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Vox Sentences: North Korea sours on Trump summit

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Trump’s new financial forms; Kim Jong Un’s latest stance on the Trump summit.


Trump’s Stormy disclosure

Trump AP Photo/Evan Vucci
  • President Donald Trump listed a more than $100,000 reimbursement to his personal attorney Michael Cohen on new financial disclosure forms. [NYT / Steve Eder, Eric Lipton, and Ben Protess]
  • The purpose of that sum wasn’t disclosed, but it sure looks like Trump was repaying Cohen for that $130,000 in hush money paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. [Washington Post / David Fahrenthold and Jonathan O’Connell]
  • Trump pretty much had to disclose. His attorney Rudy Giuliani said Trump had reimbursed Cohen, and the president — after previously denying any knowledge of the hush money — confirmed that account in a series of tweets earlier this month. [USA Today / Walter Shaub and Adav Not]
  • But Trump tried to have it both ways, disclosing the payment and saying he did so only in the interest of transparency. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
  • The Office of Government Ethics didn’t quite buy that line. The acting director notified Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about the disclosure, saying he might find the information “relevant to any inquiry you may be pursuing.” [NPR / Peter Overby]
  • It’s not clear what kind of legal trouble Trump could face. But that letter doesn’t sound great for him. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]

North Korea starts acting like North Korea

  • North Korea wants America to know it isn’t really feeling denuclearization — and it might be losing its appetite for the planned summit with President Trump. [Vox / Alex Ward]
  • North Korea threatened to cancel the June 12 summit. The vice minister of foreign affairs chastised the US for trying to “drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment.” [NYT / Choe Sang-Hun and Mark Landler]
  • Pyongyang also burned National Security Adviser John Bolton, saying, “we do not hide our feelings of repugnance toward him.” [NYT / Choe Sang-Hun and Mark Landler]
  • What happened to all the goodwill? Apparently, “denuclearization” means different things to different people. The Trump administration — the hawkish Bolton among them — wants North Korea to completely give up its nukes. The North sees things a bit differently. [Guardian / Julian Borger]
  • It didn’t help that Bolton mentioned the “Libya model” when referring to North Korean denuclearization. That, as history showed, didn’t turn out so well for Muammar Qaddafi. Can’t blame Kim Jong Un; that sounds like a pretty lousy deal. [Washington Post / Rick Noack]
  • This latest back-and-forth reveals the fundamental problem that existed all along: The US and North Korea haven’t settled the fundamental issues. It underlines just how risky Trump’s strategy — focusing on the optics — might be. [Washington Post / David Nakamura]

Miscellaneous

  • Ireland’s national cervical cancer screening program gave the wrong results to hundreds of women, leaving more than 200 who should have received earlier intervention without it. 18 women have already died. [BBC]
  • Slate’s Jamelle Bouie argues that Trump’s “welfare chauvinism” was a critical part of his appeal since he could attract voters who were opposed to immigration and racial liberalism but also in favor of more government spending. [Slate / Jamelle Bouie]
  • The beginnings of the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s Russia ties, featuring a code name and a lot of secrecy. [NYT / Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, and Nicholas Fandos]
  • Michigan State University will pay a $500 million settlement to more than 300 sexual abuse victims of disgraced Olympic doctor Larry Nassar. [ESPN / Dan Murphy and John Barr]

Verbatim

“What a silly reason to fly first class. ... Nobody even knows who you are.” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) at Senate hearing Wednesday, questioning EPA chief Scott Pruitt on his claim that he needs to fly first-class for security reasons. [New Republic / Emily Atkin]


Watch this: How British royals plan a wedding

Royal weddings are way more complicated than ours. [YouTube / Rebecca Jennings and Kimberly Mas]


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