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First Read's Morning Clips: Addressing the nation on Afghanistan

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: U.S. troops walk outside their base in Uruzgan province
U.S. troops walk outside their base in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan July 7, 2017.Omar Sobhani / Reuters

TRUMP AGENDA: Addressing the nation on Afghanistan

President Donald Trump will address the “path forward” in Afghanistan in a speech Monday night.

The New York Times: “President Trump, who has been accused by lawmakers of dragging his feet on Afghanistan, has settled on a new strategy to carry on the nearly 16-year-old conflict there, administration officials said Sunday. The move, following a detailed review, is likely to open the door to the deployment of several thousand troops.”

Military Times: “America’s annual joint military exercises with South Korea always frustrate North Korea. The war games set to begin Monday may hold more potential to provoke than ever, given President Donald Trump’s ‘fire and fury’ threats and Pyongyang’s as-yet-unpursued plan to launch missiles close to Guam. Will the allies keep it low-key, or focus on projecting strength?”

From one of us(!): “President Donald Trump’s job approval rating in three key states that helped propel him to the White House — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — stands below 40 percent, according to a trio of NBC News/Marist polls. In addition, Democrats enjoy double-digit leads in Michigan and Pennsylvania on the question of which party voters prefer to control Congress after the 2018 midterms, and they hold an 8-point advantage in Wisconsin.”

Breaking overnight: “A widespread search operation was underway Monday for 10 American sailors missing after their guided-missile destroyer collided with a larger oil tanker off Singapore. The USS John S. McCain is the second Navy ship in three months involved in a collision with a merchant ship from another country.”

The New York Times lays out the chronology of Steve Bannon’s exit from the White House.

The Washington Post: “Labor leaders, once courted by President Trump, are stepping up their campaign to turn workers against the White House if it does not deliver more on jobs and trade — and if it does not stop undoing Obama-era regulations.”

“Opening-round talks to remake the North American Free Trade Agreement revealed early fissures dividing the U.S. from Mexico and Canada, including a Trump administration proposal to require a “substantial” portion of autos and auto parts produced under the pact be made in the U.S.,” writes the Wall Street Journal.

The Washington Post notes that Republican committees have paid nearly $1.3 million to Trump-owned entities this year.

From the Center for Public Integrity: “Flawed System Lets Contractors Cheat Workers on Federal Building Jobs”

The New York Times: “Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian immigrant who met last summer with senior Trump campaign officials, has often struck colleagues as a classic Washington mercenary — loyal to his wife, his daughter and his bank account. He avoided work that would antagonize Moscow, they suggested, only because he profited from his reputation as a man with valuable connections there. But interviews with his associates and documents reviewed by The New York Times indicate that Mr. Akhmetshin, who is under scrutiny by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, has much deeper ties to the Russian government and Kremlin-backed oligarchs than previously known.”

POLITICO asks: Is Scott Pruitt on the campaign trail?

OFF TO THE RACES: Just how popular is Kid Rock in Michigan?

John Kasich says he’s not planning a 2020 run against Trump. “I don't have any plans to do anything like that. I'm rooting for him to get it together.”

GA-GOV: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Civil rights leader Joseph Lowery endorsed Democrat Stacey Abrams’ campaign for governor on Monday, calling her a leader who “puts people first and refuses to leave anyone behind.”

MI-SEN: Is Kid Rock popular enough in Michigan to win? One of us(!) takes a look.

NV-SEN: The Nevada Independent looks at how Latino activists in the state are working to keep the community engaged.

VA-GOV: Ed Gillespie told conservative activists to stand up against the “twisted mindset” of hate groups. More from the AP: “Gillespie made the remarks Saturday in Richmond. It was his first major speech since last week's violence. The Republican nominee for governor has taken fire from Democrats for not specifically condemning racially fraught comments made by President Donald Trump following the Charlottesville rally over a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Gillespie did not mention Trump by name during his speech Saturday, but said it was important for conservatives to reject the ‘evil’ that the hate groups represent.”