Oct 13, 2017

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen
1 big thing: Trump and Iran

President Trump blasted the "fanatical" and "radical" government of Iran that spreads "death, destruction, and chaos all around the globe," as he decertified his predecessor's nuclear deal with the country.

  • His announcement included new sanctions on Iran's Revolutionary Guard and sharp criticisms of Iran's actions that fuel "conflict, terror, and turmoil throughout the Middle East and beyond."
  • The international reaction, captured by Reuters: "France, Germany, Britain say in joint statement that preservation of nuclear deal 'is in our joint national interest.'"

Bottom line: As he left the White House after the announcement, Trump told reporters he still "may very well end" the Iran deal, but today's move shifts attention to Congress which could:

  1. Do nothing in response and leave the existing deal in place.
  2. Reimpose sanctions and blow up the agreement with Iran and the other negotiators.
  3. Try to pass legislation — as some Republicans are already pushing — to put tougher benchmarks on Iran. (That likely fails to get 60 votes, leaving Trump with a gift-wrapped excuse to end the deal.)

Be smart: This was a very Trumpian speech. He got to talk tough — emotionally satisfying for some of his key audiences — but with little immediate substantive impact.

Go deeper: Our Facts Matter on the Iran deal details

2. What you missed
  1. Huge in biz: The Saudi oil company Aramco might shelve its IPO. Private sale plans.
  2. And in tech: Qualcomm is asking a Chinese court to ban Apple from selling or manufacturing iPhones in China that infringe on its patents. Background.
  3. Susan Collins will stay in the Senate: The Maine Republican won't run for governor. News.
  4. Health care intrigue: President Trump told Sen. Lamar Alexander during a phone call Saturday that he likes the approach Alexander is taking on a bipartisan health care package. Get caught up ... The lawsuits ... And new poll data.
  5. Trump's morning tweets: NBC, Puerto Rico and Obamacare. Details.
1 China thing

U.S. politicians have been warning for years that America couldn't let China win the clean energy race. That's exactly what has happened, with the trends most stark in electric cars, solar and nuclear energy.

Go deeper: With Axios' Amy Harder.

Mike Allen