Monday, May 7

Š           Vice President Mike Pence announced new sanctions on three Venezuelans and 20 companies with ties to socialist President Nicolas Maduro for narcotics trafficking. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-oas-pence-sanctions/pence-to-announce-new-venezuela-sanctions-in-speech-on-monday-aide-idUSKBN1I81S1

Š           Politico reported that Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is also the wife of Sen. Mitch McConnell, may have violated ethics rules by appearing in a series of Chinese-language television spots with her shipping magnate father in front of the official DOT seal. https://politi.co/2jBUAvq

Tuesday, May 8

Š           Fair-housing advocates filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and HUD Secretary Ben Carson for suspending an Obama-era rule requiring communities to examine and address barriers to racial integration. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/hud-secretary-ben-carson-to-be-sued-for-suspending-obama-era-fair-housing-rule/2018/05/07/ef72db8a-523c-11e8-a551-5b648abe29ef_story.html

Š           The Trump administration proposed $15.4 billion in spending cuts to monies already authorized by congress but not yet been paid out. Almost half the cuts, $6.98 billion, would be to the Children’s Health Insurance Program. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/08/whats-on-the-trump-administrations-15b-cost-cutting-list-521999

Š           President Donald Trump announced he is pulling the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal and instituting new sanctions against Iran. https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/08/politics/donald-trump-iran-deal-announcement-decision/index.html

Š           Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat said a square near the proposed site of a new U.S. embassy there will be named in honor of President Trump. https://www.politico.eu/article/jerusalem-to-name-square-after-us-president-donald-trump/

Wednesday, May 9

Š           CIA director nominee Gina Haspel told the Senate Committee on Intelligence, “I don’t believe torture works,” and promised not to re-open the agencies enhanced interrogation program while refusing to condemn the agencies previous interrogation methods. https://politi.co/2I9vVcn

Š           Trump announced that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on the way back from North Korea with three recently released Americans who had been held there as “prisoners of war” for espionage or “hostile acts” against the Kim Jong Un regime. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/pompeo-north-korea-can-haverichly-deserved-opportunities-in-return-for-peace/2018/05/09/b51febfa-51a4-11e8-b00a-17f9fda3859b_story.html?utm_term=.1727406891fe&wpisrc=al_news__alert-world--alert-national&w

Š           Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.) became the first incumbent member of Congress knocked out in a primary in 2018.

Š           There were 20 open Democratic House primaries with women on the ballot Tuesday night, and voters selected a female nominee in 17 of them. https://politi.co/2KOd3kD

Š           Trump berated Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in a Cabinet meeting on immigration when told that the number of people arrested for illegally crossing the Mexico border topped 50,000 for the second consecutive month. The blowup lasted more than 30 minutes. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-unloads-on-homeland-security-secretary-in-lengthy-immigration-tirade/2018/05/10/f0ded152-54a0-11e8-9c91-7dab596e8252_story.html?utm_term=.eb54f4511636&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1

Thursday, May 10

Š           The White House announced that Trump will meet with Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, June 12, in Singapore.

Š           Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released documents including more than 3,000 Facebook and Instagram ads purchased by Russian “trolls” to target Mexican-Americans. The apparent goal was to spread chaos in U.S. politics, since the troll group posted ads on both sides of political debates. https://cnnmon.ie/2G3NFDY

Friday, May 11

Š           ABC news reported that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating donations with foreign connections — Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar — to the Trump inauguration committee. https://abcn.ws/2IbyBWB

Š           NPR reported that Kremlin-linked Russian politician Alexander Torshin has traveled frequently between Moscow and various locations in the U.S. since 2009 seeking to build relationships with figures on the American right. https://n.pr/2jSOHdb

Š           Politico published an op-ed by Sen. Rand Paul urging Gina Haspel, nominee to head the CIA to declassify documents showing her involvement in “extreme rendition” and torture-by-proxy, and saying the Senate should reject her nomination if she does not. https://politi.co/2rzSd0j

Saturday, May 12

Š           Politico reported on an April 30 Pentagon report heavily critical of a Jared Kushner-backed health care software project for the Veterans Administration, saying it is riddled with problems so severe they could have led to patient deaths. https://politi.co/2jOZs0m

Š           The Wall Street Journal reported that special counsel Robert Mueller asked Ford Motor Co. for records concerning Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s offer to provide consulting services to the carmaker, touting his closeness to the president. https://on.wsj.com/2wzRQYB

Sunday, May 13

Š           The U.S. delegation to the opening of the U. S. embassy in Jerusalem arrived in Israel.

Š           CNN reported that former Trump campaign aide Bryan Lanza lobbied to help the Russian firm EN+ Group be freed from U.S. sanctions. https://cnn.it/2KWflhS

Š           Sen. Lindsey Graham, told Margaret Brennan on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that a callous comment by White House aide Kelly Sadler about Sen. John McCain’s brain cancer was “pretty disgusting” and that he wished the White House should disavow the comment.