Seeking to reset both his own and his country's relationship with the Muslim world, President Trump will declare today (9:20 a.m. ET) during a major speech in Saudi Arabia that he hopes the United States and Islamic countries can share "a hopeful future" while "stamping out extremism" together.
Trump also plans to sign an agreement among the U.S. and Persian Gulf countries to increase cooperation in tracking and prosecuting financiers of terror.
Also today, Trump will sign a memorandum of cooperation with Gulf Cooperation Council countries to set up a task force to aid prosecutions by tracking funding that fuels terrorism.
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, telling ABC's George Stephanopoulos, in an interview from Saudi Arabia for "This Week," that Trump will send a message of hope and tolerance in his speech today:
"[T]his isn't America just on transmit here in the Middle East. ... These enemies of all civilization, what they want to do is to cloak their criminal behavior under this false idea of some kind of a religious war. And what I think the president will point out is ... the vast majority of victims from these people are Muslims." (Video)
Breaking ... AP/Seoul: North Korea today fired a midrange ballistic missile that flew eastward 310 miles from an area near its capital, Pyongyang, according to South Korea's military. The White House says the system has shorter range than missiles in North Korea's three recent tests.
Gripping read — treat yourself to the whole thing ... Two-column lead of the N.Y. Times, "Killing C.I.A. Informants, China Stifled U.S. Spying: One of the Worst Breaches in Decades — Investigators Clash Over the Cause," by Mark Mazzetti, Adam Goldman, Michael Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo:
Ev Williams, a Twitter co-founder who's now CEO of Medium, to the N.Y. Times' David Streitfeld, re Trump saying Twitter helped elect him:
"It's a very bad thing, Twitter's role in that ... If it's true that he wouldn't be president if it weren't for Twitter, then yeah, I'm sorry."
"The Communicators: Kennedy on television, Trump on Twitter," is the WashPost Magazine cover story — by Steve Levingston, WashPost nonfiction editor, and author of "Kennedy and King: The President, the Pastor, and the Battle over Civil Rights," out June 6:
Kennedy had a gift for casual humor, which he called upon sometimes to evade an inquiry or ease a tense moment. ... During the 1960s, crowd sizes at political events were as important — and debatable — as they are today. After one of his campaign rallies, the Kennedy team announced that some 35,000 people had come out to see the candidate, a figure far above what reporters on hand had estimated.
When challenged, Kennedy chose humor as a way to minimize the discrepancy. Ben Bradlee, who was then Newsweek's Washington bureau chief and later The Washington Post's executive editor, recounted the story in his book "Conversations With Kennedy."
In his telling, Kennedy explained to reporters that crowd-counting fell to his press secretary Pierre Salinger, who was known by his nickname Plucky. "Plucky counts the nuns," Kennedy told reporters, "and then multiplies by 100." And with that, reporters — amused and grateful for the attention — dropped their bone about the crowd count and turned to other issues.
"Saturday Night Live" Season 42 finale, recapped by N.Y. Times Dave Itzkoff:
Was it also a retirement party for Alec Baldwin's impersonation of President Trump? ("Look, I'd love to keep doing this per my availability," Mr. Baldwin told The Hollywood Reporter this week, "but I have other things I'm going to do, so I guess we'll figure it out.") ...
[T]he cold open ... seemed to wonder what would be left of a Trump administration for Mr. Baldwin to come back to in the fall. The show started with an homage to a previous sketch that opened [the show] on Nov. 12, ... in which ... Kate McKinnon donned the guise of ... Hillary Clinton, sat at a piano and played the Leonard Cohen song "Hallelujah."
See the video, "Hallelujah Cold Open."