Here Are the Biggest Stories in American Politics This Week

Whether it was President Trump’s first state dinner, the visits of two prominent European leaders, the withdrawal of the president’s nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs or a summit meeting between the leaders of North and South Korea, it was a big week in American politics and diplomacy. Here’s a look back at what you might have missed.

Amid allegations about his conduct, Ronny Jackson withdrew his nomination to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, the White House physician, withdrew his nomination to be secretary of veterans affairs on Thursday after lawmakers publicized a litany of allegations about him. The accusations included accounts of his liberally giving out prescription medication, being intoxicated at work and presiding over a hostile work environment.

President Trump and other top administration officials strongly defended Dr. Jackson, citing favorable performance reviews from previous administrations. But interviews with current and former colleagues showed that the isolation of the White House medical unit hid the perception of Dr. Jackson as a bully who loosely dispensed strong drugs, kept sloppy records and drank too much.

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President Trump hosted two world leaders at the White House this week. One reception featured far more pomp and circumstance than the other.

President Emmanuel Macron of France came to the United States with the intention of persuading Mr. Trump to not scrap the Iran nuclear deal next month, but it remained unclear whether he made progress toward that goal.

And while Mr. Macron criticized Mr. Trump’s policies in a rare joint address before Congress, the bromance between the two flourished during the visit. Mr. Macron and his wife, Brigitte, were treated to the administration’s first state dinner, a 21-gun salute and a private evening at George Washington’s home.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany received a less extravagant greeting when she arrived on Friday. She reiterated Mr. Macron’s push for the United States to remain part of the nuclear deal and pressed for a stronger commitment that the European Union would be exempt from the coming steel and aluminum tariffs.

It’s likely that when Mr. Trump visits Britain in July — an on-again, off-again trip announced Thursday — he will receive a similarly subdued reception.

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The Supreme Court heard arguments on the president’s travel ban.

For the first time, the Supreme Court heard arguments over Mr. Trump’s efforts to impose a ban on travel to the United States from several predominately Muslim countries. Although a decision was not made, the court’s five-member conservative majority seemed ready to approve a revised version of the president’s plan.

Justices also heard arguments in their third voting-rights case of the term, weighing a long-running dispute over congressional and state legislative districts in Texas. Challengers say the districts discriminate against minority voters.

The court upheld the constitutionality of a procedure that eases challenges to questionable patents. In a separate case, it ruled that foreign corporations — in this case, a bank based in Jordan with a branch in New York — may not be sued for complicity in human rights abuses abroad.

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As a bill protecting the special counsel moved forward in Congress, new developments in the Russia investigation emerged.

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced bipartisan legislation on Thursday that would protect special counsels, like Robert S. Mueller III, who is leading the Russia investigation. And while Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, has said he will not allow the bill to reach the floor for a vote, the bipartisan support in the committee sends a warning message to Mr. Trump about the consequences of firing Mr. Mueller.

It was also revealed Friday that the Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower in June 2016 has recanted her earlier denials of Russian government ties and admitted that she was a source of information for a top Kremlin official. The revelation came hours before Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee announced they had found no evidence that the Trump campaign aided Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, the latest high-profile addition to the president’s legal team, is said to be working to reopen negotiations on a possible interview between the president and the special counsel.

Mr. Trump continued to distance himself from Michael D. Cohen, his personal lawyer who is under investigation from the Justice Department. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also declined to say whether he had recused himself from the inquiry into Mr. Cohen, given his recusal from the special counsel’s investigation. He also declined to answer when asked if he would quit if Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, was fired.

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With a new secretary of state in place, the Trump administration moved forward with outreach — to foreign countries and rappers.

The Senate confirmed Mike Pompeo, the former C.I.A. director and a foreign policy hawk, as the country’s 70th secretary of state on Thursday. The confirmation followed a late approval from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which almost failed to give him a favorable vote.

On his first full day as secretary of state, Mr. Pompeo traveled to Europe and warned that Mr. Trump may withdraw from the Iran deal early next month. He also called for European countries to increase their military spending.

Mr. Trump announced Tuesday that he would dispatch Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, and other economic advisers to China next week. With the two countries locked in a tit-for-tat tariff battle, Mr. Mnuchin and the rest of the American delegation will be charged with forestalling an all-out trade war.

In an unusual Twitter exchange that bypassed the usual topics of media and politics, Mr. Trump reached out to Kanye West, the bombastic rapper and longtime supporter. The president publicly thanked Mr. West after the rapper praised him on Twitter, asserting that the two were brothers who shared “dragon energy.”

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In Congress, lawmakers tangled with Trump officials — and with each other.

In a series of hearings and briefings this week, lawmakers interviewed Mr. Sessions, questioned the salary of the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and grilled Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The most contentious hearing was with Mr. Pruitt, who faced an entire day of questions about his spending, housing arrangements and raises for staff members. But he dodged the blame, pointing a finger instead on decisions made by his employees.

The news that Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, had asked for the resignation of the House chaplain two weeks ago set off further division in Congress. The Rev. Patrick J. Conroy said he believed a prayer he gave while the House was debating tax overhaul legislation is what elicited Mr. Ryan’s ire.

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The leaders of North and South Korea met, a first step toward Mr. Trump’s expected summit meeting with Kim Jong-un.

Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, crossed the border on Friday to meet with the South’s president, Moon Jae-in, at the village of Panmunjom. The leaders agreed to work to remove all nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula and pursue talks with the United States to formally end the Korean War.

It was the first time a North Korean leader had ever stepped foot in the South, something Mr. Trump applauded on Friday. It paves the way for a summit meeting between the American and North Korean leaders. But Mr. Trump vowed that he would not be fooled by the North the way he said his predecessors had.

The Trump administration also abruptly redirected Washington’s pick to be ambassador to Australia, and instead named him the American envoy to Seoul. It fills a diplomatic void right before Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim are scheduled to meet.

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