— -- THE TAKE with ABC News' Rick Klein
President Trump may be waffling on what he is politically – or, at least, shifting on what he wants to reveal on that topic. But the reactions to his shifts, combined with some outside events, show that he has plenty of company in that regard. Republicans are back to where they thought they'd be when the Trump presidency started. They're suspicious of the president's motives, angry at their own leaders, and facing potential new alignments where Trump will cut deals, either on whims or out of strategy, with unexpected outcomes. Democrats can't believe their sudden good fortune. But that collides with the realization that they actually didn't achieve any policy goals with the spending deal they cut, and that nothing stands as reliable precedent with this president. This weekend, with Steve Bannon and Hillary Clinton giving their first major interviews in a long while, both parties will be confronting figures and episodes from the recent past that highlight those divisions. Trump, meanwhile, can just be Trump – and that can easily include tweeted responses to Bannon and Clinton, to stir things up anew. It's another moment where it's worth remembering that Trump's disruption of the political process runs wide, deep, and still strong.
BERNIE BRUSHES OFF CLINTON AND 2016
Bernie Sanders threw some serious shade last night. He didn't rail against a broken Democratic Party, which could have been easy for him, or talk about any of Hillary Clinton's missteps during her failed campaign. In fact, during an interview with Stephen Colbert, he mostly pivoted away from 2016. Still, with just one line, the Vermont senator offered a strong rebuttal to Clinton's most recent criticism of him. "Secretary Clinton ran against the most unpopular candidate in the history of this country and she lost and was upset about that," the Vermont senator said, brushing off the accusations in her new book that his attacks on her during the primary made it hard for her to unify progressives. Clinton kicks off her book tour this weekend more on the defensive than a week ago. In addition to questions about what happened with Trump, she'll also face questions about her choice to point a finger at Sanders and speak rather condescendingly about his campaign. The fact that she lost last year despite her many advantages is why many Democrats – progressives and moderates -- roll their eyes at anything she has to say now. And plenty of Democrats in the trenches today acknowledge that Sanders, while still hazy on practical policy details, was the driving force behind many of the big ideas they are unifying around today, ABC News' MaryAlice Parks notes.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"He wanted to make sure that in this moment of national crisis where our country's getting hit by two horrible hurricanes he wanted to have a bipartisan response and not a food fight on the timing of the debt limit attached to this bill." -- Speaker Paul Ryan on why President Trump sided with Democrats on the debt ceiling and government funding after a meeting at the White House
WHAT TO WATCH
ABC News will provide extensive live coverage of Hurricane Irma, the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean in more than a decade. Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos will lead coverage from ABC News headquarters in New York, and "World News Tonight" Anchor David Muir will lead coverage on the ground from South Florida. On Sunday, ABC News will air live coverage from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET as the storm hits the Florida coast. https://goo.gl/gmbnHV
Hillary Clinton will join "The View" next Wednesday, Sept. 13, for her first post-election talk show appearance and to discuss her new tell-all book, "What Happened."
NEED TO READ with ABC's PAOLA CHAVEZ
What Donald Trump Jr. told Senate investigators Thursday about his meeting with a Russian lawyer. After a five-hour meeting with congressional investigators, Donald Trump Jr. said he felt his interview "fully satisfied their inquiry," but Democratic lawmakers tell ABC News he didn't come close. "There are gaps in the information we have today that we need to fill. And he was unable to answer a lot of those questions for whatever reason and we need to continue to explore them and seek answers," Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who sat in for most of the interview, told ABC News. http://abcn.ws/2wdetwH
Campus rape policy under review by the Trump administration. In another example of the Trump administration unwinding Obama-era policy, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced Thursday that the department will begin the process of updating guidance for Title IX sexual assault investigations -- a move she said would ensure due process on campus. "One rape is too many...and one person denied due process is too many," she said at George Mason Law School in Virginia. Studies put the prevalence of false allegations between 2 and 10 percent. http://abcn.ws/2wM5O80
Former US presidents band together to launch "One America Appeal" to help hurricane victims. The five former living U.S. presidents have banded together to launch "One America Appeal," an initiative that will raise funds for organizations assisting victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, George H.W. Bush's office announced Thursday. http://abcn.ws/2xQnH3e
How Hurricane Irma could impact Trump's luxury properties in Florida. ABC News
Boeing names Musser to top communications post. Boeing
The first white president. The Atlantic
Congressman Charlie Dent will not seek re-election in 2018. The Morning Call
Bannon's comments on immigrants line up with the views of many white Catholics. The Washington Post
Exclusive: Botched surgery, delayed diagnosis at a one-star 'house of horrors' VA hospital. USA Today
The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back Monday for the latest.