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OFF TO THE RACES: Exclusive details from inside Trump’s intel briefing

From NBC's investigative team: "As U.S. officials cast doubt on Donald Trump's claim he read the "body language" of intelligence officials at a recent briefing, NBC News has learned exclusive details of what unfolded in the room — and of reported tension between one of Trump's advisers and the briefers. Six current and former senior officials said they were aware of friction between retired Gen. Michael Flynn, one of the advisers Trump brought to the briefing, and the officials who conducted the briefing. Four sources with knowledge of the briefing — including two intelligence officials who spoke to people in the room — said Flynn repeatedly interrupted the briefers until New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie intervened. Both Christie and Flynn denied the officials' version of events, with Flynn calling the report "total b__s___" and Christie calling it "a complete work of fiction."

From Kailani Koenig and Vaughn Hillyard: "Sen. Tim Kaine received his first classified intelligence briefing as the Democratic vice presidential nominee in New York on Thursday, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official and two sources in the Clinton campaign, who all agreed to discuss the briefing on the condition of anonymity. Republican VP contender Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana will receive a similar briefing Friday, according to the same intelligence official and a Trump campaign source who also spoke on condition of anonymity. He will receive his briefing in Indianapolis, sources said."

Mike Pence said Thursday that it's "inarguable" that Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader than Obama.

From the New York Times: " Donald J. Trump’s campaign on Thursday reaffirmed its extraordinary embrace of Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, signaling a preference for the leadership of an authoritarian adversary over that of America’s own president, despite a cascade of criticism from Democrats and expressions of discomfort among Republicans." MORE: "In a fashion that would have been unheard-of for a Republican during or immediately after the Cold War, Mr. Trump has made improved relations with the Kremlin a centerpiece of his candidacy. And Russia has been a subplot of the campaign that Tom Clancy and John le Carre together may have been unable to conjure, complete with the apparent Russian hack of one of America’s political parties, a threat that Russian hackers may try to tamper with electronic voting machines, and Mr. Putin’s unsubtle preference for Mr. Trump over Mrs. Clinton."

Trump appeared on Larry King's RT show yesterday – to bash the U.S. press.

And from the Washington Post: "On Thursday, the full force of the Democratic Party, including President Obama, rallied around Hillary Clinton, saying that rival Donald Trump is unfit for office. On the Republican side, there was no such unity as lawmakers struggled with how to respond to the GOP nominee’s claim that Russian President Vladi­mir Putin was a stronger leader than Obama."

Hillary Clinton opened up about her faith last night to an annual session of the National Baptist Convention.

And, as the Wall Street Journal notes, she's aiming to project a more positive image.

Bill Clinton is spending time on the trail defending his legacy, the New York Times notes.

"Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, a thrice-married former casino magnate, is making an unusual promise to bridge the gap with evangelical voters," writes the Wall Street Journal. "He is calling for the repeal of a decades-old section of the federal tax code known as the Johnson Amendment, named after former President Lyndon B. Johnson, who as a U.S. senator spearheaded the ban on political endorsements by tax-exempt organizations such as churches."

Rudy Giuliani says that Trump now believes that Barack Obama was born in the United States.

POLITICO writes that more GOP insiders are saying that *maybe* Trump can win after all, but they're very worried about his ground game.

Donald Trump raised $90 million for his campaign and his party in August.

Where's Melania Trump? The Washington Post notes that she's largely disappeared from the trail.

The New York Times looks into Trump's implication that the integration of women into the armed forces is an underlying cause of sexual assault.

Tim Canova will challenge Debbie Wasserman Schultz again in 2018, Alex Seitz-Wald reports.