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4:05 PM ET, May 18, 2020

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Glenn Platt / Washington Post:
Trump's purge just got much more corrupt.  Here's what's coming next.  —  President Trump's abrupt decision to remove the inspector general of the State Department constitutes the latest in a string of corrupt efforts to remove public servants who prioritize real oversight and accountability over protecting Trump at all costs.
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Carol Morello / Washington Post:
Pompeo says he didn't know fired inspector general was investigating him  —  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Monday that he asked President Trump to fire the State Department inspector general because his work was “undermining” the department's mission, but he declined to describe any specific concerns.
Discussion: Axios, Raw Story and Law & Crime
NBC News:
Saudi arms sale was a second area of investigation for fired State Department watchdog  —  The inspector general was looking into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's decision to greenlight the sale against the will of Congress when he was abruptly removed from his post.
Zachary Cohen / CNN:
Democrats claim watchdog fired by Trump was probing Pompeo's fast-tracking of $8 billion Saudi arms sale
Discussion: Washington Post and Raw Story
Washington Post:
Fired inspector general was examining whether Pompeo had a staffer walk his dog, handle dry cleaning, official says
Washington Post:
Barr installs top DOJ aide, prosecutor of Trump's Mar-a-Lago trespasser, as deputy over U.S. prosecutors in Washington  —  Attorney General William P. Barr has installed a new top deputy over the federal prosecutor's office for Washington, raising concerns that a key U.S. attorney's office …
Discussion: Axios and Raw Story
RELATED:
Matt Zapotosky / Washington Post:
Barr says he does not expect Obama or Biden will be investigated by prosecutor reviewing 2016 Russia probe  —  Attorney General William P. Barr said Monday that he did not expect the prosecutor he handpicked to review the 2016 FBI investigation into President Trump's campaign …
Discussion: Daily Kos
CNN:
Trump to nominate new top prosecutor for Washington, DC  —  Washington (CNN)The Trump administration is replacing the US attorney in Washington, DC, who oversaw the controversial moves in the late stages of the prosecutions against Trump allies Roger Stone and Michael Flynn.
Discussion: Raw Story and Florida Phoenix
Michael Balsamo / Associated Press:
Source: Trump admin. to name new DEA head, US attorney in DC
Discussion: Politico and The Hill
Dustin Volz / Wall Street Journal:   Barr Says U.S. Attorney's Probe Won't Likely Lead to Investigation of Obama, Biden
Brooke Singman / Fox News:
Barr says he does not expect criminal investigation of Obama or Biden as result of Durham probe
Discussion: Associated Press and The Hill
CNN:
Barr doesn't expect review of Russia probe will ‘lead to a criminal investigation’ of Obama and Biden
Discussion: Breitbart
RELATED:
Ben Lefebvre / Politico:
Biden White House would yank Keystone XL permit
Discussion: The Hill and Breitbart
Nancy Cook / Politico:
Trump's reopening troubles play out in his White House
Discussion: The Hill
Stephen Collinson / CNN:   Trump officials deflect blame for US death toll, escalate reopening push
Jason Wilson / The Guardian:
US lockdown protests may have spread virus widely, cellphone data suggests  —  Devices associated with protesters travelled up to hundreds of miles after rallies where few precautions were taken  —  Cellphone location data suggests that demonstrators at anti-lockdown protests …
Discussion: Raw Story and POLITICUSUSA
Yaron Steinbuch / New York Post:
Man who called coronavirus ‘fake crisis’ gets infected, issues warning  —  A Florida man who initially believed the coronavirus is a “fake crisis” that was “blown out of proportion” is now hospitalized along with his wife — and is sounding a cautionary note about the deadly bug.
Discussion: NBC News and KFOR-TV
Denise Grady / New York Times:
Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine Trial Shows Promising Early Results  —  The company said its preliminary test in 8 healthy volunteers was safe.  It is on an accelerated timetable to begin a larger human trial soon.  —  The first coronavirus vaccine to be tested in people appears to be safe …
RELATED:
New York Times:
F.B.I. Finds Links Between Pensacola Gunman and Al Qaeda  —  The gunman in December's shooting, a Saudi cadet who had trained with the U.S. military, had been in contact with the terrorist group, officials said.  —  WASHINGTON — The gunman in last year's deadly shooting at a military base …
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Axios
RELATED:
CNN:
Former Australian PM calls out the ‘Murdoch mafia’  —  Kevin Rudd, a former prime minister of Australia, argues that Rupert Murdoch's media empire is a “cancer on democracy” in the U.S., U.K. and Australia, using “mafia"-like intimidation tactics against dissenting voices.
