Iran

Poll: North Korea Is Biggest Threat to U.S.
Economist/YouGov survey finds Americans consider regime to be top enemy

A majority of those polled in the latest Economist/YouGov survey said they want to see President Donald Trump and members of Congress compromise instead of sticking purely to political party. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Nearly three-fourths of Americans surveyed in the latest Economist/YouGov poll believe North Korea is the country’s biggest enemy as President Donald Trump continues to issue threats to Kim Jung Un’s government on a near-daily basis.

Before the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump said the United States was prepared to “totally destroy” North Korea if the regime does not give up its nuclear arms and missile program.

Trump Threatens to ‘Destroy’ North Korea
President warns Pyongyang at UN address

A North Korean ballistic missile during “Victory Day” parade in 2013. (Stefan Krasowski/Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

The United States is prepared to “totally destroy” North Korea unless Kim Jong Un’s government gives up its nuclear arms and missile programs, President Donald Trump told the United Nations on Tuesday.

“We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea” unless it changes its behavior, Trump said in his address to the U.N. General Assembly. The president described Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs as a threat to the United States and its allies. He did not give North Korea a deadline before he deploys U.S. military troops to carry out his threat.

Which of These Bills Is Not Like the Others? The Defense Budget
Testy and balky debate, like this year, still has ended with authorization for 57 straight years

Two U.S. army Blackhawk helicopters approach for landing at an airfield in Australia during a joint U.S. and Australian training exercise in July. (Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images File Photo)

For the uninitiated, it might have seemed last week like the annual legislation authorizing the nation’s military was about to come off the rails. And only now does it appear to be clamoring out of some thick mud — yet another example of a Congress so challenged when it comes to discharging even its most fundamental responsibilities.

Rest assured, though: There’s truly nothing more certain in the Capitol’s life cycle than enactment of the annual National Defense Authorization Act.

Trump and Sessions: In a Relationship — and It’s Complicated
Strife with presidents is common for post-Watergate AGs

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was one of President  Donald Trump’s early supporters. But their relationship has become more complicated. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last week that the Trump administration would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, he was also signaling a new act in one of the summer’s most riveting political dramas. 

Sessions had been considered a dead man walking since mid-July, when Trump began berating him in interviews and on social media for his decision to recuse himself from the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Yet here he was, on a podium, serving as a proxy for the president as he announced a controversial policy decision that Sessions has sought for years — and on which Trump was reportedly wavering. 

On Venezuela, White House Opts for Further Sanctions
Trump continues to follow pattern of his predecessor, Obama

President Donald Trump disembarks Air Force One on Aug. 18. On Friday, he sanctioned Venezuela’s Maduro regime. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump Tries to Embarrass Another GOP Senator Via Twitter
President: Sen. Corker criticizes after asking for re-election advice

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., on stage during a rally in Raleigh, N.C., in July 2016. The duo have been waging a war of words in recent days. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donald Trump dinged Sen. Bob Corker on Friday morning, tweeting he finds the Republican lawmaker’s recent criticism odd since he has “constantly” sought the president’s advice about his re-election prospects in Tennessee.

Trump tweeted Corker’s remarks last week that Trump has yet to show he possesses the “stability” and “competence” to perform the duties of the presidency are “strange” because the lawmaker “is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in ’18.”

Russia Portfolio Comes in Handy for Senate Staffer
Shaheen aide Naz Durakoglu comes via Atlantic Council, State Dept., House

Naz Durakoglu is a senior foreign policy adviser to New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. (Screenshot, Middle East Institute)

Naz Durakoglu started her new job working for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in early June, shortly after the New Hampshire Democrat had pushed to add Russia sanctions to an Iran sanctions bill as it moved through the Foreign Relations Committee.

But after Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee said he would move ahead with a bipartisan effort to tighten sanctions against Moscow, Shaheen withdrew her amendments. The timing, though, put Durakoglu, as a senior foreign policy adviser to Shaheen, in the middle of discussions about how to respond to Russia’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 election.

Podcast: Why You Shouldn’t Be Alarmed Over North Korea...Yet
The Week Ahead, Episode 65

President Donald Trump speaks during a security briefing on Thursday at his Bedminster National Golf Club in New Jersey. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump’s fiery rhetoric over North Korea’s nuclear program should not be taken seriously just yet, says CQ Roll Call’s foreign policy reporter Rachel Oswald, adding that Congress may take further action against Pyongyang in September.

Show Notes:

Trump Thanks Putin for Expelling U.S. Diplomats
President later says he was ‘absolutely’ being sarcastic

President Donald Trump arrives for a working session at the G-20 economic summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 8. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images file photo)

Updated Friday, 8:15 p.m. | President Donald Trump thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for his decision to expel hundreds of American diplomats based in Moscow, saying it will help reduce the U.S. government’s payroll.

The Kremlin’s decision to expel 755 U.S. diplomats by Sept. 1 came after Congress overwhelmingly passed a measure aimed at imposing sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. Trump, who signed the bill on Aug. 2, expressed his appreciation Thursday for Putin’s move.

Trump Backs GOP Immigration Bill, but Rift Within Party Widens
Senate’s No. 2 Republican sees ‘opportunity’ for Congress amid WH ‘chaos’

Activists demonstrate in Washington against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies in May. On Wednesday, Trump threw his backing behind new immigration legislation by Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday waded into the politically choppy waters of immigration law alongside two fellow Republicans, but the brief image of party unity failed to completely obscure a growing rift with other GOP senators.

Trump hosted Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and and David Perdue of Georgia, a longtime ally, at the White House to discuss their legislation that would impose a skills-based criteria on individuals hoping to obtain U.S. citizenship. It was a moment of Republican comity after weeks of slowly increasing tensions between Trump and the Senate GOP conference.