Mueller Subpoenas Trump Organization

Friday, March 16, 2018Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 9.28.04 AM

Good Friday morning,
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has subpoenaed the Trump Organization to turn over documents, including some related to Russia. The order is the first known instance of Mr. Mueller demanding records directly related to President Trump’s businesses, bringing the investigation closer to the president.

  • The Trump administration imposed sanctions on a series of Russian organizations and individuals in retaliation for election interference and other malicious cyberattacks. The sanctions targeted many of the same Russian organizations and operatives indicted by Mr. Mueller.

  • The White House accused Russia of engineering a series of cyberattacks that targeted American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems, and could have sabotaged or shut power plants off at will.
  • In the nine months since he gushed over his cabinet in its first full meeting, Mr. Trump has fired or forced out a half-dozen of the incredible, talented people in the room that day. And the purge at the top may not be over.

  • Mr. Trump repeated his false assertion that the United States runs a trade deficit with Canada, the morning after telling Republican donors privately that he had deliberately insisted on that claim in a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada without knowing if it was true. Some Canadians remain baffled.

  • Larry Kudlow, Mr. Trump’s pick to lead the National Economic Council, is a Wall Street economist, a polished television host and, most of allan evangelist for supply-side economics, which espouses that cutting taxes on businesses and the rich will rain down benefits on everyone else in the country.
— The First Draft Team
On Washington

Facing a Democratic Wave, Republicans Refuse to Throw Trump Overboard

By CARL HULSE
President Trump at a campaign rally on Saturday in Moon Township, Pa., in support of Rick Saccone, the Republican candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania's 18th District.

President Trump at a campaign rally on Saturday in Moon Township, Pa., in support of Rick Saccone, the Republican candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 18th District. Tom Brenner/The New York Times

If Republicans and President Trump are going down to defeat in November’s midterms, they are evidently going down together.
Faced with a mortifying special election loss in what had been a Trump-loving Pennsylvania House district, Republicans on Capitol Hill did not point fingers in the president’s direction. Instead, they blamed their candidate, Rick Saccone, for running a lackluster effort while crediting the president with putting Mr. Saccone within reach of victory by firing up Trump supporters at a rally last weekend.
“The president came in and helped close this race and got it to where it is right now,” Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday as he and his fellow Republicans sought to put the best possible gloss on the latest and most definitive portent yet that their party — not to mention his own speakership — is in severe peril in a very challenging midterm election climate.
Statements like those and other recent developments highlight just how reluctant Republicans are to put any daylight between themselves and Mr. Trump despite obvious political danger ahead.
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Larry Kudlow, a longtime cheerleader of President Trump, will assume the role as his top economic adviser.

Larry Kudlow’s Not-So-on-the-Money Predictions

By DEBORAH B. SOLOMON AND KITTY BENNETT

Mr. Kudlow’s forecasts, which will soon carry new weight as the president’s top economic adviser, have not always been on the mark. Here is a look back at some of his economic predictions that did not bear out.

At his State of the Union address, President Trump heralded a plan to force recipients off federal housing vouchers, food assistance and Medicaid if they were not willing to do “a hard day’s work.”

Trump’s Vow on Welfare Faces an Uncertain Future

By GLENN THRUSH

Disagreement among Republicans and the president’s ambivalence have helped to thwart a favorite conservative proposal.

Representative Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said a Senate bill was only a starting point for negotiations on loosening some Dodd-Frank restrictions.

Republicans Find Undoing Bank Rules Is Easier Said Than Done

By ALAN RAPPEPORT AND EMILY FLITTER

The Senate this week passed a bipartisan bill to roll back parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulation law. House Republicans aren’t satisfied.

North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, in New York last year. Sweden confirmed on Thursday that Mr. Ri was coming to the country for talks.

North Korean Envoy in Sweden Amid Planning for Trump-Kim Meeting

By GERRY MULLANY

Sweden, which has played an intermediary role between North Korea and the United States in the past, confirmed that Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho was headed to the country for talks.

Streaming Soon: A Fight Over AT&T, Time Warner and the Future of TV

By CECILIA KANG

The Justice Department’s case to block AT&T’s $85 billion merger with Time Warner is set for trial next week, in one of the most anticipated antitrust battles in years.

A factory for the smartphone maker Oppo in Dongguan, China. The tariffs could extend to more mundane products, including consumer electronics, apparel and even shoes.

Trump Readies Sweeping Tariffs and Investment Restrictions on China

By ANA SWANSON

Before the dust has settled on a plan to introduce tariffs on foreign metals, the White House is readying another major trade action.

Jerome L. Dodson, founder and chief executive of Parnassus Investments. Its Endeavor fund is one of Qualcomm’s largest shareholders.

With One Battle Over, a Bigger One Looms for Qualcomm: Apple

By JAMES B. STEWART

Resolving its fee dispute with Apple could raise Qualcomm’s share price above what it would have been under a Broadcom takeover, a major shareholder said.

An Air Force cargo jet in 2016 at a base in the Persian Gulf where drones were launched against the Islamic State. With drone technology just one area open to advances in artificial intelligence, a task force will explore how the government can work better with tech leaders to develop its A.I.

Pentagon Wants Silicon Valley’s Help on A.I.

By CADE METZ

Older tech companies have long had ties with military and intelligence. But employees at internet outfits like Google are wary of too much cooperation.