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12:00 PM ET, July 31, 2018

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 Top Items: 
Asawin Suebsaeng / The Daily Beast:
Rudy Giuliani on His Odd Cable News Blitz: I Was Trying to Kill a New York Times Story … Throughout Monday, President Donald Trump's lawyer and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani went on a chaotic media tour, with each subsequent interview seeming to atone or clean up for a key element laid out in a previous appearance.
RELATED:
Mark Mazzetti / New York Times:
How Trump Allies Shifted Their Defense as Evidence of Contacts With Russians Grew  —  WASHINGTON — In the days after the 2016 presidential election, Donald J. Trump's advisers had an unequivocal message about contacts between Russians and members of the campaign team: There were none.
The Daily Beast:
The 2020 Dem Class Is Already Frantically Making Moves Behind the Scenes … If you're a member of the media, Eric Garcetti wants you to know: He's thinking about running for president.  —  Late last month, the Los Angeles mayor sat for an hour-long interview with Vox's Ezra Klein to discuss the …
Veronica Stracqualursi / CNN:
Trump says Koch brothers are a ‘total joke’  —  Koch Network distances from Trump divisiveness  —  Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump railed Tuesday against billionaire conservative brothers Charles and David Koch, accusing them of being against key components of his populist agenda …
RELATED:
Washington Post:
‘A total joke’: Trump lashes out at Koch brothers after political network slams White House  —  President Trump on Tuesday lashed out at the Koch brothers, saying the conservative political funding network had “become a total joke in real Republican circles” and is “highly overrated.”
Discussion: ABC News, Vox, CNBC, Townhall, The Capitolist and IJR
John McCormick / Bloomberg:
Trump Calls Kochs a ‘Total Joke’ After Break With GOP Candidate
New York Times:
Trump Administration Mulls a Unilateral Tax Cut for the Wealthy  —  WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is considering bypassing Congress to grant a $100 billion tax cut mainly to the wealthy, a legally tenuous maneuver that would cut capital gains taxation and fulfill a long-held ambition of many investors and conservatives.
RELATED:
Damian Paletta / Washington Post:
Trump administration considers tax cut for the wealthy
Discussion: ABC News and The Week
Manuel Roig-Franzia / Washington Post:
In a new book, Bob Woodward plans to reveal the ‘harrowing life’ inside Donald Trump's White House  —  In the worldwide capital of leaks and anonymous dishing that is Washington, secrets can be almost impossible to keep.  —  But somehow over the past 19 months, the fact that America's …
RELATED:
CNN:
Bob Woodward's new book puts readers ‘face to face with Trump’
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Politico:
POLITICO Playbook: Inside Paul Manafort's lobbying world
Discussion: @thebudgetguy and Mediaite
Washington Post:
U.S. spy agencies: North Korea is working on new missiles  —  U.S. spy agencies are seeing signs that North Korea is constructing new missiles at a factory that produced the country's first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States, according to officials familiar with the intelligence.
Samantha Schmidt / Washington Post:
Trump administration must stop giving psychotropic drugs to migrant children without consent, judge rules  —  A federal judge on Monday found that U.S. government officials have been giving psychotropic medication to migrant children at a Texas facility without first seeking the consent …
RELATED:
Alan Gomez / USA Today:   Judge orders minors transferred out of immigration detention facility
Washington Post:
'He doesn't like bullies': The story of the 37-year-old who took over the New York Times and is taking on Trump  —  The new reporter was sharp, humble and eager to learn.  Arthur had snazzier shoes than his colleagues at the Oregonian, but this was the only hint that he was a Sulzberger …
Duncan Campbell / ComputerWeekly.com:
Briton ran pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign that helped Trump deny Russian links  —  A British IT manager and former hacker from Darlington ran a disinformation campaign that duped former US intelligence agents and provided Donald Trump with manufactured “evidence” to deny that Russia interfered with the US election
Adam Behsudi / Politico:
U.S., Mexico near an autos deal in NAFTA  —  With help from Doug Palmer and Megan Cassella  —  U.S., MEXICO NEAR AN AUTOS DEAL IN NAFTA: The United States and Mexico are in the final stages of reaching a deal on the automotive rules of origin section of NAFTA, two sources close to the talks told Morning Trade.
