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Morning Briefing: Donald Trump Summit with North Korea Is Falling Apart; Women Dominate in Primaries

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | May 16, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | May 16, 2018 |


— OK, let’s start with the biggie: North Korea has canceled high-level talks with South Korea over their refusal to end military exercises with the United States, putting into jeopardy the planned summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. North Korea is saying that they will not give up nuclear weapons unilaterally, which I feel like was the point of this summit. I guess Trump thought he could bribe the North Koreans into giving up nuclear weapons with economic incentives, but that’s apparently a no-go:

So, we’ll see, I guess.

Sarah Sanders seems to be lowering expectations.

— In that same part of the world, it appears that China straight-up bribed Donald Trump. Last month, the White House sanctioned the Chinese telecom giant ZTE, and members of the CIA, FBI, and NSA all spoke out forcefully against ZTE, including FBI director Christopher Wray. Trump and the White House were completely opposed to ZTE and then …

Where did that come from? Why the sudden change? How do you explain that? Oh …

A mere 72 hours after the Chinese government agreed to put a half-billion dollars into an Indonesian project that will personally enrich Donald Trump, the president ordered a bailout for a Chinese-government-owned cellphone maker.

Oh, yeah. That tracks.

I guess if North Korea wants sanctions against it lifted and wants to keep its nuclear weapons, all it needs to do is build a Trump Tower in Pyongyang.

— Meanwhile, this is some nefarious bullshit: Trump plans to enact regulations requiring that people work in exchange for Medicaid, housing aid and food assistance, but the work requirement will be gerrymandered into counties with below an 8.5 percent unemployment rate, and you know who gets screwed by that? Black people. Rural counties (populated with predominantly white people) with an unemployment rate above 8.5 percent will be exempt, but in those counties where the suburbs lower the overall unemployment rate (places like Detroit and Flint, Michigan), the work requirement will be enacted. And guess who lives predominantly in places like Detroit and Flint, Michigan? You guessed right.

— Meanwhile, the White House’s attempts to curb leaks from within continues to prove futile, despite a new policy in which staffers are required to leave their phones in a locker every morning and constant sweeps by officials searching for phones inside the White House, with John Kelly threatening to fire anyone who is caught with a personal device. I’m sure that doesn’t generate any hostility and suspicion, and I’m sure that no one channels that hostility and suspicion into leaks to reporters. You want to stop leaks and cultivate loyalty? Give them someone who inspires loyalty instead of a President who uses threats to keep his employees in line. The reason why staffers leak is because they don’t like their fucking boss.

— Finally, there were primaries in four states last night, and the take home? A lot of women won, and a lot of women are going to the Capitol in November.