The Note: Plot thickens with Trump crafting son's misleading memo on Russia meeting

PHOTO: President Donald Trump pauses while speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House, July 26, 2017.PlayAlex Brandon/AP
WATCH The Note: 'The Mooch' moves out

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  • President Trump personally dictated his son's initial, misleading statement about the meeting Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort had with a Russian lawyer, The Washington Post reports. Two senior-level sources confirmed this to ABC News.
  • Mooch moves along. Less than two weeks after the announcement of his new role, Anthony Scaramucci is out as White House communications director, as new chief of staff John Kelly flexes some muscle. "A great day at the White House," the president tweeted, hours after assuring his followers, "no WH chaos!"
  • Chills are turning cold with Russia. Trump is poised to sign a bill strengthening sanctions on Russia, as Vladimir Putin jabs back by seizing U.S. diplomatic properties and slashing American embassy staff.
  • "My Party is in Denial about Donald Trump." A stunning rebuke of Trump comes from Sen. Jeff Flake, who writes in his new book "Conscience of a Conservative": "If this was our Faustian bargain, then it was not worth it."
  • THE TAKE with ABC News' Rick Klein

    The ouster of Anthony Scaramucci might be one of those rare instances where chaos outside suggests the beginning of order inside. That, at least, is John Kelly's hope, if not the promise of best behavior he's extracted from President Trump. Then comes the latest Russia news, along with the irresistible visual of the president himself dictating his son's misleading statement on a plane ride back from Europe. (Note to the new chief of staff: This means staffers are still talking – this time about the president's own behavior.) The latest revelation implicates the president directly in an attempt to mislead the public about the now infamous meeting Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort had with individuals they were told represented the Russian government. It also directly undercuts what the Trump legal team said about the president not being involved. It's a reminder that while wrangling the staff is a challenge, the real issues in exerting control in this White House remain managing the chief and his family.

    QUOTE OF THE DAY

    "There is no announcement on that and the president has 100 percent confidence in his cabinet." --Press secretary Sarah Sanders when asked if Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be replaced.

    WHAT TO WATCH TODAY

    President Trump holds an event for small businesses at the White House today.

    "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

    U.S. announces sanctions against Venezuelan President Maduro. The U.S. Treasury Department has sanctioned Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro just one day after his government held elections for a constituent assembly that would rewrite the country's constitution. http://abcn.ws/2vgUpwx

    White House opioid commission asks Trump to declare "national emergency" to combat overdoses. The White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis has asked President Donald Trump to "declare a national emergency" to help fight the deadly opioid epidemic. "Our nation is in a crisis. Our citizens are dying. We must act boldly to stop it," wrote the committee, which released the interim report on Monday. http://abcn.ws/2tZgWi8

    Senate GOP hears, but doesn't plan to take, Trump's advice on health care. Senate Republicans responded to the legislative advice given by the White House over the weekend with the particular brand of disdain reserved for people who try to tell senators what to do. "I don't think he's got much experience in the Senate, as I recall, and he's got a big job. He ought to do that job and let us do our job," Sen. John Cornyn said Monday evening. http://abcn.ws/2wfIkVz

    Sarah Sanders says Trump was joking about police brutality comment. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday that President Trump was likely joking last week when he appeared to advise law enforcement officials not to worry about injuring suspects. "I believe he was making a joke at the time," Sanders told reporters during a press briefing. http://abcn.ws/2vnp4ci

    WHO'S TWEETING?

    @ThisWeekABC: Pres. Trump awards Medal of Honor to Vietnam combat medic James McCloughan: http://abcn.ws/2uRwzoQ

    @JennaMC_Laugh: Scoop: Kushner to interns: Trump team was too disorganized to collude with Russia. http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/07/31/kusher-to-interns-trump-team-too-disorganized-to-collude-with-russia/ … by me

    @jaketapper: Breaking -- White House officials hoodwinked by email prankster - http://CNNPolitics.com http://cnn.it/2uSVsRg

    @markberman: Wow: John Kelly, new White House chief of staff, reportedly considered resigning because of how Trump fired Comey http://cnn.it/2tXJTuD

    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.

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