Friday’s Mini-Report, 5.25.18

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Friday afternoon ahead of a holiday weekend: “President Trump on Friday signed a series of executive orders making it easier to fire federal government workers and rolling back the prerogatives of unions that represent them.”

* Congress won’t be pleased: “The Trump administration has told Congress that it’s reached a deal that would allow Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE Corp. to stay in business, a source familiar with the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a confidential matter said Friday.”

* A potentially important revelation: “Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, met with a Russian oligarch and discussed U.S.-Russia relations just 11 days before Trump was inaugurated as president, according to a person familiar with the meeting. A firm connected to the oligarch, billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, later paid Cohen $500,000 for consulting work.”

* Decisiveness is not his strong suit: “President Trump said on Friday that his administration was back in touch with North Korea and the two sides may reschedule his summit meeting with Kim Jong-un, perhaps even on the original June 12 date, a stunning reversal just a day after the president canceled the get-together.”

* Hmm: “Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., says the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., may have provided ‘false testimony’ to the Senate Judiciary Committee when he was asked about the Trump campaign’s involvement with foreign governments and foreign nationals.”

* Sometimes, pressure campaigns work: “Supermarket giant Publix said Friday it has halted all corporate political contributions. The company made the announcement moments before a planned ‘die-in’ protest organized by David Hogg, a vocal Parkland school shooting survivor.”

* Good to know: “Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said Friday morning that Michael Cohen remains a deputy finance chair at the RNC despite the fact that he’s under criminal investigation.”

* That’s an amazing figure: “EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s security detail cost about $3.5 million for his first year in office, more than twice what his predecessor spent in the final year of the Obama administration, according to spending summaries released today by EPA.”

* Don’t believe the White House’s figures: “The Congressional Budget Office estimates the government will take in $1.9 trillion less in revenue and spend $300 billion more over the next decade than the White House estimated under its latest budget proposal if the plan were enacted.”

* China cares a lot about spheres of influence: “The West African nation of Burkina Faso announced on Thursday that it was ending official diplomatic relations with Taiwan’s government, a new challenge to the self-governing democracy as Beijing increasingly tries to isolate it on the global stage.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Friday's Mini-Report, 5.25.18