The Hill's Morning Report — Trump: `A very great moment in the history of the world’

 

 

 

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The Washington Capitals are the toast of the city today during a parade for the 2018 Stanley Cup champions. The festivities begin at 11 a.m. at Constitution Avenue and 17th Streets and proceed along Constitution Avenue to Seventh Street. The parade ends with a rally at Seventh Street and the National Mall. (Traffic will be diverted downtown from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.) The federal government will be open but the White House is encouraging agencies to grant two hours of administrative leave between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. so workers can attend.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpComey responds to Trump with Mariah Carey gif: 'Why are you so obsessed with me?' Congress to get election security briefing next month amid Intel drama New York man accused of making death threats against Schumer, Schiff MORE and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a one-page joint statement at a dramatic ceremony in Singapore early this morning affirming their “unwavering commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

The signed document, which came after a historic first meeting between Trump and Kim, does not detail the steps North Korea will take to denuclearize or how the U.S. might verify that process. The president described it as the first step in a longer negotiation process.

But it marks a dramatic turning point between the U.S. and North Korea, which appeared to be on the brink of war only months ago when Trump and Kim were hurling apocalyptic warnings at one another.

The president appeared elated during a 65-minute press conference this morning, in which he mentioned he hadn’t slept in 25 hours.

“We’ve gotten a lot,” he said. “All I can say, they want to make a deal.”

How the leaders described the agreement

Kim called the document “historic” and said it would lead to a new era in the U.S.-North Korea relationship. 

“We had a historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind… The world will see a major change,” Kim said.

Trump called the meeting “honest, direct and productive.”

“It’s a first bold step toward a bright new future for his people,” Trump said. “Our unprecedented meeting … proves that real change is indeed possible … Adversaries can indeed become friends. We can honor the sacrifice of our forefathers by replacing the horrors of battle with the blessings of peace.”

The Hill: Trump, Kim sign document on denuclearization.

What is in the agreement? The Hill has text here.

  • The president stressed that the 403-word document is a work in progess and was limited by the whirlwind nature of the summit in Singapore.

  • In it, the U.S. agrees to offer some unspecified “security guarantees” for Pyongyang in exchange for an “unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

  • The U.S. and North Korea agreed to establish new diplomatic relations in an effort to build “a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.”

  • The U.S. will halt or suspend military exercises in South Korea: I think it’s tremendously provocative,” Trump said of “war games,” promising U.S. taxpayers they will save a “tremendous amount of money” if they end.
  • Trump said North Korea will close a missile engine testing site, an agreement not in the signed document but verbally added by the two countries at the end of the discussions.  

  • The U.S. and North Korea agreed to commit to recovering, identifying and repatriating the remains of soldiers killed in the Korean War.

  • U.S. sanctions on North Korea will remain in place until the process is further down the road.  “Our eyes are wide open. … Sanctions will come off when we’re sure the nukes are no longer a factor,” Trump said.

What is not in the agreement?

  • A timetable for denuclearization. “It does take a long time to pull off complete denuclearization, scientifically,” Trump said. “You have to wait certain periods of time…but once you start the process it’s pretty much over, you can’t use them, and that will happen soon.”
  • Details about how verification will take place. Trump vaguely said a mix of U.S. government personnel and independent inspectors would make up a verification team.
  • Trump said he talked up North Korea's real estate and beachside hotel opportunities with Kim.

 What’s next?

  • Trump said National Security Adviser John Bolton would huddle with his North Korean counterparts next week to begin fleshing out the details of the written and verbal agreements.
  • The president said he will continue talking with the leaders of China, South Korea and Japan about the summit results. China said after summit that sanctions relief on North Korea could be considered (Reuters).
  • Trump said he will invite Kim to the White House “at the appropriate time,” sometime “further down the road,” adding that another “meeting” may be in order.
  • The president is on a flight back to the United States. Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity will air a pre-taped interview with Trump at 9 p.m.

 

LEADING THE DAY

CONGRESS: House Republican centrists must show their cards on immigration by a procedural deadline today (The Hill). Absent consensus agreement, centrists and leadership will remain in a standoff over immigration policy that could be untangled by the signatures on a discharge petition, a move used by the rank-and-file to try to force floor action.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTop GOP super PAC spent money on NC Democrat Everytown plans ad blitz on anniversary of House background check bill Kentucky state official says foreign adversaries 'routinely' scan election systems MORE (R-Ky.) today becomes the longest serving Senate Republican leader (The Hill).

