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The Trump administration's decision to abandon the Affordable Care Act in an ongoing court challenge could affect some of the most popular pillars of the law — further intensifying the fight over health care in the middle of an election year.

Updated at 10:35 p.m. ET

Prosecutors unsealed more charges on Friday against Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and also accused a new defendant of conspiring with Manafort to obstruct justice.

Prosecutors allege that a Russian partner of Manafort's, Konstantin Kilimnik, helped him try to persuade witnesses to lie to the jury when Manafort's case comes to trial in Washington, D.C., this autumn.

Certain rituals have grown up around the use of the presidential pardon.

The most common is a lengthy review by the Justice Department on the merits of any such petition for a pardon.

But for President Trump, the pardon seems to have become the ultimate symbol of presidential power — the ability to use this exclusive authority as an act of benevolent largess and as the ultimate political perk.

Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET.

President Trump is signaling he's willing to support a move toward the legalization of marijuana, which would be a departure from the position of his attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

Updated at 7:16 p.m. ET

President Trump is calling on the Group of 7 to readmit Russia to the group of leading economic powers, saying "we should have Russia at the negotiating table."

Moscow was kicked out of the group, then the G-8, four years ago after it annexed Crimea. It had been invited to join the group in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But after Russia's intervention in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, Western leaders sought to isolate Vladimir Putin's government.

Since most of the congressional candidates that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed this year are losing contested primaries, then Sanders' political clout must be fading, right?

"That's a stupid argument," Sanders told NPR this week.

"You know, he has a much broader look at politics than just elections," Sanders' longtime strategist Jeff Weaver said.

That is evident. The 2016 candidate repeatedly questioned the political value of his endorsements, and even expressed some mild indifference to the race-by-race results of the primaries he's waded into.

Morning News Brief

Jun 8, 2018

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The G-7 summit is one of those international meetings that is usually known for being pretty friendly.

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Dan Moore, a 58-year-old steel mill worker, gives the president an A+ on everything from tax cuts to foreign policy, but he is not so sure about tariffs.

"We need tariffs, but when it starts to impact the company where you work ... you're thinking, well wait a minute, time out!" he said.

Moore is worried the tariffs might cost him his job. The mill where he works, NLMK Pennsylvania, in the town of Farrell, not far from the border with Ohio, employs 750 workers and is a subsidiary of Novolipetsk Steel, or NLMK, Russia's top steelmaker.

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President Trump is heading to Canada for the G-7 summit on Friday. The weather is expected to be mild, but he is likely to get a frosty reception from the other world leaders in the group.

The Justice Department's internal watchdog is set to release a hotly anticipated report next week that is expected to condemn department leaders and the FBI over the investigation during the 2016 presidential campaign into Hillary Clinton's private email server.

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Updated at 4:53 p.m. ET

President Trump said Thursday that his summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next week could be "a great success," and held out the possibility of an unprecedented invitation to the White House for Kim if all goes well in Singapore.

Updated at 12:23 p.m. ET

House Republicans huddled for hours Thursday morning in another attempt to find party unity on an issue that divides the GOP like no other: immigration.

The meeting concluded with little tangible progress toward a final bill, but Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters there was agreement within the House GOP that they would continue to work on a bill that addressed "four pillars" of immigration policy outlined earlier this year by the White House. Ryan said that is "the most optimistic, plausible chance of getting [a bill] into law."

Department of Justice and FBI officials are planning another secret briefing for congressional leaders about investigators' use of confidential sources in the early stages of the Russia investigation.

Officials are expected to meet early next week with the leaders of the full House and Senate and the chambers' intelligence committees — the "Gang of Eight" — a senior Justice Department official said.

The official asked not to be identified discussing the preparations for the secret briefing.

Updated at 12:18 p.m. ET

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday announced a deal with Chinese telecommunications company ZTE that includes a $1 billion fine — a move that may indicate progress in high-stakes trade talks between the U.S. and China.

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The U.S. State Department has sent "a number of individuals" from the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China, back to the U.S. after screenings showed they may have been affected by mysterious health problems similar to what diplomats experienced in Cuba.

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