Trump folds on flag

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On the roster: Trump folds on flag - Trump makes big push for DeSantis on primary eve - Key defection rattles Kansas governor race - 525 days and counting: Iowa Democrats set caucus date - Sir, the expression is ‘when life gives you lemons…’

TRUMP FOLDS ON FLAG
USA Today: ‘The U.S. flag flying over the White House was brought back down to half-staff Monday afternoon after an outcry over the decision to raise it just two days after the death of Arizona Sen. John McCain In his first formal statement on McCain’s death, President Donald Trump said he respected McCain's service and ordered the flags back down. … Amid an outpouring of praise for McCain – a former prisoner of war, a longtime lawmaker and two-time GOP presidential candidate – Trump made only a brief statement about the senator's death, offering condolences to his family on Twitter but no words of praise for McCain himself. The two had a long history of mutual disdain. Monday, veterans groups criticized the decision to lower the flag for only two days.”

Trump refused to praise McCain - WaPo: “President Trump nixed issuing a statement that praised the heroism and life of Sen. John McCain, telling senior aides he preferred to issue a tweet before posting one Saturday night that did not include any kind words for the late Arizona Republican. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and other White House aides advocated for an official statement that gave the decorated Vietnam War POW plaudits for his military and Senate service and called him a ‘hero,’ according to current and former White House aides, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations. The original statement was drafted before McCain died Saturday, and Sanders and others edited a final version this weekend that was ready for the president, the aides said. But Trump told aides he wanted to post a brief tweet instead, and the statement praising McCain’s life was not released.”

Memorial arrangements set - 
AP: “Sen. John McCain’s service to his country began more than six decades ago at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and will end there in a cemetery overlooking Maryland’s Severn River. ... Plans taking shape called for McCain to lie in state Wednesday in the Arizona State Capitol on what would have been his 82nd birthday. A funeral will be conducted Thursday at North Phoenix Baptist Church with former Vice President Joe Biden speaking. In Washington, McCain will lie in state Friday in the Capitol Rotunda with a formal ceremony and time for the public to pay respects. On Saturday, a procession will pass the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and arrive for a funeral at Washington National Cathedral. Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama are expected to speak at the service. A private funeral is planned for Sunday afternoon at the Naval Academy Chapel followed by a private burial at the academy cemetery.”

Ariz. governor will announce McCain’s successor after burial - WaPo: “Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey will not announce a replacement for the late senator John McCain until he is laid to rest, a spokesman for the governor said Sunday. … ‘Out of respect for the life and legacy of Senator John McCain and his family, Governor Ducey will not be making any announcements about an appointment until after the senator is laid to rest,’ said Daniel Ruiz, a spokesman for Ducey. ‘Now is a time for remembering and honoring a consequential life well lived.’ … State law requires Ducey to appoint someone from McCain’s party to fill the seat. The governor, a Republican who is running for reelection this year, has ruled out naming himself. But he has otherwise remained silent on the decision. Arizona Republicans have mentioned a lengthy roster of potential successors — a list that includes McCain’s widow, Cindy; Ducey’s chief of staff, Kirk Adams; State Treasurer Eileen Klein; former congressman John Shadegg; and former U.S. senator Jon Kyl, who has been helping Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh navigate the Senate confirmation process.”

Dems remember McCain - Fox News: “In his more than three decades of service on Capitol Hill, Sen. John McCain was known for many things: his dedication to the United States, his passion and his temper, his strong convictions, and, maybe most notably, his ability to work across the aisle to get results. That dedication to bipartisanship was on full display in the hours following McCain’s death… ‘Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did,’ Former President Barack Obama said in a statement.”

