TRUMP AGENDA: Collins delivers fatal blow to GOP health bill
Leigh Ann Caldwell, with the latest on health care: "The GOP's last-ditch effort to repeal and replace Obamacare received what appeared to be a fatal blow Monday evening when Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, announced her decision not to support the bill, becoming the crucial third Republican to oppose it. Collins joins Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky as GOP "no" votes. Unless one of them switches their position, Republicans can't muster the 50 voted needed to pass it."
More from the Washington Post: "Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Tex.) did not rule out the possibility of holding a vote on the proposal despite clear signs that it did not have sufficient support to pass. Many Republicans feel pressure from voters to keep pushing to repeal the ACA before moving on to other issues. 'There are a lot of people who want to vote yes and be recorded as voting yes,' Cornyn said, adding that the Republican conference would decide the matter Tuesday, when lawmakers will meet for the first time since leaving for recess last week. 'I think there is some advantage to showing you're trying and doing the best you can.'"
POLITICO reports that Republicans are already eyeing their next opportunity to take up a repeal bill. "Here's how it could be done: While the Senate parliamentarian has ruled that the repeal push under fiscal 2017 must die after Sept. 30, Republicans could provide reconciliation instructions for both health care and tax reform in the fiscal 2018 budget resolution that Congress must pass to again unlock the fast-track procedural powers."
Breaking yesterday in the New York Times: "At least six of President Trump's closest advisers occasionally used private email addresses to discuss White House matters, current and former officials said on Monday. The disclosures came a day after news surfaced that Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and adviser, used a private email account to send or receive about 100 work-related emails during the administration's first seven months. But Mr. Kushner was not alone. Stephen K. Bannon, the former chief White House strategist, and Reince Priebus, the former chief of staff, also occasionally used private email addresses. Other advisers, including Gary D. Cohn and Stephen Miller, sent or received at least a few emails on personal accounts, officials said."
Trump tweeted about Puerto Rico, although the message centered on the island's previous financial woes.
"Mixed reaction to President Donald Trump's condemnation of pro football players who knelt during the National Anthem continued Monday — as did the protests that triggered his comments," writes NBC's Tim Stelloh. "In a scene that football fans became more than familiar with over the weekend, the Dallas Cowboys took a knee before the anthem on Monday night — with their owner, Jerry Jones, among them."
"As a businessman, Donald Trump erected unauthorized flagpoles on his properties to embarrass local officials who were trying to uphold zoning ordinances. As a presidential candidate, he told the first football player who sat in protest during the national anthem to "find another country." And as president-elect, he attempted unsuccessfully to revive the decades-old debate about the constitutionality of flag burning, after a single incident at a small college in Massachusetts," notes the Washington Post. "So when he decided, out of the blue, to attack the National Football League over its players' protests during the national anthem, the resulting controversy followed a well-worn formula. What was different, however, was the enormous backlash that his comments created — far larger than any of those previous incidents combined."
Twitter says it's going to clarify its rules in the wake of the president's tweets about North Korea.
The Washington Post: "The batch of more than 3,000 Russian-bought ads that Facebook is preparing to turn over to Congress shows a deep understanding of social divides in American society, with some ads promoting African American rights groups, including Black Lives Matter, and others suggesting that these same groups pose a rising political threat, say people familiar with the covert influence campaign."
And ICYMI: Anthony Weiner has been sentenced to 21 months in prison. Here's why it could have been worse.
OFF TO THE RACES: Bannon, Farage, and a revolver make appearance in Moore rally
The Miami Herald, on that heated state Senate special election today: "Republican Jose Felix Diaz and Democrat Annette Taddeo are vying for the Florida Senate seat vacated five months ago by former Sen. Frank Artiles, who resigned in the midst of this spring's legislative session after a profanity-laced and racially charged outburst at a private club near the Capitol."
A new study concludes that advertising and campaign contact aren't making a persuasive impact, at least in general elections.
AL-SEN: From Alex Seitz-Wald at last night's Roy Moore rally: "The GOP civil war in Alabama's Senate race culminated here Monday with front-runner Roy Moore brandishing a revolver as Steve Bannon, Donald Trump's former chief strategist, said voters should ignore the president's endorsement of Moore's establishment-backed opponent. Four hours north in Alabama's largest city, Vice President Mike Pence dutifully vouched for Sen. Luther Strange, the embattled incumbent who trailed badly in a trio of election eve polls despite Trump's surprise endorsement."
At the Moore rally, Steve Bannon told Alabama Republicans "they think you're a pack of morons."
Trump tweeted this morning: "Luther Strange has been shooting up in the Alabama polls since my endorsement. Finish the job - vote today for 'Big Luther.'"
The New York Times: "The contest here to fill the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, now the attorney general, has grown in significance since Mr. Trump put his prestige on the line by campaigning for Mr. Strange on Friday. With that gamble, the president ensured that this latest proxy fight between the Republican establishment and the party's populist wing would test his own clout on the right while also shaping primaries in next year's midterm elections."
AL.com has its roundup of the race here.
CO-6: These are some striking quotes from GOP Rep. Mike Coffman, who says he wants a primary challenge from Tom Tancredo: "'Come after me,' Coffman said to Tancredo in an interview Monday for Balance of Power. 'We could define what the Republican party is for a generation to come.' Coffman says he decided to propose the challenge after a recent 9NEWS interview in which Tancredo defended a group called VDARE, which serves as an online platform for racist and white supremacist viewpoints… 'He's going to have one of his friends do that, one of his white supremacist friends, try and run against me, 'Coffman said. 'Why not him?'"
MN-GOV: Is Tim Pawlenty eyeing a comeback?
NV-GOV: The Nevada Independent notes that both Adam Laxalt and Chris Giunchigliani are hinting that they'll jump into the governor's race next week.
RI-GOV: "Former Gov. Lincoln Chafee is still mulling whether to challenge his successor Gina Raimondo in the 2018 election, but he has made one decision - there would be a "D" next to his name if he jumps into the race."