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12:35 PM 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.
New York Times:
Ambassador to E.U. to Testify That Trump Delegated Ukraine Policy to Giuliani  —  Gordon D. Sondland said in his prepared statement to House impeachment investigators that he was disappointed the president involved his personal lawyer in diplomacy with Kiev.
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 …
Discussion: VICE, New York Times, Mediaite and Daily Kos
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
Washington Post:
Amid impeachment probe, Gordon Sondland is overseeing a renovation of his residence that has cost $1 million in taxpayer money  —  BRUSSELS — Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union and a central figure in the House impeachment inquiry of President Trump …
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Gordon Sondland's Ukraine Alibi: I Was the Dumbest Diplomat Ever
Discussion: Fox News, CNN and LewRockwell
The Daily Beast:
Ambassador Sondland Throws Trump Under the Bus
Discussion: The Hill
John Wagner / Washington Post:   Live updates: Democrats prepare to block GOP-backed resolution to censure Schiff as another key witness testifies
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 …
Jeff Barker / Baltimore Sun:
U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, longtime advocate for Baltimore and civil rights and key figure in Trump impeachment inquiry, dies at 68  —  U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Baltimore, a committee chairman known for his devotion to Baltimore and civil rights and for blunt and passionate speechmaking …
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 …
Gillian Brockell / Washington Post:
A white mob attacked Elijah Cummings for integrating a swimming pool. He was 11.
Discussion: Breitbart and Mediaite
Baltimore Sun:
What they're saying about U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings' death
Discussion: IJR, New York Post and Reuters
Greg Ng / WBAL:
Rep. Elijah Cummings has died
Discussion: UPI and The Root
Lillian Reed / Baltimore Sun:
What will happen to Elijah Cummings' seat in Congress after his death? Here's what the law says.
Discussion: Roll Call
Kate Grise / CNN:
Rep. Elijah Cummings dies at age 68
Discussion: NPR and The Federalist Papers
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 …
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
What are the problems Trump told Erdogan he has ‘worked hard to solve’?
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 …
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 …
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
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
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 …
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.
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.
House lawyers: Trump trying to ‘obstruct his own impeachment’
Inside TurboTax's 20-Year Fight to Stop Americans From Filing Their Taxes for Free  —  ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power.  Sign up for ProPublica's Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox as soon as they are published.
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 …
Extinction Rebellion protesters dragged from Tube train roof  —  Commuters have dragged climate change protesters from the roof of a London Underground train.  —  Extinction Rebellion activists climbed on to trains at Stratford, Canning Town and Shadwell in Thursday's rush hour.
Discussion: National Review and TheBlaze
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.
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 More Items: 
Eleni Courea / Politico:
Brexit deal faces familiar obstacle — Northern Ireland unionists
MIT Technology Review:
Can you make AI fairer than a judge? Play our courtroom algorithm game
The Daily Beast:
Did Rudy Pal Igor Fruman Steal Another Man's Identity to Make a $100K Campaign Donation?
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
Rudy Giuliani's Twitter Feed Is a Boomer Conspiracy-Theory Sh*tshow
Discussion: and BuzzFeed News
Noah Rothman / Commentary:
Against the Anti-Market Consensus  —  Right and left are converging …
New York Times:
Elaine Chao, Mitch McConnell and Questions of Conflict
John O. McGinnis / Law & Liberty:
Reviving the Contract Clause: An Acid Test for Originalism
 Earlier Items: 
Chelsea Yi / Marketing Resource Group:
MRG Michigan Poll®: Peters and James Show Close Race in US Senate Bid
Discussion: The Hill and Political Wire
Lauren O'Neil / blogTO:
Toronto Raptors fans to give away thousands of pro-Hong Kong shirts on opening night
Discussion: Power Line
Jack Herrera /
The Government Is Testing Mass Surveillance on the Border Before Turning It on Americans
Gabby Orr / Politico:
Karen Pence sticks her neck out for Trump to protect her husband
Gabe Roth / USA Today:
Who voted to hear a charged abortion case during 2020 campaign? End Supreme Court secrecy.
Marina Pitofsky / The Hill:
Lawmakers, social media users praise photo of Pelosi confronting Trump
Washington Post:
McConnell tells Senate Republicans to be ready for impeachment trial of Trump
Dan Zak / Washington Post:
Day 1,000 of the Trump presidency: ‘I think now we have to pray...’
Discussion: Axios, Political Wire, NBC News and CNN