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First Read's Morning Clips: Examining Trump's Budget

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: Donald Trump
President Donald Trump acknowledges applause as he leaves the stage after speaking at a rally on March 15 in Nashville.Mark Humphrey / AP

TRUMP AGENDA: Examining Trump’s “America First” budget

NBC’s Ali Vitali has a look at Trump’s proposed budget, which slashes funds for the EPA and the State Department.

The New York Times analyzes the cuts: “To construct an “America First” budget, the initial trade-off for President Trump was fairly obvious: The military and veterans would get more of what they want or need, while diplomats and foreign countries would have to make do with less. But in his first spending blueprint since taking office, Mr. Trump also made choices demonstrating that parts of America will be more first than others — and some of the budget losers, it turns out, may be some of the very constituencies that have been most supportive of the new president during his improbable rise to power.”

Trump wants $1.5 billion to start the border wall, but many Republicans are skeptical.

The Washington Post: “President Trump’s governing blueprint represents the most ambitious effort to cut domestic spending and pare back the federal government since former president Ronald Reagan came to Washington in 1981. Whether it will come close to accomplishing the president’s ambitions is a far different question.”

From POLITICO: “The document, posted online at 7 a.m. Thursday, represents the most concrete translation of Trump’s nationalistic and populist rhetoric on the campaign trail into dollars and cents.”

Trump is slamming “unprecedented judicial overreach” after a judge blocked his second travel ban.

More, from the New York Times: “in a pointed decision that repeatedly invoked Mr. Trump’s public comments, Judge Derrick K. Watson, of Federal District Court in Honolulu, wrote that a “reasonable, objective observer” would view even the new order as “issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously neutral purpose.” In Maryland, Judge Theodore D. Chuang echoed that conclusion hours later, ruling in a case brought by nonprofit groups that work with refugees and immigrants, that the likely purpose of the executive order was “the effectuation of the proposed Muslim ban” that Mr. Trump pledged to enact as a presidential candidate.”

The president says he’ll present more information “soon” on his wiretapping allegations.

The New York Times: “In a striking repudiation, Republicans on Wednesday threatened subpoenas and vented openly about the lack of evidence behind President Trump’s tweet that President Barack Obama had wiretapped his phones in Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign.”

“The U.S. government’s indictment of Russian government officials in connection with the hacking of Yahoo Inc. casts new light on the nexus between Russia’s intelligence services and the world of cybercriminals,” writes the Wall Street Journal.

NBC’s Corky Siemaszko notes Steve King’s enduring popularity in Iowa.

POLITICO has a look at what House GOP leaders are doing to try to shore up support for the health care plan.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the existing policy toward North Korea for the last 20 years has failed.

Important news from overseas, via the Wall Street Journal: “The Dutch political establishment held on to power Wednesday, despite losing votes to anti-immigrant nationalists and other upstart parties, according to preliminary results published after the country’s most closely watched election in recent times. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s center-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy won the most seats, putting Mr. Rutte in a strong position to form a new ruling coalition. Mr. Rutte achieved his goal of finishing ahead of anti-Islam firebrand Geert Wilders , whose Party for Freedom wants to halt Muslim immigration and leave the European Union. The key to Mr. Rutte’s win was offering his own, gentler version of anti-immigrant populism during the campaign.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is warning Trump that NAFTA is good for jobs on both sides of the aisle.