The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Infrastructure Talks Hit a Pothole

President Trump stormed out of yet another meeting with Democratic leadership today. Plus: What does it mean that more and more Democrats are publicly supporting an impeachment inquiry?

President Donald Trump delivers a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House on Wednesday. (Evan Vucci / AP)

What We’re Following Today

It’s Wednesday, May 22.

‣ President Donald Trump stormed out of an infrastructure meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer today, after Pelosi accused him of a “cover-up” related to the administration’s stonewalling of congressional investigations. (“I don’t do cover-ups,” the president said to reporters after the meeting.)

‣ The New York state legislature passed a bill that would permit state tax officials to hand over Trump’s state tax returns to any one of three congressional committees.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

Who’s Afraid of Impeachment?: In the past 48 hours, a slew of Democrats, most notably moderate members of the rank and file, have publicly announced their support for—or at least their openness to—launching a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The shift suggests that the Democrats are getting tired of the party’s current investigative strategy.

A Life Outside: The “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh, the first American tried in the post-9/11 War on Terror, is leaving prison after 17 years. More than 60 other U.S. citizens convicted of terrorism-related offenses will be released over the next half decade, according to one study. It’s not clear whether the country is prepared to deal with any of them.

Trump Should Be Thanking Him: The president has turned on his former lawyer, Don McGahn, in recent weeks. But instead of being angry, reports Peter Nicholas, he should be grateful: “McGahn’s service may have been more valuable to Trump than he realizes—it could even wind up prolonging his presidency.”


President Trump holds up a stat sheet related to the Mueller report as he speaks in the Rose Garden on Wednesday. (Andrew Harnik / AP)

Ideas From The Atlantic

Trump Was Right Not to Sign the Christchurch Call (Graeme Wood)
“The [pledge] was written with deliberate, strategic vagueness, so that an expression like freedom of expression can be taken to mean whatever a signatory wishes it to mean. But that vagueness poses risks, and if there is any chance that signing on would make the U.S. seem to endorse a French or Kiwi version of free expression, we should stay away.” → Read on.

A call to End the Priesthood Reveals a Deep Misunderstanding of Catholicism (Robert Sirico)
“By all means, renew the priesthood—it is sorely and embarrassingly in need of a radical renewal. But to call for its wholesale abolition is to call for the abolition of the Church itself. The Church cannot be reduced to the clergy, to be sure, but Catholicism is not the Church without its priests.” → Read on.

There’s More to College Than Getting Into College (David Coleman)
“According to a 2014 study by Gallup and Purdue University, only 3 percent of students have the kind of transformative experience in college that fosters personal success and happiness. Three percent. Even as the pressure of college admissions haunts students throughout their adolescence, whispering premature anxiety into questions of what to learn and how to spend time, the admissions process as we know it often misses the heart of the matter: What kind of education is really worth investing in?” → Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

How The View Became the Most Important Political TV Show in America (Amanda Fitzsimons, The New York Times Magazine) (🔒 Paywall)
Harriet Tubman $20 Bill No Longer Coming in 2020 (Tucker Higgins, CNBC)
Nevada Poised to Become the 15th State to Ditch Electoral College (Matthew S. Schwartz, NPR)
Abortion Debate Leaves No Room Between Extremes (Jonah Goldberg, National Review)
Women Come to Her to Find Out If They Can Legally Have an Abortion. Now the Answer Might Almost Always Be ‘No.’ (Caroline Kitchener, The Washington Post) (🔒 Paywall)

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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