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7:15 PM ET, May 21, 2020

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J. Edward Moreno / The Hill:
Intelligence agencies have hired outside consultants to improve communication with Trump: report
Discussion: Vanity Fair and Raw Story
CBS News:
Biden asks Amy Klobuchar to undergo vetting to be running mate  —  Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, has been asked by Joe Biden to undergo a formal vetting to be considered as his vice presidential running mate, one of several potential contenders now being scrutinized …
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Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Trump advisers warn McSally is in trouble  —  Senior political advisers to President Donald Trump warned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Thursday that Republican Sen. Martha McSally is falling dangerously behind in the critical swing state of Arizona.
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Burgess Everett / Politico:
Gardner brawls with Hickenlooper over threat to block recess  —  After threatening to block the Memorial Day recess, Cory Gardner will get one of his signature bills on the Senate floor.  Yet his likely opponent this November says he's still a pushover to Mitch McConnell.
Kevin Breuninger / CNBC:
Trump says he won't close the country if second wave of coronavirus hits  — President Donald Trump said “we are not closing our country” if the U.S. is hit by a second wave of coronavirus infections.  — “People say that's a very distinct possibility, it's standard,” …
Discussion: Detroit Free Press
RELATED:
Morgan Phillips / Fox News:
Trump brings mask to Ford, says he doesn't ‘want to give the press the pleasure of seeing’ him wear it
Discussion: NBC News and Breitbart
Dana Blanton / Fox News:
Fox News Poll: Biden more trusted on coronavirus, Trump on economy  —  Most voters are concerned about the pandemic and the economy, so when they favor Joe Biden on coronavirus and Donald Trump has a narrow edge on pocketbook issues — it makes for a tight race for the White House.
Discussion: Raw Story
RELATED:
Harry Enten / CNN:
Trump has a real shot of winning  —  (CNN)Former Vice President Joe Biden is ahead of President Donald Trump in the presidential race.  He leads in the swing states and is up somewhere between 5 and 8 points nationally, depending on what methodology you use.
Associated Press:
AP-NORC poll: Trump approval remains steady during pandemic
Discussion: The Daily Caller
RELATED:
Kylie Atwood / CNN:
Pompeo ordered officials to find a way to justify Saudi arms sale being probed by fired watchdog  —  Washington (CNN)Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed State Department officials to find a way to justify the emergency declaration that he had already decided to implement in order to fast-track …
Discussion: Mother Jones
RELATED:
Garrett M. Graff / Wired:   The Hypocrisy of Mike Pompeo
Andrew Desiderio / Politico:
Engel threatens subpoena over Pompeo's handling of GOP Hunter Biden probe
Tom LoBianco / Business Insider:
The mastermind of George W. Bush's White House victories is advising Donald Trump's 2020 campaign, focusing on swing state battlegrounds and Republican voter outreach  — Karl Rove, the senior adviser to the last GOP president, has been helping the Trump reelection effort as an unpaid and informal role.
RELATED:
John Binder / Breitbart:   DOJ: Democrats Paid Pennsylvania Election Officials to Stuff Ballot Box
Ashley Feinberg / Slate:
Is Ben Smith's Column About Ronan Farrow Too Good to Be True?  —  It was a tantalizing story, written by The New York Times' freshly poached media columnist and published with an attention-grabbing headline: “Is Ronan Farrow Too Good to Be True?”  —  In it, the columnist, Ben Smith …
Robert Frank / CNBC:
American billionaires got $434 billion richer during the pandemic  — U.S. billionaires saw their fortunes soar by $434 billion during the nation's lockdown between mid-March and mid-May, according to a new report.  — Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg had the biggest gains.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
David E. Sanger / New York Times:
Trump to Withdraw From ‘Open Skies’ Arms Control Treaty  —  Mr. Trump's decision, the third major retreat from arms control agreements, will be viewed as evidence that he also plans an exit from the last major arms treaty with Russia: New START.  —  President Trump has decided to withdraw …
Nicholas Reimann / Forbes:
Dire Situation In Alabama Capital: ICUs Full, Coronavirus Cases Double In May  —  The mayor of Montgomery, Alabama, says the city's health care system has been “maxed out” as cases of coronavirus have more than doubled in May—a sharp contrast to the slowing coronavirus spread that's taken place across …
Discussion: al.com and Balloon Juice
Adam Shaw / Fox News:
Federal appeals court orders judge in Flynn case to respond to motion to dismiss charges  —  A federal appeals court on Thursday directed the judge hearing the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn to respond to a petition by Flynn for the charges against him to be thrown out.
Discussion: Politico
RELATED:
Andrew C. McCarthy / National Review:
D.C. Circuit Orders Judge Sullivan to Respond to Flynn Mandamus Petition
Discussion: Power Line, Law & Crime and New Yorker
Sara Fischer / Axios:
The Atlantic lays off almost 20% of staff  —  The Atlantic is laying off nearly 20% of staff, according to an internal note from David Bradley, the publication's chairman, that was obtained by Axios.  —  Why it matters: It's the latest media company that's been been forced to take drastic measures …
Discussion: CNN and The Daily Caller
Justice News:
California Couple in College Admissions Case Agrees to Plead Guilty  —  BOSTON - Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges in connection with securing the fraudulent admission of their two children to the University of Southern California as purported athletic recruits.
