The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Going Up on a Tuesday

President Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress at 9 p.m. ET.

Jim Bourg / Reuters

Today in 5 Lines

President Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress at 9 p.m. ET. We’ll be covering the event live here. Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan announced plans to create a joint health-care company for their employees. The Federal Communications Commission said the employee who sent a false missile alert to Hawaiians on January 13 thought an attack was imminent. Todd Ricketts, a major GOP donor, will reportedly replace Steve Wynn as finance chair of the Republican National Committee after Wynn stepped down amid sexual-misconduct allegations.

Today on The Atlantic

  • It’s Not Happening: Special Counsel Robert Mueller will never indict President Trump. Here's why. (Paul Rosenzweig)

  • ‘How the Swamp Drained Trump’: He promised to upend the political establishment, but, writes McKay Coppins, the policy victories of his first year in office have actually benefited the insiders he denounced: “All they had to do was ask nicely.”

  • Israel’s Immigration Crisis: The Israeli government’s threat to deport thousands of African migrants has created a religious controversy. (Emma Green)

Follow stories throughout the day with our Politics & Policy portal.


A jogger and a squirrel run past the U.S. Capitol building on the day of President Trump's evening State of the Union address. Jim Bourg / Reuters

What We’re Reading

‘The Slut-Shaming of Nikki Haley’: The left has been quick to condemn sexism against progressive women, but Bari Weiss argues that when author Michael Wolff suggested that UN Ambassador Nikki Haley had an affair with President Trump, they largely ignored it. (The New York Times)

But Why?: On Monday night, the State Department said it would no longer impose sanctions on Russia that Congress voted on in 2017. Here’s how the Trump administration explains that choice. (Aaron Blake, The Washington Post)

The Immigration Myth: Despite what many conservatives in Congress will tell you, America does not have an immigration problem. (Ryan Cooper, The Week)

Another Dossier: The FBI is reportedly investigating a second Trump-Russia dossier that independently sets out some of the allegations made in another dossier compiled by Christopher Steele. (Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Nick Hopkins, The Guardian)

The State of the Union Is Great: President Trump reportedly believes he’s finally hitting his stride as president. (Howard Fineman, NBC News)

The Fight to Kneel: Can a school ban its students from kneeling during the national anthem? A case brought by a high-school football player will provide the answer. (Albert Samaha, BuzzFeed)

Can He Break the Curse?: Democratic Representative Joe Kennedy will deliver the response to Tuesday’s State of the Union—a role that has historically brought bad luck. (Ryan Struyk, CNN)


The Missing Links: The ancestors of Donald Trump and Mike Pence came to the United States through “chain migration,” or family-based immigration—a system his administration is trying to end. (Philip Bump, The Washington Post)

Question of the Week

Tonight, President Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address. He’s expected to pitch an immigration framework that would provide a path to citizenship for 1.8 million young undocumented immigrants in exchange for funding for the border wall and cuts to legal immigration, and touch on infrastructure, trade, and the success of the economy.

What is your sense of the state of the union? What areas do you think Congress should focus on in the next year?

Share your response here, and we’ll feature a few in Friday’s Politics & Policy Daily.

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-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)