Today in 5 Lines
President Trump tweeted that the U.S. government “needs a good ‘shutdown’” to fix the “mess” in the Senate. During a White House press briefing, Mick Mulvaney, the president’s budget director, criticized Democrats for trying to “spike the football” during budget negotiations, and said that a shutdown is a “negotiating tool to an extent.” The White House said in a statement that Trump spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the phone and agreed that “all parties must do all they can to end the violence” in Syria. Michael Slager, the former South Carolina police officer who shot and killed black motorist Walter Scott in 2015, pleaded guilty to a federal civil-rights charge. Trump is expected to sign an executive order on religious liberty on Thursday.
Today on The Atlantic
Staging a Coup: After days of speculation, the Heritage Foundation voted on Tuesday to remove its president, Jim DeMint. Rumors of DeMint’s ouster sparked backlash on Capitol Hill and highlighted the tensions between traditional conservatism and Trumpist ideology. (McKay Coppins and Rosie Gray)
A Major Complication: House Republicans continue to push for a bill to replace Obamacare, but the party’s changing electorate may complicate their plans: Many of their constituents are older voters who could lose benefits under a new health-care law. (Ronald Brownstein and Leah Askarinam)
Does Trump Want a Shutdown?: David A. Graham analyzes President Trump’s series of tweets Tuesday morning about Congress’ budget deal, which benefited Democrats more than Republicans. “Trump seems to have overcorrected by demanding a shutdown,” Graham writes, “a demand that could haunt him later.”