May 21, 2018

Trump's second thoughts about the North Korea summit

Trump walking on the South Lawn of the White House. Photo: Yuri Gripas-Pool/Getty Images

"President Trump, increasingly concerned that his summit meeting in Singapore next month with North Korea’s leader could turn into a political embarrassment, has begun pressing his aides and allies about whether he should take the risk of proceeding," the N.Y. Times David E. Sanger reports.

Why it matters: 'Trump’s aides have grown concerned that the president — who has said that 'everyone thinks' he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts — has signaled that he wants the summit meeting too much."

  • "Trump was both surprised and angered by a statement issued on Wednesday by the North’s chief nuclear negotiator."
  • "On Thursday and Friday, Mr. Trump peppered aides with questions about the wisdom of proceeding."
  • "The aides also worry that [Kim Jong-un], sensing the president’s eagerness, is prepared to offer assurances that will fade over time."

Behind the curtain: "[A]ides who have recently left the administration say Mr. Trump has resisted the kind of detailed briefings about enrichment capabilities, plutonium reprocessing, nuclear weapons production and missile programs that [President] Obama and President George W. Bush regularly sat through."

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Pelosi warns U.S. allies against working with China's Huawei

Nancy Pelosi on Feb. 16. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday cautioned U.S. allies against allowing Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to develop their 5G networks, arguing at the Munich Security Conference that doing so is akin to “choosing autocracy over democracy," CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Pelosi's hawkish stance marks a rare area of agreement with the Trump administration, which believes Huawei is a national security threat because the Chinese government may be capable of accessing its equipment for espionage.

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Judge sets "scheduling" conference call ahead of Roger Stone sentencing

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has requested a Feb. 18 "scheduling" conference call in the Roger Stone case, two days before the former Trump associate is set to be sentenced.

Why it matters: Stone's defense team on Friday filed a sealed motion for a new trial — the second time they've done so — amid allegations of juror bias and a growing controversy over Attorney General Bill Barr's intervention in the case.

Biden says Bloomberg's money can't "erase" his record

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that Michael Bloomberg's vast fortune cannot "erase" his record, and that scrutiny of Bloomberg's positions on things like race and policing will ramp up now that he's in the national spotlight.

Why it matters: Biden's polling free fall in the wake of poor performances in Iowa and New Hampshire has coincided with a surge for Bloomberg, who appeals to a similar moderate bloc of the Democratic Party. The billionaire's limitless spending capacity poses an especially stark threat to Biden, who has struggled with fundraising.