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12:00 AM ET, September 30, 2020

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 Top Items: 
Ben Collins / NBC News:
Coordinated push of conspiracy theories target Biden hours before debate  —  A conspiracy theory that Joe Biden would wear an electronic device in his ear during the first presidential debate went wildly viral Tuesday in the hours before the debate, and the theory was later amplified …
RELATED:
Reuters:
Takeaways from Donald Trump and Joe Biden's first U.S. presidential debate  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, meet in Cleveland on Tuesday for the first of three debates ahead of the Nov. 3 election, when Trump is seeking a second term in office.
The Daily Beast:
Proud Boys Rally After Trump Debate Defense: ‘Fuck Them Up’  —  Given the chance to finally explicitly condemn right-wing extremism, Trump insisted, “This is a left-wing problem” and gave a shout-out to the Proud Boys.  —  President Donald Trump refused to condemn right-wing extremist groups …
Kelly Hooper / Politico:
Trump email says he ‘finished debating’ Biden hours before debate begins  —  The Trump campaign claimed the president “finished debating Joe Biden” and bragged about his performance hours before the debate even started Tuesday night.  —  In a prematurely sent campaign email obtained by POLITICO …
Eric Kleefeld / Media Matters for America:
The Murdochs' Fox News and New York Post go all in on Biden earpiece conspiracy theory  —  Fox News alone has aired 11 segments discussing the topic between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.  —  On the same day when one of Fox News purported “news”-side anchors, Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace …
Washington Post:
Presidential debate live updates: First Trump-Biden meeting marked by constant interruptions by Trump  —  President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden met in the first of three scheduled debates, this one at Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University and moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News.
Mia Cathell / The Post Millennial:
BREAKING: Joe Biden falsely claims Antifa is simply ‘an idea’  —  During the presidential face-off, former Vice President Joe Biden claimed that “Antifa is an idea not an organization.” … This despite the fact that the anti-fascist movement has mobilized across the nation in Democratic-led cities …
Discussion: Redstate and Forbes
Fox News:
Trump camp seeks extra debate rule: Third party inspectors to look for electronic devices in candidates' ears
Thomas Kaplan / New York Times:
2020 Presidential Debate Live Updates: As Trump's Tax Avoidance Roils Campaign, Biden Releases Return Showing He Paid $288,000
Politico:
Intel chief releases Russian disinfo on Hillary Clinton that was rejected by bipartisan Senate panel  —  Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday declassified a Russian intelligence assessment that was previously rejected by Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee …
RELATED:
The Daily Beast:
Lindsey Graham on Spreading Potential Russian Disinformation: It Doesn't Matter If It's True  —  A burning desire among Trump fans to paint the president as the true victim of Russia saga of 2016 has led us to some remarkable places.  —  Former Hillary Clinton aides, ex-intelligence officials …
Daily Mail:
Hospitalized Brad Parscale 'is under investigation for stealing up to $40million from Trump's campaign and $10million from the RNC', as he spirals out of control over White House ‘gravy train’ ending and mounting debt  — Brad Parscale is under investigation for ‘stealing’ between $25-$40 million …
Tom Hamburger / Washington Post:
U.S. Chamber of Commerce abruptly ousts top political consultant Scott Reed, alleging leaks  —  Reed played a central role in political decisions at the business lobby  —  Scott Reed, the veteran GOP political consultant, was fired Tuesday by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce …
RELATED:
Politico:
Chamber of Commerce and top political strategist part ways amid turmoil
Discussion: Wall Street Journal and WTOP
Burgess Everett / Politico:
GOP threatens more judicial confirmations if Dems delay Barrett
Robby Soave / Reason:
Ohio State Professor Apologizes for ‘Hurt, Sadness, Frustration, Fatigue, Exhaustion and Pain’ Caused By Pro-Football Article  —  Matthew Mayhew is sorry.  Very, very sorry.  —  “I am sorry for the hurt, sadness, frustration, fatigue, exhaustion and pain this article has caused anyone …
RELATED:
Matthew J. Mayhew / Inside Higher Ed:
Why America Needs College Football — Part 2
Discussion: National Review and Power Line
Washington Post:
Early surge of Democratic mail voting sparks worry inside GOP  —  Democratic voters who have requested mail ballots — and returned them — greatly outnumber Republicans so far in key battleground states, causing alarm among GOP party leaders and strategists that President Trump's attacks …
Discussion: The Atlantic, Raw Story and Breitbart
Natalia Alamdari / delawareonline:
No, Joe Biden did not say he attended Delaware State University  —  | Delaware News Journal Show Caption Hide Caption … No, Joe Biden did not say he attended Delaware State University.  —  But DSU is now pushing back against conservative media outlets reporting that Biden falsely …
Discussion: The Hill
Washington Post:
Judge Barrett represented Iranian exile group in fight to end terrorist designation  —  Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's nominee to join the Supreme Court, once represented an affiliate of an Iranian exile group as it challenged its State Department designation as a foreign terrorist organization.
