Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Tuesday, 19 June 2018.
Advanced Early Warning: Republican leaders and GOP strategists are emploring President Donald Trump to end his policy of separating migrant children from adults who are arrested while trying to cross illegally into the U.S. POTUS, however, remains firmly committed to his “zero tolerance” policy in which all violators of U.S. immigration laws are prosecuted. More analysis on this issue is forthcoming in this week’s National Intelligence Bulletin.
ALSO: A new survey from the Pew Research Center found that only about 25 percent of adults surveyed could correctly identify facts from opinions in news reporting. Only 26 percent were able to correctly identify all five factual statements. On opinions, about 35 percent were able to correctly identify all five statements. The survey comes as large social media companies like Facebook and Google, which serve as news aggregators, develop ways to combat so-called “fake news.” More on this topic in this week’s National Intelligence Bulletin as well.
After receiving his intelligence briefing, the president will deliver remarks at the National Federation of Independent Businesses 75th Anniversary Celebration in Washington, D.C., at 12:15 p.m. At 2:00 p.m. he will meet with Their Majesties King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia. Later, the president will sign the 10 millionth U.S. Patent and at 5:40 p.m. will deliver remarks to the House Republican Conference. At 7:20 p.m., POTUS will attend a fundraiser.
Secretary Pompeo will participate in the president’s meeting with King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain.
Asst. Secretary for International Security and Non-Proliferation Christopher Ford is on travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan from June 18-20.
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.
Army Col. Sean J. Ryan, spokesman, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), will brief media by video at 11 a.m. in the Pentagon Briefing Room to provide an update on operations.
From Dana W. White Chief Pentagon Spokesperson on Military Exercises on the Korean Peninsula:
“Consistent with President Trump’s commitment and in concert with our Republic of Korea ally, the United States military has suspended all planning for this August’s defensive “wargame” (Freedom Guardian). We are still coordinating additional actions. No decisions on subsequent wargames have been made. There will be a meeting at the Pentagon later this week with the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State and the National Security Advisor on this issue. There is no impact on Pacific exercises outside of the Korean Peninsula.”
Aircraft carrier movement/activities:
Carl Vinson (CVN-70) has left homeport in San Diego to participate in RIMPAC 2018 exercises in the Pacific Ocean.
Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) has returned to homeport in Norfolk, Va., following the Board of Inspection and Survey off the coast of Virginia.
John C. Stennis (CVN-74) left port in Bremerton, Wash., and is now in San Diego.
Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) moved out of the Adriatic Sea and is now in the Mediterranean Sea.
Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) entered the Philippine Sea.
George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) turned to homeport in Norfolk.
The remaining U.S. carriers are in their home ports. A conflict requiring a Carrier Strike Group does not appear imminent.
**We will be monitoring these hearings for any pertinent developments regarding current events we feel subscribers should be aware of. We will include them in the National Intelligence Bulletin or provide additional reporting if need be.
10:00 a.m.: Convene and resume consideration of H.R.5895, Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019.
(1) Stocks are continuing to slide on fears of an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China. As of this morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 300 points, wiping out all gains for the year so far, as POTUS Trump announced additional tariffs on Chinese products. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were also down.
(2) The Saudis and Russia are both pushing for large oil production increases ahead of Friday’s OPEC meeting. They are getting pushback, however, from other members including Iran, Iraq, Venezuela and Algeria. The Russians are arguing the increase is needed to offset production losses in Venezuela and Libya. Russia also noted that oil demand typically grows in the third quarter as fall approaches, and without the output increase of about 1.5 million bpd the cartel could face a deficit.
There is no major storm activity threatening the U.S. or any of its territories at present.
Yesterday’s Significant Reporting
“At some point, you’ve got to wonder how many times stocks are going to react to the same general bit of news. It may all just be a game of one-up-manship as a negotiating tactic to get to some sort of deal. However, “with investor optimism as high as it is, there might not be much margin for error, and there is a real risk that this starts to erode consumer and business confidence.” — Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird, on the stock market’s negative reaction to the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China.