👋 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 assailed television host Mika Brzezinski on Twitter for “bleeding badly from a face-lift.” Trump targeted both Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough in a pair of morning tweets, referring to Brzezinski as “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” and Scarborough as “Psycho Joe.” He then opined on the physical appearance of Brzezinski, saying he declined meeting with the pair at Mar-a-Lago during the winter because “she was bleeding badly from a face-lift.” Brzezinski responded in a tweet of her own, mocking Trump’s “little hands.” Brzezinski and her fiancé Scarborough are co-hosts of the MSNBC show “Morning Joe.” About two hours before his tweets, Brzezinski said on the show that “it’s not normal behavior” for any leader to tweet about a person’s appearances, bully, lie, undermine managers, or throw people under the bus. (CNN / New York Times / The Daily Beast / Associated Press)
- Trump knocked CNN and Nancy Pelosi at his first re-election fundraiser, hosted at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. He derided CNN for errors and presented himself as a victim of its reporting, which he said was deeply unfair. (Politico)
- The White House defended Trump’s tweets about Brzezinski. (Think Progress)
2/ The White House offered an unapologetic defense of Trump’s tweets. Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to questions by reporters about Trump’s inflammatory tweets, saying “The only person I see a war on is this president and everybody that works for him. I don’t think you can expect someone to be personally attacked, day after day, minute by minute, and sit back. The American people elected a fighter.” (The Hill)
3/ Paul Ryan called Trump’s tweet attacking Brzezinski inappropriate. “I don’t see that as an appropriate comment,” Ryan said at a press conference. (Politico)
4/ Rex Tillerson ripped a White House aide for sinking his nominees, questioning his judgment, and leaking to the press. A frustrated Tillerson ripped into Johnny DeStefano, head of the presidential personnel office, in front of Reince Priebus, Jared Kushner and others, saying he did not want DeStefano’s office to “have any role in staffing” and “expressed frustration that anybody would know better” than him about who should work in his department. Kushner called the outburst unprofessional. (Politico)
5/ Trump’s travel ban takes effect at 8PM ET today. Visa applicants from the six countries — and all refugees — will be required to show close family or business ties to the US. Grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, fiancees or other extended family members are not considered to be “close relations.” (Washington Post / New York Times)
6/ New CBO analysis: The Senate health bill would reduce Medicaid spending by 35% by 2036 compared to the current law. By 2026, Medicaid spending would be cut by 26%. (Washington Post)
7/ Putin will meet with Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit next week in Hamburg. Trump asked White House aides to come up with possible concessions to offer as bargaining chips for the meeting. No other meetings are planned between the two. (Reuters / The Guardian)
8/ The House Intelligence Committee wants to talk to Trump’s longtime bodyguard-turned-White House aide as part of their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. Keith Schiller is the former head of security for the Trump Organization and now serves as the White House director of Oval Office operations. He’s been at Trump’s side for nearly 20 years. (ABC News)
9/ Pence is replacing his chief of staff with Nick Ayers, one of the leaders of America First Policies, which ran retaliatory ads against a Republican Senator who opposed the Obamacare repeal plan. (New York Times)
poll/ 42% of Americans feel “alarmed” about how things are going in Washington. 33% feel “uneasy” while just 11% are “excited.” (USA Today)
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