On Politics: Trump Ordered Kushner’s Security Clearance

Good Friday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today.


Internal memos reveal that President Trump ordered his chief of staff to grant Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser, a top-secret security clearance last year, overruling concerns from intelligence officials. The memos contradict statements made by the president, who told The Times in January that he had no role in Mr. Kushner’s clearance.

Mr. Trump bet that his self-described skills as a master negotiator would be enough to persuade North Korea to renounce its nuclear weapons program. In failing, he laid bare the risks of one-to-one diplomacy.

Under a new Pentagon plan being offered in peace talks with the Taliban, all American and foreign troops would leave Afghanistan in the next three to five years.

Mr. Trump declared on Thursday that troops “took over 100 percent” of territory controlled by the Islamic State in Syria. “It’s 100 percent not true,” one senior official said.

For many Americans, the testimony of Mr. Trump’s ex-fixer Michael Cohen was just one more television show, doing little to change how they already felt about the president, good or bad.

Mr. Cohen’s testimony about Mr. Trump’s potentially felonious conduct has not moved House Democratic leaders closer to initiating impeachment proceedings. They see endless, overlapping investigations as a more damaging course of action.

Mr. Trump and his top economic advisers have sent a series of conflicting messages about the status of trade talks with China: A deal is either imminent, still out of reach or somewhere in between.

• The House passed a measure to extend, to 10 days from three, the time the F.B.I. has to conduct background checks for gun purchasers flagged by an instant check system.

A clash over racism between a freshman Democrat and a Republican revealed as much about the divide within the Democratic Party as the one between Democrats and Republicans.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos plans to support a proposal for a $5 billion federal tax credit for donations to scholarships for private schools and other educational programs.

Virginia’s first lady, Pam Northam, apologized for handing raw cotton to black children touring the governor’s mansion and asking them to imagine being enslaved and having to pick the crop.


Today’s On Politics briefing was compiled by Isabella Grullón Paz in New York.

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