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1:25 PM ET, January 24, 2020


 Top Items: 
ABC News:
‘Take her out’: Recording appears to capture Trump at private dinner saying he wants Ukraine ambassador fired  —  Trump apparently heard discussing firing Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.  —  A recording reviewed by ABC News appears to capture President Donald Trump telling associates …
Betsy Swan / The Daily Beast:
Rudy Pal Igor Fruman Taped Trump Trying to Fire Ukraine Ambassador: Lawyer  —  The tape may contradict Trump's claim that he does not know the two Giuliani associates who worked to have the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine be removed.  —  A recently-indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani taped …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and emptywheel
Neo-Nazi Rinaldo Nazzaro running US militant group The Base from Russia  —  The American founder of US-based militant neo-Nazi group The Base is directing the organisation from Russia, a BBC investigation has found.  —  Rinaldo Nazzaro, 46, who uses the aliases “Norman Spear” and “Roman Wolf” …
Discussion: ABC News and Raw Story
Jason Wilson / The Guardian:
Revealed: the true identity of the leader of an American neo-Nazi terror group  —  The white supremacist group the Base has been a target of FBI raids and its members accused of planning a race war.  The Guardian can now reveal the identity of its secretive leader
Spencer Ackerman / The Daily Beast:
Regime Critic Says Saudis Tried to Kidnap Him on U.S. Soil  —  Abdulrahman Almutairi is a Saudi social-media influencer who criticized Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.  If not for the FBI, he says, he might've met Jamal Khashoggi's fate.  —  A suspected agent of the Saudi government attempted …
Wall Street Journal:
Report Alleging Saudi Hack of Bezos Phone Puzzles Security Experts  —  Investigation by FTI appears to be inconclusive, several specialists in cybersecurity say  —  A report concluding that Saudi Arabia likely hacked into Jeff Bezos ' smartphone has spurred questions and confusion among cybersecurity experts …
New York Times:   Jeff Bezos' Hack Inquiry Falls Short of Implicating National Enquirer
Stephanie Kirchgaessner / The Guardian:   Saudi Arabia 'planned to spy on Khashoggi's fiancee in UK'
Stephanie Armour / Wall Street Journal:
Trump Administration Plans Action Against California Over Abortion-Coverage Requirement  —  The administration is expected to say that the state's requirement violates federal law  —  WASHINGTON—The Trump administration is planning on Friday to announce action against California …
The Hill:   GOP warns of ‘drawn out’ executive privilege battle over Bolton testimony
Reuters:   Breaking precedent, Trump to attend Washington anti-abortion march
Washington Examiner:
What Trump offers the March for Life
Discussion: Breitbart, NPR and The Week
Trump impeachment team looks at shorter trial defense  —  President Trump's team is considering using just a portion of the 24 hours they're given for arguments in his impeachment trial.  —  Why it matters: A truncated defense would likely reflect a decision not to contest facts …
Discussion: The Hill, Althouse and Raw Story
David Edwards / Raw Story:
Lindsey Graham screeches at reporters over impeachment: Trump ‘did nothing wrong in his mind’  —  Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a close ally of President Donald Trump, on Thursday complained that the president's impeachment trial should end quickly because the American people “need a break.”
Discussion: HuffPost and HuffPost Canada
David Moye / HuffPost:
Lindsey Graham Bizarrely Defends Trump: ‘He Did Nothing Wrong In His Mind’
Discussion: Washington Monthly
David Brooks / New York Times:
Joe Biden Is Stronger Than You Think  —  Here's why he is still winning.  —  It was yet another epic failure of political punditry.  Go back to the early months of Joe Biden's presidential campaign and read what the consultants and commentators were saying about him: His support is just name recognition; he'll fade!
Nihar Kabinittal / ABC News:
‘This is no time to take a risk’: Biden ad leans into electability as caucuses approach
Discussion: Associated Press, CNN and The Hill
Maggie Severns / Politico:   Obama fundraising chief backs Biden
Robert Burns / Associated Press:
Pentagon: 34 US troops had brain injuries from Iran's strike  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon said Friday that 34 U.S. troops were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries suffered in this month's Iranian missile strike on an Iraqi air base, and that half of the troops have returned to their military duties.
34 US service members diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries after Iranian missile strike  —  Trump downplays service members' concussions: I heard they had headaches  —  Washington (CNN)Thirty-four US service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries following …
Eric Levitz / New York Magazine:
Donald Trump Is Already Trying to Cut Entitlements  —  Earlier this week, at the bleeding-heart billionaire class' annual handwringing exhibition in Davos, Switzerland, Donald Trump suggested that he would “take a look” at cutting entitlement programs “at some point.”
Discussion: New York Times and PJ Media Home
Cristina Marcos / The Hill:
Michigan governor to give Democratic response to Trump State of the Union address
Discussion: Politico and Associated Press
James Crowley / Newsweek:   National debt increased by $3 trillion during Donald Trump's three years as president
Trump's trial may hinge on Lamar Alexander  —  If you want to know how President Donald Trump's impeachment trial could play out, keep your eye on Lamar Alexander.  —  On the most important question of the trial — whether to subpoena witnesses — the 79-year-old Tennessee Republican senator is a wild card.
