WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
THE TAKE with ABC News' Rick Klein
Welcome to the most dangerous moment of Donald Trump's presidency. The North Koreans did what the North Koreans do, and then President Trump…did what the North Koreans do, too. Trump's new line is not just red – it's fiery and furious and now closer than ever to being crossed, since the president's warning applies to further threats, not just actions. Perhaps it was a strategic attempt to speak in a manner Kim Jong Un would understand. The president said "fire and fury like the world has never seen" and then repeated much of that phrase. But for all Trump's inconsistencies, one major theme of his critique of his predecessor was on not following through on threats. This – "power, the likes of which this world has never seen before" – is a doozy in that category. We know, or we think we know, the president doesn't like to convey weakness. We know almost nothing about what Kim Jong Un is thinking. In any event, this might be a good time to have a president who enjoys the trust of the American people and the lawmakers he serves with.
TRUMP SIDES WITH SENATE LEADERSHIP IN AL RACE
The Alabama Senate primary race has been getting particularly ugly, and President Trump has made his choice – an intriguing one that aligns himself with the establishment against the insurgents. A cluster of Republicans has been trying to out-Trump Trump, or at least convince voters of whom would best have the president's back, in advance of next Tuesday's primary. One man gunning for the job, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, is running an ad blasting almost every other Republican in Washington aside from President Trump, with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Mitch McConnell among those targeted. Another candidate, Rep. Mo Brooks, is a Freedom Caucus member who was endorsed by Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter. But the president seemed to want to play nice with Senate leadership on this one. Last night, just a day after McConnell vented some frustration about the White House, Trump sided with the Senate majority leader and endorsed his pick in the race, Sen. Luther Strange. It may mark a de-escalation in the GOP-on-GOP tussles, and could make a big difference in a state where #MAGA is a touchstone, ABC News' MaryAlice Parks writes.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen," President Trump on North Korea.
"POWERHOUSE POLITICS" PODCAST'S 100TH EPISODE
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel joins ABC News' White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl and Political Director Rick Klein for the "Powerhouse Politics" podcast's 100th episode.
NEED TO READ with ABC News' Daksha Sthipam
The toughest test Paul Ryan has faced as speaker. While lawmakers enjoy a five-week summer recess, House Speaker Paul Ryan is preparing to face perhaps his toughest challenge to date: increasing the country's debt limit. http://abcn.ws/2hHKknp
Mitch McConnell vents about Trump's "excessive expectations." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vented about how President Trump's lack of political experience has led to him setting "excessive expectations" for legislative priorities. McConnell, R-Ky., said that he found it "extremely irritating" that Congress has earned the reputation of not accomplishing anything. http://abcn.ws/2wEVGLe
Nikki Haley suggests President Trump tweeted about classified info. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley refused to comment on a report about North Korea, saying, "I can't talk about anything that's classified." One person who didn't mind sharing the information? President Donald Trump. http://abcn.ws/2vgfQ0n
Trump notes decline in drug prosecution, suggests preventative measures as he receives opioid briefing. President Donald Trump noted a decline in drug prosecution as he spoke to reporters about the opioid "epidemic" Tuesday. "At the end of 2016, there were 23 percent fewer federal prosecutions than in 2011, so they looked at this scourge and they let it go by. We're not letting it go by," said Trump. http://abcn.ws/2vkR79F
North Korea now making missile-ready nuclear weapons, U.S. analysts say. The Washington Post
Wall Street swings lower after Trump warns North Korea. Reuters
Trump gets a folder full of positive news about himself twice a day. Vice News
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.