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4:05 PM ET, April 15, 2021

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 Top Items: 
The Daily Beast:
U.S. Intel Walks Back Claim Russians Put Bounties on American Troops  —  It was a huge election-time story that prompted cries of treason.  But according to a newly disclosed assessment, Donald Trump might have been right to call it a “hoax.”  —  It was a blockbuster story about Russia's return …
RELATED:
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
The government finally connects the line from Trump's campaign to Russian intelligence  —  So much for the ‘Russia hoax’ hoax  —  From the first moments that the report on Russian interference in the 2016 election compiled by former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's team became public two years ago …
U.S. Department of the Treasury:
Treasury Escalates Sanctions Against the Russian Government's Attempts to Influence U.S. Elections  —  WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took sweeping action against 16 entities and 16 individuals who attempted to influence …
Justin Hendrix / Just Security:
US Treasury Provides Missing Link: Manafort's Partner Gave Campaign Polling Data to Kremlin in 2016  —  The U.S. Treasury Department said Thursday that Konstantin Kilimnik, an associate and ex-employee of Paul Manafort, “provided the Russian Intelligence Services with sensitive information …
Discussion: Political Wire
Zachary Basu / Axios:
U.S. says Manafort associate passed sensitive polling data to Russian intelligence  —  The U.S. government has sanctioned Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian political consultant indicted in the Mueller investigation in 2018, for carrying out election influence operations on behalf of Russian intelligence services.
Discussion: Raw Story
The White House:
FACT SHEET: Imposing Costs for Harmful Foreign Activities by the Russian Government
The Intellectualist:
Analysis: Latest Russian Sanctions Report Confirms Trump Campaign Colluded With Russia
Discussion: Townhall
Josh Kovensky / Talking Points Memo:
New Sanctions On Manafort Deputy Suggest Deeper Role Of Russian Intel In 2016
Discussion: Election Law Blog
Berkeley Lovelace Jr / CNBC:
Pfizer CEO says third Covid vaccine dose likely needed within 12 months  — Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said people will “likely” need a booster dose of a Covid-19 vaccine within 12 months of getting fully vaccinated.  — He also said it's possible people will need to get vaccinated against the virus annually.
Scott Wong / The Hill:
McCarthy and Biden haven't spoken since election  —  President Biden has phoned Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and hosted top GOP House and Senate committee leaders and rank-and-file Republicans at the White House.  —  But there's one key Republican Biden hasn't reached …
RELATED:
Quint Forgey / Politico:   McCarthy: I've met with Gaetz, he professed innocence
Kathy Frankovic / YouGov:
Decision to pause Johnson & Johnson vaccine causes public confidence in vaccine to sink  —  Economist/YouGov Poll Politics & current affairs  —  Fieldwork for the latest Economist/YouGov poll on vaccine safety perceptions was in the midst of being conducted when the Centers for Disease Control …
RELATED:
McCaffrey Blauner / The Daily Beast:
Jim Jordan Told to ‘Shut Your Mouth’ After Ranting Endlessly at Fauci  —  SPARE US  —  During a meeting of the House Coronavirus Crisis Subcommittee on Thursday, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) had to intervene in a shouting match between Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Dr. Anthony Fauci by telling Jordan to “shut your mouth.”
RELATED:
Ronn Blitzer / Fox News:
Maxine Waters snaps at Jim Jordan as COVID hearing with Fauci erupts into shouting match: ‘Shut your mouth’  —  Tensions ran high when Rep. Jim Jordan pressed Dr. Anthony Fauci on when restrictions will be lifted  —  Shouting match erupts as Rep. Jordan grills Dr. Fauci over when coronavirus restrictions will be lifted
The Cook Political Report:
Introducing the 2021 Cook Political Report Partisan Voter Index  —  The Cook Political Report is pleased to introduce the post-2020 edition of the Partisan Voter Index (PVI) for all 50 states and 435 congressional districts.  Although these district boundaries won't be in place …
Jeremy Barr / Washington Post:
Tucker Carlson villainizes journalists on his top-rated show.  Then the threats pour in.  —  As the Fox host's popularity grows, he has found fodder in lesser-known media figures whom he presents as symbols of liberalism-run-amok.  —  Brandy Zadrozny, a reporter for NBC News who covers online extremism …
Discussion: Twitchy
RELATED:
Christopher Mathias / HuffPost:
Tucker Carlson Is Giving ‘Red Pills’ To Millions. White Nationalists Are Thrilled.
Discussion: wgbh.org, Raw Story and Washington Post
Robbie Whelan / Wall Street Journal:
CDC Identifies Small Group of Covid-19 Infections Among Fully Vaccinated Patients  —  Incidence is rare, occurring in only 0.008% of cases and in line with expectations  —  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified a small cohort of approximately 5,800 cases …
Susan Page / Politico:
Inside Nancy Pelosi's War With AOC and the Squad  —  Adapted from Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power, to be published by Twelve Books on April 20.  —  “Nancy doesn't have much patience for people who don't know what they don't know.”  —  That was what a senior congressional …
RELATED:
Joseph Choi / The Hill:
Pelosi says she won't bring bill to expand Supreme Court to the floor  —  Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday she has “no plans” to bring a Democratic-led bill to expand the Supreme Court to the House floor for a vote, while saying such an idea is “not out of the question.”
