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5:40 PM ET, February 23, 2018


 Top Items: 
Christina Wilkie / CNBC:
RNC started paying Trump campaign's rent at Trump Tower after it stopped covering Trump's legal bills for Russia probe  — The Republican National Committee has for months been quietly paying expenses previously covered by the Trump campaign in an arrangement that experts say is bizarre, but legal.
Discussion: Politicus USA and Raw Story
New York Times:
Rick Gates, Trump Campaign Aide, to Plead Guilty in Mueller Inquiry and Cooperate  —  WASHINGTON — A former top adviser to Donald J. Trump's presidential campaign indicted by the special counsel was expected to plead guilty as soon as Friday afternoon, according to two people familiar …
ABC News:
Former Trump aide tells loved ones of plans to plead guilty, cooperate with Mueller  —  This was a “gut-wrenching decision” for the ex-campaign official, a source said.  —  Feb 23  —  Corker reconsidering retirement sets up possible GOP battle with Blackburn  —  Corker could challenge Blackburn in Tennessee GOP primary race.
Margaret Carlson / The Daily Beast:
This Is the Law That Could Take Down Trump
Discussion: ABC News
Trump campaign aide Rick Gates pleads guilty in Mueller investigation
Discussion: Daily Kos and Joe.My.God.
Washington Post:
Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates expected to plead guilty and cooperate with special counsel …
Allegra Kirkland / Talking Points Memo:
Who Was In The Fateful Meeting That Rick Gates Lied To Mueller About?
Paul P. Murphy / CNN:
InfoWars is two strikes away from being banned from YouTube  —  Shooting survivor: I'm not a crisis actor  —  (CNN)InfoWars, a far-right media organization run by Alex Jones and known for peddling unfounded conspiracy theories, is on thin ice with YouTube after it posted a video that portrayed …
Julie Hirschfeld Davis / New York Times:
What Do Jotted Talking Points Say About Trump's Empathy?  —  WASHINGTON — For more than an hour on Wednesday, President Trump listened quietly to entreaties for action, personal stories of grief and loss, and expressions of raw anger, clutching a white notecard with talking points written on it.
Jake Tapper / CNN:
Sources: Coral Springs police upset at some Broward deputies for not entering school  —  (CNN)When Coral Springs police officers arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14 in the midst of the school shooting crisis, many officers were surprised to find …
Discussion: Raw Story, and Mediaite
Robby Soave / Hit & Run:   When Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Was Accused of Corruption, He Responded: 'Lions …
Ian Schwartz / RealClearPolitics:
FL Shooting Survivor Colton Haab: CNN Told Me I Needed To “Stick To The Script”; Entire Town Hall Scripted
CBS News:
Poll: Support for stricter gun laws rises; divisions on arming teachers  —  Nearly two-thirds of Americans support stricter laws on gun sales, including an increasing number of Republicans, but the public divides on the idea of allowing more teachers and school officials to carry guns.
Vera Bergengruen / BuzzFeed:
Guess Who Thinks Arming Teachers Is A Really, Really Bad Idea?  Military Combat Veterans.  —  “How to stand your ground when an aggressor is trying to kill you — that's not something that comes naturally to people.”  —  Reporting From Washington, DC  —  Some of the loudest voices opposing …
Jamelle Bouie / Slate:
Arming Teachers Would Endanger Students of Color
Eliana Johnson / Politico:
Trump directs Pentagon to schedule military parade for Veterans Day  —  President Donald Trump's plans for a White House-backed military parade are beginning to take shape.  —  The president has directed the Department of Defense to organize a parade that would take place on Nov. 11 …
Cristiano Lima / Politico:
Kushner's security clearance and access ‘up to Gen. Kelly,’ Trump says  —  President Donald Trump said Friday the decision over whether to give Jared Kushner a waiver on his security clearance will be “up to” chief of staff John Kelly.  —  “That'll be up to Gen. Kelly,” Trump said during a press conference at the White House.
