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2:50 PM ET, June 18, 2019


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
As Trump's defense pick withdraws, he addresses violent domestic incidents  —  In the months that he has served as President Trump's acting secretary of defense, Patrick Shanahan has worked to keep domestic violence incidents within his family private.  His wife was arrested after punching him in the face …
USA Today:
FBI examining 2010 domestic fight involving acting defense secretary Shanahan; accounts differ on aggressor  —  Before he worked at the Pentagon, Patrick Shanahan spent over 30 years at Boeing.  Now, he's the new acting secretary of defense.  —  CONNECT  —  WASHINGTON — The FBI …
Zachary Basu / Axios:
Trump announces acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will step down
Orlando Sentinel:
Our endorsement for president in 2020: Not Donald Trump |  Editorial … Donald Trump is in Orlando to announce the kickoff of his re-election campaign.  —  We're here to announce our endorsement for president in 2020, or, at least, who we're not endorsing: Donald Trump.
Orlando Sentinel:
Trump supporters line up 42 hours early for Orlando campaign rally at Amway Center
Zachary Halaschak / Washington Examiner:
Launching reelection bid, Trump declares: ‘Republican enthusiasm is at an all time high’
Discussion: CNN, IJR and Mediaite
Wall Street Journal:
Trump Plans to Live-Tweet Democratic Debate  —  President Trump's political advisers wanted to keep the president off of Twitter during the Democratic debates next week, arguing that there was an advantage in letting potential challengers attack one another without distraction.  —  Now, there's a new strategy.
Jonathan Cohn / HuffPost:
Democratic Voters Don't Actually Understand ‘Medicare For All,’ New Report Says
Discussion: Washington Post
Tessa Berenson / TIME:
Exclusive: President Trump Calls Alleged Iranian Attack on Oil Tankers ‘Very Minor’  —  Facing twin challenges in the Persian Gulf, President Donald Trump said in an interview with TIME Monday that he might take military action to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon …
Eli Lake / Bloomberg:
Don't Blame Trump for Iran's Aggression
Bryan Bender / Politico:
Pentagon sending 1,000 more troops as tensions with Iran grow
Washington Post:
Trump vows mass immigration arrests, removals of ‘millions of illegal aliens’ starting next week  —  President Trump said in a tweet Monday night that U.S. immigration agents are planning to make mass arrests starting “next week,” an apparent reference to a plan in preparation for months …
Gabriel Sherman / Vanity Fair:
“Crickets.  They're Gone”: Why the Mercers, Trump's Biggest 2016 Backers, Have Bailed on Him  —  Robert Mercer is disillusioned.  “Bob views all his political spending as a bad investment,” says a source close to Mercer.  “This whole thing did not end up well for them,” says Sam Nunberg.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
White House Explored Legality of Demoting Fed Chairman Powell  — White House counsel came to closely held conclusion on Powell  — Fed spokeswoman says chairman can only be removed ‘for cause’  —  The White House explored the legality of demoting Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in February …
Discussion: Axios, The Guardian and Political Wire
Exclusive: Pompeo blocks inclusion of Saudis on U.S. child soldiers list - sources  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blocked the inclusion of Saudi Arabia on a U.S. list of countries that recruit child soldiers, dismissing his experts' findings that a Saudi-led coalition …
New York Times:
Paul Manafort Seemed Headed to Rikers.  Then the Justice Department Intervened.  —  The decision came after Attorney General William Barr's top deputy sent a letter to state prosecutors.  Mr. Manafort will now be held in a federal lockup while he faces state charges.
Laura Donnelly / Telegraph:
Boaty McBoatface makes major climate change discovery on maiden outing  —  Boaty McBoatface's maiden outing has made a major discovery about how climate change is causing rising sea levels.  Scientists say that data collected from the yellow submarines's first expedition will help them build …
BuzzFeed News:
Tony Robbins Punishes Followers By Making Them Drink Unidentified Brown Liquid “Designed To Have A Lasting Effect”  —  At high-pressure seminars, the self-help superstar punishes people who don't measure up by feeding them a “gross shot” of unidentified brown liquid.  His lawyers denied the mixture contains laxatives.
Ronald Brownstein / CNN:
McConnell's blockade of House legislation is about to face its toughest test  —  McConnell has been the immovable object: He's frustrated House Democrats by systematically blocking Senate votes so far on the lengthening list of bills they have passed, from gun control to additional protections …
Discussion: Daily Kos
Marianne LeVine / Politico:
Schumer urges Senate to add election security measures to defense bill
Discussion: Associated Press
Frank Sharry / USA Today:
Democrats can turn immigration into a total loser for Donald Trump in 2020 — if they dare  —  Trump obsesses about immigration so voters will blame ‘the other’ while he enriches his friends.  This is racism in the service of plutocracy.  —  CONNECT  —  When President Donald Trump kicks off …
Discussion: Daily Kos and Splinter
Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
Billionaire GOP donor and Trump supporter says he rejected Joe Biden's request for fundraising help in 2020  —  KEY POINTS  — Democratic front runner Joe Biden on Monday appealed to a billionaire Republican donor for fundraising help in his presidential campaign.
