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7:55 AM ET, February 21, 2019


 Top Items: 
Garrett M. Graff / Wired:
7 Scenarios for How the Mueller Probe Might ‘Wrap Up’  —  THE BREAKING NEWS hit a snowy Washington on Wednesday: Newly installed attorney general William Barr appears to be preparing to announce the end of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.  —  But what would “Mueller wrapping up” actually mean?
Justice Department preparing for Mueller report as early as next week  —  Washington (CNN)Attorney General Bill Barr is preparing to announce as early as next week the completion of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, with plans for Barr to submit to Congress soon after a summary …
Washington Post:
Justice Department preparing for Mueller report in coming days  —  Justice Department officials are preparing for the end of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and believe a confidential report could be issued in coming days …
Discussion: Politico and Raw Story
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
Trump butters up Barr amid signs of Mueller conclusion  —  Facing the possible completion of a special counsel investigation that could upend his presidency, Donald Trump is lashing out at everything and everybody — except his new attorney general, Bill Barr.
Jacqueline Alemany / Washington Post:   Power Up: ‘By the Book Bob:’ Prosecutors say Mueller will tightly hug Justice guidelines in report
Lynh Bui / Washington Post:
Self-proclaimed white nationalist planned mass terror attack, government says.  ‘I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on earth.’  —  A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant and self-identified white nationalist has been arrested after federal investigators uncovered a cache of weapons …
Dave Philipps / New York Times:
Coast Guard Officer Plotted to Kill Democrats and Journalists, Prosecutors Say
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Actor Jussie Smollett now a suspect in criminal investigation  —  “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has been “officially classified” as a suspect in a criminal investigation for allegedly filling a false police report, according to a tweet from Chicago police communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi.
CBS Chicago:
Video Shows Brothers Linked To Jussie Smollett Attack Buying Items Allegedly Worn In Assault
John Kass / Chicago Tribune:
Column: Politicians use Jussie Smollett, while a 1-year-old boy shot in the head is set aside
Brett Murphy / USA Today:
Blackface, KKK hoods and mock lynchings: Review of 900 yearbooks finds blatant racism  —  In one of the most extensive searches of college yearbooks ever, we found blackface and Ku Klux Klan photos like Ralph Northam's far beyond Virginia.  —  The old yearbook photos capture the lighthearted moments …
Discussion: Splinter
Nicole Carroll / USA Today:
I became part of our story on racist images in college yearbooks.  I'm here to apologize for publishing that photo
Discussion: Raw Story
BuzzFeed News:
Trump Said He Ordered His Administration To Withhold Wildfire Aid To California.  FEMA Says He Never Did.  —  The president tweeted that he was cutting off disaster assistance to wildfire survivors to punish California officials.  But no record of such an order exists.
Joe Pompeo / Vanity Fair:
“She Was Pitching Her Intimate Knowledge of the Mueller Probe”: Sarah Isgur Flores, Former Trumper, Talked to MSNBC Before Signing with CNN  —  The former Jeff Sessions spokesperson is now a power player at a network she once called the “Clinton News Network.”  How'd she close the deal?
The Daily Beast:
CNN in Damage-Control Mode With Dems Over GOP Operative Hire
Sarah Ferris / Politico:
Pelosi: House moving ‘swiftly’ to block Trump's emergency declaration  —  Speaker Nancy Pelosi is throwing her muscle behind a legislative effort to block President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration, the first formal step to counter Trump and squeeze Republicans on the border wall.
Rachael Bade / Washington Post:   Pelosi says House will vote on resolution opposing Trump's emergency declaration
Richard Cowan / Reuters:
U.S. House Democrats move to block Trump's emergency declaration on border
David M. Drucker / Washington Examiner:
Optimism in Trump camp grows as Democrats embrace their inner socialist  —  Republicans toiling to re-elect President Trump are freshly optimistic, confident a Democratic Party dominated by ambitious progressives is scaring wayward factions of the conservative coalition back into the fold.
Discussion: New York Times
Washington Post:
Allies decline request to stay in Syria after U.S. troops withdraw  —  As the deadline approaches for the withdrawal of U.S. forces fighting the Islamic State in Syria, America's closest European allies have turned down a Trump administration request to fill the gap with their own troops, according to U.S. and foreign officials.
