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12:25 PM ET, October 17, 2020

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 Top Items: 
The Daily Beast:
Rudy: Only ‘50/50’ Chance I Worked With a ‘Russian Spy’ to Dig Dirt on Bidens  —  In a wild interview, the president's personal attorney made clear he believes he's on a mission to torpedo the Bidens.  And he doesn't care who supplied the ammunition. … Rudy Giuliani thinks it's hilarious.
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David Ignatius / Washington Post:
The truth behind the Hunter Biden non-scandal  —  The story of Hunter Biden's involvement with the Ukrainian gas company Burisma isn't a scandal about his father, as the Trump campaign claims, but part of a personal tragedy for the vice president's son, compounded by this week's dissemination …
David Folkenflik / NPR:
Analysis: Questionable ‘N.Y. Post’ Scoop Driven by Ex-Hannity Producer, Giuliani  —  It is a classic moment in the weeks before Election Day: a news outlet runs a front-page exclusive promising scandalous revelations about a big-ticket candidate.  —  This week, the New York Post published …
Fox News:
Source on alleged Hunter Biden email chain verifies message about Chinese investment firm  —  Sources have told Fox News that ‘the big guy’ is a reference to the former vice president.  — Flipboard  —  New Hunter Biden emails detail alleged dealings with China
The Daily Beast:
Bolton Warned His Staff To Stay Away From Russia-Aligned Rudy Giuliani
Sarah Al-Arshani / Business Insider:
Trump says 'maybe I'll have to leave the country' if he loses the 2020 election to Joe Biden … - President Donald Trump suggested he'd leave the country if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins the election.  — “Could you imagine if I lose?”  Trump said after mocking Biden's candidacy.
Discussion: The Hill, IJR and NPR, more at Mediagazer »
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Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
2020 Elections Live Updates: Biden's Campaign Warns Against Complacency Despite Polling Lead  —  More than 2.4 million voters in Florida, a critical battleground state, have already cast their ballots by mail.  President Trump hosted a rally in Macon, Ga., on Friday night as some Senate Republicans …
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Julia Hollingsworth / CNN:
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern wins second term in landslide election victory  —  A look at Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's profile  —  (CNN)Jacinda Ardern has won a second term as New Zealand's Prime Minister after her success at handling the country's coronavirus outbreak helped secure a landslide victory.
Discussion: New York Times, Vox and New York Post
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Rebecca Falconer / Axios:
Jacinda Ardern claims historic victory in New Zealand election  —  New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's ruling Labour Party looked set for a comprehensive win in the country's general election on Saturday.  —  Driving the news: NZ Electoral Commission results show that with 93.1.% of votes counted …
Nick Perry / Associated Press:
New Zealand's Ardern wins 2nd term in election landslide
Discussion: The Week and Political Wire
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
The News Media Isn't Biased Against Trump.  It's Biased For Him.  —  Going into his NBC town hall, President Trump decided, for some reason, that his thematic message would be his unfair treatment at the hands of the forum in which he was voluntarily participating.
Discussion: New York Daily News and Fox News
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Meridith McGraw / Politico:
Trump starts to articulate a painful reality: He could lose in 2020  —  He's mused out loud about an embarrassing 2020 defeat.  He's acknowledged his severe deficit in key polls.  And he's made naked appeals to the critical voting blocs of suburban women and older adults — two demographics he has struggled to win over.
CNN:
The legal reckoning awaiting Donald Trump if he loses the election  —  New York (CNN)If things don't go Donald Trump's way on Election Day, the President may face more serious matters than how to pack up the West Wing.  —  Without some of the protections afforded him by the presidency …
Discussion: Raw Story
New York Times:
White House Opposes Expanded Virus Testing, Complicating Stimulus Talks  —  Some administration officials say testing Americans with no symptoms of the coronavirus would hurt the economy and restrict civil liberties.  Democrats and some prominent experts say it would slow the virus and bolster economic growth.
Maeve Reston / CNN:
Trump flails and shows no ability to reset as some Republicans voice their concerns  —  (CNN)As President Donald Trump began a packed day of events Friday, he delivered an unusually somber message to seniors — a group he won in 2016 and desperately needs to win back — speaking of the pain …
Wall Street Journal:
Packing the U.S. Senate  —  A 104-seat Upper Chamber is on the agenda if Democrats sweep the election.  —  By The Editorial Board  —  Democrats are threatening to pack the Supreme Court if Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed, but they might not have the Senate votes if the chamber is closely divided.
Kelly Weill / The Daily Beast:
Boogaloo Protesters Get PA System and Milk From Cops  —  Meanwhile, anti-ICE demonstrators got arrest papers.  —  Nine immigrant-rights activists who'd been extradited across state lines on misdemeanor charges of trespass and littering gathered outside the Henrico County, Virginia …
Matt Taibbi / Reporting:
Facebook and Twitter's Intervention Highlights Dangerous New Double Standard  —  The decision to ban a New York Post expose about Hunter Biden flies in the face of years of “hack and leak” stories  —  On Wednesday, the New York Post released what they claimed was “smoking gun” …
Stephen Fowler / ProPublica:
Why Do Nonwhite Georgia Voters Have to Wait in Line for Hours?  Their Numbers Have Soared, and Their Polling Places Have Dwindled. … Kathy spotted the long line of voters as she pulled into the Christian City Welcome Center about 3:30 p.m., ready to cast her ballot in the June 9 primary election.
