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4:25 PM ET, July 26, 2017

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 Top Items: 
Josh Dawsey / Politico:
Inside Trump's snap decision to ban transgender troops  —  After a week sparring with his attorney general and steaming over the Russia investigation consuming his agenda, President Donald Trump was closing in on an important win.  —  House Republicans were planning to pass a spending bill stacked …
RELATED:
Christopher Ingraham / Washington Post:
The military spends five times as much on Viagra as it would on transgender troops' medical care  —  On Twitter this morning, President Trump announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military, citing “medical costs” as the primary driver of the decision.
Jason Noble / Des Moines Register:
Ernst breaks with Trump on transgender military ban  —  U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst on Wednesday broke with President Donald Trump's call to bar transgender Americans from serving in the military, telling the Des Moines Register that anyone qualified should be allowed to serve.
New York Times:
Trump Says Transgender People Will Not Be Allowed in the Military  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump announced on Wednesday that the United States will no longer “accept or allow” transgender people in the United States military, saying American forces “must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory” …
The Hill:
Trump to ban transgender people from all military service  —  President Trump on Wednesday said he would ban transgender people from any military service.  —  Trump made the announcement, which would represent a major shift in military policy, on Twitter.  He said he had made the decision …
The Daily Beast:20 minutes ago
Trump Bows to Religious Right, Bans Trans Troops … On the anniversary of Harry S. Truman's desegregation of the military, President Donald Trump on Wednesday abruptly reversed the move to openly integrate trans service members.  The announcement came in the form of a tweeted edict …
John Bowden / The Hill:
GOP senators break with Trump over transgender troop ban  —  Multiple Republican senators broke with President Trump on Wednesday after he announced on Twitter that transgender troops would be banned from serving in the military.  —  In separate statements, GOP Sens. John McCain
Discussion: RedState and Talking Points Memo
Media Matters for America:   Before Trump banned transgender people from serving in military, here's who praised him as pro-LGBTQ
Abby Phillip / Washington Post:
Trump announces ban on transgender people in U.S. military
Jeremy Diamond / CNN:
Trump to reinstate US military ban on transgender people
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
A Trump Tower of Absolute Folly  —  Donald Trump's campaign against his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, in which he is seemingly attempting to insult and humiliate and tweet-shame Sessions into resignation, is an insanely stupid exercise.  It is a multitiered tower of political idiocy …
RELATED:
Mike Allen / Axios:
Jeff Sessions won't take Trump's hint  —  Attorney General Jeff Sessions doesn't plan to take the hint.  President Trump continues hitting him in all body parts — apparently hoping he'll resign, which could pave the way for firing special counsel Bob Mueller.
Warren / THE WARREN (HENRY) REPORT:
Tucker Calrissian Tonight
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
GOP scrapes for bare minimum on Obamacare repeal  —  Forget ripping out Obamacare “root and branch”: At this point Senate Republicans are just looking to get something — anything — through the chamber with a bare majority.  —  After managing to resurrect their repeal bid Tuesday in dramatic fashion …
RELATED:
Plain Dealer:   Sen. Rob Portman, you just let Ohio down: editorial
Oliver Darcy / CNNMoney:
Matt Drudge is firing warning shots at Trump, and that should worry the president  —  Conway: White House staff is tough, but humble  —  Matt Drudge has been in the White House an awful lot these days — “all the time,” as one senior administration official puts it.
Discussion: The Week and IJR
Eli Yokley / Morning Consult:
Many Republicans Doubt Clinton Won Popular Vote  —  A plurality of Republicans say President Donald Trump received more of the popular vote in 2016 than his Democratic rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  —  According to a new Morning Consult/POLITICO poll …
RELATED:
Steven Shepard / Politico:
Poll: Voters say Mueller ouster would be inappropriate
Tom Winter / NBC News:20 minutes ago
DOJ: Ex-Manafort Associate Firtash Is Top-Tier Comrade of Russian Mobsters  —  The Department of Justice has identified a former business associate of ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort as an “upper-echelon [associate] of Russian organized crime.”  —  The declaration came in a 115-page filing …
Discussion: Political Wire
Charles C. W. Cooke / National Review:
Mr. President, Please Be Quiet  —  Once again, Donald Trump has tweeted himself into the center of the day's news.  He does this almost every morning — even, perhaps especially, when he has nothing new to say.  Upon seeing today's efforts, I sighed and muttered “there goes Wednesday.”
Discussion: Viking Pundit
The Hill:
Welcome to The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful!  —  After receiving hundreds upon hundreds of nominations, it was tough to choose just 50.  —  But following a lot of debate, we finalized this year's winners.  —  There is one thing that's different than our prior lists.
Discussion: The Daily Caller and AOL
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Clinton book to double down on Russia, Comey message  —  's upcoming book will double down on Russia's interference and James Comey's involvement in her stunning election defeat, according to sources familiar with the memoir.  —  Privately, Clinton has told friends and longtime associates that she …
Stephen Rodrick / Rolling Stone:
Justin Trudeau: The North Star  —  He was raised in jet-set privilege but overcame tragedy to become Canada's prime minister.  Is he the free world's best hope?  —  Let's begin by synchronizing our watches.  We are in the Eastern time zone.  —  The legislative session is over …
McKay Coppins / The Atlantic:
Jeff Flake's Gamble  —  The constituents filing into the Mesa Convention Center one evening in mid-April for the Republican senator Jeff Flake's town hall had a decidedly un-Republican look.  Tattoos and political T-shirts abounded.  Activists stood near the entrance distributing stickers …
Timothy Gardner / Reuters:
U.S. energy secretary duped into fake interview with Russian comedians  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry optimistically discussed expanding American coal exports to Ukraine and other energy matters during a lengthy phone call this month with a Russian prankster who Perry thought was Ukraine's prime minister.
Michael Kruse / Politico:
To America, It Looks Like Chaos.  For Trump, It's Just Tuesday.  —  It started Monday morning with Donald Trump calling his own attorney general “beleaguered.”  It continued with an Air Force One flight to West Virginia and a rambling, partisan speech to thousands of hollering Boy Scouts.
Ryan Struyk / CNN:
Trump's approval is underwater in 11 states he won in November  —  Trump's ‘Make America Great Again’ rally in 2 minutes  —  STORY HIGHLIGHTS  —  Washington (CNN)More Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump's job performance than approve of it across 31 states nationwide — including 11 states that voted for him in November.
Discussion: Vox
MedStar Washington Hospital Center:
Condition Report: Rep. Steve Scalise  —  Congressman Steve Scalise has made excellent progress in his recovery from a life-threatening gunshot wound six weeks ago.  Yesterday, he was discharged from MedStar Washington Hospital Center and is now beginning a period of intensive inpatient rehabilitation.
 
