By Zeke J Miller
April 19, 2017

The Trump Administration has certified that Iran is complying with the Obama-negotiated nuclear agreement. The confirmation, which tracks the public statements of independent monitors, intelligence agencies and foreign allies, flies in the face of the president’s campaign rhetoric. In a letter affirming Iran’s compliance, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson noted Iran’s continued status as a state sponsor of terror and said an interagency process is underway to determine whether suspending sanctions — as the agreement calls for – is in the best interests of the United States. But it’s a far cry from Trump’s call that it was a “terrible” deal and the worst deal ever cut, and one that he had pledged to cancel or at least renegotiate.

Georgia’s special congressional election is heading to a run-off after the Democrat, Jon Ossoff, finished just shy of the 50-percent threshold needed to secure outright victory. Both parties are claiming the results were a win, but don’t buy the spin. Ossoff still put up a strong enough showing to reveal the GOP’s weaknesses, and Democrats were denied the momentum boost they so sorely needed.

The White House gets the location of a U.S. carrier wrong by thousands of miles. The White House delays its consideration of the Paris climate deal. And Trump’s inaugural committee doubles Obama fundraising record.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

High-Profile Georgia Congressional Race Heads to a Runoff
Party showdown to continue into June as both sides claim victory [Associated Press]

A Month After Dismissing Federal Prosecutors, Justice Department Does Not Have Any U.S. Attorneys in Place
Administration has yet to make any nominations [Washington Post]

Nothing to See Here: US Carrier Still Thousands of Miles from Korea
Despite White House claims to contrary [Defense News]

Trump Administration Says Iran Complying With Nuclear Deal
Letter to Congress suggests the U.S. might not support the agreement going forward [Wall Street Journal]

World Leaders On Edge as President Trump Weighs Pulling U.S. Out of Paris Climate Deal
Administration sends mixed signals [TIME]

Sound Off

“The United States of America will always seek peace but under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready.” — Vice President Mike Pence speaking aboard the USS Ronald Reagan in Japan

“I don’t think that — again, that wasn’t the purpose of the call. And that’s certainly not the position of the President, and of course supports democracy and would hope for that. But at the same time, the President’s number-one priority is protecting Americans, keeping Americans safe, and sometimes we’re going to have to work with other countries and some of our NATO partners in order to do that.” — White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on whether Trump’s call to Erdogan sent the message that he supports his power grab

Bits and Bites

For Patriots visit, Trump gets to show off role of fan-in-chief [Boston Globe]

Trump has embraced autocratic leaders without hesitation [Associated Press]

This Beltway insider is in charge of hiring for the Trump administration. It’s taking a while. [Washington Post]

Get a First Look at Rare Richard Avedon Portraits of Jackie and John F. Kennedy [TIME]

Marijuana-Related Charges Will Still Be Used to Build Deportation Cases, the Homeland Security Chief Says [TIME]

First Protected Dreamer Deported to Mexico Under President Trump [TIME]

Former President George H.W. Bush Hospitalized Again in Houston [TIME]

Democrats Say President Trump’s Border Wall Could Cost $67 Billion [TIME]

Sheldon Adelson Gave $5 Million for Trump’s Inauguration [New York Times]

White House Postpones Meeting on Paris Climate Accord [TIME]

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