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First Read's Morning Clips

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

OBAMA AGENDA: Another Secret Service headline

From the Washington Post: "A top member of President Obama’s Secret Service detail under investigation for his conduct during a White House bomb threat probe notified the agency this week that he plans to retire, according to officials familiar with his decision."

Saudi Arabia is vowing to match the same amount of nuclear enrichment capability that Iran can have.

The AP reports that trade deepens a rift between Obama and Elizabeth Warren, but it's not an entirely new rivalry.

CONGRESS: Let’s make a deal -- on trade

Frank Thorp writes that the Senate has reached a deal to vote early next week to give the president "fast-track" trade authority.

"The House on Wednesday easily approved a measure that would end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records and replace it with a system that would search phone date on a case-by-case basis," write Andrew Rafferty and Alex Moe.

A scoop from the Washington Post yesterday: "The state-owned oil company of Azerbaijan secretly funded an all-expenses-paid trip to a conference in Baku, on the Caspian Sea, in 2013 for 10 members of Congress and 32 staff members, according to a confidential ethics report obtained by The Washington Post. Three former top aides to President Obama appeared as speakers at the event."

OFF TO THE RACES: Jeb stumbles

BUSH: The big picture on the Iraq question, from the Washington Post: "The stumbles mark the toughest period yet for Bush’s still-undeclared campaign and have lit a fire under his likely GOP opponents, many of whom have happily proclaimed that they would not have authorized the Iraq invasion under those conditions. Many conservative leaders and pundits are also lacerating Bush as appearing unprepared to address an obvious topic and are casting him as a tone-deaf relic of the GOP elite."

And from the New York Times: "The uneasiness stems in part from the two men’s awkward relationship, which was never close and was often competitive. But it also reflects Mr. Bush’s challenge in trying to deal with a fractured electorate in which some conservatives cling to the former president, but he remains a focus of anger across much of the rest of the political spectrum."

Will he skip Iowa? Buzzfeed: "According to three sources with knowledge of Bush’s campaign strategy, the likely Republican presidential candidate does not plan to seriously contest the first-in-the-nation caucuses — and may ultimately skip the state altogether."

CLINTON: She's heading to Iowa again next week.

O'MALLEY: The Washington Post reports that the former Maryland governor will make an announcement about his political future on May 30.

RUBIO: He says he wouldn't have backed the Iraq invasion knowing what we know now, but he's also said in the past that the war's ultimate outcome made the world safer.

NBC's Andrew Rafferty reports on Rubio's foreign policy speech on Wednesday.

WALKER: POLITICO reports on some distrust of Walker among evangelicals. "Next week, the Wisconsin governor will travel to Capitol Hill to hold a private meeting with influential evangelical leaders, some of whom are expressing deep reservations about his track record on issues near and dear to them. Pointing to his past statements, and even his hire of a top campaign aide, they are openly questioning whether his views on abortion and gay marriage align with theirs and whether he’s willing to fight for their cause."

And around the country...

MISSOURI: "Text messages obtained by The Star reveal a sexually charged relationship between House Speaker John Diehl and a college freshman in a Missouri Capitol internship program that shut down abruptly last month."


*** Thursday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: Luke Russert fills in for Andrea Mitchell and will interview NBC’s Peter Alexander, Rehema Ellis, Pete Williams and Chris Jansing, the NTSB’s Robert Sumwalt, Rep. Chaka Fattah, the Boston Globe’s Kevin Cullen and Dan Shaughnessy and the Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus and Chris Cillizza.