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People vote in a Las Vegas mall yesterday on the first day of early voting in Nevada. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

President Trump and top Republicans, concerned about huge House losses this fall, are tossing out new ideas by the day in hopes of saving their majority.

What they're saying: Trump told reporters in Nevada yesterday that he and House Republican leaders are working "around the clock" on "a very major tax cut for middle-income people. And if we do that, it'll be sometime just prior, I would say, to November." But Republicans on the Hill seemed to know nothing about it, and both chambers are out until after midterms.

  • Trump is keeping up his drumbeat of dire warnings about the "very tough criminal elements within the caravan" of Central American migrants — about 2,000 of whom made it into Mexico yesterday. Trump has suggested without evidence that the caravan was instigated by Democrats, and said the migrants are "not coming into this country": "I would call in military and I would seal off the border."
  • Trump rallies feature "FINISH THE WALL" signs, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy this month introduced the "Build the Wall, Enforce the Law Act of 2018" to fully fund the wall, "bringing the total amount of funding to $25 billion."
  • Republicans warn of Democratic-incited violence, real and figurative, with Trump tweeting about "the Democrats new Mob Rule strategy," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decrying "mob behavior," and Republican groups and candidates invoking the "mob" online and on the trail.
  • Trump continues to milk passions around the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, declaring at a rally Thursday night: "What they did to Brett Kavanaugh and his beautiful family is a national disgrace that will not be soon forgotten. Remember that!"
  • McConnell stresses the confirmation of conservative judges and justices as a key product of Republican strength.
  • Trump tweeted last night: "All levels of government and Law Enforcement are watching carefully for VOTER FRAUD, including during EARLY VOTING. Cheat at your own peril. Violators will be subject to maximum penalties, both civil and criminal!"

Be smart: A top Democratic aide told me Trump's sudden talk of a middle-class tax cut is an acknowledgement that the last tax cut is polling poorly. Republican candidates, the aide said, "are either running away from it or silent on it."

  • ⚡️ Breaking: In Arizona, Democratic Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema is endorsed by the Arizona Republic over Republican Martha McSally — the first time the Phoenix paper has endorsed a Dem for Senate since at least 2000.

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Updated 55 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies.

The state of play: Biden also raised arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to a White House readout. The statement said Biden and Putin agreed maintain "consistent communication," and that Biden stressed the U.S. would "act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies."

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.