The Note: Pence bats down 2020 talk and pledges loyalty

PHOTO: Vice President Mike Pence pauses while speaking at the Young Americas Foundations 39th annual National Conservative Student Conference, Aug. 4, 2017, in Washington.PlayAlex Brandon/AP
WATCH The Note: Pence makes his loyalty to Trump loud and clear

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  • Hit a few balls, make a few calls: President Trump is at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for his working vacation while the White House is undergoing renovations.
  • Who's loyal? Vice President Mike Pence issued an unusual statement, calling it "disgraceful and offensive" for The New York Times to report that he's keeping options open for a run for president in 2020.
  • Trump hasn't ordered the Justice Department to investigate any particular individuals, according to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein also told Fox News the Russia investigation is not a "fishing expedition" and if the evidence so happens to fall outside the scope of the investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller would ask him for permission to expand the probe.
  • Trump praised the U.N. Security Council for its unanimous vote for further sanctions against North Korea in response to its recent intercontinental ballistic missile test.
  • Get ready for a showdown: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is filing a lawsuit today against the Justice Department over its policy to withhold funds from so-called "sanctuary cities."
  • THE TAKE with ABC News' Rick Klein

    You can take the man out of the palace, but you can't keep the intrigue away. In a White House rocked by departures, loyalty oaths are popping from unlikely places. The vice president followed the attorney general in stating fealty to the president, and even the president found it necessary to side publicly with his national security adviser as a "good man" with whom he works well. (President Trump also sought to prove that, with the Oval Office empty for a while, he was working through the weekend: "This is not a vacation – meetings and calls!" tweeted the man spotted back on the golf course.) Perhaps Vice President Mike Pence isn't coveting the presidency and hates "fake news," and Attorney General Jeff Sessions wasn't worried about being fired if he didn't go after leakers, and Trump just wanted to give a shout-out to H.R. McMaster. Or it may be that, in a White House that's now being cleaned, fears abound that the housecleaning isn't done.

    TWO GOP SENATORS GREETED WITH THANKS

    Resist...and recognize? Lawmakers are home again for recess and opposition groups are revved up and raring to meet them. But there seems to be a new goal for activist groups this summer: saying thanks where thanks is due. Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski were greeted at airports in their home states with applause from constituents thanking them for their votes against Republican health care bill. Major groups from Planned Parenthood to the AARP spent money in the last week on ads praising the two female senators. The Women's March and other groups on the left wrote social media posts thanking and urging their followers to call Collins' and Murkowski's offices and personally convey their gratitude, ABC News' MaryAlice Parks reports.

    QUOTE OF THE DAY

    "It is absolutely true the vice president is getting ready for 2020 -- for reelection as vice president," Kellyanne Conway on "This Week."

    NEED TO READ with ABC News' Daksha Sthipam

    Vacationing Trump greets wedding guests at his New Jersey golf club. Guests attending a wedding Saturday at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey bumped into one of the club's most notable members: President Trump, who is spending his 17-day working vacation at the Bedminster property. The president's selfies in the wedding come at odds with his tweet on Saturday, stressing that his vacation was "not a vacation" and filled with "meetings and calls." http://abcn.ws/2v8PVaT

    Republican senator unsure he agrees with Trump that Russia probe is "witch hunt." Sen. Tom Tillis, R-N.C., said on ABC News' "This Week" that he is not sure he agrees with President Donald Trump's dismissal of the Russia investigation. "I'm not sure that I agree with the witch hunt, and we'll let the facts lead us to whether or not it was a hoax," Tillis said. http://abcn.ws/2vCNEW6

    ANALYSIS: Trump's crackdown on "leaks" could hide important truths. Now we are in even more dangerous territory with President Trump and Attorney General Sessions announcing a new concerted effort to crack down on leakers. http://abcn.ws/2vD2onZ

    The Mooch's replacement could be Stephen Miller. Axios

    Under Trump, Coal Mining Gets New Life on U.S. Lands. The New York Times

    Controversial appointment clouds US Senate race in Alabama. Associated Press

    McConnell on health care failure: "Feel better, Hillary Clinton could be president." The Hill

    Op-ed: Mueller's investigation of Trump is going too far. CNN

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.