The Note: Trump's doctrines get tested by world events

Nowhere are the stakes higher now than with Iran.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

President Donald Trump's doctrines -- yes, that would be plural -- are suddenly being tested across the globe.

It matters for baseline economic reasons when it comes to China, with the stock market now off its record highs. And it matters to Trump's own pride, with his allegiance to Kim Jong Un under renewed scrutiny.

Nowhere are the stakes higher now than with Iran. With acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan warning of a "credible threat" and national security adviser John Bolton threatening "unrelenting force" in retaliation for any attack on U.S. interests or allies, the Trump administration has escalated a potential confrontation that was barely on the international radar screen.

The president's stance on Iran has been a provocative and complicated one from the start. Now his stance and his style could have real and scary consequences.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Trade negotiations with China seem to be coming to a head this week, as the president makes new threats with new deadlines, just days before a Chinese delegations lands in the U.S. for formal talks. The renewed focus on trade in global headlines has the potential to spill over into the 2020 presidential primary fight too and put a spotlight on differences between former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democrats who are running.

In the 2016 race, the Trans-Pacific Partnership became a sticking point between President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, his first secretary of state. Her rival in that Democratic primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders, made a point of disagreeing with the Obama administration over the issue, and so Clinton then struggled to explain why she was initially part of the team supporting the potential trade agreement and then later against it.

Fast-forward to this week and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told the president that he has his back in the showdown with China.

"Hang tough on China, President Donald Trump. Don't back down. Strength is the only way to win with China," Schumer wrote.

Eyes will be on Biden to see, if he agrees, and whether he thinks the Obama administration should have also been stronger with Beijing.

The TIP with Beatrice Peterson

Perennial presidential candidate Ron Paul, the father of former GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, recently weighed in on the crowded field of 2020 Democratic competitors, saying that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is the best of the lot.

Ron Paul isn't the first Libertarian to support Gabbard, who hails from Hawaii.

Radio host Joe Rogan also announced his support declaring, "Tulsi Gabbard's my girl, I'm voting for her I decided, I like her. I met her in person."


ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Tuesday morning's episode features ABC News' Anne Flaherty, who explains why the Trump administration is extending more visas to seasonal migrant workers. And ABC News contributor and former Marine pilot Steve Ganyard explains how the show of force against Iran could play out on the world stage.

ABC News' "The Investigation" podcast. On the day President Donald Trump's former fixer and lawyer Michael Cohen reports to federal prison, actor Tom Arnold joins "The Investigation" to discuss his unconventional friendship with Cohen, how they met and even shares a discreetly recorded phone call between the two.


  • President Donald Trump attends first lady Melania Trump's "Be Best" anniversary celebration at the White House at 11 a.m., has lunch with Vice President Mike Pence at 12:15 p.m. and will participate in a meeting with Republican members of the Senate at 3 p.m.
  • Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speak at the Machinists Union Legislative Conference in Washington. The conference starts at 9 a.m.
  • FBI Director Christopher Wray appears before the Senate Appropriations Committee at 9:30 a.m. in Washington to review the FBI's 2020 budget request.
  • Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, continues campaigning in Iowa with five stops throughout the state.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden meets with voters at the International Union of Painters and Allied Traders at 10:30 a.m. local time in Las Vegas.
  • Former Housing and Development Secretary Julian Castro travels to Iowa to host multiple meet-and-greets with college students. In the evening, he's scheduled to participate in a 2020 book club Q&A at 7:30 p.m. Central in Des Moines.
  • Download the ABC News app and select "The Note" as an item of interest to receive it every weekday.

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