Dexter Filkins / New Yorker:
The Twilight of the Iranian Revolution  —  For decades, Ayatollah Khamenei has professed enmity with America.  Now his regime is threatened from within the country.  —  One night last December, the chief resident physician at a hospital in the Iranian city of Gorgan was asked to consult on a baffling case …
Joan E Greve / The Guardian:
Democrats feel tide turning their way in battle to flip US Senate  —  The electoral map does not favor Republicans and the pandemic has helped put them on defense in states they once thought safe  —  Just three months ago, centrist Democrats were panicking.
Discussion: Raw Story
RELATED:
Ro Khanna / The Boston Globe:   Biden can channel FDR by choosing Elizabeth Warren as vice president
Michael Wines / New York Times:
Freed by Court Ruling, Republicans Step Up Effort to Patrol Voting  —  Officials seek to recruit 50,000 poll watchers and spend millions to fight voter fraud.  Democrats say the real goal is to stop them from voting.  —  WASHINGTON — Six months before a presidential election in which turnout …
Discussion: Washington Post
Bloomberg:
Over 100 Million in China's Northeast Face Renewed Lockdown  — Conditions return to height of China's epidemic in February  — Frustration as restrictions tighten again after earlier easing  —  Some 108 million people in China's northeast region are being plunged back under lockdown conditions …
Discussion: Gizmodo
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Swing-state Republicans warn Trump's reelection is on shaky ground  —  Donald Trump has made clear he will attack Joe Biden unmercifully in order to ensure the election is a choice between him and Joe Biden — rather than an up-or-down vote on the president's handling of the coronavirus.
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
The media is helping Trump turn the bogus ‘Obamagate’ into the 2020 version of Clinton's emails  —  It's becoming clear that journalists never fully reckoned with the mistakes of 2016 campaign coverage.  We know this because they seem poised to repeat them.
Nicholas Riccardi / Associated Press:
GOP chair: ‘We will not be holding a virtual convention’  —  Ronna Romney McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, speaks during the RNC winter meeting at the Trump National Doral Resort in Miami, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020.  (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald via AP)
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and The Hill
CBS News:
Full Transcript: Fed Chair Jerome Powell's 60 Minutes interview on economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic  —  Jerome Powell lays out his thoughts on getting the economy back to its pre-coronavirus numbers.  The transcript from the Federal Reserve chairman's interview with Scott Pelley.
Molly Jong-Fast / The Daily Beast:
It's Official: Laura Ingraham Wants Your Grandmother to Die  —  Testing and tracing are just a Democratic conspiracy.  Go out.  Go to bars.  Spread disease.  Sorry, grandma, you've had a good run.  —  BEAST INSIDE  —  Friday night Laura Ingraham admitted she thinks maybe it's time to stop coddling granny.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic:
We Can Prevent a Great Depression. It'll Take $10 Trillion.
Devin Nunes / New York Post:
How ‘collusion’ conspirators tried to oust President Trump
detroitnews:
Whitmer: Reopening for Northern Michigan, U.P. includes bars, restaurants
Susan Faludi / New York Times:
‘Believe All Women’ Is a Right-Wing Trap
Discussion: Twitchy and Althouse
NBER:
The Relationship between In-Person Voting, Consolidated Polling Locations, and Absentee Voting …
Joshua Nelson / Fox News:
NJ gym opens in defiance of governor's lockdown: ‘We will not stand down’
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Gerald F. Seib / Wall Street Journal:
Why Coronavirus Increasingly Exacerbates the Red-Blue Divide
Amy Harder / Axios:
Trump's energy chief: Banks are “redlining” oil and gas investments
 Earlier Items: 
Erica Werner / Washington Post:
$500 billion Treasury fund meant for coronavirus relief has lent barely any money so far, oversight commission finds
Rebecca Klar / The Hill:
Schwarzenegger holds up mock Trump University diploma in commencement speech
Discussion: Breitbart and POLITICUSUSA
Geoffrey Skelley / FiveThirtyEight:
Are Older Voters Turning Away From Trump?
Alexander Sammon / American Prospect:
How Democrats Lost a House Seat in California
Tim Miller / The Bulwark:
Trump's Weekend of Scandal Was Hiding in Plain Sight
Discussion: Raw Story
The Daily Beast:
Busted: Pentagon Contractors' Report on ‘Wuhan Lab’ Origins of Virus Is Bogus
Discussion: Daily Kos and Task & Purpose