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1:00 AM ET, November 18, 2019

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 Top Items: 
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Republicans Shift Defense of Trump, While He Attacks Another Witness  —  With Gordon Sondland prepared to testify this week, Republicans backed away from complaints about secondhand information and instead offered a blunter defense: The president did nothing wrong.
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Rishika Dugyala / Politico:
Trump labels top Pence aide a ‘Never Trumper’  —  President Donald Trump on Sunday labeled one of his vice president's top national security aides a “Never Trumper,” a day after it was disclosed that she had said the president's July call with Ukraine was “unusual and inappropriate” in a deposition to Congress.
Erin Banco / The Daily Beast:
Gordon Sondland Stepped In ‘and Things Went Really Off the Rails’  —  “Erratic,” “very emotional,” and “lots of yelling.”  Those are some of the words used to describe Sondland's performance in a White House meeting with top Ukrainian officials.  —  Ukrainian officials arrived at the White House …
Devan Cole / CNN:
Republican congressman calls new details about Trump revealed in impeachment testimony ‘alarming’  —  Tapper to GOP lawmaker: How is this not witness intimidation?  —  Washington (CNN)A Republican member of one of the House committees involved in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump …
Discussion: Raw Story and WTVR-TV
Jill Colvin / Associated Press:
Pelosi vows to protect whistleblower in impeachment inquiry
Discussion: Political Wire
Allan Smith / NBC News:
GOP senator says whistleblower's sources 'exposed things that didn't need to be exposed'
Discussion: The Hill and The Daily Caller
Heather Caygle / Politico:
Pelosi has ‘no idea’ if impeachment inquiry will wrap by year's end
Discussion: The Hill and Axios
Zachary Basu / Axios:
Official testifies Bolton held 1-on-1 meeting with Trump about Ukraine aid
Discussion: The Hill
New York Times:
President Trump Bet Big This Election Year.  Here's Why He Lost.  —  In Louisiana and Kentucky, Mr. Trump's political pleas appeared to energize Democrats and political moderates as much as his own base, sending turnout in cities and suburbs soaring.  —  WASHINGTON — When President Trump showed …
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Rod Dreher / The American Conservative:
Trump Loses Louisiana  —  Looks like big turnout in the cities pushed Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards to re-election over Republican Eddie Rispone, despite the fact that Donald Trump visited the state three times to campaign for Rispone.  Here's how the vote shook out by parish, according to The Lens NOLA:
David Nakamura / Washington Post:
Back-to-back losses in key governors' races send additional warning to Trump and GOP ahead of 2020
Discussion: Raw Story and Outside the Beltway
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
Conservative Group Fires Michelle Malkin Over Support for Holocaust Denier  —  Malkin's firing from Young America's Foundation marks the latest battle between supporters of Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes and more establishment conservative figures.  —  A conservative group cut ties …
Washington Post:
Trump pulls back from flavored vaping ban  —  Everything seemed ready to go: President Trump's ban on most flavored e-cigarettes had been cleared by federal regulators.  Officials were poised to announce they would order candy, fruit and mint flavors off the market within 30 days …
Discussion: Axios and The Week
RELATED:
New York Times:   Trump Retreats From Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes
Karen Tumulty / Washington Post:
We need a second opinion on the president's health  —  The only thing of which we can be fairly certain about President Trump's mysterious Saturday-afternoon trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is this: The White House is not telling the truth when it claims the president was there …
Discussion: Raw Story
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Justin Baragona / The Daily Beast:
Chris Wallace Accuses Top Republican of ‘Very Badly’ Mischaracterizing Impeachment Testimony  —  “No, sir, they are career foreign service officers and these are people who worked in the Trump administration,” Wallace snapped back at Scalise.  —  Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace repeatedly …
Discussion: Occupy Democrats and Contemptor
Margaret Talev / Axios:
White House plans counterprogramming to distract from impeachment hearings  —  President Trump's public schedule next week is designed to keep him distracted from the televised hearings — and to counterprogram Week 2 of those hearings.  —  The big picture: Trump's schedule for the coming week shows …
Discussion: Breitbart and Raw Story
RELATED:
Alayna Treene / Axios:   Inside Democrats' Week 2 impeachment strategy
Shane Goldmacher / New York Times:
Michael Bloomberg Pushed ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ Policing.  Now He's Apologizing.  —  Ahead of a possible Democratic run for president, the former mayor of New York City reversed himself before an important party constituency: black voters.  —  Ahead of a potential Democratic presidential run …
RELATED:
Mara Gay / New York Times:
Bloomberg Apologizes for Stop and Frisk at Just the Right Time
Washington Post:
Bloomberg apologizes for stop-and-frisk ahead of likely presidential run
Discussion: Fox News
Clare Duffy / CNN:
Conservative radio host says his show was pulled because he criticized Trump.  The station says that's untrue  —  New York (CNN Business)Conservative radio host Craig Silverman says that for three hours every Saturday, he wanted to talk about the facts of the Trump impeachment case.
