THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES DONALD TRUMP and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un signed a document that Trump said would represent the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. In an extraordinary news conference that lasted roughly 65 minutes, Trump later called it the “first bold step toward a bright new future for his people.” “Anyone can make war. Only the most courageous people can make peace,” Trump said.
TRUMP SAID Kim would begin getting rid of his nuclear program “as soon as possible.” Full text of the signed statement https://politi.co/2HFY4qn Trump said some of the details of the denuclearization were not laid out because there was not time. Asked what would happen if North Korea did not follow through, Trump said, “I don’t want to be threatening. They understood that.”
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SOME BIG NEWS … THE PRESIDENT — who said he had not slept for the previous 25 hours — said he wanted to get U.S. soldiers off of the Korean Peninsula. “War games,” as Trump called them, will stop. Trump added that the bombers that participate in the military exercises come from Guam, a six-and-a-half hour flight, which costs the U.S. a lot of money.
SANCTIONS will come off North Korea when nuclear weapons are no longer a factor.
TRUMP took questions from NBC’s Hallie Jackson, CBS’s Major Garrett, Fox News’ John Roberts, CNN’s Jim Acosta, ABC’s Jon Karl, Washington Post’s Phil Rucker, New York Times’ David Sanger and Mark Landler, POLITICO’s Eliana Johnson, Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs, VICE News’ Shawna Thomas, among others. A handful of foreign journalists also got questions including a South Korean at the end who shouted “finally!” when Trump called on her.
THE PRESIDENT said this deal would not have been possible without Otto Warmbier, the deceased American student who was detained and abused by the North Korean regime. “It was a terrible thing — it was brutal — but a lot of people started to focus on what was going on.” Trump said Warmbier “did not die in vain.” Trump said “things will change,” when asked about the 100,000 North Koreans held in gulags. The president said there’s not much he can do.
TRUMP said he brought up the North Korean regime’s gruesome human rights abuses, but it was a relatively short conversation compared to denuclearization. “I believe it’s a rough situation over there. … We’ll be doing something on it. It’s rough. It’s rough in a lot of places, by the way.”
THE PRESIDENT said he will be inviting Kim Jong Un to the White House at the “appropriate time,” and said he would go to North Korea “at a certain time.”
AS A SIDE NOTE … The president said he noticed North Korea has great beaches during nuclear test videos and said to think about this all from a real estate perspective.
TRUMP SAID that in six months, he might recognize he made a mistake about North Korea, but will find some excuse.
ELISE HU, NPR’s Seoul bureau chief (@elisewho): “South Korean Blue House spox: ‘At this moment, the meaning and intention of President Trump’s remarks requires more clear understanding.’”
ON JUSTIN TRUDEAU … The president said his hostile press conference after the G7 will “cost a lot of money for the people of Canada.”
THE WSJ’S HEADLINE: “Trump-Kim Talks Short on New Nuclear Pledges From North Korea” https://on.wsj.com/2JEBCzN
ELIANA JOHNSON in Singapore, NAHAL TOOSI and NANCY COOK in D.C.: “[T]he text of the agreement contained few concrete steps to achieve that goal other than a commitment ‘to hold follow-on negotiations … at the earliest possible date,’ according to a photo of the document. Still, Trump called the document ‘pretty comprehensive’ and Kim ‘a worthy negotiator,’ pledging to invite the North Korean leader to the White House in the future. ‘Today, we had a historic meeting and have agreed to leave the past behind,’ Kim added. ‘The world will see a major change.’
