The Hill's Morning Report — Inside the historic week ahead

The Hill's Morning Report — Inside the historic week ahead
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Welcome to The Hill's Morning Report, and happy Monday! Our daily email gets you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch, co-created by Jonathan Easley and Alexis Simendinger. (CLICK HERE to subscribe!)


Already underway is a hugely consequential week for President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer chairman of Wisconsin GOP party signals he will comply with Jan. 6 committee subpoena Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon tells Russia to stand down Billionaire GOP donor maxed out to Manchin following his Build Back Better opposition MORE, the U.S. and the world.

It’s a week that will be remembered for its high-stakes negotiations, revelations and fallout that will touch on everything from North Korea and immigration reform, to the 2018 midterm elections, the credibility of the FBI and the full-blown global trade war.

A quick rundown

The Associated Press: Trump expresses optimism as Kim summit nears.

    The Hill: Immigration deadline looms with no deal in sight.

    The Hill: What to watch for in Tuesday’s primaries.

  • G-7 Fallout: The president’s weekend trip to Canada for the Group of Seven (G-7) summit with U.S. allies ended in disarray. The White House and top officials from Canada, Germany and France traded insults and threats as Trump flew to North Korea, a stunning development that is certain to supercharge a trade war between the U.S. and its allies.

Pompeo’s response today to reporters who asked about the Canada summit tensions: “There are always irritants in relationships. I’m confident that the relations between our country and the G-7 countries will move forward on a strong basis.” 

    The New York Times: Trump’s blasts upend G-7, alienating oldest U.S. allies.

Meanwhile, back in the states … actor Robert De Niro received a standing ovation at the Tony Awards last night for saying “f--- Trump” onstage. It’s sure to keep the culture wars — and the debate over civility — alive for another week following the controversy with Samantha Bee.


NORTH KOREA SUMMIT: In Singapore, Trump spoke by phone with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and conferred with his U.S. advisers on the trip.

The Hill: Trump is optimistic about his face-to-face with Kim in Singapore on Tuesday (which will be overnight Monday, Washington time). Following months of taunts about nuclear capabilities and suspense about whether a summit would happen, the meeting remains largely unscripted and its outcome uncertain. Will U.S.-North Korea tensions reawaken, or will the historic event lead to an enforceable, verifiable agreement that’s been elusive for a half-century?



Five things to watch at the Singapore summit (The Hill) … Trump expressed confidence before arrival in Singapore (The Hill) … Trump’s campaign of “maximum pressure” on Pyongyang to forfeit its nuclear weapons may have eased (Reuters) … Unorthodox Trump faces toughest test yet with Kim (The Associated Press).

Reuters: North Korea’s state media said on Monday that Kim and Trump will discuss a “permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism” on the Korean Peninsula, denuclearization and other issues of mutual concern.

NBC News: U.S. won’t raise North Korea’s human rights issues during summit talks.

For both leaders, security is tight in Singapore, but especially for Kim, who rarely travels outside his country:



Dan Balz column, The Washington Post: Summit tests Trump’s ability to shift from obstruction to constructive engagement.

Harry J. Kazianis, director for defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, writes in an opinion column for The Hill that it’s worth remembering history before the United States signs any deal with North Korea.

CONGRESS: Last week, Speaker Ryan said a new deadline for House Republicans to find consensus on immigration and potential protections for Dreamers under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was “no deadline.” And his conference may indeed be no closer this week to a resolution within the conference.

The Hill: Congress faces what could be the biggest news week of 2018.

The Hill: A DACA deadline looms with no deal in sight.

The Hill: Justice Department not defending DACA in lawsuit brought by Texas.

Reuters: Nearly 1,800 families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border in 17 months, through February.

The Hill: Senate Democrats introduce a measure to prevent the separation of migrant families at the U.S. border with Mexico.

House - Spending: The Hill: House approves its first 2019 spending bills.

Senate Democrats - Trump: The Hill: Democratic senators call for an insider trading probe into Trump’s early tweet about last month’s jobs report.


➔ INTERNATIONAL: G-7 summit next-steps: Trump played hardball on trade with U.S. allies in Canada, and he and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau engaged in some verbal jousts after it was over. The public trash-talking among world leaders is a prelude to the economic repercussions of tit-for-tat tariffs, which appear all but certain — and unwelcome everywhere but inside the White House.



South China Morning Post: Trade war: European Union will put tariffs on U.S. metals after “depressing” G-7 tweets by Trump.“It’s hard, it’s depressing this time, but that’s not the end” of the G-7 alliance, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday. Merkel said a tariff-free area among G-7 allies would be an ideal outcome, but she made clear that any talks about such a trade bloc would have to include non-tariff barriers to trade as well as free access to public tenders.

The Hill: Trump’s refusal to endorse the G-7 communique.

Trump’s disruptive performance in Canada prompted weekend observations on Twitter by two national reporters who cover the president:



Trade and Investment: Reuters: Trade tensions drive Chinese auto investors from U.S. to Europe.

CAMPAIGNS & POLITICS: We’re beginning to see more analysts raise doubts about the prospect of a “blue wave” in the 2018 midterm elections. In this piece for the New York Daily News, senior elections analyst Sean Trende, who once believed Democrats could pick up 40 to 50 seats in the House, is now expressing uncertainty about whether they’ll flip the 23 they need to seize a majority.

