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At NATO summit, Trump again alienates allies and compliments enemies

First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.

WASHINGTON — It was just one month ago when President Donald Trump — after meeting with allies at the G-7 summit in Canada — called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "very dishonest and weak,” and refused to sign the G-7’s joint communique. (To top it off, a top Trump aide said "there's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump.”)

Afterwards, Trump headed to Singapore, where he lavished praise on North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un. “He’s smart, loves his people, he loves his country,” Trump said.

Well, one month later, history is repeating itself at the NATO summit. At the top of his remarks this morning with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump said, “Many [NATO] countries are not paying what they should. And, frankly, many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money for many years back, where they're delinquent, as far as I'm concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them.”

Then the president ripped into Germany. “I think it's very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you're supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia,” he said. “So we're protecting Germany. We're protecting France. We're protecting all of these countries. And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia, where they're paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia.”

Trump added, “Germany is totally controlled by Russia, because they will be getting from 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline.”

Yet just the day before – ahead of next week’s summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki – Trump suggested he was looking forward to the Putin meeting. "I have NATO, I have the UK, which is somewhat in turmoil, and I have Putin. I think Putin may be the easiest of them all, who would think!" he said.

And it doesn’t take a Ph.D. in international relations to expect that Trump will treat Putin next week in a FAR different way than America’s NATO and G-7 allies.

"You cannot imagine any American president all the way back 75 years deciding to become the critic in chief of NATO. I mean, it's Orwellian. He's making our friends out to be our enemies and he’s treating our enemies like Putin as our friends,” former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," per MSNBC’s Shirley Zilberstein.

“And he's misrepresenting the facts,” Burns added of Trump. “There have been four-straight years of budget increases by every NATO ally. The great majority of them will be at this magical 2 percent of Gross Domestic Product level by 2024. All of our ability to project power in the world, in the Middle East and Afghanistan comes out of the air bases – Ramstein, Incirlik, Aviano, the naval bases in Italy and Spain that the Europeans pay us for. They pay us $2.5 billion a year to keep our forces there. It would cost us more money to bring the troops home than to keep them in Europe.”

Trump administration misses judge’s deadline to reunite young migrant children with their families

“The federal government on Tuesday said that only four — out of 102 — migrant children under 5 years old had been reunited with their parents before the July 10 deadline, according to a court filing from government lawyers,” per NBC News. “Another 34 could potentially be back with at least one parent by the end of the day, according to federal officials.”

More: “‘Why was it so easy for them to take our children but so hard to give them back?’ asked Digna, a 37-year-old Salvadoran mother who has been separated from her two children since crossing the border in May. ‘It was traumatic for someone to tell these children they were going to be ripped from their mother’s arms.’ Digna, who asked that her last name not be used over privacy concerns, has spent the past few weeks at Annunciation House, a Catholic charity housing migrants in El Paso.”

The White House’s pitch to business groups on Kavanaugh: He’s overruled regulators 75 times

You typically don’t see THIS from a White House about its Supreme Court nominee. Politico: “The White House on Monday immediately played up Brett Kavanaugh’s pro-business, anti-regulation record and is asking industry trade groups for help pushing his confirmation through the Senate… In the one-page document, which was obtained by POLITICO, the White House wrote that Kavanaugh has overruled federal regulators 75 times on cases involving clean air, consumer protections, net neutrality and other issues. Most recently, in PHH Corp. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, he favored curtailing the power of independent federal regulators.”

The Top 10 midterm markets

Here are the Top 10 markets – in terms of total TV and radio advertising – in the 2017-2018 midterm season, according to ad-spending data from Advertising Analytics. The numbers are through July 9.

  1. Chicago: $50.3 million
  2. Los Angeles: $32.3 million
  3. Orlando/Daytona Beach/Melbourne, FL: $19.9 million
  4. Tampa/St. Pete/Sarasota, FL: $18.0 million
  5. Pittsburgh, PA: $16.6 million
  6. San Diego, CA: $13.4 million
  7. Las Vegas, NV: $12.9 million
  8. St. Louis, MO: $11.6 million
  9. Satellite: $11.5 million
  10. Denver, CO: $10.8 million

The 10 most expensive Senate races

Meanwhile, here are the most expensive Senate races in terms of ad spending, per Advertising Analytics. The numbers are for both the primaries and general election.

  1. FL SEN: $26.2 million
  2. IN SEN: $21.4 million
  3. WI SEN: $17.1 million
  4. MO SEN: $15.0 million
  5. WV SEN: $12.6 million
  6. MT SEN: $9.2 million
  7. OH SEN: $5.3 million
  8. NV SEN: $5.2 million
  9. AZ SEN: $5.2 million
  10. CA SEN: $4.2 million

The 10 most expensive House races

Here are the most expensive House races in terms of ad spending, per Advertising Analytics. The numbers are for both the primaries and general election.

  1. PA-18 special: $11.9 million
  2. CA-49: $9.0 million
  3. CA-48: $5.0 million
  4. OH-12 special: $4.3 million
  5. TX-2: $4.0 million
  6. CA-39: $3.7 million
  7. MD-6: $3.7 million
  8. PA-1: $2.9 million
  9. NM-1: $2.6 million
  10. AZ-8 special: $2.5 million

The nine most expensive gubernatorial races

Here are the most expensive gubernatorial races in terms of ad spending, per Advertising Analytics. The numbers are for both the primaries and general election.

  1. IL GOV: $76.0 million
  2. FL GOV: $41.8 million
  3. TN GOV: $21.2 million
  4. GA GOV: $16.0 million
  5. MI GOV: $13.7 million
  6. NV GOV: $13.6 million
  7. OH GOV: $12.9 million
  8. PA GOV: $11.0 million
  9. ID GOV: $6.1 million