Here Are the Biggest Stories in American Politics This Week

From the cancellation of the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting (for now) to upsets in primary elections, a lot happened this week. Here are the five biggest stories — and some links if you want to read further.

President Trump pulled out of the summit meeting with North Korea — for now.

President Trump delivered remarks after his earlier announcement that the United States would not participate in a planned meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un.Published OnCreditImage by Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump on Thursday sent a letter to the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, pulling out of a highly anticipated summit meeting next month and accusing the North Koreans of bad faith. But the next day, he said that his administration was back in touch with North Korea, and that the meeting may be rescheduled.

North Korea had been infuriated over comments from Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, John R. Bolton, describing the voluntary disarmament of Libya in 2003 as a precedent for the negotiations with North Korea. A North Korean official later labeled Vice President Mike Pence a “political dummy” and threatened a “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown” after he echoed Mr. Bolton’s sentiments.

Mr. Trump, however, said he was pleased with a conciliatory statement from North Korea that said the country was willing to give Mr. Trump “time and opportunity” to reconsider his decision.

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The president continued to push back against his own Justice Department and top intelligence officials.

Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, on Thursday.CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

Mr. Trump demanded on Sunday that the Justice Department investigate whether the department or the F.B.I. “infiltrated or surveilled” his presidential campaign under orders from the Obama administration.

It was an extraordinary application of presidential pressure that has little legal precedent and highlights the struggle Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, faces in maintaining the department’s independence.

John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, and Emmet T. Flood, a lawyer representing the president in the Russia investigation, were present at the beginning of two meetings requested by top lawmakers to view classified information about the F.B.I.’s use of an informant in the inquiry. Their presence alarmed Democrats, although the two men left the meetings before any information was shared.

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There were historic upsets and breakthroughs in a series of primary elections.

Ms. Abrams, a former State House leader, won her Democratic primary in Georgia on Tuesday, becoming the first black woman to be a major party nominee for governor.Published OnCreditImage by Melissa Golden for The New York Times

In a primary election held Tuesday in Georgia, Stacey Abrams made history, becoming the first black woman in any state to be nominated for governor by a major party. Ms. Abrams, a liberal former State House leader, will now test how much the traditionally conservative state’s politics are shifting.

And there were upsets in two Kentucky primary elections: In a State House race, a teacher beat out a Republican power broker, and in a congressional race, Amy McGrath, a military veteran, defeated the popular mayor of Lexington.

Mr. Pence and other high-profile conservatives also saw the limitations of their political clout, as their preferred candidate, Bunni Pounds, a conservative activist, was defeated in a Republican primary for the Dallas-area House seat that Representative Jeb Hensarling is vacating.

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The White House announced continuing negotiations with China over tariffs and a major telecom firm.

The Trump administration is said to have reached a deal that would allow the Chinese telecom firm ZTE to once again begin doing business with American companies.CreditManu Fernandez/Associated Press

The White House told Congress on Friday that it had a deal to save the Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE, a powerful bargaining chip in trade negotiations with Beijing. The deal comes over objections from lawmakers, who took steps on Thursday to limit the administration’s flexibility on the issue.

The company was recently banned from buying American products for seven years because it violated United States sanctions against Iran and North Korea — and then lied about it. The Commerce Department would lift the so-called denial order preventing the company’s purchases if ZTE paid a substantial fine, made changes to its current management team and hired American compliance officers to be placed at the firm.

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said on Sunday that the administration had suspended plans to impose tariffs on China as trade talks between the two countries continued. The planned tariffs were on as much as $150 billion of Chinese goods.

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Military and diplomatic tensions escalated with China and Venezuela.

Todd D. Robinson, right, the chargé d’affaires of the United States Embassy in Venezuela, in Caracas last week.CreditJuan Barreto/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela on Tuesday ordered the top American diplomat and his deputy expelled, labeling them conspirators against his government. The announcement came days after Mr. Maduro’s re-election, which the United States government called a “sham” election.

The Trump administration on Monday placed new sanctions on Venezuela after Mr. Maduro’s lopsided victory, seeking to block Mr. Maduro from selling off government debt to enrich himself.

The United States also revoked an invitation to China to participate in a multinational naval exercise, citing China’s rapid military buildup on disputed islands in the South China Sea. The military snub, announced on Wednesday, added to tensions already present over trade and China’s relationship with North Korea.

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