President Donald Trump waves on the South Lawn of the White House on Tuesday, May 14. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo
DONALD TRUMP spoke to reporters before leaving on Marine One for Joint Base Andrews, and later to Louisiana for a visit to a liquified natural gas plant and a private fundraiser.
-- The president called the trade war with China “a little squabble” and rejected the characterization that talks have broken down.
-- Trump also dismissed this morning’s big
NYT story on the administration’s internal debate over sending 120,000 troops to the Middle East to counter Iran as “fake news.” But, he added: “Would I do that? Absolutely. But we have not planned for that. Hopefully we won’t have to plan for that. If we did that we would send a hell of a lot more troops than that.”
-- STEVE SCALISE, the No. 2 House Republican who represents the New Orleans area, is traveling with the president.
DEPT. OF VERY DOUBTFUL THINGS … BLOOMBERG’S @sahilkapur in Concord, N.H.:
“In New Hampshire, Joe Biden predicts that once President Trump is out of office, Republicans will have ‘an epiphany’ and work with Democrats toward consensus.”
-- ONE TRULY WONDERS what available evidence there is to come to a conclusion like this. When Biden was last in office, he was Obama’s link to
MITCH MCCONNELL -- so he does have recent experience working with Senate Republicans. But very, very few people think the GOP is on the brink of a bipartisan epiphany.
DARREN SAMUELSOHN (@dsamuelsohn): “The House Judiciary Committee as expected has noticed a May 21 hearing with former Trump WH counsel Don McGahn, who got a subpoena to appear on that date. But two sources familiar with the Democrats’ plans say there's still no agreement yet on McGahn actually appearing.”
Good Tuesday afternoon. Montana Gov.
STEVE BULLOCK has created his FEC committee to run for president: Bullock for President. As Bullock joins the race, per Zach Montellaro, 19 candidates have crossed one of the two thresholds to make it to the early Democratic primary debates.
IVANKA TRUMP is on the Hill today meeting with Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) about the higher ed reauthorization act.
ANTHONY WEINER is out of a halfway house, per MSNBC. “Weiner did not discuss future plans, saying he is glad to get back to his family and to be putting this part of his life behind him. ‘It’s good to be out,’ he said. ‘I hope to be able to live a life of integrity and service. I’m glad this chapter of my life is behind me.’” MSNBC
MORE ON BARR’S RUSSIA PROBE REVIEW -- CNN’S LAURA JARRETT: “Attorney General William Barr is working closely with the CIA to review the origins of the Russia investigation and surveillance issues surrounding Donald Trump's presidential campaign, according to a source familiar with the matter, broadening an effort that the President has long demanded to involve all major national security agencies.
“Barr is working in close collaboration with CIA Director Gina Haspel, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Chris Wray, the source said. … There had been speculation as to why Haspel had been spotted at the Justice Department in recent weeks.” CNN>
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ANDREW DESIDERIO and
KYLE CHENEY: “Judge grills Trump attorney in subpoena case”
THE PRESIDENT’S LATEST TARIFF TWEETS -- “Trump insists U.S. in ‘much better position now’ to make trade deal with China,” by Caitlin Oprysko: “As stocks showed possible signs of a recovery after Monday's dive, the president predicted he could produce a trade deal with China ‘tomorrow’ but that it will happen ‘when the time is right.’
“Though he asserted a deal to end yearlong impasse would happen ‘much faster than people think,’ the president also sought to reassure farmers who will likely bear the brunt of China’s retaliatory tariffs announced Monday, and urged manufacturers to move their production to the U.S., a potential signal that he is prepared for a more drawn-out battle with Beijing.” POLITICO
-- “China exporters react to Donald Trump’s new trade war tariff plan: ‘This will kill my U.S. market,’” by South China Morning Post’s Finbarr Bermingham and Orange Wang
USMCA UPDATE… “Grassley says U.S., Canada could soon resolve steel tariffs,” by Sabrina Rodríguez: Iowa Sen. Chuck “Grassley, in a call with reporters, said he’s hopeful U.S. and Canadian officials are working to conclude negotiations ‘based on the fact that it seems to me … that they’re talking. … That’s my understanding. And [there’s] even the possibility of some face-to-face talks very soon. And maybe in 48 hours I’ll have a more definitive answer for you,’ the Iowa Republican added.
“Removing the duties, which Trump imposed on national security grounds, would clear a major hurdle in the effort to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement in all three countries. … Grassley did not indicate the status of talks with Mexico.” POLITICO
-- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office released a readout of a call he had with VP Mike Pence this morning. The two discussed steel and aluminum tariffs, USCMA, China and Venezuela, according to the statement.
POMPEO ABROAD -- AP’S @JonLemire: “MOSCOW (AP) — US secretary of state says he told Russian foreign minister that ‘interference in American elections is unacceptable’”
-- WAPO’S ANTON TROIANOVSKI in Sochi, Russia:
“Pompeo set to meet Putin, with the U.S. and Russia at odds over a raft of crises”: “After landing in Sochi, Pompeo quickly told his Russian hosts that the United States was interested in improving ties with Moscow despite a wide range of disagreements between the two nuclear superpowers. …
“Later in the day, Pompeo is scheduled to meet with Putin at the Russian president’s summer residence here. The two will likely square off over Venezuela and Iran, two countries where the United States and Russia are increasingly at odds. They will navigate through a host of other global hotspots — potentially including China, North Korea, Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine — where Moscow and Washington each have their own, often clashing, interests.” WaPo
ANOTHER FLORIDA COUNTY GOT HACKED -- “Russians accessed voter records in 2 Florida counties, FBI confirms,” by Gary Fineout: “Russian hackers had a successful ‘intrusion’ into the voting registration files of two Florida counties in 2015, Gov. Ron DeSantis said today. The FBI asked that the names of the counties not be disclosed, DeSantis said in a press conference.
“The hacking did not affect any vote tallying and DeSantis said there is no evidence of ‘manipulation.’ Florida was singled out in special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections. The FBI will hold classified briefings with members of the Florida congressional delegation this week about the suspected Russian hacking.” POLITICO