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President Donald Trump is set to meet Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. The White House insists there’s no formal agenda for the highly-anticipated meeting. Trump’s top aides are pushing him to get tough on Putin, both because of the Russian’s aggression against the U.S. and its allies and to shore up the President’s image at home. But Trump has always believed he could form a relationship with Putin, the veteran spymaster who has bedeviled Trump’s predecessors. The President will be joined in the meeting by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has known Putin for years from his past role as CEO of ExxonMobil but is new to government. Putin will be joined by foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. Translators will be the only others in the room, officials said. Tillerson is expected to brief reporters on the confab later Friday, while the Russian government is typically swift with providing (usually self-serving) read-outs of Putin’s meetings.

While Trump is abroad, Senate Republicans are coming to grips with the fact that time has become their enemy when it comes to passing a healthcare bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. The legislation is the most unpopular major bill in decades. Swing lawmakers are hearing it from their constituents at home and on the phone, and a consensus plan that can win 50 GOP votes appears to be even more elusive than it was just last week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is signaling that he may be ready to move on to other issues, while working on technical fixes to the legislation that Republicans have derided for seven years.

New York City’s mayor flies to Germany to protest Trump. DeVos gets sued over student loans. And the head of the government ethics office calls it quits.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

Walter Shaub says America should have right to know motivations of its leaders

Ethics office chief critical of Trump steps down [CBS]

Russians Are Suspects in Nuclear Site Hackings, Sources Say

Attempts to discover weaknesses in grid [Bloomberg]

McConnell says GOP must shore up ACA insurance markets if Senate bill dies

Would require working with Democrats [Washington Post]

Trump shows anew a willingness to break norms

His overseas criticism of U.S. institutions raises eyebrows [Associated Press]

Trump Uses Natural Gas to Challenge Putin on European Trip

Efforts to boost US exports weaken Russian [TIME]

White House Limits Pentagon on Afghan Troop Level

After Trump let generals decide number of forces, classified memo put initial cap at 3,900, amid strategy review [Wall Street Journal]

Sound Off

“Any effort by North Korea to start a war would lead to severe consequences.” —Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis

“You can’t be sure, and so it almost doesn’t matter whether they are profiting or not. America should have the right to know what the motivations of its leaders are, and they need to know that financial interests, personal financial interests, aren’t among them.” —Outgoing Office of Government Ethics head Walter Shaub to CBS.

Bits and Bites

Trump hands a victory to Polish nationalists [Politico]

NYC’s Mayor Is Heading to a Trump Protest in Germany [TIME]

Pentagon: A War Against North Korea Would Be ‘Catastrophic’ [Associated Press]

Israel Tells U.S. It Doesn’t Want Russia Policing Safe Zones in Southern Syria [Haaretz]

Andrew Cuomo Could Beat Trump … If He Can Win Over the Left First [Politico]

GOP bill is the most unpopular bill in three decades [Axios]

U.S., other G-20 nations near compromise on climate [Politico]

‘I Didn’t Expect Donald Trump to Win.’ Republican Senator Explains the Struggle Over Health Care Bill [TIME]

Another ‘Oops’ Moment? Rick Perry Quote on Supply and Demand Mocked [TIME]

Betsy DeVos Suspended Rules Shielding Students From For-Profit College Fraud. Now 19 Attorneys General Are Suing Her [Associated Press]

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