The Money Trail Widens

Tuesday, April 10, 2018Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 8.03.30 AM

Good Tuesday morning,
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • The F.B.I. raided the office and hotel room of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, seizing business records, emails and documents related to several topics, including a payment to a pornographic film actress.

  • Mr. Trump angrily unloaded on his top law enforcement officials, assailing the raids as a disgraceful situation and an attack on our country in a true sense. He also railed against Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, and blasted the F.B.I. for failing to investigate Hillary Clinton. (Here’s an annotated transcript of his remarks.)

  • The special counsel is investigating a payment made to Mr. Trump’s foundation by a Ukrainian steel magnate for a talk during the campaign. The move is part of a broader examination of streams of foreign money to Mr. Trump and his associates in the years leading up to the election.

  • Mr. Trump said he may seek to hold accountable not just Syria but its patrons in Russia and Iran for a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of people outside Damascus.
  • The federal government’s annual budget deficit is set to widen significantly in the next few years, and is expected to top $1 trillion in 2020 despite healthy economic growth, according to new projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
— The First Draft Team

In John Bolton, Trump Finds a Fellow Political Blowtorch. Will Foreign Policy Burn?

John R. Bolton, who becomes President Trump's national security adviser on Monday, has a track record of voicing strong opinions and bruising colleagues' feelings.

John R. Bolton, who becomes President Trump’s national security adviser on Monday, has a track record of voicing strong opinions and bruising colleagues’ feelings. Steve Hebert for The New York Times

Shortly after Ambassador John R. Bolton was sent to represent the United States at the United Nations, an institution he had long scorned as an anti-American citadel of corruption, he hosted President George W. Bush for a visit.
“Are you having fun?” Mr. Bush asked.
“It’s a target-rich environment,” Mr. Bolton replied.
Mr. Bolton, who took over Monday as President Trump’s third national security adviser with Syria as his most immediate challenge, and talks with North Korea and the future of the Iranian nuclear deal not far behind, loves nothing more than a good target. Over a long and colorful career he has had many of them: the United Nations, first and foremost. But also the International Criminal Court and the Antiballistic Missile Treaty. North KoreaIranChinaRussia. The Palestinian Authority. The European Union.
And then there are “the Crusaders of Compromise,” as he terms the elite of the national security world; the diplomats he refers to as “the High Minded,” with the capital H and capital M; “the True Believers” of the arms control priesthood. And, of course, Republicans who succumb to such muddled thinking, like Colin L. Powell, Condoleezza Rice and even Mr. Bush.
But as Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, the targeter is now slated to become the facilitator, charged with mobilizing the policy apparatus rather than simply taking aim at it. He will start by cleaning house.
Read more »


The Post-Campaign Campaign of Donald Trump


He has been president for more than a year — so why is he still holding rallies?

Some European companies, like the German carmaker BMW, manufacture in the United States and export to China. Their sales would suffer if China slapped tariffs on American goods.

Europe Caught in the Middle as Trump Threatens China


The United States is Europe’s biggest trading partner, but China is closing in fast. If a trade war breaks out, neutrality may not be an option.

Administration officials said the United States government had been working to lay the groundwork for a meeting between President Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, but would offer no details about it, such as where it might take place.

North Korea Said to Offer Direct Assurance It Will Discuss Denuclearization


The gesture appeared to confirm that Kim Jong-un intends to participate in an unheard-of meeting with President Trump about his nuclear program.

President Trump on Monday in Washington. He lashed out against his top law enforcement officials on Monday night.

Trump on Cohen: ‘It’s a Total Witch Hunt’


The president reacted to news that the office of his longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, had been raided by the F.B.I.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, left, and Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar at the Pentagon on Monday. The emir will meet with President Trump on Tuesday.

Qatar Charm Offensive Appears to Have Paid Off, U.S. Officials Say


In a shift — and facing a possible strike against Syria — Mr. Trump is expected to adopt a sympathetic tone for Qatar’s struggle against a regional embargo.

Stephen K. Bannon sees the China showdown as the key to a political realignment in the United States. “The new politics is not left versus right,” he said. “It is globalist versus nationalist.”

To Bannon, Tariffs on China Will Be Ultimate Test of Trump’s Beliefs


If the president stands firm, his former strategist said, he will fulfill the promise of his campaign. If he retreats, he will demonstrate that the Trump movement wasn’t much of a movement after all.

Planned Parenthood volunteers standing among pro-gun protesters and others attending the March for Our Lives in Phoenix last month.

Year of the Woman? In Arizona, It’s Women, Plural, and It’s Both Parties


Women are playing leading roles across the political spectrum in the state, with Democrats hoping to flip the Arizona legislature and Republicans fielding strong female candidates at all levels.

Senator Tammy Duckworth on Capitol Hill in Washington last month. “Parenthood isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s an economic issue and one that affects all parents — men and women alike,” she said.

Tammy Duckworth Becomes First Sitting U.S. Senator to Give Birth


Ms. Duckworth gave birth to a daughter, Maile, on Monday. She is one of 10 women to give birth while serving in Congress, and the first senator to do so.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, leaving a meeting with Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, on Monday in Washington.

Mark Zuckerberg Meets With Top Lawmakers Before Hearings


The meetings were part of an effort by Mr. Zuckerberg to get ahead of a week of intense scrutiny for him and his company, Facebook.

John Lausch, a United States attorney, will oversee the Justice Department’s production of documents for a congressional inquiry into the F.B.I.’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email case.

Justice Dept., Pressured by Trump, Seeks to Speed Response to Clinton Inquiry


Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed a United States attorney to handle document production for an inquiry into the F.B.I.’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email case.