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11:40 PM ET, February 19, 2019


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Intimidation, Pressure and Humiliation: Inside Trump's Two-Year War on the Investigations Encircling Him  —  President Trump's efforts have exposed him to accusations of obstruction of justice as Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, finishes his work.
Washington Post:
‘Enjoy your life’: Trump puts new attorney general in an awkward position from the start  —  On William P. Barr's first full day as attorney general, President Trump singled him out during remarks in the Rose Garden after signing a national emergency declaration aimed at building his long-promised border wall.
Eric Tucker / Associated Press:
AP source: FBI had backup plan to save Russia probe evidence  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI developed a backup plan to protect evidence in its Russia investigation soon after the firing of FBI Director James Comey in the event that other senior officials were dismissed as well, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions.
Isaac Chotiner / New Yorker:
Michael S. Schmidt Describes His Reporting on Trump's Obstructions  —  On Tuesday, the Times published a major story describing the various ways that Donald Trump has tried to undermine or end the investigations surrounding his Presidency.  Late last year, the Times reported …
Timothy Burke / The Daily Beast:
Right-Wing News Outlet Calls for McCabe, Rosenstein to Be Waterboarded  —  Far-right network TruNews wants Justice Department officials, reporters, and even Jeff Sessions to face punishment under treason and sedition laws.  —  Because we watch Trumpland TV so you don't have to …
Discussion: Hullabaloo, Raw Story and Mediaite
Eli Lake / Bloomberg:
Rod Rosenstein Has Some Serious Explaining to Do  —  Why would the deputy attorney general help Trump fire the FBI director, then investigate the president for doing so?  —  For the last two years, millions of Americans have come to view Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as a kind of national insurance policy.
Keith Coffman / Reuters:
Teen in Lincoln Memorial protest sues Washington Post for $250 million  —  (Reuters) - A high school student from Covington, Kentucky, sued the Washington Post for defamation on Tuesday, claiming the newspaper falsely accused him of racist acts and instigating a confrontation …
Discussion: Townhall
Hemmer DeFrank PLLC:
For truth, for justice, for Nicholas!  —  Today, Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry filed their first lawsuit on behalf of Nicholas Sandmann against The Washington Post.  The lawsuit filed is included below.  The suit seeks $250 million in both compensatory and punitive damages.
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
The Washington Post sued by family of Covington Catholic teenager  —  The family of the Kentucky teen who was involved in an encounter with a Native American advocate at the Lincoln Memorial last month filed a defamation lawsuit against The Washington Post on Tuesday, seeking $250 million in damages for its coverage of the incident.
Khorri Atkinson / Axios:   Covington Catholic student suing Washington Post for $250M
CBS Chicago:
Jussie Smollett Was Involved In Creating Racist Letter, Which Later Led To Attack, Sources Say  —  CHICAGO (CBS) — The two brothers involved in the Jussie Smollett attack told police that Smollett was behind creating a racist letter that was sent to the actor on the set of his show, “Empire …
Don Babwin / Associated Press:
Police: Tip that Smollett, 2 brothers together in elevator  —  CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police are investigating a tip that on the night “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett reported being attacked by two masked men he was in an elevator of his apartment building with two brothers later arrested …
Jussie Smollett Faces Prison, Career Ruin if He Lied About Attack
Discussion: Daily Wire
Jussie Smollett's ‘Empire’ Role Slashed in Wake Of ‘Attack’ Scandal
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
CNN Staffers ‘Demoralized’ by Hiring of GOP Operative Sarah Isgur to Edit 2020 Coverage  —  The former Jeff Sessions flack has zero journalistic experience and yet she is tasked with guiding CNN's 2020 reporting.  CNN staffers and media critics alike are not pleased.
Michael Calderone / Politico:
Ex-Sessions spokeswoman to join CNN as political editor
Aaron Rupar / Vox:   CNN hires GOP operative with no journalism experience to coordinate its 2020 coverage
The Daily Beast:
Bernie Sanders Hires Top Progressive Advocate, Faiz Shakir, as Campaign Manager  —  For his second run at the White House, the Senator is leaning on one of the most-seasoned progressives in the party.  —  Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has tapped Faiz Shakir to serve as his campaign manager …
Associated Press:
The Latest: AP source: Bernie Sanders' campaign raises $3.3M
Discussion: Splinter
He's In For 2020: Bernie Sanders Is Running For President Again
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Justice Clarence Thomas Calls for Reconsideration of Landmark Libel Ruling  —  WASHINGTON — Justice Clarence Thomas on Tuesday called for the Supreme Court to reconsider New York Times v. Sullivan, the landmark 1964 ruling interpreting the First Amendment to make it hard for public officials to prevail in libel suits.
Daniel W. Drezner / Washington Post:   A man who is too weak occupies an office that is too strong
Aziz Huq / Politico:
Has the Supreme Court Already Decided the Wall Case?
