Sen. Rand Paul (R-NY) said that he was “honored” to deliver a letter from President Trump to the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin during his trip to Moscow this week, NBC News reports.
“Vladimir Putin presented President Trump with a series of requests during their private meeting in Helsinki last month, including new talks on controlling nuclear arms and prohibiting weapons in space,” according to a Russian document obtained by Politico.
“A page of proposed topics for negotiation, not previously made public, offers new insights into the substance of the July 16 dialogue that even Trump’s top advisers have said they were not privy to at the time. Putin shared the contents of the document with Trump during their two-hour conversation.”
White House national security adviser John Bolton told Fox News that North Korea has not made progress toward denuclearization, in stark contrast to President Trump’s claims of an agreement with Kim Jong Un.
Said Bolton: “The United States has lived up to the Singapore declaration. It’s just North Korea that has not taken the steps we feel are necessary to denuclearize.”
“The Trump administration said it would restore sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear accord at midnight on Monday, ratcheting up pressure on Tehran while worsening a divide with Europe,” the New York Times reports.
“The new sanctions are a consequence of President Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from the nuclear deal with world powers…. European officials have said that the Iran nuclear agreement is crucial to their national security. International inspectors have concluded that Iran is complying with the accord.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) “used a protester’s outburst Saturday to riff on how unhinged the left is, how the display of anger was evidence of the tough race he faces against Rep. Beto O’Rourke in the fall, and how it was really President Obama who colluded with Russia,” the Austin American Statesman reports.
Said Cruz: “It seems to me the very definition of cowardice is standing up and screaming like a child and being afraid to engage in any substance, not knowing any substance, which is why you’re afraid to engage in any substance, and just yelling, ‘Russia, Russia, Russia,’ which is what I guess the fever swamps of the left have told him.”
He added: “The irony of course is that eight years of Obama were eight years of absolute appeasement. We saw eight years of bootlicking for Vladimir Putin.”
“Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro survived an apparent assassination attempt Saturday after several drones armed with explosives flew toward him during a speech at a military parade,” CNN reports.
“Live footage of the event showed him suddenly looking up startled mid-speech, while beside him his wife, Cilia Flores, winces after a loud bang.”
A new United Nations report finds that North Korea “has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and is violating U.N. sanctions including by ‘a massive increase in illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products,'” the AP reports.
“A summary of the report by experts monitoring U.N. sanctions against North Korea, which was sent to the Security Council Friday night… said North Korea is also violating sanctions by transferring coal at sea and flouting an arms embargo and financial sanctions.”
Washington Post: “China will impose tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods if the United States presses ahead with its latest trade threats, Beijing warned Friday. The move was cast as a response to an Aug. 2 plan to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent.”
“I have great respect for the U.K. United Kingdom. Great respect. People call it Britain. They call it Great Britain. They used to call it England, different parts.”
— President Trump, at a rally in Pennsylvania.
“U.S. counter-intelligence investigators discovered a suspected Russian spy had been working undetected in the heart of the American embassy in Moscow for more than a decade,” the Guardian reports.
“The Russian national had been hired by the U.S. Secret Service and is understood to have had access to the agency’s intranet and email systems, which gave her a window into highly potentially confidential material including the schedules of the president and vice-president.”
“Arms control experts confirm to NBC News that both satellite photos and U.S. intelligence show North Korea is continuing to produce ballistic missiles and work on its missile program, even after the historic June summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The experts point specifically to a July 7 satellite photo that shows activity consistent with missile production.”
“U.S. spy agencies are seeing signs that North Korea is constructing new missiles at a factory that produced the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States,” the Washington Post reports.
“Newly obtained evidence, including satellite photos taken in recent weeks, indicates that work is underway on at least one, and possibly two, liquid-fueled ICBMs at a large research facility in Sanumdong, on the outskirts of Pyongyang.”
President Trump said he is willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani anytime, saying that he believes it is always better to meet with adversaries, the Washington Post reports.
Said Trump: “No preconditions. If they want to meet, I’ll meet. Anytime they want.”
“The Russian government has sold off the vast majority of its holdings of U.S. Treasury securities for reasons that remain mysterious, in a dramatic move that experts are calling unprecedented,” the Daily Mail reports.
“A U.S. Treasury report released on July 18 shows that Russian holdings of Treasury securities declined by 84% between March and May, down to just $14.9 billion from March holdings of $96.1 billion.”
“The Trump administration is urging American-backed Afghan troops to retreat from sparsely populated areas of the country, officials said, all but ensuring the Taliban will remain in control of vast stretches of the country,” the New York Times reports.
“The approach is outlined in a previously undisclosed part of the war strategy that President Trump announced last year… It is meant to protect military forces from attacks at isolated and vulnerable outposts, and focuses on protecting cities such as Kabul, the capital, and other population centers.”
“Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he had invited Donald Trump to Moscow and that both he and the U.S. president want further summits, despite the uproar in Washington after the two leaders met in Helsinki last week,” Reuters reports.
“Putin did not say how Trump had reacted to the invitation to travel to Moscow. The last time Trump was in the Russian capital was in 2013, to attend a Miss Universe beauty pageant.”