Today in 5 Lines
President Trump continued to publicly criticize Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the party’s failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. During a brief press appearance, he declined to say whether McConnell should resign, but told reporters they should ask him again down the road. Trump also doubled down on his threats to North Korea, saying that the country should “get their act together or they’re going to be in trouble like few nations ever have been in trouble in this world.” Trump announced that he is declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain declared “America is adrift in Afghanistan,” and said that he will seek a vote on his “strategy for success” when the chamber returns from recess.
- Republican senators – including Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, both up for re-election next year – are coming to the defense of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is facing attacks from President Donald Trump. (The Hill)
- Trump on Thursday declared the opioid crisis a “national emergency,” pledging “to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money” to address the problem. He has not yet adopted any specific recommendations from the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. (The Washington Post)
- Russian President Vladimir Putin got the praise of Trump, rather than a critique, after he expelled 755 American diplomats from Moscow. Trump said he was “very thankful that he let go of a large number of people, because now we have a smaller payroll.” (The New York Times)
- Some Democratic senators are accusing the Trump administration of ignoring them when nominating judges from their states, breaking longstanding tradition. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has also said he would be willing to advance the nominees without the home-state senators’ approval. (Politico)