FROM Sam Gardiner
President Bush's Middle East Trip The President's trip to the Middle East was billed as fairly routine, a speech celebrating Israel's 60th anniversary and talks with Arab leaders on oil and peace talks with the Palestinians. His "appeasement" speech has focused more attention than expected. One Washington rumor explains yesterday's "appeasement" denunciation as preparation for attacks on military encampments inside Iran. Barack Obama today called the President's insinuation "appalling," adding that he has not advocated talks with Hamas in Gaza, but that John McCain has. Meantime, the President has left Israel for Saudi Arabia and Egypt, where he'll meet with several Middle East allies. We hear what Obama had to say and get several views of what the President has in mind.
House Republicans release their Obamacare replacement As two House committees take up "repeal and replacement" of "Obamacare," there may be life left in the Affordable Care Act after all. Even Republicans are divided, and proposed changes won't make good on President Trump's promise to provide "health insurance for everybody."
Cover-up or witch hunt?: The latest on the WH ties to Russia Less than two months into his Presidency, Donald Trump is struggling to get his agenda under way, making it harder himself with tweets that dominate public attention. Meanwhile, important questions are going unanswered: why have staff members and the Attorney General lied about contacts with Russian officials?
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."