Christopher Buskirk, writing in The New York Times: If there’s a red wave, this will be why.

Former Rep. Steve IsraelSteven (Steve) J. IsraelRedistricting reform key to achieving the bipartisanship Americans claim to want Biden seeks to avoid referendum with sharp attacks on GOP Stopping the next insurrection MORE (D-N.Y.), a contributor for The Hill: Gun control will be a winning issue for Democrats.

Elsewhere, The Washington Post landed a rare interview with billionaire liberal donor George Soros. Soros said he won’t be backing Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDocumentary to be released on Gabby Giffords's recovery from shooting Tlaib blasts Biden judicial nominee whose firm sued environmental lawyer The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters MORE (D-N.Y.) if she runs for president. He blames Gillibrand for forcing out Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenMeet the Democrats' last best hope of preserving a House majority Franken rules out challenge against Gillibrand for Senate seat Franken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour MORE (D-Minn.), who resigned after several women accused him of inappropriate touching.

Also on the Democratic side, Politico reports that the Democratic National Committee is moving forward with a proposal to force the party’s presidential candidates to identify as Democrats. That, of course, would impact Vermont Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSchumer finds unity moment in Supreme Court fight McConnell warns Biden not to 'outsource' Supreme Court pick to 'radical left' Briahna Joy Gray discusses Pelosi's 2022 re-election announcement MORE, an independent who has steadfastly refused to become a Democrat. Sanders’s supporters are angry over the proposed rule, adding fire to the long-running and bitter battle between Clinton and Sanders supporters.

More from the campaign trail: The Cook Political report has shifted three House races in favor of Democrats and two in favor of Republicans (The Hill) … Evangelical groups will reward Trump with a $20 million midterms investment (The Hill) … Nevada’s Democratic Party is accused of illegally funneling millions of dollars to Clinton’s campaign (Las Vegas Review-Journal) … GOP embraces single-payer health-care attack in California (The Hill) … Democrats think rising health-care costs could become an “October surprise” among disenchanted voters (NBC News).

INVESTIGATIONS: Lawmakers, investigators and the press continue to deal with fallout from the former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer who has been charged with making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with the media.

James Wolfe made his first appearance in court on Friday. As part of that investigation, the DOJ seized phone and email records between Wolfe and New York Times reporter Ali Watkins, who was at one point romantically involved with Wolfe.

The Hill: GOP lawmaker troubled by DOJ’s seizure of reporter’s records.

Andrew McCarthy: Leak investigations, journalists and double standards.

Gabe Rottman: We need federal shield laws to protect journalists now.

Jonathan Turley: New leak indictment spells disaster for McCabe.

Elsewhere, special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG MORE has hit Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortUS sanctions four Ukrainians for aiding Russian influence operations Manafort book set for August publication Accused spy's lawyers say plans to leave country were over Trump, not arrest MORE with a new round of charges, as well as two new counts against his former aide, Konstantin Kilimnik.

The new obstruction of justice charges pertain to allegations of witness tampering. Read the indictment HERE.

Paul Rosenzweig: Tampering charges against Manafort are thin.

The Hill: House approves watchdog financial oversight of Mueller.

Sharyl Attkisson: The FBI’s fractured fairy tale.

Finally, The Hill’s Lydia Wheeler takes a look at how a defamation lawsuit brought against Trump by a former contestant on “The Apprentice” is fraught with peril for the president. A judge has ruled that the president can be deposed in the suit, brought by Summer Zervos, who has accused Trump of making unwanted advances.

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Democrats ‘Do No Harm’ Act makes religious liberty an election issue, by Ken Klukowski, opinion contributor, The Hill.

Trump again shows he’s all talk on the deficit and debt, by Stan Collender, opinion for The Budget Guy blog


The House returns to work Tuesday.

The Senate convenes at 3 p.m. and resumes consideration of the motion to proceed to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2019.

The president is in Singapore, 12 hours ahead of Washington time. Here’s the Monday schedule for Trump (already completed on his clock): The president departed the Shangri-La Hotel for the Istana Palace, where he participated in a bilateral meeting with Singapore’s prime minister, followed by a working lunch. The president then returned to his hotel.


> Investigation – Murder with impunity: Where killings go unsolved in Washington, D.C., by Wesley Lowery, Kimbriell Kelly, Ted Mellnik and Steven Rich, The Washington Post

> Learning in Lockup: Inside the Travis Hill High School at the New Orleans jail, by Eli Hager for The Marshall Project and public radio’s This American Life

>  Inside Kim Jong Un’s bloody scramble to kill off his family, by Jean H. Lee, Esquire (published in 2017)

> Spotlight on rising suicide statistics, by Jessie Hellmann, The Hill.


And finally … Wisdom, experience and fitness in a dangerous sport … we’re not talking about the thoroughbred on Saturday. We’re talking about the rider, Mike Smith, who at 52 became the oldest jockey to ever win the Triple Crown… Justify is a great athlete, too.

But, it’s worth remembering, there’s a reason jockeys rarely compete into midlife: career-ending accidents intervene. Skydivers, motorbike racers, loggers and pilots face less risk of being killed than the small, compact jockeys on thoroughbreds, according to one report published in 2009. Jockeys are the worst-paid and most seriously injured athletes in any professional sport.

Smith has won more than 5,400 races, including a record 26 in the Breeders' Cup, and now seven Triple Crown races. His mounts have earned more than $310 million. He’s at the top of his game.