Saving the Nuclear Deal

Tuesday, April 24, 2018Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 10.45.02 AM

Good Tuesday morning,
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • President Trump will come under increasing pressure from visiting French and German leaders this week not to scrap the nuclear agreement with Iran next month.

  • The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a late pivot, approved the confirmation of Mike Pompeo to be the next secretary of state, after Senator Rand Paul bowed to pressure from Mr. Trump and dropped his opposition.

  • The fight for control of the U.S. Senate is well underway in Wisconsin, where conservative outside groups have spent millions to defeat the incumbent, Tammy Baldwin.

  • Rod Rosenstein made his Supreme Court debut just hours after the justices heard an argument that touched on the president’s power to fire subordinates.

  • After Senegal deported two former Guantánamo detainees to Libya, there was growing concern that more Obama-era resettlement deals will collapse under Mr. Trump.
— The First Draft Team
The Interpreter

An Unpredictable Trump and a Risk-Prone Kim Mean High Stakes and Mismatched Expectations

President Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are set to be meeting soon.

President Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are set to be meeting soon. Ahn Young-Joon/Associated Press

When Alex Wellerstein, a nuclear historian who has studied crises and breakthroughs dating to the earliest Cold War arms races, tried to imagine the possible outcomes of President Trump’s planned meeting with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, he found himself, like many experts, at a loss.
“What’s the game plan? Is it negotiating on sanctions? Is it stalling to defuse tensions in that time-honored DPRK way?” he asked on Twitter, using North Korea’s formal initials. “I don’t know.”
The meeting will bring together two personalities whose tendencies have already proved destabilizing: Mr. Trump, whose unpredictability and defiance of norms has led him to take on high-stakes issues with which he has little experience, and Mr. Kim, whose youthful boldness and willingness to embrace risk give him the swagger, perhaps unearned, of a major nuclear power.
But the meeting will also exemplify a world that is less constrained by the usual guardrails of international norms or policy processes — a world in which virtually anything can happen.
Read more »
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