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First Read's Morning Clips

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day

OBAMA AGENDA: Rebuking Bibi

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Obama issued a public rebuke of Benjamin Netanyahu for his statements about the prevention of a Palestinian state.

The Washington Post writes that Obama promised to curb the influence of lobbyists in Washington, but the real picture is a bit more complicated.

From the AP: "A purported affiliate of the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the mass killing of 29 soldiers last week in a southern city taken over by the country's local al-Qaida branch."

CONGRESS: Lynch’s stalled nomination has consequences

POLITICO looks at whether Loretta Lynch can avoid being viewed as damaged goods. "The danger to Lynch is that, if all people know about her is that she squeaked by with 51 votes, she could start her term with a tarnished reputation."

The New York Times notes that the shadow of the prosecution of Sen. Ted Stevens looms over the investigation of Robert Menendez.

Roll Call has a look at how Democrats hope to counterprogram the GOP budget battle.

OFF TO THE RACES: A glimpse at some of Hillary’s emails

CLINTON: The New York Times talks to officials who got a glimpse at some of Clinton's Benghazi-related emails, which reveal some of her concerns over the fallout from the attacks.

Ready for Hillary will dissolve as soon as Clinton formally announces, The Hill reports.

CRUZ: Here's our report on Ted Cruz's announcement that he'll seek the presidency.

And here's Perry Bacon Jr. with a look at whether he can win.

On Meet the Press, California Gov. Jerry Brown called Ted Cruz "unfit to be running" for president because of his position on climate change.

The New York Times writes: "By becoming the first candidate to declare himself officially in the race, Republicans briefed on his strategy said, Mr. Cruz hopes to reclaim the affection and attention of those on the party’s right wing who have begun eyeing other contenders, particularly Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin."

WALKER: The Washington Post's Phil Rucker, from South Carolina: "As hundreds of likely GOP primary voters took their first look at Walker here last week, many said he has the qualities they hope to see in the GOP’s next standard-bearer. They acknowledged they know very little about Walker yet said they are ready to vote him into the White House."

WARREN: The Boston Globe minces no words, in an op-ed: "While Warren has repeatedly vowed that she won’t run for president herself, she ought to reconsider. And if Warren sticks to her refusal, she should make it her responsibility to help recruit candidates to provide voters with a vigorous debate on her signature cause, reducing income inequality, over the next year."

And around the country...

FLORIDA: Democrat Patrick Murphy will run for Marco Rubio's Senate seat.

NEW YORK: The New York Times reports on protests against Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to link teacher evaluations more closely to student test scores.


*** Friday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall speaks with Former Governor of PA Ed Rendell, Republican Strategist Steve Deace, and Houston Chronicle Reporter Teddy Schleifer about Ted Cruz announcing he will run for President, and actresses Karidja Toure and Assa Sylla about their roles in the Sundance hit: “Girlhood”.

*** Friday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell will interview Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, the New York Times’ Scott Shane, USA Today’s Susan Page, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein, MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt and NBC’s Ron Mott.