The Note: Trump vs. Trump as foreign trip gets busy start

PHOTO: President Donald Trump shakes hands with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw, Poland July 6, 2017.PlayKancelaria Prezydenta RP/Krzysztof Sitkowski/Reuters
WATCH The Note: Trump gets personal in Poland

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  • President Trump's trip to Europe is off to a newsy start. In a news conference with the Polish president, Trump attacked some U.S. news outlets as "fake news," and blasted former President Obama for not doing more to respond to Russia's alleged interference in the election.
  • Yet Trump isn't laying the blame at Russia's feet for allegedly meddling in the 2016 election. "I think it was Russia, and I think it could have been other people in other countries," Trump said. The big Putin meeting is Friday.
  • The president isn't drawing a red line with North Korea but said he has some "pretty severe things" he's thinking about doing in retaliation for the country's "very, very bad behavior."
  • In a speech to the Polish people today, Trump slammed the "creep of government bureaucracy," a subtle dig at Western Europe, perhaps, and praised the country for being one of the "NATO countries that's achieved the benchmark for investment in our common defense.".
  • Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas fielded tough questions Thursday night from voters on health care in the first of several town halls. While the crowd was mostly friendly inside, outside the town hall were about 50 protesters upset over the GOP Senate health care bill and its proposed cuts to Medicaid.
  • THE TAKE with ABC News' Rick Klein

    In the run-up to the most anticipated meeting of Donald Trump's presidency, the give-and-take that matters is inside the president's head. Specifically, how much does the part of Trump that craves being liked decide to give? And how much does the part of Trump that wants to be feared and respected try to take? One can imagine Russian President Vladimir Putin's watching the president's news conference this morning with a kind of anticipation he hasn't had since … Barack Obama was the new president. The fact that even now – nearly six months into office – Trump still won't accept as fact that the Russians attempted to influence the election? That gives Putin an out as big as a Red Army tank, plus a giant hint that hacking allegations are not on the U.S. president's agenda. "I think it was Russia, but I think it was other people and/or countries," Trump said. "Nobody knows. Nobody really knows for sure." For now, Trump seems more inclined to slam Obama and CNN, as he did at the news conference today, than Putin. On the subject of Russia, as with North Korea, Trump is clearly learning on the job about issues that threaten to consume his presidency.

    READING BETWEEN THE LINES OF TRUMP'S VISIT TO POLAND

    Once again President Trump does it his way. He's not in the U.K., Germany or France this morning, but meeting with a more controversial ally before the G-20 summit. On the one hand, Poland has been a steadfast military partner to the United States and, in line with one of the president's priorities, the country already contributes more of its gross domestic product on military spending than other NATO allies. But the increasingly right-wing and populist government in the country has been accused of limiting the free press and challenging judicial independence since it came to power. Poland currently has a strict stance against taking in Syrian refugees, a decision President Trump appears to applaud in his address today. There are other lines in the president's speech that look like direct digs at Germany's Angela Merkel, bashing "steady creep of government bureaucracy" on both sides of the Atlantic. While visiting Poland, the president held meetings with a dozen leaders from other Eastern European and Baltic states gathered to promote energy independence. The question now, ABC News' MaryAlice Parks writes: Is Trump actively working to distance the United States from Western powerhouses and reorient U.S. foreign policy toward Eastern Europe instead?

    QUOTE OF THE DAY

    "I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and, or countries, and I see nothing wrong with that statement. Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure," President Trump on the 2016 election hacking the intelligence community has said Russia is responsible for

    NEED TO READ with ABC News' Daksha Sthipam

    Trump slams "creep of government bureaucracy" in speech to Polish people. "Finally, on both sides of the Atlantic, our citizens are confronted by yet another danger – one firmly within our control. This danger is invisible to some but familiar to the Poles. The steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people," President Trump said during his speech in the historical Krasinski Square in Warsaw, Poland. http://abcn.ws/2tOwa8r

    Rep. Steve Scalise readmitted to ICU in serious condition because of "concerns for infection." Rep. Steve Scalise, who was shot in the hip June 14 when a gunman opened fire at a baseball practice of Republican lawmakers in Virginia, has been readmitted to the intensive care unit in serious condition at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, the hospital announced Wednesday night. Medstar sighted " new concerns for infection" as the reason for the readmission. http://abcn.ws/2tOpYwY

    Congressman apologizes for recording video in Auschwitz gas chamber. Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., apologized Wednesday for recording a five-minute YouTube video on the grounds of the former Nazi death camp in Auschwitz, Poland, and sparking criticism from the museum at the site and on social media. Rep. Higgins said he filmed the video out of "homage" to those murdered in Auschwitz and has "retracted the video" out of respect. http://abcn.ws/2sKnSKv

    WHO'S TWEETING?

    @NewsHour: New Newshour/@NPR/@Maristpoll: 54% of Americans think Trump's dealings with Russia were unethical or illegal. http://to.pbs.org/2tUrrTf

    @joshrogin: .@JohnAvlon on Trump in Poland: "He's apologizing for America. He's running down our country and our institutions." @NewDay

    @PatrickSvitek: .@TedCruz says Obamacare repeal effort has been "messy" and "bumpy." "I am not certain we'll get it done," but I hope we do, he says.

    @KennethMoton: Sen @tedcruz was met by dozens of protestors outside, a friendlier crowd inside his first of several town halls in TX #healthcare @ABC

    @StevenErlanger: China Sees Opening Left by Trump in Europe, and Quietly Steps In, via @nytimes @StevenErlanger http://nyti.ms/2tPht4X

    @VeraMBergen: In White House statement, Kris Kobach calls reports that 44 states are refusing to hand over voter data "fake 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.

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