👋 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.
Send your thoughts, suggestions, or complaints to:
1/ Donald Trump Jr. met with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer to acquire damaging information about Hillary Clinton in June 2016 at Trump Tower in New York City. On Saturday, Trump Jr. said the meeting was about the issue of US adoptions of Russian children and not the campaign. However, in March, Trump Jr. said he never met with any Russians while working in a campaign capacity. The meeting – attended by Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner – was disclosed when Kushner filed a revised form in order to obtain a security clearance. Manafort also recently disclosed the meeting, and Trump Jr.’s role in organizing it, to congressional investigators looking into his foreign contacts. (New York Times / Washington Post)
- Putting the Trump-Russia timeline into perspective. This timeline of what now know is circumstantial evidence itself of some kind of relationship that the Trump campaign had with Russian sources. (NBC News)
- Schiff: House Intelligence Committee “will want to question” Trump Jr. The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said he will want to question Donald Trump Jr. after news came out that the President’s son met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer last June. (Talking Points Memo)
2/ Trump Jr.’s meeting may have violated a federal law prohibiting the solicitation or acceptance of anything of value from a foreign national. Trump Jr. admitted that the meeting was an attempt to acquire damaging information on Hillary Clinton. Despite the meeting not bearing any “meaningful information” about Clinton, solicitation itself is the offense. (Vox / Politico)
3/ Trump Jr. tried to downplay his meeting while hiring a lawyer to represent him in the Russia probe. He tweeted that “obviously I’m the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent.” He added that there was “no inconsistency” in his two statements, saying the meeting ended up being primarily about adoptions. Trump Jr. hired Alan Futerfas, a criminal defense attorney that’s represented organized crime and cybercrime cases. (ABC News / Reuters / BuzzFeed News)
Obviously I'm the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent... went nowhere but had to listen. https://t.co/ccUjL1KDEa— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 10, 2017
No inconsistency in statements, meeting ended up being primarily about adoptions. In response to further Q's I simply provided more details. https://t.co/FdT1D4hfhz— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 10, 2017
- Schumer: Trump Jr. should testify before Senate Intel. “This revelation should be the end of the idea pushed by the administration and the president that there is absolutely no evidence of an intent by the Trump campaign to coordinate or collude. It is certainly not proof positive … but these reports in the press at least demand further investigation,” Schumer said from the Senate floor on Monday. (The Hill)
4/ The Kremlin denied knowing about Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer. A Putin spokesman said the Kremlin doesn’t know the lawyer, adding that they “cannot keep track of every Russian lawyer and their meetings domestically or abroad.” (Washington Post)
5/ Trump backtracked on his push for a US-Russia cybersecurity unit, saying it cannot happen. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that he and Putin “discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking […] will be guarded.” Just 12 hours later, Trump returned to Twitter to clarify his remarks, saying just because they discussed it “doesn’t mean I think it can happen. It can’t.” (Politico / CNBC)
6/ Trump accused Comey of illegally leaking classified information. After Trump warned James Comey against leaking to the press, suggesting there are “tapes” of their private conversations, Comey asked a friend to leak his memos to the media which were
an unclassified, a personal “recollection” of his interactions with Trump. There were seven memos by Comey after his nine conversations with Trump. Four were allegedly marked as “secret” or “confidential.” (Washington Post / The Hill)
7/ Comey’s confidant refuted Trump’s claim he shared classified information with journalists. Daniel Richman, the Columbia University Law School professor with whom Comey shared at least one memo, said Trump was wrong and that “no memo was given to me that was marked ‘classified.’” Richman said the “substance of the memo passed on to the Times was not marked classified and to my knowledge remains unclassified.” During Senate testimony in June, Comey said he specifically wrote his memos to avoid including classified information. (CNN)
8/ Republicans grow pessimistic about their health care bill as Trump tweets that Congress wouldn’t “dare” leave for summer recess without its “beautiful” health care bill. John McCain said the bill is “probably going to be dead.” GOP leaders are debating a proposal from Ted Cruz that many have called a non-starter. Shelly Moore Capito has threatened to kill the legislation if the vote comes down to her. (The Hill / Reuters / Politico)
9/ Paul Ryan will no longer hold public town halls because he doesn’t “want to have a situation where we just have a screaming fest, a shouting fest, where people are being bused in from out of the district to get on TV because they’re yelling at somebody.” (CBS News)
10/ Trump defended Ivanka’s seat-holding at the G20, saying “If Chelsea Clinton were asked to hold the seat for her mother, as her mother gave our country away, the Fake News would say CHELSEA FOR PRES!” Clinton responded on Twitter: “Good morning Mr. President. It would never have occurred to my mother or my father to ask me.” Ivanka sat in for Trump when he stepped away for a one-on-one discussion with other leaders. Ivanka serves as an unpaid adviser to Trump as the assistant to the president with an office in the West Wing, blurring the lines between family and official business. (CNN / Bloomberg)
Good morning Mr. President. It would never have occurred to my mother or my father to ask me. Were you giving our country away? Hoping not. https://t.co/4ODjWZUp0c— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) July 10, 2017
11/ Putin said Trump was “satisfied” with his denial of election meddling. Putin told Trump that Russia was not behind the hacking of emails belonging to rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Trump called it “a tremendous meeting” with Putin. (USA Today / Reuters)
12/ Mike Pence touched NASA equipment marked “DO NOT TOUCH” because Marco Rubio dared him. Rubio responded on Twitter, joking that he warned Pence not to break the equipment: “you break it, you own it.” (Time)
Become a member.
Help keep WTF Just Happened Today going with a small contribution.