Will President Trump Talk to North Korea?


President Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that the U.S. was done talking with North Korea, which launched a ballistic missile over Japan earlier this week. But he’s being contradicted by his Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, who told reporters that there is always time for diplomacy. Even as Trump once again ratchets up his rhetoric against the regime, his own former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, recently proclaimed that there was no military solution to the conflict.

Trump is set to begin his public campaign for the GOP’s tax reform efforts Wednesday in a speech in Missouri. Trump won’t have many specifics to tout—including changes to rates or deductions—rather just the Republican Party’s commitment to vague principles for reform. It comes as the party remains divided over precisely what to do on taxes: whether its plan must be revenue neutral, just how to allocate the costs/benefits between corporations and individual taxpayers, and whether it should be permanent or temporary.

Trump keeps the focus on himself in Texas. Ted Cruz under fire for his Sandy vote. And Don Jr. will testify.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

Even in Visiting Hurricane-Ravaged Texas, Trump Keeps the Focus on Himself
Focus on crowd size, no mention of victims [Washington Post]

Mattis Freezes Trump Transgender Policy
Allows troops to continue serving, pending study [USA Today]

Special Counsel Subpoenas Manafort’s Former Attorney and Spokesman
An aggressive tactic by prosecutors [CNN]

Trump to Promote ‘Vision’ for Job Creation Via Tax Overhaul
Few specifics expected as Trump strikes populist tone [Associated Press]

Trump’s Shrinking West Wing
After a summer of departures by senior officials, none have been replaced, with current staff taking on double roles while other jobs are eliminated altogether.

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Sound Off

“I see Senator Cruz and it’s disgusting to me that he stands in a recovery center with victims standing behind him as a backdrop and still repeating the same reprehensible lies about what happened in Sandy, and it’s unacceptable to me. Absolutely unacceptable.” — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie criticizing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz over his vote against Hurricane Sandy aid

“No, we’re never out of diplomatic solutions” — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis responding to President Donald Trump’s tweet that “Talking is not the answer!” on North Korea

Bits and Bites

Body-slammed reporter wants to know why Rep. Gianforte still won’t grant interview [CNN]

Judge dismisses Sarah Palin’s lawsuit against New York Times [CNN]

Chris Christie’s Advice to President Trump: Don’t Burn Bridges With the GOP [TIME]

Sean Spicer finally gets to meet Pope Francis [America]

Donald Trump Jr. set to testify before Senate Judiciary panel [Politico]

President Trump Hopes His Response to Hurricane Harvey Will Be a Model [Bloomberg]



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