Ben Terris / Washington Post:
Mitch McConnell doesn't care what you think. He just wants to win.
Discussion: Twitchy
Kimberley A. Strassel / Wall Street Journal:
Schumer Whiffs Impeachment
Discussion: Twitchy
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
When Senate Republicans were quite concerned about Trump and Ukraine  —  As we head into the last day of House Democrats' opening arguments in President Trump's impeachment trial, we are getting closer to the point at which GOP senators will have to decide whether they want additional evidence and witnesses.
Discussion: The Hill and Mother Jones
Joseph Morton / Omaha World-Herald:
What's at stake for Sens. Sasse, Ernst, both of whom face reelection after impeachment vote
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Raw Story
Ezra Klein / New York Times:
Why Democrats Still Have to Appeal to the Center, but Republicans Don't  —  Polarization has changed the two parties — just not in the same way.  —  Mr. Klein is the author of “Why We're Polarized.”  —  American politics has been dominated by the Democratic and Republican Parties since the Civil War.
Elena Schneider / Politico:
‘On life support’: Buttigieg's struggles with black voters threaten his candidacy  —  ORANGEBURG, S.C. — When Pete Buttigieg holds “big rally type events” in South Carolina, “it's mostly white folks showing up,” he acknowledged ruefully Thursday night.  And his struggle to fix that problem …
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:   A Major Fear for Democrats: Will the Party Come Together by November?
New York Times:
Coronavirus Live Updates: China's Travel Limits Cover 35 Million People  —  Shanghai Disneyland shut down, and the youngest victim so far was identified as a 36-year-old man.  —  RIGHT NOW A second case was confirmed in the U.S., as health officials were preparing for an outbreak that could last months.
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
The honest Trump defense that is too embarrassing to advance  —  House impeachment managers have demonstrated through a painstaking presentation of facts and law that: 1) President Trump wanted a foreign government to help him win reelection by announcing an investigation into former vice president Joe Biden …
Brooke Singman / Fox News:
Border Patrol veteran Rodney Scott tapped to lead agency  —  The Trump administration announced Friday that Rodney S. Scott will serve as the new chief of U.S. Border Patrol.  —  Scott, a 27-year veteran of Border Patrol, will replace Carla Provost, who is retiring, according to a statement.
Discussion: Associated Press
Colleen Long / Associated Press:
AP Exclusive: New US Border Patrol chief named
Discussion: The Hill
Michael Tomasky / The Daily Beast:
Adam Schiff Stands Up and Speaks the Truth at Mitch McConnell's Upside-Down Stalinist Show Trial  —  Yes, say Senate Republicans, we know there's evidence that makes Trump's guilt even clearer.  But we will sit as judges to disallow it before we sit as jurors to “exonerate” him.  —  BEAST INSIDE
Discussion: Raw Story and Washington Post
NBC News:   Schiff makes his case for Trump's removal: ‘He chose to believe Rudy Giuliani’
Donie O'Sullivan / CNN:
Exclusive: This site pays Americans to write ‘news’ articles.  Signs indicate it originates in Iran  —  New York (CNN)American Herald Tribune bills itself as a “genuinely independent online media outlet.”  Set up in 2015, it publishes in English and pays Americans to write articles.
Tim Alberta / Politico:
How the Gun Show Became the Trump Show  —  AUTHOR'S NOTE: Late last year, I moved home to Michigan.  I did so primarily for family reasons, but also because I wanted to get back in touch with parts of the country where D.C. journalists often visit but rarely stay for long.
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 More Items: 
NBC News:
Judge sets high bar for former Trump adviser Flynn to withdraw guilty plea
Legal chaos descends on Poland
David Bauder / Associated Press:
Study links impeachment beliefs to regular news diets
Louisa Loveluck / Washington Post:
Iraqi demonstrators demand withdrawal of U.S. troops
Discussion: Defense One
NBC News:
‘Crying Nazi’ involved in ‘Unite the Right’ rally arrested by the FBI
Nancy LeTourneau / Washington Monthly:
Project Blitz Is Producing Model Legislation For Christian Nationalists
 Earlier Items: 
Anita Kumar / Politico:
Pro-Trump groups have a new impeachment enemy: Republicans
Matthew Boyle / Breitbart:
Exclusive—'You F*cking C*nt': Stephanie Grisham Inundated with Sexist Hatred, Threats as Establishment Media Pile On
Associated Press:
Now on Trump's team, Dershowitz says, 'I haven't changed'
Lynn Sweet / Chicago Sun-Times:
Lightfoot presidential endorsement: Likely not Sanders, Warren or Biden
Discussion: Fox News and Washington Times
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
John Roberts comes face to face with the mess he made
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and Raw Story