The Note: Pence bats down 2020 talk and pledges loyalty

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • Hit a few balls, make a few calls: President Trump is at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for his working vacation while the White House is undergoing renovations.
  • Who’s loyal? Vice President Mike Pence issued an unusual statement, calling it “disgraceful and offensive” for The New York Times to report that he’s keeping options open for a run for president in 2020.
  • Trump hasn’t ordered the Justice Department to investigate any particular individuals, according to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein also told Fox News the Russia investigation is not a “fishing expedition” and if the evidence so happens to fall outside the scope of the investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller would ask him for permission to expand the probe.
  • Trump praised the U.N. Security Council for its unanimous vote for further sanctions against North Korea in response to its recent intercontinental ballistic missile test.
  • Get ready for a showdown: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is filing a lawsuit today against the Justice Department over its policy to withhold funds from so-called “sanctuary cities.”
  • THE TAKE with ABC News’ Rick Klein

    You can take the man out of the palace, but you can’t keep the intrigue away. In a White House rocked by departures, loyalty oaths are popping from unlikely places. The vice president followed the attorney general in stating fealty to the president, and even the president found it necessary to side publicly with his national security adviser as a “good man” with whom he works well. (President Trump also sought to prove that, with the Oval Office empty for a while, he was working through the weekend: “This is not a vacation – meetings and calls!” tweeted the man spotted back on the golf course.) Perhaps Vice President Mike Pence isn’t coveting the presidency and hates “fake news,” and Attorney General Jeff Sessions wasn’t worried about being fired if he didn’t go after leakers, and Trump just wanted to give a shout-out to H.R. McMaster. Or it may be that, in a White House that’s now being cleaned, fears abound that the housecleaning isn’t done.

    TWO GOP SENATORS GREETED WITH THANKS

    Resist…and recognize? Lawmakers are home again for recess and opposition groups are revved up and raring to meet them. But there seems to be a new goal for activist groups this summer: saying thanks where thanks is due. Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski were greeted at airports in their home states with…

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