“Fire and Fury”

President Trump needlessly escalated tensions with North Korea yesterday when he said that any continued threats to the U.S. by North Korea would be “met with fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.” The statement was met with immediate criticism from members of Congress, including those in his own party, and other policy makers, who warned that such rhetoric was “not helpful,” especially when the administration has no clear strategy. But the threats continued this morning, this time on Twitter, as Trump tweeted that the U.S. nuclear arsenal is “far stronger and more powerful than ever before,” without recognizing that it was the Obama Administration that had begun the nuclear modernization project.

Today marks 72 years after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, and the Trump administration should learn from the lessons of the past. Nuclear war with North Korea could be devastating and kill millions, including hundreds of thousands of Americans who live and are stationed in nearby South Korea. It’s time for Trump to utilize smart, clear policy tools and diplomacy to forge a long-term strategy that will keep the U.S.—and so many others—safe.

First, it’s crucial that Trump fill the key positions in that area that are still vacant, including the Ambassador to South Korea and the Head of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and the Pentagon. Trump has not even nominated an Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security to handle global nonproliferation. Then, it’s time to incorporate the following eight components into a new strategy for North Korea: strengthen alliances; strengthen U.S. military posture; get specific with China about what the U.S. expects them to do; use existing international sanctions effectively; revive diplomacy; partner with Congress; remember the North Korean people; and, coordinate internationally. To learn more about how this strategy could be effective, check out this article from the Center for American Progress. And to learn about the origins of this conflict, listen to a podcast from the Center for American Progress, Thinking CAP!

ACTION OF THE DAY

#ResistanceRecess. August continues to heat up, with several key town halls taking place today. Representatives Buddy Carter, Will Hurd, and Doug Collins are all hosting town halls today, to name a few. To see the full list of town halls and learn how to be most effective during this month, head to ResistanceNearMe.org.

WHAT’S TRENDING

New Lows. A new poll shows that Trump’s approval rating is at its lowest yet, especially among his most fervent supporters. His approval rating among Republicans plummeted 12 percentage points from July, and for those with household incomes between $30,000 to $50,000, Trump’s approval hovers at 27 percent. The poll also found that two-thirds (65%) of the public “think that members of his campaign colluded with Russia to help sway the November election.”

Sliding Into His DMs. In an interview with USA Today, Trump’s chief counsel John Dowd shared that he has been relaying private messages from Trump to special counsel Robert Mueller. Oddly enough, Down claimed the messages were to convey support and appreciation for Mueller’s work, which directly contradicts Trump’s public statements about the investigation.

Mosque Bombing. Although Trump’s silence continued about the attack on the Bloomington Islamic Center in Minnesota, one of his surrogates, Sebastian Gorka, spoke out. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to condemn the bombing. Instead, Gorka suggested that the attack could have been a “prop propagated by the left.” These false stories hide the reality that hate crimes against Muslims has increased by 91 percent in the first half of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016.

UNDER THE RADAR

Harmful Cuts. House Republicans’ proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 would have devastating impacts on struggling working families, according to a new report by the Center for American Progress. The cuts would cripple the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the largest and extremely effective program that helps families put food on the table. The cuts could leave 7 million households without access to SNAP in 2023—abandoning those who suffer from food insecurity—while killing an estimated 352,000 jobs.