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Daily Reads: Trump Thanks Putin for Expelling US Diplomats

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Trump Thanks Putin for Expelling US Diplomats

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Showman-in-Chief –> Donald Trump held a rare press conference that’s being described as “rambling,” “incoherent” and other things we won’t reprint as this is a family-oriented site. He thanked Vladimir Putin for expelling hundreds of US diplomatic workers, insisted that transgender people are enthusiastic about his ban on military service and insisted that White House leaks are inspired by love for Donald Trump. CNN has the 39 “most-eye-raising” statements.

The important part –> On Thursday, Pyongyang announced that it might fire four missiles that would land within 25 miles of Guam as a show of force. Donald Trump doubled down on his “fire and fury” comments from earlier in the week, and bragged about modernizing the US nuclear weapons arsenal, which has not changed in any way since the election. The BBC has more details.

At The Nation, Michael Klare argues that Trump is “beating the war drums” in order to distract the public from his domestic woes, but the problem is that “foreign powers are not backing down.”

And Josh Marshall writes at Talking Points Memo that it’s important to remember George W. Bush’s role in blowing up the framework agreement that had successfully constrained North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

And Aaron Blake reports for The Washington Post that “Sebastian Gorka appeared on BBC radio Thursday and delivered one of the most aggressive takes to date on what Trump might do — even allowing that a mere threat from North Korea could be construed as an act of war.” His statements contradicted what Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been saying.

Speaking of Gorka –> At Rolling Stone, Bob Dreyfuss looks at the “former Breitbart editor with Islamophobic views and ties to neo-Nazi extremists” who currently has the president’s ear.

Relatedly, we think, is this very odd story by Foreign Policy’s Jana Winter and Elias Groll about how a conspiratorial memo claiming that “cultural Marxists,” jihadists and the liberal media were waging war on Donald Trump caused a major shake-up in the National Security Council.

We’re paying a price –> “Actions by the Trump administration are triggering double-digit premium increases on individual health insurance policies purchased by many people, according to a nonpartisan study” cited by the AP’s Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar.

Exploiting a tragic murder –> At Slate, Jeremy Stahl explains “how Donald Trump and his conservative allies twisted the facts of a deadly San Francisco shooting to stoke America’s xenophobia.”

Not terribly subtle –> In central Indiana, “state and local Republicans have expanded early voting in GOP-dominated areas and restricted it in Democratic areas,” according to an investigation by the Indianapolis Star. Fatima Hussein has the details.

Warning sign for Dems –> Michael Whitney reports for Politico that despite signs that the Democratic base is highly motivated, the party is facing a “looming fundraising crisis” as it heads into the 2018 cycle.

Head in the sand –> We mentioned earlier in the week that a draft report compiled by scientists at numerous federal agencies detailed the damage to the US that has already resulted from climate change. But according to The Hill’s Timothy Cama, “Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt on Wednesday cast doubt on the idea that climate change poses a threat to the United States.”

Who is Beryl Howell? –> It turns out she’s a judge, and could play an absolutely pivotal role in the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Betsy Woodruff profiles Howell at The Daily Beast.

The perfect Alabama candidate –> The Guardian’s Paul Lewis and Adithya Sambamurthy went down to Alabama and found that Vladimir Putin has become quite popular in conservative circles.

Daily Reads was compiled by BillMoyers.com staff and edited by Kristin Miller.

We produce this news digest every weekday. You can sign up to receive these updates as an email.