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Josie Ensor / Telegraph:
Kurds watch their homes burn from afar as picture of ‘ethnic cleansing’ emerges  —  The Syrian rebel fighter shouted “kill the pigs, kill the infidels,” as he went door-to-door searching for the homes of Kurds who had fled the newly captured town of Ras al-Ayn.
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Democrats don't want public to know origins of Ukraine probe like they didn't want public to know origins of Russia probe  —  Why are House Democrats stonewalling questions about the identity of the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower?  —  Start by taking them at their word.
Eli Artman / Must Read:
Kosher Food Drive Violates “Will of the Membership,” Student Union Suggests  —  University of Toronto's University College Building (The Varsity)  —  B'nai Brith Canada  —  TORONTO - A Toronto student union has refused to support a drive to make kosher food accessible on campus because its backers are “pro-Israel.”
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
Mueller and Comey Failed Their Tests.  She Passed Hers.  —  Marie Yovanovitch chose her country over what others might think of her.  —  To understand the courage that witnesses like Marie Yovanovitch have shown during the Ukraine investigation, it's worth looking back on a couple of the other signature moments of the Trump era.
CBS News:
Transcript: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on “Face the Nation,” November 17, 2019  —  The following is a transcript of an interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that aired Sunday, November 17, 2019, on “Face the Nation.”  —  MARGARET BRENNAN: Good morning and welcome to Face the Nation.
Jason Easley / POLITICUSUSA:
Joe Biden Leads By 8 In Georgia As Trump's Red State Collapse Grows  —  A new poll of Georgia shows former vice president Joe Biden leading 51%-43% over Donald Trump.  —  According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll, “In head-to-head matchups, former Vice President Joe Biden ran strongest …
CBS News:
CBS News Battleground Tracker: Buttigieg rises in Iowa and New Hampshire, Biden back atop delegate hunt  —  The Democratic nomination race remains unsettled because many voters are conflicted between what they want and whether they think can win.  Some candidates who generate excitement are also seen as risky.
Discussion: Associated Press, The Hill and Hot Air
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
A Sad Last Gasp Against Criminal Justice Reform
Will Bunch / staff:
Marie Yovanovitch, impeachment, and America's last stand for playing by the rules
Discussion: USA Today
Michelle L. Price / Associated Press:
Reid: Iowa, NH not diverse enough to provide Dems' guidance
William J. Burns / The Atlantic:
Trump's Bureaucratic Arson
Max Boot / Washington Post:
William Barr's chilling defense of virtually unlimited presidential power
Joseph Curl / The Daily Wire:
Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Heads To Spain On Yacht Made From Petroleum Products
Discussion: Redstate
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Trump forces offer president clashing advice on Roger Stone pardon
Nick Timiraos / Wall Street Journal:
Lawmakers Dispute Impact of First Week of Public Impeachment Hearings
Discussion: The Week and The Hill
 Earlier Items: 
Michael Scherer / Washington Post:
Democrats fear a long primary slog could drag into summer
New York Times:
How Elizabeth Warren Got to ‘Yes’ on Medicare for All
Garry Kasparov / New York Daily News:
The truth in front of our noses: Donald Trump's behavior is disgustingly corrupt and impeachable …
Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller:
Steve Bannon Says He Pushed For Alleged Whistleblower To Be Removed From National Security Council
Discussion: Fox News
YouTube:
Days of Our Impeachment Cold Open - SNL
Discussion: The Wrap
The Guardian:
Revealed: ex-KGB agent met Boris Johnson at Italian party
Anna Louie Sussman / New York Times:
The End of Babies  —  In the fall of 2015, a rash of posters appeared around Copenhagen.
Daniel Lippman / Politico:
Trump's ‘West Point Mafia’ Faces a Loyalty Test