👋 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 offers no apology for claim on British spying. Trump has stuck by his unsubstantiated assertion that Obama ordered his telephone tapped last year despite across-the-board denials and wryly used Merkel’s visit to repeat his contention that the White House had nothing to retract or apologize for. (New York Times)
- Sean Spicer flatly denies that the White House apologized to the British government over the allegations that a UK intelligence agency wiretapped Trump Tower. Spokesman for UK Prime Minister says Britain has received assurances that claims won’t be repeated. (CNN)
- Ryan, Senate Intel committee see no evidence of Trump wiretap. Ryan said, however, that he still trusted Trump, and that the apparently false claims the President aired on Twitter would not damage the White House’s credibility. (CNN)
2/ Britain’s surveillance agency says it’s “utterly ridiculous” that it was involved in the Trump “wiretap.” The GCHQ – the British equivalent of the National Security Agency – usually remains tight-lipped on allegations, neither confirming nor denying claims. Not this time. (Washington Post)
3/ Spicer says Trump “stands by” unproven allegation that Obama ordered wiretapping of Trump Tower, quoting a report from Fox News alleging that Obama used British intelligence to gain access to transcripts of conversations involving Trump. (Washington Post)
4/ Rex Tillerson rules out negotiation with North Korea to freeze its nuclear and missile programs and said that the Trump administration might be forced to take pre-emptive action “if they elevate the threat of their weapons program” to an unacceptable level. (New York Times)
- Tillerson says diplomacy has failed as North Korea warns of nuclear war after 20 years of trying to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear program have failed. (Chicago Tribune)
5/ Scientists brace for a lost generation in American research after Trump’s budget proposal calls for major cuts to funding for medical and science research. Private funding isn’t enough to offset Trump’s proposed budget cuts. (The Atlantic)
6/ The GOP health care bill advances despite opposition from three conservatives on the panel. The budget panel passed the American Health Care Act, which now heads to the House Rules Committee. The vote was 19-17. (ABC News)
7/ Secret Service laptop with Trump Tower floor plans and details on the Clinton email probe stolen from a Secret Service agent’s vehicle in New York City. In addition to the laptop, the thief made off with official Secret Service lapel pins – in case you wondering… (ABC News)
8/ Trump affirms support for NATO but says member nations “must pay what they owe.” Trump said some NATO countries owe “vast sums” in dues, which is “very unfair to the United States” — an allegation that appeared based on an incomplete understanding of how the alliance is funded. (Washington Post)
poll/ Americans break with Trump on immigration policy. 60% say the government’s top priority should be a plan to legalize undocumented immigrants, and 9 in 10 support a bill to allow certain undocumented immigrants to become citizens. (CNN)
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