TRUMP AGENDA: Meeting Macron
Our team previews Trump’s trip to France. “U.S. President Donald Trump has certainly had his differences with Emmanuel Macron, including clashing on climate change and exchanging surly handshakes with the younger French president. The pair will try to put all that aside, however, and instead find some common ground when they meet Thursday ahead of France's Bastille Day celebrations.”
The New York Times: “The fierce criticism of a meeting between Mr. Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and a Kremlin-linked lawyer in June 2016 has left the president by turns angry, defensive and protective but ultimately relieved that for now, the worst appears to be over, people who spoke to him said Wednesday. For Mr. Trump, who has faced a barrage of questions about his own dealings with Russia, watching his closest family members come under harsh scrutiny for things they are accused of doing to help his presidential campaign has marked an uncomfortable turn in the foreign entanglement that has shadowed him since he took office in January.” MORE: “Also under scrutiny is how forthcoming Mr. Kushner was with his father-in-law about the nature of the June meeting. He met with Mr. Trump to discuss the issue, according to advisers to the White House, around the time he updated his federal disclosure form to include Ms. Veselnitskaya’s name on a list of foreign contacts that Mr. Kushner was required to submit to the F.B.I. to obtain a security clearance. Mr. Kushner supplemented the list of foreign contacts three times, adding more than 100 names, people close to him said.”
The Wall Street Journal: “Investigators are re-examining conversations detected by U.S. intelligence agencies in spring 2015 that captured Russian government officials discussing associates of Donald Trump, according to current and former U.S. officials, a move prompted by revelations that the president’s eldest son met with a Russian lawyer last year. In some cases, the Russians in the overheard conversations talked about meetings held outside the U.S. involving Russian government officials and Trump business associates or advisers, these people said.”
POLITICO looks at how Trump’s lawyers are trying to steer a White House not known for its discipline.
Witch hunt? FBI nominee Christopher Wray says no.
Leigh Ann Caldwell reports on the new Senate health care bill set to be released: “Senate Republicans are preparing to unveil a revised health care bill that aims to attract support from wary Republicans, but early indications suggest the proposed changes do little to address concerns about the current deep cuts to Medicaid, possibly putting the bill’s path to passage in peril. Numerous changes have been made to the new version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act to appease both conservative and moderate Republicans as leadership searches for the 50 votes they need to pass it. In a blow to the more moderate faction, it appears the more than $700 billion worth of cuts to Medicaid will still be part of the measure, according to numerous senators describing what leadership has told them about the bill.”
Trump says he will be “very angry” if the GOP doesn’t pass a health care bill.
The Washington Post: “Most corners of the U.S. health-care industry have stood steadfastly opposed for months to Republican efforts to revise the Affordable Care Act. Patient advocate groups and Democratic organizers have crowded town halls since February to grill lawmakers. But in recent weeks, a last gasp of advocacy has come from an even wider range of groups and individuals trying to block the Senate health-care bill. Community hospitals have held information sessions. Pediatricians have starred in videos. Patient associations have flown in hundreds of Americans with chronic illnesses to meet with lawmakers and their aides.”
POLITICO: “Pivoting to a bipartisan fix of Obamacare won't be quick or easy if Senate Republicans’ repeal efforts fail. A handful of Republicans are preparing potential repairs to the existing health care system as a fallback option, talking up the prospect of a compromise that could win some Democratic support to fix Obamacare and stabilize the market. But many in the GOP privately say they might need a break between seven years of repeal attempts and a sudden repair effort. And some Democrats are already calling for single-payer health care — an automatic non-starter for Republicans.”
OFF TO THE RACES: Corey Stewart to run for Senate in Virginia
IL-GOV: POLITICO writes that Illinois could face the most expensive election in U.S. history, with party officials on both sides estimating the price tag could be more than $300 million.
IN-SEN: From the AP: "An Indiana senator railed against Carrier Corp. for moving manufacturing jobs to Mexico last year, even as he profited from a family business that relies on Mexican labor to produce dye for ink pads, according to records reviewed by The Associated Press. Joe Donnelly, considered one of the nation's most vulnerable Democratic senators up for re-election next year, has long blasted free-trade policies for killing American jobs. He accused Carrier, an air conditioner and furnace maker, of exploiting $3-an-hour workers when it announced plans to wind down operations in Indiana and move to Mexico. However, an arts and crafts business Donnelly's family has owned for generations is capitalizing on some of the very trade policies — and low-paid foreign labor — the senator has denounced."
MI-SEN: The Detroit Free Press weighs in on that whole Kid Rock thing.
NJ-GOV: A new poll shows that Phil Murphy has a big lead over Kim Guadagno — although neither candidate is very well known.
VA-SEN: NBC’s Garrett Haake: “Republican Prince William County board of supervisors chairman Corey Stewart will announce he's running for Tim Kaine's Senate seat on Thursday, according to a Virginia Republican source with first-hand knowledge of his thinking.”
Ed Gillespie is touting the Portman-led effort to add more opioid funding to the health care bill.
WV-SEN: Joe Manchin has raised more than $1.4 million in the second quarter and has almost $3.5 million on hand, according to POLITICO.