The Note: Trump triumphs watching others scramble

The TAKE with Rick Klein

A week bookended by pageantry and punctuated by disruption has put the power and pull of President Donald Trump on full display.

Trump sought to upend alliances that have defined the last few decades, and found ready cheerleaders for the endeavor. He played it safe – by his standards – with a Supreme Court pick, and rallied his party behind him there, too.

Friday brings a royal embrace for the president in the United Kingdom, even as he offered an unfriendly welcome to Prime Minister Theresa May, as she wrestles with Brexit.

Back in Washington, House Republicans mounted a brazen spectacle of an attack on the Russia investigation. It helps set up a friendly Trump meeting Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump is doing plenty to make plenty of people take offense. But Trumpism's triumph is in watching others scramble, particularly so long as the president can count on his allies to rally behind him.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

By the end of the week, one chamber in Congress seemed to have fallen apart, while the other was surprisingly intact.

Going into the week, people might have predicted a Senate in shambles.

A few Senate Democrats, after all, were promising to oppose President's Trump nominee to the Supreme Court even before they had a name. And after the formal announcement, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would fight the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh with "everything I have."

Yes, Senate Democrats have held press conferences and rallies, drummed up progressive activists and, before the microphones, hammered home the fact that Kavanaugh has written about what he sees as sweeping presidential power. But day-to-day, it's seemed par for the course. Tough, but in bounds.

On the other hand, the House on Thursday: out of bounds, out of the norm.

Members of the Judiciary and Oversight committees questioning FBI agent Peter Strzok literally screamed at each other. From accusations about extramarital affairs levied in public to charges of witness badgering, to claims that Strzok (who sent personal text messages on his work phone harshly critical of President Trump) was either a villain or a victim, the whole group seemed dysfunctional.

The possibility for independent oversight had again turned into partisan finger-pointing.

The TIP with Roey Hadar

It seemed all over for Rep. Joe Crowley when he lost in a shocking upset to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in last month's Democratic primary.

But that's not the case, according to Ocasio-Cortez.

The 28-year-old progressive star accused Crowley of plotting a third-party run against her in a tweet Thursday morning, expressing her frustration that the congressman has yet to call her to formally concede and saying that he "stood her up."

Quite a contrast to Crowley bowing out on election night by singing a version of "Born to Run" dedicated to – Ocasio-Cortez.

Although Crowley lost the Democratic primary, he won the Working Families Party line in the same election, and because of New York's unusual election laws, he's basically stuck on the ballot.

The ten-term congressman responded to Ocasio-Cortez in a tweet of his own, stating that "the race is over and Democrats need to come together. I've made my support for you clear and the fact that I'm not running."

The Working Families Party has tried to get Crowley off the ballot by asking him to either change his official residence to Virginia, where his family lives, or run in another race elsewhere in the state.

So far, Crowley has done neither, meaning he's still slated to be on the ballot against Ocasio-Cortez in November - even if he isn't actually running.


  • President Trump and first lady Melania Trump have tea with Queen Elizabeth II at noon ET.
  • President Trump participates in an official greeting and bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May beginning at 5:45 a.m. He departs London at 2 p.m. and heads to his golf course in Turnberry, Scotland.
  • Vice President Pence is in Chicago to address a 'Tax Cuts to Put America First' event 12:30 p.m. and then attends a fundraiser for GOP Rep. Peter Roskam.
  • This Week on 'This Week': Ahead of President Trump's summit meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl anchors "This Week" from Washington, D.C., Sunday, with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos reporting from Helsinki. Plus, the Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics, with ABC News Contributor and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile, New York Times Washington Bureau Chief Elisabeth Bumiller, and Host of NPR's "Morning Edition" and "Up First" Steve Inskeep.
  • Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page meets behind closed doors with the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees for an interview at 1:30 p.m.
  • Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin sits down for a one-on-one interview with ABC's Robin Roberts on Good Morning America at 7:30 a.m.

    "I am asserting to you that my personal belief does not, did not constitute bias. Every American has political beliefs, every single one. And I would submit to you that the vast majority of those people are not biased individuals." - FBI agent Peter Strzok, defending his anti-Trump texts on Capitol Hill Thursday.


    Lawmakers, experts doubt Trump could unilaterally pull U.S. from NATO. President Donald Trump's contention during his Brussels news conference Thursday that he "probably can" pull the U.S. from NATO without congressional approval has resurfaced questions about whether the president has the political and constitutional power to do so. (Alexander Mallin and Ali Rogin)

    Allies doubt Trump threatened to bail on NATO in spending feud. During a meeting with NATO leaders Thursday, President Donald Trump reportedly said that if the major allies did not meet the 2 percent of GDP defense spending target by January 2019, the U.S. "would go it alone." (Tara Palmeri, Rym Momtaz and Meridith McGraw)

    Unpacking Trump's claim of new funding from NATO members. President Donald Trump claimed Thursday at the conclusion of the NATO summit that he had secured substantially increased defense funding commitments from the alliance's member nations. (Jordyn Phelps)

    Trump visits UK amid acrimonious relationship with London. Even with an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived at London Stansted airport for the American leader's first official visit to the U.K. Thursday morning amid an expected surge in protests. (Elizabeth Brown-Kaiser)

    President Trump says UK protests make him feel 'unwelcome.' In a stunning interview just hours before his arrival in the United Kingdom, President Donald Trump said large-scale protests in London make him feel "unwelcome" on his first visit to the country and he appeared to undercut Prime Minister Theresa May as she faces a political crisis over negotiations to exit the European Union. (Alexander Mallin)

    British pageantry on display as President Trump and first lady arrive at Blenheim Palace. British pageantry was on grand display Thursday as President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived on the historic grounds of Blenheim Palace for an exclusive black tie gala hosted by Prime Minister Theresa May. (Meridith McGraw and Karen Travers)

    FBI agent who sent anti-Trump texts defiantly fends of GOP attacks. Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who sent anti-Trump texts, engaged in angry exchanges with House Republicans Thursday as he testified for the first time in public at a joint hearing before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees. (Lucien Bruggeman, Benjamin Siegel and Mike Levine)

    Underprepared, understaffed, and uninformed -- FEMA audit faults agency response to 2017 hurricanes. FEMA pointed out that Puerto Rico's government has not yet achieved a level of preparedness commensurate with much of the U.S. mainland. (Joshua Hoyos)

    Americans rank Barack Obama as best president of their lifetimes: Poll. A new Pew Research Center poll says more Americans rank former President Barack Obama higher than any other when asked which president has done the best job in their lifetimes. (Adia Robinson)

    Mueller team pushing for information on Roger Stone, WikiLeaks, sources say. At least seven people associated with longtime Trump friend Roger Stone have been contacted by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to interviews with witnesses and others who say they've been contacted. (Pierre Thomas, Ali Dukakis and Allison Pecorin)

    Amid Mueller probe, Blackwater founder pitches mercenary takeover of Afghan war. Blackwater founder Erik Prince, who is facing scrutiny in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, is reprising his role as America's most famous private military contractor, hawking a proposal to turn over U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan to mercenaries. (James Gordon Meek)

    Progressive Democrats introduce bill to abolish ICE. Progressive Democrats introduced a bill in the House Thursday that would shut down U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within one year of enactment. (Lee Harris)

    The American Civil Liberties Union launched ACLU Voter, the organization's first nationwide voter education and mobilization program, to ensure all members, supporters, and the broader public vote like their rights depend on it this year.

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back Monday for the latest.