The Week Ahead In Politics


Last week was, by almost any measure, an extraordinary one for news. The meeting between Presidents Putin and Trump in Helsinki reverberated throughout the week and particularly on Capitol Hill.


ADAM SCHIFF: It was a wholesale betrayal of the values and interests of this country.


BOB CORKER: It made us look as a nation more like a pushover.


MITCH MCCONNELL: I think the Russians need to know that there are a lot of us who fully understand what happened in 2016, and it really better not happen again in 2018.

COLEMAN: NPR’s Mara Liasson is here to help us process the past week and prepare for the next one.

Good morning, Mara.


COLEMAN: Mara, the post-Helsinki week was a really wild ride filled with clarifications and walk-backs from the president. And meanwhile, Putin and the Russians appear to be defining the post-summit narrative. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will go to the Hill this week to talk to members of Congress. What will they want to know?

LIASSON: I think members of Congress are going to want to ask the secretary of state, what happened in the meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump? They met for way over an hour privately with no one there but interpreters. And then there was a larger bilateral meeting. But the Russians say agreements were made, and the Russians are eager to follow up on those agreements. But there has been no readout or briefing in the United States about what happened, so it’s kind of like foreign policy in the dark.

COLEMAN: Something else that we heard about this week was the scuttled notion that the United States might offer up Americans – in particular, a former ambassador – to be questioned by the Russians. And of all the amazing things last week, that may have been the most amazing.

LIASSON: This is what the president called an incredible offer. In their private meeting, he said Putin said,…

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