Alex Wayne / Bloomberg:
Trump Told to Stay Home by Baltimore Mayor Ahead of Visit  —  The mayor of Baltimore asked President Donald Trump to cancel a planned visit to the city on Monday to celebrate the U.S. Memorial Day holiday, noting the Maryland city is still under a stay-at-home order to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
Discussion: The Hill
RELATED:
CBS Baltimore:
Baltimore Mayor Hopes President Trump Will ‘Change His Mind’ About Fort McHenry Visit And Stay Home On Memorial Day
Discussion: Breitbart
The Daily Beast:
Trump in Private: I Wish I Could Run Against Hillary Again  —  The playbook that worked in 2016 isn't so far in 2020.  And some in Trump land are feeling nostalgic for their old foe.  —  In 2016, Donald Trump and his campaign staff found themselves up against a Democratic nominee …
Discussion: Mother Jones, Raw Story and Fox News
Jonathan Safran Foer / New York Times:
The Coronavirus and a World Without Meat  —  If you care about the working poor, about racial justice, and about climate change, you have to stop eating animals.  —  Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of “Eating Animals” and “We Are the Weather.”  —  Is any panic more primitive …
Ken Dilanian / NBC News:
Flynn's name was never ‘masked’ in FBI report on phone call with Russian  —  WASHINGTON — In a blow to GOP efforts to create a cloud of scandal around so-called “unmasking,” two sources familiar with the matter tell NBC News that then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's name …
Ezra Klein / Vox:
Why are liberals more afraid of the coronavirus than conservatives?  —  President Donald Trump tours a Honeywell International Inc. factory producing N95 masks in Phoenix, Arizona.  Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images  —  Covid-19 and the complex politics of fear.
Megan Cassella / Politico:
Reopening reality check: Georgia's jobs aren't flooding back  —  Georgia's early move to start easing stay-at-home restrictions nearly a month ago has done little to stem the state's flood of unemployment claims — illustrating how hard it is to bring jobs back while consumers are still afraid to go outside.
Matt Egan / CNN:
Trump will lose in a landslide because of the economy, new election model predicts  —  New York (CNN Business)The economy has gone from President Donald Trump's greatest political asset to perhaps his biggest weakness.  —  Unemployment is spiking at an unprecedented rate.  Consumer spending is vanishing.
Ken Meyer / Mediaite:
WATCH: Megyn Kelly Says Tara Reade's Refusal to Take Polygraph Could Be ‘Sign of Deception’  —  Megyn Kelly described her interview with Tara Reade as a mixed bag in terms of perpetuating the former Senate staffer's allegations against Joe Biden.  —  Kelly spoke to Sinclair host Eric Bolling …
Discussion: WJLA-TV
Steve Keeley / WNYW-TV:
New Jersey Department of Health shuts down Atilis Gym  —  Atilis Gym owner says health department shut them down  —  BELLMAWR, N.J. - The New Jersey Department of Health has shut down the Atilis Gym in Bellmawr after state officials issued a notice of embargo.
Kate Cox / Ars Technica:
Just turning your phone on qualifies as searching it, court rules  —  Location data requires a warrant since 2018; lock screen may now, too.  —  Smartphones are a rich data trove not only for marketers but also for law enforcement.  Police and federal investigators love to get their hands …
Patricia Cohen / New York Times:
Many Jobs May Vanish Forever as Layoffs Mount  —  With over 38 million U.S. unemployment claims in nine weeks, one economist says the situation is “grimmer than we thought.”  —  Even as restrictions on businesses began lifting across the United States, another 2.4 million workers filed …
Shane Harris / Washington Post:
Senate confirms John Ratcliffe as next director of national intelligence  —  The Senate confirmed Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Tex.) as the next director of national intelligence on Thursday, capping an unusually protracted process that saw the congressman withdraw his nomination last year in the face …
Discussion: Fox News, WND and CNBC
Associated Press:
‘Very unprepared:’ DEA shakeup followed mounting criticism  —  MIAMI (AP) — It's an agency with a critical mission of keeping American streets safe from narcotics.  But in recent years, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has needed protection from itself, with several agents charged …
Laura Bassett / GQ:
The Anti-Abortion Movement Was Always Built on Lies  —  This week, it was revealed that Norma McCorvey, a.k.a. “Jane Roe,” admitted on her death bed that her late-career anti-abortion crusade was all a ruse funded by the Christian right.  Laura Bassett takes a hard look at the house of cards …
ABC News:
Mayo Clinic doctors find many COVID-19 antibody tests fail their quality standards: ABC News exclusive  —  A number of commercially available COVID-19 antibody tests, which look at a patient's blood for signs of past infection, did not pass Mayo Clinic quality screening or meet their expectations for use …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Daily Mail:
Venezuela tells America its navy will escort Iranian oil tankers arriving with much-needed fuel …
Joe Nocera / Bloomberg:
Lockdowns Haven't Proved They're Worth the Havoc
Katie Benner / New York Times:
Justice Dept. Unit That Prosecuted Roger Stone Is Reorganized
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Anna Wilde Mathews / Wall Street Journal:
Nursing Homes Don't Have to Report Pre-May Covid-19 Deaths to U.S. Officials
Windsor Mann / The Week:
Trump's lethal aversion to reading
Discussion: Contemptor
 Earlier Items: 
USA Today:
Why oh why is NY Governor Andrew Cuomo being praised for his coronavirus response?
Discussion: Fox News and Spectator USA
Daniel Burke / CNN:
The religious roots of Trump's magical thinking on coronavirus
Discussion: Raw Story
Parker Molloy / Media Matters for America:
What's behind the rise of “COVID contrarian” Alex Berenson in right-wing media?
Spencer Ackerman / The Daily Beast:
FEMA Tells States to Hand Public Health Data Over to Palantir
Daniel Dale / CNN:
After false claims about Michigan and voting, Trump repeats false claim he was Michigan's ‘Man of the Year’
Discussion: The Root
Bobby Allyn / NPR:
Researchers: Nearly Half Of Accounts Tweeting About Coronavirus Are Likely Bots
Discussion: Breitbart