The guest writer of today’s newsletter is Ian Prasad Philbrick, an editorial assistant at The Times.
On the news. President Trump’s belated denunciation of white supremacy was just enough to appease alt-right members of his base while placating his more mainstream political allies, argues Vox’s Matthew Yglesias. Rather than “an apology, a change of heart, or even a good-faith effort to pretend to be sorry,” he writes, “it offers his allies and supporters an excuse.”
Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos’s attempts to set up meetings with Kremlin officials before the 2016 election is more evidence of “serial Russian efforts to probe the campaign, figure out whom they could use, and for what,” Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes argues on Twitter.
The president’s inquiry into China’s alleged theft of United States intellectual property risks antagonizing the country whose help Trump has sought to reduce the North Korean nuclear threat, explains Business Insider’s Linette Lopez. “De-escalating tensions with North Korea while ratcheting them up with China probably won’t work,” she writes.
In The Times. From condemning future marches to supporting the removal of Confederate statues, the president has several options to prove the concerns he articulated about white supremacy yesterday are genuine, writes the Editorial Board. “Mr. Trump can look to the examples of New Orleans, Richmond, Va., and Charleston, S.C., where activists and courageous public officials have worked together to end the glorification of some of the great villains in American history.”