Good Wednesday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today.
• The use of social media by Chinese government operatives for what American officials and executives call nefarious purposes has drawn heightened scrutiny. The most recent red flag is the use of LinkedIn by Chinese agents to contact thousands of foreign citizens, including former government officials, in attempts to recruit spies.
• As farmers grow unsettled about President Trump’s trade war with China, his agriculture secretary, Sonny Perdue, is tasked with fending off a revolt from the heart of the president’s base.
• The trade conflict between the United States and China has become so caustic that the two countries cannot even agree if they are talking, leaving Trump’s top economic aides straining to back up the president without contradicting him.
• For years, there has been fierce debate over water levels at a popular lake in Oklahoma. Senator James Inhofe, who has a vacation home there, took the matter to Capitol Hill.
• As Tropical Storm Dorian drew closer on Tuesday, Puerto Rico braced for the possibility that it would not just sideswipe the island but perhaps make landfall there. The authorities declared an emergency, closed schools early and prepared emergency shelter for tens of thousands of people.
• For Native American tribes, treaties with the United States government have often led to displacement, removal and outright erasure. Now, the Cherokee Nation is using them to demand representation in Congress.
• Tom Steyer is spending millions of dollars to get money out of politics. He’s also trying to buy his way onto the debate stage. The billionaire former investor is an unlikely populist, but he is poised to be a deeply disruptive figure in the Democratic primary.
• In the days since Joe Walsh announced he would challenge Mr. Trump for the Republican nomination, the former Tea Party congressman has been forced to confront his history of racist comments and problematic behavior.