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First Read's Morning Clips: Tillerson to Moscow

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: Ahead of Rex Tillerson's visit, the Kremlin questioned whether the U.S. had any plans to co-operate.
The Kremlin questioned whether the U.S. had any plans to co-operate.Ivan Sekretarev / AP

TRUMP AGENDA: Tillerson to Moscow

Here’s NBC’s Bill Neely on Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow.

POLITICO: “As Washington and Moscow clash over Syria, Tillerson has seized the moment to berate Russia and prove he’s no pro-Kremlin stooge. Along the way, Tillerson also is showing that, contrary to popular belief, he has plenty of influence on President Donald Trump and is increasingly coming into his own as secretary of state.”

Eric Trump says Trump’s decision to strike in Syria was influenced by his ‘heartbroken’ daughter Ivanka.

From the New York Times: “In the days since President Trump ordered a cruise missile strike against Syria in retaliation for a chemical attack on civilians, his administration has spoken with multiple voices as it seeks to explain its evolving policy. But one voice has not been heard from: that of Mr. Trump himself.”

NBC’s Ali Vitali: “White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer sought to clarify his comments on Monday after telling reporters that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of barrel bombs against his own people could prompt further U.S. military action.”

From the Washington Post: “The conservative Club for Growth said Monday that it is targeting 10 moderate House Republicans with a $1 million ad campaign, offering a glimpse into the right’s strategy for pushing through a GOP health-care overhaul. The ads, set to begin Tuesday, come at the beginning of a two-week congressional recess — and after the latest bid to reconcile warring GOP lawmakers and resurrect the American Health Care Act fell short last week.”

The New York Times notes: “After years of criticizing former President Barack Obama for playing golf and going on private getaways, President Trump has already done more of both in his first 81 days than Mr. Obama, as well as former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Mr. Trump played golf again this past weekend, on Saturday and Sunday.”

From the Washington Post: “The Pentagon has struggled in recent weeks to effectively explain what lies behind a surge in reported civilian casualties in its air campaign against the Islamic State, fueling speculation that the new Trump administration is pursuing policies resulting in a greater loss of life.”

The Wall Street Journal: “President Donald Trump has told his senior advisers to prioritize his agenda over infighting as the White House focuses on what accomplishments it can tout during the president’s first 100 days in office, administration officials said.”

OFF TO THE RACES: Eyes on Kansas

KS-04: The Washington Post’s take from Wichita: “Republicans undertake unexpected rescue mission in deep red Kansas”

And the New York Times: “As a House Race Tightens in Kansas, Republicans See a Possible Warning Sign”

The Wichita Eagle reports on Trump’s robocall for Ron Estes.

And the Kansas City Star reports on one poll circulating internally among Republicans showing just a one point race.

GA-06: The latest take from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Republicans are sharpening their attacks on each other even as they scramble to block Democrat Jon Ossoff from scoring an upset victory with one week to go until the nationally watched special election to represent a suburban Atlanta district in Congress.”

MT-AL: From the Billings Gazette:“With federal funding in doubt for key services in rural Montana, congressional candidates Greg Gianforte and Rob Quist are talking about what each will fight for… Gianforte, a Republican, and Quist, a Democrat, say they will advocate for rural Montana if elected to replace former Rep. Ryan Zinke as the state’s only congressman. The two laid out support for mail service in rural areas, as well.”