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The Week Ahead In World Affairs

With Jane Clayson

Top reporters open their notebooks and look ahead to the week in Washington and around the globe.


Susan Glasser, staff writer for The New Yorker. Former chief international affairs columnist for Politico and former editor in chief of Foreign Policy magazine. (@sbg1)

Eliana Johnson, White House reporter for Politico. (@elianayjohnson)

John McCormack, senior writer at The Weekly Standard. (@McCormackJohn)

From The Reading List:

The New Yorker: “The Price Of Getting Inside Trump’s Head” — “Many of those whose job it is to understand Trump believe, as the Washington Post White House bureau chief, Philip Rucker, put it, that “the Donald Trump of today is the same Donald Trump of decades past, so to decode his moves as President, I find it especially instructive to talk to his biographers for insights into his actions and characteristics before he took office.” Among those he and others named were Timothy L. O’Brien, the author of “TrumpNation,” and Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter of “The Art of the Deal,” the book that made Trump a household name. Another White House correspondent recommended “Trumped!,” a tell-all by one of Trump’s former casino executives, Jack O’Donnell. “All the same traits repeat themselves now,” the correspondent wrote to me. “The grandiosity, the impatience and impulsiveness, the repeated lies. He observed Trump up close for three years and writes with more honesty and sharper observational powers than anyone else who had that kind of sustained proximity to Trump over the years.”

Politico: “Advisers bad-mouth Nielsen as a ‘never Trumper’” — “Trump’s advisers have been increasingly criticizing the Homeland Security chief in private conversations with the president, arguing that she isn’t doing enough to improve border security and noting that she wasn’t a vocal Trump supporter during the campaign, three people familiar with the internal discussions told POLITICO.

As a result, Trump has come to believe that Nielsen — who considered quitting this week after the president berated her over an uptick in migrant arrests — is not focused enough on carrying out his immigration agenda, one of the people said. The president has told friends that he believes chief of staff John Kelly, with whom he has a strained relationship, foisted his deputy Nielsen upon him, according to two of the people, complaining that he didn’t know what he was getting.”

The Weekly Standard: Well, That Could Have Gone Worse” — “Republicans breathed a sigh of relief on May 8 when Don Blankenship—a bigot with a penchant for going after what he called “China people” and a coal baron who went to jail for a disaster that killed 29 miners—was soundly defeated in West Virginia’s GOP Senate primary. Following a May 1 prime-time Fox News debate in which Blankenship’s Republican rivals, Congressman Evan Jenkins and state attorney general Patrick Morrisey, attacked each other and ignored Blankenship, a handful of internal polls (conducted by the Jenkins and Morrisey campaigns and a Republican pollster unconnected to either candidate) suggested Blankenship got a bump that put him into contention to win the nomination. No public polls were released in the final two weeks of the campaign.”

Big week in Washington and around the world. The American Embassy to Israel opens its doors in Jerusalem amid protests in Gaza. The Middle East still reeling from President Trump’s Iran nuclear deal withdrawal. North Korea vows to demolish nuclear test site. President Trump brings America First to big pharma. And Congress gears up to address Gina Haspel and competing immigration bills.

This hour, On Point: Top reporters open their notebooks and look at the week ahead.

– Jane Clayson

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President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at South Bend International Airport in South Bend, Ind., Thursday, May 10, 2018, en route to Washington. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at South Bend International Airport in South Bend, Ind., Thursday, May 10, 2018, en route to Washington. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)