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First Read's Morning Clips: Kushner Back in the Spotlight

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: Jared Kushner Makes A Statement To The Media At The White House
White House Senior Advisor and President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner walks out of the West Wing to read a statement after testifying behind closed doors to the Senate Intelligence Committee about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election at the White House July 24, 2017 in Washington, DC.Mark Wilson / Getty Images

TRUMP AGENDA: Kushner returns to the spotlight

The Wall Street Journal: “Some of President Donald Trump’s lawyers earlier this summer concluded that Jared Kushner should step down as senior White House adviser because of possible legal complications related to a probe of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election and aired concerns about him to the president, people familiar with the matter said.”

Donald Trump will host six senators from both parties at the White House tonight. In the Washington Post: “The dinner is set to include three moderate Democrats — Sen. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), and Joe Manchin III (W.Va.), as well as three senior Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee: Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (Utah), Patrick J. Toomey (Pa.) and John Thune (S.D.), according to aides in both parties who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the dinner. One aide suggested the White House planned to announce the meeting early Tuesday.”

Official this morning, per NBC News’ Peter Alexander: “Hope Hicks, who has been serving as interim communications director, will now lead the communications team on a permanent basis, according to Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Hicks becomes the third permanent communications director, officially replacing Anthony Scaramucci, who lasted less than two weeks.”

“Shortly after Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, finished taping his “60 Minutes” interview, a top Bannon aide texted White House Communications Director Hope Hicks to enthuse about the upcoming show,” writes the Washington Post. “Bannon, the aide wrote, had offered an “epic” defense of the president, according to three people with knowledge of the exchange. But after the interview aired Sunday evening on CBS, the reality was a bit more complicated.”

“Key members of Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory are now focused on influencing the president from outside of the White House, recently departed White House aide Sebastian Gorka said Monday, predicting further staff shake-ups to come.”

From the LA Times: “Mexico on Monday withdrew its offer of aid to the United States to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, saying those resources are now needed at home as Mexico recovers from a separate hurricane and a devastating earthquake… Trump did not offer condolences to Mexico after either disaster, as is common when tragedies befall U.S. allies, even as multiple American mayors and governors offered their sympathies and help. Nor did Trump offer U.S. aid to Mexico.”

The New York Times: “Back in March, when President Trump released the first draft of his budget proposal for the coming fiscal year, he asked lawmakers for deep cuts to one of their favorite institutions, the National Institutes of Health — part of a broad reordering of priorities, away from science and social spending, toward defense and border security. Six months later, Congress has not only rejected the president’s N.I.H. proposal; lawmakers from both parties have joined forces to increase spending on biomedical research — and have bragged about it.”

Mitch McConnell says Democrats were premature in celebrating their spending deal with Trump, telling the New York Times “The deal is not quite as good as my counterpart thought it was.”

McConnell also says that no new debt ceiling vote will be necessary until “well into 2018.”

Republican lawmakers are frustrated by a lack of details about Trump’s tax plan, POLITICO notes.

The New York Times reviews Hillary Clinton’s book: “’What Happened’ is not one book, but many. It is a candid and blackly funny account of her mood in the direct aftermath of losing to Donald J. Trump. It is a post-mortem, in which she is both coroner and corpse. It is a feminist manifesto. It is a score-settling jubilee. It is a rant against James B. Comey, Bernie Sanders, the media, James B. Comey, Vladimir Putin and James B. Comey. It is a primer on Russian spying. It is a thumping of Trump. (“I sometimes wonder: If you add together his time spent on golf, Twitter and cable news,” she writes, “what’s left?”)”

“The controversy over a rule restricting conflicted retirement advice is shifting to states, which are moving to bolster investor protections out of concern the Trump administration will weaken the federal provision,” writes the Wall Street Journal.

OFF TO THE RACES: Three House GOP retirements in less than a week

MI-GOV: State attorney general Bill Schuette is expected to finally make his gov bid official today. The Detroit Free Press: “Schuette enters the race as the presumed Republican front-runner, as he seeks to cap a political career that began with an election 33 years ago, when Schuette defeated U.S. Rep. Don Albosta, a three-term Democratic congressman from St. Charles.”

MI-11: Republican Rep. Dave Trott won’t run for re-election. The Detroit News: “Two Democrats have entered the 11th District race: Haley Stevens, former chief of staff to Obama’s Auto Task Force, and Fayrouz Saad, Detroit’s former director of immigration affairs. Kumar is also considering another run. Oakland County Republicans expect intense interest in the seat, as candidates line up for the chance to succeed Trott.”

OH-GOV: Democratic gubernatorial candidates will debate today.

TN-GOV: “One month into her run for Tennessee governor, U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tennessee, is not saying whether she plans to fill out her term leading Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District or step down to focus on the 2018 gubernatorial campaign.”

TX-23: POLITICO talks to Will Hurd about his tricky reelection race.

UT-SEN: Orrin Hatch says he’ll decide on a potential reelection bid by the end of the year. A new poll shows he could be in trouble — but that Mitt Romney could win.

VA-SEN: Tim Kaine is on the campaign trail again, POLITICO writes. “[E]ven as Kaine tries to keep his focus on the next election, there are constant reminders of the last one — the only election he’s ever lost. Trump, it seems, looms over everything.”