Jon Levine / New York Post:
Kristen Welker, upcoming presidential debate moderator, has deep Democrat ties  —  All eyes are turning to NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker as she prepares to host the third and final presidential debate Thursday.  —  President Trump and Joe Biden will square off …
Katie Benner / New York Times:
Third Justice Dept. Prosecutor Publicly Denounces Barr  —  The prosecutor also said he retired after staying on to protect a public corruption case against a Republican congressman.  —  WASHINGTON — A 36-year veteran of the Justice Department this week accused Attorney General William P. Barr …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Rebecca Hennes / Houston Chronicle:
Trump billboard in Houston goes viral after being vandalized  —  A Donald Trump billboard located off Houston's Telephone Road has been vandalized, sparking a viral response on social media.  —  Personal injury lawyer Rogelio Garcia, 61, said he first spotted the billboard located …
Discussion: The Hill and KXAN-TV
Kate Davidson / Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Budget Gap Tripled to Record $3.1 Trillion in Fiscal 2020, Treasury Says  —  Spending soared 47% in year ended Sept. 30 as government rolled out programs to battle coronavirus and recession  —  WASHINGTON—The U.S. budget deficit tripled to a record $3.1 trillion in the fiscal year …
Christina Maxouris / CNN:
The US reported the most Covid-19 cases in a day since July.  Deaths may begin climbing, too, a leading expert says  —  Dr. Sanjay Gupta debunks Trump's Covid-19 claims  —  (CNN)The US reported at least 69,000 new Covid-19 infections Friday — the most in a single day since July …
Discussion: Mother Jones, CNBC, UPI, WHDH-TV and USA Today
Business Insider:
Let the blame game begin.  Republicans point the finger at Parscale, Kushner, Stepien, and Trump himself as the president's team braces for a potential 2020 blowout. … - President Donald Trump's advisors, campaign staff, and other Republicans are starting to assign blame for what could be a big loss …
Wall Street Journal:
Mexican Ex-Defense Minister Charged With Helping Cartel Ship Drugs  —  Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos allegedly passed information on investigations to crime bosses  —  MEXICO CITY—Mexico's former defense minister received bribes from a drug cartel in exchange for allowing it to ship tons …
Discussion: Bloomberg and WTOP
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Tim Miller / Rolling Stone:
Even in Defeat, Trumpism Isn't Going Anywhere  —  Republicans pining for days gone by have some tough truths to face  —  As the mad king raged at Savannah Guthrie for having the gall to question him about his conspiracy mongering, mask trutherism, and failure to even pretend to manage …
Erik Maulbetsch / Colorado Times Recorder:
FEC United Founder Threatens Journalists at GOP Candidate Event  —  At an event yesterday intended to showcase the candidates whom the new conservative political group FEC United is supporting, founder Joe Oltmann threatened to dox journalists who report negatively about the group.
Wall Street Journal:
GOP Senators Brace for Fight With Trump Over Coronavirus Aid  —  As president pushes for package close to $2 trillion, Republican lawmakers favor much smaller price tag  —  WASHINGTON—Senate Republicans and the White House are on a collision course over the price tag of a possible coronavirus …
Donna Provencher / The American Independent:
Self-proclaimed soybean farmer Joni Ernst doesn't know price of soybeans  —  And Sen. Ernst's reelection prospects look more bleak than ever.  —  In her third and last debate with the Democratic challenger for her Senate seat, Theresa Greenfield, on Thursday night, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) …
Discussion: Daily Kos, Alternet.org and Mediaite
Sarah Rumpf / Mediaite:
At Florida Rally, Trump Repeatedly Calls Rep. Matt Gaetz ‘Rick Gates’, the Name of His Convicted Former Aide  —  President Donald Trump has a penchant for calling out the names of key supporters at his campaign events, and a Friday rally in Ocala, Florida was no different …
Victoria McGrane Globe / The Boston Globe:
Joe Kennedy III campaign says it improperly spent $1.5 million in Senate primary  —  The campaign of Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III said Friday that it improperly spent $1.5 million of donations intended for the general election during the final weeks of his bitter and ultimately …
Discussion: Washington Times
 
 
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 More Items: 
Mia Cathell / The Post Millennial:
Denver news station hired FOUR other unlicensed security guards in addition to far-left gunman who killed Trump supporter
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
Trump brought data from the Fox News universe to a debate centered in reality
Hotair:
Trafalgar Pollster: I Predict A Trump Win In The Mid-270s
Discussion: UncoverDC and Townhall
A.G. Gancarski / Florida Politics:
Lincoln Project enlists whistleblower Alex Vindman for anti-Trump DC ad buy
Wall Street Journal:
String of Firms That Imploded Have Something in Common: Ernst & Young Audited Them
Tiffany Hsu / New York Times:
Former Fox News Host Spreads Virus Misinformation on His Sinclair Show
Katie Jane Fernelius / The Appeal:
New Orleans Public Defenders Are Mobilizing to “Flip the Bench”
 Earlier Items: 
ABC News:
Neo-Nazi and Proud Boys groups push Trump campaign poll watching operation online: Reports
Dan Diamond / Politico:
HHS lawyer: Trump's drug cards could violate election law
Discussion: Raw Story and Political Wire
Erika Edwards / NBC News:
A rare Covid-19 complication was reported in children. Now, it's showing up in adults.
Betsy McKay / Wall Street Journal:
More Than 1,000 Current and Former CDC Officers Condemn U.S. Covid-19 Response
Discussion: Axios