Donald Trump. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Trump said he is not considering a U.S. troop reduction in South Korea Friday following the NYT report that he ordered the Pentagon to consider a drawdown. Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton denied it in a statement on Friday as well.

Why it matters: As Trump's planned talks with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un edges closer, concerns remain over what the U.S. will concede in negotiations to get North Korea to fully, verifiably, and permanently denuclearize. If troop reductions are on the table, U.S. relations with South Korea and Japan could strain, and the move could threaten their safety if North Korea isn’t truly on the path to peace and denuclearization.

  • To be sure: Last week Mattis suggested that U.S. troop presence is "part of the issues that we’ll be discussing in negotiations with our allies first, and of course with North Korea."
  • The backdrop: North Korea in the past has put up a drawdown of U.S. troops as a precondition for denuclearization.

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U.S. officials: Iran and Russia aim to interfere in election

Iran and Russia have obtained voter registration information that can be used to undermine confidence in the U.S. election system, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced at a press conference Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: The revelation comes roughly two weeks before Election Day. Ratcliffe said Iran has sent threatening emails to Democratic voters this week in states across the U.S. and spread videos claiming that people can vote more than once.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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Supreme Court blocks Alabama curbside voting measure

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday evening blocked a lower court order that would have allowed voters to cast ballots curbside at Alabama polling places on Election Day.

Whit it matters: With less than two weeks until Election Day, the justices voted 5-3 to reinstate the curbside voting ban and overturn a lower court judge's ruling designed to protect people with disabilities during the coronavirus pandemic.

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