By Zeke J Miller
October 17, 2017

President Trump weighed in on everything from tax reform to the Russia investigation Monday in a wide-ranging press conference with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The hastily called event was designed to try to put an end to stories about the tensions between the two Republicans — but pretty much everyone knows better than to take their forced love-fest as it appeared. The two leaders may need each other more than ever, but there is ample distrust on both sides. Trump once again rejected the Russia investigation, blamed the Senate for the slow pace of his legislative agenda, and declined to vocally endorse the effort by former chief strategist Steve Bannon to primary moderate Republican lawmakers. Trump also falsely accused former President Obama of failing to appropriately console the families of fallen service-members, as he defended his response to the deaths of four American troops in Niger earlier this month.

Trump suggest he’s open to an Obamacare fix, but the devil is in the details. The EPA takes another axe to an Obama-era practice. And McCain unleashes on Trump’s world view.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

President Trump May Sign Off on a ‘Short-Term Fix’ to Obamacare
But it’s tentative [TIME]

Trump Falsely Claims Obama Didn’t Contact Families of Fallen Troops
Obama aides angrily rebuke [New York Times]

Trump, McConnell Make a Show of Unity, Despite Tensions
An unusual joint press conference [Associated Press]

The EPA Is Ending an Obama-Era Practice That Conservatives Say Sped Up New Rules
Agency will stop issuing new environmental regulations in response to lawsuits from outside groups [TIME]

Sound Off

“I’m not going to blame myself, I’ll be honest. They are not getting the job done. We’ve had healthcare approved, and then you had the surprise vote by John McCain. We’ve had other things happen, and they’re not getting the job done.” — President Trump to reporters during a Cabinet Meeting on Congress

“So, the traditional way — if you look at President Obama and other Presidents, most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it. They have made the ultimate sacrifice.” — Trump makes a false allegation about his predecessors’ outreach to the families of fallen soldiers

Bits and Bites

Obama Aides Pushed Back on President Trump’s Claim He Didn’t Call Military Families [TIME]

President Trump Just Spoke About Everything From Puerto Rico to Robert Mueller. Read the Transcript [TIME]

Rex Tillerson and the Unraveling of the State Department [New York Times]

Taylor Impresses Trump for Fed Chairman, Warsh Slips [Bloomberg]

Trump to interview Yellen as final decision nears on Fed chair [Politico]

Russia Probe: Senate Asks Mike Flynn’s Son for Documents, Testimony [NBC]

Rand Paul opposes Senate GOP budget [Politico]

John McCain: Remarks At The 2017 Liberty Medal Ceremony [Medium]

McCain condemns ‘half-baked, spurious nationalism’ in speech [Associated Press]

President Trump Says Rep. Tom Marino Is Withdrawing His Name for Drug Czar [Associated Press]

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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