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6:30 AM ET, November 18, 2019

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 Top Items: 
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Republicans Shift Defense of Trump While He Attacks Another Witness  —  With Gordon Sondland prepared to testify this week, Republicans backed away from complaints about secondhand information and instead offered a blunter defense: The president did nothing wrong.
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Erin Banco / The Daily Beast:
Gordon Sondland Stepped In ‘and Things Went Really Off the Rails’  —  “Erratic,” “very emotional,” and “lots of yelling.”  Those are some of the words used to describe Sondland's performance in a White House meeting with top Ukrainian officials.  —  Ukrainian officials arrived at the White House …
Rishika Dugyala / Politico:
Trump labels top Pence aide a ‘Never Trumper’  —  President Donald Trump on Sunday labeled one of his vice president's top national security aides a “Never Trumper,” a day after it was disclosed that she had said the president's July call with Ukraine was “unusual and inappropriate” in a deposition to Congress.
Devan Cole / CNN:
Republican congressman calls new details about Trump revealed in impeachment testimony ‘alarming’  —  Tapper to GOP lawmaker: How is this not witness intimidation?  —  Washington (CNN)A Republican member of one of the House committees involved in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump …
Discussion: PEN, Raw Story and WTVR-TV
Jill Colvin / Associated Press:   Pelosi vows to protect whistleblower in impeachment inquiry
Heather Caygle / Politico:
Pelosi has ‘no idea’ if impeachment inquiry will wrap by year's end
Discussion: The Hill and Axios
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
Conservative Group Fires Michelle Malkin Over Support for Holocaust Denier  —  Malkin's firing from Young America's Foundation marks the latest battle between supporters of Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes and more establishment conservative figures.  —  A conservative group cut ties …
New York Times:
President Trump Bet Big This Election Year.  Here's Why He Lost.  —  In Louisiana and Kentucky, Mr. Trump's political pleas appeared to energize Democrats and political moderates as much as his own base, sending turnout in cities and suburbs soaring.  —  WASHINGTON — When President Trump showed …
RELATED:
David Nakamura / Washington Post:
Back-to-back losses in key governors' races send additional warning to Trump and GOP ahead of 2020
Discussion: Raw Story and Outside the Beltway
New York Times:
Trump Retreats From Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes  —  Advisers say the president pulled back from proposed restrictions intended to curb teenage vaping after he was warned of the political fallout among voters.  —  WASHINGTON — It was a swift and bold reaction to a growing public health crisis affecting teenagers.
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Trump pulls back from flavored vaping ban  —  Everything seemed ready to go: President Trump's ban on most flavored e-cigarettes had been cleared by federal regulators.  Officials were poised to announce they would order candy, fruit and mint flavors off the market within 30 days …
Discussion: Axios and The Week
New York Times:
The Iran Cables: Secret Documents Show How Tehran Wields Power in Iraq  —  Hundreds of leaked intelligence reports shed light on a shadow war for regional influence — and the battles within the Islamic Republic's own spy divisions  —  In mid-October, with unrest swirling in Baghdad …
RELATED:
The Intercept:   Leaked Iranian Intelligence Reports Expose Tehran's Vast Web of Influence in Iraq
Karen Tumulty / Washington Post:
We need a second opinion on the president's health  —  The only thing of which we can be fairly certain about President Trump's mysterious Saturday-afternoon trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is this: The White House is not telling the truth when it claims the president was there …
Discussion: Raw Story
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Justin Baragona / The Daily Beast:
Chris Wallace Accuses Top Republican of ‘Very Badly’ Mischaracterizing Impeachment Testimony  —  “No, sir, they are career foreign service officers and these are people who worked in the Trump administration,” Wallace snapped back at Scalise.  —  Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace repeatedly …
Discussion: Occupy Democrats and Contemptor
Margaret Talev / Axios:
White House plans counterprogramming to distract from impeachment hearings  —  President Trump's public schedule next week is designed to keep him distracted from the televised hearings — and to counterprogram Week 2 of those hearings.  —  The big picture: Trump's schedule for the coming week shows …
Discussion: Raw Story and Breitbart
RELATED:
Alayna Treene / Axios:   Inside Democrats' Week 2 impeachment strategy
Kendall Karson / ABC News:NEW!
70% of Americans say Trump's actions tied to Ukraine were wrong: POLL  —  An overwhelming 70% of Americans think President Donald Trump's request to a foreign leader to investigate his political rival, which sits at the heart of the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry, was wrong, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds.
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Democrats don't want public to know origins of Ukraine probe like they didn't want public to know origins of Russia probe  —  Why are House Democrats stonewalling questions about the identity of the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower?  —  Start by taking them at their word.
Clare Duffy / CNN:
Conservative radio host says his show was pulled because he criticized Trump.  The station says that's untrue  —  New York (CNN Business)Conservative radio host Craig Silverman says that for three hours every Saturday, he wanted to talk about the facts of the Trump impeachment case.
RELATED:
Eli Artman / Must Read:
Kosher Food Drive Violates “Will of the Membership,” Student Union Suggests  —  University of Toronto's University College Building (The Varsity)  —  B'nai Brith Canada  —  TORONTO - A Toronto student union has refused to support a drive to make kosher food accessible on campus because its backers are “pro-Israel.”
CBS News:
Transcript: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on “Face the Nation,” November 17, 2019  —  The following is a transcript of an interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that aired Sunday, November 17, 2019, on “Face the Nation.”  —  MARGARET BRENNAN: Good morning and welcome to Face the Nation.
Jason Easley / POLITICUSUSA:
Joe Biden Leads By 8 In Georgia As Trump's Red State Collapse Grows  —  A new poll of Georgia shows former vice president Joe Biden leading 51%-43% over Donald Trump.  —  According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll, “In head-to-head matchups, former Vice President Joe Biden ran strongest …
New York Times:
A Sad Last Gasp Against Criminal Justice Reform  —  Prosecutors and police should honor the will of the voters and implement long-overdue changes.  —  The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values.
Shane Goldmacher / New York Times:
Michael Bloomberg Pushed ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ Policing.  Now He's Apologizing.  —  Ahead of a possible Democratic run for president, the former mayor of New York City reversed himself before an important party constituency: black voters.  —  Ahead of a potential Democratic presidential run …
RELATED:
Mara Gay / New York Times:
Bloomberg Apologizes for Stop and Frisk at Just the Right Time
 
