Good morning! Here are the top three stories to start your day:
1: Trump Delays China Tariffs Citing ‘Substantial Progress’
President Trump on Sunday announced that he would delay his planned tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods because negotiators have made “substantial progress.”
In a series of tweets, Trump said “Assuming both sides make additional progress, we will be planning a Summit for President Xi and myself, at Mar-a-Lago, to conclude an agreement. A very good weekend for U.S. & China!”
Trump has already imposed a 10% tariff on Chinese goods and has threatened to impose higher tariffs, but signaled he would delay the tariff hikes if negotiations made progress.
2: 58 Ex-National Security Officials Sign Letter Denouncing National Emergency
Amid criticism of President Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency, a group of 58 former national security officials signed a letter saying they are “are aware of no emergency that remotely justifies” a national emergency declaration.
Several former Cabinet members signed the letter, including former Secretaries of Defense Chuck Hagel and Leon Panetta and former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and John Kerry.
The officials say that while they support the power of the president to declare a national emergency, they don’t believe the situation at the southern border justifies Trump’s declaration:
The President’s actions are at odds with the overwhelming evidence in the public record, including the administration’s own data and estimates. We have lived and worked through national emergencies, and we support the President’s power to mobilize the Executive Branch to respond quickly in genuine national emergencies. But under no plausible assessment of the evidence is there a national emergency today that entitles the President to tap into funds appropriated for other purposes to build a wall at the southern border.”
3: Pressure Mounts For Venezuela’s Maduro Ouster
The international community stepped up calls Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s ouster over the weekend after his country’s soldiers blocked foreign aid convoys.
Venezuelan soldiers clashed with protesters at the Brazilian border as the U.S. backed opposition attempted to bring foreign aid into the country, leaving 300 wounded.
Maduro, who still has the support of Russia and China, said the clashes over the weekend were part of a U.S. coup attempt.