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5:50 PM ET, June 30, 2020


 Top Items: 
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
Suspicions of Russian Bounties Were Bolstered by Data on Financial Transfers  —  Analysts have used other evidence to conclude that the transfers were likely part of an effort to offer payments to Taliban-linked militants to kill American and coalition troops in Afghanistan.
James Laporta / Associated Press:
AP sources: White House aware of Russian bounties in 2019  —  Top officials in the White House were aware in early 2019 of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans, a full year earlier than has been previously reported …
Russian bounty intel opens new rifts on Capitol Hill  —  Democrats and Republicans are sharply at odds over allegations that Russia paid bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops — with the issue quickly becoming politicized as lawmakers from both parties drew starkly different conclusions …
Politico:   Russians squeeze U.S. troops in Syria amid uproar over Trump's dealings with Moscow
ABC News:
Dems say Russia bounty intel is ‘red flag’ that Trump-Putin relationship could be compromised
Discussion: The Hill
Anthony Leonardi / Washington Examiner:
Rick Wilson: Trump's ‘high treason’ means people will ‘piss’ on his grave ‘for all time’
Discussion: Politico and The Hill
Wall Street Journal:   NSA Differed From CIA, Others on Russia Bounty Intelligence
Pew Research Center:
Public's Mood Turns Grim; Trump Trails Biden on Most Personal Traits, Major Issues  —  Just 17% say they are ‘proud’ when thinking about state of the U.S.  —  How we did this  —  With less than five months until the 2020 elections, Americans are deeply unhappy with the state of the nation.
USA Today:
Exclusive USA TODAY poll: Biden widens his lead, but Trump keeps the edge on enthusiasm  —  President Trump is falling further behind Democrat Joe Biden in the race for the White House, a new USA TODAY/Suffolk Poll finds - but the president's real opponent seems to be himself.
Elaina Plott / New York Times:
The Fall of Jeff Sessions, and What Came After  —  The former attorney general is fighting for his political life in Alabama's Senate race, in the shadow of a president who still despises him.  —  To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.
Discussion: The Atlantic, The Week and Law & Crime
Trump campaign scraps rally ahead of Sessions-Tuberville primary amid pandemic  —  (CNN)President Donald Trump's campaign has scrapped plans to hold a rally in Alabama next weekend amid concerns about coronavirus infections rising in the US, CNN has learned.
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
Amy McGrath Defeats Charles Booker and Will Face McConnell in Kentucky  —  Ms. McGrath, who raised over $40 million, won the Democratic primary by narrowly holding off a candidate who had harnessed energy from the protests over racial injustice.  —  WASHINGTON — Amy McGrath …
Discussion: Townhall, The Root and The Week
Ella Nilsen / Vox:
Amy McGrath just won her unexpectedly close Kentucky Senate primary
Dominick Mastrangelo / Washington Examiner:
Seattle mayor slams protesters for showing no ‘regard for’ her ‘safety’ as demonstrators circle her home  —  A group of protesters marched to the home of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan on Sunday afternoon, upset that she pledged to dismantle the police-free “Capitol Hill Organized Protest” zone, known as CHOP.
Danielle Wallace / Fox News:
Latest Seattle CHOP shooting sees at least 2 injured, police say
New York City mayor says will cut $1 billion from police budget  —  NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has agreed with the City Council to cut $1 billion from the New York Police Department's funding in the municipal budget for the 2021 fiscal year, which is due …
Amir Tibon / Haaretz:   Bernie Sanders Signs AOC's Anti-annexation Letter Threatening to Cut U.S. Military Aid to Israel
Carl Reiner Dead at 98, Dick Van Dyke Pays Tribute to ‘Idol’  —  CARL REINER DEAD AT 98 Van Dyke Pays Tribute  —  REMEMBERING CARL REINER  —  12:08 PM PT — Dick Van Dyke just paid tribute to Reiner ... calling him his idol.  The legendary actor said Reiner had a “deeper understanding of the human condition” in a warm tribute.
Jeremy Herb / CNN:
Senate strips provision from intelligence bill requiring campaigns to report foreign election help  —  WaPo: Russian bounties to Taliban fighters believed to result in deaths of US troops  —  (CNN)The Senate will incorporate the annual intelligence policy legislation into the National Defense …
Discussion: Raw Story and
NBC News:
Facebook to remove anti-government ‘Boogaloo’ groups  —  Facebook announced Tuesday that it is removing groups dedicated to the Boogaloo extremist movement one month after federal officials alleged the anti-government network's adherents used the platform to plan the murder of a federal agent.
Fauci warns Congress that new US coronavirus cases could rise to 100,000 a day  —  Fauci: Vaccine might not get US sufficient level of immunity  —  Washington (CNN)Coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci issued a stark warning on Tuesday to lawmakers on Capitol Hill …
Eric Bradner / CNN:
Biden slams Trump on coronavirus: ‘Our wartime president has surrendered’  —  (CNN)Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden lambasted President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday, saying that Trump is “in retreat” with more 125,000 Americans dead and the virus worsening in many states.
