First Read's Morning Clips: Heller Gets a Primary Challenger

Image: Dean Heller, Rick Harrison
Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., center, shares a laugh with Rick Harrison, who appears on the television show Pawn Stars, right, as they arrive for a reception for Senators and their spouses in the East Room of the White House, on March 28, 2017, in Washington.Andrew Harnik / AP file

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TRUMP AGENDA: Government report contradicts Trump on climate change

In the New York Times: “The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration. The draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. It directly contradicts claims by President Trump and members of his cabinet who say that the human contribution to climate change is uncertain, and that the ability to predict the effects is limited.”

The Washington Post: “Corporate uncertainty about whether the Trump administration will be able to deliver on numerous promises — including tax cuts, health care, a China crackdown and infrastructure — has forced many companies to put important hiring and investment decisions on hold, potentially crimping an economic expansion that appears ready to accelerate.”

A new CBS poll finds that Americans are uneasy about North Korea and the president’s fitness to handle the escalating situation there.

And a new CNN poll shows Trump’s approval rating dipping to 38 percent.

The New York Times, on Mike Pompeo: “All C.I.A. directors must balance the political demands of the president they serve with the agency’s avowedly apolitical idea of itself. Yet rarely has a director had to straddle so wide a breach as has Mr. Pompeo, perhaps the most openly political spy chief in a generation — and one of President Trump’s favorite cabinet members. Unlike past directors, who typically sought to avoid policy discussions, Mr. Pompeo readily joins in when the president asks for his opinion, even on matters far afield of national security, such as health care. And he brings to the table the views of a former congressman first elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010 who staked out ground on the far right of the Republican Party.”

POLITICO notes that the Trump White House is approaching some centrist Democrats as it charts a course for tax reform.

The Washington Post notes that Trump’s criticisms of Richard Blumenthal highlight his own lack of military service.

NBC’s Ali Vitali reports on Trump’s weekly Facebook broadcast.

OFF TO THE RACES: Heller gets a GOP primary opponent

From David Wasserman, on Democrats’ map problem: “The Senate hasn’t had such a strong pro-GOP bias since the ratification of direct Senate elections in 1913 … Even if Democrats were to win every single 2018 House and Senate race for seats representing places that Hillary Clinton won or that Trump won by less than 3 percentage points — a pretty good midterm by historical standards — they could still fall short of the House majority and lose five Senate seats.”

POLITICO writes that some Democrats are alarmed that Bernie Sanders may have an appetite for primary challenges to moderates who don’t support a Medicare-for-all health care plan.

AL-SEN: Chuck Norris endorsed Roy Moore.

MO-SEN: GOP state Rep. Marsha Haefner is thinking about getting into the primary.

NV-SEN: Danny Tarkanian announced a primary challenge to Dean Heller on Fox News.

The Senate Leadership Fund says it will spend seven figures to defend Heller.

VA-GOV: Ralph Northam is calling for the decriminalization of marijuana.

WI-GOV: Democratic state Rep. Dana Wachs says he’s running for governor.

WV-SEN: Joe Manchin says this: “Don’t care if I get elected, don’t care if I get defeated, how about that. If they think because I’m up for election, that I can be wrangled into voting for s--t that I don’t like and can’t explain, they’re all crazy.”