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First Read Flash: Chaos in Cairo

Deadly clashes break out overnight in Egypt. Plus: McConnell says shutting down the government wouldn't stop Obamacare, and more ad wars in the Virginia governor's race.
/ Source: MSNBC TV

Deadly clashes break out overnight in Egypt. Plus: McConnell says shutting down the government wouldn't stop Obamacare, and more ad wars in the Virginia governor's race.

NBC News has the latest on the deadly overnight clashes in Egypt: “Security forces began to clear two sit-in camps for supporters of the Egypt’s ousted president on Wednesday, sparking large-scale violent clashes that killed at least 15 people. Bodies, some of them badly burned, were recovered as tear gas and gunfire engulfed protest camps at Rabaa and Nahda in the Egyptian capital. Among the dead was Asmaa Beltagy, the 17-year-old daughter of Mohammed Beltagy, one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s top leaders.”

The New York Times take a deep look into the Clinton Foundation, and how its competing interests could factor into Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions. “[T]he changing of the guard has aggravated long-simmering tensions within the former first family’s inner circle as the foundation tries to juggle the political and philanthropic ambitions of a former president, a potential future president, and their increasingly visible daughter.And efforts to insulate the foundation from potential conflicts have highlighted just how difficult it can be to disentangle the Clintons’ charity work from Mr. Clinton’s moneymaking ventures and Mrs. Clinton’s political future.”

NBC’s Michael O’Brien reports that “a prominent conservative group marshaled new polling data on Wednesday to try and convince reluctant Republicans that forcing a government shutdown over ‘Obamacare’ wouldn’t necessarily harm the GOP, or cost the party control of the House of Representatives. Heritage Action for America – one of the conservative groups leading the charge to pressure Republican lawmakers against voting to continue government spending unless they can defund President Barack Obama’s health care law – said its new poll of likely voters in 10 relatively competitive congressional districts showed that forcing such a shutdown would not be fatal for the GOP in 2014.”

NEW JERSEY. In no surprise, Newark Mayor Cory Booker rolled to an easy win in Tuesday’s Democratic Senate special primary. He’ll face Republican Steve Lonegan in the Oct. 16 special general election to fill the remainder of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s term.

National Journal reports that GOP Gov. Chris Christie Christie will take a hands-off approach with Lonegan, with whom he has a tense relationship after their 2009 primary. “Christie allies expect the governor to offer Lonegan a formal endorsement, but don’t expect the governor to lift a finger to campaign or raise money for his party’s nominee or lend him support in his long-shot campaign against Booker for the October special election.”

VIRGINIA. The Washington Post‘s editorial board has hard words for Democrat Terry McAuliffe on questions over his former electric car company. “Mr. McAuliffe is a renowned fundraiser and a wealthy man. He’s leveraged his extensive political network with some of his money-making ventures, and he tried to do the same with GreenTech. That’s not particularly disturbing. But if the company is mainly smoke and mirrors — if it is little more than a visa mill launched to serve Mr. McAuliffe’s political ambitions — that is disturbing. Virginians are right to press him for answers.”

The Republican Governors Association released an ad yesterday hitting McAuliffe over GreenTech.

Bristol Herald Courier: “A political brouhaha erupted Tuesday over news that Virginia’s top fraud investigator is scrutinizing how the attorney general’s office has handled a series of federal lawsuits over natural gas royalties. The day began with a flurry of emails by state Democrats highlighting revelations reported by the Bristol Herald Courier that the Office of Inspector General is looking into whether a senior staffer for AG and GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli improperly advised lawyers for energy companies embroiled in a legal battle with Southwest Virginia landowners. It peaked with Cuccinelli sidestepping reporters’ questions about the state inquiry just moments after he unrolled his campaign’s educational platform during a lengthy event at a Richmond school.”

And McAuliffe’s latest television spot, out this morning, on the landowner probe.

Richmond Times Dispatch: “Gov. Bob McDonnell has returned tangible gifts from a wealthy political donor whose relationship with the governor is under scrutiny, a spokesman for McDonnell’s private legal team confirmed Tuesday. The spokesman released no other details about the gifts, including exactly what was returned or the value of the items.”

KENTUCKY. Pressed by his primary opponent to side with other conservative lawmakers. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) says a “government shutdown would not prevent the Affordable Care Act from being funded,” WYMT reports. McConnell: “The problem is the bill that would shut down the government wouldn’t shut down Obamacare…Most of it is permanent law and not affected by that. It also wouldn’t stop the taxes. Taxes that are going in on medical devices, taxes that are going in on health insurance premiums.”

MONTANA. More Democrats are passing on the state’s open Senate seat, where the party is still without a candidate. “Three members of a prominent Montana Democratic family – former U.S. Rep. Pat and ex-state Sen. Carol Williams, and their daughter Whitney – each has decided not to run for the U.S. Senate or House next year, despite pleas to do so,” the Missoulian reports.

SOUTH CAROLINA. The Columbia State: “State Sen. Lee Bright announced his candidacy Tuesday for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate, calling incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham ‘a community organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood.’” Bright, hitting the state’s senior senator for visiting Egypt last week at President Obama’s request: “During the (congressional) recess, when I would hope that he would be around folks in South Carolina, getting their feelings on so many issues that affect their lives, he has instead chosen to take his time to be a community organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood and that concerns me…He needs to spend more time listening to what the brothers in South Carolina have to say.”

IDAHO. Rep. Raul Labrador (R) told the Idaho Statesman he’ll announce today whether he’ll run for re-election to Congress in 2014 or challenge Gov. Butch Otter in the GOP primary.

SOUTH DAKOTA. Sioux Falls Argus Leader: State Rep. Stace Nelson “announced early Tuesday morning that he will be running for South Dakota’s seat,” challenging former Gov. Mike Rounds for the GOP nomination. “Nelson is an outspoken conservative who has clashed publicly with Republican leadership in the state House of Representatives, at one point being kicked out of the House GOP caucus.”

WYOMING. Casper Star-Tribune: “A new petition from Liz Cheney’s campaign calls on Sen. Mike Enzi, her opponent, to renounce an Obama administration move that could give members of Congress and their staff special treatment under the Affordable Care Act’s health exchange programs. On Tuesday, Enzi’s camp responded that he doesn’t support special treatment for lawmakers and that few members of Congress have been working harder to defeat all of Obamacare’s provisions than Wyoming’s senior senator, who faces Cheney in a Republican primary challenge for his job.”