👋 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/ “Nobody will be worse off financially” under the GOP health care plan, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. He says no one will be adversely affected by the new bill once it’s enacted and that more people would be covered. I bet. (NBC News)
- The White House pledges no one “worse off” in Obamacare replacement with sweeping promises that insurance premiums will fall and more people will have coverage under the replacement plan may be hard to keep as conservatives demand limits to government involvement in health care before they support the measure. (Bloomberg)
- Trump budget chief: The President is focused on health care, not insurance coverage. Mick Mulvaney said critics of the new GOP health care bill should not be too “worried about getting people coverage.” Preliminary analyses from Brookings Institution and Standard and Poor’s estimate that six to 15 million people could lose coverage under the Republican proposal for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare. (ABC News)
2/ Here’s how much millionaires would save under GOP Obamacare repeal bill. People earning more than $1 million annually would save an estimated $165 billion in taxes over 10 years. (CNN Money)
3/ Major health insurer backs GOP’s Obamacare repeal bill. Anthem endorsed major parts of the repeal bill, known as the American Health Care Act, and urged lawmakers to move the process forward “as quickly as possible.” (Politico)
4/ McCain to Trump: Retract wiretapping claim or prove it. The senator’s call for more information follows a request from two leading members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for “copies of any warrant applications and court orders — redacted as necessary… related to wiretaps of President Trump, the Trump Campaign, or Trump Tower.” (Washington Post)
5/ US attorney Bharara was fired after a standoff with Trump. Bharara was asked for his resignation along with every other US attorney. His sudden dismissal came as a surprise since the US attorney had been told after a meeting with Trump in November that he could stay on. “I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired,” Bharara wrote in a tweet. (CNN)
I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) March 11, 2017
- New York federal prosecutor Preet Bharara says he was fired by Trump administration. Bharara had been asked to resign Friday, but confusion ensued because Trump in November had asked him to stay on. (Washington Post)
- Bharara was one of 46 U.S. attorneys appointed by Obama that the Trump administration asked to resign. All presidents choose their own appointees for U.S. attorney positions and almost always ask those from their predecessors to leave. But the process under Trump was unusually abrupt, and it was yet another rocky encounter between the Trump administration and the nation’s law enforcement apparatus. (New York Times)
6/ Elizabeth Warren says Trump pushed out prosecutors to install “cronies.” The senator attacked Trump over the firing of Preet Bharara, saying the Senate will see a “massive fight” over picks to replace US attorneys. (The Guardian)
Preet Bharara had authority over Trump Tower. @realDonaldTrump called him directly, breaching protocol. 24 hrs later he was asked to resign.— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) March 12, 2017
7/ Democrats may abandon the Russia inquiry if it is not “legitimate.” The Republican-controlled panel may offer their best chance for scrutinizing links between people close to President Trump and Russian officials, but some House Intelligence Committee Democrats are warning that they may pull their support for the inquiry if it becomes mired in party-line politics. (New York Times)
8/ 134 foreign policy experts denounce Trump’s revised travel ban as just as damaging to the United States’ interests and reputation as his original order that halted refugees and froze travelers from predominantly Muslim countries. (New York Times)
9/ Trump associate plays down Twitter contact with Guccifer 2.0 – the online persona who claims responsibility for hacking the Democratic National Committee. Roger Stone called it an innocuous “brief exchange” of a few direct messages that he says amount to nothing. (CNN)
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