👋 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 tells Putin “it’s an honor to be with you” during their first face-to-face talk. “I’m delighted to meet you,” Putin replied. Their closed-door session lasted more than two hours, far longer than the expected 45 minutes. Six people attended the meeting: Trump, Rex Tillerson, Putin, Sergey V. Lavrov, and two interpreters. (New York Times)
2/ Putin denied election hacking after Trump “pressed” him. The two had a “robust” conversation about the allegations that Russia tried to interfere in the election, discussing a “commitment that the Russian government has no intention” of interfering in future elections. The Russians have asked the US for proof of their interference in the election. Tillerson said the meeting did not focus on punishing Russia for hacking and leaking information that helped Trump win the election. Instead, Tillerson said the two focused on “how do we move forward.” (Washington Post / Associated Press / CNN)
3/ Trump tweets: “Everyone” at the G-20 summit is talking about why John Podesta wouldn’t give the DNC server to the FBI and CIA. Podesta did not run the Democratic National Committee, he chaired Clinton’s presidential campaign. Podesta fired back at Trump with tweets of his own, telling him to “Get a grip man, the Russians committed a crime when they stole my emails to help get you elected President. Maybe you might try to find a way to mention that to President Putin.” He added: “I had nothing to do with the DNC… Dude, get your head in the game. You’re representing the US at the G20.” A DNC spokeswoman tweeted that “1) Podesta never ran the DNC. 2) DNC worked with FBI to kick out Russians. Worked with DHS. 3) Putin make you tweet this before mtg?” (Politico / The Daily Beast / Associated Press)
3/ Get a grip man, the Russians committed a crime when they stole my emails to help get you elected President.— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) July 7, 2017
4/ Maybe you might try to find a way to mention that to President Putin.— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) July 7, 2017
7/7 Dude, get your head in the game. You’re representing the US at the G20.— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) July 7, 2017
1) Podesta never ran the DNC.— Adrienne Watson (@Adrienne_DNC) July 7, 2017
2) DNC worked with FBI to kick out Russians. Worked with DHS.
3) Putin make you tweet this before mtg? https://t.co/0IUEYpSpgQ
4/ Russian spies have stepped up their intelligence-gathering efforts, emboldened by the lack of retaliatory response from both Trump and Obama. It’s believed the Russians now have nearly 150 suspected intelligence operatives in the US. (CNN)
5/ Hackers have been targeting nuclear power plants in the US since May, according to a joint report issued by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. The report did not indicate whether the attacks were an attempt at espionage or part of a plan to cause destruction. (New York Times)
6/ The US and Russia reached a cease-fire deal in Syria, set to take effect Sunday at noon Damascus time. The agreement is part of broader discussions on trying to lower violence in the country. (Associated Press / Wall Street Journal)
7/ ICE officers were told to take action against all undocumented immigrants they encounter while on duty, regardless of their criminal histories. The Trump administration and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly had promised to ramp up enforcement of immigrants who pose a public safety threat. The new guidance goes beyond that promise. (ProPublica)
8/ A judge denied Hawaii’s motion to limit the scope of Trump’s travel ban. Hawaii argued that the travel ban wrongly excluded grandparents and relatives from the list of close family members who would be able to get visas to travel to the US. The motion was denied, saying the Supreme Court is the proper venue to deal with the issue. (NBC News)
9/ Trump still wants Mexico to “absolutely” pay for his border wall after meeting with Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s president. Nieto has insisted that Mexico will not pay for the border wall while Trump has floated alternative ideas, such as paying for the wall with solar panels. (Politico)
10/ Mitch McConnell: Republicans will be forced to compromise with Democrats to shore up Obamacare if he can’t find 50 votes for the GOP health care bill. It’s first time McConnell has raised the prospect of drafting a more modest bill with Democratic support. (Washington Post)
11/ Ted Cruz aligned himself with Trump, calling for a “clean repeal” of the ACA if the Senate bill falls apart. He said the Senate should vote on a narrower bill to simply repeal the law and work on a replacement later. (Washington Post)
12/ Republican lawmakers are buying health insurance stocks as they attempt to repeal Obamacare. Representative Mike Conaway and Senator James Inhofe have added health insurance companies to their portfolios worth as much as $30,000 and $100,000, respectively. (The Intercept)
poll/ 28.2% support the GOP health care bill – the most unpopular legislation in three decades. It’s less popular than the Affordable Care Act when it was passed, the 2008 bank bailout bill, and Bill Clinton’s failed health reform effort in the 1990s. (Axios)
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