The Briefing Briefly: April 23 Edition

Pas De Collusion (that’s no collusion but in French);
or Monday’s White House Press Briefing

Bonjour, and welcome to today’s White House Press Briefing. I know you must have missed The Briefing, Briefly as the Trump administration greeted Shinzo Abe in sunny West Palm Beach, Florida. For all of you wondering, no, I didn’t catch a tan. A smiley Sarah Huckabee Sanders greeted the briefing room to kick off what is likely to be an exciting week in Washington. 

The Week Ahead:

  • French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte have touched down in the USA for the Trump administration’s first official state visit.
  • The Trumps and the Macrons will go to Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, Monday night for a private dinner.
  • Tomorrow, Trump and Macron will host a bilateral meeting.
  • First Lady Melania Trump will also host the first state dinner at the White House.

The leaders will likely discuss the Paris accord, U.S. troops in Syria, Korean denuclearization, and more.

A Royal Birth: Sarah also offered an official congratulations to Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton on the birth of their newest child — a baby boy! 

And with that, she took our questions. 

“Denuclearization” by any other name may…work for Trump? … is a question several reporters asked Sarah after news circulated that the president may be willing to cut a deal with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that’s softer than we may expect. 

Sarah flatly said that Trump is not willing to budge on his biggest red line: “The goal is to — complete denuclearization, and we will continue the maximum pressure campaign to North Korea until we think concrete actions are taken toward complete and total denuclearization.

How can we trust the DPRK? Well, by putting trust in our South Korean allies, Sarah added.

And -— as notable -— how can the DPRK trust us?  According to Sarah: The president wants to do what is in the best interests of our country. Even in the world. Particularly having North Korea in the great — and the Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons is a good thing…” 

In White House staffing news…

SURPRISE! There are no announcements. Though reader, you should be keeping your eye on controversial EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. Now that Congress has confirmed an EPA deputy, reporters are wondering if Pruitt’s days are numbered.

The administration is keeping tabs on CIA director and State Department Hopeful Mike Pompeo who is awaiting confirmation vote. Regardless of a favorable committee nomination, Sarah urged Congress to vote “yes” on Pompeo.

John Gizzi Literary Reference of the Day: Sword of Damocles

And, to wrap, Sarah let us know once more that there was “no collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia.

And that was today’s briefing, briefly!

Check us out tomorrow, especially on the @theIJR twitter account, for live updates of Mr. and Mrs. Macron’s Week Off. Au revoir!

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