Photo: Chris Kleponis - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump is skipping this weekend's Summit of the Americas to deliberate with advisers on how to respond to the latest chemical weapons attacks in Syria. But on his television, he faces a growing list of distractions and potential provocations.

Be smart: Trump already has a major decision on his hands in the coming days. Add a TV-addicted president and the situation becomes even more tenuous.

Screenshot: Maggie Haberman/Twitter
Consider the topics likely to dominate weekend coverage:
  • Longtime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is under criminal investigation, per court documents.
  • Trump called Cohen today to "check in," the NYTimes reports.
  • Cohen also negotiated a $1.6 million settlement between a former Playboy Playmate and RNC deputy finance chairman Elliott Broidy, according to a story today by the WSJ.
  • James Comey's book comes out Tuesday. His George Stephanopoulos interview arrives on ABC on Sunday night, and the excerpts have been landing all week, including several in Axios AM. [Juiciest excerpts]
  • Trump punched back at Comey on Twitter today, calling him a "slime ball" liar and leaker.
  • Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has told friends he's at peace with being fired, NBC News' Julia Ainsleyreported this afternoon.
  • Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe misled investigators about his role in a news media disclosure, per the Associated Press.
  • Trump tweets on McCabe: "He LIED! LIED! LIED! McCabe was totally controlled by Comey - McCabe is Comey!! No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!"

Go deeper

Updated 19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Tim Scott says Trump "misspoke" when he told Proud Boys to "stand by"

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Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters on Wednesday that he believes President Trump "misspoke" when he told the far-right "Proud Boys" group to "stand back and stand by" in response to a question about condemning white supremacy at the first presidential debate.

Catch up quick: Moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump on Tuesday, "Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down?" Trump asked who specifically he should condemn, and then responded, "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left."

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Commission on Presidential Debates wants changes

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Wednesday that it plans to implement changes to rules for the remaining debates, after Tuesday night's head-to-head between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was practically incoherent for most of the night.

What they are saying: "Last night's debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues," the CPD said in a statement.

Trump says he doesn't know who Proud Boys are after telling them to "stand by"

President Trump told reporters on Wednesday that he doesn't know who the "Proud Boys" are, after saying at the presidential debate last night that the far-right group should "stand back and stand by" in response to a question asking him to condemn white supremacists.

Why it matters: The comments set off outrage and calls for clarification from a number of Republican senators. After being asked several times on Wednesday whether he will condemn white supremacy, Trump responded: "I have always denounced any form — any form of any of that, you have to denounce. But I also — Joe Biden has to say something about antifa."