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First Read's Morning Clips: Here Come the Lawsuits

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
People gather in front of the under construction Trump Hotel to protest Donald Trump. Samuel Corum | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
People gather in front of the under construction Trump Hotel to protest Donald Trump. Samuel Corum | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

TRUMP AGENDA: Here comes the lawsuit over the Emoluments Clause

“Heavy-hitting lawyers plan to sue President Donald Trump in federal court Monday over business interests that they say put him in violation of the Constitution by receiving payments from foreign governments,” writes our team at “The nonprofit good-government group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, will file the suit Monday morning in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the organization said.”

ICYMI, from Sunday’s “Meet the Press”: “Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, said the White House press secretary gave "alternative facts" when he inaccurately described the inauguration crowd as "the largest ever" during his first appearance before the press this weekend.”

NBC’s Alex Jaffe: “Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, said Sunday that the president would not be releasing his tax returns, reversing months of repeated campaign-trail promises to do so after an audit is completed.”

Making headlines this morning: “U.S. counterintelligence agents have investigated communications that President Donald Trump’s national security adviser had with Russian officials, according to people familiar with the matter,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “Michael Flynn is the first person inside the White House under Mr. Trump whose communications are known to have faced scrutiny as part of investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and Treasury Department to determine the extent of Russian government contacts with people close to Mr. Trump.”

Writes the New York Times: “To the extent that there was a plan to take advantage of the first days of his administration, when a president is usually at his maximum leverage, Mr. Trump threw it aside with a decision to lash out about crowd sizes at his swearing in and to rewrite the history of his dealings with intelligence agencies. The lack of discipline troubled even senior members of Mr. Trump’s circle, some of whom had urged him not to indulge his simmering resentment at what he saw as unfair news coverage. Instead, Mr. Trump chose to listen to other aides who shared his outrage and desire to punch back. By the end of the weekend, he and his team were scrambling to get back on script.”

From the Washington Post’s media columnist, Margaret Sullivan. “The traditional way of reporting on a president is dead. And Trump’s press secretary killed it.”

The Wall Street Journal: “Mr. Trump is planning executive actions early in the week on immigration and trade, two White House officials said, and will have a chance to lay the groundwork for a trade deal during a meeting Friday with British Prime Minister Theresa May , the first foreign leader to visit the new president in the White House. He also will meet with congressional leaders on Monday and attend a lawmakers’ retreat later in the week, where he could discuss his legislative agenda.”

What’s next for the Women’s March movement? The New York Times: “The challenge facing the organizers is how to channel the resolve and outrage of an organic protest into action that produces political change. That goal has eluded other popular movements, from Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter. It is no less daunting now, given that Democrats were unable to defeat President Trump in 2016 despite an emerging demographic majority.”

“President Trump’s executive order instructing federal agencies to grant relief to constituencies affected by the Affordable Care Act has begun to reverberate throughout the nation’s health-care system, injecting further uncertainty into an already unsettled insurance landscape,” reports the Washington Post. “The political signal of the order, which Trump signed just hours after being sworn into office, was clear: Even before the Republican-led Congress acts to repeal the 2010 law, the new administration will move swiftly to unwind as many elements as it can on its own — elements that have changed how 20 million Americans get health coverage and what benefits insurers must offer some of their customers. But the practical implications of Trump’s action on Friday are harder to decipher.”

POLITICO: “’Alternative facts’ could kill, warn national security and other government veterans, and eventually could unravel the fabric of democracy and America’s standing in the world. This weekend, it was crowd size. By next week, it could be how many troops were killed, and who was responsible for the attack. Or how successful the American response was. Or whether there is an actual threat to homeland security that requires government action. Or even a dispute with a foreign government over a sensitive detail in negotiations.”

CONGRESS: McCain, Graham back Tillerson

From the Associated Press: “All eyes are on Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida as a Senate committee is poised to vote on President Donald Trump's nominee to be secretary of state. The nomination of Rex Tillerson got a boost on Sunday after two influential Republican senators — John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — offered tepid endorsements of the former Exxon Mobil chief. The focus shifts to the Foreign Relations Committee on Monday afternoon as the members, including Rubio, cast their votes on Tillerson.”

POLITICO writes on “the new Ted Cruz.” MORE: “He was supposed to battle Hillary Clinton for the White House. Now, he’s playing nice with the GOP establishment he once scorned—and making friends with Donald Trump.”