Trump, in a Switch, Seems to Accept Russia Sanctions Bill

Monday, July 24, 2017Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 8.08.35 AM

Good Monday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
— The First Draft Team
Fact Check

How Trump Got It Wrong in Saying The Times ‘Foiled’ Killing of ISIS Leader

By MICHAEL R. GORDON
President Trump at the commissioning ceremony for the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier in Norfolk, Va., on Saturday.

President Trump at the commissioning ceremony for the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier in Norfolk, Va., on Saturday. Hilary Swift for The New York Times

President Trump wrongly tweeted on Saturday that The New York Times had “foiled” an attempt by the United States military to kill Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State.
“The Failing New York Times foiled U.S. attempt to kill the single most wanted terrorist, Al-Baghdadi,” the president wrote. “Their sick agenda over National Security.”
Mr. Trump’s statement appeared to be based on a report by Fox News; he is known to be an avid viewer, and a version of the story was broadcast about 25 minutes before he posted. The report said that The Times had disclosed intelligence in an article on June 8, 2015, about an American military raid in Syria that led to the death of one of Mr. Baghdadi’s key lieutenants, Abu Sayyaf, and the capture of his wife, who played an important role in the group.
That Fox News report cited comments by Gen. Tony Thomas, the head of the United States Special Operations Command, in an interview conducted Friday by the network’s intelligence correspondent, Catherine Herridge, at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.
General Thomas said that a valuable lead on Mr. Baghdadi’s whereabouts “was leaked in a prominent national newspaper about a week later and that lead went dead.” He did not name The Times.
But a review of the record shows that information made public in a Pentagon news release more than three weeks before the Times article, and extensively covered at the time by numerous news media outlets, would have tipped off Mr. Baghdadi that the United States was questioning an important Islamic State operative who knew of his recent whereabouts and some of his methods of communication. Further, the information in the Times article on June 8 came from United States government officials who were aware that the details would be published.
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Trump Says He Has ‘Complete Power’ to Pardon

President Trump addressed the news media in the East Room of the White House on Monday. Mr. Trump suggested on Twitter that he did not see limits to his pardon power.By PETER BAKER

The president also attacked the media and Hillary Clinton in a series of early-morning tweets.

Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, arriving to testify before a Senate subcommittee last month.

Scott Pruitt Spent Much of Early Months at E.P.A. Traveling Home, Report Says

By LISA FRIEDMAN

The agency’s new chief spent 43 of 92 days from March through May in Oklahoma or traveling to or from the state, a watchdog group found.

Leah Gomberg, 48, a home stager, and her husband, David, 50, a self-employed psychologist, with their family in Maplewood, N.J. “It’s just sucking the life out of us financially,” Ms. Gomberg said of their premium.

Small Businesses Split Over Republican Health Plans

By STACY COWLEY

Small-business owners, some of the most vocal opponents of the Affordable Care Act, are divided over Republican plans to reverse much of the law.

President Trump at the commissioning ceremony for the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier in Norfolk, Va., on Saturday.

U.S. Navy Opens New Era With Commissioning of Gerald R. Ford

By PETER BAKER

The president flew to Norfolk, Va., to preside over a ceremony welcoming the first of a new generation of powerful aircraft carriers into the fleet.

Right and Left: Partisan Writing You Shouldn’t Miss
Read about how the other side thinks. We have collected political writing from around the web and across ideologies.
From the Right
• Kristin Tate in The Hill:
“Will Trump’s commission have a ‘chilling effect’ on the number of votes cast? Likely not. If past history is any indication, there will be a combination of effects. First, the number of illegal immigrants casting ballots will fall substantially. Secondly, more voters will turn out for a system they feel isn’t rigged against them; remember, candidate Trump turned out so-called low propensity voters just waiting for a person on the ballot that spoke to them, not over them.”
President Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity has asked all 50 states to provide voter roll information. The request has met with resistance from some secretaries of state and other election officials who voice concerns about privacy and voter suppression. Ms. Tate points out that the federal request is for publicly available data and chides states that “politically posture” for not participating. Read more »
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From the Left
• Jeet Heer in The New Republic:
“If Sanders-style democratic socialism is to become the core of the Democratic Party, its adherents will have to win over those who supported Clinton-style progressivism. There are surely few worse ways of accomplishing this than demanding that they ‘bend the knee,’ which is more likely to breed resistance than assent. Convincing Democrats to adopt a more radical politics is challenging enough without trying to insult and humiliate them into submission.”
Mr. Heer peers into the political realignment occurring on the left, with a particular focus on what he brands the “dirtbag left.” He looks at how Breitbart, Mike Cernovich and others on the far right were able to recalibrate the Republican Party, but Mr. Heer does not think the same dynamic would work on the other end of the political spectrum. Read more »
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