By Zeke J Miller
August 18, 2016

If you only read one thing: Donald Trump’s campaign shakeup will face its first test Thursday as the candidate returns to the campaign trail in North Carolina. It comes as Republican patience is running thin, with several RNC members saying that the hiring of Breitbart boss Stephen Bannon as the campaign’s CEO makes it easier for the party to cut Trump loose. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton continues her retreat into her campaign bubble, as her campaign, comfortable with its lead, adopts a risk averse strategy toward voters and the press.

Hillary Clinton is turning up the pressure on Trump’s tax plan, accusing him of devising a program that would benefit himself and rich people like him. Meanwhile, Democrats are asking what he’s hiding in refusing to release his tax returns, as he promised last year. A new Clinton TV ad features Republicans calling on Trump to release his returns.

The Clinton campaign is also in damage control mode, claiming interview reports from the FBI’s investigation into her personal email server have been leaked to the press after being turned over to Congress this week. But seeking to embarrass congressional aides, no matter how hypocritical their behavior, likely won’t detract from the embarrassing leaks.

A Democratic Senate campaign turns the table on a conservative would-be infiltrator. Manafort tried to talk Trump out of the taco bowl tweet. And CNN explains to a Trump aide that “all the polls” show him behind.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

Staff Shake-Up Signals a Return to Donald Trump’s Rebellious Roots

TIME’s Alex Altman on the meaning of the staff shake-up

Hillary Clinton Treads Cautiously Amid Donald Trump Stumbles

First do no harm [TIME]

Cracks In the Obamacare Crystal Ball

More troubles with the exchanges, TIME’s Haley Sweetland Edwards writes

Unpacking the Court: Is Eight Enough?

TIME’s Massimo Calabresi on the shrinking Supreme Court

Hillary Clinton Finds Her Zone of Caution and Control

The candidate retreats as Trump stumbles, TIME’s David Von Drehle writes

Democratic Senate Campaign Catches Conservative Infiltrator

Campaign confronts woman seeking inside information [TIME]

Sound Off

” I’d throw him out. If you look at him, I’d throw him out.” —Donald Trump on people with extremist views in the U.S.

“We’re going to tax the wealthy who have made all of the income gains in the last 15 years.” —Hillary Clinton outlining her tax plan in Cleveland

Bits and Bites

Hillary Clinton Twists the Knife in Donald Trump’s Tax Proposals [New York Times]

Steve Bannon, Trump’s New C.E.O., Hints at His Master Plan [Vanity Fair]

U.S. Held Cash Until Iran Freed Prisoners [Wall Street Journal]

The Unhappy Campaign Of Paul Manafort [Huffington Post]

Hillary Clinton fundraises with the stars [CNN]

Clinton sends Kaine into red territory [Politico]

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