TRUMP/RUSSIA COLLUSION BECOMES MORE CLEAR WITH EVIDENCE OF ANOTHER UNDISCLOSED MEETING: Two weeks after Donald Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination last year, his eldest son arranged a meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan with a Russian lawyer who has connections to the Kremlin, according to confidential government records described to The New York Times. The previously unreported meeting was also attended by Trump’s campaign chairman at the time, Paul Manafort, as well as the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, according to interviews and the documents, which were outlined by people familiar with them. Representatives of Trump Jr. and Kushner confirmed the meeting after The Times approached them with information about it.
TRUMP JUNIOR HAS TO EDIT HIS LIES ABOUT MEETING WITH RUSSIAN LAWYER: President Donald Trump's eldest son changed his account over the weekend of a meeting he had with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, saying Sunday that the woman told him she had information about Democrat Hillary Clinton. A statement from Donald Trump Jr. one day earlier made no mention of Clinton. In his initial depiction of the meeting last June, the president's son said the discussion focused on a disbanded program that used to allow American adoptions of Russian children. It appeared that Trump Jr. shifted his account of the meeting after being presented with additional information from The New York Times, which first reported both the discussion and the prospect of negative information about Clinton. The Kremlin, meanwhile, is disavowing knowledge of the Russian lawyer, or any meeting between Trump senior staff and the woman.
TRUMP/PUTIN MEETING PRODUCES CONFLICTING OPINIONS ABOUT WHAT WAS SAID: Lavrov came away from the meeting saying Trump had heard out Putin's assurances that Moscow did not run a hacking and disinformation effort, and had dismissed the entire U.S. investigation into the Russian role. "The U.S. president said that he heard clear statements from President Putin about this being untrue and that he accepted these statements," Lavrov told Russian reporters. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who also attended the 2 hour 16 minute meeting, told reporters at a separate news conference that during the session, Trump pressed Putin "on more than one occasion" on Russia's interference. Tillerson said that "President Putin denied such involvement," but he did not say whether Trump accepted that assertion. Rather, Tillerson said Trump decided to move on because Russia would not admit blame.
AFTER BACKLASH, TRUMP WALKS BACK HIS PLAN FOR CYBER SECURITY PARTNERSHIP WITH RUSSIA: The two sides also agreed to create what Trump described in a tweet as "an impenetrable Cyber Security unit" to ensure that "election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded." However, the idea drew widespread ridicule and Trump sent out another tweet Sunday night in which he seemed to back off: "The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn't mean I think it can happen. It can't-but a ceasefire can,& did!" "It's not the dumbest idea I've ever heard, but it's pretty close," Graham said, adding that, when it comes to Russia, the president has "a blind spot." Another Senate Republican, Marco Rubio of Florida, said on Twitter that "partnering with Putin on a 'Cyber Security Unit' is akin to partnering with Assad on a 'Chemical Weapons Unit.'"
TRUMP PUSHES CONGRESS TO PASS FALTERING HEALTH CARE LEGISLATION: President Donald Trump pressed Congress on Monday to get health care done before leaving for its long August recess, even as Republican senators say the GOP effort so far to repeal and replace the nation’s health law is probably dead. On Monday, as senators were returning to Washington after the July Fourth recess, the president tweeted, “I cannot imagine that Congress would dare to leave Washington without a beautiful new HealthCare bill fully approved and ready to go!” But prospects for the Republican effort in the Senate have been fading, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has been scrambling to salvage the faltering legislation. Support for the initial measure eroded during the weeklong July 4 break as many senators heard from constituents angry about the GOP bill and the prospect of rising premiums.