Good Monday morning. Situational awareness: N.Y. Times health-and-medicine reporter Denise Grady and the great Robert Pear, with contribution from Dr. Larry Altman, report on p. A13: "The condition for which Senator John McCain [age 80] had surgery on Friday may be more serious than initial descriptions have implied, and it may delay his return to Washington by at least a week or two, medical experts said ... 'The recovery time from a craniotomy [opening skull to reach blood clot] is usually a few weeks.'"
In our 100 days report card back in April, Jim VandeHei and I noted that one of Trump's "misses" was: "Little personal growth in office" — a loose style and resistance to structure that leaves White House aides insecure, and created internal inefficiencies and blind spots.
As Trump approaches the six-month mark on Thursday (Day 182, with 1,280 till the next Inauguration Day), that factor is still hampering his presidency, one-eighth of the way into this term.
We asked several top Trump-watchers what has surprised them most about the first six months. Chris Wallace, anchor of "Fox News Sunday," writes:
"What's been most surprising to me is how little Trump has changed as President. He has the same strengths and the same weaknesses he's always had. Washington certainly hasn't bent to his will. And he hasn't bent to the ways of Washington."
What has surprised you? Drop me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org. If your answer surprises me, I'll share it with the AM family.
The New Yorker, "Follow the Leader: How residents of a rural area started copying the President — In a small Colorado city, Trump's tone has a deeper influence than his policies," by Peter Hessler:
The American Petroleum Institute, the nation's biggest and most influential lobbying group for the oil and natural gas industry, is fighting nuclear power subsidies across the U.S., Axios' Amy Harder writes in her always-news-breaking Monday energy column, "Harder Line":
P.S. Wall Street Journal op-ed, "Why Europeans Oppose the Russia Sanctions Bill: It imperils the Continent's energy security," by Wolfgang Ischinger, Germany's ambassador to the U.S., 2001-06, now chair of Munich Security Conference.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — who along with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is one of two firm nays on the health-care bill; one more Republican "no" would kill it — to CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union":
"There are about eight to 10 Republican senators who have serious concerns about this bill."
N.Y. Times lead story, "AS DOUBTS GROW, TOP REPUBLICANS VOW HEALTH VOTE: Timing Is Up in the Air."
Syringes left by drug users amid the heroin crisis are turning up everywhere, AP's Michael Casey reports from Lowell, Mass., in "'It's raining needles': Drug crisis creates pollution threat":
WashPost lead story, "UAE tied to hack targeting Qatar," by Karen DeYoung and Ellen Nakashima:
"President Trump's Air War Kills 12 Civilians Per Day," per Samuel Oakford for Daily Beast:
"Civilian casualties from the U.S.-led war against the ... Islamic State are on pace to double under President Donald Trump, according to an Airwars investigation for The Daily Beast. Airwars researchers estimate that at least 2,300 civilians likely died from Coalition strikes overseen by the Obama White House — roughly 80 each month in Iraq and Syria. As of July 13, more than 2,200 additional civilians appear to have been killed by Coalition raids since Trump was inaugurated."
Both days this weekend, President Trump watched the U.S. Women's Open golf tournament from this presidential viewing stand at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.
Pool reporter Andrew Restuccia of Politico sent his colleagues this description of the glass enclosure: "If you're having trouble picturing it, imagine a giant fish tank. ... POTUS came to the edge of the glass several times to wave, clap and mouth 'thank you' to the crowd. ... Several people popped into the enclosure to say hello, but the White House has not provided a list of his guests. ...
"Eric Trump and Lara Trump are in the enclosure as well. ... It appears that POTUS was snacking on French fries with ketchup. But your pooler can't be 100 percent sure. ...
"The crowd gawking at the president appears to have annoyed some volunteers and avid golf fans, who have repeatedly shushed those who are talking too loudly. The U.S. Women's Open continues to take place right next to the enclosure with the president."
Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on Senate Intelligence, "said he wants to look into the activities of Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that advised Trump's campaign, as well as Trump's digital efforts during the election because of the way false election stories about Hillary Clinton were circulated and targeted online," per Bloomberg.
1 nice, de-escalating thing ... "Top Republicans Aren't Signing Up For Trump's War With The Media," by BuzzFeed's Alexis Levinson: "'I love the media!' exclaimed GOP Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus."
Spoilers, but not a recap ... Hollywood Reporter review of last night's "Game of Thrones" Season 7 premiere on HBO:
"As cataclysmic as we've been led to imagine that winter was, especially for those in the North, and as epic as we imagine the clash for the Iron Throne — the one we've been building to for six seasons — is likely to be, it's not going to be permanent. The Citadel will remain. Maesters will still study. Men will, presumably, remain atop The Wall protecting people to the south. Ballers will inexplicably remain Elizabeth Warren's favorite show."