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9:10 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.
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
Discussion: Hullabaloo, Raw Story and Mediaite
Washington Post:
‘Enjoy your life’: Trump puts new attorney general in an awkward position from the start
Discussion: Politico, Bloomberg and RedState
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  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Sen. Bernie Sanders' announcement that he is running for president in 2020 (all times local):  —  Bernie Sanders is setting a new fundraising bar for 2020 Democrats.
Discussion: Splinter and Political Wire
He's In For 2020: Bernie Sanders Is Running For President Again
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  —  President Donald Trump has derided CNN as a leading purveyor of “fake news,” and now, a recently departed administration official is joining the network in a senior role.  —  Sarah Isgur, who served as the Justice Department's …
Aaron Rupar / Vox:   CNN hires GOP operative with no journalism experience to coordinate its 2020 coverage
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
Michael Balsamo / Associated Press:   Judge orders Roger Stone to court over Instagram post
CBS News:
Roger Stone's FBI-raided Florida home now up for rent
Discussion: Raw Story
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's ‘Empire’ Role Slashed in Wake Of ‘Attack’ Scandal
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.
Aziz Huq / Politico:
Has the Supreme Court Already Decided the Wall Case?
Discussion: Washington Post
Daniel W. Drezner / Washington Post:   A man who is too weak occupies an office that is too strong
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 …
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
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: 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
Ted Mann / Wall Street Journal:
Federal Government to Cancel Funds for California High-Speed Rail  —  Trump administration halts $928 million in aid; Gov. Newsom calls move ‘retribution’ over wall suit  —  WASHINGTON—The Trump administration said Tuesday it would cancel almost $1 billion in funding for the California …
Khorri Atkinson / Axios:
Trump admin. says it will cancel $929 million for California rail project
Heidi Przybyla / NBC News:
Hill Democrats say Education Dept. tried to interfere in probe, remove investigator  —  Democrats say they've seen evidence of “troubling efforts” to influence investigation of Education Secretary DeVos.  —  WASHINGTON — House and Senate Democrats say they have obtained evidence …
Discussion: Raw Story
Gigi Sukin / Axios:
Democrats accuse Education Department of interfering in probe of DeVos
Discussion: Politico
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 …
CBS News:
Larry Hogan says Trump looks “pretty weak” for 2020 general election  —  Maryland's Republican Gov. Larry Hogan says that while President Trump is likely to fend off a GOP primary challenger, he may be vulnerable in the general election against the eventual Democratic nominee.
Discussion: CNN, The Week and Political Wire
Declan Walsh / New York Times:
Egypt Turns Back Veteran New York Times Reporter  —  CAIRO — Egyptian officials detained a New York Times correspondent after he arrived in Cairo on Monday, holding him incommunicado for hours before forcing him onto a flight back to London without explanation.
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
Carla Marinucci / Politico:
California Republicans look into the abyss  —  SACRAMENTO — California's establishment Republicans are making their final stand.  —  After decades of decline and a devastating 2018 election that gutted an already decimated state party, the GOP's more moderate wing is gearing up for a state convention …
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
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 More Items: 
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
‘A vastly different operation’: Trump campaign tries un-Trumpian approach to 2020
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: Engadget, KTLA, KBZK and The Verge
Patti Davis / Washington Post:
Death is a serious business. Only tyrants are excited by executions.
Discussion: Raw Story
Eric Bradner / CNN:
Beto O'Rourke weighing presidential and Senate runs, plans to decide by end of February
Ashe Schow / Daily Wire:
Al Sharpton Demands Smollett ‘Face Accountability’ …
Christian Vanderbrouk / The Bulwark:
Make Authoritarianism Great Again?
 Earlier Items: 
Rebecca Morin / Politico:
Trump in ‘no rush’ to denuclearize North Korea
Understanding Shifts in Democratic Party Ideology
Alex Kotch / Sludge:
America's Biggest Charities Are Funneling Millions to Hate Groups From Anonymous Donors