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President Trump addressed reporters Thursday from his golf course in New Jersey where he is vacationing, escalating his rhetoric in response to North Korea’s threats against the U.S. But the increasingly dire language is not matched by changes to military posture, whether it be the deployment of additional American forces or the evacuation of thousands of military dependents on the peninsula. Trump also announced his intent to declare a national emergency to respond to the opioid crisis, and thanked Vladimir Putin for reducing the headcount at U.S. diplomatic posts in Russia.

Bannon’s tough spot. The memo that blew up the National Security Council. And Kushner is fined.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

North Korea Tensions Show the Disconnect Between Trump’s Words and Administration’s Actions
Rhetorical but not actual escalation [LA Times]

Breitbart’s War on McMaster Bites Bannon
The chief White House strategist is increasingly isolated in the West Wing

Trump Thanks Putin for Expelling U.S. Diplomats, Infuriating State Department
Dismay among the diplomatic corps [Politico]

President Trump Just Declared a National Emergency Over the Opioid Epidemic
Formal declaration coming soon [Reuters]

Sound Off

“Military solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!” — President Trump on Twitter Friday

“Maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough.” — Trump on his ‘fire and fury’ warning to North Korea

Bits and Bites

Here’s the Memo That Blew Up the NSC [Foreign Policy]

Congressional investigators want to question Trump’s longtime secretary, Rhona Graff, in Russia probe [ABC]

Transgender Soldiers Are Suing President Trump Over His Proposal to Ban Them From the Military [TIME]

U.S. and North Korea Have Been Talking Quietly for Months: Report [Associated Press]

Susan Rice Says Pre-Emptive War With North Korea Would Be ‘Catastrophic’ [TIME]

Sean Spicer Wants to Do ‘Saturday Night Live’ [US Weekly]

Kushner fined for late financial report [McClatchy]

‘When you put this guy in a cage and think you’re controlling him, things like this happen’ [Washington Post]

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