Lazaro Gamio / Axios

With POTUS' first big legislative success, Trumpland is decamping to New Jersey for the weekend. (His reasoning: it's less expensive than New York!) But with the House finally passing AHCA, you might have missed some of the other big hits of the week. Catch up and relax — there are no civil wars in Trumpland.

Jet set: POTUS has finally nailed down his first foreign trip later this month, and it's a doozy. Saudi Arabia, Israel, Vatican City, and Belgium are all on the cards. He's going to meet Pope Francis! He wants to give a speech at Masada! He's going to attend a NATO meeting!

Stay strong: The plans for the trip came during a week when POTUS controversially embraced some not so nice leaders around the world. He invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to the White House and said that he'd be willing to meet with North Korea's Kim Jong-un. Couple that with the State Department's announcement that it might no longer insist on pushing American values like democracy and human rights abroad.

Jacks-who? And, well, a history lesson was exactly what POTUS needed earlier in the week when he told an interviewer that Andrew Jackson could have stopped the Civil War — even though he died a decade and a half before its start — before questioning why the Civil War even had to happen at all. It was everything you'd expect…and in Trumpland, you need a doubling-down tweet hours after the hubbub.

Religious liberty: Lost amidst the health care furor yesterday was an executive order on religious liberty. It was dialed back significantly from the first draft, lightly loosening restrictions on how religious organizations deal with health care and political engagement. In its original form, it almost certainly would have gone the way of the travel ban.

Ahhhh-CA: You hear that? It's the sigh of relief from the GOP. They finally passed this thing! One of their biggest promises has finally been fulfilled! Obamacare is dead, Trump's signed the b — wait, what? It still has to go to the Senate? They're waiting for the CBO score? They might want to rewrite the whole thing? Any more action is still months down the line at best?

Go deeper

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Meadows confirms Trump's tweets "declassifying" Russia documents were false

Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed in court on Tuesday that President Trump's tweets authorizing the disclosure of documents related to the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton's emails "were not self-executing declassification orders," after a federal judge demanded that Trump be asked about his intentions.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold cited the tweets in an emergency motion seeking to gain access to special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. This is the first time Trump himself has indicated, according to Meadows, that his tweets are not official directives.

3 hours ago - World

China embraces hostage diplomacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Chinese government is threatening to detain foreign citizens unless their home governments do what Beijing demands. In some cases, China has already made good on those threats.

The big picture: This marks a potential evolution of China's "wolf warrior diplomacy" to outright rogue state behavior, putting it in the company of countries like North Korea and Iran, which have also engaged in hostage diplomacy.

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