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Announcing the Fall 2017 Pritzker Fellows.
University of Chicago

The University of Chicago Institute of Politics today announced seven Fellows who will come to campus during the upcoming Fall Quarter: Laura Haim, a French/American journalist who was spokesperson for Emmanuel Macron’s presidential campaign; Fred P. Hochberg, former chairman and president of the U.S. Export-Import Bank; Jason Kander, former Missouri Secretary of State; Jeff Roe, a Republican political consultant who served as national senior advisor and campaign manager for Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign; Kathleen Sebelius, the 21st U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and former Governor of Kansas; Bakari Sellers, former South Carolina State Representative; Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent for The Washington Post. While on campus next quarter, the seven IOP Pritzker Fellows will interact with students and faculty, participate in public forums and lead off-the-record student seminars. Roe will lead a series focusing on the “business of politics,” the role of data and analytics, and discuss what it takes to build and run a successful campaign.

McCain diagnosed with brain tumor.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been diagnosed with a brain tumor following an operation to remove a blood clot above his left eye. McCain and his family are considering options for treating the tumor, including radiation and chemotherapy. The 80-year-old McCain has previously successfully been treated for skin cancer. “The Senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options with his Mayo Clinic care team. Treatment options may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation," said a statement from the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. “The Senator’s doctors say he is recovering from his surgery ‘amazingly well’ and his underlying health is excellent.” A statement from McCain's office said the veteran lawmaker is "in good spirits as he continues to recover at home with his family in Arizona. He is grateful to the doctors and staff at Mayo Clinic for their outstanding care, and is confident that any future treatment will be effective."

Axiom Strategies holds open house at new DC office.
Axiom and Politico

... Axiom Strategies held an open house party at its new Washington DC office. Individuals from across the country gathered to celebrate the work that Axiom is doing to further conservative causes and the growth Axiom has experienced as it helps elect conservative officials at every level of government. Politico reported on the event, stating that, "Jeff Roe held a party last night at his firm Axiom Strategies’ new D.C. office. SPOTTED: Sens. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), Reps. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.), Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Joe Barton (R-Texas), Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Billy Long (R-Mo.) and Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.)."

House committee advances budget resolution.

The House Budget Committee on Wednesday approved the 2018 fiscal year budget resolution that would increase military spending, produce billions in cuts to mandatory spending and open the door for a Republican tax reform plan. “With the election of President Trump, our budget goes from being a vision document to being a governing document that outlines how we build a better America for our children and grandchildren,” said committee Chairman Diane Black (R-Tenn.), who praised the accompanying plan to balance the budget in a decade and reduce the national debt. The resolution passed along party lines with the 22 Republicans supporting and the 14 Democrats opposed after a grueling, twelve-hour markup. It allocated $621.5 billion for defense spending, $511 for non-defense discretionary spending and mandated $203 billion in mandatory spending cuts over the course of a decade. Both discretionary spending figures were substantially higher than those proposed by President Trump, but non-discretionary spending was below the sequestration-level budget caps.

Lack of progress at U.S.-China talks raises stakes.
Wall Street Journal

High-level economic talks between the U.S. and China ended Wednesday without any concrete agreement or future agenda, leaving the Trump administration’s efforts to recast trade ties with Beijing in limbo. After a full day of bilateral meetings, the U.S. side issued a terse statement saying that “China acknowledged our shared objective to reduce the trade deficit which both sides will work cooperatively to achieve.” The statement from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin didn’t provide further details on just how much the two sides could agree on, or when they would resume talks. China’s commerce and foreign ministries didn’t immediately comment on the outcome of the dialogue. The failure to take specific steps to close America’s $347 billion trade deficit with China—70% of the U.S. global imbalance—raises pressure on the Trump administration to consider shifting from its embrace of cooperation with Beijing toward more confrontation.

Dems adopt sure-to-win tactic in their fight with Trump.

Via the Hill: "A group of liberal House Democrats stepped up criticism of President Trump on Wednesday, introducing a “no confidence” resolution that officially questions Trump’s fitness to serve as commander in chief. It logs a laundry list of controversies swirling around the president." But it is much, much more. It is like a Festivus Airing of Grievances set to paper, double spaced, and edited by a snotty college sophomore who has watched too much BBC. I feel for these guys. I lived through two Clinton terms. I know the Bob Dole-esque fury of screaming “where is the outrage” and being met with yawns. But there is a big difference. Just remember it was your side who came up with the strategy of getting Trump nominated so maybe you should file a no confidence resolution against yourselves.

