FROM John Micklethwait
The America presidential nominee and the Russian strongman Donald Trump admires Vladimir Putin for what he calls "strong leadership" — especially compared to Barack Obama. The President says "strong leadership" means cronyism, corruption and censorship, while healthcare, education and the economy are in decline. But polls show many Republicans, once warned by Ronald Reagan about an "evil empire," now look more kindly on Russia under Putin’s iron-fisted control. W e talk with a reporter who interviewed Putin for two hours. What did he say about Donald Trump? What about trying to manipulate American voters? As Trump sings praises for Russia's leader, how strong is the appeal of Putin's authoritarian style to American voters?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.