News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
Consider this an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
When Trump meets Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday, he will be sitting down with the leader of one of the most brutal and repressive regimes in modern history — a country that has committed “unspeakable atrocities” on a vast scale in a manner reminiscent of Nazi Germany, according to a 2014 United Nations investigation.
But two administration officials tell NBC News the U.S. has decided not to bring up human rights at the summit. And Trump has made clear he would be willing to offer security guarantees and financial aid to Kim if he gives up his nuclear arsenal.
“This would be with Kim Jong Un something where … he’d be running his country,” Trump said last month. “If we make a deal, I think Kim Jong Un is going to be very, very happy.”
A day after President Donald Trump and his top advisers went on the attack against Canada, members of his Cabinet are taking steps to preserve and strengthen ties with the U.S.’ nearest ally.
In one step of the change in tone, the Department of Agriculture announced Monday that Secretary Sonny Perdue would head to Canada later this week to meet with his counterpart Lawrence MacAulay.
The trip and photo-op is intended to showcase ongoing cooperation between the two countries on agriculture — and it will fall amid repeated criticism from Trump himself about Canada’s high tariffs on U.S. dairy products in particular that enter the Canadian market.
Just hours ahead of a historic summit in Singapore, lawmakers back in Washington are openly questioning President Donald Trump’s latest global strategy with some bemoaning that the White House is alienating American allies while simultaneously stretching the bounds of cooperation with long-held enemies.
Trump is scheduled to meet Tuesday with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un just days after ruffling feathers at the G7 summit in Canada and engaging in a public spat with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a move that even a handful of lawmakers in the President’s own party are questioning.
On Friday, Trump called for Russia to be added to the summit to restore it the G8, a statement that Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse said was “weak.”
On Tuesday, per the Washington Post’s master of the Senate Paul Kane, Mitch McConnell, 76, “will eclipse Robert J. Dole (Kan.) as the longest-serving Republican leader in Senate history.”
The details: McConnell has used “scheming, strategizing and tactical maneuvering to win five reelection campaigns and rise through the ranks.” His tenure: 11 years, five months and 10 days.
Kane describes McConnell’s tenure as one “marked by extreme discipline and extreme paradoxes.”
The Trump administration on Monday slapped sanctions on several Russian companies and businessmen for engaging in cyberattacks and assisting Russia’s military and intelligence services with other malicious activities.
The Treasury Department said it was imposing sanctions on five Russian firms and three of their executives under legislation passed last year and an executive order aimed at punishing efforts to hack into U.S. computer systems. The sanctions freeze any assets that those targeted may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them.
First lady Melania Trump attended the Ford’s Theatre annual gala on Sunday evening, paying tribute to President Abraham Lincoln’s legacy. It was one of her first public appearances since surgery last month.
“Tonight reminds all of us about the power the arts have in cultivating the American voice,” the first lady, who served as the honorary chairman, said in a statement. “Thank you to Ford’s Theatre Society for tonight, and your continued dedication to education and leadership in the arts — the impact they have on society is invaluable and something we will continue to cherish throughout time.”
Tonight you will hear from the man President Donald Trump appointed as his 2020 re-election campaign manager. His name is Brad Parscale, and he got the job because – as we first reported in October – Parscale was the president’s secret weapon in his 2016 run for the White House.
42-year-old Parscale was one of the campaign’s top decision-makers, operating largely out of public view. He was hired to run the digital team, but over time he came to oversee advertising, data collection and much of the fund-raising. He says his main task was competing with the Clinton Campaign’s huge advantage in money and tv ads. What he decided to do was turn to social media, most importantly to Facebook.
As the White House communications department undergoes its snail’s-pace overhaul, another top staffer has left the building.
Special assistant to the president and director of rapid response Steven Cheung’s last day of work was Friday, according to multiple people briefed on his departure. President Donald Trump was abroad along with most of his senior staff, but Cheung’s last day still marked a low-key end of an era of sorts: he was one of the last remaining campaign-era Trump aides still working on the White House campus.
Cheung was known as the rare aide in the White House who was often in the room, but kept his head down. Unlike many of his colleagues, he never turned himself into a household name.
There will be a TNB Summit Thread with a live stream link posted at 8:00 p.m. EST.
Be ready to join in and chat, Blender Crew.