Sen. Corker could face primary challenger.
Washington Examiner

Conservative activists in Tennessee are unhappy with Sen. Bob Corker and prepared to put their money and manpower behind a strong Republican primary challenger if one emerges. Mark Green, the state senator who was President Trump's first choice for Army secretary, is their preferred candidate. Green is weighing a 2018 bid, and is the sort of formidable candidate who could clear the field of other Republicans eying the race. That's important, because Tennessee's conservative power brokers, led by wealthy Nashville automobile dealer Lee Beaman, aren't interested in waging a quixotic battle against Corker. They want to back a winner. But it also shows just how vulnerable the Senate Foreign Relations chairman could be heading into the midterm. Lingering anti-establishment fervor is driving restlessness with Corker on the Right.

Montana governor takes step toward 2020 presidential bid.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock is making moves that signal a possible testing of the waters for a 2020 presidential run. According to a New York Times report, the Democrat, who joined the nation's governors for a weekend in Rhode Island for the National Governors Association's (NGA) annual summer gathering, made remarks showing his first steps toward seeking the presidency. "I believe the time is right to lend my voice, the voice of someone that after getting elected has been able to govern in what's viewed as a red state," Bullock said. "Some of the things that I've been able to do in Montana can also translate beyond just the state's border." The Times also reports that Bullock is creating a political action committee -- Big Sky Values PAC, to provide funds to allow him to meet Democratic donors, help the party's candidates and fund out-of-state electoral travels, another clear sign of Bullock's intentions to move beyond state politics. Bullock, a lifelong Montanan who was once the state's attorney general, was elected governor in 2012.

Connecticut Dems are raising a lot of cash.
The Bulletin

Connecticut’s members of Congress, all Democrats, are preparing for the pivotal 2018 elections by getting a head start in the campaign money race. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, raised more money than any Connecticut member of the House of Representatives in the first six months of this year. Esty raised more than $620,000 and ended the first half of 2017 with more than $1 million in her re-election campaign fund. Meanwhile, Esty’s Republican challenger, Craig Diangelo, reported to the Federal Election Commission he’s raised $9,915 since entering the race in April and had $1,773 in cash on hand on June 30. - Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, who represents affluent Fairfield County and usually raises more campaign cash than any other Connecticut House member, raised about $542,000 and had nearly $2.2 million in cash on hand. - Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, who has easily won re-election for years, raised about $340,000 and had about $126,000 in her campaign account on June 30. - Rep. John Larson, D-1st District, raised $331,000 and ended the second quarter with about $378,000. - Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, raised about $276,000 and ended the reporting period with about $787,000.

Trump to meet with senators after healthcare collapse.
The Hill

President Trump will host Republican senators at the White House for lunch on Wednesday to plot a path forward after the collapse of their healthcare plan. White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters confirmed the lunch meeting, which is expected to touch on healthcare and other agenda items. The gathering comes a day after Senate leaders were forced to abandon their plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare due to lack of GOP support. It marked a significant defeat for the president, who promised voters he would scrap the Affordable Care Act on “day one” of his presidency. The collapse has also sparked internal divisions within the GOP over who is to blame and has raised questions about the Republican-controlled Congress’ ability to pass major agenda items such as tax reform and an infrastructure package.

Trump, Putin met for one hour at G20 summit.

President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, spoke for a second time on July 7 in a previously undisclosed discussion, the White House confirmed on Tuesday. A senior White House official told CNN the discussion was "nearly an hour." The White House, in a statement acknowledging the meeting, contended it was "brief" and said Trump spoke with Putin through Russia's translator. The US translator at the dinner -- each country was only allowed only one -- spoke Japanese, the White House said. National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton said no other staff were present for the discussion. The White House statement said the conversation took place in full view of other world leaders and their spouses at a dinner hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the G20 summit. Trump was seated near Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Abe's wife, while first lady Melania Trump was seated next to Putin. The White House said Trump went over to his wife and spoke with Putin near the dinner's end.

