Welcome to Sneak Peek, our weekly lookahead for both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, plus our best scoops.
Situational awareness: President Trump spoke to reporters about the weekend massacres in brief remarks Sunday afternoon on the tarmac at Morristown Airport. “We have to get it stopped. It’s been going on for years. Years and years, and we have to get it stopped.” Trump said he’d make a statement tomorrow.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
It isn't clear if there was a plan for last week. Some consequential things went down: The U.S. sanctioned Iran's top diplomat, revved up the trade war with China, and signed off on a spending bill that will spike the national debt.
But all that got largely lost by the wayside as the president went to war with a Baltimore icon. Nobody knew it was coming, nobody knew how to handle it, and a week later, senior White House officials have their fingers crossed that the president won't turn their week upside-down once again with another tweet about a "Fox and Friends" segment.
As the week has unfurled, people inside and outside the White House described to me how a few pokes of a keyboard by the leader of the free world sent some of Washington's most powerful political players scrambling for cover.
Driving the news: Inside the White House, the conversation about Baltimore last week moved into a brief discussion of policy solutions.
Between the lines: The emergency idea appears to have been a brief conversation and no more than that. And by Thursday, White House officials had concluded it was too difficult, logistically, for the president to visit Baltimore next week — another idea they had tossed around. So we're back where we started, a week and a day after Trump's inflammatory tweets.
The bottom line: Baltimore Week illuminates how things often work inside the Trump White House: The president watches TV, he tweets, and the machinery of government scrambles into action to deal with an emergency of the president's own creation. Then everyone moves on.
Go deeper: Read the inside story of the week spurred by Trump’s Baltimore tweet.
Photo: ABC News "This Week," Aug. 4.
White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney joined Jonathan Karl on ABC's "This Week" to respond to the weekend massacres in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
Karl followed with the burning question: "We have seen Virginia Beach, Thousand Oaks, California, Tree of Life Synagogue, Parkland, and of course the massacre in in Las Vegas. What is [President Trump] doing to stop these — these killings, these mass shootings?"
Between the lines: Mulvaney signaled that President Trump will not make gun control a priority as he considers how to stop mass shootings in America.
The bottom line, per Mulvaney: "The people responsible here are the people who pull the trigger. We need to figure out how to create less of those kinds of people as a society and not trying to figure out who gets blamed going into the next election."
Front page of the New York Post.
New York Times columnist Azi Paybarah tweeted: "The @nypost is an important voice among Rs & conservatives. Today, they created a potential conversation starter. They call the #ElPaso shooter a 'terrorist' — applying a term often used to attack Muslims and people of color. And they identify his (warped) motive."
And Breitbart reporter Brandon Darby, who does dangerous work covering Mexican cartels at the southern border, tweeted this after Saturday's massacre of 20 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas: "So many people say 'just ignore the white nationalists' or 'they're not serious, they're just meming,' or they don't mind having them in their coalition. Race-based hatred is as dangerous as hell. Ignoring or downplaying them leads to very bad things."
The Washington Post reports: "What may have motivated the attacker remained a focus of investigators, who have examined a manifesto posted online that included screeds against immigrants. Authorities believe the Texas shooting suspect posted the document, officials said, but continue to gather evidence."
Mike Pompeo. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Add this nugget to your Mike Pompeo tea-leaf reader: The secretary of state, who Mitch McConnell hopes will resign to run for the open Kansas Senate seat in 2020, plans to return to Kansas in early September to give a speech at Kansas State University, according to two sources familiar with the secretary's schedule.
Between the lines: Pompeo's recent activity suggests a 2020 Senate run is far from "ruled out," as the secretary declared it was in February. (In July, Pompeo updated his position, telling a Kansas City radio station that he will "always leave open the possibility that something will change.")
Go deeper: The Wall Street Journal's Lindsay Wise has a well-reported piece on the fevered speculation about Pompeo's political future.
The House and Senate have broken for summer recess.
The White House did not provide President Trump's schedule.
Front page of The Sunday Times of London.
Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton helmed a letter from 45 Republican senators to new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that was hyped on the front page of today's Sunday Times of London. Their message to Boris: We'll back a bilateral trade deal with Britain regardless of the terms under which you leave the European Union.
Go deeper: The Sunday Times story