Early Warning for 7 June 2018 – Forward Observer Shop

Early Warning for 7 June 2018

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Wednesday 7 June 2018. 
(All times Eastern.)


Advanced Early Warning: It appears as though the Trump administration has struck some sort of deal with Chinese telecom giant ZTE. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the deal includes a $1 billion penalty against ZTE and a U.S.-chosen compliance team to be embedded at the company. The deal also requires ZTE to change its board of directors and executive team within 30 days. Publicly, the Trump administration said the issue with ZTE came as a result of the company’s business dealings with Iran and North Korea in violation of U.S. trade agreements. However, the initial U.S. sanctions came two months after the directors of a number of American intelligence agencies, including the CIA, FBI, and NSA, said they would not recommend Americans use products from the Chinese company over espionage concerns.

ALSO: U.S. Border Patrol agents continue to arrest a high number of illegal border crossers. The number topped 50,000 in May again for the third month in a row. DHS took 51,912 migrants into custody in May, more than three times the number detained in May 2017, a period when illegal immigration plunged following Donald Trump’s inauguration. It appears as though the administration’s tactics — beefing up border security, cracking down on employers and doing more interior enforcement — have yet to yield positive results.

White House:

POTUS Trump meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House at noon, following his daily intelligence brief. At 2:00 p.m. he will hold a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Abe in the Rose Garden, which will be live-streamed. Then, at 2:45 p.m., he will meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

State Department:

At noon,  Secretary Pompeo will attend President Trump’s meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Abe, followed by the 2:45 p.m. with POTUS.

Deputy Secretary John Sullivan attends meetings and briefings at the Department of State.

Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Carl Risch is on travel to Russia, Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic from June 3-9.

Defense Department:

Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. are traveling. Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan has no public or media events on his schedule.

Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva will speak at the 2018 National Defense University graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. EDT at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, District of Columbia.

Aircraft carrier movement/activities:

Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) is operating in the Adriatic Sea.

Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is operating in the Western Pacific.

George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) and the Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) are both operating off the coast of Virginia.

A conflict requiring a Carrier Strike Group does not appear imminent.


House schedule:

Senate schedule:

  • 10:00 a.m.
Business meeting to consider S.2837, to improve the systems for identifying the diversion of controlled substances, S.974, to promote competition in the market for drugs and biological products by facilitating the timely entry of lower-cost generic and biosimilar versions of those drugs and biological products, S.2245, to include New Zealand in the list of foreign states whose nationals are eligible for admission into the United States as E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrants if United States nationals are treated similarly by the Government of New Zealand, and the nominations of Ryan Wesley Bounds, of Oregon, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit, J. Campbell Barker, and Jeremy D. Kernodle, both to be a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas, Susan Brnovich, to be United States District Judge for the District of Arizona, Chad F. Kenney, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Maureen K. Ohlhausen, of Virginia, to be Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims, Britt Cagle Grant, of Georgia, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit, Allen Cothrel Winsor, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Florida, and Patrick R. Wyrick, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma.
  • 10:30 a.m.
Business meeting to mark up an original bill entitled, “Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019”, and an original bill entitled, “Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019.”
  • 2:00 p.m.
To receive a closed briefing regarding certain intelligence matters.
  • 3:00 p.m.

Hearings to examine the potential for health care savings accounts to engage patients and bend the health care cost curve. 


(1) Billionaire investor Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon are both bullish on the economy, which they say is in ‘rare form’ and could continue to be strong for years. “Right now, there’s no question: It’s feeling strong. I mean, if we’re in the sixth inning, we have our sluggers coming to bat right now,” Buffett said.”I’m no good at predicting out two or three or five years from now, although I will say this: There’s no question in my mind that America’s going to be far ahead of where we are now 10, 20 and 30 years from now. But right now, business is good. There’s no question about it.” Adds Dimon: “The way I look at it, there is nothing that is a real pothole,” he said. “Business sentiment is almost at the highest level it’s ever been, consumer sentiment is at its highest levels, markets are wide open, housing’s in short supply and my guess is mortgage credit will expand a little bit.”

(2) POTUS Trump’s chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow predicts that the U.S. economy, the fastest growing among industrialized nations, is on the path to even greater prosperity. “The United States now has the fastest growing economy in the world, according to the OECD, or at least the fasting growing economy among the industrialized nations,” he said at the White House, crediting POTUS Trump’s pro-business policies and the GOP tax cut. “The United States economy is going through a very positive transformation right now, as I said earlier: lower tax rates, rollback of regulations.” He added that the “war on business” and “success” is over.

Yesterday’s Significant Reporting

Paul Ryan undercuts Trump on Russia/Spygate at fraught moment

Mueller team’s ‘witness tampering’ evidence against Paul Manafort deemed ‘thin’

Vladimir Putin warns that World War III will be the ‘end of civilization’

Notable quotable:

“We have to be civil with one and other. We have to embody some sort of character, I think, or this all falls apart. Politics is a mirror of our culture, and public leaders have the responsibility to fortify the culture not to make it worse.” — Former Fla. governor and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush discussing the current state of politics in America. 

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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