Trump is winning more than ever.
Conrad Black, National Review

The GOP congressional leadership will get on board. Catching up on American affairs after nearly three weeks overseas has been a challenging cultural experience. In Europe, including the United Kingdom, coverage of American political affairs lurches between belligerent ignorance and Late Communist International malice, and Fox News is displaced by the vastly less insightful Sky News, as they are geographic divisions of the same company. Europeans generally make a distinction between the great and powerful nation of America and the caricature of somewhat unworldly people that they stereotype as Americans, from generations of rather wide-eyed American tourists and GIs through more tailored and sonorous, but uncontinentally purposeful, American business people and academics of more recent times. Because the president of the United States is the chief of state and head of government — in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s phrase, “the head of the American people” — there is a natural tendency, accentuated by timeless Euro-pretension, to impute to the country the shortcomings of the leader, but not to credit the American public with the qualities of its most sophisticated leaders.

GOP faces growing challenges in the west.
The Hill

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) announced that she is declining a bid to challenge Sen. ClaireRepublicans who have watched Nevada politics in recent years worry their party’s struggles in the Silver State will be a harbinger of things to come as the face of the American electorate changes — especially in other Mountain West states such as Arizona and Colorado. “The Wild West is slowly becoming an Urbanized West,” said Mike Slanker, a Republican strategist in Las Vegas. The vast majority of Nevada’s growth has come in Clark County, which has seen its population jump from 48,000 in 1950 to 2.1 million today. Waves of immigrants from Central and South America, Asia, the Midwest and California have flocked to the Las Vegas area. The challenge for Democrats is that many of those new residents are disproportionately unlikely to turn out to vote, especially in midterm elections. But if they do show up, the GOP’s nightmare scenario will be realized. And it could also spread to states with metropolitan areas experiencing significant Hispanic population growth such as Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida.

Caitlyn Jenner considering a bid for U.S. Senate.
LA Times

Caitlyn Jenner, the Olympic gold medalist, reality show star and transgender activist, is weighing a run for the U.S. Senate representing California. “I have considered it. I like the political side of it,” Jenner said in a radio interview with New York’s AM 970 that aired Sunday, adding that she planned to make a decision within the next six months or so. “I gotta find out where I can do a better job,” she said. “Can I do a better job from the outside, kind of working the perimeter of the political scene, being open to talk to anybody? Or are you better off from the inside, and we are in the process of determining that.” Jenner has been in the spotlight for decades – first as Bruce, an Olympic athlete and the long-suffering husband and father in the Kardashian reality television empire, and then as the activist who transitioned to Caitlyn in 2015, becoming one of the most famous transgender voices in the world. The Malibu resident is a lifelong Republican. The next opportunity to run for Senate will be in 2018, when Democrat Dianne Feinstein is up for reelection. Feinstein, 84, has not yet said if she will run again. No prominent Republican candidate has publicly announced interest in the

Madaleno announces candidacy for Maryland governor.
Washington Times

State Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. announced Monday his candidacy for Maryland governor, adding his name to an already crowded — and growing — field of candidates vying for next year’s Democratic nomination. Speaking at The Universities at Shady Grove campus, Mr. Madaleno expressed his disapproval of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan while promising to be a change agent if elected next year. “On the critical issues facing the people of our state, we need a bold, tireless governor who can set an agenda of progress for all Marylanders,” said the longtime Montgomery County Democrat. “Larry Hogan is not that governor. I will be that governor.” He faces a stiff challenge: Mr. Hogan, who has not yet announced his re-election bid, enjoys a 65 percent approval rating in a state where registered Democratic voters outnumber Republicans 2-to-1. What’s more, Mr. Madaleno is one of 14 declared or potential Democratic contenders for the June 26 primary. Others who have announced their candidacies: former NAACP chief Ben Jealous, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III, tech entrepreneur Alec Ross, Baltimore attorney Jim Shea and perennial candidate Ralph Jaffe.

