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3:45 PM ET, July 16, 2017


 Top Items: 
Gary Langer / ABC News:
6 months in, a record low for Trump, with troubles from Russia to health care (POLL)  —  Americans give President Donald Trump the lowest six-month approval rating of any president in polls dating back 70 years, punctuated by questions about his competence on the world stage, his effectiveness …
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
By a 2-to-1 margin, Americans prefer Obamacare to Republican replacements  —  Republicans racing to pass a bill that would overhaul the Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare) certainly understand that their efforts aren't polling well.  In survey after survey, a majority of respondents view …
Washington Post:
Poll finds Trump standing weakened since springtime … President Trump's standing with the American people has deteriorated since the spring, buffeted by perceptions of a decline in U.S. leadership abroad, a stalled presidential agenda at home and an unpopular Republican health-care bill …
Mark Murray / NBC News:
Trump's Approval Stands at 50 Percent in the Counties That Fueled His Win  —  WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's job approval rating in the American counties that fueled his 2016 victory stands at 50 percent, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of these “Trump counties.”
Discussion: Political Wire
Esme Cribb / Talking Points Memo:
Trump Lawyer Blames Secret Service For Not Preemptively Stopping Jr.'s Meeting  —  Jay Sekulow, a member of President Donald Trump's legal team, on Sunday aired a new defense for Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised him damaging information on Hillary Clinton …
Discussion: ThinkProgress, IJR and Shareblue
Alicia Cohn / The Hill:
Trump lawyer: Secret Service wouldn't have let Trump Jr. take ‘nefarious’ meeting  —  President Trump's outside attorney Jay Sekulow said Sunday that the meeting between the president's son and a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign would not have happened if the Secret Service considered it “nefarious.”
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Kevin Dolak / ABC News:
Trump campaign paid Donald Trump Jr.'s lawyer weeks before Russian meeting was revealed  —  Almost two weeks before Donald Trump Jr. published screengrabs of purported emails indicating that he arranged to meet with a Russian lawyer, President Trump's re-election campaign paid $50,000 …
Trump lawyer suggests Secret Service vetted Don Jr.'s meeting
Discussion: Business Insider
Marshall Cohen / CNN:
Trump re-election campaign paid $50,000 to law firm now representing Donald Trump Jr.
Discussion: RedState
Jordyn Phelps / ABC News:
Russian lawyer obtained Hill hearing seat from former Florida Trump campaign chair's husband
Discussion: Associated Press and Politico
Yashar Ali / HuffPost:
Trump Campaign Paid $50,000 To Trump Jr.'s Lawyer Days Before Bombshell NYT Report
Discussion: Politicus USA
Michelle Cottle / The Atlantic:
Mitch McConnell's Heavy Health-Care Lift  —  Say this for the health-care circus: It has been a master class in how difficult and delicate governing (as opposed to mouthing off) can be.  Hill Republicans have had seven years to come up with a workable, palatable alternative to Obamacare.
Saisha Talwar / ABC News:
8 to 10 Republican senators concerned about GOP bill: Collins
Discussion: Politico
Michael C. Bender / Wall Street Journal:
White House Plans Messaging Campaign to Refocus Attention on Trump's Agenda
Discussion: Political Wire
New York Times:   Governors Give Chilly Reception to Health Bill Push
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
McConnell: Senate to ‘defer’ on Obamacare repeal vote
Sean Sullivan / Washington Post:
McConnell defers vote on Senate health-care bill as McCain recovers from surgery
Discussion: Political Wire
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
McCain's surgery puts Obamacare repeal vote in doubt
Discussion: Axios and ThinkProgress
Sean Sullivan / Washington Post:
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval still doesn't support the Senate health-care bill.  That's big trouble for Republicans.
Discussion: ThinkProgress and The Hill
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
White House unveils ‘Made in America’ week, though many Trump products are made overseas  —  PISCATAWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. — President Trump, whose company outsources the manufacturing of many of its products to overseas factories, is unveiling “Made in America” week at the White House to promote products made in the United States.
John Podhoretz / New York Post:
Hillary's White House would be no different from Trump's
David Wooding / The Sun:
TRUMP COWER Donald Trump begs Theresa May to fix a ‘warm welcome’ for his state visit - and says he won't set a date for it until he knows he's going to get ‘a better reception’  —  US President warns he will not visit until he can guarantee a good reception and pleas with Theresa May to help influence public
Alexa Corse / Wall Street Journal:
South Carolina May Prove a Microcosm of U.S. Election Hacking Efforts  —  There were nearly 150,000 attempts to penetrate the voter-registration system on Election Day 2016, State Election Commission says  —  To understand the scale of the hacking attempts against election systems …
New York Times:
Soviet Veteran Who Met With Trump Jr. Is a Master of the Dark Arts  —  MOSCOW — Rinat Akhmetshin, the Russian-American lobbyist who met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower in June 2016, had one consistent message for the journalists who met him over the years at the luxury hotels where he stayed in Moscow …
Discussion: Althouse
Julia Manchester / The Hill:
Caitlyn Jenner weighs run for Senate  —  Olympic gold medalist and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner is the latest celebrity to reveal she has considered lanching a run for Senate, telling radio host John Catsimatidis she is in the process of determining her future in activism and politics.
Brooke Seipel / The Hill:
Phil Donahue: Trump era ‘darkest political moment’ in history  —  Former talk-show host Phil Donahue on Saturday reflected on President Trump's administration, calling it “the darkest political moment in American history.”  —  “This is the darkest political moment in American history,” Donahue said on MSNBC's “AM Joy” Saturday.
Discussion: and IJR
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 More Items: 
Lisa Feldman Barrett / New York Times:
When Is Speech Violence?  —  Imagine that a bully threatens to punch you in the face.
Nicki Zink / ABC News:
Trump lawyer says president believes Mueller investigation is part of ‘witch hunt’
Tim Craig / Washington Post:
As opioid overdoses exact a higher price, communities ponder who should be saved
Discussion: Marginal REVOLUTION
Josh Dawsey / Politico:
Fate of Kushner's security clearance could ultimately lie with Trump
Discussion: Political Wire
 Earlier Items: 
Chris Buskirk / American Greatness:
Goodbye Joe Scarborough . . . Hello, Kid Rock
Discussion: TheBlaze and Rolling Stone
Richard L. Hasen / New York Times:
Don't Let Our Democracy Collapse
Deroy Murdock / New York Post:
The vote fraud that Democrats refuse to see
Reed Abelson / New York Times:
In Clash Over Health Bill, a Growing Fear of ‘Junk Insurance’
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Power Line
New York Times:
Trump's Re-Election Campaign Doubles Its Spending on Legal Fees
Discussion: The Hill and Raw Story