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11:20 AM ET, October 17, 2019


 Top Items: 
Andrew Desiderio / Politico:
Gordon Sondland breaks with Trump in impeachment testimony  —  Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, broke sharply from President Donald Trump on Thursday, telling House impeachment investigators that he opposed the president's request to run Ukraine policy through his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Wall Street Journal:
Rick Perry Called Rudy Giuliani at Trump's Direction on Ukraine Concerns  —  President's lawyer said Ukraine had worked to hurt Trump in 2016 election, energy secretary says in interview  —  WASHINGTON—Energy Secretary Rick Perry said he sought out Rudy Giuliani this spring …
Josh Lederman / NBC News:
Sondland asked Ukrainian officials during private White House talk about gas firm linked to Hunter Biden  —  Sondland's meeting with Ukrainian officials just steps from the White House Situation Room came minutes after a larger meeting that included John Bolton.
Discussion: ABC News, VICE and Mother Jones
Ambassador says Trump directed diplomats to work with Giuliani on Ukraine  —  (CNN)US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was directed by President Donald Trump to work with Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine, he plans to tell Congress Thursday, and was left with a choice …
Rebecca Ballhaus / Wall Street Journal:
Sondland Criticizes Trump Over Efforts to Pressure Ukraine  —  U.S. ambassador to the European Union says he was ‘disappointed’ by president's directive to work with Giuliani  —  WASHINGTON—Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, criticized President Trump over his efforts …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Josh Lederman / NBC News:
Sondland to testify that Trump directed Giuliani to push Ukraine scheme  —  “My understanding was that the president directed Mr. Giuliani's participation, that Mr. Giuliani was expressing the concerns of the president,” he'll say, according to prepared testimony obtained by NBC News.
Discussion: CNBC and Raw Story
New York Times:   Ambassador to E.U. to Testify That Trump Delegated Ukraine Policy to Giuliani
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Gordon Sondland's Ukraine Alibi: I Was the Dumbest Diplomat Ever
Discussion: CNN, LewRockwell and American Greatness
Katherine Faulders / ABC News:
EU ambassador to testify he believed meeting with Trump conditioned on investigation announcement
Discussion: The Hill
Scoop: Kurt Volker testimony revealed depth of concerns about Giuliani
Discussion: Political Wire and Raw Story
New York Times:
Elijah E. Cummings, Powerful Democrat Who Investigated Trump, Dies at 68  —  A son of sharecroppers, he fought tirelessly for his hometown of Baltimore and became a key figure in the impeachment investigation of President Trump.  —  Representative Elijah E. Cummings, a son of sharecroppers …
Discussion: The Mahablog and HuffPost
Jenna Portnoy / Washington Post:
Rep. Elijah Cummings, Democratic leader and regular Trump target, dies at 68  —  Elijah E. Cummings, a Democratic congressman from Maryland who gained national attention for his principled stands on politically charged issues in the House, his calming effect on anti-police riots in Baltimore …
Greg Ng / WBAL:
Rep. Elijah Cummings has died
Discussion: UPI and The Root
Baltimore Sun:
What they're saying about U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings' death
Discussion: Reuters, New York Post and The Hill
Quint Forgey / Politico:
Rep. Elijah Cummings, powerful Democratic chairman and Trump target, dies at 68
Discussion: Fox News and The Hill
Kate Grise / CNN:
Rep. Elijah Cummings dies at age 68
Discussion: NPR and The Federalist Papers
Associated Press:
The Latest: US Rep. Elijah Cummings' widow laments his death
Discussion: NBC News and Politico
Turkish president Erdogan 'threw Trump's Syria letter in bin'  —  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put US President Donald Trump's letter “in the bin”, the BBC has been told.  —  In the letter dated 9 October, and sent after US troops were pulled out of Syria, Mr Trump told Mr Erdogan: “Don't be a tough guy.
