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First Read's Morning Clips: An Avalanche of News

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
FBI Director Mueller Testifies At House Hearing On Oversight Of The FB
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller prepares for the House Judiciary Committee during a hearing on Capitol Hill September 16, 2008 in Washington, DC.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images file

TRUMP AGENDA: An avalanche of new Trump/Flynn/Russia developments

Reviewing all the biggest stories from the past 24 hours or so:

The New York Times: “Trump Team Knew Flynn Was Under Investigation Before He Came to White House”

Reuters: “Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians – sources”

The Washington Post: “House majority leader to colleagues in 2016: ‘I think Putin pays’ Trump”

McClatchy: “Flynn stopped military plan Turkey opposed – after being paid as its agent”

NBC News: “Flynn, Manafort Are Key Figures in Russia Probe Mueller Will Lead”

Here’s NBC’s Pete Williams and Ken Dilanian on the appointment of former FBI Director Bob Mueller as special counsel to oversee the Russia probe.

The New York Times checks in with Trump supporters, some of whom are entertaining some conspiracy theories about the latest news.

POLITICO notes that Trump is bringing some of his former aides back into his orbit.

The AP: “The appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel overseeing the federal government’s Russia investigation has dramatically raised the legal and political stakes and put Trump’s young presidency in dangerous waters just four months after he was sworn into office.”

But some Republicans in Washington are starting to back away from Trump, the Washington Post notes.

POLITICO: “Not since the release of the Access Hollywood tape, in which Donald Trump bragged about groping women by the genitals, have some conservatives thought so seriously, if a bit wistfully, about two words: President Pence. The scandals clouding Trump’s presidency — including, most recently, his firing of FBI Director James Comey, his alleged leak of classified information to Russian officials, and reports that he urged Comey to drop an investigation into a top aide — have raised once more the possibility that Trump could be pushed aside and replaced by Vice President Mike Pence.”

The Wall Street Journal: “The Trump administration’s often-stated goal to review the line between commercial and investment banking activities may be very different—and less onerous for big banks—than the industry fears.”

The worst job in Washington right now? Working for Trump. From the Washington Post: “Some White House staffers have turned to impeachment gallows humor. Other mid-level aides have started reaching out to consultants, shopping their resumes. And at least one senior staffer has begun privately talking to friends about what a post-White House job would look like, according to two people close the staffer… Privately, they say, the problem is not an incompetent communications shop, as the president sometimes gripes, or an ineffectual chief of staff, as friends and outside operatives repeatedly warn, but the man in the Oval Office, whose preferred management style is one of competing factions and organized chaos.”

OFF TO THE RACES: Reaching to the Russia Probe News

GA-6: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution looks at how lawmakers in the state – and the special election candidates – are reacting to the Trump news.

MT-AL: The Billings Gazette has the latest on what the Montana House candidates have said about the Russia fracas.

Bernie Sanders is campaigning for Quist over the weekend.

SC-5: It’s unlikely that a recount will change the results of the Republican runoff election, The State writes.

VA-GOV: A new poll from the Washington Post and the Schar School finds a very tight race between Tom Perriello and Ralph Northam.

The AP notes that Northam has outspent Perriello by more than two to one on TV ads.