Trump: We miss McCain, ‘plus we need his vote’.
The Hill

President Trump took a moment during Monday remarks to wish Sen. John McCain well as the Arizona Republican recovers from surgery to remove a blood clot above his eye. "I can tell you, we hope John McCain gets better very soon because we miss him," Trump said during his "Made in America Product Showcase" event at the White House. "He's a crusty voice in Washington, plus we need his vote." Trump brought up McCain as he spoke about the GOP’s attempts to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Former Mexican governor, extradited from Guatemala.

The former governor of the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz has arrived back on home soil, after being extradited from Guatemala. Javier Duarte has been charged with corruption, money laundering and involvement in organised crime. Mr Duarte resigned his post in October 2016. He has rejected the allegations and vowed to clear his name. But he went missing a few weeks afterwards and was only arrested six months later in a hotel in Guatemala. Mr Duarte was detained in the city of Solola in a joint operation between Interpol and Guatemalan police. He is suspected of having siphoned off at least 645 million Mexican pesos ($35m; £28m) of public money that was put into a series of shell companies.

Kid Rock is running for Senate. Or is he?
Aja Romano, Vox

Kid Rock launched a website on Wednesday that suggests the musician and Donald Trump supporter is mulling a bid for a Michigan senatorial seat. Kid Rock For Senate immediately went viral, and sparked debate over whether the site is an attempt to gauge interest in a real political run, or just an instance of viral marketing. Rock, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, added to the confusion with a tweet affirming that the website — though not necessarily the senatorial bid — is real. Most skeptics are assuming the website is a viral marketing campaign for an upcoming Kid Rock album, rather than the beginnings of an actual political campaign. The Kid Rock for Senate landing page is hosted on Rock’s commercial Warner Brothers Records artist website, where, in addition to a small selection of “Kid Rock for Senate” apparel and yard signs, he’s also selling more traditional fan merchandise (including this controversial pro-Trump T-shirt). Additionally — and more importantly — the musician has reportedly not filed any paperwork with the Federal Election Commission suggesting that he actually intends to run for office.

White House plans refocus on Trump agenda.
Wall Street Journal

The White House on Monday will embark on a three-week messaging campaign aimed at refocusing attention on President Donald Trump’s agenda and framing a debate later this summer over rewriting the U.S. tax code. After highlighting American-made products this week, next week will be devoted to American jobs and workers, a White House official said. A third week will be dedicated to the “American dream,” the person said. On Monday, the president will tour a display of American-made products inside the White House and on the South Lawn. He will also make remarks to the media about the administration’s commitment to American-made products and the workers and companies who make them. The plan, Mr. Spicer said, is to build a foundation for the president’s argument for tax reform, identifying the workers and companies that would benefit from Mr. Trump’s “America first” approach. Mr. Trump can then finally return to one of the issue that, unlike health care, truly animates him—tax reform. “As we get into August, we’ll be talking more specifically about tax reform,” Mr. Spicer said. “This definitely starts that process.”

Hopeful Dems walk tightrope in unlikely places.
New York Times

After several losses in special elections in heavily Republican districts, Democrats’ efforts to win back the House are focusing largely on affluent suburban districts — in Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Pennsylvania and Southern California — where Hillary Clinton prevailed in her failed bid for the White House. They are also focusing on districts where they hope to win back voters they lost to Mr. Trump last year, a knotty task that entails a pro-worker populist pitch in some districts, a pro-business, fiscal discipline pitch in others, and a careful pro-Affordable Care Act position in all. Republicans — and many election experts — say that even though midterm elections have historically been tough on the party in power, last year clearly demonstrated that voters make a distinction between congressional Republicans and Mr. Trump. “The fight for the House includes different battles in lots of different types of districts,” Nathan Gonzales, the editor of Inside Elections, said. “Democrats know they can’t compete in just the Clinton-Republican districts and take back the majority. There’s just not enough of one type of seat.”

Civil rights office will return to being a ‘neutral’ agency.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said she is "returning" the Office for Civil Rights "to its role as a neutral, impartial, investigative agency." In a July 11 letter to Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, DeVos asserted that the department's civil rights arm under the Obama administration "had descended into a pattern of overreaching, of setting out to punish and embarrass institutions rather than work with them to correct civil rights violations and of ignoring public input prior to issuing new rules." As part of the changes she is implementing, the civil rights office would no longer issue "new regulations via administrative fiat," as the Obama administration did, she wrote. DeVos wrote that the agency is "unwavering in its commitment" to defend students' civil rights. But during the Obama administration, the office "all too often handled individual complaints as evidence of systematic institutional violations," she wrote. Candice Jackson, the acting assistant secretary for civil rights, told the office's regional directors in June to stop doing just that. The Obama administration's approach "forced" OCR staff "to expand the scope of these investigations dramatically beyond the facts alleged in the filed complaint," DeVos wrote. "This led to unprecedented processing times and significant backlogs."