Geneva Sands / CNN:
First on CNN: Katharine Gorka expected to be named Customs and Border Protection press secretary  —  Washington (CNN)Katharine Gorka, a political appointee at the Department of Homeland Security who has stirred controversy for her views on terrorism and her role in the department's efforts …
New York Times:
Cities Start to Question an American Ideal: A House With a Yard on Every Lot  —  Townhomes, duplexes and apartments are effectively banned in many neighborhoods.  Now some communities regret it.  —  Single-family zoning is practically gospel in America, embraced by homeowners and local governments …
Discussion: Reason
Olivia Messer / The Daily Beast:
'This Isn't a Game': Four Women Sue Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill for Sexual Harassment  —  The statehouse staffers say they want their alleged harasser to be held accountable after investigations found their claims to be ‘credible’ but went no further.
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
Is the Religious Right Privileged?  —  The history of race and religion under liberalism is a tangle, not just a morality play.  —  Fair warning: This will be an entire column about a single paragraph.  —  The paragraph's author is Adam Serwer, a writer for The Atlantic …
Discussion: alicublog and Washington Monthly
Hamed Aleaziz / BuzzFeed News:
A Top Immigration Official Appears To Be Warning Asylum Officers About Border Screenings  —  The newly appointed leader of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ken Cuccinelli, sent an email to staffers Tuesday in which he appeared to push asylum officers to stop allowing …
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
This is Trump's worst poll number — and what it means  —  There is one poll question I keep coming back to when I think about President Trump's 2020 reelection campaign.  It's the one in which pollsters ask whether people would “definitely not” vote for him.  —  This is an especially bad number for Trump.
Discussion: IJR, Off the Kuff and Breitbart
Wall Street Journal:
How 7.4 Tons of Venezuela's Gold Landed in Africa—and Vanished  —  Secret deliveries to a refinery in Uganda expose a global underground economy many suspect is helping Nicolás Maduro cling to power  —  ENTEBBE, Uganda—The government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is selling off his country's gold reserves.
Pat Eaton-Robb / Associated Press:
Newtown parents score a win in growing fight against hoaxers  —  HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The father of a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre has won a defamation lawsuit against the authors of a book that claimed the shooting never happened — the latest victory for victims' relatives …
Josh Rogin / Washington Post:
Bolton moves to promote loyalists at the National Security Council  —  Staff changes are coming to the National Security Council this summer as national security adviser John Bolton elevates some of the senior officials he brought on and bids farewell to some of the people he inherited from his predecessor.
Amy Spiro / Jerusalem Post:
John Cusack slammed for antisemitic retweet  —  After initial defense, actor deletes image and apologizes.  —  Actor John Cusack was widely criticized on Monday after tweeting an antisemitic image.  —  The actor - best known for Say Anything..., Being John Malkovich and High Fidelity …
NBC News:
Mueller's report may be completed, but his work isn't done.  And that's what we told Congress.  —  It seems like every day brings new allegations about the Trump administration's conduct.  The volume of them can be overwhelming, but we can't allow ourselves to lose focus.
Heather Caygle / Politico:
‘The biggest nightmare Perez ever possibly imagined’  —  Tom Perez isn't facing blowback only over his management of his party's unruly presidential primary field.  He also has 280 constituents in Congress, some of whom are sounding off publicly.  —  The Democratic National Committee chairman …
Annabelle Dickson / Politico:
Dominic Raab knocked out of Tory leadership race  —  LONDON — Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab was knocked out of the race to be the next leader of the Conservative Party following a vote by Tory MPs this evening.  —  Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who has committed to leaving …
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 More Items: 
Associated Press:
Trump says US will begin deporting millions
An Alaska teen is accused of killing her friend after a man she met online said he'd pay $9 million …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
David Harsanyi / New York Post:
Anti-Trump ‘dossier’ was all about foreign interference in a US election
John Wagner / Washington Post:
Ocasio-Cortez presses case that U.S. is running ‘concentration camps’ at border amid Republican outcry
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Roy Moore to announce Alabama Senate decision Thursday
Eugene Robinson / Washington Post:
Trump plans to turn the Fourth of July into a political rally in honor of himself
Discussion: and Bloomberg
 Earlier Items: 
Rick Klein / ABC News:
The Note: Trump family affair to highlight campaign launch
Jon Allsop / Columbia Journalism Review:
US-Iran coverage is still not skeptical enough
Graham Smith / NPR:
NPR Identifies 4th Attacker In Civil Rights-Era Cold Case
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Four Years Ago Trump Was Seen as a Sideshow. Now He Is the Show.