“Meanwhile, Trump told reporters that he learned during their visit Kim is a ‘very talented man. I also learned that he loves his country very much.’ … Before TV cameras and their one-on-one meeting, Trump treated the North Korean totalitarian leader as a peer. He flattered Kim by telling him it was an ‘honor’ to meet him and predicted the two would have a ‘fantastic relationship.’” https://politi.co/2JEf168
— TRUMP SAT DOWN WITH ABC’S GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: “‘George, I’m given what I’m given,’ Trump said. ‘I’ve met him. I’ve spoken with him. This has started early and it’s intense. He really wants to do a great job for North Korea. I think he wants to denuke. Without that there’s nothing to discuss. A total denuclearization of North Korea. We’re starting from scratch and we have to get rid of weapons.
“Trump said ‘I can only tell you from my experience … I think that he really wants to do a great job for North Korea.’ ‘We have the framework for getting ready to denuclearize,’ Trump said. ‘He’s de-nuking the whole place and I think he’s going to start very quickly,’ Trump said. ‘He really wants to do something I think terrific for their country,’ Trump said of Kim.” https://abcn.ws/2Mj9qUM
TRUMP said Kim was a “worthy negotiator” and had a “great personality and very smart — good combination,” according to our own Eliana Johnson, today’s pooler. Trump said the two will meet many times.
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THE POLITICAL THEATER — “‘A great honor’: In a bid for history, Trump flatters North Korea’s totalitarian leader,” by WaPo’s Phil Rucker and Anne Gearan in Singapore: “President Trump shook his hand for 13 long seconds, patted him on the back and led him down a rich red carpet. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may be considered the world’s greatest human rights abuser and a totalitarian collector of nuclear weapons, but as they met for the first time here Tuesday, Trump declared himself honored. ‘We will have a terrific relationship, I have no doubt,’ the U.S. president said with a smile, settling into an armchair opposite the North Korean leader.
“American and North Korean flags framed the improbable detente between two men who at the start of the year were hurling insults at one another and appeared on the brink of nuclear war. The extraordinary tableau was a stark contrast to what had transpired three days earlier and half a world away in Canada, where an embittered Trump sat sternly, his arms crossed and his face impassive, as the leaders of America’s oldest Western allies pleaded with him not to rupture the established world order with his retaliatory trade policies.” https://wapo.st/2HFrDIE
— “White House limits number of U.S. journalists at Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore,” by Jason Schwartz: https://politi.co/2y1y1dJ
CLICKER — “Trump and Kim finally meet: Photos from the historic summit” – 13 pix https://politi.co/2JGMrkz
THE DIPLOMATIC EFFORT — NYT’s Mark Landler: “To negotiate the terms of the joint statement, the administration recruited Sung Y. Kim, a seasoned North Korea negotiator now serving as American ambassador to the Philippines, to lead that effort. Ambassador Kim and a small group of diplomats held a series of talks last week with the North Koreans in Panmunjom, the so-called truce village in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. People briefed on the meetings said American negotiators had found it difficult to make significant headway with the North Koreans, in part because the White House did not back them up in taking a hard line.” https://nyti.ms/2sWyyYk
BLAKE HOUNSHELL, “How Trump Made Diplomacy Great Again: Obama was attacked as ‘naive’ and ‘weak’ for talking to America’s enemies. Trump is turning it into a political asset”: “Trump has even managed to turn the boring stuff of world-leader summitry—usually a tightly scripted, rigidly controlled affair in which the outcome is largely determined in advance—into a dramatic event more akin to a prize fight than a nuclear negotiation. And he’s tried to turn his reported lack of preparation or interest in the gritty details of uranium enrichment and ICBM throw weights into a strength, touting his flexibility and fingertip feel for a deal.” https://politi.co/2y33zjk
— A REMINDER: “Atrocities Under Kim Jong-un: Indoctrination, Prison Gulags, Executions,” by NYT’s Maya Salam and Matthew Haag: https://nyti.ms/2JHY7XP
TOP TWEETS — CNBC’S Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie): “By allowing only their interpreters, Trump and Kim left no one who cld verify what they agreed to in the mtg. Policy experts agree, this is probably bad for the world. But for Trump & Kim, who both built empires on fictional narratives, it’s just fine. In fact, it’s ideal.”
