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Top Republicans are privately worried about a new threat to President Trump’s campaign: the possibility of Facebook pulling a Twitter and banning political ads.
Red flag: Kara Swisher, of Recode, the super plugged-in tech writer, predicted on CNBC's "Squawk Box" that Mark Zuckerberg will ultimately buckle on allowing demonstrably false political adds on Facebook: "He's going to change his mind — 100% ... [H]e's done it before."
Why it would hurt Trump: His campaign has mastered the art of using Facebook’s precision-targeting of people to raise money, stir opposition to impeachment, move voters and even sell Trump shirts and hats.
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told me: "We’ve always known that President Trump was too successful online and that Democrats would one day seek to wipe him off the Internet."
By the numbers: The Trump campaign has spent $15.7 million dollars on Facebook ads this year, according to data from progressive advertising firm Bully Pulpit Interactive.
Go deeper: "Where Trump's Facebook spending goes," by Sara Fischer.
The Democratic 2020 candidates drew more social media attention than ever in October — but were still swamped by President Trump’s ever-present dominance of what we share and debate, according to data from NewsWhip exclusively provided to Axios' Neal Rothschild.
By the numbers: The 2020 Democratic candidates picked up a combined 58 million social media interactions (likes, comments, shares) on stories about them. But that's dwarfed by Trump's 181 million, the NewsWhip data shows.
Between the lines: That Trump has this much share of attention is not just a consequence of holding the presidency.
The Trump administration plans to finalize a ban on almost all flavored vaping products next week, with exemptions only for tobacco and menthol flavors, sources familiar with the plan tell Jonathan Swan and Sam Baker.
Senior officials expect the FDA to issue its long-awaited guidance next week.
The new rules will likely prohibit the sale of all flavored vaping products except tobacco and menthol flavors.
A growing number of Senate Republicans are ready to acknowledge a quid pro quo on Ukraine, the WashPost's Rachael Bade and Seung Min Kim report.
Why it matters: This is an important story because it shows that even if Democrats show with certainty there was a quid pro quo, Republicans will still stand with Trump.
"MIT president Rafael Reif, in the latest fallout over the school’s connections to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, says women at the prestigious university feel belittled, minority and LGBTQ members feel excluded, and staff are bullied by star faculty," the Boston Globe's Deirdre Fernandes reports.
From the letter: "When — on top of the hard work they came here to do — many in our community contend with disrespect, exclusion, stereotyping, harassment and a structural lack of representation, it is clear we still have a long way to go to achieve our ideal of "One MIT.'"
Nats reliever Sean Doolittle, long known for liberal opinions and his willingness to share them, is the first player to say that he won't join the team at the White House ceremony on Monday, the WashPost reports:
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