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First Read's Morning Clips

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day.
/ Source: NBC News

OFF TO THE RACES: Mo’ money, mo’ problems

The Washington Post sums up how money in politics is becoming an unexpectedly important topic for 2016.

The Wall Street Journal's lede from Nashua: "The biggest gathering yet of Republican presidential hopefuls this past weekend sharpened divisions in the broad field of candidates over the path to return the GOP to the White House, making the 2016 primary race a moment for the party to define its national identity."

CLINTON: The New York Times reports: " “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” by Peter Schweizer — a 186-page investigation of donations made to the Clinton Foundation by foreign entities — is proving the most anticipated and feared book of a presidential cycle still in its infancy. The book, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, asserts that foreign entities who made payments to the Clinton Foundation and to Mr. Clinton through high speaking fees received favors from Mrs. Clinton’s State Department in return."

Buzzfeed looks at the early, low-key approach that Clinton is taking, focusing on firework-less and well-controlled roundtables.

And POLITICO, on the campaign's new(ish) view of the press: "Reporters, in the eyes of Clinton’s new communications staff (made up of ex-Obamians and ex-Schumerians with a smattering of chronic Clinton types) are congenitally hostile — but they aren’t necessarily bad people, and it’s not their fault. They were born this way."

KASICH: On Meet the Press, Kasich said "all my options are on the table" for a 2016 run.

HUCKABEE: The New York Times writes that Huckabee's decision to run or not run might be "the biggest outstanding question about the Republican primary field."

RUBIO: He's arguing that Hillary Clinton has "no meaningful achievements" after her service as secretary of state.

PERRY: He's staffing up, adding to his policy shop with experts in health care, economics and foreign policy, Bloomberg reports.

WALKER: He could face questions about a Wisconsin-based super PAC run by one of his advisors.

Scott Walker wants to convince voters that he’s just like them, discount suits and all, writes the Washington Post.

WEBB: Jim Webb, over the weekend: "I think we've got a lot of incumbent fatigue in the country and people are looking for fresh approaches in terms of how to solve the problems of the country."

And around the country...

WEST VIRGINIA: Sen. Joe Manchin is staying put, announcing that he'll stay in the Senate instead of launching a gubernatorial bid.

OBAMA AGENDA: How trade is playing Ohio

The president's trade proposals might be a mixed bag in Ohio, writes the Wall Street Journal.

Here's the latest on Sunday night's latest White House fence jumper.

From the Associated Press: "Saudi-led airstrikes on weapons caches in Yemen's rebel-held capital on Monday caused massive explosions that shattered windows, sent residents scrambling for shelter and killed a local TV presenter."

CONGRESS: House-Senate Budget talks begin

The AP sums up the start of budget talks: "Cuts to Medicare and the health care law and almost $40 billion in unrequested money for overseas war-fighting operations top the agenda as congressional negotiators meet to begin ironing out a Republican budget blueprint for next year and beyond."

Sen. Bob Corker says Loretta Lynch will be confirmed this week.

The Wall Street Journal digs into the GOP divide over whether to use reconciliation to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

From Reuters: "If the U.S. Supreme Court blows up the tax subsidies at the heart of Obamacare in June, Republicans hope to deliver on their promise to offer an alternative healthcare plan. But key parts of it may resemble the one President Barack Obama delivered five years ago in the Affordable Care Act, partly reflecting Republican concerns that they could pay a political price if insurance subsidies are yanked from millions of Americans later this year."

Republicans are talking about another spending deal to lift budget caps and ease sequestration, writes POLITICO.


*** Monday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall speaks with GOP Strategist John Feehery and The Daily Beast’s Patricia Murphy about the day in politics, Washington Post’s Spencer Hsu on his investigative piece regarding the FBI providing flawed forensic testimony over a 20 year period, filmmaker Margaret Brown’ s documentary “The Great Invisible” about the Deepwater Horizon disaster , and Sons of Anarchy actor Theo Rossi about his new film at The Tribeca Film Festival: “Bad Hurt”.

*** Monday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell is on the road with the Clinton campaign and will report live from New Hampshire. She’ll interview Sen. Joe Manchin, the New York Times’ Patrick Healy, the Washington Post’s Anne Gearan and Chris Cillizza and NBC’s Kristen Welker, Pete Williams and Bill Neely and msnbc’s Alex Seitz-Wald.