From the shutdown that won’t end to the latest revelation about the president and Russia, it’s been a busy week in American politics. Here are some of the biggest stories you might have missed (and some links if you’d like to read further).
No end in sight for the shutdown.
In its fourth week, the government shutdown has cascaded across generations, from children worried about their parents to college students unable to pay tuition to federal workers filing for unemployment. It’s also beginning to affect federal court funding and criminal justice reform.
But as the effects spread, Washington is still at a stalemate. President Trump rejected a proposal from the Republican senator Lindsey Graham on Monday to temporarily reopen the government in an effort to jump-start negotiations with Democrats. Democrats, in turn, rejected an invite from Mr. Trump on Tuesday to discuss the shutdown over lunch at the White House.
The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, asked Mr. Trump on Wednesday to scrap or delay his State of the Union address, citing security and logistical concerns stemming from the shutdown. Mr. Trump retaliated on Thursday by grounding the military plane that was going to take the speaker and other lawmakers to Afghanistan, a trip he called a “public relations event.” Ms. Pelosi ultimately postponed her plans, saying that Mr. Trump’s announcement “had significantly increased the danger” of the trip.
Lawmakers are beginning to float the idea that perhaps federal workers shouldn’t show up to work at all; House Democrats are contemplating a homeland security spending measure with their own ideas for securing the border; and Mr. Trump is growing increasingly anxious.
More on Trump and Russia.
Last weekend, a Fox News host asked Mr. Trump whether he was a Russian agent, and the president didn’t give a direct answer. (He later said that he wasn’t.) This week, it emerged that Mr. Trump has repeatedly withheld details of his conversations with the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, from his own aides, even taking notes from an interpreter who attended one of their meetings.
Throughout his presidency, Mr. Trump has insisted that there was “no collusion” with Russia during his 2016 campaign. But on each of the five times he has met with Mr. Putin since taking office, he has fueled suspicions about their relationship.
Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, backtracked on Thursday from earlier remarks in which he seemed to leave open the possibility that Trump campaign aides had coordinated with Russia in its election interference.
After Mr. Trump made cryptic comments about his former attorney Michael Cohen, top Democrats in Congress warned Sunday that any effort to discourage or influence a witness’s testimony could be construed as a crime. On Friday, BuzzFeed News reported that Mr. Trump had directed Mr. Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump skyscraper in Moscow. But the special counsel’s office disputed the report.
A congressman is punished for racist remarks.
House Republican leaders removed Representative Steve King of Iowa from powerful committee posts on Monday, after Mitch McConnell suggested he find “another line of work” and Mitt Romney said he should resign. The punishment came after Mr. King, who has a long history of racist remarks, made comments to The Times last week questioning why white supremacy was considered offensive.
On Tuesday, Republicans began pushing Mr. King toward the exit and created a super PAC aimed at unseating him in 2020. The House also voted nearly unanimously to endorse a resolution that rejected white nationalism and white supremacy as “hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States.”
Many Iowa voters still like Mr. King, our reporter found, despite his open defense of white supremacy. But they also recognize that his career is effectively over.
Here’s what else happened this week:
• Julián Castro, the former housing secretary and onetime mayor of San Antonio, announced that he would run for president. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, an outspoken advocate of women’s causes, also entered the 2020 race this week.
• Senator Bernie Sanders met with former staff members who conveyed their dismay over mistreatment of women during his 2016 campaign, hoping to calm unrest that is shadowing his potential 2020 bid.
• President Trump will meet with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, for a second time, despite little progress in eliminating the North’s nuclear arsenal.
• A government report found that the number of children separated from their parents at the border may be thousands higher than the Department of Health and Human Services previously said.
• The Department of Veterans Affairs is preparing to shift billions of dollars from government-run veterans’ hospitals to private health care providers, its biggest transformation in a generation.
• Ivanka Trump, the president’s eldest daughter, is helping Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, choose the next president of the World Bank. They’re considering Indra K. Nooyi, a former chief executive of PepsiCo, for the position.
• Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a Democratic candidate for president, apologized for her record of anti-gay rhetoric and her past work for an anti-gay advocacy group.
Today’s On Politics briefing was compiled by Isabella Grullón Paz in New York.
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