👋 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/ Comey acted on Russian information he knew was fake for fear that if it became public it would undermine the probe into Hillary Clinton’s email and the Justice Department. The Russian intelligence claimed that then-Attorney General Lynch had been compromised and suggested she would make the FBI investigation of Clinton go away. If the Russians had released the information publicly, there would be no way for law enforcement and intelligence officials to discredit it without burning their sources and methods. (CNN)
2/ Jared Kushner is now a focus in the Russia investigation. Kushner is being investigated for possible coordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election, as well as possible financial crimes. (Washington Post / NBC News)
- Kushner is willing to cooperate with investigators. Kushner had meetings last year with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Russian banker Sergey Gorkov. (Bloomberg)
3/ Trump called the Germans “bad, very bad” for selling a lot of cars in the US. He vowed to block German car exports to the US at a meeting with EU leaders, ignoring the fact that many “foreign” cars are actually made in the US, while many “American” cars are made in Canada and Mexico. (Der Spiegel / Slate)
5/ Senate Republicans are considering a plan to push the Obamacare repeal to 2020. They’re weighing a two-step process to replace Obamacare, as they seek to draft a more modest version than a House plan. (Bloomberg)
- McConnell may have been right that it may be too hard to replace Obamacare. The meetings Republicans have held to discuss a Senate health care bill have exposed deep issues within the party. (New York Times)
6/ Trump told Macron that he did not back Marine Le Pen, contrary to media reports saying he liked the far-right leader. He added: “You were my guy.” (Reuters)
7/ John Boehner on Trump: “everything else he’s done has been a complete disaster,” other than getting the House to pass the health care bill. The former house speaker went on to say that Trump is “still learning how to be president.” (CNN)
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