White House Divided on Moscow

Tuesday, April 17, 2018Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 8.27.26 AM

Good Tuesday morning,
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • President Trump rejected a fresh round of sanctions set to be imposed against Russia, a change of course that underscored the schism between him and his national security team.

  • A lawyer for Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, said in court that one of Mr. Cohen’s clients was Sean Hannity, the Fox News personality and an ardent defender of Mr. Trump. Lawyers for Mr. Cohen had sought to keep secret the identities of some of his clients.

  • A federal judge held off on deciding who should get the first look at a trove of materials seized in the F.B.I. raids last week on Mr. Cohen’s office, home, hotel room and safe deposit box.

  • James B. Comey — whose firing as F.B.I. director by Mr. Trump made him a hero to the president’s critics — has veered onto risky terrain, shedding the trappings of a high-minded referee and looking instead like a combatant in the country’s partisan battles.

  • Hillary Clinton’s former aides are still too angry at Mr. Comey to see past what they view as egregious actions that handed the White House to Mr. Trump.

— The First Draft Team

Europe Caught in the Middle as Trump Threatens China

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.

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. Christof Stache/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

One is a good customer, a military ally and an old friend, although lately its behavior has been erratic.
The other is also a good customer, and despite a few spats and some lingering mistrust, it’s getting to be a more lucrative and dependable business partner all the time.
Which side would you choose?
That more or less sums up the dilemma confronting Europe as it watches the escalating conflict between its two biggest trading partners, the United States and China.
The United States is Europe’s biggest market for exports like cars and other goods, not to mention a NATO ally. But China is big, too — and getting ever bigger.
A display of currency exchange rates in Moscow last week. President Trump’s comment about Russia’s currency is curious because Russia is not an important player in global commerce.

Trump’s Annoyed About Russian and Chinese Currencies. Should He Be?


A comment on Twitter criticizing the countries’ actions doesn’t align with the realities of global currency markets.

A research center near Damascus that was hit by the American strike on Saturday.

After U.S. Strikes, Syria Returns to War as Usual


Strikes led by the U.S. were calibrated to keep the West from being dragged further into war. That left President Bashar al-Assad in power and Syria in its painful status quo.

Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain. Britain and the United States on Monday issued warnings about possible Russian cyberattacks.

U.S. and Britain Warn of Cybersecurity Threat From Russia


The urgency of the allies’ alerts called to mind a computer-age version of a Cold War drill, only now the advice is to upgrade passwords rather than “duck and cover.”

Richard Clarida, a former Treasury official and a monetary expert, is President Trump’s nominee for the No. 2 post at the Federal Reserve.

Trump Picks Monetary Expert for No. 2 Job at Federal Reserve


Richard Clarida, a former Treasury official, is not expected to veer from the Fed’s gradual approach to raising interest rates.

Demonstrators against President Trump’s travel ban outside the Supreme Court last year.

Travel Ban Case Is Shadowed by Dark Moment for Supreme Court


World War II internment camps for Japanese-Americans, which President Trump cited as precedent during the campaign, loom over his travel ban case now facing the court.

Megan Twohey, left, and Jodi Kantor at The New York Times on Monday after their articles detailing sexual harassment accusations against the film mogul Harvey Weinstein helped The Times win the Pulitzer Prize for public service.

Pulitzer for Public Service Goes to The New York Times and The New Yorker


Reporting on sexual harassment — including the predations of the film mogul Harvey Weinstein — was recognized by the Pulitzer board. The New York Times won in three categories.

Brad Parscale, the new Trump campaign manager, appears to be continuing the social-media-driven operation he favored in 2016.

Eyeing 2020, Trump Fund-Raisers Return to Familiar Well: Small Donors


The president’s campaign committees have spent heavily this year on cultivating small donors, as well as on legal fees in the Russia inquiry and other matters, financial reports show.

A Republican pollster who had planned to advise Vice President Mike Pence on national security issues has withdrawn from the role.

G.O.P. Pollster Withdraws From Role Advising Both Pence and Haley


Mr. Trump was said to have been upset that the strategist, Jon Lerner, had worked on efforts to oppose him during the presidential primaries. Mr. Lerner will still advise Nikki R. Haley, the ambassador to the U.N.

George Stephanopoulos, ABC News’s chief anchor, interviewed the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey.

Five Highlights of the Comey Interview on ABC


ABC’s interview with James B. Comey, who was fired as F.B.I. director, was a stunning assault on a sitting president by a formerly high-ranking law enforcement official.

Griffin Lipson for The New York Times

Female Senators on Joining the Boys’ Club

Four women in the Senate — Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat of North Dakota, Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, and Joni Ernst, Republican of Iowa — discussed public policy, women in politics and their special bond at a TimesTalks session.

President Trump arriving in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Monday, a day before the federal tax-filing deadline. If he has lost interest in the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul that he signed into law last year, the country appears to be right there with him.

No One’s Talking About the New Tax Law


Republicans hoped to make their $1.5 trillion overhaul the centerpiece of the 2018 midterm elections. But Americans, including Mr. Trump, seem to have lost interest.

The Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, where a labor group is trying to organize workers. The casino is operated by the Mashantucket Pequot tribe on tribal land.

Senate Bill to Curtail Labor Rights on Tribal Land Falls Short


Legislation approved by the House would have put employees of tribal enterprises like casinos outside the scope of federal labor law.