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Week in politics: President Pence? Not so fast. Plus, more sanctions for North Korea and a DOJ crackdown on leaks

President Donald Trump stands with Vice President Mike Pence on the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016.
President Donald Trump stands with Vice President Mike Pence on the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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Sure, the 2020 presidential election is still more than three years away.

But when has it ever been too early for election watchers to start looking at possible candidates for the next presidential election? The New York Times ran a piece on Saturday looking at who might be positioning him or herself for a run, one of whom they say is Vice President Mike Pence. The vice president rebuked the story in a statement he tweeted on Sunday, pledging his loyalty to the president. Still, it raises questions about whether anyone will raise their hand to run against the president in 2020.

In response to North Korea’s most recent missile test, the U.N. Security Council approved a new package of sanctions on the reclusive nation, which responded by threatening retaliation and bolstering its nuclear program if sanctions weren’t lifted. This comes as some are questioning Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s diplomatic tactics and at a time when, back here in the U.S., the State Department is dealing with its own internal issues.

Back stateside, the Department of Justice says it plans to crack down on information leaks by ramping up its internal probes into ones that it feels may have compromised national security. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press conference Friday condemning the leaks and promising those who were responsible would be held accountable. On Monday, the DOJ got word it was being hit with a lawsuit from the city of Chicago. It argues that DOJ’s threat to withhold federal funds from so-called sanctuary cities is unconstitutional.

We’ll also look into the task ahead for the president’s chief of staff, General John Kelly, as he tries to stabilize a chaotic White House, what special counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury means and whether Nancy Pelosi could be a liability for Democrats in 2018, an idea that California Governor Jerry Brown rejected on Sunday.


Matt Rodriguez, Democratic strategist and founder and chief executive officer of Rodriguez Strategies; he is also a former senior Obama advisor in 2008 and tweets @RodStrategies

Sean T. Walsh, Republican political analyst and partner at Wilson Walsh Consulting in San Francisco; he is a former adviser to California Governors Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger and a former White House staffer for Presidents Reagan and H.W. Bush