On Politics: The Biggest Stories of the Week

From Michael Cohen’s testimony to the Trump-Kim Jong-un summit, it’s been a busy week in American politics. Here are some of the biggest stories you might have missed (and some links if you’d like to read further).


In a daylong hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday, Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer, offered a damning portrayal of life inside the president’s orbit — where, he said, advisers sacrifice integrity for proximity to power.

Accusations by Mr. Cohen, such as the president’s alleged knowledge of the hacked Democratic emails released by WikiLeaks, could create new legal issues for Mr. Trump. His testimony also revived questions about whether the president broke the law by failing to disclose that he had footed the bill for a hush payment to a pornographic film actress.

Internal memos revealed Thursday show that Mr. Trump ordered his chief of staff to grant Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser, a top-secret security clearance last year, overruling concerns from intelligence officials. The memos contradict previous statements made by the president, who said he had no role in Mr. Kushner’s clearance.

On Thursday, the president said his administration was “well on our way to doing something special” with China, but his top economic advisers have sent a series of conflicting messages about the trade talks’ status.

Additional Reading

Defender of World Order or Trump Mouthpiece? Pompeo Is Tested by North Korea, Iran and U.S. Allies

On Foreign Trips, Pence Steps Out of Trump’s Shadow but Always Stays on Message

Cozy Up to U.S., Vietnam Tells North Korea. Look What It Did for Us.

The House voted on Tuesday to block Mr. Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the Mexican border, seeking to stop the diversion of funds to his wall. The resolution will now be taken up by the Senate, where it is one vote short of passage.

Gun control once badly divided the Democratic Party. But on Wednesday, the Democrat-controlled House voted to require background checks for all gun purchasers, including at gun shows and on the internet. It was the first significant gun control bill to clear the chamber in decades. Here’s more about the vote and a look at what could come next.

More than 100 House Democrats rallied around a “Medicare for all” bill that would eliminate most private health insurance. But the proposal, which was light on details, highlighted a new split within the party.

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Democrats were prepared to go to court to force the release of the final report from the special counsel if it is not made public.

Additional Reading

In Conservative Districts, Democrats Have to Answer for Party’s Left Wing

Health Care and Insurance Industries Mobilize to Kill ‘Medicare for All’

G.O.P. Tries to Hold Down Defections Before Vote to Block Trump’s Emergency

Who is Konstantin Kilimnik, and what did he and Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, discuss in 2016? Here’s the story behind the Russian operative who’s central to the special counsel’s investigation.

Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta is facing rising pressure over the lenient plea bargain that he helped negotiate with Jeffrey Epstein, a wealthy Trump acquaintance accused of trafficking children for sex.

A woman who worked on Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign sued him in federal court on Monday, saying that he forcibly kissed her at a campaign event in Florida months before the election.

Mark Harris, the North Carolina Republican whose bid for the state’s Ninth Congressional District seat collapsed after a fraud-tainted voter-turnout effort, said he would not run in a new election.

Virginia’s first lady, Pam Northam, apologized for handing raw cotton to black children touring the governor’s mansion and asking them to imagine being enslaved and having to pick the crop.


Today’s On Politics briefing was compiled by Isabella Grullón Paz in New York

Is there anything you think we’re missing? Anything you want to see more of? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at [email protected].


more recommended stories

  • Barr Got More Power to Review the Russia Inquiry. Here’s What We Know About Its Origins.

    WASHINGTON — President Trump has given.

  • Edited Pelosi Video vs. the Original: A Side-by-Side Comparison – Video

    Channels & Shows Home Search U.S..

  • Jay Inslee Is Running on Climate Change. The Issue Is Catching On, So Why Isn’t He?

    RAYMOND, N.H. — For years, climate.

  • News Quiz: Test Your Knowledge of the Week’s Headlines

    Did you stay up to date.

  • On Politics: The Trade War Is Here to Stay

    Good Friday morning. Here are some.

  • Hope Hicks Left the White House. Now She Must Decide Whether to Talk to Congress.

    A White House spokesman did not.

  • 2020 Democrats Join McDonald’s Workers Striking Over Wages and Harassment

    As McDonald’s held its annual shareholder.

  • Sanders’s Education Plan Renews Debate Over Charter Schools and Segregation

    When Senator Bernie Sanders delivered a.

  • Trump Administration to Announce Farm Aid to Ease Pain of Trade War

    He reached out to Canadian and.

  • Pentagon to Build Temporary Shelter for 7,500 Migrant Adults Facing Deportation

    WASHINGTON — The Pentagon said on.

  • On Politics: Trump Blows Up Meeting With Democrats

    • New York State lawmakers approved.

  • U.S. Yet to Find Evidence of New Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria

    WASHINGTON — The United States has.

  • Michael Avenatti Is Charged With Stealing Nearly $300,000 From Stormy Daniels

    Federal prosecutors on Wednesday charged the.

  • Trump’s Battles: Today’s State of Play

    congress and the presidency As Democrats.

  • Gillibrand Proposes Huge Investments in Maternal Health, Child Care and Education

    Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s presidential campaign on.

  • On Politics: Trump May Impose Limits on Chinese Maker of Surveillance Tech

    Good Wednesday morning. Here are some.

  • Anita Hill Worries Female 2020 Candidates Are ‘Not Being Taken Seriously’

    Mr. Biden spoke with Ms. Hill.

  • U.S. Says Syria’s President May Be Using Chemical Weapons Again

    WASHINGTON — The State Department said.

  • Kentucky Has a Primary Election Today. Here’s What to Watch.

    Voters in Kentucky are choosing their.

  • ‘Our Subpoenas Are Not Optional,’ Nadler Warns McGahn – Video

    By REUTERS | May. 21, 2019.

  • As McGahn Prepares to Defy Subpoena, Democrats’ Anger Swells

    WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee.

  • Lawmakers Break Ramadan Fast on Capitol Hill

    WASHINGTON — As the House’s day.

  • Fox News Welcomes Pete Buttigieg. Trump and ‘Fox & Friends’ Aren’t Pleased.

    Mr. Hume added, “Oh, and covering.

  • Impeachment Appeal Pushes Justin Amash From G.O.P. Gadfly to Insurgent

    Calls to the congressman’s cellphone and.

  • Student Debt Facts: The Average College Senior Owes $29,000

    On Sunday, Robert F. Smith, a.

  • Google Restricts Huawei’s Access to Android After Trump Order

    LONDON — The Chinese technology giant.

  • Google Restricts Huawei’s Access to Android After Trump Order

    LONDON — The Chinese technology giant.

  • On Politics: Trump and Kushner Raised Flags at Deutsche Bank

    • In an analysis, Peter Baker.

  • Social Media Pollution, a Huge Problem in the Last Election, Could Be Worse in 2020

    It’s unlikely you have heard of.

  • Trump and the Four-Letter Presidency

    He has either coarsened the public.

  • Trump to Open Middle East Peace Drive With Economic Conference

    WASHINGTON — The White House announced.

  • Deutsche Bank Staff Saw Suspicious Activity in Trump and Kushner Accounts

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Anti-money laundering specialists.