Healthcare debate will be ‘open process’.
The Hill

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Sunday that the debate over the Senate's plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare will be “an open process". “This is going to be an open process where anybody on the Democratic side or the Republican side can offer an amendment and it will get a vote,” Cornyn said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Cornyn, a member of GOP leadership, said if the current legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare does not pass, then lawmakers will “keep trying. “But at some point, if Democrats won’t participate in the process, then we’re going to have to come up with a different plan,” he added. The majority whip also said on Sunday the upper chamber will move forward with the healthcare debate once Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) returns to Congress from his surgery. “I believe as soon as we have a full contingent of senators that we’ll have that vote," Cornyn said. "It’s important we do so.”

Netanyahu in Paris to commemorate deportation of Jews.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Paris to commemorate the victims of a mass arrest of Jews in Nazi-occupied France in 1942. More than 13,000 Jews were rounded up and detained at a cycling stadium, the Velodrome d'Hiver, before being deported to Nazi death camps. Mr Netanyahu also held direct talks for the first time with French President Emmanuel Macron. He is the first Israeli prime minister to attend the Vel d'Hiv commemorations. "I'm here to mourn the victims," Mr Netanyahu told an audience in Paris, which included Jewish groups and Holocaust survivors. "Seventy-five years ago, a heavy darkness descended on this city... It seems the values of the French revolution - equality, fraternity, liberty - was crushed brutally under the boot of anti-Semitism." He hailed the "great, great human beings" who had risked their lives to save Jews in France during Nazi occupation, and warned of a rise in "extremist forces" in modern society.

The New York Times: SPEECH can be violence.
Kimberly Ross, RedState

It’s safe to say that tensions in this country are at an all-time high. Now that we’re on this side of the election, things aren’t much better. We’ve had seemingly endless protests and marches, and some have turned into rioting and looting. Resist, you nasty women! Much worse than that, we witnessed the shooting of GOP Congressman Stephen Scalise, who is still in the hospital recovering from what was none other than politically-fueled hatred. What constitutes actual violence is patently obvious. To hurt another person physically, you must cross a very clear line. Or, if you’re The New York Times, speech also equals actual violence: "Certain types of adversity, even those involving no physical contact, can make you sick, alter your brain – even kill neurons – and shorten your life. If words can cause stress, and if prolonged stress can cause physical harm, then it seems that speech — at least certain types of speech — can be a form of violence." Sounds like someone needs a safe space. Just those excerpts alone are enough to cause some massive eye rolls

Progessives warn Democrats: Focusing on working class voters risks losing young people and minorities, too.
The Hill

Democrats risk losing election after election if they focus too much on winning back white blue-collar voters from Donald Trump, according to progressives worried that young minorities are abandoning the party. “We are not going to get back to national majorities again without these voters,” said Cornell Belcher, the top pollster who worked on both for former President Barack Obama’s campaigns. Belcher recently conducted focus groups in Florida and Wisconsin for the Civic Engagement Fund that point to the problems Democrats have with young millennials of color. The group, founded by progressive leader Andrea Hailey, analyzes data from past elections to increase voter engagement. Millennial voters of color interviewed in the focus groups felt “undervalued, ignored, and taken for granted,” according to the research obtained by The Hill. This is a huge problem, Belcher and others argue, since millennials of color are a growing part of the electorate. Research conducted by the Brookings Institution shows that millennials will be the largest voting block in the U.S. by 2020. As of 2015, 44.2 percent of millennials are people of color. In the focus group conducted by Belcher, millennials said they had “no regrets about electing Trump” through their actions.

