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5:10 PM ET, June 19, 2019


 Top Items: 
'It's a farce': Dems livid as Hope Hicks dodges questions  —  The president's former longtime confidante met with lawmakers behind closed doors to discuss the president's alleged efforts to thwart Mueller's Russia probe.  —  House Democrats erupted Wednesday at what they said was the White …
She stopped returning some of Trump's calls.  Now Hope Hicks is testifying behind closed doors  —  (CNN)For Hope Hicks, President Donald Trump is “boss man” no more.  —  Once the President's closest West Wing confidante — the recipient of his repeated phone calls, the witness to his angriest moments …
Julia Arciga / The Daily Beast:
White House Counsel: Hope Hicks Is ‘Immune’ From Questions About Her Time in Trump Administration
Rachael Bade / Washington Post:
White House bars former Trump aide from answering questions about her work in administration
Katie Glueck / New York Times:
Biden, Recalling Civility in Senate, Invokes Two Segregationist Senators  —  Joseph R. Biden Jr., defending himself on Tuesday night against suggestions that he is too “old fashioned” for today's Democratic Party, invoked two Southern segregationist senators by name as he fondly recalled the …
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Joe Biden's Segregationist Nostalgia Is Even More Ignorant Than It Sounds  —  One of Joe Biden's favorite campaign riffs underscores his belief in the value of civility and bipartisanship.  Inevitably, Biden reminisces about his young Senatorial days when he would pal around (and occasionally cut deals) with segregationists.
Discussion: Althouse
Heather Caygle / Politico:
Black lawmakers get Biden's back amid ‘segregationist’ uproar
Discussion: Axios
Isaac Stanley-Becker / Washington Post:
‘We got things done’: Biden recalls ‘civility’ with segregationist senators
Lisa Needham / Shareblue Media:
Trump had to pay up front for his Orlando rally after stiffing 10 other cities  —  Orlando, where Trump kicked off his 2020 election bid, made sure they were paid in advance before Trump came to town.  —  Trump launched his 2020 bid Tuesday night, but it cost him.
Christopher Mathias / HuffPost:
Trump's 2020 Campaign Kickoff Attracted Extremists To A City That Hates Trump
Discussion: Hullabaloo and The Daily Beast
Timothy L. O'Brien / Bloomberg:   Trump's Orlando Rally Shows He's Running Out of New Tricks
Monmouth University Polling Institute:
Biden Tops Electability Ratings  —  Most Dems interested in first debates, but not excited  —  West Long Branch, NJ - Former Vice President Joe Biden maintains his front-runner status among Democratic voters nationwide, but Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is now virtually tied with Vermont …
USA Today:
Poll: What do Democrats want to hear about at the debates? (Hint: It's not Trump.)
Discussion: CNN, Fox News, National Journal and Politico
Casey Newton / The Verge:
Facebook moderators break their NDAs to expose desperate working conditions  —  At Facebook's worst-performing content moderation site in North America, one contractor has died, and others say they fear for their lives  —  Content warning: This story contains descriptions of violent acts …
New York Times:
Deutsche Bank Faces Criminal Investigation for Potential Money-Laundering Lapses  —  Federal authorities are investigating whether Deutsche Bank complied with laws meant to stop money laundering and other crimes, the latest government examination of potential misconduct at one of the world's largest …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Washington Post:
Meet the New York couple donating millions to the anti-vax movement  —  A wealthy Manhattan couple has emerged as significant financiers of the anti-vaccine movement, contributing more than $3 million in recent years to groups that stoke fears about immunizations online and at live events …
Elizabeth Warren / New York Times:
Does anyone deserve to have a billion dollars?  —  THE CONTEXT  —  Most Democrats see economic inequality as a problem, but they don't always agree about how extreme wealth should be treated.  This question sharpened that debate: candidates like Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar …
New York Times:
Here's What They Said.  —  We tracked down the 2020 Democrats and asked them the same set of questions.  Here's one:  —  CLOSED CAPTIONS  —  THE QUESTIONS  —  In an ideal world, would anyone own handguns?  —  Would your focus be improving the Affordable Care Act or replacing it with single payer?
New York Times:
Describe the last time you were embarrassed. Why?
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Elizabeth Nolan Brown / Reason:
Josh Hawley Introduces Bill to Put Washington In Charge of Internet Speech  —  Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is introducing legislation to clamp down on free expression online, under the pretense of fighting tech-company “bias” against Republicans.  —  Hawley's solution is to amend Section 230 …
Charles P. Pierce / Esquire:
Spoiler Alert: They Want a War  —  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (!) is making noises about ties between al Qaeda and Iran.  The intent is clear.  —  Here they come again, the oldies act, just in time for the summer shed shows.  Take it away,  —  New York Times … Spoiler Alert: they want a war.