RELATED:
Heather Long / Washington Post:
Layoffs from Trump tariffs are piling up. So are calls for more bailouts.
Bloomberg:
Here's How America Uses Its Land  —  There are many statistical measures that show how productive the U.S. is.  Its economy is the largest in the world and grew at a rate of 4.1 percent last quarter, its fastest pace since 2014.  The unemployment rate is near the lowest mark in a half century.
WCCO | CBS Minnesota:
WCCO Exclusive: Al Franken's 1st Sit-Down Interview Since Senate Resignation  —  MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Sen. Al Franken returned to Minnesota for his first public appearance here since resigning from the U.S. Senate.  —  In an exclusive interview with WCCO-TV, he talked about how much he misses his old job.
Hugh Hewitt / Washington Post:
Even if you loathe Trump, vote Republican  —  We are just under 100 days from the Nov. 6 midterms, and Republicans are in much better shape than most prognosticators would have imagined even six months ago, much less than at the 100-day mark of President Trump's tenure.
Discussion: Contemptor and Mediaite
Edward-Isaac Dovere / Politico:
Tom Steyer's $110 million plan to redefine the Democrats  —  The billionaire investor is on a collision course with party leaders.  —  Tom Steyer has set plans to spend at least $110 million in 2018, making the billionaire investor the largest single source of campaign cash on the left …
Raphael Satter / Associated Press:
Russian secret-spilling site Dossier steps into spotlight  —  LONDON (AP) — Over the past three months, a handful of highly placed Russians have discovered their secrets seeping onto the web.  —  It happened to a Russian Interior Ministry official whose emails were published online in April.
Miriam Jordan / New York Times:
A Migrant Boy Rejoins His Mother, but He's Not the Same  —  Parents reunited with young children are reporting mental health issues.  One 5-year-old boy has started a new life with his mother in Philadelphia, but signs of trauma remain.  —  PHILADELPHIA — Before they were separated …
Terrence McCoy / Washington Post:
White, and in the minority  —  She speaks English.  Her co-workers don't.  Inside a rural chicken plant, whites struggle to fit in.  —  It was minutes before the end of the first shift, and the beginning of the second, and the hallways at the chicken plant swarmed with workers coming and going.
Discussion: Mother Jones
Jonathan O'Connell / Washington Post:
Trump intervenes in FBI headquarters project  —  President Trump has become personally involved in plotting a new FBI headquarters in downtown Washington, an interest that for now has left the project in limbo and the agency stranded in a building that no longer suits its needs …
Discussion: DCist and Blue Virginia
Marc Caputo / Politico:
Scott edges Nelson by 3 in Senate race poll  —  Outspent by nearly 3-1, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) is trailing Gov. Rick Scott by a marginal 3 percentage points in a new poll of what could be the most expensive U.S. Senate race in history.  —  Scott leads Nelson 47-44 percent …
Ken Meyer / Mediaite:
Jesse Watters: Trump Wants the ‘Best and Brightest’ Immigrants, Not 'Some Guy's Uncle from Zimbabwe'  —  The Five held a conversation on Monday about President Donald Trump's demands that Congress throw support behind an omnibus bill that will provide funding for tougher immigration policies.
Discussion: Splinter
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
This will never be normal  —  One of the current complaints of the Trump right concerns the treatment given to Alex Jones by Facebook, which has temporarily banned the Internet radio host for videos that violated “community standards.”  According to Lou Dobbs of the Fox Business Network, “freedom of speech [is] under attack.”
