THE TAKE with ABC News’ Rick Klein

Body-slamming Kim Jong Un is not a viable option. Debates over fake news and presidential behavior will have to wait while a crop of big storylines converges on the White House. We’re talking about the brink of a real war with North Korea, with a regime that’s clearly prodding President Trump and seeming to like the attention so far. We’re talking about a foreign trip that will be capped by a real meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin, an exchange that will carry vast implications both foreign and domestic. We’re talking about a legislative agenda on the recess firing line, with town halls heating up and health care blowback stirring. It leaves the president in an unfamiliar position, reacting, rather than driving the agenda. We know the president’s views on counter-punching, of course. But these are crises that can’t be solved in 140 characters. “Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?” Trump tweeted, an apparent reference to North Korea’s leader. Things are getting serious again, and quickly.


Sen. Ted Cruz was heckled in southern Texas while reading the Declaration of Independence. In Philly, folks held an event: “Don’t let Toomey BBQ Your Healthcare”… without Sen. Pat Toomey. There were protesters along parade routes in Nevada, too, making their opposition to Obamacare repeal heard even if politicians weren’t there in person to listen. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was welcomed by a few people at her July 4th parade, who specifically thanked her for pushing back against her own party on health care, according to the Washington Post. What is usually a high-flying holiday day for elected officials was muted, to say the least. Several senators opted for a work trip to Afghanistan over public flag-waving at home and other Republicans simply seemed to stay indoors, avoiding public opposition and photo ops all together this year. The question now is how long they can keep the heat away.

NEED TO READ with ABC News’ Daksha Sthipam

Trump set for crucial diplomatic test in first face-to-face with Putin. President Trump will experience the most crucial diplomatic test of his presidency when he sits down Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 Summit in Germany. The president has been receiving briefings on issues that are paramount to the U.S.-Russia relationship and has spoken every day with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis. http://abcn.ws/2tJcDWC

Trump targets North Korea, missile test in latest Twitter attack. President Trump took to Twitter Monday night to express his frustration over North Korea’s latest missile test and called on the country’s longtime ally China to intervene. Trump tweeted a question about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whether he “[had] anything better to do with his life” and suggested China could put a “heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense.” http://abcn.ws/2tliE9V

How your state responded to Trump’s voter request. Here is where the states stand, according to the National Association of Secretaries of State, as of July 3. http://abcn.ws/2umMo6f

Auschwitz Memorial condemns Rep. Clay Higgins’ gas chamber video: “It’s not a stage.” Congressman Clay Higgins was criticized Tuesday by officials at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum after the Louisiana Republican posted a five-minute YouTube video he narrated from inside a gas chamber at the Nazi death camp. Higgins said the gas chamber killings took only about “20 minutes” and shows why U.S. military “must be invincible.” http://abcn.ws/2sL0Ymd


@LMartinezABC: US fired one ATACMS missile, South Korea fired one Hyunmoo II missile as response to North Korean ICBM launch.

@realDonaldTrump: If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.

@nikkihaley: Spending my 4th in meetings all day. #ThanksNorthKorea

@DavidMDrucker: NEWS: @RepAnnWagner won’t challenge @clairecmc in 2018, opts for re-election to the House. http://washex.am/2uhEDyu #MOSEN

@politico: Trump wants a do-over in Europe http://politi.co/2sF2kE0 via @thomaswright08 in@POLITICOMag

The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.

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