The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson—Getty Images
July 16, 2015 7:22 AM EDT

President Obama struck a lecturing tone Wednesday in a defiant news conference at the White House in defense of his administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. Obama seemed to relish the back-and-forth with reporters, arguing that the only viable alternative to the deal was war. He encouraged reporters to ask about the agreement one day after it was reached, and at one point even seemed to pose a question about the deal to himself to then answer. But Obama bristled at a question about his celebratory tone as four U.S. prisoners remain in Iran. TIME’s Massimo Calabresi explores the gamble at the heart of the Iran deal on this week’s cover, explaining how a deal to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear power made it a regional one.

Obama will become the first sitting president to visit a federal prison Thursday in Oklahoma, part of a week-long focus on boosting criminal justice reform efforts. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is in San Francisco Thursday to visit a tech startup and to highlight his support for the Uber. Bush will arrive at Thumbtack, a company that helps match small-businesses with customers, via the ride-sharing service, days after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was seen by some as criticizing the company’s unintended consequences on the economy.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Iran Rises
Massimo Calabresi breaks down the gamble at the heart of the Iran deal on this week’s cover of TIME.

13 Reasons the Government Could Shut Down Again This Fall
TIME’s Jay Newton-Small previews the coming legislative showdown

Meet ‘Drama’ Obama
The president lets his emotions show [Politico]

What Inmates Think of Obama’s Prison Visit
TIME’s Maya Rhodan explores the significance of Obama’s prison visit.

Hillary Clinton Lags in Engaging Grass-Roots Donors
A sign of trouble, or just a slow start? [New York Times]

Sound Off

“If you give a woman or a man for that matter, without his or her knowledge, a drug and then have sex with that person without consent—that’s rape. Any civilized country should have no tolerance for rape.” — President Obama in a news conference Wednesday in response to a question about Bill Cosby. Obama said there was no mechanism for revoking Cosby’s Presidential Medal of Freedom in light of sexual assault allegations against him

“Have we exhausted Iran questions here? I think there’s a helicopter that’s coming, but I really am enjoying this Iran debate.” — Obama, encouraging reporters to keep the focus of the news conference on Iran

Bits and Bites

Donald Trump claims $10 billion net worth after filing election forms [TIME]

Bush hails Uber, while Clinton criticizes [TIME]

Elder Bush breaks bone in neck in fall in Maine [Associated Press]

Obama greeted by protesters waving Confederate flags in Oklahoma [Washington Post]

Federal health exchange approved fake claims [Wall Street Journal]

Hillary Clinton spends $18 million, hires hundreds [Associated Press]

Martin O’Malley trails tivals in fundraising with $2 million haul [TIME]

Ted Cruz makes New York Times’ list [Politico]

Lindsey Graham on breaking the Iran deal, snubbing Cuba, and being a bachelor president [Yahoo]

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