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July 13, 2017

On Wednesday night, President Trump informed reporters on Air Force One that his proposed border wall needs to be see-through, or at least have holes in it, so Americans don't get crushed by falling bags of drugs, the White House transcript of the conversation shows. Trump reportedly held court with the traveling press pool for more than an hour while en route to Paris for a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

"One of the things with the wall is, you need transparency," Trump said. "You have to be able to see through it. In other words, if you can't see through the wall — so it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what's on the other side of the wall."

Trump then offered reporters "an example."

"As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don't see them — they hit you in the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It's over," Trump said. "As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall."

As crazy as it sounds, indeed. Jeva Lange

1:40 p.m.

A poll published Tuesday found that when it comes to the Democratic presidential primary in 2020, members of one progressive organization don't lean toward former Vice President Joe Biden or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — they prefer Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas).

MoveOn, a progressive group, conducted a straw poll among its members to determine the favored potential candidate, NBC News reports. It found that O'Rourke is the preferred candidate of 15.6 percent of respondents. That's pretty far from a majority, and 29 percent of respondents said they don't even know who they support yet or that they support someone other than the 30 candidates they were asked to choose from. But it still puts O'Rourke ahead of Biden, who has led in most of these early polls but received 14.9 percent of the vote here.

It also puts O'Rourke ahead of Sanders, who received 13.1 percent of the vote. This is despite the fact that during the 2016 election, Sanders earned MoveOn's official endorsement and the support of 78 percent of its members, NBC News points out.

The next most popular candidate in the poll was Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who earned 10 percent and came in a few points ahead of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who received 6.4 percent of the vote. Coming it at the bottom of the top 10 were former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who received 2.7 percent of the vote, and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who received 2.4 percent of the vote. Read more of the poll's findings at NBC News. Brendan Morrow

1:11 p.m.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) has a few personal problems with the Google "apparatus."

When Google CEO Sundar Pichai appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, GOP congressmembers alleged the search engine has liberal bias and Democrats questioned its possible expansion into China. Cohen, though, used his time to make some digs at cable TV's unanimously hated customer service lines.

Cohen started his speaking time with a confession: "I use your apparatus often ... and I don't understand the different ways you can turn off the locations," he said, adding "there's so many different things." Perhaps Google could build an "online school" for users to ask questions, Cohen suggested. "And not like Comcast where you get put on hold for 30 minutes," he added.

Next up, Cohen launched an accusation that specifically countered his GOP colleagues'. While Republicans such as Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) have largely suggested Google's search algorithm has a liberal bias, Cohen said searching his own name largely brings up results from conservative sites such as The Daily Caller and Breitbart. "This weekend I was on MSNBC four times," Cohen declared, saying these results seemingly show Google is "overly using conservative news organizations" to populate its news feed. Watch that moment below. Kathryn Krawczyk

1:06 p.m.

A meeting between President Trump, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in the Oval Office descended into chaos Tuesday as the three angrily argued over border wall funding — and reporters captured the whole thing.

After Trump and Pelosi made some general comments, things spiraled out of control when Pelosi told the president that "you should not have a Trump shutdown" over border security. This seemed to set Trump off, and the two argued over whether he has the votes to pass a spending bill. "The fact is you don't have the votes in the House," Pelosi said, with Trump shooting back, "Nancy, I do."

Schumer soon chimed in, telling Trump that The Washington Post gave him "a whole lot of Pinocchios" for his border wall claims, a comment Trump brushed off. "We want to do the same thing we did last year," Schumer said of border spending. But Trump continued to insist that this is not enough, and the trio somehow began to trade barbs over the 2018 midterm election results. "When the president brags that he won North Dakota and Indiana, he's in trouble," Schumer said.

By the end of the debate, Pelosi was clearly upset that this all played out in front of reporters, telling Trump that she and Schumer "came in here in good faith" but that "unfortunately, this has spiraled downward." Trump did not have the same problem: "It's called transparency," he fired back. The whole argument, which started with Trump taking issue with Pelosi using the term "Trump shutdown," concluded with Trump saying he'll take full responsibility for a shutdown. "I am proud to shut down the government over border security," Trump said. Watch the unbelievable 16-minute exchange below, via CNN. Brendan Morrow

12:59 p.m.

