Early Warning for 04 September 2018

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Tuesday, 04 September 2018. (All times Eastern.)


White House

The President is scheduled to receive his daily intelligence briefing and then have lunch with the Vice President.

Of note: Over the weekend, President Trump again criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the  indictments of Chris Collins (R-NY) and Duncan Hunter (R-CA) just before the mid-terms.

“Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff” [source]

There’s plenty of talk in D.C. about just how soon Sessions’ tenure at the DOJ will end. It’s anyone’s guess, but here are a few things to consider. First, there appears to be some key Republican support for replacing Sessions before the mid-terms. Second, weighing on the president’s decision is whether or not he’ll have a Republican congress after January 2019 and how long confirmation of a new attorney general may take. We may be looking at a replacement hearing just after the mid-terms as President Trump tries to seat a new attorney general before the next session of Congress. Sessions is gone either way.


State Department

Secretary Pompeo is scheduled to meet with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and will be in New Delhi, India until 07 September. Secretary Pompeo will be joined by Secretary Mattis to discuss security and defense cooperation with their Indian counterparts.

Of note: From 26 August to 05 September, the Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs is on travel to Japan, Philippines, Singapore, and India, to discuss the Trump administration’s strategy to ensure “a free and open Indo-Pacific region”. That’s State Department-speak for preventing Chinese dominance in the region.


Defense Department

Defense Secretary Mattis is scheduled to be in India this week to discuss security and defense cooperation with Secretary Pompeo and their Indian counterparts.


The Carl Vinson (CVN-70) was last reported as having returned to port in San Diego.

The Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was last reported as having returned to Norfolk.

The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported back as participating in an exercise off the coast of southern California.

The Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) was last reported in the Atlantic.

The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) was last reported in the South China Sea.

The George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) was last reported as having returned to port in Norfolk.

Conflict requiring a Carrier Strike Group does not appear imminent.



Significant House Activity:

  • Nothing significant to report.
  • TOMORROW: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is scheduled to appear before a House committee on political bias and censorship.

Significant Senate Activity:

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee holds its first hearing for Trump Supreme Court pick Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

* Reporting will appear in the Strategic Intelligence Summary or National Intelligence Bulletin.



– Trade negotiations with Canada continues this week as the president continues to steer their direction in his usual unorthodox manner. In a tweet on Saturday, President Trump said, “If we don’t make a fair deal for the U.S. after decades of abuse, Canada will be out. Congress should not interfere w/ these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely & we will be far better off.” 

-The markets were down in pre-hours trading this morning, and some investors and analysts expect a rough September. This month is historically weak. Since 1950, both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500, on average, have posted losses. The Kavanaugh hearings, the Mueller investigation, talk of impeachment, and the trade war with China are all weighing on the markets.



The National Hurricane Center reports Tropical Storm Gordon has passed over Florida and is headed for the Gulf Coast, where it could hit landfall as a Category 1 hurricane.

Additionally, Tropical Storm Florence has also formed in the Atlantic and is headed for Bermuda this weekend. I’ll have an update later in the week.

REMINDER: This hurricane watch section will remain in this report through the end of the season. I check the latest from the National Hurricane Center each morning and will provide details as necessary.


Drought conditions persist across much of the Southwest. This map is updated every Thursday.




What I’m Looking at this Morning

New Yorker Festival pulls Steve Bannon after Twitter mob takes aim

Biden convinced he can beat Trump, will decide on a 2020 run by January

NATO, Russia prep for largest war games since Cold War


Notable Quotable

“BREAKING: NAFTA to be renamed the Tremendous and Recently Updated Manufacturing Pact.” – Ian Bremmer

Samuel Culper is a former military intelligence NCO and contract Intelligence analyst. He spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now the intelligence and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

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