Discussion: Washington Post
Barbara McQuade / USA Today:
Why Mueller tucked a big Roger Stone reveal in a Russia filing on a technical matter  —  Mueller says Stone communicated with WikiLeaks and the GRU.  He could be holding back charges for strategic reasons.  That's what I did as a prosecutor.  —  CONNECT11  —  TWEET11  —  COMMENT11  —  EMAIL11
CBS News:
Roger Stone's FBI-raided Florida home now up for rent
Discussion: Raw Story
Michael Balsamo / Associated Press:   Judge orders Roger Stone to court over Instagram post
Josh Lederman / NBC News:
Trump administration launches global effort to end criminalization of homosexuality  —  The administration is responding in part to a reported hanging of a young gay man in Iran, Trump's top geopolitical foe.  —  BERLIN — The Trump administration is launching a global campaign to end …
Washington Post:
Trump grows frustrated with Coats, leading some to fear he might be fired  —  President Trump has grown increasingly disenchanted with Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, who has served as the nation's top intelligence official for nearly two years, leading some administration officials …
Discussion: Political Wire, Raw Story and Mediaite
New York Post:
Reihan Salam poised to bring Manhattan Institute to new highs  —  Our favorite think tank, the Manhattan Institute, just got a new president: the brilliant, heterodox writer Reihan Salam.  —  Born and bred in Brooklyn and a graduate of the city's public schools, he's an excellent choice …
Discussion: National Review
Ken Dilanian / NBC News:
Flynn-backed plan to transfer nuclear tech to Saudis may have broken laws, say whistleblowers  —  Investigators fear President Trump is still considering the plan, which was pushed by Flynn and Trump friend Tom Barrack.  —  WASHINGTON — Whistleblowers from within President Donald Trump's …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Khorri Atkinson / Axios:
Trump admin. says it will cancel $929 million for California rail project  —  The Transportation Department said Tuesday it intends to cancel $929 million in federal grant funds for California's scaled-back high-speed rail network, and that it is “actively exploring every legal option” …
Ted Mann / Wall Street Journal:   Federal Government to Cancel Funds for California High-Speed Rail
Wilbur Ross' financial disclosure rejected by federal ethics agency  —  (CNN)Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross violated his ethics agreement and submitted a financial disclosure form that “was not accurate,” according to the Office of Government Ethics.  —  Emory Rounds, the director of the Office …
Discussion: Axios
Reis Thebault / Washington Post:
Facing ethics violation, Wilbur Ross says he didn't mean to file inaccurate financial disclosures
Discussion: Bloomberg
NBC News:
Top North Korean official says his country faces major food shortages, blaming weather and sanctions  —  In a letter obtained by NBC News, North Korea pleads for help in feeding its people from international organizations.  —  A senior North Korean official says his country …
Rebecca Morin / Politico:
Trump in ‘no rush’ to denuclearize North Korea
Kirsten Powers / USA Today:
I'm not proud of role I've played in toxic public debate.  I plan to change.  —  Whether it is the Covington controversy or the abortion debate, it's critical to remember that people are not the sum of their worst moments in life.  —  CONNECT11  —  TWEET11  —  COMMENT11  —  EMAIL11  —  MORE11
New York Times:
Democrats Want to Tax the Wealthy.  Many Voters Agree.  —  A proposal to tax wealth finds support across party lines, along with the premise that the government should combat inequality.  —  As leading Democrats roll out proposals to increase taxes on the rich, the American people are largely behind them.
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 More Items: 
Pakistan will address actionable evidence if shared by Delhi, PM Khan tells India after Pulwama attack
Liz Mair / New York Times:
Is NeverTrump Extinct?  —  William Weld has offered a glimmer …
Associated Press:
Jailed Citgo executives in limbo amid Venezuela turmoil
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
‘A vastly different operation’: Trump campaign tries un-Trumpian approach to 2020
Carla Marinucci / Politico:
California Republicans look into the abyss
Discussion: Raw Story
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Tucker Carlson and the oversold ‘Republicans pounce’ complaint
Discussion: Fox News Insider
Anna Edney / Bloomberg:
Beware of Using Young People's Blood to Halt Aging, FDA Says
Discussion: WTVR-TV, Engadget, KTLA and The Verge
Patti Davis / Washington Post:
Death is a serious business. Only tyrants are excited by executions.
Discussion: Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
Heidi Przybyla / NBC News:
Hill Democrats say Education Dept. tried to interfere in probe, remove investigator
Discussion: Axios, Raw Story and Politico
CBS News:
Larry Hogan says Trump looks “pretty weak” for 2020 general election
Discussion: CNN and The Week
New York Times:
Trump Has Publicly Attacked the Russia Investigation More Than 1,100 Times
Understanding Shifts in Democratic Party Ideology
Alex Kotch / Sludge:
America's Biggest Charities Are Funneling Millions to Hate Groups From Anonymous Donors