We knew this day would come. But why did it have to happen so soon?

A Pew Research Center survey published Monday found that adults in the U.S. received more news from social media than newspapers in 2018. This is the first time news consumption via social media surpassed print newspapers since Pew started asking these questions.

While this is sad news for fans of print, social media and newspapers are still the least common means of discovering the news. Television continues to be the most popular medium for news consumption, with 49 percent of adults looking to their headlines, followed by websites with 33 percent, and radio with 26 percent.

As to be expected, this change is heavily spearheaded by youngsters. Those between 18 and 29 years old are about four times as likely to receive their news from social media than people 65 years and older. Who knows what trend they'll influence next.

The survey was conducted by speaking to 4,581 respondents on a panel between July 30-Aug. 12. The margin of error is 2.5 percentage points. Read more at Pew Research Center. Amari Pollard

12:01 p.m.

After repeatedly claiming that there would not be enough time to bring the First Step Act — the bipartisan prison reform bill endorsed by President Trump — to a vote this year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that his chamber would begin debating the measure as early as this week, reports The Hill.

"At the request of the president and following improvements to the legislation that has been secured by several members," McConnell said on the Senate floor, "the Senate will take up the recently revised criminal justice bill."

The legislation is designed to, among other reforms, make more prisoners eligible for early release and give judges greater latitude in the face of mandatory-minimum sentencing. Despite the president's backing — including a Friday tweet encouraging McConnell to "Go for it" — opponents, such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), have said that "most" senators "don't want to touch the bill with a 10-foot pole." Thanks to McConnell, that assertion will now be put to the test. Jacob Lambert

11:52 a.m.

NBC's Today is losing yet another host.

After more than a decade on the air, Kathie Lee Gifford is leaving the NBC morning show in April 2019. Gifford announced her departure in a tearful segment on Tuesday morning, saying she never intended to stay on the show for more than a year but did so because she loves everyone she works with so much. But she said this is "an exciting time for me" and that she's "thrilled about all the projects that are coming up."

In an internal NBC News memo, NBC News President Noah Oppenheim thanked Gifford for her "eleven extraordinary years," report CNN. Oppenheim also said that Gifford, who "has been overflowing lately with film, music and book projects," has decided to turn her attention fully to these other endeavors and step away from her hosting duties.

After working for years alongside Regis Philbin, Gifford joined Hoda Kotb as co-host of Today's 10 a.m. hour in 2008. During a segment Tuesday, Gifford said she has no doubt she and Kotb will still be close friends just as she and Philbin remain.

This is another major change to NBC's morning show after Megyn Kelly, who hosted the hour before Gifford and Kotb, was fired over controversial remarks about blackface. She is still negotiating her exit from the network but is reportedly going to receive $30 million on her way out. Brendan Morrow

Brendan Morrow

11:46 a.m.

As he gears up for the 2020 election, President Trump is ready for a challenge from one of his own.

Trump's re-election team has discussed the possibility that he will face a Republican primary challenger in 2020, The Associated Press reports. In particular, the two potential candidates they're keeping an eye on are Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.).

Both Kasich and Flake are leaving office soon and have discussed potential 2020 bids, with Kasich saying last month that he is looking at it "very seriously" because "we need different leadership," ABC News reports. Flake, meanwhile, has said that he hopes someone runs against Trump in the Republican presidential primaries, although he said in November that he doesn't necessarily see himself running, per CNBC. Both Kasich and Flake have made recent visits to New Hampshire, however, often a signal of forthcoming candidacy.

Trump's campaign plans to seek loyalty pledges from the GOP hoping to avoid a Republican challenge, per AP, and Politico reports that Trump's allies are trying to get the New Hampshire GOP to break from its usual tradition of remaining neutral in the state's primary. This would be so the Republican Party in the state can officially endorse Trump, and the president's team is also looking to get someone loyal to them as the state party's head. Interestingly, Kasich's team criticized this move, with strategist John Weaver saying it wouldn't impact the governor's decision on whether to run. Kasich came in second place to Trump in the 2016 New Hampshire Republican primary and CNN reports he refused to vote for him in the presidential election, writing in John McCain's name instead. Brendan Morrow

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