Facebook raised the ire of some members of Congress following new reports that the social network shared more data with device-makers than had been previously disclosed (The Hill). Lawmakers want to ask CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergThe Hill's Morning Report - Democrats duke it out during Nevada debate On The Money: GAO to investigate Trump aid for farmers | Bloomberg calls for bolstering Dodd-Frank | Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Soros: Zuckerberg, Sandberg should be removed from control of Facebook MORE why he did not publicly disclose certain ties with foreign companies when he spent hours testifying on Capitol Hill this spring. 

Senators on Monday agreed to include penalties on Chinese telecom giant ZTE in the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), potentially setting up a showdown with Trump on the issue (The Hill).

In the continuing debates about tax policies, lawmakers are being pressed by constituents and stakeholders to adopt legislative fixes to provisions in the GOP tax law enacted in December (The Hill). A tax corrections measure this year remains uncertain.

In the past, Trump has opposed setting a national policy for deterring and responding to dangerous cyber attacks, but that’s exactly what the Senate Armed Services Committee’s version of annual defense policy legislation would do (The Hill).

CAMPAIGNS & POLITICS: Voters today head to the polls for primary elections in Maine, North Dakota, Nevada, South Carolina and Virginia.

One sitting lawmaker to watch: Rep. Mark SanfordMark SanfordTrump challenger Bill Weld rules out 2020 independent bid Judge throws out lawsuit against South Carolina GOP for canceling 2020 primary The Hill's Campaign Report: Late bids surprise 2020 Democratic field MORE (R-S.C.), the former governor who has been critical of Trump. Sanford’s challenger, state Rep. Katie Arrington (R-S.C.), has pitched herself as an ally of the president (The Hill).

Open Secrets: Open seats in the spotlight for June 12 primaries.

Vox: If Democrats want to control the House, they must win big in Virginia.

Looking ahead, Trump will return to the campaign trail one week from Wednesday with a rally in Duluth, Minn., the first time the president will host a political event in a state that he lost in 2016.

Trump didn’t lose Minnesota by much – only 1.5 points – and he carried the district he’ll visit by 16 points. The 8th District has a retiring Democrat and is pick-up opportunity for Republicans as they seek to hold on to the House in 2018.

There are also two Senate races in Minnesota this year, including the special election to replace former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenAl Franken blasts Susan Collins: She'll let Trump 'get away with anything' Bill Press: Don't forget about Amy Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far MORE (D-Minn.). Sen. Tina SmithTina Flint SmithDemocratic senators ask FDA to ban device used to shock disabled students Trump pick for Fed seat takes bipartisan fire Biden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements MORE (D-Minn.), who was appointed to replace Franken, is running to finish out the remaining two years of his term (The Hill).

Meanwhile, The Hill’s Alexander Bolton has this scoop: Sen. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungRepublican Senate campaign arm hauled in over million in January The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Defense: Senate votes to rein in Trump war powers on Iran | Pentagon shifting .8B to border wall | US, Taliban negotiate seven-day 'reduction in violence' MORE (R-Ind.), the freshman senator from a key battleground state, is talking to his colleagues about potentially becoming the next chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). Young made an impression by defeating former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), who was heavily favored in their 2016 contest, helping Republicans to keep their majority in the Senate (The Hill).

On to 2020 – former President Obama has met with at least nine potential Democratic presidential contenders, Politico reports. The former president isn’t likely to back a candidate in the primary but he is providing counsel to those seeking his political advice.

Politico also reports that the Democratic National Committee has turned to Hollywood actors, writers and producers for help with the midterms.

It will be a huge field of Democratic candidates, but as The Hill’s Amie Parnes notes – the party lacks an heir apparent and no one has launched a candidate-specific PAC to lay the groundwork for a campaign yet (The Hill).

Elsewhere, the Supreme Court upheld a controversial “voter purge” policy in Ohio on Monday in a sharply divided 5-4 decision. It’s one of several voting disputes the high court is expected to rule on in the coming weeks (The Hill).

The Hill: Advocates fear court decision could pave the way for more voter purges.

IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

TRADE: Business groups and a few Republican lawmakers have assailed Trump and his advisers for lambasting Canada and its prime minister, Justin Trudeau. The conflict after the weekend’s G-7 summit in Quebec foreshadows international trade disputes that could impact the U.S. economy and challenge the GOP’s traditional support for free trade ahead of November’s elections (The Hill).

The Trump administration has a chance to patch things up with Canada with a visit there on Friday from Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerdueUSDA hopes to cut farms' environmental footprint in half by 2050 USDA abandons America's schoolchildren USDA takes heat as Democrats seek probe into trade aid MORE. U.S. Trade Ambassador Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerGOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 Pelosi sounds hopeful on new NAFTA deal despite tensions with White House MORE also continues negotiations with his Canadian counterpart about NAFTA (Politico).

 

 

WHITE HOUSE & ADMINISTRATION: As the Singapore summit got underway, Trump tweeted news that White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center near Washington. Kudlow, 70, appointed by the president to succeed former adviser Gary CohnGary David CohnBannon says Trump now understands how to use presidential power: 'The pearl-clutchers better get used to it' Sunday shows - All eyes on Senate impeachment trial Gary Cohn says Trump's tariffs 'hurt the US' MORE in March, is recovering today from what the White House described in a statement as a mild heart attack.

The White House communications shop is down another person – rapid response director Steven Cheung’s last day was Friday, Politico reports. That comes after communications aide Kelly Sadler – who was embroiled in controversy for privately mocking Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOvernight Defense: GOP lawmaker takes unannounced trip to Syria | Taliban leader pens New York Times op-ed on peace talks | Cheney blasts paper for publishing op-ed GOP lawmaker makes unannounced trip to northeastern Syria Meghan McCain after Gaetz says Trump should pardon Roger Stone: 'Oh come on' MORE (R-Ariz.) in a meeting – hit the exits last week.

Don’t expect a push to fill those spots in the perpetually embattled comms shop any time soon. But there is one wing of the White House that has been steadily adding personnel – the National Security Council (NSC), now under the leadership of John Bolton.

In recent weeks, the NSC has added Fred Flietz as chief of staff, Rear Adm. Doug Fears as homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, Robert Palladino as press spokesman, and two longtime Bolton aides, Sarah Tinsley and Garrett Marquis, to the communications team.

The Washington Post: Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report - Democrats duke it out during Nevada debate Blagojevich heaps praise on Trump after release from prison The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders on the rise as Nevada debate looms MORE and Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpManufacturers group kicks off campaign to close the industry's skills gap Fed chief issues stark warning to Congress on deficits Rally crowd chants '46' for Donald Trump Jr. MORE made more than $82 million in outside income last year while serving in the White House.

It was a busy day at the agencies … The Treasury Department slapped new sanctions on five agencies and three individuals aiding Russia’s security agency (The Hill) … Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOn the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Trump looms as flashpoint in Alabama Senate battle Trump tweets test Attorney General Barr MORE released a new interpretation of asylum law that excludes victims of gang violence and domestic abuse in an effort to alleviate the pressure on immigration courts (The Hill) … Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is promising consumers will be protected after his repeal of the 2015 net neutrality rules went into effect on Monday (The Hill) … The Justice Department is defending Trump’s business interests with foreign governments in court (The Associated Press).

The Morning Report is created by journalists Jonathan Easley jeasley@thehill.com & Alexis Simendinger asimendinger@thehill.com. Suggestions? Tips? We want to hear from you! Share The Hill’s reporting and newsletters, and encourage others to SUBSCRIBE!

OPINION

Welcome to the end of American exceptionalism, by Maria Cardona, opinion contributor with The Hill. https://bit.ly/2Mk8jUM

Trump puts an end to unfair trade practices, by Ned Ryun, opinion contributor with The Hill. https://bit.ly/2LGwXxD

The terrible arguments against the constitutionality of the Mueller investigation, by George Conway (husband of Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayBrazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record Conway: Reported sexist Bloomberg remarks 'far worse' than what Trump said on 'Access Hollywood' tape Candidates make electability arguments, talk Bloomberg as focus turns to more diverse states MORE), Lawfare. “It isn’t very surprising to see the president tweet a meritless legal position, because, as a non-lawyer, he wouldn’t know the difference between a good one and a bad one.” https://bit.ly/2LHj5n3

WHERE AND WHEN

The House convenes at noon.

