First Read Morning Clips: President to Eulogize Charleston Victim

Image: U.S. President Obama addresses joint news conference at the White House in Washington
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in the East Room of the White House in Washington April 17, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan ErnstJONATHAN ERNST / Reuters

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OBAMA AGENDA: President to eulogize Charleston victim

The president will head to Charleston on Friday to deliver the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of nine people killed in last week's shootings, NBC’s Alex Johnson and Kristin Donnelly report. First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Biden will also attend.

The White House on Monday defended the president’s use of the N word in a podcast interview, TIME writes.

“Mr. Obama’s prospects for a legacy of expanding health care coverage in the United States for generations have never seemed as uncertain as they do today,” the New York Time reports.

At a dinner to celebrate Ramadan at the White House on Monday, Obama lamented a “distorted impression” of Muslims, the Hill writes.

CONGRESS: Another (and last?) trade showdown

“Backers of President Barack Obama's trade agenda are imploring key senators to stand by their previous votes when they revisit the issue in a showdown set for Tuesday,” the AP reports.

Per Politico: A key bloc of conservatives “is irate at what one called a ‘culture of punishment’ that Speaker John Boehner’s leadership team has instituted against dissenting members.”

OFF TO THE RACES: Hillary’s big lead in Dem race

NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll: Hillary Clinton is leading her nearest Democratic competitor by a whopping 60 points, but 62 percent of Democratic primary voters want her to have a challenging primary.

“American politicians, from Republicans in South Carolina to President Barack Obama, are increasingly addressing issues of race in frank terms, spurred by a series of racially charged incidents across the country,” NBC’s Perry Bacon reports.

Democratic super PAC American Bridge “is planning to invest heavily in efforts to tie Republican candidates to the Koch brothers, oil tycoons whom Democrats have maligned in the last three national elections,” the New York Times reports.

Three Republican presidential candidates are returning contributions from the leader of a hate group believed to have inspired the alleged shooter in Charleston, one of us wrote.

The New York Times does a deep dive on the hate group and its political connections.

BUSH: The Washington Post looks back at Bush’s emails dealing with his removal of the Confederate flag outside the Florida statehouse.

CHAFEE: On Fox News, he sought to counter the notion that Clinton is the inevitable nominee.

The former Rhode Island governor also spoke to the Skimm, revealing that he was dorm mates with Jeb Bush in 10th grade and doubling down on the metric system.

CHRISTIE: A new PublicMind poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University shows just how far the New Jersey governor’s fortunes have fallen in recent years.

He is beefing up staff in New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Union Leader.

CLINTON: While the GOP struggles to address race, Clinton is taking the issue head on, the Washington Post writes.

The Wall Street Journal reports on a new batch of emails released Monday that reveal more about the relationship between Clinton and ally Sidney Blumenthal.

PAUL: The Kentucky senator was “out of pocket” when asked his thoughts on the Confederate flag, the Washington Post reports.

SANDERS: The Vermont senator is adding staff in Iowa, the Quad-City Times reports.

WALKER: After battling the unions, the Wisconsin governor is now setting his sights on college professors, the Los Angeles Times reports.

And around the country…

Columbia, South Carolina’s Post and Courier headline: Gov. Nikki Haley joins call to remove Confederate flag

But, the paper reports, “Deep, strong feelings exist on both sides of the Confederate flag debate, but a majority of South Carolina lawmakers dodged attempts on Monday to pin down where they stand on removing the flag from the Statehouse grounds.”

“Gov. Larry Hogan disclosed Monday he's been diagnosed with a ‘very advanced and very aggressive’ cancer that has spread throughout his body,” the Baltimore Sun reports.

PROGRAMMING NOTES.

*** Tuesday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall speaks with Professor of history at Stony Brook University and Former public historian at the Avery Research Center, College of Charleston VA Robert Chase regarding taking down the Confederate flag that currently flies over the Statehouse in Charleston SC, Contributor to The Daily Beast Robert Silverman about Tom Brady meeting with the NFL to appeal his suspension for deflating footballs during last year’s playoffs, and Former co-executive producer of "America's Most Wanted" Philip Lerman about latest on the manhunt for two fugitives who escaped the Clinton Correction facility in NY.

*** Tuesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell will interview Rep. Elijah Cummings, Fmr. Ambassador Michael Oren, Southern Poverty Law Center Pres. Richard Cohen, Fmr. FBI Profiler Candice Delong, the New York Times’ Jeremy Peters, msnbc’s Alex Seitz-Wald, NBC’s Craig Melvin and Stephanie Gosk.

*** Tuesday’s “Live with Thomas Roberts” line-up: SC State Rep. Mia McLeod and Marc Morial will join live to discuss confederate flag controversy, criminal justice prof. Jeffrey Ross will be here to analyze Matt Lauer’s interview with Lyle Mitchell, and retired U.S. Marshal Lenny DePaul and fmr. Convict Larry Lawton will join to discuss the latest manhunt leads.

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