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6:40 AM ET, September 30, 2020

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 Top Items: 
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.
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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 …
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
Chris Wallace tried — and failed — to control Trump.  Something needs to change.  —  Chris Wallace wanted to be “invisible” as the moderator of the first presidential debate.  “If I've done my job right,” he said on his Fox News show Sunday, “at the end of the night, people will say, 'That was a great debate.
David Siders / Politico:
Trump mayhem takes over first debate  —  The mayhem Donald Trump subjected Americans to on Tuesday might have helped him if Joe Biden had disintegrated.  —  Biden didn't.  —  Trump just left viewers worse off for having sat through the whole, weird thing.  —  The president interrupted and bullied.
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 …
Nick Corasaniti / New York Times:
Fact-Checking the First 2020 Presidential Debate  — President Trump and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. squared off for the first of three scheduled debates.  They faced over 90 minutes of questions in Cleveland from the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News.
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
5 takeaways from the first presidential debate  —  President Trump and Joe Biden took part in their first of three one-one-one debates of the 2020 general election Tuesday night in Cleveland.  —  It was so contentious and full of interruptions that it was almost unwatchable, but there were some takeaways.
Politico:
Biden campaign faces questions about whether he should skip next debates  —  The moment Joe Biden's first debate against Donald Trump ended, his campaign was already confronted with questions about whether it should be his last.  —  In the two men's first head-to-head matchup …
Jonathan Ernst / ABC News:
Fact-checking Trump and Biden during 1st 2020 presidential debate
Mairead McArdle / National Review:
Biden Refuses to Say Whether He Backs Packing Court, Ending Filibuster
Discussion: Viking Pundit and Breitbart
The Daily Beast:
Far-Right Proud Boys Rally After Trump's 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 …
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NBC News:
Proud Boys celebrate after Trump's debate call-out … The Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, pledged allegiance to President Donald Trump on Tuesday night after he told the group to “stand back and stand by” during the evening's debate.  —  Many people on social media who identify …
New York Times:
Proud Boys celebrate Trump's mention of them at the debate.  —  Members of the Proud Boys, a far-right group that has endorsed violence, celebrated on Tuesday night after President Trump mentioned them during the first presidential debate.  —  Asked whether he condemned white supremacists …
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:
Andrew C. McCarthy / National Review:
Bombshell Allegation: Hillary Orchestrated Collusion Hoax to Distract From Her Emails, According to Russian Intel
Discussion: The Ohio Star
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:
Burgess Everett / Politico:
GOP threatens more judicial confirmations if Dems delay Barrett
Jonathan V. Last / The Bulwark:
The President Is a Sociopath.  And 60 Million Americans Like It.  —  The Cleveland debate revealed everything and changed nothing.  —  The Cleveland debate was a miniature, 90-minute version of the last 4 years: depressing, exhausting, full of craziness and lies.  —  Who won?  I don't know.
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: Raw Story, Breitbart and Political Wire
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 …
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:
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
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
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: Raw Story, Fox News, The Week and The Hill
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
 
 
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 More Items: 
Nicholas Florko / STAT:
Trump claims his policies made insulin 'so cheap, it's like water.' But for most people, it costs just as much as before
Wall Street Journal:
Navy Chief Fell Ill, Underwent Heart Surgery, Officials Say
Discussion: Task & Purpose
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
 Earlier Items: 
Matt Zapotosky / Washington Post:
Mueller pushes back on insider book faulting special counsel for not doing more to hold Trump accountable