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4:55 PM ET, February 19, 2020

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 Top Items: 
Nico Hines / The Daily Beast:
Trump Offered Assange Pardon if He Covered Up Russian Hack, WikiLeaks Founder's Lawyer Claims  —  Lawyers acting for the WikiLeaks founder said Dana Rohrabacher, a former Republican congressman, had brought the message to London from Trump.  —  LONDON—President Trump offered to pardon Julian Assange …
RELATED:
Owen Bowcott / The Guardian:
Donald Trump ‘offered Julian Assange a pardon if he denied Russia link to hack’  —  Donald Trump offered Julian Assange a pardon if he would say Russia was not involved in leaking Democratic party emails, a court in London has been told.  —  The extraordinary claim was made at Westminster magistrates court …
Discussion: РБК, The Hill, VICE, IJR and UPI
Washington Post:
Assange lawyer claims congressman offered pardon on behalf of Trump in exchange for absolving Russia in WikiLeaks DNC case  —  LONDON — A lawyer for Julian Assange said in a British court Wednesday that former Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher, an ally of President Trump …
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
The White House denies Julian Assange's pardon claim.  Here's what we know about it.  —  A day after President Trump issued executive clemency to 11 people including former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, another potential Trump pardon is in the news.  —  This one: For Julian Assange.
Discussion: Vox, The Week, POLITICUSUSA and Daily Kos
Mike Allen / Axios:
Bloomberg camp's “dire” warning: Bernie Sanders will soon be unstoppable  —  Mike Bloomberg's campaign is sounding the alarm that Bernie Sanders will soon amass an unsurmountable delegate lead if the Democratic field stays split — and took the extraordinary step of suggesting laggards should drop out.
RELATED:
Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
Several Joe Biden fundraisers jump ship from his struggling campaign to back Mike Bloomberg  — Key fundraisers are jumping ship from Joe Biden's struggling presidential campaign to instead support Mike Bloomberg's ascending candidacy.  — The development comes amid growing concerns …
Tim Miller / The Bulwark:
The Skeptic's Case Against Bloomberg  —  Just a few questions before we anoint Mayor Mike as the moderate savior.  —  A friend texted—actually “signaled,” because that's what all the cool operatives are doing these days—me yesterday.  The exchange went as such:
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Will Democrats stand up to the bully on their own side?
Discussion: Mediaite, Raw Story and Twitchy
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
The Democratic primaries may soon have an uncatchable leader — who can't clinch the nomination
Washington Post:
Sanders surges into national lead in new Post-ABC poll  —  Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), on the strength of his performances in Iowa and New Hampshire, has surged nationally and now holds a sizable lead over all of his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
RELATED:
Ronald Brownstein / The Atlantic:
What a Sanders Win in Nevada Would Really Mean
NBC News:
Sanders press secretary walks back ‘heart attack’ comments on Bloomberg
Discussion: ABC News, The Daily Beast and Politico
New York Times:   Tonight's Democratic Debate in Nevada: When It Is and What to Watch For
Wall Street Journal:
Bloomberg Bankrolls a Social-Media Army to Push Message  —  Campaign is hiring workers for $2,500 per month to promote Bloomberg to all their contacts  —  Michael Bloomberg's presidential campaign is hiring hundreds of workers in California to post regularly on their personal social-media accounts …
Charlie Warzel / New York Times:
Twitter Is Real Life  —  Elites just pretend it's not.  —  Mr. Warzel is an Opinion writer at large.  —  For the better part of a year I've been hearing the same refrain.  Friends, colleagues, peers, respected pollsters have cautioned: Twitter is not real life.
Ben Conarck / Miami Herald:
Trump commutes sentence of Miami woman doing 35 years in prison for bilking Medicare  —  A Hialeah woman convicted in a massive Medicare fraud scheme a decade ago had her 35-year prison sentence commuted Tuesday by President Donald Trump as he announced 11 pardons and commutations in high-profile cases.
RELATED:
Caitlin Oprysko / Politico:
Defiant Blagojevich heaps praise on Trump after commutation
Discussion: Breitbart and Mediaite
Dan Desai Martin / The American Independent:
Trump has built just 1 mile of new border wall since taking office
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Wall Street Journal:
China Expels Three Wall Street Journal Reporters  —  China's Foreign Ministry says move was punishment for a recent opinion piece published by the Journal  —  China revoked the press credentials of three Wall Street Journal reporters based in Beijing, the first time in the post-Mao era …
RELATED:
Edward-Isaac Dovere / The Atlantic:
The Hidden History of Sanders's Plot to Primary Obama  —  Bernie Sanders got so close to running a primary challenge to President Barack Obama that Senator Harry Reid had to intervene to stop him.  —  It took Reid two conversations over the summer of 2011 to get Sanders to scrap the idea …
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Trump's corruption will get worse.  His own advisers just showed how.  —  The debate over William P. Barr's future as attorney general is unfolding in an alternate reality — in a place where it's considered an open question whether President Trump will continue trying to corrupt law enforcement right out in plain sight.