… CNN’S Jim Acosta (@Acosta): “Trump and Kim just allowed Singapore government TV cameras into their lunch but not WH pool. Trump said to Host TV: ‘Are you getting a nice photo… So we look nice and handsome and beautiful and perfect?’”
… FOX NEWS’ Brit Hume (@brithume): “Disconcerting to say the least to see POTUS shaking hands with the thug Kim Jong Un and saying he’s ‘honored.’ Will only be worth it if Mike Pompeo is right about what he sensed in his NK meetings. We’ll know soon enough.”
SPOTTED at the press conference, via Eliana Johnson: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly, Matt Pottinger, Raj Shah, and Sarah Sanders.
TRUMP did interviews with SEAN HANNITY of Fox News and GRETA VAN SUSTEREN of VOA News, in addition to GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS of ABC News before his press conference.
— ADDENDUM to our list of TV journalists in Singapore: BRET BAIER is also there for Fox News. He’s hosting his show from there.
TRUMP-KIM SUMMIT VIDEOS – from the AP: “President Trump and Kim Jong Un Share Handshake” http://bit.ly/2sPmg4L … “Trump and Kim Meet at Historic Singapore Summit” http://bit.ly/2JtzwXn … “Trump With Kim: ‘Excellent Relationship’” http://bit.ly/2y4qgU7 … “Trump at Summit: ‘We Will Solve a Big Problem’” http://bit.ly/2LLGYKf …
… “President Trump and Kim Jong Un Meet for Lunch” http://bit.ly/2JuGRG6 … “Trump Shows Kim Presidential Limo” – http://bit.ly/2JHuHG4 … “Trump Announces Signing With Kim” http://bit.ly/2HKj3rU … “Trump and Kim Sign ‘Comprehensive’ Document” http://bit.ly/2Mlbs6B … “Trump on Kim: ‘We’ll Be Meeting Many Times’” http://bit.ly/2JHARWk
— WH VIDEO: “President Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Signs a Declaration of Friendship” — 6-min video http://bit.ly/2JwZjxR
THE MENU FOR THE TRUMP-KIM LUNCH, per the White House: “Traditional prawn’s cocktail served with avocado salad … Green mango kerabu with honey lime dressing & fresh octopus … ‘Oiseon’: Korean stuffed cucumber … Beef short rib confit, served with potato dauphinois and steam broccolini, red wine sauce on the side … Combination of sweet & sour crispy pork and Yangzhou Fried Rice with homemade XO chili sauce … ‘Daegu jorim’: Soy Braised cod fish with Radish, Asian Vegetables … Dark chocolate tartlet ganache … [Haagen dazs] vanilla ice cream with cherry coulis Tropezienne”.
Good Tuesday morning. FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — ROBERT DRAPER is working on a book about the decision to invade Iraq and will be focusing on the 18 months between 9/11 and the actual invasion, March 19, 2003. The book will be published by Penguin in 2020. Draper, a writer for the New York Times Magazine and National Geographic, has also written a number of books including “Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush” and “Do Not Ask What Good We Do.”
WE’LL SIT DOWN WITH STEVE SCALISE this morning at the D.C. Bar Headquarters at 901 4th Street, NW. Doors open at 7:45 a.m. Livestream https://politi.co/2y5m0DP … The event will be broadcast on CSPAN2.
SMALL NEWS COMPARED TO THE SUMMIT BUT … WE EXPECT House GOP immigration talks could fall apart today. If there is no agreement reached, it’s likely that three Republicans will sign the so-called discharge petition, which will force a series of immigration votes on the House floor.
LARRY KUDLOW had a heart attack and is at Walter Reed, the president announced on Twitter at 8:35 p.m.