THE RULEBOOK: #BLESSED
“Happily for America, happily, we trust, for the whole human race, [the leaders of the Revolution] pursued a new and more noble course. They accomplished a revolution which has no parallel in the annals of human society.” – James MadisonFederalist No. 14

TIME OUT: AN UPGRADE FOR TEACHERS’ DESKS  
USA Today: “At their core, Americans have changed – at least when it comes to their apple preferences. The Red Delicious apple is likely to lose its title as the most popular apple this year, a perch it held for more than half a century. The U.S. Apple Association is projecting that the Gala apple will usurp the Red Delicious for the top spot. The group, which advocates on behalf of 7,500 apple growers and 400 companies in the apple business, predicted that the U.S. would grow 52.4 million Gala apples in 2018, up 5.9 percent from a year earlier. Red Delicious apple production is expected to tumble 10.7 percent to 51.7 million. Consumers apparently like the Gala's ‘taste, texture and sweetness,’ the U.S. Apple Association said in a statement. ‘The rise in production of newer varieties of apples aimed at the fresh consumption domestic market has caused demand for Red Delicious to decline,’ said Mark Seetin, the association's director of regulatory and industry affairs.”

Flag on the play? -
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SCOREBOARD
Trump job performance 
Average approval:
 42.8 percent
Average disapproval: 52.8 percent
Net Score: -10 points
Change from one week ago: up 1 point
[Average includes: NBC/WSJ: 44% approve - 52% disapprove; Gallup: 41% approve - 54% disapprove;  Fox News: 45% approve - 53% disapprove; Monmouth University: 43% approve - 51% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 41% approve - 54% disapprove.]

Control of House
Republican average:
 41.2 percent
Democratic average: 50 percent
Advantage: Democrats plus 8.8 points
Change from one week ago: Democratic advantage up 1.8 points
[Average includes: NBC/WSJ: 50% Dems - 42% GOP; Fox News: 49% Dems - 38% GOP; Monmouth University: 48% Dems - 43% GOP; Quinnipiac University: 51% Dems - 42% GOP; CNN: 52% Dems - 41% GOP.]

TRUMP MAKES BIG PUSH FOR DESANTIS ON PRIMARY EVE
Orlando Sentinel: “President Donald Trump is hoping to deliver victory to U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis in Tuesday’s Republican gubernatorial primary. He recorded a phone message sent to GOP voters Monday, a day before they head to the polls. ‘I love Florida,’ Trump says in the message paid for by Ron DeSantis for Governor. ‘I fully endorse Ron in tomorrow’s election. Ron is a strong, solid conservative. He stood with me to build the wall, which is under construction right now, fight crime and cut taxes.’ … ‘Congressman Ron DeSantis is a special person who has done an incredible job,’ the president wrote. … DeSantis’ opponent, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, has said he supports Trump’s agenda, while trying to portray DeSantis as being out of touch with Florida-specific issues.”

Race looks tight - LAT: “With only days to go to the Tuesday primary, a Florida Atlantic University poll of likely Republican voters released last week has the race’s two leading candidates almost neck and neck, with DeSantis at 32% and Putnam at 31%. About 22% were undecided. Putnam is just the latest well-connected establishment Republican to struggle after Trump backed a rival in a state primary race. Already, Trump’s Twitter posts have helped push longshot GOP candidates to victory in a string of Southern and Midwestern states.”

Dems duke it out for governor nod - Fox News: “As the campaign speeches and bus tours draw to an end, all five of the Democratic candidates vying for Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott’s seat are scrambling for every last vote ahead of Tuesday's primary. …. But Fox News rates the race for the open seat a ‘toss up’ in November, as Democrats eye a potential pickup.  … On the Democratic side, former U.S. Rep.  Gwen Graham has held a steady lead over former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Orlando businessman Chris King.”

Ahead in the polls, McSally looks past Tuesday - Politico: “Republicans hope to put a year of intra-party warfare behind them in Tuesday’s Arizona’s Senate primary, as they defend a vital battleground state that has fueled Democratic hopes of winning the Senate majority. Rep. Martha McSally is expected to capture the GOP nomination after leading every public poll of a long and unpredictable primary. … McSally became the preferred candidate of most Republicans in Washington, but she has been dogged all year by two hardline challengers: former state Sen. Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. [In] a show of confidence last week, McSally turned her attention to Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who faced only nominal primary opposition and spent the year positioning herself as a bipartisan dealmaker in preparation for the general election.”

