President Trump held an unacknowledged meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit in Hamburg on July 7, the White House confirmed Tuesday. The discussion at the conclusion of dinner took place without any other U.S. officials present, leaving the president’s recollection of the meeting as the only American record of the chat. It is unclear how long they spoke (Trump denies it was an hour, as initially reported) or what they discussed, as U.S. officials spent part of Tuesday trying to debrief the president on the conversation.
Wednesday marks the first meeting of the Trump Administration’s “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity,” formed in part to justify Trump’s unfounded allegation that millions of illegal votes were cast in the 2016 election. Trump dropped by the opening of the meeting, and took aim at the states not complying with the commission’s request for voter data. “If any state does not want to share this information, one has to wonder what they’re worried about,” he said. “There’s something, there always is.”
Trump is meeting with Republican senators over lunch at the White House has he tries to revive the collapsed effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. Some White House officials are cautiously optimistic, believing the apparent failure will turn the screws on lawmakers to come around on the bill. But most observers aren’t nearly that hopeful, believing that the ship has sailed on both plan A—repeal and replace—and plan B, a straight repeal of the legislation.
The military’s Trump lease. The Department of Justice reinstates asset forfeitures. And Trump aides move on.
Here are your must reads:
White House Describes Previously Unacknowledged Putin Meeting as ‘Casual’
No other U.S. officials were present [TIME]
The Voter Fraud Commission’s First Meeting Is Already Marred by Backlash
Pence to convene meeting Wednesday [TIME]
U.S. Military’s Space in Trump Tower Costs $130,000 a Month
Property is being leased by a military office that supports the White House; government agency says its owner isn’t affiliated with the Trump Organization [Wall Street Journal]
Senators Pushed Trump to the Sidelines. He Happily Stayed There.
Republicans are paying the price [Washington Post]
Trump Making Last-Ditch Effort After Health Bill Collapse
Calls on lawmakers to keep their promise [Associated Press]
Eighth Person in Trump Tower Meeting Is Identified
A U.S.-based employee of a Russian real estate company [Washington Post]
“I would say Democrats. They’re responsible” — White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on who is primarily responsible for Senate Republicans being unable to reach 50 votes on their healthcare bill
“I think this is already going over the cliff and doesn’t need a push by the President.” — Sanders on whether Trump would act to try to improve Obamacare markets
Bits and Bites
Trump aides move on after health care loss [Politico]
Revealed: Trump’s Still-Secret Plan to ‘Crush’ ISIS [Daily Beast]
Watching ‘Fox & Friends,’ Trump Sees a Two-Way Mirror [New York Times]
US restoring asset seizures — with safeguards [Associated Press]