Iran

Trump stops short of saying Iran orchestrated attack on Saudi oil facilities
Bipartisan group wants to prohibit 'unconstitutional' U.S. war with Iran

President Donald Trump speaks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House in July. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump wants the world to believe Iran was behind a weekend attack on Saudi oil facilities that took 6 percent of the world’s supply offline — but he’s just not ready to say it out loud.

The U.S. commander in chief on two occasions Monday sent strong signals his national security team and Saudi officials are increasingly confident the Iranian government is responsible for the armed drone and missile strikes.

Democrats object to Trump’s threatening Iran over Saudi oil attack
U.S. is ‘locked and loaded’ if Tehran believed to be behind strikes, president warns

President Donald Trump leaves after chairing a U.N. Security Council meeting last September. He will be back there, along with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, next week. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images file photo)

The United States should not take orders about using military force against Iran even if Saudi Arabia’s government declares Tehran was behind an attack on its oil facilities, congressional Democrats are telling President Donald Trump.

Trump signaled on Sunday evening and again on Monday morning that he is standing by for Saudi officials to sort out just what happened and who launched what U.S. officials said appeared to be armed drone and cruise missile strikes on the Saudi facilities. The attacks are expected to pare Saudi production and drive up oil and gas prices — but Democrats are concerned the incident might compel Trump to launch retaliatory strikes on Iran, which they say would be contrary to American interests.

House Republicans to discuss path back to majority at Baltimore retreat
GOP members to talk politics and policy Thursday through Saturday at their delayed annual retreat

Indiana Rep. Susan W. Brooks, the House Republicans’ campaign recruitment chair, said she’s excited to discuss politics at the GOP retreat in Baltimore that starts Thursday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Fresh off two crucial special election wins in North Carolina, House Republicans head to Baltimore on Thursday for their delayed annual retreat, prepared to spend some quality time discussing how they plan to win back the majority in 2020.

Some of that planning will most certainly involve policy discussions about contrasting their proposals on jobs and the economy, health care, technology, energy and the environment, and other issues with what they often refer to as the Democrats’ “socialist” ideas. But a good chunk of the gathering, which will run from Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning, will be about assessing the political landscape. 

Analysis: Bolton departure says much about Trump
The men reportedly had personality clashes, and differed on use of military force

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media as National Security Adviser John Bolton listens during a meeting on Aug. 20. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump’s announced firing of National Security Adviser John Bolton says more about Trump than about Bolton.

Tuesday’s move — Trump said on Twitter he had fired Bolton, but Bolton said he resigned — casts in bold relief several attributes of the president’s foreign policy and the president himself.

Trump fires National Security Adviser John Bolton
‘I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,’ Trump tweets

National Security Advisor John Bolton, center, and U.S. Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher, right, attend an international ceremony to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II in Warsaw, Poland, on Sept. 1. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced in a tweet that he has fired National Security Adviser John Bolton, saying he disagreed with many policy stances from his hawkish aide.

Bolton disputed the president’s account of his leaving the White House, tweeting moments after Trump’s announcement that he had offered to resign Monday, but Trump put him off until Tuesday.

Ted Cruz takes ‘deep state’ gospel to establishment Washington
After pro forma duties, Texas Republican rails against State, Treasury departments

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday warned of deep state influence while speaking at the Hudson Institute in Washington. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

During a quick swing through Washington, Sen. Ted Cruz took time Tuesday to tout his belief that the so-called deep state within the Treasury and State departments is working to confound the Trump administration’s efforts to end the Iran nuclear deal.

After presiding over an uneventful pro forma session at the Senate, the Texas Republican spoke at an event at the Hudson Institute focused on foreign policy and tensions between conservatives who believe in intervention and those who take a more isolationist approach.

Stage-managing ‘The Trump Show on the Road’ in Biarritz
Political Theater, Episode 90

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Donald Trump pose for the media as they meet with other world leaders Sunday for the first working session of the G-7 Summit in Biarritz, France. (Jeff J Mitchell - Pool /Getty Images)

How do you plan for the unplanned? That was the challenge for advance teams paving the way for the recent G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, and for President Donald Trump’s upcoming trip to Poland and, until recently, Denmark. That includes CQ Roll Call White House correspondent John T.  Bennett, who helped plan press logistics for the trips, and was as surprised as anyone at the way things worked out. 

From French President Emmanuel Macron keeping the camera-attentive Trump off guard all weekend at the G-7 to the planning for the president’s trip to Copenhagen going all for naught (because, as has been noted, Trump was miffed Denmark would not sell Greenland to the United States) to working with different countries on their own expectations for press access, an advance team’s work is never done, with this president or any other. 

The Emmanuel Macron approach to Donald Trump
Biarritz G7 summit showed approach of the French president to his elder counterpart

President Trump (center left) and other G7 leaders listen Sunday as French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during working session at a G7 summit in Biarritz, France. (Jeff J Mitchell - Pool /Getty Images)

ANALYSIS | All eyes were on Donald Trump during his G7 summit stay in a French resort town, but no one kept closer tabs on the mercurial “America first” president than Emmanuel Macron. 

The U.S. chief executive arrived in chic Biarritz during one of the most chaotic and strange weeks of his presidency. Macron might have given Trump, who was liberally lashing foes foreign and domestic, a wide berth.

Trump signals he’s open to Macron’s idea of a high-stakes meeting with Iran
U.S. president says regime change in Tehran is off the table because ‘it doesn't work’

President Donald Trump attends the first working session of the G7 Summit on Sunday in the French southwestern seaside resort of Biarritz. (Jeff J Mitchell/Pool/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump said Monday he would agree to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani over his country’s nuclear arms ambitions and actions in the Middle East — but he again threatened Tehran with “violent force.”

“I think we’re going to do something. It might not be immediately,” Trump said during a joint press conference in Biarritz with French President Emmanuel Macron, who is trying to broker the high-stakes meeting amid tensions between Trump and Rouhani that almost led to American strikes on Iran after Rouhani’s military downed a U.S. military drone aircraft.

Trump, self-described ‘Chosen One,’ heads to G-7 looking for ‘respect’
President heads to France summit after an odd, chaotic week — even by his standards

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing the White House on Wednesday, a gaggle during which he called himself “The Chosen One” and gestured toward the heavens. He leaves Friday night for a G7 summit in France. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Look out, Biarritz, here comes “The Chosen One.

The chic resort town on France’s picturesque Basque coastline will host a G-7 summit this weekend amid worries about a global recession and fraying alliances in Europe and Asia. President Donald Trump — who used that moniker Wednesday to describe himself as a savior in a decades-old trade dispute with China despite so far failing to resolve a single issue — will be center stage after one of the most erratic and strange weeks of his wild presidency.