The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says US-China trade talks to resume, hails potential trade with Japan, UK




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President TrumpDonald John TrumpKimberly Guilfoyle reports being asymptomatic and 'feeling really pretty good' after COVID-19 diagnosis Biden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE will depart the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in France later today hailing momentum with Japan to complete a major trade pact and asserting today that China contacted U.S. officials overnight seeking to return to the negotiating table.


“China called last night our top trade people and said, ‘let’s get back to the table’, so we’ll be getting back to the table, and I think they want to do something,” Trump said on the sidelines of the G-7.


China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said he had no info about any phone calls to the United States, as cited by Trump, adding, “I can tell you clearly that I haven’t heard of such a thing,” Bloomberg reported. Shuang said Beijing is willing to resolve its trade dispute with the United States through “calm negotiations” and opposes the escalation of the conflict (Reuters).


Trump’s Twitter account seized on news reports of Shuang’s comments and lauded President Xi Jinping as “a great leader & representing a great country,” posting those thoughts while he apparently was in the midst of a bilateral discussion with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.


The president is expected to take questions later today at a news conference at the conclusion of the annual gathering (C-SPAN live coverage at 9:30 a.m. ET).


Heads of leading industrialized economies who met for three days in the seaside town of Biarritz in southern France share the U.S. view that China poses a hazard to world trading rules and intellectual property, but express wariness that Trump’s style of punishing Beijing with escalating tariffs, as announced on Friday, will result in fairer, more transparent practices by China.


Instead, worries are evident in European capitals that the tug-of-war between the world’s two largest economies could draw U.S. allies into a global economic recession.


The president told reporters on Sunday that he had some second thoughts about raising tariffs on Chinese products, but his spokeswoman later said Trump had been misinterpreted although he answered the question three times as journalists worked to ensure they understood his meaning. Press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamMelania Trump's spokeswoman slams 'inappropriate and insensitive comments' about Barron Trump Melania Trump is 'behind-the-scenes' but 'unbelievably influential': book East Wing rips book saying Melania Trump renegotiated prenup before moving to White House MORE issued a statement on Sunday asserting the president meant to convey that his regret was in not increasing tariffs more.


Trump used a bilateral discussion on Sunday over breakfast with new Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom, whom he lavishly praised, to strengthen ties between the two governments and pledge a negotiated trade agreement with Great Britain soon after it exits the European Union in October.


"We're going to do a very big trade deal, bigger than we've ever had with the U.K.," Trump said. "And now at some point they won't have the obstacle, they won't have the anchor around their ankle, because that's what they have" (BBC).


The president’s confidence about a swift trade deal was interpreted as beneficial to Johnson, who said while in France that an orderly transition as Great Britain splits from the EU on Oct. 31 now looked “touch and go.” The prime minister, responding to Trump’s enthusiasm for a bilateral agreement with Britain, added that such a negotiation with the United States would likely take longer than a year to complete.


Whenever such a deal is inked, it would also need to be ratified by Congress. Both Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSupreme Court expands religious rights with trio of rulings Congress must act now to fix a Social Security COVID-19 glitch and expand, not cut, benefits Democrats see victory in Trump culture war MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerA renewed emphasis on research and development funding is needed from the government Data shows seven Senate Democrats have majority non-white staffs Trump may be DACA participants' best hope, but will Democrats play ball? MORE (D-N.Y.) said this month they will oppose any post-Brexit U.K.-U.S. trade deal that might put at risk Northern Ireland's peaceful status quo with Ireland (The Hill). 


The Associated Press: On U.S.-China impasse, Nobody understands where the president is coming from.”


The Hill: White House says Trump pressing ahead with China.


The Hill: Trump says U.S. and Japan agree “in principle” to bilateral trade deal.


Reuters: At G-7, French, U.S. officials strike draft compromise on French digital tax.


The New York Times: Trump sent contradictory signals on China trade war.


The Washington Post: Trump expressed regret about escalating China trade war, then the White House clarified his meaning.


The Washington Post analysis: Trump: “I have second thoughts about everything.”


The Wall Street Journal: Trump gambles that trade war will pay off in 2020. 


The Hill: Foreign policy setbacks cloud Trump’s 2020 pitch to voters.


More from G-7 early today … Trump accepts Merkel’s invitation to visit Germany but says September “too soon” … Trump says 2020 G-7 likely to take place in Miami and proposes one of his properties, the Doral, as location … Trump says no decision has been made about Russia’s presence at 2020 summit … Trump did not attend today’s G-7 working session with fellow leaders about climate change, biodiversity and oceans. 





POLITICS & CAMPAIGNS: Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) announced Sunday that he is launching a primary challenge against the president in 2020, making him the second Republican to do so as others weigh jumping in despite Trump’s high marks with GOP voters. 


Walsh, a former conservative congressman and pro-Trump voice, warned that the president is unfit for office and cannot be elected to a second term. He is attempting to position himself as a legitimate non-Trump choice for the GOP, which he says is filled with many who are “scared to death” of opposing Trump publicly. 


“He’s nuts. He’s erratic. He’s cruel. He stokes bigotry. He’s incompetent. He doesn’t know what he’s doing,” Walsh told ABC’s “This Week,” adding that he realizes the arduous road ahead. 


“Look, this isn’t easy to do. ... I’m opening up my life to tweets and attacks. Everything I’ve said and tweeted now, Trump’s going to go after and his bullies are going to go after,” Walsh said.


In recent years, as the former Tea Party lawmaker noted, Walsh has been an outspoken voice on Twitter, an issue that has already cropped up in his nascent campaign. In the past, Walsh has espoused birtherism and made disparaging remarks about Muslims. In one episode, Walsh vowed he would be “grabbing my musket” if Trump lost to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillicon Valley: Facebook civil rights audit finds 'serious setbacks' | Facebook takes down Roger Stone-affiliated accounts, pages | State and local officials beg Congress for more elections funds OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Sanders-Biden climate task force calls for carbon-free power by 2035 | Park Police did not record radio transmissions during June 1 sweep of White House protesters | Court upholds protections for Yellowstone grizzly bears GOP Miami mayor does not commit to voting for Trump MORE in 2016 (The Associated Press).


Aaron Blake: Joe Walsh is primarying Trump. He brings tons of very Trumpian baggage.


While Walsh’s bid will garner attention from the media, he is unlikely to move the marker against Trump in a GOP primary bid. The GOP has moved to protect Trump from any primary bid, with some states discussing canceling their primary contests in an effort to coalesce around the incumbent president. 


Outside of Walsh and former Massachusetts Gov. William WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldVermont governor, running for reelection, won't campaign or raise money The Hill's Campaign Report: Amash moves toward Libertarian presidential bid Libertarians view Amash as potential 2020 game changer for party MORE (R) — who said he is “thrilled” by Walsh’s announcement — former Rep. Mark SanfordMark SanfordCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama The Memo: Can the Never Trumpers succeed? MORE (R-S.C.) is expected to announce his plans for a possible primary bid by Labor Day. Additionally, former Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (R-Ariz.) and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich continue to talk to donors and those making overtures about possible bids (The Washington Post). 


Paul Kane: Cindy McCain wants to bring civility back to politics. Is it too late?





> Dem field dwindles: The Democratic presidential field is facing its first real winnowing as more than half a dozen candidates face the increasingly real possibility that they could be left out of the next primary debate. 


In the last week, three candidates — former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn Hickenlooper Senate outlook slides for GOP The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks MORE, Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert Inslee121 University of Washington students test positive for coronavirus Barr praises Seattle police chief as officers clear protest zone OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats chart course to 'solving the climate crisis' by 2050 | Commerce Department led 'flawed process' on Sharpiegate, watchdog finds | EPA to end policy suspending pollution monitoring by end of summer MORE and Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonHouse panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops Overnight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday Democrats expect Russian bounties to be addressed in defense bill MORE (D-Mass.) — exited the race after acknowledging they all faced long odds toward the nomination, especially as each anticipated exclusion from next month’s televised Democratic primary debate. 


However, the three contenders who expected to be shut out of the Houston event are by no means alone; eight other candidates are in similar situations. They are nowhere close to qualifying for the third primary debate in September and are faced with increasingly daunting polling and fundraising gaps between themselves and the field’s top-tier contenders. Some Democrats are eager for the field to shrink, believing that it’s past time for focus to fall on the top contenders and that the massive field has had a freezing effect on voters, who are faced with too many options (The Hill).


Dan Balz: These are frustrating days for governors seeking the presidency.


The Wall Street Journal: Long-shot Democratic candidates shake off debate disappointment. 


Stephanie Saul, The New York Times: The education of Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations Progressive activist Ady Barkan endorses Biden, urges him to pick Warren as VP Congress must act now to fix a Social Security COVID-19 glitch and expand, not cut, benefits MORE (D-Mass.).


> Youth vote: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Tammy Duckworth is the epitome of the American Dream Mexico's president uses US visit to tout ties with Trump MORE is facing a millennial problem. Biden continues to sit atop polls in the Democratic primary; however, strategists and political observers say he needs to do better with younger voters if he wants to win the nomination. 


According to the Pew Research Center, while Biden is polling strongly with voters over 50, he is struggling to lure young voters ages 18 to 29 to his campaign, as he attracts only 7 percent support from the group. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTammy Duckworth is the epitome of the American Dream On The Money: Deficit rises to record .7 trillion amid pandemic: CBO | Democrats sidestep budget deal by seeking 0B in emergency spending | House panel advances spending bill with funding boost to IRS Biden-Sanders unity task force calls for Fed, US Postal Service consumer banking MORE (I-Vt.) continues to poll well with the demographic, pulling 24 percent, while Warren, a top challenger for the nomination, wins 18 percent support (The Hill). 


"If he wants to reactivate the Obama coalition that helped Obama win two elections, he won't be able to do it without younger voters," one Democratic strategist said. "There's just no way around that."


Niall Stanage: Democratic field boils down to four-horse race.


The Hill: Sanders, Warren back major shift to fight drug overdoses.


Politico: Senate battleground Dems shun “Medicare for All.”


Elsewhere in politics … Warren held a campaign rally on Monday night in Seattle before 15,000 attendees , likely the largest of her campaign. The rally came only days after a crowd of 12,000 attended her rally in St. Paul, Minn. (Bloomberg).


INTERNATIONAL: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif departed the G-7 setting on Sunday after a five-hour visit at French President Emmanuel Macron’s invitation. Meetings today about Iran’s nuclear ambitions are also planned before the summit concludes, according to a French official. Macron is playing a lead role in trying to salvage the 2015 nuclear accord, which has been unraveling since Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement last year. In Biarritz, Zarif met with Macron and French, German and British diplomats and attended an unprogrammed gathering in Biarritz’s city hall (The New York Times).  


Reuters: Iran says it will not negotiate missile work, wants to export more oil.


> Israel: Israel said Sunday that it stopped the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from launching "killer drone" strikes from Syria when its aircraft struck Iranian Quds Force operatives and Shiite militias as they prepared attacks in recent days. Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, told reporters “a number of attack drones,” each armed with explosives, were to have been launched simultaneously at targets in northern Israel on Thursday before the plan was thwarted (Reuters) ... The Lebanese and Palestinians reported on Monday that Israel struck a Palestinian base in eastern Lebanon along the border with Syria on Monday, raising tensions after two Israeli drones crashed in Hezbollah territory in southern Beirut (The Associated Press). 


> North Korea: Supervised by leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnWill the real Kim Yo Jong stand up? North Korea nixes idea of more talks with US Trump's Mount Rushmore stunt will backfire MORE, the North Koreans tested a “super-large” rocket launcher on Saturday, another example of the country’s expanding weapons arsenal as it looks to boost its leverage ahead of a potential nuclear talks with the U.S. (The Associated Press). When asked about the test on Sunday, Trump said that he was “not happy” about the launch, but argued it wasn’t in violation of an agreement between the two sides. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe broke with the president’s remarks, saying the missile launch by the North Koreans “clearly violates the relevant U.N. Security Council resolution” (CNBC). 


> Russia: Russia launched the world's first floating nuclear reactor and sent it across the Arctic on Friday despite warnings from environmentalists that it will pose serious risks to the region, labeling it a potential “Chernobyl on ice” and a “nuclear Titanic.” The Akademik Lomonosov departed the Arctic port of Murmansk as it makes the 3,000-mile voyage to northeastern Siberia (AFP).


> Brazil: Brazilian warplanes are dumping water on the Amazon rainforest as parts of the forest burn in the state of Rondonia in a bid to stop the blaze that threatens the area. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has authorized military operations in seven states to combat raging fires in the Amazon in response to local governments looking for assistance to put out the fire, a spokeswoman for his office said (Reuters). Bolsonaro, however, has come under fire for his lack of urgency in response to the fires after initially dismissing the hundreds of blazes and questioning the genesis of the fires, having wondered if activist groups were behind them in an effort to damage the credibility of his government (The Associated Press).

The Morning Report is created by journalists Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver. We want to hear from you! Email: and We invite you to share The Hill’s reporting and newsletters, and encourage others to SUBSCRIBE!


What would John McCainJohn Sidney McCain Senate outlook slides for GOP Juan Williams: Time for boldness from Biden Democrats lead in three battleground Senate races: poll MORE do? by Richard Fontaine, opinion contributor, The Hill. 


Census could reveal electoral extinction of the Republicans, by Kristin Tate, opinion contributor, The Hill. 


Hill.TV’s “Rising” at 9 a.m. ET features an interview with Sanders, who sat down with host Krystal Ball following his Sunday rally in Louisville, Ky.; former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what 'policing' means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight MORE (D-Md.) to discuss the 2020 campaign and his decision to stay in the presidential race; and Liz Harrington, national spokesperson for the Republican National Committee, to talk about GOP fundraising numbers. Find Hill.TV programming at or on YouTube at 10 a.m.


The House gets back to work on Sept. 4 to begin consideration of legislation to respond to mass shootings.


The Senate returns to Washington on Sept. 9. 


The president is in France, where his day began with a bilateral meeting at 8:30 a.m. with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. He met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at 11:30 a.m. local time. Trump skipped the G-7 working session on climate, biodiversity and oceans at 10 a.m. He was to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and participate in a G-7 working lunch on digital transformation, followed by the closing session of the summit. Trump is scheduled to participate in a joint press conference with Macron around 3:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. ET). Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpStatue of Melania Trump set on fire in Slovenia The Memo: Trump gambles on school push The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook- Schools weigh reopening options MORE will depart France at 6:05 p.m. and arrive back at the White House tonight. 


Vice President Pence travels today to Anderson, S.C., to visit Sargent Metal Fabricators and speak at 4:30 p.m. about the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. In the evening, Pence will deliver a keynote speech at the Faith & Freedom BBQ, an annual political gathering of conservatives, at 6 p.m. in Anderson before returning to Washington. Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanHow conservative conspiracy theories are deepening America's political divide GOP-Trump fractures on masks open up Democrats start cracking down on masks for lawmakers MORE (R-Ohio), former chairman of the House Freedom Caucus,  will also be a featured speaker at the South Carolina barbecue.


Blasting hurricanes:  Trump reportedly spoke “multiple times” with senior administration officials about the possibility of bombing hurricanes before they reach the United States using nuclear weapons, Axios reported Sunday. Trump tweeted early Monday that he has never talked about this possibility …Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center said Sunday that Tropical Storm Dorian could intensify to near hurricane strength over the eastern Caribbean Sea by Tuesday (CBS News).


Animal kingdom:  Ocean predators found their defenders on Sunday in Geneva as international representatives at a conference devoted to a treaty that protects wildlife voted to add safeguards for mako sharks to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Japan and the United States, each with commercial interests in mind, voted in opposition (National Geographic).  


State Watch: Public pressure to enact new hate crimes legislation at the state level has emerged in Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina, propelled by threats perceived from hate groups, white supremacists and militias (The Associated Press). … The Chicago Police Department unveiled a new and controversial online tool drawn from public records that allows the public to look up who has been arrested on gun-related charges and whether they have posted bail (The Associated Press) … A high-stakes election to determine who controls the state legislature in Virginia in November is set to get even more heated as both sides of the gun control debate pour money and resources to reshape the nearly evenly split legislature after a spate of mass shootings across the United States (The Hill).


Little League World Series: Louisiana defeated Curacao to take home the Little League World Series title on Sunday in Williamsport, Pa. The 8-0 win by the youngsters from River Ridge, La., earned the first Little League World Series title for Louisiana behind a two-hit shutout by pitcher Egan Prather and three RBI from Marshall Louque. The team’s performance was not only the first title for the state, but it also marked the farthest a team from Louisiana has advanced in the annual tournament (





And finally …  The classic 1939 musical film, “The Wizard of Oz” celebrated its 80th anniversary on Sunday, with reflections on the ruby slippers, Judy Garland, the Wicked Witch and dialogue we recognize decade after decade (CNN). 


“Follow the yellow brick road.”


“There’s no place like home.”


“I’ll get you, my pretty.” 


“Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.”


But there was one particular tribute that caught our attention: Nurses at Pittsburgh’s West Penn Hospital dressed four newborns in handmade costumes to honor the iconic movie (and its characters) (ABC News). Let’s face it: We all need a little baby cuteness on a Monday morning!