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11:50 PM ET, February 26, 2020


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Obama demands South Carolina TV stations pull misleading ad attacking Biden  —  Former president Barack Obama is calling on South Carolina television stations to stop running an ad from a super PAC supporting President Trump that uses Obama's words out of context in a misleading attack on former vice president Joe Biden.
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Ugly pro-Trump ad weaponizes audio of Obama, showing what's coming  —  There's now a good chance that Joe Biden will win South Carolina, which could give him an opening to right his campaign heading into Super Tuesday.  While Bernie Sanders is still the clear frontrunner …
Joe Biden drops claim he was arrested seeing Mandela  —  Joe Biden was not arrested in South Africa while trying to see Nelson Mandela, his campaign has conceded.  —  The US presidential contender had repeatedly said he was arrested during a trip there in the 1970s, when South Africa was under apartheid.
Discussion: NB Blog, Townhall and New York Times
Marc Caputo / Politico:
Obama to TV stations: Take down misleading Biden attack ad
Discussion: The State and Raw Story
New York Times:   'He Hasn't Been Here': Why Joe Biden Lags in Super Tuesday States
South Carolina, Joe Biden Can't Be Trusted
Discussion: Bloomberg
Rebecca Klar / The Hill:
Biden leads by 18 points in South Carolina: poll
Nathaniel Rakich / FiveThirtyEight:
Election Update: What Our Forecast Says About Every Super Tuesday State
Nihar Kabinittal / ABC News:
‘The View’ co-hosts react to the last Democratic debate before Super Tuesday: ‘It was really chaotic’
Discussion: Associated Press and The Wrap
Jennifer Epstein / Bloomberg:
Obama Asks TV Stations to Stop Anti-Biden Ads in His Voice
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA and The Hill
Chris Sommerfeldt / New York Daily News:
Rudy Giuliani complains he only has ‘five friends left’ after forgetting to hang up on Daily News reporter  —  Rudy Giuliani is having phone trouble again — and this time, it's sad.  —  The former New York mayor forgot to hang up on a Daily News reporter Wednesday and, thinking he was off the line …
Bruce Golding / New York Post:
Rudy Giuliani asked me to cancel elex so he'd stay mayor post-9/11: Pataki  —  He wanted to be “America's mayor” a whole lot longer.  —  Rudy Giuliani secretly asked then-New York Gov. George Pataki to cancel New York City's 2001 mayoral election so he could remain in office following the Sept. 11 terror attack, a new book reveals.
Discussion: The Hill
Roni Caryn Rabin / New York Times:
C.D.C. Confirms First Possible Community Transmission of Coronavirus in U.S.  —  A case in California may be the first infection without a known link to travel abroad.  —  A person in California who was not exposed to anyone known to be infected with the coronavirus, and had not traveled …
Washington Post:
Live updates: Vice President Pence will be in charge of coronavirus response, Trump announces as he seeks to reassure the public about crisis  —  BREAKING: President Trump made the announcement at a news conference where he discussed his administration's response to the virus.
Jaclyn Cosgrove / Los Angeles Times:
California coronavirus case could be first spread within U.S. community, CDC says
Discussion: The Week
Helaine Olen / Washington Post:
Coronavirus makes the case for Medicare-for-all
Discussion: The Week and Twitchy
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
At least seven dead including shooter in rampage at Molson Coors  —  In one of the worst shootings in Wisconsin history, at least seven people were killed — including a gunman — during a shooting rampage Wednesday afternoon on the Milwaukee campus of Molson Coors, according to multiple sources.
The Daily Beast:
Donald Trump Takes Coronavirus So Seriously He Just Put Mike Pence in Charge  —  The president said he would also bring on an official from the State Department to help the task force coordinate on the virus.  —  President Donald Trump said Wednesday night that Vice President Mike Pence …
Washington Post:
Trump downplays risk, places Pence in charge of coronavirus outbreak response
Adam Edelman / NBC News:
Trump says coronavirus risk to Americans ‘very low,’ puts Pence in charge of gov't response
Dan Mangan / CNBC:
Trump campaign sues The New York Times for libel over Russia opinion article  — President Donald Trump's presidential campaign sued The New York Times for libel over a 2019 opinion piece.  — The campaign is seeking millions of dollars in damages for what it claimed was The Times' false claims …
NBC News:
Trump cuts to national security staff may hurt coronavirus response, former officials say  —  “For the first time since 9/11, you don't have someone directly reporting to the president responsible [for threats like] pandemics,” an ex-official said.  —  WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's decision …
Discussion: The Week
Betsy Swan / The Daily Beast:
Facial-Recognition Company That Works With Law Enforcement Says Entire Client List Was Stolen  —  Clearview AI, which contracts with law enforcement after reportedly scraping 3 billion images from the web, now says someone got “unauthorized access” to its list of customers.
Washington Post:   ICE has run facial-recognition searches on millions of Maryland drivers
The Daily Beast:
MSNBC Benches Contributor Who Smeared Bernie Sanders Staffers  —  Johnson was a regular fixture on MSNBC, providing analysis of the Democratic primary, but he has disappeared from the network since making incendiary comments about the senator.  —  Following MSNBC contributor …
Mike DeBonis / Washington Post:
Pelosi faces a challenge to House majority beyond her control: Bernie Sanders  —  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has carefully managed every aspect of building and maintaining her Democratic majority — from leading fundraising efforts to crafting a policy agenda to making the reluctant decision to pursue the impeachment of President Trump.
Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
Democratic megadonor urges Pelosi and Schumer to pick a candidate in a bid to stop Bernie Sanders
Discussion: The Hill
Gabriel Sherman / Vanity Fair:
“Catastrophic”: Trump Is Fighting With Advisers Over Pardoning Roger Stone  —  Trump, goaded by Tucker Carlson, is building the drama before pulling the trigger, while Mulvaney, Cipollone, and Kushner argue against—could Barr resign?  (And will coronavirus spoil Trump's campaign close-up?)
Bloomberg once said Social Security was the biggest Ponzi scheme and argued for cuts to entitlements  —  Washington (CNN)Mike Bloomberg has vowed as a Democratic candidate for president to “strengthen entitlement programs.”  But when he was mayor of New York City, Bloomberg twice compared Social Security …
Cops called on Bernie backers after bullhorn protests at officials' homes  —  Bernie supporter protests at house of Nevada Democratic Party chair  —  The night before the Nevada caucuses, the chairman of the state's Democratic Party called police after several supporters of Bernie Sanders gathered outside …
Discussion: Townhall, Queerty, Vanity Fair and Slate
Associated Press:
Trump faces credibility test as he plays down virus threat  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump faces a critical challenge in grappling with the new coronavirus outbreak: Asking Americans to believe him after he and top advisers have contradicted federal scientists in playing down the threat.
Discussion: The Hill
Associated Press:
AP FACT CHECK: Democrats distort coronavirus readiness
Discussion: Politico
U.S. Stock Futures Drop as Trump Fails to Assuage Virus Concerns  — S&P 500 mired in five-day losing streak, longest since August  — Virus spread threatens to derail global economic growth  —  U.S. stock index futures fell as President Donald Trump's speech failed …
Tampa Bay Times:
Tampa Bay Times announces temporary pay cut for full-time staff  —  A note from executives cites a tough start to the year.  —  Citing a tough start to the year financially, the Tampa Bay Times announced Wednesday that all full-time staffers will temporarily have their pay cut by 10 percent.
John Solomon / Just The News:
Ex-FBI unit chief blows whistle on Comey, McCabe over warrantless spying  —  Retired agent says bureau's Obama-era leaders ignored privacy, cost warnings, may have retained program for ‘political espionage’  —  The FBI agent who ran the bureau's warrantless spying program said Wednesday …
Jason Ganz / Data For Progress:
Sanders Ahead in Virginia and Colorado  —  Authors: Sean McElwee, Executive Director of Data for Progress, Jason Ganz, CTO of Data for Progress,  —  From 2/23 to 2/25, Data for Progress Data for Progress surveyed 499 likely voters in Virginia and 471 likely voters in Colorado via text to web.
Discussion: Denver Post
Will Weissert / Associated Press:
Online ‘impersonator’ tried to contact campaigns, DNC says  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic National Committee has warned its presidential candidates to be cautious after Bernie Sanders' campaign reported that an “impersonator” with a domain registered overseas had posed as one of its staffers …
Discussion: The Hill
Larry Neumeister / Associated Press:
Court sides with Trump in ‘sanctuary cities’ grant fight  —  NEW YORK (AP) — The Trump administration can withhold millions of dollars in law enforcement grants to force states to cooperate with U.S. immigration enforcement, a federal appeals court in New York ruled Wednesday in a decision …
James Kirchick / Tablet Magazine:
The 11% Majority  —  Hardly a Democratic presidential debate has transpired without Sen. Bernie Sanders criticizing former Vice President Joe Biden for his vote authorizing the Iraq War.  It's a fair criticism, and one that Sanders, who opposed the war as a congressman, is well positioned to make.
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
ABC News suspends correspondent David Wright after Project Veritas sting  —  ABC News suspended one of its veteran correspondents late Tuesday for unguarded remarks he made in a video by operatives of Project Veritas, the conservative group that records “undercover” footage of mainstream journalists …
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 More Items: 
Sister Toldjah / Redstate:
How It's Done: ‘Village People’ Shut Down Demands From Outrage Mob to Stop Trump Campaign's Use of Their Music
Discussion: Washington Times
Health officials: Over 100 people on Long Island monitored for coronavirus risk
Matthew Chapman / Raw Story:
Christian Nationalism was the big loser of last night's debate
Eliza Relman / Business Insider:
Experts say officials need a ‘plan B’ for the 2020 elections in case the coronavirus continues to spread in the US
U.S. Department of Justice:
Attorney General William P. Barr Delivers Remarks at the 2020 National Religious Broadcasters Convention
Brian Stelter / CNN:
Analysis: Trump's war on truth takes a dangerous turn as he attacks the media's coronavirus coverage
Discussion: Twitchy
Susan Collins Gives Tax Breaks to Companies Linked to Maine Opioid Crisis
 Earlier Items: 
Luke Money / Los Angeles Times:
Ugly battles erupt as residents fight housing coronavirus patients in their cities
Phillip M. Bailey / Courier-Journal:
Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie opposes anti-lynching bill named for Emmett Till
Myah Ward / Politico:
Louisiana GOP Rep. Ralph Abraham announces he won't seek reelection
Discussion: The Hill
Steve Benen / MSNBC:
Why is a college senior helping run a key White House office?
Kate Irby / Fresno Bee:
Group asks Congress to investigate how Devin Nunes is paying for his lawsuits
Discussion: Raw Story and IJR