WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
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THE TAKE with ABC News' Rick Klein
His base may be shrinking. But at least he's talking to it – and, increasingly, not talking to others. President Trump's base is not ideological as much as it's personal. That's why, in this world, it might make sense to bash Congress for being too tough on Russia, to have a top aide get into an argument about "cosmopolitan bias" and the meaning of the Statue of Liberty, and to mislead the press and public about phone calls that never actually appear to have taken place. True Trump loyalists couldn't care less, and might like the show. Beyond that noise, the president is arming himself with some new policy talking points in advance of his next campaign rally tonight, even though talking about them is about all he's likely to be able to do. Trump and his administration are calling for action against legal and illegal immigration, previewing movement against affirmative action, and positioning the president against Congress, starting with Obamacare. It's all calculated to align the president with conservatives and an activist base that feels listened to and championed in the Trump era. In other words, this Trumpism is trying to take over conservatism.
IMMIGRATION: WHAT DO THE POLLS SAY?
White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller claimed common sense and polling were on his side to argue that the current level of immigration clearly hurts American workers. On that point, several leading economists – from Cato all the way to Brookings - disagree. But the polling is even harder to dissect. A Gallup poll conducted last January found 36 percent of adults were dissatisfied with immigration and wanted less of it. But the poll also found that the number of Americans who were satisfied with immigration levels was up to 41 percent compared to 30 percent the year prior. In June, Gallup numbers trended even more pro-immigration. The organization found that 49 percent believed immigrants help the nation's economy by providing low-cost labor, and only 18 percent said immigrants take jobs American adults want. In a Pew Research Center poll in January, 58 percent supported encouraging "more highly-skilled people from around the world to live and work in the U.S," ABC News' MaryAlice Parks notes.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I think I was fairly restrained…I didn't dump the nachos on him or anything, which was an option," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on his encounter with a Cubs fan.
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
President Trump participates in a VA department telehealth event before he travels to West Virginia to hold a "MAGA" rally.
"THE BRIEFING ROOM." After every White House press briefing - on camera or not - ABC News' political team will have full coverage and analysis from Political Director Rick Klein, correspondents Jonathan Karl, Cecilia Vega, Mary Bruce and others. Catch us on "The Briefing Room" at the ABC News Politics Facebook page, the ABC News YouTube page, ABCNews.com/LIVE and the ABC News app.
NEED TO READ with ABC News' Daksha Sthipam
Justice Department denies "personnel posting" reflects new policy on affirmative action. The Justice Department s refuting a report that it is working on a new directive to pursue inquiries and lawsuits against colleges they determine have engaged in discrimination "against white applicants," saying today that they are in fact seeking volunteers to investigate an administrative complaint filed by a coalition of dozens of Asian-American associations. http://abcn.ws/2hqB4n8
Senators seek stability in health insurance market, amid Trump threats to end payments. While Senate Republicans' efforts to overhaul the health care system failed last week, lawmakers are still working on short-term reforms, most notably to keep insurance premiums from skyrocketing next year. "If your house is on fire, you want to put out the fire, and the fire in this case is the individual health insurance market," Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn said Tuesday. http://abcn.ws/2uXQ1Sw
New FBI director tells agents: "You can count on me to stand with you." Within minutes of being sworn in as the new director of the FBI Wednesday, Christopher Wray made a promise to his workforce: "You can count on me to stand with you." In a private message sent to FBI agents and other personnel across the country, Wray said the FBI "must never allow our work to be driven by anything other than the facts, the Constitution and law, and the pursuit of justice." http://abcn.ws/2w7YjGb
Trump citing phone calls with Boy Scouts and Mexico they say never happened. For the second time this week, President Trump is coming under fire for claiming to have had a phone call with individuals who insist the conversations never happened, as both the Boy Scouts of America and Mexican officials are disputing that their leaders recently had phone conversations with the president. http://abcn.ws/2u33yoW
What's in the Trump-backed immigration bill. President Donald Trump introduced legislation Wednesday that would halve legal immigration numbers in ten years. http://abcn.ws/2u6ON8C
@realDonaldTrump: I love the White House, one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen. But Fake News said I called it a dump - TOTALLY UNTRUE
@cwarzel: confirmed: Here Is Anthony Scaramucci's "Communications Plan" For WH Staff From Before He Was Fired http://bzfd.it/2umFrRH
@SethAbramovitch: Trump threatened to sue SHARKNADO for giving Mark Cuban the role of president over him. http://bit.ly/2wnH1El
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.