— NANCY COOK: “Kudlow’s close friend Stephen Moore, of the Heritage Foundation, said in a brief phone call that he thought Kudlow would be all right. ‘He was burning the candle at both ends,’ Moore said as he was heading to the hospital. … Kudlow, 70, discussed the rigors of the job with family and friends before joining the White House staff. He was worried that the long hours and travel could potentially take a toll on his health.” https://politi.co/2sQU3dZ
STEVEN SHEPARD and ELENA SCHNEIDER: “Trump’s clout in GOP is driving Tuesday’s primaries. Here’s what to watch”: “Presidential primary power … A primary test for state legislators seeking a promotion … Maine’s Democratic experiment … Fight night for Nevada Democrats … A ‘change’ political era meets old candidates in Nevada swing seats.” https://politi.co/2MiofXy
A BIG CHANGE – “Sessions: Victims of domestic abuse and gang violence generally won’t qualify for asylum,” by WaPo’s Maria Sacchetti: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions signaled Monday that victims of domestic abuse and gang violence generally will not qualify for asylum under federal law, a decision that advocates say will endanger tens of thousands of foreign nationals seeking safety in the United States.
“Sessions’s ruling vacated a 2016 decision by the Justice Department’s Board of Immigration Appeals that said an abused woman from El Salvador was eligible for asylum. … He said it will help reduce the growing backlog of 700,000 court cases, more than triple the number in 2009.” https://wapo.st/2Ml2whz
WHITE HOUSE DEPARTURE LOUNGE – “White House aide Steven Cheung leaves communications staff,” by Annie Karni: “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. … 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. ‘Steven has been a part of Trump world for over 700 days,’ said Bryan Lanza, a former Trump campaign aide. ‘He deserves a gold watch.’” https://politi.co/2HG7li7
THE JUICE …
— BRIANNE PFANNENSTIEL is now the Des Moines Register’s chief politics reporter. She has worked at the Register since February 2015.
— DATA DU JOUR — WSJ’S @TimAeppel: “The Commerce Department has gotten 19,000 requests from companies asking to be exempt from Trump’s metals tariffs.” https://bloom.bg/2LKcdFc
PRUITT FILES – “Dem: Pruitt’s EPA has stalled production of public records,” by ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel: “[EPA] Administrator Scott Pruitt has intentionally delayed the production of agency documents in response to open records requests about his tenure, former aides to Pruitt have told congressional investigators. In a letter to Pruitt obtained by ABC News, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said several of Pruitt’s former staffers have testified their policy was to prioritize document requests for EPA records made during the Obama administration – before addressing any from during Pruitt’s tenure.
“That policy, Cummings said, appears to violate EPA rules and Justice Department records processing guidelines, which state that the agency should process requests on multiple tracks based on the complexity of the production, and in order to fulfill simple requests more quickly. EPA rules also require the agency to give record-seekers the opportunity to refine their requests if placed on the slower, time-intensive tracks.” https://abcn.ws/2HGEg6l
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION — “Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump made at least $82 million in outside income last year while serving in the White House, filings show,” by WaPo’s Amy Brittain, Ashley Parker and Anu Narayanswamy: “Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s daughter and son-in-law, brought in at least $82 million in outside income while serving as senior White House advisers during 2017, according to financial disclosure forms released Monday. Trump earned $3.9 million from her stake in the Trump International Hotel in Washington and more than $2 million in severance from the Trump Organization, while Kushner reported over $5 million in income from Quail Ridge, a Kushner Cos. apartment complex acquired last year in Plainsboro, N.J.