KEY DEFECTION RATTLES KANSAS GOVERNOR RACE 
Topeka Capital Journal: “Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer's former campaign chairman and one of the state's prominent agriculture leaders Monday agreed to serve as co-chair of candidate Greg Orman's independent bid for governor in Kansas. Steve Baccus, longtime president of the Kansas Farm Bureau, passed over Republican gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach to endorse and agree to work for election of Orman, a Johnson County businessman. Baccus' opportunity to affiliate with Kobach, Orman or three others campaigning for governor followed Colyer's razor-thin loss in the Aug. 7 primary. ‘I made it clear when I joined Governor Colyer's campaign that I believed Kansas needed a leader who was committed to the state,’ Baccus said. ‘While my candidate in the primary election did not succeed, I remain committed to ensuring that Kansas has the best leaders possible.’”

Will Nelson choke? - Politico: “[Sen. Bill Nelson] slightly trails Gov. Rick Scott, even though President Donald Trump barely carried Florida, while Manchin is leading in a state Trump won by 42 points. Privately, a number of Democratic senators have offered their unsolicited view that Nelson is in for a reckoning on Election Day, which would cost Democrats any hope of winning back the Senate. Nelson is a classic old-school senator who keeps his head down and does his work, which is effective in the Capitol but less so in a Trump-era campaign in the most expensive battleground state. He’s being vastly outspent, and there’s concern in Florida the national party might cut him loose if a loss looks certain in the expensive Sunshine State. And Florida Democrats fret that the low-key third-term senator has not been visible enough while Scott is seemingly everywhere.”

525 DAYS AND COUNTING: IOWA DEMOCRATS SET CAUCUS DATE
Des Moines Register: “Iowa is set once again to lead off the Democratic Party's presidential nominating process with its first-in-the-nation caucuses: The Democratic National Committee on Saturday scheduled that party's caucuses for Feb. 3, 2020. The DNC also approved new recommendations from a panel known as the Unity Reform Commission that are designed to increase voter participation and bring transparency to the caucus process. ‘We feel very good about the rules that were passed today and the goals that the DNC has laid out to implement some changes to the caucuses,’ said Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price. Price said the goal is for the Democrats and Republicans each to hold their caucuses on the same night in 2020, as they have done for decades. He said he hopes to have more conversations with his Republican counterparts in the coming weeks.”

PLAY-BY-PLAY
WH warns GOP: Prepare to cover Trump on tax returns, etc. if Dems win House - Axios

Trump says he's ‘terminating’ NAFTA, announces new trade agreement with Mexico Fox News

Poll: Trump approval stays stable after chaotic week NBC News

Maine Gov. Paul LePage hospitalized after ‘discomfort’
 - AP

AUDIBLE: CHIN UP
“Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.” – Sen. John McCain in farewell remarks to his fellow Americans written before his death this weekend.

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SIR, THE EXPRESSION IS ‘WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS…’
KNSD: “A 69-year-old man was arrested in Thermal, California, for possessing hundreds of pounds of lemons allegedly stolen from a nearby farm, a sheriff's sergeant said Saturday. Dionicio Fierros of Los Angeles was pulled over at 9:45 a.m. Friday at the intersection of Grapefruit Boulevard and Pierce Street and was arrested when deputies found 800 pounds of freshly picked lemons in his vehicle that sheriff's officials said were stolen. The arrest was part of a larger ongoing investigation into agriculture theft in the Coachella Valley, Riverside County Sheriff's Sgt. Chris Frederick said. Fierros was booked into the Indio Jail and was released after posting $10,000 bail.”

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“If anything, the purpose of a constitutional court such as ours is to enforce old norms that have preserved both our vitality and our liberty for 230 years. How? By providing a rugged reliable frame within which the political churnings of each generation take place.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on April 6, 2017. 

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.