By Zeke J Miller
October 4, 2017

As President Trump heads to Las Vegas, all eyes in Washington are on how he will handle the emotional moment and what, if anything, he will say about gun control. Aides say they’ve seen no indication that the president is making a 180 on gun control overnight — he was backed by the NRA during his campaign and became the first sitting president in decades to speak to the group’s annual conference. But Trump has been moved off seemingly firm positions before, whether for emotional reasons like the photos of Syrian chemical weapons use in March, or for political ones in the case of DACA.

Officials across the White House complex have huddled privately to consider potential policy or political responses to the tragedy, aides said, but there has been no formal deliberative process or priorities established. Similarly, what little discussion there has been hasn’t risen to the level of the president or even much of his senior staff. Administration staffers have been closely following reports on how the shooter obtained the weapon, while White House lawyers are studying up on the legal authorities of the ATF when it comes to regulating the deadly modifications used by the shooter. The “bump stock,” which allowed the shooter to fire at near-automatic rates without violating the letter of federal law, was one focus of inquiry in the days after the shooting. Such a narrow move could gain widespread backing, and would also meet the White House’s test of responding based on the facts of the case.

Trump’s Cabinet trouble. The president’s unclear position on Puerto Rico’s debt. And the Supreme Court considers a major gerrymandering case.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. Were Close to Being Charged With Felony Fraud
New York prosecutors were preparing a case. Then the D.A. overruled his staff after a visit from a top donor: Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz. [ProPublica]

Facebook Fought for Years to Avoid Political Ad Disclosure Rules
Loophole now facing scrutiny after Russian interference [Bloomberg]

Pence’s Chief of Staff Floats ‘Purge’ of Anti-Trump Republicans to Wealthy Donors
Comes after he was accused of boost VP’s interests over Trump’s [Politico]

With Trump In The White House, Everybody Thinks They Can Be President
It’s been years since a House Democrat stood any chance of winning the presidential nomination. But that’s not stopping them now. [BuzzFeed]

Trump Prepares to Wound Iran Deal — And Then Save It
The president’s national security team finds a way for Trump to wound ‘the worst deal ever’ without killing it. [Politico]

Defense Secretary Mattis Suggests Sticking With Iran Nuclear Deal
Breaking with Trump [Reuters]

Tillerson’s Fury at Trump Required an Intervention From Pence
Tillerson denies he thought about quitting [NBC]

GOP Leaders Say No Action on Gun Legislation
Want to keep focus on taxes [Associated Press]

Sound Off

“Every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous— hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died— and you look at what happened here with really a storm that was just totally overpowering, nobody’s ever seen anything like this.” — President Trump in Puerto Rico

“They owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street and we’re going to have to wipe that out. You’re going to say goodbye to that, I don’t know if it’s Goldman Sachs but whoever it is you can wave goodbye to that.” — Trump on Puerto Rico to Fox News. His comments were later walked back by OMB Director Mick Mulvaney

Bits and Bites

The Las Vegas Shooter Modified His Guns. Here’s Why That’s Important [TIME]

Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted Michigan and Wisconsin [CNN]

Trump to UN chief: Netanyahu more difficult than Abbas [Haaretz]

Mattis says staying in Iran deal is in U.S. national security interest [Axios]

Ryan asked White House to reconsider ousting Price [Politico]

Trump says Puerto Rico’s debt will have to be wiped out [Reuters]

White House to seek $29B disaster aid package [Associated Press]

President Trump Says Hurricane Maria Was Not ‘a Real Catastrophe Like Hurricane Katrina’ [TIME]

Most Americans Don’t Approve of President Trump’s Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico [Associated Press]

Pro-Life Congressman Reportedly Asked Girlfriend to Get an Abortion [Associated Press]

John McCain Urges Supreme Court to ‘Return Control of Our Elections to the People’ [TIME]

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