Welcome to Sneak Peek, our weekly lookahead for both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, plus our best scoops.
Situational awareness: “Iran is experiencing its deadliest political unrest since the Islamic Revolution 40 years ago, with at least 180 people killed — and possibly hundreds more — as angry protests have been smothered in a government crackdown of unbridled force,” per NYT.
Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images, Chesnot/Getty Images, Emmanuele Contini/NurPhoto via Getty Image, Jasper Juinen/Getty Images, and Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images
This week's NATO meeting in London will be "a celebratory leaders' meeting" — at least that's the White House talking point ahead of President Trump's trip. But European officials aren't betting on it. And Trump has been privately complaining about France's president.
Best-case scenario, for Europeans: Trump sticks to the script — taking credit for a stronger NATO and celebrating the fact that the Europeans are spending more on their defense.
Behind the scenes: Three senior administration officials told me Trump has been deeply annoyed by French President Emmanuel Macron, who recently told The Economist that "what we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO" and that the United States under Trump's leadership appears to be "turning its back on us."
The Europeans, meanwhile, have shared their worries widely ahead of the meeting. "All I'm hearing is great anxiety about what Trump might do or say," said Ivo Daalder, who served as U.S. ambassador to NATO from 2009 to 2013.
Between the lines: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has preemptively placated Trump. He released new data showing that allies are spending many billions more on their defense, which Trump has demanded.
The bottom line: Though a senior administration official told reporters on a Friday call that the NATO alliance "remains instrumental," European leaders say they've seen this movie before. They've learned the hard way to ignore cheery lines from the White House staff — and that only Trump speaks for Trump.
Chinese President Xi Jinping with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the G20 Summit, Hangzhou, China, Sept. 4, 2016. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
We'll be watching to see how the NATO allies handle two crucial internal debates — how to manage NATO's problem child (Turkey) and how to handle a global power that poses a growing threat to the alliance (China).
Between the lines: "Turkey appears to have decided that its future is better assured by close alignment with Putin's Russia than with a US-led NATO," said Daalder. "The S-400 decision" — Turkey's decision to defy America and its NATO allies by purchasing the Russian anti-aircraft system — and its "deal with Russia" to take control of the border zone in Syria "are but the latest blows to NATO unity."
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Don't hold your breath for the White House to show at this week's impeachment hearings — and it's possible they won't participate at all until the Senate trial, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.
What we're hearing: House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler has given the White House until 5 pm ET on Friday to decide whether President Trump will have his counsel participate.
What's next: The Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing at 10 am ET on Wednesday examining whether Trump's actions toward Ukraine qualify as high crimes and misdemeanors.
A more pivotal moment may be the presentation of the House Intelligence Committee's report, outlining the evidence Democrats have gathered so far and their recommendations for articles of impeachment, according to officials working on the inquiry.
Behind the scenes: A Democratic Judiciary aide said the committee expects Republicans to fight them "at every step of the way" on fairness, so Nadler has made a point to lay out the rules and give them an opportunity to cooperate before they have a chance to undercut them.
The bottom line: "The Judiciary Committee is a very different environment. We are no longer in fact-finding mode, but a consideration of possible impeachable violations," the aide said.
Timing: Democrats are still planning to wrap up the House's investigation by the end of the year, with an expected vote on articles of impeachment as soon as mid-December.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
President Trump's two most important trade deals — one with China and another with Canada and Mexico — have been hobbled by forces largely outside of the administration's control.
Between the lines:
1. On USMCA: The passage of USMCA depends on the ability of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, organized labor and the Mexican government to come to a compromise.
2. On the China deal: A week ago, U.S. sources close to the China talks indicated they were on the precipice of a "Phase One" deal. But that optimism now seems premature, if not misplaced.
Behind the scenes: A source close to Trump's negotiating team told me the China deal was now "stalled because of Hong Kong legislation" and that time is needed "to allow Xi's domestic politics to calm." The "Phase One" deal with China would probably happen "year-end at the earliest," and Trump is expected to hold off on his planned December tariffs to keep the deal alive.
The bottom line: Most of my sources close to both trade negotiations — both Democrats and Republicans — say they expect both deals to ultimately come through. But there are plenty of reasons to remain wary about these predictions.
Photo: Jora Van Den Nest / EyeEm/Getty Images
The House will vote Tuesday on the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio, Alayna writes.
The Senate will vote on the following nominees, per a Republican leadership aide:
President Trump's schedule, per a White House official: