‘I Will Respectfully Leave’

Thursday, April 19, 2018Screen Shot 2018-04-19 at 1.33.24 PM

Good Thursday morning,
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • President Trump declared he would scrap a planned meeting with Kim Jong-un if his diplomatic overture was not heading toward success. His decision to send his C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, on a secret trip to meet the North Korean leader reflected his trust in Mr. Pompeo, and how diplomats were sidelined in the move.

  • South Korea confirmed that it had been in talks with American and North Korean officials about negotiating a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War after more than 60 years, as the United States and its ally try to establish a basis for persuading the North to give up its nuclear weapons.
  • A looming trade war between the United States and China has put Qualcomm, one of America’s largest technology companies, squarely in the middle of the battlefield.
  • The tabloid news company American Media Inc. agreed to let a former Playboy model out of a contract that had kept her from talking freely about an alleged affair with Mr. Trump, her lawyer said.

— The First Draft Team

In Barbara Bush’s Final Days, Faith, Courage and a Little Last Needling

By PETER BAKER
Former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush were interviewed by Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday. The former president said his mother and the former first lady, Barbara Bush, who died on Tuesday, would have wanted him to go ahead with the interview.

Former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush were interviewed by Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday. The former president said his mother and the former first lady, Barbara Bush, who died on Tuesday, would have wanted him to go ahead with the interview. Brandon Wade/Associated Press

Even in the final days of her life, Barbara Bush retained the sharp tongue that belied her grandmotherly image. When her eldest son, former President George W. Bush, visited about 10 days before her death, the two playfully needled each other in the way they always did.
At one point, Mrs. Bush turned to her doctor. You want to know why George W. is the way he is? she asked.
The doctor looked a little surprised. Because I drank and smoked when I was pregnant with him, she said.
The former president told that story about his mother on Wednesday as he paid tribute to Mrs. Bush, who died at 92 on Tuesday at her home in Houston. Mrs. Bush, who had congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, decided earlier this week to decline further medical treatment intended to prolong her life and instead spent her last days saying goodbye to her family.
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Phil Bredesen, the Democratic former governor of Tennessee, met with students from the University of Tennessee while campaigning for Senate this month in Knoxville.

In Pro-Trump Tennessee, Democrats Count on a Familiar Face to Flip a Senate Seat

By THOMAS KAPLAN

President Trump won Tennessee by a wide margin, but former Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat now running for Senate, has a track record of appealing to Republicans.

President Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday. Despite their close alliance, the United States has been acting independently of Japan on matters like North Korea.

Japan Fears Being Sidelined by Trump on Trade and North Korea

By MOTOKO RICH

Dogged by scandal at home, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was hoping to score diplomatic and political victories during his meeting this week with President Trump.

A bill considered by a California State Senate committee aimed to create increased housing density near rail and ferry stops, overriding local zoning codes.

California Lawmakers Kill Housing Bill After Fierce Debate

By CONOR DOUGHERTY

The vote highlighted how the state’s housing and homeless problem has emerged as an election-year issue, one that promises to dominate its politics for years.

Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director who is also heading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has largely frozen the consumer bureau’s rule-making and enforcement.

Senate Votes to Ease Restrictions on Auto Lending Discrimination

By ALAN RAPPEPORT

Nullifying the restrictions will weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which Republicans say has abused its authority. Democrats criticized the move.

A Field & Stream store, owned by the retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods, in Cranberry Township, Pa. The company said it would destroy the assault-style rifles it removed from its shelves.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Will Destroy the Assault-Style Weapons It Didn’t Sell

By LAURA M. HOLSON

The company, which agreed in February to stop selling assault-style rifles at its Field & Stream stores, will not return the weapons to gun manufacturers.


Trump Attacks Russia Inquiry and Sketch Posted by Stormy Daniels’s LawyerStephanie Clifford, known as Stormy Daniels, outside the federal courthouse in Manhattan on Monday. She has accused President Trump of sending a man to physically threaten her years ago.

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS AND EILEEN SULLIVAN

The president, facing legal threats on multiple fronts, sought to discredit the allegations in both cases, calling one a hoax and the other a total con job.

An Ilyushin Il-62, a Soviet airliner, in North Korea. Political and logistical complications, including the small plane available to the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, have limited the site options for the coming summit meeting between him and President Trump.

Kim Jong-un’s Aging Aircraft Could Limit Where He and Trump Meet

By ALI WATKINS

Kim Jong-un is not known to have flown outside his country, and the question of his transportation complicates an already delicate and uncertain meeting.

Mike Pompeo, currently the C.I.A. director, is awaiting confirmation as secretary of state.

Mike Pompeo Met Kim Jong-un. What’s His North Korea Policy?

By ROBIN LINDSAY

The C.I.A. director’s comments at his hearing to become secretary of state worried so many senators that the Foreign Relations Committee might not recommend confirmation.

William Hejl of North Dakota is among the many Midwestern farmers in both political parties who are alarmed by the threat of Chinese tariffs on American agriculture and think Republicans could pay a political price.

Across Midwest, Farmers Warn of G.O.P. Losses Over Trump’s Trade Policy

By JONATHAN MARTIN

China’s proposed tariffs on soybeans would hit hard in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, North Dakota and other states with highly competitive House and Senate races.

Jeffrey Bewkes, chief executive of Time Warner, center, testified Wednesday, becoming the first top executive of either his company or AT&T to testify in the Justice Department’s lawsuit against the merger of the companies.

Time Warner C.E.O. Testifies That AT&T Merger Is Needed to Battle Silicon Valley

By CECILIA KANG

Jeffrey Bewkes, Time Warner’s chief executive, said on Wednesday in federal court that the company is an underdog against Amazon, Netflix and others.