President Trump will meet with the controversial president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, during an upcoming tour of Asia, the White House announced Monday.
Duterte has been accused of egregious human rights abuse in his declared war on drug traffickers, which activists and others have blamed for the slaying of thousands of people, many of them innocent.
Trump has never condemned Duterte. In April, in what White House officials described as a "warm" and "very friendly" telephone call, Trump told Duterte he was doing a "great job," according to the Philippine government's readout of the conversation.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell heads to lunch Monday with President Trump at the White House after the president kicked some of the most substantive issues before the administration over to Congress for it to decide on.
Congress has already been struggling, after its failure to repeal Obamacare, to make gains on the next GOP priority -- tax cuts.
But Trump just loaded up the legislative agenda with key issues needing decisions -- on immigration law changes to protect young immigrant "Dreamers" from deportation, the future of the nuclear nonproliferation deal with Iran, and what to do with the Affordable Care Act after Trump cut insurance subsidies that help low-income Americans. Congress is now puzzling over how to meet a year-end deadline to act on issues that have been difficult to resolve for decades.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered up a notable response Sunday to a leading GOP senator’s assertion that President Trump was trying to “publicly castrate” the secretary by undercutting his diplomacy.
“I checked – I’m fully intact,” Tillerson deadpanned, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The notion of Trump running roughshod over the nation’s top diplomat is apparently a sensitive one inside the White House, with Tillerson and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley making the news-talk show rounds Sunday to push back against reports of a deteriorating relationship between the two.
Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, warned Sunday that President Trump’s efforts to weaken the 2015 nuclear agreement will broadly harm U.S. international credibility.
In an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Zarif suggested that Washington might ending up suffering more adverse consequences than Iran as a result of Trump’s steps last week against the accord between Tehran and six world powers, including the United States.
“Nobody else will trust any U.S. administration to engage in any long-term negotiation because the length of any commitment, the duration of any commitment from now on with any U.S. administration would be the reminder of the term of that president," Zarif, a key architect of the deal, said. The interview was conducted Saturday in Tehran and aired Sunday.
In Virginia’s oddly timed elections for governor, held a year after presidential contests, history has repeated itself: The winning candidate lately has represented the opposite party as the newly elected president.
For the second time this week, President Trump spent the afternoon golfing with his sometimes critic, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.
The president and the South Carolina senator appeared to have moved beyond a frenemies stage of their relationship to develop a working rapport, particularly on health care, immigration and foreign policy issues -- all front and center this week on the White House agenda.
Other senators have said Trump and Graham now talk so frequently it's as if they are on speed-dial with one another. (Ironic, after Graham came to regret giving Trump his cell phone number way back when, which Trump then used to taunt the senator.)
Former White House advisor Stephen K. Bannon said Saturday that President Trump's recent rightward lurch is the result of the outsider victory in Alabama's Republican Senate primary.
Trump's hardened line — on immigrant DACA recipients, Obamacare health insurance payments and the Iran nuclear deal — suggest the president got the message from his voters after conservative former judge Roy Moore bested the establishment-backed candidate Trump supported in last month's GOP special primary election, Bannon said.
"Right now, it's a season of war against a GOP establishment," Bannon told conservative religious activists at the annual Values Voter Summit in Washington.
Trump, in a series of tweets late Friday and into Saturday morning, appeared intent on deflecting the outpouring of concern that Americans will suffer under his executive order this week to scrap the payments.
Very proud of my Executive Order which will allow greatly expanded access and far lower costs for HealthCare. Millions of people benefit!
Vice President Mike Pence pleaded with wealthy donors at a Koch-aligned summit to use their influence – on workers, businesses and lawmakers – to encourage Congress to pass President Trump's tax reform plan this year.
“Our entire agenda depends on this Congress stepping forward,” Pence said at the Seminar Network’s fall gathering in New York City, his first address as vice president to the organization backed by the billionaire Koch brothers.
“Talk to your employees, talk to your suppliers to your fellow business leaders to get them on board."
Even as he took action against a nuclear nonproliferation deal with Iran, President Trump on Friday stoked concern over military threats from North Korea, a rival nation that actually has an advanced nuclear arms program.
"We're totally prepared for numerous things," Trump told reporters who asked about North Korea's latest threats as he left the White House for an event. "We're going to see what happens."
North Korea has repeatedly threatened U.S. territory, including Guam, and Trump has responded in kind, with talk of "fire and fury" and of "totally" destroying the country. But other senior administration officials have advocated for diplomacy and negotiations.