“The filings show how the couple are collecting immense sums from other enterprises while serving in the White House, an extraordinary income flow that ethics experts have warned could create potential conflicts of interests. Both Kushner and Trump have given up daily oversight of their companies as they work as unpaid senior advisers to the president. …
“National security adviser John Bolton reported making $2.2 million in income last year, including $569,000 from Fox News, where he was a paid contributor. Bolton also received a $240,000 salary from the American Enterprise Institute … and $155,000 from the Gatestone Institute … Bolton also reported $165,000 from Counter Extremism Project United … and $747,000 from speaking fees. The largest speaking fees came from a foundation run by Ukrainian steel magnate Viktor Pinchuk, which paid Bolton $115,000 for speeches in September 2017 and February 2018. Pinchuk, who generally advocates for closer ties between Ukraine and the West, also donated $150,000 to President Trump’s charitable foundation in exchange for a short speech Trump made to one of Pinchuk’s conferences by video in 2015.” https://wapo.st/2MmKoEi
****** A message from Delta Air Lines: At Delta Air Lines, we’re proud to support the causes that shape our world by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve. We’re committed to donating 1% of our net profits to key charities and nonprofit organizations as we strive to truly make a difference in D.C. and throughout our global communities. Our goal is to positively impact the world through continued investments in our current partners as well as contributions to our new partners. Our donations support education, promote health and wellness, and salute our armed service members and veterans. We contributed over $40 million in 2017 to charities and nonprofits around the world, and we look forward to continuing our support for many years to come. For more information about Delta, visit www.delta.com. ******
2018 WATCH — “‘It’s obscene’: GOP candidate seethes as Trump embraces Democratic senator,” by WaPo’s Sean Sullivan: “[Rep. Kevin] Cramer says he believes Trump is giving Heitkamp preferential treatment because she is a woman. He accused the first-term senator of being insecure and going out of her way to stand near Trump at last month’s signing of the banking bill, which Cramer also attended. ‘Have you ever watched the video? It’s obscene,” said Cramer, who in an interview with The Washington Post re-created Heitkamp’s movements and the setup of the room.” https://wapo.st/2JxdPp8 … Heitkamp’s new ad http://bit.ly/2HHfeDV
ISAAC DOVERE: “Voto Latino aiming to register 1 million new voters by 2020”: “Saying that they feel Latinos are in President Donald Trump’s ‘crosshairs,’ Voto Latino, the group committed to engaging and empowering Latinos in politics, is preparing to roll out a campaign to hit 1 million registered voters by 2020. … The new initiative, called Somos Mas (We Are More), will focus on seven states: Texas, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Florida and California, including on 27 college campuses spread among them. They’ll also have a digital effort concentrated on North Carolina, Ohio, Georgia and Pennsylvania.” https://politi.co/2l2ZMJq
HOLLYWOODLAND — “Democrats turn to Hollywood for messaging help,” by David Siders in LA: “The [DNC] and members of Congress are turning to Hollywood for help with voter turnout and messaging ahead of the midterm elections and 2020 presidential campaign, quietly consulting with a group of actors, writers and producers here. DNC Chairman Tom Perez, several House members and other top elected officials have already met with the group, formed by members of the entertainment industry in the wake of the 2016 election, that participants liken to a TV writers’ room, complete with producers of such programs as ‘Veep.’
“The existence of the group and details of the meetings have not been previously reported. The group has discussed targeted voter-registration programs with visiting Democrats, as well as the party’s framing of issues ranging from abortion rights to gun control. In one recent meeting, a Midwestern senator sought advice about how to discuss gun control with conservative-leaning voters in his or her state.” https://politi.co/2LKOjcN
MEDIAWATCH — @jeremymbarr: “Per memo – Lex Haris, who resigned from CNN last June after the botched Russia/Scaramucci story, has been named interim lead of cbsnews.com”.
TRANSITION — HHS DEPARTURE LOUNGE: David Pasch started on Monday as VP of public affairs at Targeted Victory. He served for the past year as digital director at HHS and was previously communications director for Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.).
