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First Read's Morning Clips: Wanna Get Away?

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: President Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One.Kevin Lamarque / Reuters file

TRUMP AGENDA: Wanna get away?

NBC's Ali Vitali previews the president's Asia trip: "President Donald Trump will embark on the longest trip of his presidency on Friday — a five-country, 10-day tour of Asia designed to strengthen diplomatic and economic partnerships while contending with North Korea's nuclear threat. The president heads overseas during a time of what some experts see as a decline of U.S. influence in the region and they suggest that it is unlikely that Trump will be returning home with any clear wins."

Benjy Sarlin has the winners and losers from the new GOP tax bill.

And the Washington Post sums up why the tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy could explode the deficit.

The New York Times: "With the release of an ambitious overhaul of the tax code, House Republicans are moving to fulfill a long-held desire of corporate America: a large and audacious tax cut. Yet economists are divided over whether the plan is likely to revitalize the economy or merely bestow a windfall on the wealthiest investors."

And it's not clear how much the middle class will benefit — if at all.

POLITICO: "The fanfare surrounding the House GOP tax plan on Thursday masked a brewing storm in the other chamber. Senate Republicans will have to sway a host of GOP swing votes as they try to jam through their own tax overhaul with almost no margin for error. Fiscal hawks are squawking about how tax legislation could balloon the deficit. Moderates like Sen. Susan Collins of Maine are worried tax cuts will disproportionately favor the rich. Even an Obamacare-related row could bubble up and trip up passage."

NBC's Ken Dilanian and Carol Lee. "Attorney General Jeff Sessions rejected a proposal by a junior campaign aide who offered to use his "Russian contacts" to try to set up a meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, a source familiar with the matter told NBC News. The aide, George Papadopoulos, has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, and documents released Monday show he was in contact with Russians who offered him "dirt" on Hillary Clinton — including thousands of emails."

NBC's Alyssa Newcomb has the backstory on why the president's Twitter account disappeared for 11 minutes last night.

Alex Johnsonsums up Trump's complaints about the justice system.

And/but, points out the Washington Post: "[T]he Justice Department appears to increasingly be doing the once-unthinkable: tuning out the president of the United States."

The Wall Street Journal profiles Jerome Powell, Trump's pick for Fed chair.

What's next for the Podesta Group, asks POLITICO.

The AP speaks to female former members of Congress about their experiences with sexual harassment.

ICYMI: "Sam Clovis, a former top Trump campaign official who supervised a man now cooperating with the FBI's Russia investigation, has withdrawn his name from consideration as the president's pick to be the Department of Agriculture's chief scientist."

And the Wall Street Journal has the latest in Bob Menendez's corruption trial.

OFF TO THE RACES: Living on a prayer

AZ-SEN: Kelli Ward's internal polling shows her with a double-digit lead over potential primary challengers.

MS-SEN: "Sen. Roger Wicker spent some time with former White House Chief Strategist Steven Bannon — who has said he wants to oust Wicker — but it's unclear how long the two spoke or what they spoke about. Wicker appeared at a D.C. campaign fundraiser for Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore Wednesday night when he was photographed next to Bannon. "

NJ-GOV: Bon Jovi will campaign with Phil Murphy this weekend.

The New York Times sat down with both candidates to talk about their visions for the state.

TX-21: Lamar Smith is retiring.

VA-GOV: Who is Cliff Hydra, the Libertarian in the governors' race?

USA Today sums up just how long Trump's shadow over the Virginia race has been.