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First Read's Morning Clips: Manafort Back in the News

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: Paul Manafort Resigns As Trump Campaign Chair
Paul Manafort, advisor to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign, checks the teleprompters before Trump's speech at the Mayflower Hotel on April 27 in Washington, D.C.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images file

TRUMP AGENDA: Paul Manafort back in the news

From NBC’s Investigative Unit: “Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, made millions through his work over the years for Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs. Manafort also bought New York City real estate, some of it in what appeared to be all-cash deals. And in a series of complex transactions involving various companies, Manafort took out more than $13 million in loans on several of those properties — including $6.5 million borrowed this year from a bank run by an economic advisor to the Trump campaign. Now, with Manafort figuring in an FBI investigation into allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, his dealings in New York City are coming under renewed scrutiny. They fit a pattern that experts say raises questions about how Manafort was moving money.”

Could Congress set up an independent commission to investigate Russia? NBC’s Erik Ortiz reports.

The latest on the Nunes dustup, from the New York Times: “The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee rebuffed calls on Tuesday to recuse himself from the panel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election, as Democrats accused him of stalling the inquiry by canceling the committee’s meetings.”

The Wall Street Journal: “A growing number of states are considering expanding their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, after last week’s abrupt collapse of the GOP health bill and a development that could make it harder for Republicans to undo the law in the future. Notably, the GOP-led Kansas legislature voted Tuesday to expand Medicaid over the protests of the state’s Republican governor. In addition, states including Virginia, Maine and North Carolina are taking steps toward growing their Medicaid programs now that the ACA seems unlikely to go away and federal money for such an expansion appears more secure.”

POLITICO writes that Trump could kill Obamacare with one move, but it’s a very risky strategy.

The New York Times: “Many fossil fuel executives are celebrating President Trump’s move to dismantle the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. But their cheers are muted, because market forces and state initiatives continue to elevate coal’s rivals, especially natural gas and renewable energy.”

Ashley Parker profiles Karen Pence in the Washington Post.

CONGRESS: Congressional Republicans don’t want Trump’s wall?

The Washington Post: “President Trump wants Congress to add defense funding and money for a new wall along the Mexican border in a near-term spending bill intended to keep the government open past April 28, but Capitol Hill Republicans signaled they will reject the idea to avoid a shutdown as well as the deep cuts that the new spending would require.”

POLITICO writes that Republicans are desperate for a win on Neil Gorsuch.

From yesterday in Congress: “Congress sent proposed legislation to President Trump on Tuesday that wipes away landmark online privacy protections, the first salvo in what is likely to become a significant reworking of the rules governing Internet access in an era of Republican dominance.”

Hillary Clinton is speaking out again. “Hillary Clinton came "out of the woods" Tuesday night and delivered a sharp critique of President Donald Trump's administration and the Republican Party's failed attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, calling the GOP bill "disastrous." Clinton called the GOP health care plan "a disastrous bill" and said its failure to pass was "a victory for all Americans" during a speech at a conference for the Professional Business Women of California (PBWC) in San Francisco on Tuesday night.”

OFF TO THE RACES: Everything you need to know about GA-6

GA-6: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution gets you caught up on everything you need to know about the race: “As the April 18 special election to replace Tom Price nears, the 11 Republicans in the scrambled field are stepping up their feuds with one another in a fight over a slice of the electorate…. Behind the scenes, they bicker on Twitter over hashtags and trade claims of doctoring Facebook posts and cannibalizing one another’s staffs. And on the airwaves, a roughly $5 million ad blitz includes one memorable spot that depicts the GOP front-runner as a lumbering, bejeweled elephant.”

Actors Christopher Gorham and Alyssa Milano campaigned for Ossoff.

Early voting is looking strong for Ossoff so far.

Republican groups are questioning Ossoff’s national security credentials.

The Club for Growth is weighing in on the Republican side of the race.

VA-GOV: From one of us(!), some dueling poll numbers in the Virginia Democratic primary.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch looks at how GOP candidate Corey Stewart is trying to use nostalgia about the Confederacy.