👋 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 urged Flynn to seek immunity, calling the congressional inquiries a “witch hunt” by the media and Democrats. Trump tweeted the statement after Flynn asked for immunity in order to testify to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. (New York Times)
- Flynn offered to cooperate with congressional investigators in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Officials said the idea of immunity was a “non-starter.” (Washington Post)
2/ The Senate Intelligence Committee rejected Flynn’s request for immunity in exchange for his testimony. Flynn’s lawyer was told it was “wildly preliminary” and that immunity was “not on the table.” (NBC News)
3/ Schiff said it’s too early for the House Intelligence Committee to discuss immunity in exchange for Flynn’s testimony. Schiff said he would discuss Flynn’s offer with the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Justice Department, and that he would need to receive details about what Flynn would say. (Bloomberg)
4/ Tom Price helped kill a rule that would hurt drug company profits the same day he acquired drug stock. The HHS secretary bought $90,000 worth of pharmaceutical stock. He said his broker acted on his behalf without his involvement or knowledge. (ProPublica)
5/ The first two Democrats back Trump’s Supreme Court pick. The support by Senators Joe Manchin and Heidi Heitkamp of Neil Gorsuch give Republicans two of the eight Democratic votes needed to avoid a fight on the Senate floor next week. (Reuters)
6/ Trump says he will hold Congress “accountable” on health care. He began the day on Twitter, calling for his supporters to fight conservative members of his own party in the midterm elections. Trump’s director of legislative affairs called that “accountability.” (ABC News)
7/ Germany balks at Tillerson’s call to spend more on NATO defense. The German foreign minister said it was neither “reachable nor desirable” for Germany to spend the 2% of member states’ economic output on defense. NATO allies have until 2024 to do that. (Reuters)
8/ U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says North Korea has “got to be stopped.” He emphasized diplomatic means of changing Pyongyang’s “reckless” agenda. (Washington Post)
9/ Senate voted to eliminate a rule aimed at boosting retirement accounts for low-income workers. Senators voted 50-49 to roll back a rule meant to encourage states to create retirement plans for private-sector workers whose employers do not offer their own retirement plans. (The Hill)
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