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Live Blog

Here is your live blog for the day.

Yes, yes, polls mean nothing until November. Still, this one ought to give Sen. Cruz pause:

As Texas Democrats attempt to win a major statewide contest for the first time in almost three decades, a new NBC News/Marist poll finds Democrat Beto O’Rourke trailing Republican Sen. Ted Cruz by just 4 percentage points.

O’Rourke, a congressman from El Paso who has ignited Democratic hopes with his impressive fundraising, has 45 percent support among registered voters compared with Cruz’s 49 percent. Six percent of voters remain undecided. While both candidates have largely consolidated their bases — with O’Rourke capturing the support of 90 percent of Democrats and Cruz securing 91 percent of Republicans — independents in the state are equally split: Forty-six percent of them back O’Rourke, while 45 percent support Cruz.

If there's going to be a surprise loss on the GOP side this fall, Cruz's seat is likely to be it. Candidates do matter.

Politicizing tragedies does seem crass and opportunistic, but the previous president did set the standard:

But here is the thing -- when Obama politicized tragedies, he had the entire Democrat media complex behind him, supporting his agenda. It was a storyline they already wanted to promote, and he demagogued it anyway. Because with Dems, the agenda comes first.

Trump has the opposite dynamic going for him. The MSM doesn't like the "Iowa teenager brutally murdered by an illegal immigrant" narrative, and would totally embargo it if they could. By tweeting about Molly Tibbett's murder, the president forces it into the public eye.

President Trump uses Twitter to go over the heads of the media. What he wants the American people to hear, they will hear.

The gatekeepers no longer control the narrative like they used to -- and that makes them seethe with anger.

"They didn't come out of the campaign, they came from me."

In an interview with Fox News' Ainsley Earhardt, President Donald Trump responded to the allegations in the Michael Cohen plea deal.

President Trump, in an exclusive interview with Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt, insisted he only knew about hush-money payments made by Michael Cohen “later on” despite his ex-lawyer's claims to the contrary, while maintaining they were not campaign funds.

“Later on I knew. Later on. What he did—and they weren’t taken out of the campaign finance, that’s the big thing. That’s a much bigger thing,” Trump said Wednesday. “Did they come out of the campaign? They didn’t come out of the campaign, they came from me.”

He added, "In fact, my first question when I heard about it was, did they come out of the campaign, because that could be a little dicey. And they didn't come out of the campaign and that's big."

Trump insisted that the payments were "not even a campaign violation."

Interestingly, by pleading guilty in the case, Michael Cohen effectively established the hush money payments as a campaign finance violation, despite potentially strong arguments to the contrary, that Trump made today.

Trump insisted that he did not know about the payments until after they were made, contradicting Cohen's claim that the payments were "directed" by a "candidate for federal office" — almost certainly a reference to Trump.

Jennifer Rubin joins call to stop Kavanaugh.

The Washington Post's resident "conservative" now says that Brett Kavanaugh would be forever "tainted" if Trump is impeached. Why does that not apply to Neil Gorsuch?

Seriously, let's stop pretending. Democrats and their allies want to do everything possible to prevent originalist justices like Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. Now they've temporarily ditched their "Handmaid's Tale" getups and seized on Michael Cohen as the next excuse. What will they think of next?