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First Read's Morning Clips

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

OBAMA AGENDA: A different Abe (Shinzo) to address Congress

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be the first Japanese leader to address a joint session of Congress this week -- and he'll talk about his nation's role in global security. The Wall Street Journal: "When Shinzo Abe goes to Washington for a pomp-filled visit this week, the Japanese leader faces a delicate balancing act: selling Americans on his vision of the future—a newly vibrant, muscular, more equal Japanese partner—while trying to quell doubts stoked by his views of the past."

The New York Times explores the administration's efforts to take its cybersecurity pitch to a skeptical Silicon Valley.

The Washington Post ed board backs Obama on trade. "With a furious political battle over trade looming on Capitol Hill, it’s high time Mr. Obama personally and aggressively took on the phony arguments that “progressives” are marshalling in a desperate attempt to block trade measures whose merits would withstand honest scrutiny."

In rare comments on global issues, George W. Bush took on Obama's foreign policy, criticizing the Iran deal and his efforts to counter the Islamic State, writes Bloomberg.

CONGRESS: Will GOP amendments doom bipartisan Iran legislation?

"A bill to give Congress a voice in the nuclear deal with Iran is now endangered by Republican amendments that would peel away bipartisan support for a measure begrudgingly accepted by the White House this month," writes the New York Times.

More, from POLITICO: “Republican and Democratic leaders, who back the review bill, plan to muster enough votes to block any seriously problematic amendments while still allowing their members to take some political potshots. If they let through any bombshells that significantly undermine the White House’s negotiations, they risk losing Democratic support and the veto-proof majority that Corker has painstakingly assembled.

The odd media story around Harry Reid's New Years Day accident continues with this, from the Las Vegas Sun: "A Las Vegas man claims he started a false rumor that the injuries suffered by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid several months ago were the result of an attack by Reid’s brother, not an exercise accident."

OFF TO THE RACES: GOP struggling to adjust to gay-marriage landscape

Here's the Des Moines Register's wrap of the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition's Saturday cattle call.

Big picture, in the New York Times: "Republican presidential candidates are struggling to adjust to a rapidly changing legal, political and cultural landscape this primary season, as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments Tuesday on whether same-sex marriage is a constitutionally protected right."

BUSH: In Miami Beach, Jeb Bush told super PAC donors that they've raised more money in the organization's first 100 days than any other Republican operation in history.

CLINTON: Hillary Clinton writes a Des Moines Register op-ed: “When I came to Iowa, I wanted to do something a little different. No big speeches or rallies. Just talking directly with everyday Iowans. Because this campaign isn't going to be about me, it's going to be about Iowans and people across our country who are ready for a better future. It's not enough to just get by, you deserve to get ahead and stay ahead. And everywhere I went, I met Iowans with great ideas for how we can get there.”

The acting chief executive of the Clinton Foundation admits that the organization "made mistakes" in how it disclosed donors.

More, from the Washington Post: "Nevertheless, the foundation explained for the first time publicly that one of its affiliates — a Canada-based charity that bears Bill Clinton’s name — would continue to keep its donors secret because of restrictions in Canadian law."

Here's Savannah Guthrie's interview with "Clinton Cash" author Peter Schweizer.

CRUZ: The gay businessman who hosted an event for Ted Cruz has apologized for showing "poor judgment."

RUBIO: He detailed his immigration philosophy to the Des Moines Register ed board.

WEBB: He attended a private event with veterans in Des Moines.

And around the country...

CALIFORNIA: The New York Times looks at the divide between rich and poor in drought-stricken California.


*** Monday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall speaks with Nick Cienski survivor of the avalanche at base camp at Mount Everest, Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU Law School about SCOTUS taking up same sex marriage, Parker Molloy, transgender rights advocate and trends writer about Bruce Jenner, and Tim Smith, Jerel Maddox, and Kentrell Collins of Oxygen's new show: "The Prancing Elites".

*** Monday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Kristen Welker is filling in for Andrea and will have the latest on the Nepal earthquake with USAID Director of Foreign Disaster Assistance Jeremy Konyndyk and the United Nations World Food Programme Chief Spokesperson Bettina Leuscher, NBC’s Pete Williams and Brian Mooar, Clinton campaign surrogate Ann Lewis, Fmr. RNC Chairman Michael Steele, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and Bloomberg Editor Jeanne Cummings.