Brothers K: North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un’s half-brother Kim Jong Nam, killed in a chemical-weapons attack two years ago in a Malaysia airport, was a CIA informant, according to two new accounts. In comments at the White House, President Donald Trump said, “I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices.” “The context of his remarks makes clear that what Trump ‘wouldn’t let … happen’ is not Kim Jong Nam’s killing, but his cultivation as an American asset,” argues David A. Graham.
I’m Out!: Republican Representative Justin Amash, who faced ire from his party after calling for President Trump’s impeachment, announced that he has quit the House Freedom Caucus. The group’s choice to not defend Amash—one of its founding members, who joined Congress in the 2010 Tea Party wave—shows how far the caucus has drifted from its original tenets of “slashing spending [and] standing up for those who break with the status quo,” Elaina Plott noted last month.
The Last Frontier: NASA recently announced that it would allow private citizens to fly to the International Space Station for the very first time, at $35,000 a night per passenger, starting as soon as next year. “That makes space tourism unsustainable, and to a certain mind, depressingly out of reach,” writes Rebecca Boyle. “Once, astronauts chosen for their courage, verve, intelligence, and vigor embodied the mystique of space. Now the right stuff will come with a price tag.”
Buttigieg’s New Foreign-Policy Tune(George Packer)
“Buttigieg wants to set a generous narrative of national identity against Trump’s cramped and cruel vision, and against the progressive hostility to any national identity at all. It won’t be easy… [The] strongest political emotions of the moment are fear, disillusionment, and hatred. As impressive as he is personally, Buttigieg hasn’t yet found the words, the music, and the policies to make his appeal convincing.” → Read on.
What Nancy Pelosi Wants to Do Before Impeachment(Steve Israel)
“For Pelosi, public sentiment doesn’t mean following public opinion, but strategically shaping it so that it’s more receptive to a strategic goal ... That takes message discipline, unity, and patience—all of which will be necessary as pressure to impeach President Donald Trump continues to build.” → Read on.
Just Doing My Job: In The Atlantic’s July issue, Rene Chun explores the “twisted logic” of hiring a hit man. “Criminologists have a name for a person who hires a hit man: instigator,” Chun writes. “They also confirm what news stories suggest: Lots of instigators get caught because they don’t know what they’re doing.”
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.