Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Wednesday, 13 June 2018. (All times Eastern.)
Advanced Early Warning: Tensions are increasing between the Trump administration and Congress over the former’s continued refusal to hand over subpoenaed documents relating to ongoing investigations into Obama-era abuses. Fox News reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened to “subpoena” phone, email, and other records of Republicans and their staffers on the House Intelligence Committee (not Democrats, apparently) after the panel threatened to hold him in contempt for stonewalling. The DoJ and FBI are denying this. So is Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It’s not clear yet what the White House response will be if anything.
ALSO: Reports bubbling to the surface note that China removed ground-to-air missile batteries from Woody Island in the Paracels chain of the South China Sea less than two weeks before President Trump’s historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un this week. The removal of missile systems was noted by Israeli intelligence, via satellite. It’s not clear why the Chinese removed them. Speculation is that Beijing did so either as a gesture of goodwill to the U.S. and allies in the region regarding the summit or because the Trump administration recently agreed to a face-saving deal with Chinese telecom company ZTE, extracting fines and agreeing to monitor — which saved scores of Chinese jobs.
POTUS Trump arrived back at the White House from Singapore at 5:50 a.m. He has nothing on his calendar for today.
Secretary Mike Pompeo remained behind in Singapore and will visit leaders in South Korea and China 13-14 June.
Deputy Secretary John Sullivan meets with President of Costa Rica Carlos Alvarado at the State Department at 5:00 p.m.
Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis, Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. have no public or media events on their schedules.
Air Force Maj. Gen. John Rauch Jr., commander, Air Force Safety Center, Rear Adm. Mark Leavitt, commander, Naval Safety Center, and Army Brig. Gen. David Frances, commanding general, U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center, and director, Army Safety, provide testimony on aviation safety at 10:00 a.m. to the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces.
Army Col. Scott Jackson, director, commander, 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade, Resolute Support, will brief the media by video at 11:00 a.m. in the Pentagon Briefing Room to provide an update on operations.
Aircraft carrier movement/activities:
Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) moved out of the Adriatic Sea and is now in the Mediterranean Sea.
Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is operating in the Western Pacific and is now operating off the coast of Guam.
George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) is sailing off the coast of Virginia.
The Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) has returned to port in Norfolk, Va.
A conflict requiring a Carrier Strike Group does not appear imminent.
9:30 a.m.: Convene and resume consideration of H.R.5515, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019.
- 9:30 AM — SR-328A
- 10:00 AM — SD-366
- 10:00 AM — SD-406
- 10:00 AM — SD-419
- 10:00 AM — SD-342
- 10:00 AM — SD-226
- 10:00 AM — SD-215
- 2:30 PM — SD-628
- 2:30 PM — SR-253
- 2:30 PM — SD-406
- 2:30 PM — SR-418
(1) Weekly mortgage applications fell 1.5 percent last week as interest rates edged upward, following a brief rise in applications interest rates suddenly dropped a few weeks ago. Year-to-year, applications are down 15.4 percent from 2017, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted report. Refinance volume also fell another 2 percent and is off nearly 34 percent from a year ago, when interest rates were lower.
(2) POTUS Trump is planning to reimpose tariffs on China by Friday or early next week after he rejected Beijing’s offer of agreeing to $80 billion in guaranteed U.S. agriculture purchases as a means of offsetting the trade imbalance. Trump’s China trade advisor, Peter Navarro, said on Tuesday that the president is planning to impose tariffs on a “subset” of Chinese imports that the administration included in an original list of roughly $50 billion in targeted products in April.
There are no major storms threatening CONUS United States or any U.S. territories.
Yesterday’s Significant Reporting
Mueller is Trying to Hide Evidence from Defendants in Russian Trolls Case
Gay Americans are arming themselves to stay alive
DNC Votes to Require Dem 2020 Primary Candidates Be Registered Party Members (think of this as an effort to keep Bernie Sanders out)
“We just came off a devastating presidential loss in 2016. It would seem to me the actual impetus would be to expand the Democratic party. I just for the life of me don’t see any motivation for this beyond personal spite.” — Mark Longabaugh, who was a senior adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.