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First Read's Morning Clips: Trump's Staffing Challenge

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: Sean Spicer
White House press secretary Sean Spicer talks to the media during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington on March 28, 2017.Andrew Harnik / AP

TRUMP AGENDA: Staffing challenge

The New York Times, on the big challenge of Trump’s staff shakeup: “Back from overseas and confronting an unforgiving political environment, President Trump appears increasingly isolated inside the White House, according to advisers, venting frustration over the performance of his staff and openly talking about shaking it up. But as he considers casting off old aides, Mr. Trump is finding it challenging to recruit new ones. The disclosures from investigations stemming from Russian meddling in last year’s election — coupled with the president’s habit of undercutting his staff — have driven away candidates for West Wing jobs that normally would be among the most coveted in American politics, according to people involved in the search.”

From Andrea Mitchell and Kasie Hunt: “Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will hand over some personal and business documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee by June 6, a source close to Flynn told NBC News on Tuesday. The Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena on May 10 for documents that it said it believes to be relevant to its investigation of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.”

And from Ken Dilanian and Adam Reiss: “President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, told NBC News on Tuesday that if he is issued a subpoena as part of Congressional probes into Russian interference in the U.S. election he will testify. Earlier, Cohen said that he has received requests for information from the Senate and House intelligence committees but said he wouldn't comply.”

The Wall Street Journal reports on Flynn’s pro-Turkey work: an unfinished documentary designed to improve the country’s image.

POLITICO reports that Kushner is back at work but not acknowledging the Russia fracas. “Kushner led three meetings in the West Wing on Tuesday — and never once acknowledged the stories about him that have dominated cable news since last week, when it was reported that during the campaign he discussed setting up a secret communications back channel to Moscow.”

And there’s this: “President Donald Trump has been handing out his cellphone number to world leaders and urging them to call him directly, an unusual invitation that breaks diplomatic protocol and is raising concerns about the security and secrecy of the U.S. commander in chief’s communications,” writes the AP.

A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds that just only eight percent of Americans think the Senate should pass AHCA as it is.

NBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell looks at how Trump’s legislative agenda is lagging. “Congressional Republicans began the year with a long and ambitious list of priorities that had been sidelined during eight years of President Barack Obama's tenure. Five months in, the GOP policy agenda is lagging far behind their expectations. A slower-than-anticipated process of confirming President Donald Trump's nominees, the bruising effort to pass a health-care reform plan in the House and the ongoing controversy coming from the White House over expanding investigations into Russia have slowed any momentum the party had coming out of last year's election.”

And from The Washington Post: “President Trump faces an increasingly narrow path to win major legislative victories before the looming August recess, with only two months left to revive his health-care or tax initiatives before Congress departs for a long break. White House officials said Tuesday that Trump has become increasingly incensed that legislation is bogging down in the Senate, something they blame on Democrats. Trump wrote on Twitter that the Senate should change its long-standing rules and “switch to 51” votes to pass health-care changes and to vote on a tax bill instead of working to get 60 votes to end a potential filibuster. But the Senate is already trying to pass health-care and tax changes with just 51 votes, something it is unable to do because of splits within the GOP.”

What exactly was going on with Trump’s “covfefe” tweet last night?

Advisers are split over the Paris climate accord, notes the New York Times. “For a president not steeped in policy intricacies, the decision is vexing. On both sides are voices he profoundly respects: chief executives of some of the world’s largest companies urging him to remain part of the accord and ardent conservatives like Stephen K. Bannon, his chief strategist, and Scott Pruitt, his Environmental Protection Agency administrator, tugging him toward a withdrawal from the 195-country agreement.”

Axios is reporting this morning that Trump will pull out of the deal.

The Washington Post looks at how Trump’s aides are praising him — sometimes as much as he praises himself.

From the AP: “The arrest and disappearance of three labor activists investigating a Chinese company that produces Ivanka Trump-branded shoes in China prompted a call for her brand to cease working with the supplier and raised questions about whether the first family’s commercial interests would muddy U.S. leadership on human rights.”

OFF TO THE RACES: Hey, big spender

GA-6: The latest from the House Majority PAC again targets Karen Handel’s “big spending.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution looks at the gerrymandering history of the Sixth District.

SC-5: Democrats say they might have a chance in this red district, the Washington Post reports.

VA-GOV: The Washington Post, on the Democratic gubernatorial primary: “With two weeks to go before the primary, Virginia has become the center of a family dispute between national progressive Democrats and state activists over the identity and future of the Democratic Party.”