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First Read's Morning Clips: Flynn and Yates Back in the Headlines

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: FILE: Acting Attorney General Orders Justice Department Not To Defend Executive Order On Immigration
FILE: JANUARY 30, 2017: According to reports, acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates has ordered the Justice Department not to defend President Donald Trump's recent executive order blocking immigrants and refugees from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia from entering the United States. WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 28: Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates speaks during a press conference at the Department of Justice on June 28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Volkswagen has agreed to nearly $15 billion in a settlement over emissions cheating on its diesel vehicles. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)Pete Marovich / Getty Images

TRUMP AGENDA: Yates’ testimony puts Russia and Flynn back into the spotlight

From NBC’s Pete Williams: “Candidate Donald Trump's calls for a ban on Muslim immigration are at the heart of a challenge to his revised executive order restricting travel, to be considered Monday by a federal appeals court. To those who successfully sued to stop enforcement, his statements are clear proof that the order was based on religious discrimination. But to the Trump administration, they are irrelevant, because all that counts is what the president said and did after he took the oath of office. The government is urging the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, to lift a stay imposed by a federal judge in Maryland on March 16 blocking the administration from carrying out the executive order. The full 15-member court will consider the appeal, bypassing the normal first step of a hearing before a three-judge panel.”

The big news overseas yesterday — Emmanuel Macron’s victory over Marine Le Pen in France. “The remarkable ascendancy of Emmanuel Macron — who has never held public office — has thrown a spotlight on centrist politics at a time of extreme polarization as well as the former teacher 24 years his senior who will be France's new first lady. The independent candidate comfortably won Sunday's presidential election. Macron caused a political earthquake by emerging as the top challenger to far-right populist Marine Le Pen, breaking the post-World War II stranglehold of the mainstream parties with his new "En Marche!" movement.”

More from the New York Times: “The French presidential runoff transcended national politics. It was globalization against nationalism. It was the future versus the past. Open versus closed. But in his resounding victory on Sunday night, Emmanuel Macron, the centrist who has never held elected office, won because he was the beneficiary of a uniquely French historic and cultural legacy, where many voters wanted change but were appalled at the type of populist anger that had upturned politics in Britain and the United States.”

Happening today: Sally Yates testifies on the Hill.

NBC’s Jane Timm looked at places where Trump could start fulfilling his pledge to rebuild America.

The Wall Street Journal, on the continuing health care fight. “The White House is hoping to harness insurance-market woes in some states to help lift the GOP’s health-care measure over the remaining hurdles in Congress, a strategy that reflects President Donald Trump’s own high-stakes approach to deal-making.”

Yesterday on Meet the Press, HHS Secretary Tom Price defended the health care legislation.

The New York Times notes how Republicans are no longer touting their efforts to fight the expansion of the so-called welfare state, focusing instead on health policy.

Former President Barack Obama is calling on members of the Senate to have the “political courage” not to repeal Obamacare.

A flood of health care ads is coming.

Alex Seitz-Wald traveled to Rep. Carlos Curbelo’s district to ask about his vote in favor of the health care bill.

NBC’s Kate Snow interviewed former GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.

SNOW: “There's a lot of concern um from opponents of this House bill that it that it leaves people with pre-existing conditions in the lurch. That they're gonna now because states are maybe gonna be in charge of them, put them in high risk pools, that they will end up paying more for their insurance. Does that concern you?”FIORINA: “Well it would concern me if there was no way to help people with pre-existing conditions. Obviously it's critically important that we do. On the other hand, high risk pools have worked in states before and I think it is the right answer for folks.”

The Washington Post: “A much-criticized visa program that allows foreigners to win fast-track immigration in return for investing $500,000 in U.S. properties was extended in a bill signed by President Trump just one day before a sister of senior White House adviser Jared Kushner pitched the program to Chinese investors.”

POLITICO reminds us: Don’t forget about the looming fiscal cliff.

“Having filled a Supreme Court vacancy, President Trump is turning his attention to the more than 120 openings on the lower federal courts. On Monday, he will announce a slate of 10 nominees to those courts, a senior White House official said, the first in what could be near monthly waves of nominations,” writes the New York Times.

OFF TO THE RACES: The most expensive House race in history (and we still have a month and a half to go)

GA-06: The Ossoff-Handel race is already poised to be the most expensive House race in history.

Ossoff got engaged to his longtime girlfriend.

Jennifer Rubin wonders if Ossoff has already won the contest in the wake of Thursday’s health care vote on the Hill.

MT-AL: A Democratic poll found that Republican Greg Gianforte is leading Rob Quist by single digits.

VA-GOV: The Virginian-Pilot looks at the candidates’ tax plans.