Hans Nichols / Axios:
Biden: Russia bounty issue shows Trump “doesn't seem to be cognitively aware”
Discussion: The Hill
Alexis C. Madrigal / The Atlantic:
A Dire Warning From COVID-19 Test Providers  —  Editor's Note: The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers.  Find the collection here.  —  The United States is once again at risk of outstripping its COVID-19 testing capacity, an ominous development …
Discussion: NPR
Kevin Liptak / CNN:
Trump hoping for Supreme Court vacancy as way to boost a flagging campaign  —  (CNN)As the Supreme Court hands his administration successive defeats at the same time his political standing craters, President Donald Trump has begun to raise both publicly and privately the potential boon another nomination …
Quint Forgey / Politico:
Biden says he'll release list of Black women as potential SCOTUS nominees
U.S. Department of Justice:
Ex-Husband of ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ Star and Lucchese Crime Family Soldier Indicted for Assault and Other Crimes  —  NEWARK, N.J. - The ex-husband of one of the stars of the Bravo television show “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” and an organized crime soldier were arrested today …
Washington Post:
Hunt for Biden tapes in Ukraine by Trump allies revives prospect of foreign interference  —  President Trump's allies were in pursuit of a tantalizing prospect last year: tape recordings of Joe Biden speaking to Ukrainian officials while he was vice president, conversations they believed …
Lee Brown / New York Post:
St. Louis lawyers who confronted protesters with guns under investigation  —  The St. Louis lawyers who pulled weapons on protesters marching past their home are being investigated for possible criminal charges, the city's lead prosecutor has revealed.  —  Mark and Patricia McCloskey …
Discussion: Breitbart, IJR, KMOV-TV and Washington Post
Charles Sykes / The Bulwark:
Matt Gaetz Is Living in Donald Trump's America  —  And that's why Trump is losing.  —  Quite inadvertently, Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Trump) has stumbled onto something insightful.  On Monday, as America absorbed the Die Hard cosplay from this couple in in St. Louis, Gaetz tweeted out his deep thought:
Discussion: and Raw Story
Rebecca Shabad / NBC News:
S. Dakota Gov. Noem says ‘we will not be social distancing’ at July 3 celebration with Trump at Mount Rushmore  —  Thousands of people are expected for the event.  Masks are optional, too.  —  WASHINGTON — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says the thousands of people who attend the July 3 celebration …
CBS Denver:
Photos Taken By Aurora Police At Elijah McClain Memorial Under Investigation  —  AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) - Three Aurora police officers are under investigation for taking inappropriate photos at a memorial for Elijah McClain, sources tell CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass.
Josh Israel / The American Independent:
24 times Susan Collins has been ‘disappointed’ by Donald Trump  —  The Republican senator from Maine voted to acquit Trump during his impeachment trial and backed most of his judges.  —  Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has supported many of the Trump administration's actions with her votes.
Arizona Republic:
Arizona hospitals can start activating ‘crisis care’ standards due to COVID-19 surge  —  Arizona's state health director on Monday declared that hospitals could activate “crisis care standards” that guide the allocation of scarce resources to patients based on factors such as their likelihood for survival.
Martin Matishak / Politico:
Republicans have been skipping House Intelligence meetings for months  —  Democrats see a boycott motivated by partisan politics.  Republicans argue they have legitimate security concerns.  —  Either way, GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee have skipped all but one of the panel's proceedings …
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 More Items: 
Tre'Vell Anderson / Essence:
Why Billy Porter Is A National Treasure
Discussion: The Root
A story in The Oregonian changed his family's life forever, and set his career choice
Tim Miller / The Bulwark:
Anti-Anti-Trumpism: Book Review Edition
Discussion: National Review
New York Times:
Is Statue-Toppling a Monumental Error?
Discussion: Balkinization and Althouse
Joe Gould / Defense News:
US could buy Turkey's Russian-made S-400 under Senate proposal
Washington Post:
Probe faults Commerce Department for leading ‘flawed process’ backing Trump during Hurricane Dorian
 Earlier Items: 
Venessa Wong / BuzzFeed News:
My Landlord Is Threatening To Evict Me During A Health And Economic Crisis. What Do I Do?
Discussion: Raw Story
Andrea González-Ramírez / GEN:
In Puerto Rico, an Epidemic of Domestic Violence Hides in Plain Sight
Ronald Brownstein / CNN:
The white-collar revolt against Trump is peaking
Discussion: The Atlantic and
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Trump Isn't Even Good at Inventing Mean Nicknames Anymore
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Panic sets in at White House over Trump's re-election prospects
Discussion: The Hill, Raw Story and The Week
Victor Davis Hanson / National Review:
The Strategies of Dementia Politics
Publisher's wife played undisclosed role for Melania Trump
Discussion: and Raw Story