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12:30 PM ET, June 21, 2019


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Trump Approves Strikes on Iran, but Then Abruptly Pulls Back  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them on Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions.
New York Times:
Trump Stopped Strike on Iran Because It Was ‘Not Proportionate’  —  President Trump said Friday morning that the United States military had been “cocked and loaded” for a strike against Iran on Thursday night, but that he called it off with 10 minutes to spare when a general told him that 150 people would likely die in the attack.
Peter Baker / New York Times:
For Trump, ‘Judgment Time Is Coming’ on How to Respond to Iran  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump's tenure as commander in chief came to a dramatic turning point on Thursday night as he found himself torn between his own competing advisers and his own competing instincts …
Donald Trump Decided to Strike Iranian Missile System, Then Changed His Mind
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:   The commander in chief is AWOL
Eli Lake / Bloomberg:
The U.S. Has Lots of Options With Iran
Steve Inskeep / NPR:
Iran's U.N. Ambassador: U.S. Escalating Hostilities Like A ‘Knife Under Your Throat’
Discussion: Breitbart and New York Post
Washington Post:
The U.S. should strive for a stable Iran. Instead, it is suffocating it.
Associated Press:
Migrant children describe neglect at Texas border facility  —  EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A 2-year-old boy locked in detention wants to be held all the time.  A few girls, ages 10 to 15, say they've been doing their best to feed and soothe the clingy toddler who was handed to them by a guard days ago.
Michelle Goldberg / New York Times:
Trump Bets We'll Stop Caring About Migrant Kids
Discussion: Vox
Associated Press:   Lawyers claim infants, children are in dangerous situation at border detention site
Tim Dickinson / Rolling Stone:   Trump Administration to Migrant Kids: No Soap for You!
New York Times:
Andrew Weissmann, a Top Mueller Prosecutor, Has a Book Deal  —  Andrew Weissmann, one of the top prosecutors for Robert S. Mueller III on the Russia investigation, is writing a book that will explore his work on the special counsel's inquiry, according to a publishing executive with knowledge of the deal.
Dems see Hope Hicks testimony as huge gift in legal battle with Trump  —  In an exclusive interview, Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler also said Democrats would soon sue former White House Counsel Don McGahn.  —  House Democrats are planning to file a lawsuit within days to force former White …
Daniel Chaitin / Washington Examiner:
NYT reporter flagged Jared Kushner meetings with Russians to FBI  —  A New York Times reporter fed information about Jared Kushner meeting with Russians to the FBI, newly released emails show.  —  Journalist Michael Schmidt sent an email on March 24, 2017, to FBI Assistant Director …
Nicholas Ballasy / The Intercept:
Ocasio-Cortez Not Apologizing to Kevin McCarthy: “He Should Apologize to the Children That Have Been Separated From Their Parents”  —  Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., fired back on Thursday at House Republican Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who had demanded that she apologize …
Andrea Pitzer / NYR Daily:
‘Some Suburb of Hell’: America's New Concentration Camp System
Discussion: CNN
Allegra Kirkland / Talking Points Memo:
Fighting About Calling Them ‘Concentration Camps’ Is Besides The Point
Discussion: Bloomberg, Townhall and
Elizabeth Warren / Medium:
Ending Private Prisons and Exploitation for Profit  —  Last month Caliburn International — a for-profit company whose subsidiary operates Homestead, the largest detention center for unaccompanied migrant children — hired John Kelly, Trump's former chief of staff.
Gideon Resnick / The Daily Beast:
Elizabeth Warren Wants to Ban Private Prisons: They Have ‘No Place in America’
Discussion: Politico
Ali Vitali / NBC News:
Clyburn explains why Harris and Booker haven't caught on in S. Carolina  —  The third-ranking House Democrat talked to NBC News ahead of his famous ‘Fish Fry’ gathering Friday night, featuring more than 20 presidential contenders.  —  COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn expressed …
Discussion: Political Wire
Wall Street Journal:
Prosecutors Intensify Scrutiny of Trump Fundraiser Elliott Broidy  —  Federal probe examines foreigners who attended inauguration at invitation of top Trump fundraiser  —  Federal prosecutors have stepped up a criminal investigation into possible efforts by longtime Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Washington Post:
Joe Biden's letters to segregationist Sen. James O. Eastland  —  The letters were obtained from the University of Mississippi, which houses Sen. James O. Eastland's archived papers.  —  The correspondence from 1972 to 1978 shows Joe Biden, at the time a young senator, trying to establish …
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Breitbart
Washington Post:
Tensions ripple through Biden campaign as his past working relationship with a segregationist …
Sam Rosenfeld / Washington Post:
Joe Biden's nostalgia for ‘civility’ is nostalgia for the politics of Jim Crow
Maxwell Strachan / HuffPost:
Some White House Reporters Are Throwing Sarah Huckabee Sanders A Goodbye Party  —  White House correspondents and some Trump staffers plan to send Sanders off with “farewell drinks” next week.  —  Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the reporters who cover the White House haven't always had the smoothest relationship.
