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4:45 AM ET, November 15, 2019

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 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Besieged on all sides, Gordon Sondland clings to power  —  When confronted with the whiff of scandal, American diplomats are often advised to resign if they believe they can no longer be effective in the job.  —  But for Gordon Sondland, the embattled U.S. ambassador to the European Union, quitting is not in the cards.
RELATED:
Associated Press:
AP source: Second US official in Kyiv heard Trump call  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — A second U.S. Embassy staffer in Kyiv overheard a cellphone call between President Donald Trump and his ambassador to the European Union discussing a need for Ukrainian officials to pursue “investigations,” The Associated Press has learned.
CNN:
Russian spies likely intercepted ambassador's cell phone call with Trump  —  Washington (CNN)US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland's cell phone call to President Donald Trump from a restaurant in Ukraine this summer appears to be a shocking security breach that raises significant …
Discussion: The Mahablog and The Guardian
Anne Gearan / Washington Post:
State Department official who overheard Trump phone call on Ukraine has experience speaking his mind
Discussion: Shareblue Media
Erica Werner / Washington Post:
Career White House budget official expected to break ranks, testify in impeachment inquiry  —  Mark Sandy would be the first Office of Management and Budget official to appear after a series of political appointees defied congressional subpoenas  —  A longtime career employee at the White House Office …
RELATED:
NBC News:   Budget official expected to defy White House, testify in impeachment inquiry
Sabrina Rodriguez / Politico:
Pelosi: USMCA deal is ‘imminent’
CNN:
Top Democrats privately concede major shift in public opinion on impeachment is unlikely
Discussion: Hot Air
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Trump shows GOP senators summary of his first call with Ukraine president
Nicole Gaouette / CNN:
Trump hikes price tag for US forces in Korea almost 500% as Seoul questions alliance  —  Washington (CNN)Secretary of Defense Mark Esper landed in South Korea on Thursday to navigate renewed threats from an “enraged” North Korea and newly heightened strain in the alliance with Seoul that congressional aides …
Discussion: Mother Jones
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Stephanie Kirchgaessner / The Guardian:
Rudy Giuliani says Trump will stay loyal to him but jokes that he has ‘insurance’  —  Exclusive: The president's personal lawyer has emerged as a key figure in the impeachment inquiry, with speculation that Republicans will seek to paint him as a rogue actor
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Bloomberg:
Giuliani Faces U.S. Probe on Campaign Finance, Lobbying Breaches  — Probe of lawyer presents a threat to Trump's presidency  — Giuliani has become a central figure in impeachment inquiry  —  Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, is being investigated …
Lachlan Markay / The Daily Beast:
Five Cellphones, Trump Straws, a Lot of Cash—What This Giuliani Crony Was Carrying When the FBI Arrested Him
Discussion: Associated Press and Raw Story
Washington Post:
Justice Dept. watchdog won't let witnesses give written feedback on report about FBI's Russia probe, sparking fears of inaccuracy  —  The Justice Department Inspector General's office has told witnesses who are set to review draft sections of its long-awaited report on the FBI investigation …
Discussion: The Last Refuge
RELATED:
CNN:
Trump talks Russia probe audit with attorney general and White House counsel in Oval Office meeting  —  (CNN)President Donald Trump met with Attorney General William Barr and White House counsel Pat Cipollone in an Oval Office meeting Thursday afternoon in which the so-called Horowitz report came …
Discussion: The Week
Gregg Re / Fox News:
Ethics Committee extends review of Talib, probes Hastings for alleged relationship with staffer  —  The House Ethics Committee on Thursday announced it is extending its review of a campaign finance matter related to Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, while acknowledging for the first time a probe …
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Ryan Saavedra / The Daily Wire:
BREAKING: Congress Releases Messages Showing Tlaib Asked Campaign For Personal Money, Announces Investigation Into Her
Discussion: Redstate
Laurel Wamsley / NPR:
3 Indiana Judges Suspended After White Castle Brawl That Left 2 Of Them Wounded  —  Back in May, three Indiana judges got into a fight.  It was the crescendo of an incident brimming with colorful details: a gaggle of judges drinking the night before a judicial conference …
Discussion: TheBlaze and Fox News
The Daily Beast:
Exclusive: Giuliani Ally Pete Sessions Was Eyed for Top Slot in Ukraine  —  Pete Sessions received millions from Giuliani's indicted cronies.  He joined Rudy in speaking out against the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.  He was even considered as her replacement.
