The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: McMaster of Suspense

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders continued to deny reports that National-Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, among others, will be replaced.

Evan Vucci / AP

Today in 5 Lines

  • White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Chief of Staff John Kelly has reassured West Wing staffers that there will be “no immediate personnel changes at this time,” despite media reports that National-Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, among others, will be replaced.

  • Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, said the adult film star was “physically threatened to stay silent” over her alleged affair with Trump, but did not provide further details.

  • Representative Louise Slaughter of New York, one of the longest-serving Democrats in Congress, died at the age of 88.

  • Nevada Republican Danny Tarkanian announced he will run for a House seat instead of challenging Senator Dean Heller in the GOP primary, a move that Trump encouraged in a tweet.

  • Florida officials said the death toll in the collapse of a pedestrian bridge has climbed to six. The National Transportation Safety Board has opened an investigation into the cause of the collapse.

Today on The Atlantic

  • Lacking Leadership: In the month since the Parkland, Florida, shooting, a growing number of Republican lawmakers have demonstrated a willingness to tackle gun violence. But some voices remain silent. (Elaina Plott)

  • What’s Next for Trump’s Border Wall?: The president pledged to mount a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. But his administration still has many hurdles to clear before bringing the project to fruition. (Priscilla Alvarez)

  • Universal Lessons From Universal Health Care: Here’s how a new health-care program in Mali can help solve the world’s oldest health problem. (Vann R. Newkirk II)

  • Radio Atlantic: In a time when Americans have lost faith in their institutions, the nation seems to now look to corporations for positive action. Can big business be a force for good or only a force for profit? Does their very size pose a threat? If corporations can be people, can they be good citizens? The Atlantic‘s Derek Thompson discusses the promise and perils of big business on the latest episode of Radio Atlantic.

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Billionaire political activist Tom Steyer speaks during a "Need to Impeach" town hall event at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center in Cincinnati. Steyer founded the "Need to Impeach" campaign on claims that President Trump meets the criteria for impeachment. John Minchillo / AP

What We’re Reading

‘People Are Fixated on My Color’: For years, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott has tried to downplay his race. But as a prominent black Republican, he “wears a target on his back regardless of the issue or crisis at hand,” writes Tim Alberta. (Politico)

The Ultimate Deterrent: Trump’s forthcoming proposals to address the opioid epidemic reportedly include the death penalty for some drug dealers—an idea that Republican lawmakers appear to be open to. Haley Byrd, The Weekly Standard)

Fight the Wave: Following the upset in Pennsylvania, Newt Gingrich urges Republicans to correct course. Otherwise, he argues, the Republican agenda will be put at risk. (Fox News)

The Real Minority Party: Republicans have only won the popular vote in a presidential election once since 1988. Gerrymandered districts and the Electoral College can’t buoy the party for much longer. (Damon Linker, The Week)

‘The Intellectual We Deserve’: The popularity of Jordan B. Peterson, the provocative psychologist-turned-public intellectual, is a sign of a “deeply impoverished political landscape.” (Nathan J. Robinson, Current Affairs)


Winter Warming: In the past 30 years, winter temperatures have risen most in some of the coldest places in the United States. (Nadja Popovich and Black Migliozzi, The New York Times)

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-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey), Taylor Hosking (@Taylor__Hosking), and Lena Felton (@lenakfelton)