The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Expensive Pen Agency

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt reportedly spent $1,560 on 12 customized fountain pens in 2017.

Al Drago / Reuters

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)

Today in 5 Lines

  • After meeting with top North Korean official Kim Yong Chol at the White House, President Trump said the previously canceled summit with Kim Jong Un is back on for June 12 . When asked whether North Korea had agreed to denuclearization, as the U.S. had requested, Trump said, “I don’t want to say that.”

  • The Trump administration is reportedly considering a plan that would help struggling coal and nuclear plants stay open, which, if implemented, would amount to an unprecedented intervention in the industry.

  • Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt reportedly spent $1,560 on 12 customized fountain pens in 2017.

  • Trump broke with longstanding federal protocol Friday morning by tweeting about the monthly jobs report before it was released. The report showed that the economy added 223,000 jobs in May, and the unemployment rate dropped from 3.9 percent to 3.8 percent—the lowest since 2000.

  • Emergency officials in Hawaii warned people still living near Kilauea’s active volcanic fissures that they could face arrest if they do not follow evacuation orders.

Today on The Atlantic

  • ‘Mutually Nonconsensual Sex’: Title IX is too easy to abuse, argues Caitlin Flanagan, and a case at the University of Cincinnati illustrates why.

  • Welcome to the Jungle: Nancy Pelosi is a Democrat and Kevin McCarthy is a Republican, but the two House leaders seem to agree on one thing: California’s “top two” primary system is bad. (Russell Berman)

  • The Antidote to Trump: The president and his supporters are empowered by ugly talk, writes David Frum. Trump’s critics must respond by being factually precise and emotionally restrained.

  • A Shocking Statistic: A new study published in JAMA Network Open found that one-fifth of all deaths among Americans aged 24 to 35 in 2016 were due to opioids. (Olga Khazan)

  • When Tariffs Aren’t Ideal: Interventionist trade policy can work, argues James Fallows—but Trump’s metal tariffs against Mexico, Canada, and the EU “are both pointless and bad.”


Donald Trump Jr., Tiffany Trump, and Ivanka Trump walk on the South Lawn of the White House ahead of a weekend trip to Camp David with President Trump. Carlos Barria / Reuters

What We’re Reading

A Strategy That Won’t Work: Liberals want to dismiss all of President Trump’s supporters—like Roseanne Barr—as racists. But calling them racist won’t erase them from public life, argues Noah Rothman. (Commentary)

Can Single Payer Win?: Next week’s primary in California will test whether campaigning on a Medicare-for-all message is a winning strategy for Democrats. (Dylan Scott, Vox)

‘He Pretty Much Gave In to Whatever They Asked For’: Donald Trump has always claimed to be a master deal-maker. His former negotiating partners tell a different story. (Michael Kruse, Politico)

The Price of the Probe: New documents show that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election cost the government $16.7 million between October 2017 and March 2018. (Matt Zapotosky, The Washington Post)


Zoom In on California: These are the districts Democrats think they have the best chance at flipping in November. (Jasmine C. Lee and Karen Yourish, The New York Times)