Discussion: Washington Post and Raw Story
RELATED:
Washington Post:
How the impeachment inquiry has revealed a long and murky campaign to oust a veteran U.S. ambassador
Discussion: Fox News
Washington Post:
Trump's Washington hotel has fallen behind competitors, with rooms running nearly half empty, marketing materials show  —  President Trump's Washington hotel has fallen well behind competing properties despite continuing to charge among the highest rates in the city, according …
RELATED:
Washington Post:
RNC to hold winter meetings at Trump resort that was considered for G-7 summit
Discussion: CNN, The Hill, HuffPost, POLITICUSUSA and Axios
Fareed Zakaria / Washington Post:
Zelensky planned to announce Trump's ‘quo’ on my show.  Here's what happened.  —  The phrase “quid pro quo” is usually translated as “something for something.”  In the case of President Trump's communications with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, it appears that the “quo” …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Slate
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Christian Caryl / Washington Post:
Sorry, Republicans, but Paul Manafort really was corrupt
Edward Helmore / The Guardian:
Outcry after Facebook sponsors gala featuring Brett Kavanaugh  —  Company is listed as a ‘gold circle’ sponsor for rightwing group Federalist Society dinner where justice will be keynote speaker  —  Facebook is facing criticism for sponsoring the annual gala dinner of the Federalist Society …
RELATED:
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Kavanaugh addresses the conservative legal establishment that championed his nomination
Washington Post:
Trump asks Supreme Court to shield his tax returns from prosecutors, setting up historic separation-of-powers showdown  —  President Trump asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to stop a prosecutor's investigation of his personal finances, a bold assertion of presidential power that seeks …
RELATED:
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Judge slams feds over murky stance on McCabe  —  A federal judge excoriated Justice Department officials Thursday for their handling of potential criminal charges against former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, saying the continued uncertainty over the prosecution was unfair to McCabe and the public.
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Gianluca Mezzofiore / CNN:
Italian council is flooded immediately after rejecting measures on climate change  —  (CNN)Veneto regional council, which is located on Venice's Grand Canal, was flooded for the first time in its history on Tuesday night — just after it rejected measures to combat climate change.
Washington Post:
White House and Pentagon prepare for Trump to issue pardons in war-crimes cases, officials say  —  President Trump is expected to intervene in three military justice cases involving service members charged with war crimes any day, issuing pardons or otherwise clearing them of wrongdoing …
Morning Call:
Most Pennsylvania voters have dim view of Trump, new poll shows.  His Democratic foes have work to do, too  —  One year before Pennsylvania voters will head to the polls in a critical swing state, a new Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll shows nearly six in 10 don't believe President Donald Trump should be re-elected.
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA and Political Wire
RELATED:
Dana Blanton / Fox News:
Fox News Poll: Close races between Trump and Democrats in North Carolina
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA and War Room
Katie Rogers / New York Times:
Emails Outline Anti-Immigration Group's Connection to Stephen Miller  —  A new batch of leaked emails illustrates the degree to which Mr. Miller used a think tank's work to shape coverage at Breitbart News and policy at the White House.  —  WASHINGTON — Stephen Miller …
Tom O'Connor / Newsweek:
Syria's Assad says Jeffrey Epstein did not kill himself  —  Syrian President Bashar al-Assad waded into the conspiracy theories around Jeffery Epstein's suicide, saying the financier and convicted sex offender was murdered as part of a Western plot to eliminate high-profile people who knew too much.
Discussion: CANNONFIRE
NBC News:
Trump admin preparing to take over private land in Texas for border wall  —  The Trump administration is preparing court filings to begin taking over private land in Texas to build a border wall as early as this week, say officials.  —  The Trump administration is preparing court filings …
Discussion: National Review
Jennifer Bendery / HuffPost:
Senate Confirms Wildly Problematic Trump Court Pick Steven Menashi  —  He's never tried a case.  He condemned women's rights and diversity.  He refused to answer senators' questions.  Republicans confirmed him anyway.  —  WASHINGTON ― The Senate voted Thursday to make Steven Menashi …
Karoli Kuns / Latest from Crooks and Liars:
As Jury Deliberates, Roger Stone Sends A Message To Trump: ‘Pardon Me’  —  Using Alex Jones as the relay, Stone's message is straightforward: A pardon is the only thing that can save him now.  —  Today, jurors received the case against Roger Stone and are currently deliberating the charges before them.
Discussion: Hullabaloo
 
 
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 More Items: 
ABC News:
Deval Patrick: 'I wouldn't be in it if I didn't think I could win it'
Discussion: Associated Press
UTLA:
UTLA Overwhelmingly Endorses Sen. Bernie Sanders for US President
ABC News:
Facing impeachment hearings, Trump returns to Louisiana for governor's race rally
Sheera Frenkel / New York Times:
Whistle-Blower's Purported Name Keeps Evading Facebook and YouTube Defenses
J. David Goodman / New York Times:
The Tropical Conclave Where Politicians and Lobbyists Go to Make Deals
Greg Farrell / Bloomberg:
Trump Lawyer Bolsters Defense of Ukrainian Billionaire
David Brooks / New York Times:
In Praise of Washington Insiders
 Earlier Items: 
Dan Froomkin / Press Watch:
Reuters News Article That Called Impeachment Hearing ‘Dull’ Sparks a Social Media Revolt
Daniel Nichanian / The Appeal:
As Michigan Raises the Age, Advocates Vow to Press for More Change
Vivian Salama / Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Threatens Egypt With Sanctions Over Russian Arms Deal
WKRC:
Ohio House passes bill allowing student answers to be scientifically wrong due to religion
Discussion: Raw Story
Melissa Ratliff / WLEX:
Gov. Bevin concedes election following recanvass
Discussion: Axios and Raw Story
Los Angeles Times:
Santa Clarita shooting: 2 teens killed; attack came on suspect's birthday, officials say