Vladimir Putin

2019 campaign: Trump vs. the world

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

President Trump is running a 2019 campaign against the world, picking fights on four continents and putting his pugilistic "America First" to a grand international test.

Why it matters: Trump has been buoyed for two years by a strong economy and relative global stability. Now, he may confront a hot war or a self-inflicted economic shock as he heads into the heat of his re-election campaign.

Expert Voices

Amid U.S.–Russia standoffs, Putin looks for an opening in Sochi

Mike Pompeo and Sergey Lavrov
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Sochi, Russia, on May 14. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets in Sochi on Tuesday with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin to discuss a long list of issues on which the U.S. and Russia are at complete odds with each other.

The big picture: The agenda for the talks — the first high-level meeting with Russian officials since last summer's widely criticized Helsinki Summit — includes arms control, Venezuela, Ukraine, Syria and Iran, according to the State Department. While it's unlikely the needle will move on any of these sources of longstanding disagreement, Sochi may help prepare for future summits.