Friday's Mini-Report, 3.1.19

Today's edition of quick hits:

* Apparently, publicly siding with a dictator bothers some people: "The parents of Otto Warmbier issued a blistering statement Friday saying Kim Jong Un and his government 'are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity' after President Donald Trump asserted that the North Korean dictator had been unaware of the harrowing treatment the student endured while detained there."

* On a related note: "President Donald Trump on Friday attempted to clarify his comments that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was not responsible for the death of Otto Warmbier after a bipartisan backlash and a blistering statement from Warmbier's parents."

* Speaking of Trump's concessions to North Korea: "The U.S. military is preparing to announce that annual large-scale joint exercises conducted with South Korea every spring will no longer be held, according to two U.S. defense officials."

* This week changed the direction of the debate: "House Democrats on Thursday made plans to dig deeper into President Trump's business and charity, using testimony from former Trump attorney Michael Cohen as a road map to call new witnesses and seek new internal documents."

* On a related note: "The top tax-writing committee in the House is readying a request for years of President Donald Trump's personal tax returns that is expected to land at the Internal Revenue Service as early as the next few weeks, according to congressional aides involved in the process. And Democrats are prepared to 'take all necessary steps,' including litigation, in order to obtain them."

* House Democrats "held an emotional debate behind closed doors Thursday over how to stop losing embarrassing procedural battles with Republicans -- a clash that exposed the divide between moderates and progressives."

* HHS: "Health and Human Services officials refused Thursday to meet with Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), saying the House Ethics Committee chair must first apologize for stating publicly earlier this week that HHS staff sexually abused migrant children in agency custody."

* I continue to believe the Trump Foundation scandal is among the most serious surrounding the president: "Rep. Maxine Waters, who is leading a probe into President Donald Trump's finances, wants Trump's nonprofit foundation to be the Democrats' next target because of tax evasion concerns."

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.