foreign-policy

White House Team Might Still Head to North Korea Summit Site
Trump, Kim Jong Un talk about reviving nuclear talks

South Koreans watch a television broadcast reporting the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at Seoul Railway Station on March 28 in Seoul, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

A White House “advance team” slated to head to Singapore in preparation for the president’s canceled summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un might still make the trip.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Friday left open the possibility and reiterated that President Donald Trump still wants to meet with Kim about a nuclear disarmament pact. That came one day after Trump canceled the June 12 meeting, concluding the North’s change in behavior from receptive to chilly to hostile meant Kim had gotten cold feet.

Shovels Down: White House Drives Dagger Into Infrastructure Bill
Administration ‘optimistic’ about a farm bill this year, Short says

Workers take a break near the presidential inauguration construction site on the West Front of the Capitol on Dec. 8, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House formally drove a dagger into the passage this year of the kind of massive infrastructure package called for by President Donald Trump.

What is on the White House’s legislative agenda for the rest of the year includes another tax package, a farm bill, more federal judiciary nominations — and possibly immigration legislation.

Podcast: Why the Made-for-TV Summit With North Korea Flopped
CQ on Congress, Episode 104

South Koreans watch a television broadcast reporting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping at Seoul Railway Station in March. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump's decision to cancel his planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un marks a failure of communications and messaging by both sides, says Jenny Town, managing editor of the think tank 38 North, a website that tracks developments in North Korea for the Stimson Center, a Washington think tank. Town explains what needs to be done for the two sides to negotiate in good faith while CQ cybersecurity editor Patrick Pexton explains how it's playing on Capitol Hill.

Show Notes:

Trump Says MS-13, North Korea Show Democrats Have ‘Lost Touch’
President lashes out after Dems blame him for summit cancellation

President Donald Trump addresses the press before departing for Dallas, Texas, where he made an appearance at at the National Rifle Association convention earlier this month. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Friday said congressional Democrats “have lost touch,” accusing the opposition party of rooting against his attempts to disarm North Korea and coddling members of the violent MS-13 gang.

The president on Thursday thanked a bipartisan group of lawmakers who helped pass a bill that eases financial regulations before he signed it at the White House. But the next morning, he tweeted that “Democrats are so obviously rooting against us in our negotiations with North Korea.”

GOP Senators Dislike Trump’s Threat of Tariffs on Car Imports
“Any time you start raising taxes and tariffs, I’m not very happy about it,” Hatch says

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., says “a lot of people are upset” over President Donald Trump’s threat of tariffs on imported automobiles. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican senators expressed unease Thursday about the president’s threat of tariffs on imported automobiles during a Senate lunch with Vice President Mike Pence, amid a widening debate over contentious trade talks with a number of countries, including allies.

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch said the Commerce Department’s national security review of imported automobiles was “deeply misguided.”

Dems Blame Trump for Nixed Kim Summit, GOP Applauds Move
President warns North Korea, saying U.S. military is ‘ready’

President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he walks across the South Lawn while departing the White House on Tuesday for New York. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Updated 12:28 p.m. | Democratic lawmakers said Thursday that President Donald Trump canceled a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un because his administration was ill-prepared for the sensitive talks, but GOP members hailed the move as strategically prudent.

A few hours after the White House released a letter he penned to Kim informing him the talks are off — for now, at least — Trump delivered a hawkish warning to the North Korean dictator. The U.S. commander in chief said his military is “ready” and “by far” the most powerful in the world, contending it has been “greatly enhanced.”

Hill Frets Over Trump Pattern of Promising Big, Then Backtracking
‘In the end, it can mean absolutely nothing,’ says a Republican strategist

President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., arrive in the Capitol on May 15. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Peter T. King — in true New Yorker fashion — used his hands to hammer home his point as he walked through the Cannon Tunnel. As he talked about President Donald Trump’s style, he raised one hand, pushing higher an imaginary bar.

“He’s not afraid to take on challenges. He’s not afraid to go big,” the Republican congressman said of the president. “With him, there’s the ‘art of the deal.’ It’s give. It’s take. It’s forward. It’s backward. It’s sideways. But in the end, he typically goes forward.”

New York Visit Drops Trump Into Contested GOP Primary
Long Island event provides president with chance to talk MS-13 again

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents serve an employment audit notice at a 7-Eleven convenience store Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Flanked by a trio of Republican congressmen, President Donald Trump ventured to his native New York on Wednesday to accuse Democrats of coddling violent gangs and being soft on immigration and provided one of the members with a photo-op as he fends off a tough primary foe. 

One week after a White House event led to an extensive back and forth of the president's use of the term “animals” to describe, depending on whom was interpreting, MS-13 gang members or undocumented immigrants writ large, the trio of New York House Republicans — Peter T. King, Dan Donovan, and Lee Zeldin — showed no reluctance to being seen with Trump as they participated in the Bethpage, N.Y., roundtable.

Members Join Rubio in Criticizing Trump Over China Talks
President says he is not satisfied with outcome of latest trade negotiations

Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., left, and James Risch, R-Idaho, attend a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in January 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It was Sen. Marco Rubio, not Donald Trump, who used a morning tweet Tuesday to help shape the day’s agenda. The Florida Republican slammed the president’s trade talks with China, prompting other members to voice their concerns.

Rubio wrote that China is “out-negotiating the administration & winning the trade talks right now,” criticizing the Trump administration for putting on hold tariffs aimed at Beijing while moving ahead with efforts to save troubled Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE. He also panned the White House for not forcing concessions from Chinese officials.

Corker and Hatch Won’t Be Moving Down Under
Senate GOP chairmen opt not to be considered for ambassador to Australia

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker has turned down the chance to be ambassador to Australia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker will not be leaving the chamber to become ambassador to Australia, and neither will Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch.

An aide to Corker confirmed a report that the Tennessee Republican had been under consideration for the post.