foreign-policy

Space Force: Trump Drives New Partisan Split Over Old Issue
Democrats and Republicans divided on proposal, new poll says

President Donald Trump’s public embrace of the Space Force has driven a deep partisan divide on the effort, a new poll found. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Its cool science-fiction title alone practically oozes nostalgia for the starbound adventures of American astronauts, the spirit of Cold War competition and pride for American dominance in space. So why are most Democrats not on board with the Space Force?

Sixty-nine percent of them disapproved of the White House’s effort to establish a sixth branch of the military focused on defending U.S. interests in space, according to a new poll released Wednesday. And only 12 percent supported it. The reaction from Republicans was almost exactly flipped: 68 percent of Republicans supported the proposal, while only 14 percent opposed it. 

7 Ways the Senate Can Spend the Rest of August
A few real problems have bubbled up while senators were away

There’s no shortage of things for senators to do while in town this month, Murphy writes. Above, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., arrives at the Capitol for a vote in April. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Welcome back to the grind, senators and staff. If you were only watching cable news over your abridged recess, you might have been lulled into the idea that the only messes in Washington you would come back to were Omarosa’s habit of recording conversations in the Situation Room and what we’ve learned so far about Paul Manafort’s choice of outerwear from his trial — ostrich. So gross.

But while some in the D.C. media were caught up in the Trump train wrecks of the day, a few real problems bubbled up while you were gone. Somebody has to deal with them, so as long as you’re here — why not you?

3 Takeaways From the Pence ‘Space Force’ Sales Pitch
Vice president ignores white elephant: a skeptical military and Congress

Space Force was on the mind of Vice President Mike Pence, seen here in the Rotunda last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There’s a new applause line in President Donald Trump’s campaign spiel.

It’s not quite up there with “Crooked Hillary” or demanding professional football players who kneel for the National Anthem to “get the hell out of here.” Crowds react with loud cheers when the president touts his envisioned “Space Force.”

Trump’s Foreign Trips Get Low Marks New Poll Shows
Less than a third of Americans see success in Russia, North Korea summits

President Donald Trump’s foreign trips received tepid support from Americans in a new poll. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s summits in North Korea and Russia have received tepid support at home, with less than a third of Americans saying the trips were a success in an Economist/YouGov poll released Wednesday.

The June 12 meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un was successful 28 percent of respondents said, while 33 percent said it was unsuccessful and 39 percent said they were not sure.

Don’t Let China Snag Another Foreign Port, Senators Warn
Possible Chinese military moves in Pakistan latest worry for lawmakers

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., and 15 other senators wants the Trump administration to work with the IMF to offer developing countries in need of infrastructure financing alternatives to Chinese credit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A bipartisan group of senators is calling on the Trump administration to counter China’s economic expansion as the lawmakers fear that Beijing plans to leverage its foreign investments and lending for infrastructure projects into strategic military footholds.

Georgia Republican David Perdue, along with 15 other senators, raised the issue in a Friday letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

Sen. Rand Paul Invites Top Russians to U.S. as They Claim No Election Interference
‘We all do it,’ Kentucky Republican has said of election interference

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., invited top Russian government officials to the U.S. later this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Rand Paul invited top Russian government officials to visit the U.S. later this year to continue a dialogue on important national security issues, he announced Monday.

The Kentucky Republican, who is leading a legislative delegation in the country this week, met with Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the Russian Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs. That committee is the Russian equivalent of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee that Paul sits on.

White House’s Mixed Messages to Iran Continue With Sanctions
Economic penalties had been removed under nuclear pact Trump left

U.S. President Donald Trump departs the White House July 31, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Updated 11:14 a.m. | The Trump administration reactivated sanctions Monday on Iran in an attempt to further squeeze its stumbling economy, a tough move that is the latest in a volley of mixed signals from Washington.

“Our actions will continue to limit Iran” from obtaining the resources needed to “support its malign behavior” across the Middle East, a senior administration official said Monday. “We are fully committed to rigorously enforcing our sanctions … to ensure they fully change course.”

GOP Congress Tries to Rein In Trump on Foreign Policy
From the Koreas to Russia, president’s own party works to pre-empt him on multiple fronts

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un participate in a June 11 signing ceremony in Singapore. While Trump wants to reduce the presence of U.S. troops in South Korea, the NDAA conference report would limit how easily he could bring home all but a fraction of American troops stationed on the peninsula. (Evan Vucci/AP file photo)

The Republican-led Congress is increasingly writing and occasionally passing legislation to prevent President Donald Trump from taking what members believe would be ill-advised actions abroad.

The bills are few in number so far, and mostly subtle in effect. But they show how even members of Trump’s own party are restive about the commander in chief’s intentions and want to pre-empt him on multiple fronts.

Foreign Influence Peddlers Show Face in Wake of Manafort Woes
Foreign Agent registrations have spiked since former Trump aide indictment

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse after a court hearing in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It will be months before we know the full extent of Paul Manafort’s impact on the culture of Washington influence peddling. 

But as Manafort’s trial continues this week, this much is already clear: the former Trump aide’s legal woes have made the world of D.C. lobbyists who work for foreign governments slightly less murky.

So... How Does the White House Really Feel About Russia?
Trump undercuts security officials again with ‘the Russian hoax’

President Donald Trump on Thursday dismissed criticism of his Finland summit with Vladimir Putin just hours after his national security team warned Putin is overseeing an ongoing campaign to upend the U.S. political system. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images file photo)

Senior U.S. national security officials were clear Thursday afternoon: The Kremlin was involved in meddling in the 2016 American election and continues to be oversee efforts to do so again. Hours later, however, President Donald Trump described himself and Russian President Vladimir Putin as buddies.

As it often does, the Trump White House on Thursday sent mixed — starkly opposite, really — messages about Moscow’s ongoing hostile actions to upend the American political system and U.S.-Russian relations. The confusion leaves those very officials and lawmakers — including Republicans who have criticized Trump as too weak on Putin — still searching for the official administration stance on election meddling and posture toward America’s Cold War rival.