The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Merger Moves

A federal judge approved AT&T’s proposed $85 billion purchase of Time Warner.

AT&T Attorney Daniel Petrocelli speaks during a news conference, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Washington. A federal judge approved the $85 billion mega-merger of AT&T and Time Warner on Tuesday, a move that could usher in a wave of media consolidation while shaping how much consumers pay for streaming TV and movies. (Jose Luis Magana / AP)

-Written by Lena Felton (@lenakfelton) and Taylor Hosking (@Taylor__Hosking)

Today in 5 Lines

  • After a historic one-on-one meeting, President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a joint agreement committing to pursue the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but did not provide a timetable for doing so. Trump also held a press conference where he announced that the U.S. and South Korea would suspend their joint military exercises as part of the negotiations.

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the summit a “historic first step in an important negotiation,” but added that “if North Korea does not prove willing to follow through, we and our allies must be prepared to restore the policy of maximum pressure.”

  • A federal judge approved AT&T’s proposed $85 billion purchase of Time Warner. The transaction will close on or before June 20, according to AT&T’s lead lawyer.

  • A group of GOP lawmakers have until the end of the day to produce three more signatures to force an immigration vote on June 25.

  • White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow remains in the hospital following a heart attack Monday night.

Today on The Atlantic

  • Kim Jong Un’s Propaganda Victory: The image that North Korea’s leader projected in Singapore—taking selfies with local leaders, sightseeing, and waving to onlookers—was a stark contrast to the one he was known for just a year ago. (Krishnadev Calamur)

  • What Did the U.S. Gain From the North Korea Summit? Nearly nothing. But maybe it's the start of something, writes Uri Friedman.
  • Biting Nails: A week after the election, San Francisco still doesn’t know who its mayor will be, and that may be due in part to its ranked-choice voting system. (Russell Berman)

The Races We’re Watching

Voters in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Virginia will select nominees in their state primaries.

In Maine, voters will be trying a whole new method of voting—ranked-choice voting. It's the first state to use ranked-choice voting, which allows voters to rank their candidates from first to last, to decide a statewide election. But just as voters will be casting their ballot for candidates, they'll also be deciding whether to keep the new system in place.

In South Carolina, incumbent Republican Representative Mark Sanford, a vocal critic of Trump, is running against state Representative Katie Arrington, who received an endorsement from Trump hours before polls were set to close. And in Nevada, Steve Sisolak and Chris Giunchigliani are locked in a fierce battle to become the state’s first Democratic governor in more than two decades.

Here are some of the other races you should keep your eye on.


U.S. President Donald Trump walks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore in this picture released on June 12, 2018. (Korean Central News Agency)

What We’re Reading

Money Makers: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner may serve as unpaid advisers to the president, but they still made at least $82 million last year from other business holdings. (Amy Brittain, Ashley Parker, and Anu Narayanswamy, The Washington Post)

‘The Door Has Been Opened to Peace’: Victor Cha, a former National Security Council director for Asia, argues that we should give credit where it’s due: Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un just walked the United States back from the brink of war. (The New York Times)

Lessons From Hollywood: Democratic lawmakers and DNC members have reportedly been taking advice about voter turnout and political messaging from an unlikely source: a group of actors, writers, and producers in Los Angeles. (David Siders, Politico)

Bottom Line: While the Trump-Kim summit did not “fly off the rails” in an obvious way, former U.S. negotiators with North Korea were “unimpressed—even baffled—by the lack of substance,” Robin Wright reports. (The New Yorker)

A Step Back: Here's how to measure whether the meeting between President Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un was a success or failure. (Jonah Goldberg, The National Review)


‘Two Men, Two Leaders, One Destiny’: In Singapore, Trump shared a four-minute movie-trailer-styled video with Kim Jong Un. Watch it here. (Vox)