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First Read's Morning Clips: Previewing the Gorsuch Hearing

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: Neil Gorsuch
Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch, right, arrives for a meeting with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. Collins is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee which will oversee the Gorsuch confirmation hearing. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)J. Scott Applewhite / AP

TRUMP AGENDA: Previewing Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing

Confirmation hearings are set to begin for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. NBC’s Pete Williams offers a preview.

The Washington Post looks at how the left is viewing the Gorsuch nomination.

NBC’s Andrew Rafferty lays out seven players to watch in this week’s hearings.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the development of Gorsuch’s political views in college.

Why is the Gorsuch nod relatively drama-free? Trump himself hasn’t been very involved, POLITICO writes.

From Sunday’s Meet the Press: “Despite denials from some top intelligence officials that there was any evidence of collusion between associates of Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russian operatives while Moscow tried to interfere with the 2016 election, Rep. Adam Schiff on Sunday defended the House Intelligence Committee continuing to look into the matter.”

The New York Times has a preview of James Comey’s testimony on the Hill.

And from the AP: “At a hearing in January, Comey refused to confirm or deny the existence of any investigation exploring possible connections between Trump associates and Russia, consistent with the FBI's longstanding policy of not publicly discussing its work. His appearances on Capitol Hill since then have occurred in classified settings, often with small groups of lawmakers, and he has made no public statements connected to the Trump campaign or Russia. But Comey may feel compelled to respond to Trump's unproven Twitter assertions that President Barack Obama ordered a wiretapping of Trump Tower during the campaign.”

“Most members of President Trump’s Cabinet do not yet have leadership teams in place or even nominees for top deputies. But they do have an influential coterie of senior aides installed by the White House who are charged — above all — with monitoring the secretaries’ loyalty, according to eight officials in and outside the administration,” writes the Washington Post.

The New York Times: “President Trump is shifting more authority over military operations to the Pentagon, according to White House officials, reversing what his aides and some generals say was a tendency by the Obama White House to micromanage issues better left to military commanders.”

NBC’s Alexander Smith reports on a Latvian town that where worries run high that Trump’s NATO stance could lead to war.

The big picture, from the Wall Street Journal: “Republican infighting is bogging down a health-care bill and the litany of legislative issues lined up behind it, including an overhaul of the tax code. A series of court rulings are stalling his immigration policy changes. And his own tweets and White House comments are broadening several probes into whether Russia tried to influence the outcome of last year’s presidential election on behalf of the Trump campaign. Political and financial analysts said there remains time to iron out differences over health insurance and pass an overhaul of the tax code, and the steadfast promises from Republican leaders to do just that are helping to keep markets propped up, they said.”

POLITICO writes that Paul Ryan is staking it all on Obamacare repeal.

NBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald notes how the Bernie Sanders movement is turning its attention to midterms.