The Biggest Stories in American Politics This Week


From the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, to the release of a report highly critical of the former director of the F.B.I., a lot happened this week. Here are five of the biggest stories in American politics — and some additional links if you want to read further.

President Trump and Kim Jong-un met face-to-face for nuclear talks, but it’s unclear what concrete steps were taken to denuclearize the North.

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President Trump and Kim Jong-un on Tuesday in Singapore.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

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A report on the F.B.I.’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails criticized James Comey, but found no bias in its conclusion.

James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, during a conference this month in Ottawa.CreditJustin Tang/Canadian Press, via Associated Press

The Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, harshly criticized James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, as “insubordinate” in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server in handling classified information.

But while Mr. Horowitz faulted the culture in the law enforcement agency during the 2016 presidential election — including new texts in which the F.B.I. agent overseeing the inquiry into the Trump campaign pledged to stop the candidate from becoming president — he did not challenge the outcome of the Clinton investigation.

The report offered a condemnation bound to shape Mr. Comey’s legacy, vindication for Democrats angry with Mr. Comey’s decision and for Mr. Trump, apparent proof of the F.B.I.’s bias.

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The war of words between the United States and China over trade became a full-blown trade war.

Employees this year at a manufacturing plant in McKeesport, Pa. China said it would hit back by imposing tariffs on United States goods.CreditRoss Mantle for The New York Times

The Trump administration said Friday that it would move forward with tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, the latest twist in the administration’s wavering approach to dealing with Beijing’s trade practices.

China said it would hit back with its own tariffs, although it did not specify what goods it would target.

Republican leaders in Congress decided this week to block an amendment that would have required the president to impose tariffs based on national security. Mr. Trump has also continued his threats to enforce tariffs on American allies, including Canada.

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Paul Ryan promised a vote on two immigration bills next week, but the passage of either measure remains in doubt.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan last week in Washington.CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

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In Tuesday’s midterm primaries, Republican voters embraced Trump-style candidates.

Supporters cheered Corey Stewart, a local official who has made his name condemning illegal immigrants, after he won the Republican Senate primary in Virginia on Tuesday.CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

Republican voters in midterm primaries on Tuesday aligned themselves with Trump-style candidates: a current Republican representative in South Carolina who had been vocal in his criticism of the president lost the race, and a controversial firebrand secured his party nomination for Senate in Virginia.

The results emphasized how much the Republican Party has become the party of Trump and the risks candidates face if they try to contradict the president and his policies.

Conversely, Democratic voters embraced establishment candidates in races for Congress and governor.

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