RELATED:
Brian Beutler / Crooked Media:
House Democrats Stand Down
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA
Brandy Zadrozny / NBC News:
What is the ‘boogaloo?’  How online calls for a violent uprising are hitting the mainstream  —  The movement says it wants a second Civil War targeting liberal political opponents and law enforcement.  —  An anti-government movement that advocates for a violent uprising targeting liberal political opponents …
Discussion: Raw Story
Gwen Aviles / NBC News:
E. Jean Carroll fired from ELLE magazine following Trump rape allegation  —  Some say they are “questioning ELLE's commitment” to women" following Carroll's termination.  —  E. Jean Carroll, a veteran advice columnist at ELLE magazine who last year accused President Donald Trump of raping …
RELATED:
Kira Lerner / The Appeal:
Florida Can't Bar People From Voting Because of Inability to Pay, Appeals Court Says  —  The court found that a law critics described as a poll tax violates the Constitution.  —  Florida cannot bar people with felony convictions from voting if they can't pay court-issued fines and fees, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday.
Discussion: ABC News, Reason and Slate
RELATED:
Ken Klippenstein / The Nation:
EXCLUSIVE: Leaked Bloomberg Campaign NDA Protects Abusive Bosses  —  The campaign's non-disclosure agreement could prevent staffers from reporting workplace abuse and discrimination.  —  A Bloomberg campaign non-disclosure agreement obtained by The Nation contains language that could prevent staffers from reporting workplace abuse.
Discussion: The Hill
Devan Cole / CNN:
Andrew Yang joins CNN as a political commentator  —  Washington (CNN)Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is joining CNN as a political commentator, the network announced Wednesday.  —  “I'm excited to join @CNN to help shed light on the election and the candidates' experiences …
Jonathan V. Last / The Bulwark:
Bernie Could Beat Trump.  Here's How.  —  The conventional wisdom says that Bernie Sanders can't possibly beat Trump.  The convention wisdom is wrong.  —  1. How Bernie Loses  —  I understand the Democratic panic about the possibility of Bernie Sanders winning their nomination.
Discussion: Washington Post and Raw Story
Rainesford Stauffer / InStyle.com:
Meet the Women Moderators of Tonight's Debate, Hallie Jackson and Vanessa Hauc  —  Hauc and Jackson tell InStyle about their careers (and how Hallie's priorities have changed now that she's 8 months pregnant) and how they're prepping for tonight's big event.  —  PIN  —  FB
Discussion: Vox
Siraj Qureshi / India Today:
Monkey menace at Taj Mahal could spoil Donald Trump's trip  —  The monkeys and other stray animals have attacked numerous domestic and foreign tourists till date inside the Taj Mahal.  All the efforts made by the local CISF unit and ASI staff, to control the monkeys, have gone in vain.  —  Agra
New York Times:
The Great Google Revolt  —  Some of its employees tried to stop their company from doing work they saw as unethical.  It blew up in their faces.  —  Laurence Berland had just gotten out of the subway in New York, some 3,000 miles from his desk in San Francisco, when he learned that Google had fired him.
Amanda Terkel / HuffPost:
Bloomberg Vetoed 2003 Bill Expanding Rape Victims' Access To Emergency Contraception  —  Michael Bloomberg's veto put him on the opposite side of reproductive rights groups, who strongly backed the measure.  —  In 2003, over the objections of the New York City Council and reproductive rights advocates …
Bethany Rodgers / Salt Lake Tribune:
Utah senators pass bill to decriminalize polygamy  —  A bill that would effectively decriminalize polygamy and dispel fears of prosecution for plural marriage among consenting adults sailed through the Utah Senate on Tuesday.  —  Sen. Deidre Henderson's bill would reclassify bigamy as an infraction …
Discussion: Deseret News
Chris Kahn / Reuters:
Exclusive: Ahead of 2020 election, a ‘Blue Wave’ is rising in the cities, polling analysis shows  —  NEW YORK (Reuters) - As Republican President Donald Trump seeks a second term in November, Americans' interest in voting is growing faster in large cities dominated by Democrats …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Nikki Haley poaches top conservative from Heritage Action
Alex Kantrowitz / BuzzFeed News:
How Saudi Arabia Infiltrated Twitter
Associated Press:
California governor: Lower bar for forced mental health care
Discussion: The Hill
Nihar Kabinittal / ABC News:
Trump's Phoenix rally kicks off counterprogramming spree
Discussion: Associated Press
Sean D. Naylor / Yahoo News:
How John Bolton won the war on Iran policy
Tony Romm / Washington Post:
Attorney General Barr blasts big tech, raising prospect that companies could be held liable …
Discussion: NB Blog
Natalie Jarvey / Hollywood Reporter:
John Legend Joins Vox Media's Board of Directors (Exclusive)
Discussion: NB Blog
Tyler Olson / Fox News:
Trump and Bloomberg spar on Twitter ahead of debate
Discussion: Breitbart, CBS News and The Nation
 Earlier Items: 
David Harsanyi / National Review:
Democrats Still Haven't Come to Terms with 2016
Discussion: New York Post
American Prospect:
Mike Bloomberg Compared the AARP to the NRA
Discussion: Bern Notice
ABC News:
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responds to criticism that Sanders' policies are too radical
Discussion: The Daily Beast and The Hill
Aruna Viswanatha / Wall Street Journal:
The Dispute Over Roger Stone's Recommended Sentence Explained
Michael Gold / New York Times:
‘Hi Haters’: Why New Jersey's Twitter Account Is Like No Other
Kenneth S. Baer / The Atlantic:
The Debates Broke the Primary