SPOTTED at Jake Tapper’s book party for “The Hellfire Club” in NYC at WeWork Bryant Park on Monday night ($19.46 on Amazon https://amzn.to/2rmArNu): Jeff Zucker, Allison Gollust, Ben Stiller, Michael Barbaro, Maggie Haberman, Nick Corsanti, Michael Isikoff, Joan Walsh, Alex Burns, SE Cupp, Brian Stelter, Meghan McCain, Poppy Harlow, Brooke Baldwin, Kate Bolduan, Don Lemon, Elise Jordan, Maria Comella and Lauren Fritts
SPOTTED at the Shakespeare Theater Company’s annual Will on the Hill “My Kingdom for a Farce” benefit for the arts: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Robert White, Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), and Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), former Reps. Tom Davis (R-Va.), Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) and Jim Moran (D-Va.), Grover Norquist, Steve Case, Veronica Wong, Bernie Mckay, Jana Plat, Jen Kuhn, Mark Calabria and Suhail Khan.
BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Lorissa Bounds, COS for Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.)
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Chris Lu, senior strategy adviser at FiscalNote and former deputy secretary of labor. How he got his start in politics: “When my family moved to the D.C. area in 1974, my dad took me to visit the U.S. Capitol. Without an appointment, we stopped by the office of our congressman, Gilbert Gude. To our surprise, he came out to meet us and explain how Congress works. Even though I was only 8, that made a powerful impression on me, and I’ve been interested in politics ever since.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: https://politi.co/2LKjqFc
BIRTHDAYS: Carrie Budoff Brown, editor of Politico … Matt Mowers, chief of staff and chief policy officer at PEPFAR … Kevin Sheekey is 52 (hat tip: Tammy Haddad) … George H.W. Bush is 94 … Josh Kushner is 33 … BuzzFeed reporter Alexis Levinson is 3-0 … Rabbi Levi Shemtov … Marv Albert is 77 … Dag Vega, managing director for public affairs and crisis at Burson-Marsteller … Obama alum Luis Miranda (h/ts Ben Chang) … Alex Castellanos, co-founder of Purple Strategies … Peter Schechter (h/t Jon Haber) … Google’s Courtney Pannell … Hayley Alexander … Eli Glazier … AP’s Rachel D’Oro … Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) is 6-0 … Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) is 77 … Husein Cumber … Sally Bradshaw … Casey Ratlief is 33 … Todd Beyer … Nathanael Massey is 32 … Matt Wolking, comms director for Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) (h/t Olivia Perez-Cubas) … Sam Barke, an aide on the Secretary of Agriculture’s advance team (h/t Godfrey Harris) … Lilia Dashevsky, a Rep. Paul Gosar alum and former Arizona GOP operative, celebrating with drinks at the W (h/t James Liska) …
… Ted Ullyot, a former partner in policy and regulatory affairs of Andreessen Horowitz … Hanna Siegel, managing director at New American Economy … Sean Murphy … Zach Baron … Mary Urbina-McCarthy … Colleen Shalby, engagement editor at the LA Times … Eli Zupnick … Lisa Kurdziel … Melodie McQuade … Dan Archer, SVP of federal gov’t relations at Wells Fargo … former Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, now a senior adviser at Blank Rome, is 66 … Patrick Schmitt … Ryan Mannion … Alissa Tabirian … Campbell Curry-Ledbetter … Sam Buchan … Adam Wolf … Katina Tina Rojas Joy … William Kresse … Melodie McQuade … Victor Zapanta … Eleanor Lewis … Jeani Murray … Jack Wertzberger … Travis Worl … Jon Green … Kate Vilsack (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)
****** A message from Delta Air Lines: At Delta Air Lines, we’re proud to support the causes that shape our world by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve. We’re committed to donating 1% of our net profits to key charities and nonprofit organizations as we strive to truly make a difference in D.C. and throughout our global communities.
Our goal is to positively impact the world through continued investments in our current partners as well as contributions to our new partners. Our donations support education, promote health and wellness, and salute our armed service members and veterans.
We contributed over $40 million in 2017 to charities and nonprofits around the world, and we look forward to continuing our support for many years to come.
For more information about Delta, visit www.delta.com. ******
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