leave Starbucks Alone  —  SKDKnickerbocker lists Starbucks as a client.  And they want to separate the company from the presidential ambitions of its former CEO.  —  One of the top Democratic firms in the country is privately urging top officials in the party …
Judy Kurtz / The Hill:
Cory Booker confirms he has a girlfriend  —  Sen. Cory Booker says he's boo'd up.  —  The New Jersey Democrat and 2020 White House hopeful is confirming that he has a girlfriend.  —  Booker was asked about his noted bachelordom by co-host Charlamagne tha God during a Tuesday interview …
Ben Schreckinger / Politico:
MAGA all-stars visit border to plot private wall project  —  It could have been an outtake from a hard-right reboot of “Ocean's 11” for the Trump era: a gathering of some of President Donald Trump's most notorious and outspoken supporters, who descended last week on the Mexican border town of McAllen, Texas.
Amanda Darrach / Columbia Journalism Review:
McClatchy upgrades CEO's housing stipend to $35K a month amid buyouts  —  BuzzFeed, HuffPo, Gannett, Vice.  This has already been a ruthless year for layoffs in digital journalism.  On Friday morning, McClatchy President and CEO Craig Forman emailed employees to let them know 450 staffers across …
Ketamine Could Be the Key to Reversing America's Rising Suicide Rate  —  A version of the club drug is expected to be approved for depression in March.  Researchers think it could help treat suicidal thinking.  —  Joe Wright has no doubt that ketamine saved his life.
Mulvaney invites bipartisan group of lawmakers to Camp David  —  White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has invited a small bipartisan group of lawmakers to Camp David Friday for what administration aides are describing as a casual gathering.  —  It's the second time in recent weeks …
Discussion: Axios and CNN
Tucker Reals / CBS News:
Pope Francis confirms priests' abuse of nuns included “sexual slavery”  —  Nuns have suffered and are still suffering sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests and bishops, and even being held as sexual slaves, Pope Francis confirmed on Tuesday.  The abuse was so severe in one case …
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
Benjamin Fearnow / Newsweek:
Former KKK Leader David Duke Endorses Tulsi Gabbard 2020 Presidential Campaign, Says She'll Put American Interests Over Israel  —  White supremacist and former GOP Louisiana state senator David Duke appeared to endorse Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's 2020 campaign for president as other Democrats …
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
PayPal Bans Anti-Muslim Fanatic Laura Loomer  —  They're not the first platform to say they've had enough.  —  PayPal banned far-right figure Laura Loomer on Tuesday, making her the latest right-wing figure to be banished from the online payment and funding platform.
Discussion: Daily Wire and Right Wing Watch
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 More Items: 
Jonathan S. Tobin / Haaretz:
Opinion Republicans Spoke Up Against Steve King. Shouldn't Democrats Speak Up Against Ilhan Omar?
Discussion: Breitbart and
Franco Ordoñez / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Inside Trump's ‘Cubanization’ of America's Venezuela policy
Discussion: Axios
Timothy Burke / The Daily Beast:
‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Phil Robertson: I Don't Need Health Care Because I Have ‘Immortality Given to Me by God’
Khorri Atkinson / Axios:
Beto O'Rourke tells Oprah he'll decide on 2020 run by end of month
Discussion: Washington Post and Politico
Marianne LeVine / Politico:
Senate passes Middle East policy bill that rebukes Trump
Wesley Morgan / Politico:
Recriminations fly over removal of Army commander ahead of Afghan deployment
Discussion: Task & Purpose
Sanjana Karanth / HuffPost:
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes First Public Appearance Since Surgery
 Earlier Items: 
Sharon Weinberger / Yahoo News:
As Cuba medical mystery deepens, State Department turns to new scientific panel for answers
Discussion: Axios
Andrew O'Reilly / Fox News:
Cory Booker schooled by Kavanaugh replacement pick after question on ‘LGBTQ law clerks’
Discussion: Louder With Crowder and Daily Wire
Elena Schneider / Politico:
Klobuchar heads to Iowa as she nears 2020 decision
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
Associated Press:
Ex-Gov. Weld back in the GOP as he mulls Trump challenge
Olivia Nuzzi / New York Magazine:
Former White House Staffer Cliff Sims on Trump's Emotional Life and the Fine Points of Leaking