President Trump has governed five months under a cloud of questions about his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, yet the two men will meet next week for the first time, on the sidelines of the G20 summit of world leaders in Hamburg, Germany.
White House officials on Thursday confirmed plans for the private meeting but said no decisions had been made about the topics Trump will raise. So it's unclear whether the men will discuss Russia's election-year cyberattacks that are the focus of criminal and congressional investigations.
"Our relationship with Russia is not different from any other country in terms of us communicating with them, really, what our concerns are, where we see problems in the relationship but also opportunities," said Trump's national security advisor, H.R. McMaster.
After it stalled for several months in federal courts, a portion of President Trump's travel ban is set to take effect Thursday evening and will bar individuals from six majority-Muslim countries. Some in conservative media are viewing it as a much-needed political victory for Trump.
“There is no such thing as a Republican judge or Democratic judge,” he said more than once. “We just have judges.”
But in just his first few weeks on the high court, Justice Gorsuch has shown himself to be a confident conservative activist, urging his colleagues to move the law to the right on religion, gun rights, gay rights and campaign funding.
President Trump plans to pressure South Korean President Moon Jae-in to make trade concessions when they meet Friday, while at the same time seeking closer cooperation against North Korea's accelerating nuclear program.
Both aims, outlined Wednesday by a senior administration official, could make for some difficult discussions, especially since the newly elected Moon campaigned for a softer approach to the government in Pyongyang.
Moon, who arrived Wednesday in Washington, began his four-day visit by laying a wreath at a memorial at Marine Corps Base Quantico in northern Virginia to the U.S. Marines who died during the Korean War in the battle at Chosin Reservoir.
Senate Republicans reconvened behind closed doors Wednesday trying to break the impasse on their healthcare overhaul but emerged with no apparent strategy for resolving differences by an end-of-week deadline.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky vowed to try again for a vote after the Fourth of July recess, despite having abruptly delayed action this week.
Senators were aiming for a revised bill by Friday, the Republican whip, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, told reporters, so it could be assessed by the Congressional Budget Office during the break.
The abrupt decision Tuesday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to temporarily shelve a vote on the Republican Obamacare overhaul gives him a few extra weeks to build support for a revised bill before it risks becoming hopelessly stalled by the opposition.
The seasoned GOP leader will be aided by what amounts to a $200-billion piggy bank to push Republican holdouts into line. That’s the bill’s extra cost savings, compared with the House version, that McConnell can tap to provide perks to individual senators, from more opioid assistance to expanded tax-free health savings accounts.
A similar strategy — delay and enticements — worked well in the House, where Republicans last month passed their healthcare bill on the third try.
Homeland Security officials said Wednesday they will order stricter passenger screening and other new security measures for all flights entering the United States but will not bar laptop computers in carry-on luggage as airlines and passenger groups had feared.
The new order will cover about 2,000 flights a day from 280 airports in 105 countries, a move that could make international flying even more onerous just as the busy summer travel season starts.
Security officials would not detail the new measures but said passengers headed to the United States will face more intensive screening at airports, and probably more security dogs. They gave no date for when the new procedures will start.
As President Trump has urged Senate Republicans to pass a bill that would overhaul the Affordable Care Act, some, including Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada and Rob Portman of Ohio, have expressed concerns over cuts to Medicaid. Both represent states that, under Obamacare, expanded Medicaid coverage to low-income adults. The current Senate healthcare bill would deliver deep cuts to Medicaid, leaving millions uninsured.
While Trump awaits a vote in the coming weeks – originally scheduled for this week, but pushed back until after the July 4 recess – it’s on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to gather enough support from within his GOP caucus to secure the bill’s passage.