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4:55 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.
Eli Watkins / CNN:
NYT: Trump asked Whitaker if he could put prosecutor in charge of Cohen probe
Discussion: Raw Story and The Week
Byron York / Washington Examiner:   Much talk that something is up with Mueller. Too bad nobody knows.
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.
Natasha Bertrand / The Atlantic:
Andrew McCabe Couldn't Believe the Things Trump Said About Putin  —  In the months before President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, FBI counterintelligence agents investigating Russian election interference were also collecting evidence suggesting that Trump could be compromised by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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.
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 …
Discussion: Axios, Politico and Common Dreams
He's In For 2020: Bernie Sanders Is Running For President Again  —  Sen. Bernie Sanders has confirmed to VPR that he is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Camilo Montoya-Galvez / CBS News:
Bernie Sanders announces 2020 run: “We're gonna win”
David Weigel / Washington Post:
Sen. Bernie Sanders will seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020
Bernie Sanders announces 2020 run: Extended interview
Discussion: The Week
Michael Balsamo / Associated Press:
Judge orders Roger Stone to court over Instagram post  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday ordered Roger Stone to appear in court to consider whether to revoke his bail after the longtime Donald Trump confidant posted a photo on Instagram of the judge with what appeared to be crosshairs of a gun.
Barbara McQuade / USA Today:
Why Mueller tucked a big Roger Stone reveal in a Russia filing on a technical matter
Discussion: Daily Kos and Jamie Dupree - AJC
Ken White / The Atlantic:
Reckless Even by Roger Stone Standards
Discussion: Raw Story and Rolling Stone
Aruna Viswanatha / Wall Street Journal:
Roger Stone Is Ordered Back to Court Over Instagram Post Against Judge
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 …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
House Committee on Oversight and Reform:
Multiple Whistleblowers Raise Grave Concerns with White House Efforts to Transfer Sensitive U.S. Nuclear Technology to Saudi Arabia  —  Cummings Releases Interim Staff Report and Corroborating Documents, Launches Investigation of White House, Agencies, and Others  —  The report states:
Discussion: National Review, Axios, NPR and Law & Crime
Washington Post:   Trump appointees promoted nuclear sales to Saudi Arabia over senior officials' objections …
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 …
Domenico Montanaro / NPR:
Poll: 6-In-10 Disapprove Of Trump's Declaration Of A National Emergency  —  Loading...  Nearly 6-in-10 also don't believe there is an emergency at the southern border and that the president is misusing his presidential authority.  They also believe that his decision should be challenged in court.
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
The public sees through Trump's national emergency lies. A new poll confirms it.
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.
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 …
Rebecca Morin / Politico:
Trump in ‘no rush’ to denuclearize North Korea  —  President Donald Trump said Tuesday that there was “no rush” to denuclearize North Korea, whose leader, Kim Jong Un, he's meeting with next week.  —  “I have no pressing time schedule,” Trump said of full denuclearization by the North …
Mai Nguyen / Reuters:   Hair Force Un: Vietnamese barber marks summit with free Trump-Kim haircuts
R. Eric Thomas / ELLE:
Kirsten Gillibrand Interrupted By Woman Who Just Needs Ranch Dressing  —  While campaigning in an Iowa restaurant, presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand received an unusual but urgent request from a constituent, one that will surely shape the 2020 election and the fate of the nation in general.
Elizabeth Warren / Team Warren:
My plan for Universal Child Care  —  Team WarrenBlockedUnblockFollowFollowing  —  I remember how hard it was to find affordable and high-quality child care when I was a working mom with two little ones.  —  I had a job teaching at a law school in Houston when the babysitter quit.
Jonathan Cohn / HuffPost:
Elizabeth Warren To Unveil Sweeping Plan For Universal Child Care
Jussie Smollett's ‘Empire’ Role Slashed in Wake Of ‘Attack’ Scandal  —  Jussie Smollett's “Empire” screen time is getting slashed in the wake of a growing sentiment that he staged the so-called “attack.”  —  Production sources tell TMZ ... Jussie was supposed to have 9 scenes and a big musical number …
Tanya Snyder / Politico:
Emails reveal coordination between Chao, McConnell offices  —  A trove of more than 800 pages of emails sheds new light on the working relationship between Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the most potent power couples in Washington …
New York Times:
Trump Delivers Blunt Warning to Venezuela Military Over Aid Impasse  —  MIAMI — President Trump on Monday delivered his sharpest warning yet to Venezuela's military authorities in an increasingly tense showdown over that country's crisis, proclaiming they would “lose everything” …
Scott Johnson / Power Line:
Trump: “The twilight hour of socialism”
Discussion: Fox News, KBZK and CNN
Understanding Shifts in Democratic Party Ideology  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — With progressives in the Democratic Party flexing newfound strength in Washington and launching credible campaigns for the 2020 presidential nomination, the party is confronting new questions about who it is and what it stands for.
Discussion: Vox, Hullabaloo and Washington Post
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 More Items: 
Scott Wilson / Washington Post:
In Palm Springs, the nation's first all-LGBTQ city council tests the modern meaning of diversity
Discussion: NB Blog, The Daily Caller and The Week
Kevin Roose / New York Times:
YouTube Unleashed a Conspiracy Theory Boom. Can It Be Contained?
Discussion: AOL, more at Mediagazer »
Aziz Huq / Politico:
Has the Supreme Court Already Decided the Wall Case?
Discussion: Washington Post
Alex Kotch / Sludge:
America's Biggest Charities Are Funneling Millions to Hate Groups From Anonymous Donors
Gerry Shih / Washington Post:
In Central Asia's forbidding highlands, a quiet newcomer: Chinese troops
PR Newswire:
Long Island University Announces Winners Of The 70th Annual George Polk Awards In Journalism
The Daily Beast:
These Migrants Wanted Asylum, Instead They Are Detained in an Old Body Bag Factory In Mexico
Dan Frosch / Wall Street Journal:
Republicans Leading New Charge to End the Death Penalty
 Earlier Items: 
Lee Smith / Washington Times:
Stalking and punishing Rep. Devin Nunes
Washington Post:
‘He just picks up’: Trump and the lawmakers he loves to talk to on the phone
Discussion: Althouse and Talking Points Memo
Howard Schultz:
Our path
Discussion: Axios
Ben Shapiro / Daily Wire:
On January 29, Two Hate Crimes Occurred. The Media Only Covered The Fake One. Here's Why.
Discussion: New York Times and Breitbart
Marc Caputo / Politico:
‘Are you with us?’: Bloomberg calls in his chits
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Splinter