Discussion: Daily Kos
New York Times:
Iran Has Ties to Al Qaeda, Trump Officials Tell Skeptical Congress  —  WASHINGTON — Administration officials are briefing Congress on what they say are ties between Iran and Al Qaeda, prompting skeptical reactions and concern on Capitol Hill that the White House could invoke the war authorization passed …
The Daily Beast:
Tucker Carlson Is Privately Advising Trump on Iran  —  As tensions with Iran escalate and his advisers clamor for a hawkish approach, the president has been taking foreign-policy advice from a Fox News host.  —  In the upper echelons of the Trump administration, hawkish voices on Iran predominate …
Victoria Guida / Politico:
Fed keeps rates steady but opens door for cut  —  The Federal Reserve on Wednesday held interest rates steady but opened the door to the possibility of a rate cut this year amid fears of a slowing economy, in a statement unlikely to calm President Donald Trump, who this week suggested he might try to demote Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.
Alister Bull / Bloomberg:
Powell Says He'll Serve Full Fed Term Despite Trump Pressure
Discussion: Political Wire, NPR and Washington Post
Andrew E. Kramer / New York Times:
Four to Face Murder Charges in Downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17  —  MOSCOW — International prosecutors on Wednesday said that four men, including three with close ties to the Russian military and intelligence, would face murder charges in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine five years ago, killing 298 people.
Katherine Krueger / Splinter:
Meghan McCain Snaps and Calls Joy Behar a ‘Bitch’ on the Air  —  Things are tense on Splinter's fave gab-fest, The View.  After reports of behind-the-scenes bickering, the drama played out in front of the camera on Wednesday morning, as Meghan McCain finally snapped and called Joy Behar, her frequent nemesis and co-host, a “bitch.”
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
These gruesome new Khashoggi revelations reinforce the ugly bargain Trump has struck with Saudi Arabia  —  The Trump administration has made a calculated decision not to retaliate very much against Saudi Arabia for the assassination of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
John Solomon / The Hill:
FBI, warned early and often that Manafort file might be fake, used it anyway  —  When the final chapter of the Russia collusion caper is written, it is likely two seminal documents the FBI used to justify investigating Donald Trump's 2016 campaign will turn out to be bunk.
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Lisa Friedman / New York Times:
E.P.A. Finalizes Its Plan to Replace Obama-Era Climate Rules  —  WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Wednesday finalized a package of new rules to replace the Clean Power Plan, former President Barack Obama's signature effort to reduce planet-warming emissions from coal plants.
Washington Post:
Trump EPA finalizes rollback of key Obama climate rule that targeted coal plants
Lyz Lenz / Columbia Journalism Review:
The normalization of Bryan Goldberg  —  Bryan Goldberg wants to save your internet.  Since the creation of his Bustle Digital Group, Goldberg made a name for himself as a digital slumlord—snatching up gutted media properties, bidding low and running them on cheap labor.
Daniel Horowitz / Conservative Review:
Senate Republicans are now weaker on the border than Obama was in 2014  —  There are two questions lawmakers must ask themselves now that they will, supposedly, finally focus on the border: 1) Is their job to represent illegal aliens or to defend Americans first and foremost from the effects …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and Fox News
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Dems make U-turn on calling border a ‘manufactured crisis’
Discussion: Daily Wire
David French / National Review:
Two Painful Truths of America's Religious Culture War  —  Secular government is breaking its promise of liberty, and the American church is breaking its promise of virtue.  —  The fundamental, founding structure of our American nation is relatively simple.
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 More Items: 
Jiayang Fan / New Yorker:
Liu Cixin's War of the Worlds
Jennifer Bendery / HuffPost:
Senate Confirms Judge Who Attacked Roe v. Wade, Called Being Transgender ‘A Delusion’
Discussion: Wonkette
Brooke Singman / Fox News:
It's official: DC's Fourth of July celebration to include Trump speech, flyover
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Second ex-Hassan staffer charged in doxing case
Washington Post:
Sessions hasn't ruled out run for his old Senate seat from Alabama, Shelby says
Andy Kroll / Rolling Stone:
The Shadow Cabinet: How a Group of Powerful Business Leaders Drove Trump's Agenda
Discussion: Political Wire
 Earlier Items: 
Greg P. /
Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel, gives AOC an education …
Discussion: RedState, IJR and CBS News
Lisa Rein / Washington Post:
Trump administration threatens furloughs, layoffs if Congress doesn't let it kill personnel agency
Discussion: Axios
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Five NY1 Anchorwomen Sue Cable Channel for Age and Gender Discrimination
Daniel Dale / CNN:
Fact-check: Trump's Orlando rally featured more than 15 false claims over 76 minutes
Discussion: Daily Kos
Daniel Lippman / Politico:
Sarah Sanders is ‘extremely serious’ about a run for Arkansas governor
John Bresnahan / Politico:
Fight over flight to Cochran funeral breaks out in Senate Appropriations Committee
Discussion: Talking Points Memo