In our news wrap Friday, President Trump suggested his summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un could be resurrected. The North Korean vice foreign minister said Pyongyang is ready to hold talks "at any time, at any format." Also, the president touted the U.S. military buildup in his commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy.
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President Trump is suggesting a meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong-un might be resurrected. The president called it off just yesterday, but, today, he welcomed a statement from the North.
In it, the vice foreign minister said Pyongyang is ready to hold talks — quote — "at any time, at any format."
Later, leaving the White House, Mr. Trump said the statement was very nice and he sounded a hopeful note.
President Donald Trump:
We will see what happens. It could even be the 12th. We're talking to them now. They very much want to do it. We'd like to do it. We are going to see what happens. Everybody plays games. You know that. You know that better than anybody.
Separately, Defense Secretary James Mattis said that it is good news that diplomats are working to get the summit back on track.
Later, the president touted the U.S. military buildup in his commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy. He told the graduates, the best way to prevent war is to be fully prepared for war. Afterward, he shook hands with all of the more than 1,000 new officers.
Former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was arrested — arraigned, that is, in New York today on rape and felony sex charges involving two women. Accusations against him galvanized the MeToo movement last fall. Weinstein turned himself in this morning, and was taken to state court in Manhattan. A prosecutor accused him of using his money and power to violate young women.
His lawyer said it was all consensual.
Mr. Weinstein didn't invent the casting couch in Hollywood, and to the extent that there is bad behavior in that industry. That is not what this is about. Bad behavior is not on trial in this case. It's only if you intentionally committed a criminal act, and Mr. Weinstein vigorously denies that.
Weinstein was released on $1 million bail. In all, some 75 women have alleged that he committed sexual wrongdoing. We will look further at this story later in the program.
A federal judge refused today to dismiss charges against Paul Manafort, President Trump's one-time campaign manager. He is accused of money laundering and making false statements about his work for Ukraine.
Meanwhile, it is widely reported that the president's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, met with a Russian billionaire 11 days before Mr. Trump's inauguration. A firm tied to the Russian later paid Cohen $500,000 for consulting.
There is word that the Trump administration has reached a deal to help Chinese telecom giant ZTE, at the behest of the Chinese government. The New York Times and others report that the company will have to pay a substantial fine and hire U.S. compliance officers. Last month, the Trump administration banned ZTE from buying U.S. technology for violating sanctions on Iran and North Korea.
Iran today demanded guarantees of economic incentives promised under the 2015 nuclear deal. Otherwise, it vowed to withdraw from the agreement, as the United States has done. The demand came as Iranian officials met with the nations that are still in the pact.
Meanwhile, in St. Petersburg, Russia, President Vladimir Putin warned that the U.S. is sowing instability by quitting the nuclear deal.
Vladimir Putin (through translator):
If international agreements are signed and then revised every four years, it would offer zero horizon for planning. It will create the atmosphere of nervousness and lack of trust.
Russia remains a party to the Iran nuclear agreement, along with Britain, China, France and Germany.
President Putin also rebuffed calls today to acknowledge Russian involvement in an airline disaster over Ukraine. The Malaysia Airlines passenger jet was shot down by a missile in 2014, killing 298 people on board. International investigators have now traced the missile to a Russian military unit.
Syrian war monitors report that Israeli airstrikes hit a military base overnight. The post, south of the city of Homs, is controlled by Iranian-backed Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon. There has been a series of Israeli air raids inside Syria aimed at Iran and its allies fighting for the Syrian regime.
The European Union's new data privacy rules took effect today. They curb how companies collect and sell data, and they require users' consent. The fines could reach 4 percent of a company's global revenue, or $23 million, whichever is higher.
A storm has formed in the Caribbean, a week before hurricane season starts. Alberto is off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula this evening, with sustained winds of 40 miles an hour. It is projected to reach the U.S. Gulf Coast and dump rain on Memorial Day events.
President Trump today signed executive orders making it easier to fire federal workers for poor performance. He also called for negotiating tougher contracts with federal employee unions. It amounts to the biggest change to civil service protections in a generation.
And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 58 points to close at 24753. The Nasdaq rose nine points, and the S&P 500 slipped six.
Still to come on the "NewsHour," a top White House official discusses the Trump agenda; Harvey Weinstein arrested in New York on rape charges; a historic vote in Ireland — will abortion become legal?; and much more.