 
 New Item Finder: 
20 minutes ago
The Daily Beast:
Trump Bows to Religious Right, Bans Trans Troops   Find
35 minutes ago
Josh Rogin / Washington Post:
State Department head of diplomatic security resigns   Find
35 minutes ago
Mark Joseph Stern / Slate:
This Is a Safe Space. No Jews Allowed.   Find
 
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 More Items: 
Billy House / Bloomberg:
Gowdy Acted Like Kushner's Lawyer Behind Closed Doors, Democrat Says30 minutes ago
Discussion: Politico and Weekly Standard
Josh Rogin / Washington Post:
State Department head of diplomatic security resigns
Discussion: VICE News, ABC News and USA Today
Mark Joseph Stern / Slate:
This Is a Safe Space. No Jews Allowed.
Discussion: Chicagoist and Red Alert Politics
Heather Long / Washington Post:
Trump has always had high marks on the economy. Now that's slipping
Brian M. Rosenthal / New York Times:
No Links to Cuomo? Their Ad Is Labeled ‘Client: Andrew Cuomo’
Elaina Plott / Washingtonian:
Eric Cantor: “If You've Got That Anger Working for You, You're Gonna Let It Be”
Danika Worthington / Denver Post:
In Denver speech, Michelle Obama urges women to seize their power while not hiding their scars
Discussion: The Root and Jezebel
WKBN-TV:
Police remove protesters from Trump rally
 Earlier Items: 
Lee Drutman / New York Times:
The Real Civil War in the Democratic Party
Fox News:
Russia probe: Democrats block key witness against shadowy firm Fusion GPS
Discussion: Daily Wire and The Gateway Pundit
A.J. Katz / TVNewser:
Former Fox Newser Andy Levy to Join S.E. Cupp's New HLN Show
Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed:
Everything That's Happened Since A Bunch Of YouTubers Got A Ship To Stop Refugees Getting To Europe
Michael Lewis / Vanity Fair:
Why the Scariest Nuclear Threat May Be Coming from Inside the White House