Political News

6 storylines to watch on the Fourth of July -- and beyond

Posted July 3, 2018 4:38 p.m. EDT

— It's (almost) the Fourth of July -- a day for rest and relaxation for most of us. (This feels like the right time to let you know there will be no Point newsletter tomorrow. We'll be back Thursday.)

So as we take a mid-week pause for barbecue and America, it's worth remembering just how many balls are in the air for President Donald Trump right now.


1. Trump plans to unveil his Supreme Court nominee on Monday, setting off a heated fight over whether his pick -- if confirmed -- could alter the ideological balance on the Court and potentially jeopardize legalized abortion, among other hot-button issues.

2. Negotiations between the United States and North Korea are ongoing -- even as evidence has emerged that the rogue nation is ramping up construction at a ballistic missile facility. Trump has insisted on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula but there's little concrete evidence -- yet -- to back up the idea that North Korea will go for that.

3. There is still no long-term -- or medium-term -- fix for the family separation crisis at the border. Congress is spending this week on recess and Trump seems disinclined to rescind the "zero-tolerance" policy his administration put in place this spring. And sidebar: Is comprehensive immigration reform dead?

4. The federal government will run out of money at the end of September. Neither the White House nor congressional Democrats seem willing to give on the push/pull between full funding of the President's border wall and a path to citizenship for DACA recipients.

5. Trump is set to meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland on July 16. Trump is expected to meet one-on-one with Putin during that summit.

6. Special counsel Robert Mueller continues his probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the possibility of collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign.

The Point: All of these balls are likely to drop sometime between now and November. How they fall will factor hugely in the midterms -- and the outlook for Trump going into the 2020 campaign.

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