Good Friday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today.
• In a lengthy Oval Office interview, President Trump told The New York Times that negotiating with Congress over his long-sought border wall was a “waste of time” and that he would probably take action on it himself. He also spoke about the Russia investigation and the 2020 election. Here are five takeaways from the interview.
• The Senate, in a stinging bipartisan rebuke to Mr. Trump’s foreign policy, advanced legislation to express strong opposition to his decision to pull troops from Syria and Afghanistan.
• After two months of being cooped up in the White House, Mr. Trump will spend the weekend at his oasis, the place where he is most comfortable: Mar-a-Lago.
• Mr. Trump said trade negotiations with China were going well but that no final agreement would be reached until he met with President Xi Jinping. He also warned that he was prepared to move ahead with higher tariffs on Chinese goods if Beijing did not accede to America’s demands.
• Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign reported raising $21 million in the final three months of 2018. Three out of every four dollars came from small donors, a contrast to many Republican midterm congressional campaigns, which relied more on wealthy contributors.
• The top American diplomat on North Korea, Stephen Biegun, signaled that the United States might soften its demand that North Korea list all its nuclear assets as a first step toward denuclearization.
• Mr. Trump signed an executive order that will push for federal dollars spent on infrastructure projects to go to American companies. The measure is meant to bolster blue-collar Trump supporters whose economic prospects have been shaken by the president’s trade policies.
• Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a plan that would subject more wealthy Americans to the estate tax, joining a wave of left-wing politicians calling for new ways to tax the rich.
• The Trump administration told Congress that it intends to make it much easier for gun manufacturers to sell firearms abroad. The administration also proposed to lower prescription drug costs by requiring insurers and middlemen to share the discounts they get with consumers.
• Sexual assaults rose sharply at three American military academies over the last two years. Despite the Pentagon’s efforts to encourage students to report assaults, unreported cases surged by almost 50 percent during the 2017-18 academic year, a Defense Department study found.
Today’s On Politics briefing was compiled by Isabella Grullón Paz in New York.
Were you forwarded this newsletter? Subscribe here to get it delivered to your inbox.
Is there anything you think we’re missing? Anything you want to see more of? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.