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First Read's Morning Clips: Only 29% Approve of Comey Firing

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: FILE PHOTO: A combination photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump and and FBI Director James Comey in Washington
FILE PHOTO: A combination photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump (L) in the House of Representatives in Washington, U.S., on February 28, 2017 and FBI Director James Comey in Washington U.S. on July 7, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool, Gary Cameron/File PhotoReuters

TRUMP AGENDA: Only 29% approve of Trump’s firing of Comey

Our new NBC/WSJ poll over the weekend showed that just 29 percent of adults approve of Trump’s firing of James Comey.

And nearly half of Americans say that the new GOP-led health care plan is “a bad idea.”

Making waves in POLITICO this morning: “How Trump gets his fake news.” MORE: “While the information stream to past commanders-in-chief has been tightly monitored, Trump prefers an open Oval Office with a free flow of ideas and inputs from both official and unofficial channels. And he often does not differentiate between the two. Aides sometimes slip him stories to press their advantage on policy; other times they do so to gain an edge in the seemingly endless Game of Thrones inside the West Wing. The consequences can be tremendous, according to a half-dozen White House officials and others with direct interactions with the president. A news story tucked into Trump’s hands at the right moment can torpedo an appointment or redirect the president’s entire agenda. Current and former Trump officials say Trump can react volcanically to negative press clips, especially those with damaging leaks, becoming engrossed in finding out where they originated.”

The White House is racing to fill the job of FBI Director as Democrats push back. (And there’s plenty of advice out there on who it should be — from Trump’s friends and foes alike.)

The New York Times: “Senate Republicans, increasingly unnerved by President Trump’s volatility and unpopularity, are starting to show signs of breaking away from him as they try to forge a more traditional Republican agenda and protect their political fortunes.”

Lindsey Graham told one of us(!) that Trump should ‘back off’ and let the Russia investigation go forward.

Preet Bharara in the New York Times, on Comey: “[I]n the tumult of this time, the question whose answer we should perhaps fear the most is the one evoked by that showdown: Are there still public servants who are prepared to say no to the president?”

POLITICO: “A proposal to kill a century-old business tax provision — one that’s been key to President Donald Trump’s real-estate fortune — is poised to become the next great tax-reform fight in Washington.”

The Washington Post: “Russia has yet to collect much of what it hoped for from the Trump administration, including the lifting of U.S. sanctions and recognition of its annexation of Crimea. But the Kremlin has collected a different return on its effort to help elect Trump in last year’s election: chaos in Washington.”

NBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald previews how Democrats are planning to fight back if they win back the House in 2018.

OFF TO THE RACES: Is Ossoff getting a boost from Comey’s firing?

GA-6: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes how Jon Ossoff’s backers are getting a boost from the Comey affair.

Paul Ryan will appear with Karen Handel today.

Another new poll shows that it’s a neck-and-neck race.

MT-AL: The Billings Gazette is endorsing Greg Gianforte.

Buzzfeed reports on the race’s dynamics — and what both sides can learn from Montana’s candidates about attracting independents.

SC-05:The State has a good snapshot of how GOP voters are weighing their options.

VA-GOV: Democratic candidates for governor took questions from UVA students over the weekend.

This happened over the weekend, too: “Self-proclaimed white nationalist Richard Spencer led a large group of demonstrators carrying torches and chanting “You will not replace us” Saturday in Charlottesville, protesting plans to remove a Confederate monument that has played an outsize role in this year’s race for Virginia governor.”

Republican candidate Ed Gillespie weighed in on his immigration plans — including his opposition to “sanctuary cities.”