Ken Meyer / Mediaite:
Trump Hits Mexico for Murders and Praises Limbaugh While Watching (and Tweeting) Fox and Friends  —  Once again, Donald Trump is treating the world to his morning live-tweets about his favorite TV show, Fox & Friends.  And why wouldn't it be his favorite, when the segment above starts …
Discussion: Washington Post
Marcus Weisgerber / Defense One:
EXCLUSIVE: Pentagon To Start Creating Space Force — Even Before Congress Approves It  —  Within months, DoD will start standing up a new combatant command, a new space-procurement agency, and a new Space Operations Force.  —  The U.S. Defense Department this week will take the first steps …
Discussion: Mediaite, The Week and VICE News
Gabriel Sherman / Vanity Fair:
“He's Going to Fieldstrip These Guys”: Inside the Trump 2020 Campaign's Wild, Disorganized Attempt to “Keep America Great”  —  The president is running his re-election campaign precisely the way he governs—playing three opposing power centers off each other, and listening mainly to his own instincts.
Murray Waas / NYR Daily:
Flynn, Comey, and Mueller: What Trump Knew and When He Knew It  —  Previously undisclosed evidence in the possession of Special Counsel Robert Mueller—including highly confidential White House records and testimony by some of President Trump's own top aides—provides some of the strongest evidence …
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA and Raw Story
Press Association:
Manchester Arena bomber was rescued from Libya by Royal Navy  —  Salman Abedi, who killed 22 people in a suicide attack last year, was saved from civil war in 2014  —  The Manchester Arena suicide bomber was rescued by the Royal Navy from the civil war in Libya three years before he killed 22 people at a pop concert, it has emerged.
McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Feds examining suspicious money movements linked to Russian Maria Butina, associates  —  WASHINGTON  —  Federal investigators have traced a number of suspicious financial transactions involving Maria Butina, a Russian gun rights activist who was arrested July 15; a Republican operative …
Abbie Bennett / The Charlotte Observer:
Black civil rights champion who helped desegregate UNC dies at 94  —  J. Kenneth Lee was one of the first black students to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  His legacy has shaped the university, state and nation ever since.  —  Lee was one of four black students …
Discussion: The Root
Thomas Kaplan / New York Times:
Trump Is Putting Indelible Conservative Stamp on Judiciary  —  WASHINGTON — With another judge expected to be confirmed Tuesday by the Senate, President Trump and Senate Republicans are leaving an ever-expanding imprint on the judiciary, nudging powerful appeals courts rightward through …
Discussion: Political Wire
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
ICE officers demand Portland mayor apologize for ‘Occupy ICE’ chaos  —  Portland's mayor violated the Constitution by ordering his police officers to stand down, allowing protesters to menace ICE employees over the last six weeks, according to agency employees who sent a cease-and-desist letter to the city Monday.
Discussion: Fox News and Townhall
 
 
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 More Items: 
Noah Feldman / Bloomberg:
Collusion Isn't a Crime, But Aiding and Abetting Is
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
Avenatti Targeted in Person by QAnon, the Crazy Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theory
Elaina Plott / The Atlantic:
Hope and Change in an Alabama Coal Mine
Jeffrey Miron / USA Today:
Forget the wall already, it's time for the U.S. to have open borders
Discussion: New York Times and Weekly Standard
Catherine Rampell / Washington Post:
A winning theme for Democrats? Kids.
Wall Street Journal:
Trump's Lose-the-House Strategy
Discussion: Raw Story and POLITICUSUSA
Karol Markowicz / New York Post:
When will Democrats condemn the left's growing turn to violence?
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
Northern California wildfire 9th most destructive in history
Washington Post:
Families destroyed? Children orphaned? If only we had a Congress!
Axios:
Trump's primary power and contagion
Discussion: Politico
Michael Graham / CBS News:
Commentary: Could Democrat James Carville save the GOP?
Lindsay Wise / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
After right slams Yoder on immigration, he pledges to work with Trump to ‘fix this’
Brian Krassenstein / Hill Reporter:
House Judiciary Member Believes Trump Jr. & Kushner Will Be Indicted
George Packer / New Yorker:
All That's Left Is the Vote