The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. to resume consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act.

The president overnight concluded a historic summit with North Korea’s leader in Singapore. The president’s schedule on Tuesday: He departed the Shangri-La Hotel in the morning and arrived at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island, site of the summit. Trump and Kim Jong Un greeted one another and posed for photos. The president and Kim met one-on-one, and later continued discussions with an expanded group of advisers and officials. They had a working lunch. Trump and Kim signed a document and went for a walk together. After less than five hours at the summit site, Trump held a press conference and departed Singapore to return to the White House.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases reports on consumer prices and real earnings at 8:30 a.m.

The Federal Reserve meets today and Wednesday, and is widely expected to raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point, which would bring the benchmark rate of 1.75 to 2 percent. The last increase was in March.

The Hill hosts an event at the Newseum beginning 8:30 a.m., “Maternal and Child Health: Tackling Disparities and Improving Outcomes,” sponsored by AMAG pharmaceuticals. Featured speakers include Reps. Jaime Herrera BeutlerJaime Lynn Herrera BeutlerPelosi: 'I tore up a manifesto of mistruth' DCCC unveils initial dozen candidates for 'Red to Blue' program DCCC to run ads tying 11 House Republicans to Trump remarks on entitlements MORE (R-Wash), Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallOn the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Kobach says he discussed his Senate bid with Trump Senate Democrats outraise Republicans, but GOP has cash edge MORE (R-Kan.) and Gwen MooreGwen Sophia MooreLawmakers with first-hand experience using food stamps call on Trump not to cut program Democratic convention host committee under investigation over concerns about 'work environment': report A dozen House Democrats call on EU ambassador to resign amid Ukraine scandal MORE (D-Wis.)

Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Makan Delrahim will join Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharPoll: Bloomberg stalls after Vegas debate Washington Post fact-checker gives Bloomberg 4 Pinocchios for 'deceptive editing' in campaign ad The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dem anxiety grows ahead of Super Tuesday MORE (D-Minn.) and Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineTrump adviser presses House investigators to make Bezos testify Hillicon Valley: US hits Huawei with new charges | Judge orders Pentagon to halt 'war cloud' work amid Amazon challenge | IRS removes guidance on Fortnite game currency Democrats criticize FCC for not taking action against DC station broadcasting Russian disinformation MORE (D-R.I.) to address a Washington, D.C., media conference, “Breaking the News: Free Speech and Democracy in the Age of Platform Monopoly,” organized by the Open Markets Institute and Tow Center at the Columbia University. Location: Marriott Marquis, 8:45 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. The event will be live streamed.

Sen. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichSenate report says Obama officials were 'not well-postured' to respond to Russian hacking Democratic senators ask banks to prohibit funding Arctic drilling Senate drama surrounding Trump trial starts to fizzle MORE (D-N.M.) at 5 p.m. will unveil a photo exhibit to be on display through June 15 in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building. The photographs, taken by International League of Conservation Photographer Krista Schlyer, focus on impacts of border wall construction along the U.S.-Mexico border. Arizona Democrat Rep. Raúl Grijalva, and Texas Democrats Reps. Filemon VelaFilemon Bartolome VelaFish and Wildlife Service working with Border Patrol to protect animal refuges amid border wall construction: report Majority of Hispanic Caucus votes against spending bill with wall funds A dozen House Democrats call on EU ambassador to resign amid Ukraine scandal MORE and Beto O’Rourke are also participating.

ELSEWHERE

> How President Trump, Israel, and the Gulf states plan to fight Iran—and leave the Palestinians and the Obama years behind, by Adam Entous, The New Yorker

> ICE came for a Tennessee town’s immigrants, and the town fought back (New York Times) …  ICE came for an Iowa town’s immigrants, and the town fought back. ICE came in, raided our community, yanked families apart. These are not the worst of the worst. These are families that play soccer and lift up Iowa family values. These are good, good fun-loving people.” (Stateline)

THE CLOSER

And finally … a picture is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to the isolated, totalitarian North Korea. The Associated Press assembled a photographic gallery of life in North Korea. https://bit.ly/2l4fPXh

Check out Kim Jong Un’s family; everyday routines for a population with few individual rights; the military; the nation’s new economy; monuments; the DMZ; and North Korean workers, most of whom earn $2 to $3 per month.