TRUMP AGENDA: Trump pushes immigration plan
Ali Vitali and Benjy Sarlin sum up Trump’s new immigration rollout.
From NBC’s Carol Lee and Courtney Kube: “President Donald Trump has become increasingly frustrated with his advisers tasked with crafting a new U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and recently suggested firing the war's top military commander during a tense meeting at the White House, according to senior administration officials. During the July 19 meeting, Trump repeatedly suggested that Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford replace Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, because he is not winning the war, the officials said. Trump has not met Nicholson, and the Pentagon has been considering extending his time in Afghanistan.”
Don’t miss this detail in the New York Times: “Mr. Trump, according to several administration officials, has been considering a shake-up that could include appointing Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, to take over as national security adviser, while sending General McMaster to command forces in Afghanistan. Such a move could earn General McMaster a fourth star.”
NBC’s Peter Alexander confirms that John Kelly personally reassured Sessions that his position is safe.
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The New York Times: “Mr. Trump has strained relations with a lot of people these days — members of his own party in Congress, the 55-plus percent of Americans who say they disapprove of his performance, his attorney general, his recently ousted communications director and chief of staff. But through all the drama and dismay, one group has never really wavered: the leaders of the conservative movement.
The Atlantic: “A top official of the National Security Council was fired last month after arguing in a memo that President Trump is under sustained attack from subversive forces both within and outside the government who are deploying Maoist tactics to defeat President Trump’s nationalist agenda. His dismissal marks the latest victory by National-Security Adviser H.R. McMaster in the ongoing war within Trump’s White House between those who believe the president is under threat from dark forces plotting to undermine him, and those like McMaster who dismiss this as conspiratorial thinking.”
Don’t forget that the debt ceiling debate is looming – and Hill Republicans are headed for a major clash.
Russia is calling those U.S. sanctions “full-fledged economic war.”
OFF TO THE RACES: Eyes on the airwaves in Montana
MD-6: Democrat David Trone (famous for spending $13 million of his own money on a lost primary race in 2016) says he’ll run for the seat being vacated by John Delaney.
MO-SEN: Republican Senate recruit Josh Hawley is opening an exploratory committee.
Montana: Before he became Trump’s Interior Secretary, Montana Republican Ryan Zinke’s ambitions for higher office in Montana were no secret. But one group is trying to make Zinke’s life more difficult in his home state. National sportsmen’s group Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is launching a $1.4 million ad campaign — a significant buy for Montana markets — criticizing Zinke’s review of national monuments and saying that the move puts access to public lands in jeopardy. The TV, radio and digital campaign is slated to run for three weeks.
TN-GOV: Republican Rep. Diane Black is officially in the race for Tennessee governor.