Capital Journal: Trump Stands By Saudi Arabia; Overlooked Key to Democratic Victories; Pelosi Gains Fudge’s Support

This is the web version of the WSJ’s Capital Journal newsletter. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

What We’re Watching

Trump’s Day: President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are in Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Stocks: Mounting concerns about the pace of growth sent the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average to their lowest levels in months, wiping out yearly gains. Global stocks steadied some today.

U.S.-China: Less than two weeks ahead of a China-U.S. summit, the U.S. trade representative accused Beijing of failing to change economic policies that threaten U.S. industry.

Capital Journal is taking a break Nov. 22 for Thanksgiving and will be back Nov. 23. For coverage throughout the holiday, visit

Trump Administration

President Trump intends to remain a “steadfast partner” of Saudi Arabia, expressing skepticism yesterday of the CIA’s reported determination that the Saudi crown prince ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last month, report Rebecca Ballhaus and Vivian Salama. The statement surprised some officials in the U.S. intelligence community, who said they were confused about its policy goals.

-Saudi security officers have tortured jailed women’s-rights activists to squelch criticism of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to people familiar with the situation.

House Democrats plan to conduct an investigation into Ivanka Trump’s use of a private email account for government business. Ms. Trump’s emails appear to violate guidelines governing official use of email, Vivian Salama reports. President Trump defended his daughter, saying “there was no hiding, there was no deleting like Hillary Clinton.”

Inside Look

How to Read Trump’s Statement on Khashoggi Killing
By Jerry Seib

Mueller Probe

President Trump’s lawyers submitted written responses to questions about possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 election, Rebecca Ballhaus reports. Indications have emerged that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is wrapping up, among them the recent departure from his office of a handful of prosecutors.

Matthew Whitaker earned more than $ 900,000 running a conservative nonprofit before he joined the Justice Department, financial-disclosure forms show. The forms were released amid demands from watchdog groups and Democratic lawmakers. Democrats continue to say the acting attorney general should recuse himself from the special counsel investigation.


Rep. Nancy Pelosi has notched key endorsements in her campaign to retake the gavel. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D., Ohio), who has been the only lawmaker to say she was considering challenging Mrs. Pelosi, said she wouldn’t run against the minority leader for the post. Mrs. Pelosi announced at roughly the same time that Ms. Fudge would be chairwoman of a new subcommittee on elections, reports Natalie Andrews.

Rep. Mia Love (R., Utah), the first black woman to join the GOP’s ranks in Congress, was narrowly defeated by Ben McAdams. Ms. Love’s campaign was plagued by ethical questions, and her district has trended away from the party, Joshua Jamerson reports.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith is facing fresh questions about her views of Mississippi’s struggles with racial tensions. A photograph showing her wearing a Confederate soldier’s hat and holding a rifle surfaced yesterday, hours before the Republican faced off against Democrat Mike Espy in a televised debate ahead of the Nov. 27 runoff election, Ken Thomas reports.

-The senator apologized  yesterday for recent remarks she made that evoked Mississippi’s history of lynchings but accused her opponents of using her words as a “political weapon.”

Suburbs look more like the nation’s cities—and are increasingly voting like cities, reports Soo Oh. Suburban voters of color, who made up about 11% of turnout this year, voted for Democrats at a higher rate than college-educated suburban white women.


Some of the U.S. troops ordered to the Mexican border last month could begin returning to their home bases in coming days, Gordon Lubold reports. But any changes will result from evolving needs, not from a move by the Pentagon to wind down the deployment, which is scheduled to last until Dec. 15, officials said.

In the latest court setback for the administration’s tough-on-immigration approach, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar‘s order granted an emergency request to suspend the new Trump initiative that made undocumented immigrants ineligible for asylum if they crossed the border illegally. The underlying court case on its legal merits will continue.

Economy & Business

The U.S. economy is firing on all cylinders but markets are signaling increased concerns, Greg Ip writes. JPMorgan economists have charted a rise in the likelihood of a recession starting within the next 12 months.

Steve Bannon is teaming up with one of the Chinese government’s fiercest critics. The former chief strategist for Mr. Trump and exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui are leading a $ 100 million effort to investigate what they view as abuses of power by the Chinese government.

What We’re Reading

The Mississippi Senate runoff, which was supposed to be an easy win for Republicans, is turning into a “nightmare scenario” for the party. (ABC News)

Women in Saudi Arabia have found a new way to silently protest about their long robes they are expected to wear in public to hide their bodies: They are wearing them inside-out. (Quartz)

President Trump said he “can’t imagine anybody else other than Trump” will be Time magazine’s person of the year. (The Hill)

About Us

This newsletter is a production of the WSJ Washington bureau. The newsletter’s editors are Tim Hanrahan, Kate Milani andTroy McCullough. Send feedback to

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Washington Wire

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By :