 
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New York Times:
A Sad Last Gasp Against Criminal Justice Reform   Find
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New York Times:
Trump Retreats From Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes   Find
 
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 More Items: 
Mark Landler / New York Times:
Prince Andrew Talks About His Ties to Jeffrey Epstein, and Britain Is Appalled
Will Bunch / staff:
Marie Yovanovitch, impeachment, and America's last stand for playing by the rules
Discussion: USA Today
Michelle L. Price / Associated Press:
Reid: Iowa, NH not diverse enough to provide Dems' guidance
William J. Burns / The Atlantic:
Trump's Bureaucratic Arson
Max Boot / Washington Post:
William Barr's chilling defense of virtually unlimited presidential power
Joseph Curl / The Daily Wire:
Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Heads To Spain On Yacht Made From Petroleum Products
Discussion: Redstate
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
Mueller and Comey Failed Their Tests. She Passed Hers.
Josie Ensor / Telegraph:
Kurds watch their homes burn from afar as picture of ‘ethnic cleansing’ emerges
 Earlier Items: 
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Trump forces offer president clashing advice on Roger Stone pardon
Nick Timiraos / Wall Street Journal:
Lawmakers Dispute Impact of First Week of Public Impeachment Hearings
Discussion: Axios, The Week and The Hill
Michael Scherer / Washington Post:
Democrats fear a long primary slog could drag into summer
New York Times:
How Elizabeth Warren Got to ‘Yes’ on Medicare for All
Garry Kasparov / New York Daily News:
The truth in front of our noses: Donald Trump's behavior is disgustingly corrupt and impeachable …
Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller:
Steve Bannon Says He Pushed For Alleged Whistleblower To Be Removed From National Security Council
Discussion: Fox News
YouTube:
Days of Our Impeachment Cold Open - SNL
Discussion: The Wrap
Anna Louie Sussman / New York Times:
The End of Babies  —  In the fall of 2015, a rash of posters appeared around Copenhagen.