Aug 13, 2018

Merkel set to host Putin this week

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) enter the hall during their joint press conference in Sochia, Russia, on May 18, 2018. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host Russian President Vladimir Putin on August 18 for bilateral talks on Syria, violence in eastern Ukraine and energy issues, according to a German government spokesman.

Why it matters: The energy question will be of particular interest to the U.S. because of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, a project that President Trump has repeatedly criticized. Trump has said Germany is "totally controlled" by Russia because of the planned pipeline and wants Germany — an enormous gas purchaser — to buy liquefied natural gas from the U.S. instead.

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Warren sees bump in national poll following Nevada debate

Photo by David Becker/Getty Images.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren surged to 19% and second place in a CBS News/YouGov national poll released Sunday, trailing front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders (28%) but edging out Joe Biden (17%) and Michael Bloomberg (13%).

Why it matters: The poll notes that only 42% of Democratic primary voters have made up their minds. While Warren underperformed in the first three states, her strong debate performance in Nevada last week may have given her campaign new life.

Pence aide says intel report of Russia helping Trump is "false information"

Marc Short. Screenshot: Fox News

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House has not received intelligence that Russia is seeking to help President Trump win re-election, calling it "false information" that has been selectively leaked by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

The big picture: Short and national security adviser Robert O'Brien both dismissed reports published in the Washington Post and New York Times last week about a briefing provided by top election security official Shelby Pierson, an aide to outgoing acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire.

Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.