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6:45 AM ET, February 20, 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.
New York Times:   Trump Has Publicly Attacked the Russia Investigation More Than 1,100 Times
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.
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.
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.
Discussion: Raw Story
Timothy Burke / The Daily Beast:
Right-Wing News Outlet Calls for McCabe, Rosenstein to Be Waterboarded
Discussion: Hullabaloo, Raw Story and Mediaite
Kevin Breuninger / CNBC:
Andrew McCabe: I told congressional leaders that the FBI was investigating President Trump - and they didn't object
Discussion: The Last Refuge
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.
Discussion: The Week and JustOneMinute
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.
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 …
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 …
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.
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.
Discussion: Splinter and Balloon Juice
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
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
Eric Talmadge / Associated Press:
Possible peace declaration looms large over Trump-Kim summit  —  TOKYO (AP) — With their second summit fast approaching, speculation is growing that U.S. President Donald Trump may try to persuade North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to commit to denuclearization by giving him something he wants …
Discussion: Raw Story
NBC News:   Top North Korean official says his country faces major food shortages, blaming weather and sanctions
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, Mother Jones and Mediaite
Maggie Astor / New York Times:
Elizabeth Warren Proposes Universal Child Care  —  Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts introduced a universal child care proposal on Tuesday, the latest in a series of ambitious policy ideas from Democratic presidential candidates.  —  Ms. Warren's plan, the Universal Child Care …
Discussion: Team Warren, and KBZK
New York Times:   Democrats Want to Tax the Wealthy. Many Voters Agree.
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
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
Discussion: New York Times
Reis Thebault / Washington Post:
Facing ethics violation, Wilbur Ross says he didn't mean to file inaccurate financial disclosures  —  The U.S. government's top ethics watchdog has ruled that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross violated his ethics agreement by inaccurately reporting stock holdings in his 2018 financial disclosure form.
Discussion: Bloomberg
Wilbur Ross' financial disclosure rejected by federal ethics agency
Discussion: Axios
Liz Mair / New York Times:
Is NeverTrump Extinct?  —  William Weld has offered a glimmer of hope to disillusioned conservatives.  But many Republicans once opposed to Trump are jumping on the president's 2020 bandwagon.  —  Ms. Mair is a Republican strategist.  —  Does the announcement by William Weld …
Discussion: Front Page Magazine
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 …
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 cycle that gutted an already decimated state party, the GOP's more moderate wing is gearing …
Discussion: Raw Story
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 …
Dion Nissenbaum / Wall Street Journal:
Ambitions for an ‘Arab NATO’ Fade Amid Discord
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 More Items: 
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
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Tucker Carlson and the oversold ‘Republicans pounce’ complaint
Discussion: Fox News Insider
CBS News:
Roger Stone's FBI-raided Florida home now up for rent
Discussion: Politico and Raw Story
Anna Edney / Bloomberg:
Beware of Using Young People's Blood to Halt Aging, FDA Says
Discussion: Engadget, KTLA, WTVR-TV and The Verge
Merrit Kennedy / NPR:
Trump Pushes Ahead With ‘Space Force’ Despite Hurdles
Discussion: Townhall and The Daily Caller
Betsy Woodruff / The Daily Beast:
Devin Nunes Alum Scott Glabe Joins Trump White House
Discussion: Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
Patti Davis / Washington Post:
Death is a serious business. Only tyrants are excited by executions.
Discussion: Raw Story
Kirsten Powers / USA Today:
I'm not proud of role I've played in toxic public debate. I plan to change.
Heidi Przybyla / NBC News:
Hill Democrats say Education Dept. tried to interfere in probe, remove investigator
Discussion: Axios, Politico and Raw Story
CBS News:
Larry Hogan says Trump looks “pretty weak” for 2020 general election
Discussion: CNN and The Week
Understanding Shifts in Democratic Party Ideology
Barbara McQuade / USA Today:
Why Mueller tucked a big Roger Stone reveal in a Russia filing on a technical matter