Feb 1, 2019

U.S. to withdraw from landmark Cold War missile treaty

Trump and Putin at the G20. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Image

The U.S. will formally notify Russia tomorrow that it is pulling out of the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, signed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.

The backdrop: Both the Obama and Trump administrations have accused Russia of violating the treaty, which bans nuclear and conventional ground-launched missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in December that Russia had 60 days to return to compliance, or the U.S. would pull out. China, meanwhile, is unconstrained by the treaty and has an arsenal of such missiles.

What’s next: The treaty includes a six-month window before withdrawal is finalized, but U.S. officials don't expect a change in Russia's posture during that period. A senior administration official told reports that the U.S. is “not going to be in a position to go immediately deploying missiles” six months from now.

"Let's be clear: if there is an arms race, it’s Russia that started it.”
— Senior administration official

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Trump acknowledges lists of disloyal government officials to oust

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Monday acknowledged the existence of assembled lists of government officials that his administration plans to oust and replace with trusted pro-Trump people, which were first reported by Axios' Jonathan Swan.

What he's saying: “I don’t think it's a big problem. I don’t think it's very many people,” Trump said during a press conference in India, adding he wants “people who are good for the country, loyal to the country.”

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Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

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What's happening: The novel coronavirus has been infecting and killing scores of people for close to a month and, depending on the day, the market has sold off or risen to record highs.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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The big picture: That's partly because we're all focusing on the implications of Democrats nominating a self-described democratic socialist. It's also because a candidate's religion no longer seems to matter as much to voters or the media, making the potential milestone of a Jewish nominee more of a non-event.