Early Warning for 18 June 2018 – Forward Observer Shop

Early Warning for 18 June 2018

Good morning. Here is your Early Warning for Monday 18 June 2018. (All times Eastern.)


Advanced Early Warning: Leading congressional Republicans are getting fed up with ranking officials in the Justice Department and FBI following months of stonewalling. House and Senate Republicans are attempting to wrest documents from DoJ and the FBI pertaining to the latter’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, and FBI Director Christopher Wray claim the requested documents are too highly classified for general release to the committees. At some point, you have to think President Trump is going to get involved if Congress levels contempt charges against his top federal law enforcement officials.

ALSO: Expect big changes coming to social media in the coming months (and years). A new study has found that four in 10 people have deleted a social media account in the past year, citing privacy concerns. Also noteworthy: There are growing concerns over fake news reports, bots, and other social media ‘junk’ that is affecting trust in certain platforms. Advertisers are also being blamed by a plurality of social media users if their ads appear next to ‘hate speech’ or ‘offensive’ content.

White House

At 11:30 a.m., POTUS Trump meets with the National Space Council, then at 12:30 p.m. he will participate in the signing ceremony for H.R. 3249, the Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act of 2018. at 3:00 p.m. he has a meeting with Sens. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

At 1:15 p.m., Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders holds a press briefing.

State Department

At 12:40 p.m., Secretary Mike Pompeo delivers remarks on Economic Diplomacy at the Detroit Economic Club, in Detroit, Michigan.

Then at 5:00 p.m. Pompeo will meet with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, at the Department of State.

Asst. Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs A. Wess Mitchell is on travel to Romania, Croatia, Czech Republic and Belgium from June 17-22 to meet with senior government officials and independent analysts to discuss regional security and economic cooperation.

Defense Department

Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis, Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. have no public or media events on their schedules.

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.

The remaining U.S. carriers are in their home ports. A conflict requiring a Carrier Strike Group does not appear imminent.


House committee schedule:


3:00 p.m.: Convene and resume consideration of H.R.5515, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019.


(1) Stocks opened deep in the negative as trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies — the U.S. and China — loom. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 250 points, with Intel as the worst-performing stock in the index. The S&P 500 fell 0.7 percent, with health care and tech lagging. The Nasdaq composite also dropped 0.7 percent. Analysts believe that this will be a ‘trade war of attrition’ — to see who can endure the most pain the longest. That means things will get worse before they get better.

(2) Ahead of OPEC’s meeting on Friday, there is some confusion as to what the world’s oil cartel will agree upon. Some members — Russia and Saudi Arabia — would like to see a gradual boost in output, but three countries (Iran, Iraq, and Venzuela) have pledged to veto that because lower output means higher prices and their economies need it. At home in the U.S., output is around 10.7 million bpd, and analysts are expecting that to climb to about 11.7 million bpd by next year.


The disturbance we were tracking last week has reached the Gulf shores of Texas, but still remains at less than 40 percent chance of developing into a hurricane. Development of this system is not anticipated before it moves inland over Texas later today and tonight. However, heavy rainfall and flash flooding across portions of southern and southeastern Texas are likely to continue during the next few days.

Weekend Significant Reporting

German MP predicts Merkel could be ousted by the end of next week

Watergate prosecutor says Manafort may never again ‘see the outside of a jail cell’

McCain: Trump halting Korean military exercises a ‘bad negotiating tactic’

Notable Quotable

“The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!” — tweet by POTUS Trump regarding Chancellor Merkel’s alleged departure.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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