Kate Riga / Talking Points Memo:
After Crying ‘Fake News’ For Years, Sanders Is Getting A Party — Thrown By Reporters
Discussion: Splinter
Donald Trump / TIME:
Donald Trump's Interview With TIME on 2020: Read the Transcript  —  President Donald Trump sat down for an interview with TIME in the Oval Office on June 17 for a story on his re-election campaign.  —  During the 57-minute conversation, he discussed his Democratic rivals …
Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Fairfax ‘thinking very seriously’ about run for governor, says scandal has raised his public profile  —  Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax said Thursday that he is “very hopeful about the future” and “thinking very seriously” about a gubernatorial run in 2021.  —  Fairfax, who faces sexual assault allegations …
Olivia Gazis / CBS News:
Justice Dept review of intel in Russia probe fuels fears of politicization  —  A mix of concern, confusion and defiance has spread through elements of the intelligence community as a murky picture emerges of Attorney General William Barr's review of its investigative and analytical work …
Drew Harwell / Washington Post:
Hacked documents reveal sensitive details of expanding border surveillance  —  Far more information was taken in the hack of a Customs and Border Protection contractor than U.S. officials have acknowledged.  —  The recent cyberattack on a U.S. Customs and Border Protection subcontractor …
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
Trump to Officially Nominate Esper as Next Defense Secretary  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump plans to nominate Mark T. Esper, the secretary of the Army and former West Point classmate of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to be the next defense secretary, administration officials said on Friday.
Patrick Marley / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
On 4-3 vote, Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds state's lame-duck laws limiting power of Democratic governor  —  MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld lame-duck laws Friday that limit the power of the state's new Democratic governor, handing Republicans a victory in one of several legal fights over the laws.
Discussion: Mother Jones and Political Wire
Justin Baragona / The Daily Beast:
Laura Ingraham Dismisses Reparations: 'No Do-Overs...We Won, You Lost, That's That'  —  “As Trump always says, 'you don't get do-overs,' she declared. ”  No do-overs, that's it.  Fox News star Laura Ingraham waded into the ongoing debate over reparations for descendants of slaves during …
Emily Flitter / New York Times:
Being Transgender at Goldman Sachs  —  How Maeve DuVally, an employee in the bank's buttoned-up communications department, became herself at work.  —  Goldman Sachs's trading floors are vast rooms crammed with rows of tightly packed workstations, four monitors for every trader.
Natasha Korecki / Politico:
Biden called Booker to quell tensions.  Things only got worse  —  After Sen. Cory Booker appeared on CNN on Wednesday night sounding off on Joe Biden's recent comments surrounding segregationists, the New Jersey Democrat got a phone call — it was the former vice president.
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 More Items: 
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
What if Trump won't accept 2020 defeat?
Discussion: Contemptor
Vivian Wang / New York Times:
Sex Harassment Laws Toughened in New York: ‘Finally, This Is Happening’
Discussion: Simple Justice
Tim Arango / New York Times:
Los Angeles and San Francisco, ‘Polar Opposites’ on Criminal Justice
Natasha Bertrand / Politico:
House Intel to subpoena Felix Sater after he fails to appear for testimony
Discussion: Axios
Simon Kuper / Financial Times:
How Oxford university shaped Brexit — and Britain's next prime minister
Discussion: Bloomberg
Isaac Chotiner / New Yorker:
Jim Acosta Describes Why He Battles Trump
 Earlier Items: 
Kayla Tausche / CNBC:
West Virginia is still waiting on a game-changing $84 billion investment from China that was promised in 2017
Discussion: Political Wire
Mona Charen / National Review:
Elizabeth Warren's Terrible Plans
Tyler Bridges /
Support for Trump in Louisiana plunges, poll says; here's how this could help Gov. John Bel Edwards
John McCormick / Wall Street Journal:
Americans Aren't Sure U.S. System Can Fix Long-Term Problems, Poll Finds
Max Boot / Washington Post:
Marco Rubio's humiliating transformation into a Trump fan-boy is complete
Daily Mail:
Forget the polls, rampaging Trump's going to win easily in 2020 unless Democrat ostriches drag …
Chris Lehman / Oregonian:
Oregon governor sends police to find missing Republicans, bring them to Capitol