In Trumpworld, every day is yesterday
Brian Mast / New York Times:
I Appreciate Assault Weapons.  And I Support a Ban.  —  The most important and unregrettable time of my life was the 12 years I spent in the Army.  I became a bomb technician because I wanted to save lives.  I nearly gave my own life for that — I lost both my legs and a finger …
Mary Ellen Klas / Tampa Bay Times:
GOP poll in Florida shows strong support for assault weapons ban
Discussion: Florida Politics
Yahoo Sports:
Exclusive: Federal documents detail sweeping potential NCAA violations involving high-profile players, schools  —  Documents and bank records obtained in discovery during the federal investigation into the underbelly of college basketball detail in meticulous fashion the expenditures …
Del Quentin Wilber / Wall Street Journal:
FBI Tip-Line Caller Said Nikolas Cruz ‘Is Going to Explode’  —  A person close to accused Florida shooter said she wanted ‘clear conscience’ if he ‘just starts shooting’  —  A person close to the teenager accused of killing 17 people at a Florida high school warned the FBI she was concerned he would …
Discussion: Business Insider and AOL
Polly Mosendz / Bloomberg:
MetLife, Symantec Dump NRA After Boycott Calls Grow  —  Companies that offered benefits to the gun group's members are dropping their association following the Parkland massacre.  —  A call to boycott the National Rifle Association became the top trend on Twitter as users …
Brad Davis / Omaha World-Herald:
First National Bank of Omaha ends relationship with NRA
Issie Lapowsky / Wired:
Gothamist Lives, Thanks to a Boost From Public Radio  —  AFTER BILLIONAIRE JOE Ricketts announced the shuttering of local news organizations Gothamist and DNAInfo last fall, readers across the country mourned the loss of the beloved sites, and worried about the vulnerability of journalism in the digital age.
Barkha Dutt / Washington Post:
Trudeau's India trip is a total disaster — and he has only himself to blame … How did Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the world's favorite liberal mascot — a feminist man, with movie-star good looks, a 50 percent female cabinet and a political lexicon that has replaced “mankind” …
Discussion: Sputnik International
Justin Terranova / New York Post:
Bullied NFL lineman posts shotgun photo, forces high school to close  —  Former Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin posted a chilling Instagram story that forced a high school to close. … On Thursday, Martin caught the attention of school officials with a story that featured a photo …
Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student  —  ProPublica obtained the chat logs of Atomwaffen, a notorious white supremacist group.  When Samuel Woodward was charged with killing 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein last month in California …
Discussion: Motherboard, Shakesville and Eschaton
Suzanne Barlyn / Reuters:
Insurer Chubb says will stop underwriting NRA insurance for gun owners  —  (Reuters) - Insurer Chubb Ltd on Friday said that it will stop underwriting a National Rifle Association-branded insurance policy for gun owners.  —  Chubb gave notice three months ago of its plan to stop participating …
Josh Horwitz / Quartz:
New York's Waldorf Astoria is now controlled by the Chinese government  —  One of the symbols of New York luxury is now in the hands of Beijing.  —  The Chinese government has taken control of Anbang Insurance Group, a Beijing-based conglomerate that has aggressively acquired overseas companies …
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 More Items: 
Associated Press:
Docs: Woman whose affair led rep to quit threatened husband
Discussion: Political Wire
Joe Perticone / Business Insider:
Conservative provocateur who tried to plant fake stories in The Washington Post says it's ok …
Andrew Restuccia / Politico:
White House on lockdown after vehicle strikes security barrier
Discussion: Axios and The Right Scoop
James Randerson / Politico:
Donald Tusk: UK Brexit position is ‘pure illusion’
Rachel Wolfe / Vox:
Read the full text of Trump's CPAC speech
Discussion: ABC News
Alice Ollstein / Talking Points Memo:
Data Clashes With Emotion As CPAC Immigration Panel Goes Off The Rails
Discussion: The Atlantic
 Earlier Items: 
Brenda Rindge / Post and Courier:
Summerville woman decides to take down Confederate flag she's flown for 7 years
Discussion: Raw Story and The Root
Associated Press:
Second Russian Athlete Tests Positive for Doping at Olympics
Discussion: The Big Lead
Charles C. W. Cooke / National Review:
My American Dream  —  This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something …
Paul Sperry / New York Post:
Yet another way Obama's spies apparently exploited the Trump ‘dossier’
Washington Post:
Mueller and Trump: Born to wealth, raised to lead. Then, sharply different choices.
Miriam Jordan / New York Times:
Is America a ‘Nation of Immigrants’? Immigration Agency Says No