Discussion: Bloomberg and
Nina dos Santos / CNN:
Senate investigators pursue Moscow-based former Trump associate  —  London and Moscow (CNN)Senate investigators want to question a Moscow-based American businessman with longstanding ties to President Donald Trump after witnesses told them he could shed light on the President's commercial …
Discussion: Raw Story
Amy Gardner / Washington Post:
Candidate's son warned father of N.C. political operative's alleged tactics  —  RALEIGH, N.C. — The son of Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris testified Wednesday that he warned his father repeatedly that he believed a political operative now at the center of an election-fraud investigation …
Discussion: Politico and Splinter
John Solomon / The Hill:
FBI's top lawyer believed Hillary Clinton should face charges, but was talked out of it  —  For most of the past three years, the FBI has tried to portray its top leadership as united behind ex-Director James Comey's decision not to pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton …
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
Dutch professor exposes Tucker Carlson's fraud  —  “Tucker Carlson Tonight” is a binary production.  Here's how it breaks down: The host, Tucker Carlson, either welcomes a guest with whom he agrees, in which case the segment is a facile lovefest, or he welcomes a guest with whom he disagrees …
Isaac Chotiner / New Yorker:
The Classicist Who Sees Donald Trump as a Tragic Hero  —  Many of the books written in support of Donald Trump's Presidency have been authored by Trump family hangers-on or charlatans looking to make a buck.  (Examples include “Trump's Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency …
Christopher Cadelago / Politico:
Kamala Harris shamed by Jamaican father over pot-smoking joke  —  Kamala Harris made headlines last week when she joked in a radio interview that of course she smoked marijuana in her younger years: “Half my family's from Jamaica, are you kidding me?”  —  But the crack didn't go over well with at least …
Zoe Tillman / BuzzFeed News:
A Former Trump Staffer Filed A Class Action To Invalidate All Of The Campaign's Nondisclosure Agreements  —  WASHINGTON — A former Trump campaign staffer filed a class action Wednesday seeking to invalidate all of the nondisclosure and nondisparagement agreements that the Trump campaign required all staffers to sign.
Michael Grunwald / Politico:
Trump's War on California  —  It's undoubtedly a blue-state bastion.  But far from being a socialist hellhole, the Golden State is thriving after years of malaise.  —  Michael Grunwald is a senior staff writer for Politico Magazine.  —  President Donald Trump loves bashing California …
Brian Steinberg / Variety:
CBS Mulls Changes to ‘CBS Evening News,’ Eyes Norah O'Donnell for Anchor Slot (EXCLUSIVE)  —  CBS News is considering making significant changes to its flagship “CBS Evening News,” according to four people with knowledge of the talks, part of a top-down look at the news division by incoming president Susan Zirinsky.
Philip Klein / Washington Examiner:
Government report reveals CBO was scandalously off in Obamacare estimates  —  A new report from government actuaries has revealed that the Congressional Budget Office was scandalously off in its estimates of the impact of Obamacare's individual mandate, a miscalculation that has had significant ramifications …
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 More Items: 
Marc Caputo / Politico:
Miami makes last-ditch convention pitch
Alex Ward / Vox:
Andrew McCabe claims Trump wanted war in Venezuela because “they have all that oil”
Hamilton Nolan / Splinter:
Rich People Have Been Taking Your Money For 40 Years And They Still Are
Ian Bremmer / TIME:
Americans Want a Less Aggressive Foreign Policy. It's Time Lawmakers Listened to Them
Jon Levine / The Wrap:
CNN Analyst David Gergen Calls Roger Stone a ‘Dandy’ Who May Be ‘Subject to Rape’ in Prison (VIdeo)
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Daniel Lippman / Politico:
White House talks U.N. post with John James
Discussion: Fox News
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Why Sanders's money haul doesn't mean very much
Discussion: Wall Street Journal
Bree A. Dail / LifeSiteNews:
4D ultrasound in Times Square will show ‘image of God’ in unborn babies: Focus on the Family pres.
Discussion: RedState and Daily Wire
 Earlier Items: 
Zachary Basu / Axios:
Michael Cohen's public testimony before Congress rescheduled to Feb. 27
Brianne Pfannenstiel / Des Moines Register:
Iowa Poll: Joni Ernst's approval rating hits new high as she readies for 2020 re-election bid
Jennifer Schuessler / New York Times:
The Obama Presidential Library That Isn't
Discussion: Chicago Tribune and AOTUS
Marc Perrusquia / The Daily Memphian:
POWER BROKER  —  SPECIAL REPORT: Inside a long-shot plan to buy …
The Guardian:
'He's learned nothing': Zuckerberg floats crowdsourcing Facebook fact-checks
Franco Ordoñez / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Jared Kushner privately working on reshaping legal immigration
Sean Hannity:
MANUFACTURED CRISIS? Border Agents Seize $13 MILLION of Meth Hidden in Frozen Strawberries
Discussion: CNN