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First Read's Morning Clips: The French Connection

Shown at the offices of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, is then-president David French, Aug. 17, 2005, in Philadelphia.GEORGE WIDMAN / AP file

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OFF TO THE RACES: The French Connection

Does Donald Trump need to worry about a third-party challenger? Benjy Sarlin and Jane Timm weigh in.

From the Washington Post on the David French draft effort first reported by Bloomberg yesterday: "If launched, a French campaign would almost surely be a quixotic endeavor that could draw pockets of Republican voters away from Donald Trump. And it would face steep logistical and financial hurdles, with many states’ ballot deadlines rapidly approaching."

A new Quinnipiac poll shows a close race at 45 percent for Clinton and 41 percent for Trump. (When Libertarian and Green Party nominees are added, the poll shows a two point race.)

POLITICO looks at the rut where Clinton's polling has been stuck.

On the schedule today, via the Wall Street Journal: "President Barack Obama plans to lean into the 2016 campaign on Wednesday with a speech outlining how he views the choice facing voters this fall. Mr. Obama’s remarks will be a departure from the selective approach he has taken on the presidential race so far—namely, criticizing the Republican field in response to questions about the campaign, White House officials said."

CLINTON: From the AP: " A veteran aide to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she discussed Clinton's private email server with a technical aide who helped set up and run the system, according to a court deposition released Tuesday by a conservative legal group."

She'll take on Trump's foreign policy credentials in a speech in California tomorrow.

"Close allies of Hillary Clinton are encouraging the Democratic front-runner to spend less time honing her attacks on Donald Trump — and more time focusing on a clear and positive message about her own campaign," POLITICO writes. "But the State Department inspector general’s report released last week has thrown an email-shaped road block into Clinton’s path as she attempts to whittle down her high negative ratings. And that has complicated the already difficult task of reshaping perceptions about a universally-known candidate."

SANDERS: Sanders-backing National Nurses United is spoiling for a fight at the DNC, the Wall Street Journal writes.

TRUMP: NBC's Alex Jaffe sums up how Trump University staffers sold the brand.

The New York Times: "In blunt testimony revealed on Tuesday, former managers of Trump University, the for-profit school started by Donald J. Trump, portray it as an unscrupulous business that relied on high-pressure sales tactics, employed unqualified instructors, made deceptive claims and exploited vulnerable students willing to pay tens of thousands for Mr. Trump’s insights."

And then there's this: "At least 11 veterans charities were paid by Donald Trump's foundation within the past week — donations that were made on the same day or after reporters began questioning him about where millions of dollars he says he fund-raised in January had gone."

And Politifact notes that Trump says he wanted to keep his fundraising for "veterans," but the facts don't really bear that out.

Sheldon Adelson is weighing the creation of a Trump super PAC.

The Washington Post editorial board worries about Trump's attempts to chill coverage of him. "The threats and personal insults show little regard for democratic accountability, the legitimate role of a free press in a free society and the importance of an independent judiciary."

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