Ragip Soylu / Middle East Eye:
‘We dumped it in the trash’: Trump's letter to Erdogan gets hostile reception  —  Explosive correspondence threatening the Turkish president sours relations even further ahead of Mike Pence's visit to Ankara  —  A leaked letter written by US President Donald Trump to Recep Tayyip Erdogan warning …
Reuters:   Kremlin questions language of ‘unusual’ Trump letter to Erdogan
William D. Cohan / Vanity Fair:
“There Is Definite Hanky-Panky Going On”: The Fantastically Profitable Mystery of the Trump Chaos Trades  —  The president's talk can move markets—and it's made some futures traders billions.  Did they know what he was going to say before he said it?  —  In the last 10 minutes of trading …
Eli Yokley / Morning Consult:
Things Aren't Getting Better for 2020's Most Vulnerable Senate Republicans  —  Five vulnerable Republicans see declines in net approval  —  Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) delivers remarks during a weekly Capitol Hill news conference on June 25.  The latest Morning Consult Senator Approval Rankings found …
Discussion: Political Wire
Burgess Everett / Politico:
House-passed Syria resolution hits snag in Senate  —  The House voted this week overwhelmingly to condemn the Trump administration's decision to pull out of Syria.  But Mitch McConnell wants the Senate to pass something “stronger.”  —  The Senate majority leader said on Thursday that the Senate …
Discussion: The Hill and NBC News
New York Times:
Trump's Impeachment Blockade Crumbles as Witnesses Agree to Talk  —  After vowing not to cooperate with a “kangaroo court,” the president has largely failed to prevent current and former administration members from spending hours with Democrats seeking to impeach him.
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
Giuliani Ukraine associate had checkered past even before indictment  —  On Oct. 25, 2008, the owner of a property in Florida in which Lev Parnas had been living told Parnas to leave.  When the men began to argue and the owner told Parnas he would call the police, Parnas told the man …
Dan Zak / Washington Post:
Day 1,000 of the Trump presidency: ‘I think now we have to pray...’  —  Wednesday was the 1,000th day of Donald Trump's presidency.  He spent it the usual way, by saying unusual things.  —  “It's a lot of sand,” Trump said.  —  He was sitting in the Oval Office next to the president of Italy …
Discussion: Axios, Political Wire, NBC News and CNN
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
The world is staring at Trump, mouth agape
Josh Rogin / Washington Post:
Elizabeth Warren is failing the commander in chief test  —  It should be obvious this week that the United States needs a president who has the foreign policy chops to speak clearly about the United States' role in the world and has a real plan to keep our country safe.
Liz Sly / Washington Post:
The hasty U.S. pullback from Syria is a searing moment in America's withdrawal from the Middle East
Discussion: Foreign Policy and CNN
Blood fills Iowa family's basement  —  (WHO/NBC News) What sounds like a scene from a horror film is reality for the Lestina family of Bagley, Iowa.  —  Nick Lestina and his family of seven were getting ready to put their house on the market until their basement was flooded with animal blood.
Pew Research Center:
In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace  —  An update on America's changing religious landscape  —  The religious landscape of the United States continues to change at a rapid clip.  In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019 …
Judd at Popular Information / Popular Information:
The Republican political operatives who call the shots at Facebook  —  This is the online version of the Popular Information newsletter.  You can get independent accountability journalism in your inbox every week.  Sign up here:  —  Subscribe  —  In recent months, Facebook …
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 More Items: 
John O. McGinnis / Law & Liberty:
Reviving the Contract Clause: An Acid Test for Originalism
Chelsea Yi / Marketing Resource Group:
MRG Michigan Poll®: Peters and James Show Close Race in US Senate Bid
Lauren O'Neil / blogTO:
Toronto Raptors fans to give away thousands of pro-Hong Kong shirts on opening night
Discussion: Power Line
Extinction Rebellion protesters dragged from Tube train roof
Discussion: TheBlaze
Jack Herrera /
The Government Is Testing Mass Surveillance on the Border Before Turning It on Americans
Wall Street Journal:
Democratic Presidential Hopefuls Spent Over $50 Million This Year to Raise More Money
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Gabby Orr / Politico:
Karen Pence sticks her neck out for Trump to protect her husband
 Earlier Items: 
Gabe Roth / USA Today:
Who voted to hear a charged abortion case during 2020 campaign? End Supreme Court secrecy.
Inside TurboTax's 20-Year Fight to Stop Americans From Filing Their Taxes for Free
Meg James / Los Angeles Times:
Los Angeles Times reaches historic agreement with its newsroom union
Washington Post:
McConnell tells Senate Republicans to be ready for impeachment trial of Trump