👋 Away Message: Hi there! Matt is currently out on parental leave. He'll return August 30th-ish. More details can be found here. In the meantime, Joe (the voice of the newscast/podcast) will be publishing an abridged version of WTF Just Happened Today? every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can expect 5-7 news items covering a slightly wider range of political news in about two sentences each. We'll return to our regularly scheduled WTFJHT programming when Matt returns in late August.
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1/ Trump abruptly orders remaining 46 U.S. attorneys to tender their resignations immediately, sweeping away the remaining vestiges of the Obama administration’s prosecutors at the Justice Department. It is not unusual for a new president to replace United States attorneys appointed by a predecessor, especially when there has been a change in which party controls the White House. Other presidents, however, have done it gradually in order to minimize disruption. (New York Times)
- Anger mounts over handling of US attorney firings. Many prosecutors had not been formally notified or even told before they were fired when the Justice Department announced the firings on Friday. (CNN)
- Preet Bharara has yet to submit his resignation letter as Trump demands U.S. attorneys resign. Bharara met with Trump shortly after the election and was told that he would stay. Just this week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions assured him in a phone conversation that he’d remain atop the Southern District. (The Daily Beast)
2/ Revised Trump travel ban suffers first legal setback after a federal judge in Wisconsin barred enforcement of the policy to deny U.S. entry to the wife and child of a Syrian refugee already granted asylum in the United States. The temporary restraining order applies only to the family of the Syrian refugee. (Reuters)
3/ Scott Pruitt’s phones have been ringing off the hook since he questioned the link between human activity and climate change. Pruitt’s comments on the CNBC program “Squawk Box” — that “we need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis” over climate change — prompted an immediate pushback from many scientists and environment groups. (Washington Post)
4/ Flynn attended secret intelligence briefings while taking money to lobby for Turkey. Flynn was being paid more than half a million dollars to lobby on behalf of the Turkish government. (NBC News)
5/ White House official says Breitbart was source of Trump’s wiretaps claim. A staffer placed the story, published on Breitbart, into Trump’s daily reading pile. The Breitbart article was a reprinted version of radio host Mark Levin’s on-air claim that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. (Axios)
6/ Muhammad Ali Jr. questioned again at Washington airport. Ali Jr. was trying to get his boarding pass at Reagan National airport in Washington, D.C. when the computer “flagged” him. The ticket agent rejected his Illinois state-issued ID and put Ali Jr. on the phone with the Department of Homeland Security. Ali Jr. was asked over the phone to verify his date of birth and where he was born. He was not asked about his religion. (USA Today)
7/ Trump’s plan for Medicaid could hurt the opioid abusers he promised to help. The current version of the Trump-backed Republican health care plan would end the Obamacare requirement that addiction services and mental health treatment be covered under Medicaid in the 31 states that expanded the health care program. The GOP plan would instead leave it up to states – and their budgets – to decide whether or not to cover drug treatment and mental health services under Medicaid. (CNN)
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