The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Weekend With Bernie

At least one 2020 presidential candidate wants to recreate some of how it was in 2016. Plus: Trump threatens tariffs on Mexico, and the future of Roe v. Wade.

Bernie Sanders smiling
Nam Y. Huh / AP

What We’re Following Today

It’s Friday, May 31.

‣ President Donald Trump unexpectedly announced plans to impose 5 percent tariffs on imports from Mexico, claiming they will increase until Mexico addresses the flow of asylum seekers at the U.S. southern border. Meanwhile, the trade war with China rages on. As of mid-May, the United States has imposed 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports, and more are likely on the way.

‣ A Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis, Missouri, the last abortion provider in the state, received a temporary restraining order from a judge that prevents the state from shutting it down after declining to renew its license. (Missouri had been on the verge of becoming the only state in the U.S. without legal abortion care.)

Here’s what else we’re watching:

It’s Good to Be the King …: But for Bernie Sanders, it’s better to be the insurgent, reports Edward-Isaac Dovere. In New Hampshire, Sanders and his team have tried to get back to their 2016 style of campaigning, pivoting away from large crowds to a string of small gatherings. To his rivals, it looks like the campaign has stagnated, but to Sanders, it’s “all part of the plan.”

Report Card: President Donald Trump has made a lot of promises about his national-security initiatives. How is he shaping up on the Islamic State, North Korea, and NATO? Our national-security reporters gave him a grade on each one. Spoiler: He’s no straight-A student.

An Undue Burden?: On this week’s Radio Atlantic, Emma Green and Edward-Isaac Dovere discuss the recent slew of strict anti-abortion bills across the country. What do the laws mean for the future of Roe v. Wade, and how will they affect 2020?


The winners of the 92nd annual Scripps National Spelling Bee celebrate their eight-way tie. (Joshua Roberts / Reuters)

Ideas From The Atlantic

Saudi Arabia First (Conor Friedersdorf)
“Put succinctly, the Trump administration unlawfully defied Congress to extend American participation in a war in Yemen, and now it is defying America’s elected representatives again to funnel more weapons to that war’s ringleader.” → Read on.

Trump Can’t Figure Out How to Keep His Biggest Promise (David A. Graham)
“The issue is not as straightforward as he promised on the campaign trail. He told the nation that securing the border would be simple, but he was ignorant of both the challenges at the border and the legal constraints any president would face in achieving that goal. He has discovered too late that immigration is actually a challenging problem.” → Read on.

How Trump Undermined Theresa May (Thomas Wright)
“The special relationship is arguably at its lowest point since the Suez crisis of 1956, when President Dwight Eisenhower pulled the rug out from underneath Britain and France’s attempt to retake the Suez Canal. If this sounds like an exaggeration, just consider the track record.” → Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

Cory Booker and the Orthodox Rabbi Were Like Brothers. Now They Don’t Speak. (Kevin Sullivan, The Washington Post) (🔒 Paywall)
This Is What a Real Conservative Looks Like in 2019 (Andrew Sullivan, New York)  (🔒 Paywall)
The Artificial Intelligence of the Public Intellectual (Soraya Roberts, Longreads
‘If We Don’t Burn It, Nature Will’ (Southerly; Maya Miller, Climate Central; and Samantha Max, The Telegraph)

About us: This newsletter is a daily effort from The Atlantic’s politics writers: Elaine Godfrey, Madeleine Carlisle, and Olivia Paschal. It’s edited by Shan Wang.

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