Discussion: Axios
Washington Post:
ICE preparing targeted arrests in sanctuary cities, amplifying president's campaign theme  —  The Trump administration is preparing an immigration enforcement blitz next month that would target arrests in U.S. cities and jurisdictions that have adopted “sanctuary” policies …
Discussion: Fox News, The Hill, Raw Story and The Week
New York Times:
Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Taxes in 2017.  Here's the Math.  —  Figures drawn from President Trump's tax-return data show how that number was calculated.  —  The small amount of federal income taxes President Trump paid in both 2016 and 2017 — just $750 each year …
RELATED:
Dan Diamond / Politico:
HHS ad blitz sputters as celebrities back away  —  They made a list of more than 30 celebrities including Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift and Billy Joel to appear in their ad campaign to “inspire hope” about coronavirus, but they ended up with only Dennis Quaid, CeCe Winans and Hasidic singer Shulem Lemmer.
Discussion: The Daily Caller
CBS News:
CBS News Eye on Trends: The latest from the Election & Survey Unit  —  Watch this space for a recap of the latest polls and data-driven studies curated by the CBS News Election & Survey Unit!  —  CBS NEWS BATTLEGROUND TRACKER POLL  —  The First Debate: Voters who plan to watch are rooting …
Wall Street Journal:
Navy Chief Fell Ill, Underwent Heart Surgery, Officials Say  —  Adm. Gilday was stricken in August while running  —  WASHINGTON—The Pentagon's chief of naval operations fell ill recently while on a run near his home and underwent heart surgery soon after, according to Navy officials.
Discussion: Task & Purpose
Dana Rubinstein / New York Times:
Nearly 100,000 Defective Absentee Ballots Sent to N.Y.C. Voters  —  Nearly 100,000 New York City voters received defective absentee ballots, election officials acknowledged on Tuesday, a massive glitch that raised doubts about the city's ability to handle a pandemic-era presidential election with millions of mail-in ballots expected.
Discussion: ABC News, CNN, New York Post and WTOP
RELATED:
Bloomberg:
About 100,000 People in NYC Received Flawed Absentee Ballots
Discussion: The Hill
Peter Hamby / Vanity Fair:
“Trump Is So Saturated”: Anti-Trump Attack Ads Might Actually Be Helping Him, Democratic Group Finds  —  While doom-and-gloom ads thrive on Twitter and cable news, they can turn off voters whom Biden needs, according to the tech-minded operatives at Fellow Americans.
Discussion: Jacobin, Fox News, The Hill and The Week
Matthew Chapman / Raw Story:
Fascism expert: Trump has used all ‘four threats’ that can topple a democracy  —  On Tuesday, speaking with Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson on the podcast The New Abnormal, Johns Hopkins political science professor Robert Lieberman warned that President Donald Trump poses all of the fundamental …
Discussion: The Daily Beast
Mairead McArdle / National Review:
Biden Refuses to Say Whether He Backs Packing Court, Ending Filibuster  —  Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden refused to say during Tuesday night's presidential debate whether he would support adding justices to the Supreme Court or ending the filibuster should he become president.
Discussion: Breitbart
Matt Zapotosky / Washington Post:
Mueller pushes back on insider book faulting special counsel for not doing more to hold Trump accountable  —  Former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III pushed back Tuesday against a prosecutor in his office whose tell-all book alleges investigators should have done more to hold President Trump accountable …
New York Times:
How Trump Voters Feel About His Refusal to Commit to Transferring Power  —  Many Trump supporters do not believe that he can or will lose, and say he would be justified in questioning whether Democrats manipulated the outcome.  But some believe a loss is a loss.
Jonathan Ernst / ABC News:
Fact-checking Trump and Biden during 1st 2020 presidential debate  —  The candidates met live in Cleveland.  —  Trump, Biden aiming to win over undecided voters in 1st debate  —  A Pennsylvania pastor who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 but says he is still uncommitted this election cycle.
Ryan Parker / Hollywood Reporter:
Disney Parks to Lay Off 28,000 Employees; Cites California's “Unwillingness” to Reopen Disneyland  —  The Southern California destination has been shuttered since mid-March.  —  The Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday announced that 28,000 employees from the Parks, Experiences and Products segment “at all levels” will be laid off.
Amy Walter / The Cook Political Report:
Electoral College Rating Changes: Ohio and Iowa Move to Toss Up  —  In mid-June, we moved both Iowa and Ohio from Likely Republican to Lean Republican.  At the time, we noted that while the polls were looking shaky for Pres. Trump, they were also catching him at what could be his lowest point of the cycle.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Nick Miroff / Washington Post:
Trump administration in an all-out push to build border wall before election
Discussion: Breitbart and The Daily Caller
TMZ.com:
UFC's Jorge Masvidal to Campaign with Donald Trump Jr. In Florida, Battleground State
Kinling Lo / South China Morning Post:
US-China relations: Beijing should contain ‘extreme nationalism’, ex-diplomat warns
Gaby Galvin / Morning Consult:
Obamacare Support Hits Record High as Supreme Court Faces Ideological Shift
Discussion: Political Wire and FactCheck.org
 Earlier Items: 
Lindsey Tanner / ABC News:
COVID-19 cases rising among US children as schools reopen
Financial Times:
Priti Patel looked at shipping UK asylum seekers to south Atlantic
Discussion: The Sun
Vanita Gupta / Washington Post:
Trump doesn't decide who wins the election. We do.
Discussion: TIME
Ben Nadler / Associated Press:
Pair of endorsements adds more fuel to Georgia Senate race
McKay Coppins / The Atlantic:
Trump Secretly Mocks His Christian Supporters