Senate unveils new health bill, divisions remain.
New York Times

Senate Republican leaders on Thursday unveiled a fresh proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, revising their bill to help hold down insurance costs for consumers while allowing insurers to sell new low-cost, stripped down policies. Those changes and others, including a decision to keep a pair of taxes on high-income people and to expand the use of tax-favored health savings accounts, were intended to bridge a vast gap between the Senate’s most conservative Republicans, who want less regulation of health insurance, and moderate Republicans concerned about people who would be left uninsured. But Republican leaders will have to battle for votes ahead of a final showdown they hope will come next week. Two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky said they were not swayed — even on a procedural motion to take up the bill for debate. Several others, from both sides of the party’s ideological spectrum, expressed misgivings. Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah and a strong conservative, said, “The new Senate health care bill is substantially different from the version released last month, and it is unclear to me whether it has improved.”

Ryan fundraising committee reports massive $10.5M haul
The Hill

House Speaker Paul Ryan's joint fundraising committee raised about $10.5 million in the second fundraising quarter, a massive haul that puts his campaign at almost $33 million raised in 2017. That figure about equals the amount Ryan raised in the first six months of 2016, in the heat of a presidential election year. Ryan's political office shared the information ahead of Ryan's official filing Friday with the Federal Election Commission. The Speaker's joint fundraising committee, Team Ryan, raises money for his congressional campaign committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), as well as his own personal leadership PAC, Prosperity Action. Combined with his congressional campaign, Ryan sent the NRCC $2 million in June, meaning that he's sent the House GOP campaign arm about $21.7 million since the start of the year. That puts him roughly on a similar pace as last year, when he had sent $22.4 million to the NRCC by this point.

House to vote on controversial study of Islam.

The House is set to vote Friday on a controversial GOP proposal identifying “Islamic religious doctrines, concepts or schools of thought” that could be used by terrorist groups — something opponents say is unconstitutional and will lead to the targeting of Muslims. The amendment, drafted by conservative Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), also calls for the Pentagon to identify Islamic leaders who preach peaceful beliefs versus those who espouse extremist views. The proposal has drawn heavy criticism from Muslim lawmakers serving in Congress, Muslim interest groups and the American Civil Liberties Union, who say the proposal would unfairly target Muslims. They don’t trust the Trump administration to conduct the analysis. Franks defended his idea during an interview Thursday evening. "Right now, there is a certain spectrum within the Islamist world that is at the root of the ideological impulse for terrorism," Franks said. "Ironically, Muslims are the prime targets of these groups. To suggest that this is anti-Muslim is a fallacy, and I think that anyone who really understands it knows that."

Trump hints at climate deal shift in Paris talks.

"On climate we know what our differences are," Mr Macron said in Paris on Thursday, adding that it was important to move forward. Speaking alongside Mr Macron, Mr Trump then hinted that the US could shift its position but failed to elaborate. "Something could happen with respect to the Paris accord," he said. Mr Trump added: "We'll see what happens." Mr Macron said it was right to put the climate issue to one side while the two leaders discussed how they could work together on other matters such as the ceasefire in Syria and trade partnerships. "We have disagreements; Mr Trump had election pledges that he took to his supporters and I had pledges - should this hinder progress on all issues? No," Mr Macron said. Mr Macron and Mr Trump then talked about their countries' joint efforts to combat terrorism and in particular the so-called Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq. "The US is extremely involved in the Iraq war," Mr Macron said, "I would like to thank the president for everything done by American troops in this area". "We've agreed to continue our joint work," he added, "in particular building the post-war roadmap". Mr Macron said that France would seek to "undertake several robust initiatives" to help produce greater stability and "control over the region".

WH responds to prayer photo: people should pray daily.

People should pray every day, principal deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday when asked about a photo of faith leaders praying with President Donald Trump earlier this week. The photo was circulated earlier Wednesday and drew criticism, with some saying it insinuated that people were praying for the president because he is embroiled in the Russia saga. Sanders said that was not true. "The idea that somebody would only pray when they're in crisis I think makes you miss the entire point of what prayer is about. You should do that every day," she said during the White House press briefing. "You can do that in the best of times and the worst of times. It would be ridiculous to suggest to do that in a time of crisis." Sanders added that the photo was taken during a meeting with "the Faith Advisory Board. They meet from time to time to speak about important issues to that community."