The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Dear Jong Un Letter

President Trump cancelled his June 12 meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, writing in a letter that Kim “has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth.”


-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)

Today in 5 Lines

  • President Trump canceled his June 12 meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, writing in a letter that Kim “has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth.” Later in the day, Trump told reporters that the U.S. military is “ready if necessary” if North Korea takes “foolish or reckless” action.

  • Several congressional leaders attended classified briefings with Justice Department officials on the FBI’s use of an informant in the Russia investigation.

  • Roger Stone, a former Trump campaign adviser, reportedly sought information on Hillary Clinton from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in September 2016.

  • Trump signed legislation easing restrictions on all but the largest banks, the biggest rollback of regulations since the global financial crisis.

  • The president also posthumously pardoned Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion who was convicted in 1913 of transporting a white woman across state lines “for immoral purposes.”

Today on The Atlantic

  • A Very Trumpy Letter: The president’s dramatic letter cancelling his meeting with Kim Jong Un is classic Trump—and “matches the soap-operatic series of events that preceded it.” (David A. Graham)

  • Unanswered: David Frum lays out 15 open questions about matters “potentially involving criminal law swirling around the president, his campaign, his company, and his family.”

  • Throwback Thursday: The Stormy Daniels-Donald Trump controversy is reminiscent of another era, writes Rosie Gray—and that includes the part Daniels’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, is playing in the scandal.

  • ‘The War on Stupid People’: Americans have come to value intelligence as the ultimate indicator of human worth. That has to stop, argues David H. Freedman.


President Trump awards the Medal of Honor to Retired Navy Master Chief Special Warfare Operator Britt Slabinski for “conspicuous gallantry” in the East Room of the White House. Carlos Barria / Reuters

What We’re Reading

Good Riddance: President Trump was right to walk away from the negotiating table with Kim Jong Un, writes Ben Shapiro. America shouldn’t have been touting a meeting with the world’s worst dictator in the first place, he argues. (The Daily Wire)

… on the Other Hand: By cancelling his summit with Kim, Trump has proven he’s a bad negotiator, writes Fred Kaplan. (Slate)

Something’s Off: Trump’s critics agree that American democracy is under threat. Some say it’s due to eroding norms, but there could be another reason: Capitalism is failing. (Eric Levitz, New York)

White Flight: A new study shows that white Americans are leaving the Democratic Party in droves. Here’s why. (Joshua N. Zingher, The Washington Post)

An Empty Victory: “The most repugnant form of censorship is compelled speech,” writes David French. And that’s just what the NFL is doing by requiring players to stand for the national anthem. (National Review)


Where Disaster Strikes: Some of the country’s least populated areas have experienced the most significant damage from natural disasters, according to a new study. (Sahil Chinoy, The New York Times)