By Zeke J Miller
September 22, 2017

President Trump is toughening sanctions on North Korea, and praising China for going along. But where he hopes to take “madman” Kim Jong Un remains unclear. Administration officials have been unwilling to discuss even the broad outlines of what a deal to denuclearize the peninsula would look like, other than maintaining it would be unlike the Iran deal Trump so frequently derides. In that case, they are correct: North Korea is far further along in its nuclear program, having conducted multiple tests both of bombs and its missiles. Officials say the sanctions are intended to force North Korea to the negotiating table, but they are running out of levers to apply pressure.

Facebook is turning over records of Russian ads from the 2016 campaign, as it finds itself under fire for allowing its platform to be exploited by a foreign adversary. McConnell lays it on the line as he brings up a healthcare bill once again. And the Alabama Senate race is a new test for Trump and the GOP.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

Republicans Have a Bill to Repeal Obamacare. They Don’t Know Exactly What It Will Do
No CBO score, and conflicting predictions [TIME]

Facebook Will Give Congress Thousands of Ads Bought by Russian Agency
Company pledges more human involvement in ad sales [Associated Press]

U.S. Considers Limiting Military Ties to Myanmar Over Rohingya Crisis
TIME’s Elizabeth Dias scoops

Trump Expands U.S. Sanctions on Dealings With North Korea
Executive order gives Treasury more power to target Pyongyang’s trading partners [Wall Street Journal]

Price Traveled by Private Plane at Least 24 Times
HHS secretary chartered flights even to cities with frequent, inexpensive commercial options [Politico]

Trump Poised to Drop Some Limits on Drone Strikes and Commando Raids
Expanding rules of engagement outside Afghanistan and Iraq [New York Times]

Roy Moore Disrupts U.S. Senate Race in Alabama
And prepares for new level of defiance in Washington [Washington Post]

McConnell Lays it on the Line
The Senate leader could be a GOP hero or goat depending on how the next week goes [Politico]

Sound Off

“We’re not going to run scared. If for any reason North Korea attacks the United States or our allies, the U.S. will respond. Period. That’s what’s going to happen,” — U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley to reporters

“Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!” — President Trump in a Friday tweet

Bits and Bites

Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Immigration Reform: ‘People Feel At Risk’ [TIME]

‘I Care Deeply About the Democratic Process.’ Mark Zuckerberg Reveals Facebook Election Meddling Plan [TIME]

Skadden, Big New York Law Firm, Faces Questions on Work With Manafort [New York Times]

North Korea’s Kim: ‘Mentally deranged’ Trump ‘will pay dearly’ for comments at UN [CNN]

Nikki Haley emerges as interpreter — and megaphone — for Trump [Washington Post]

The insane news cycle of Trump’s presidency in 1 chart [Axios]

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