RELATED:
Sarah Ferris / Politico:
Pelosi dismisses progressive ‘court packing’ legislation
Dan Primack / Axios:
J.D. Vance tells associates he plans to run for Senate in Ohio  —  J.D. Vance, venture capitalist and author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” has told friends and colleagues that he plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Axios has learned from multiple sources.
Discussion: VICE, Insider, TheBlaze and The Daily Caller
Hamish McKenzie / Substack Blog:
Introducing Substack Local, for a new generation of local news  —  Today, we're announcing Substack Local, a US$1,000,000 initiative to foster and develop the local news ecosystem by helping independent writers build local news publications based on the subscription model.
Washington Post:
17 requests for backup in 78 minutes  —  A reconstruction shows how failures of planning and preparation left police at the Capitol severely disadvantaged on Jan. 6  —  At 1:13 p.m. on Jan. 6, a D.C. police commander facing a swelling crowd of protesters on the west side of the U.S. Capitol …
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
Biden Finally Got to Say No to the Generals  —  Critics be damned, the President is ending the Forever War waged by Bush, Obama, and Trump in Afghanistan.  —  On Wednesday, Joe Biden announced the close of the two-decade-long American war in Afghanistan, giving the U.S. military a deadline …
RELATED:
Associated Press:
Secretary of State Blinken visits Afghanistan in surprise trip after Biden troop announcement
Steve Hayes / The Dispatch:
'We Just Can't Do This Anymore'  —  Business owners who want to hire workers are finding it impossible to compete with the pandemic relief packages' enhanced unemployment payments.  —  4 hr ago  —  WATERVILLE, Ohio—On a typical pre-pandemic Monday morning, Dale's Diner would be buzzing.
Discussion: TheBlaze
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Biden administration asks Supreme Court not to hear challenge to all-male military draft  —  The Biden administration has asked the Supreme Court not to take up a lawsuit that calls the all-male military draft unconstitutional.  —  Because Congress is considering whether women should also be required …
Philip Wegmann / Real Clear Politics:
Christie to GOP Study Group: Call Biden Out as ‘a Liar’  —  Republicans are bloodied and beaten, and maybe just a little too bashful for their own good.  At least, so says Chris Christie.  —  Knocked back on their heels and forced to answer for every outrageous thing Donald Trump did …
Politico:
GOP uses threats hearing to air political, personal grievances  —  Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee used the panel's first public hearing in five years on the United States' most dire global threats to air a range of domestic grievances to intelligence and law enforcement leaders Thursday …
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Biden Sparks Greater Party, Education Gaps Than Predecessors  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden's job approval ratings during his first two full months in office show greater divisions by party and educational attainment than those of his recent predecessors.
Washington Free Beacon:
Kristen Clarke, Bigot and Liar  —  Having sworn to answer all questions truthfully, in an appearance Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division offered a series of answers that strained credulity and veered into outright falsehood.
Brian Flood / Fox News:
CBS News' mysterious ‘retired newsman’ support adds to chaos surrounding ‘60 Minutes’ report on DeSantis  —  'Tossing in a vague reference to a ‘retired newsman’ is a weak attempt to find support for what was a journalistic blunder," Jeffrey McCall said  —  ‘60 Minutes’ reads comments from viewers about disputed DeSantis report
 
 
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 More Items: 
Laura Santhanam / PBS NewsHour:
Biden's poll numbers on the economy rival Trump's for the first time
Discussion: USA Today, Washington Post and NPR
Aamer Madhani / Associated Press:
The problem within: Biden targets lead pipes, pushes equity
Courtney Subramanian / USA Today:
Exclusive: Biden administration frees up $39 billion to help ailing child care industry
Discussion: The White House
Matthew Chapman / Raw Story:
Boston cop who bragged about ramming protesters with patrol car allowed to return to work: report
The Guardian:
Facebook planned to remove fake accounts in India - until it realized a BJP politician was involved
Geoffrey Skelley / FiveThirtyEight:
Few Americans Who Identify As Independent Are Actually Independent. That's Really Bad For Politics.
Discussion: New York Magazine
U.S. Department of Justice:
Maine Man Charged with Hate Crime Offenses for Arson of Predominantly Black Church
Discussion: WHDH-TV and CBS Boston
 Earlier Items: 
Kurt Schlichter / Townhall:
The Coming Backlash  —  So, a criminal with a warrant who resists arrest meets …
David Dayen / American Prospect:
The End of the Insider Party Network
Jordan Green / Raw Story:
Leaked chats reveal ‘National Guardsman’ and White Lives Matter organizer is forming new fascist group that wants a race war
madison.com:
3 teachers resign after investigation into slavery lesson at Sun Prairie middle school
Sarah Chaney Cambon / Wall Street Journal:
Jobless Claims Fell to a New Pandemic Low Last Week
Discussion: The Daily Caller and The Week