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First Read's Morning Clips: 'Political Gymnastics'

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day.
Image: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Phoenix
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., August 31, 2016.CARLO ALLEGRI / Reuters

OFF TO THE RACES: “Political gymnastics”

Here’s NBC’s wrap of Trump’s fiery speech last night in Phoenix.

Oof. The New York Times headline out of Trump’s speech: "Trailing Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Turns to Political Gymnastics.” MORE: “The political gymnastics involved in Mr. Trump’s gambit will likely be difficult to sustain: His approach involves avoiding discussion of his former campaign pledges without renouncing them, and making ostentatious gestures of conciliation toward Hispanic voters and Mexicans without withdrawing — and at times actually repeating — remarks that have offended them in the past.”

And the Washington Post: "After subdued trip to Mexico, Trump talks tough on immigration in Phoenix.” MORE: "With less than 10 weeks until the election, Trump increasingly has tried to adjust his pitch to appeal more to moderate voters, as polls show he has fallen solidly behind Democratic rival Hillary Clinton nationally and in battleground states. However, the visit here and the speech in Phoenix could provide a jarring contrast for voters and send a confusing message about the kind of president he would be.”

A1 of the Arizona Republic: "Trump rejects moderation, goes hard-line on immigration.”

And then there’s this headline from the AP: "Trump retreats from vow to deport all living in US illegally."

Latino Trump supporters say they feel “misled” by his remarks last night.

By the way, Trump is tweeting this morning that “Mexico will pay for the wall!”

Meanwhile, Mexicans are accusing their president of an “historic error,” the New York Times writes.

AndTim Kaine on TODAY blasted Trump for his “diplomatic amateur hour."

A new FOX News poll shows Trump cutting into Clinton’s lead and running nearly even with her in a four-way race.

A Franklin & Marshall poll shows Clinton up seven points in Pennsylvania.

Alex Seitz-Wald reports that Clinton is going up with a six-figure ad buy in Arizona(!).

And the Clinton campaign announced this morning that two Four Star Generals are endorsing the Democratic nominee.

From POLITICO: "Bill Clinton's staff used a decades-old federal government program, originally created to keep former presidents out of the poorhouse, to subsidize his family’s foundation and an associated business, and to support his wife’s private email server, a POLITICO investigation has found.”

Both parties are eyeing the down ballot Trump effect, writes the Wall Street Journal.

Don’t miss this important story from yesterday: The Supreme Court will not reinstate North Carolina’s strict voting law.