👋 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 retweeted an alt-right conspiracy theorist, a train hitting CNN, and a critic calling him a fascist. Last night, Trump retweeted Jack Posobiec, an alt-right figure who pushed the Pizzagate and Seth Rich conspiracy theories. Then this morning, Trump retweeted an image of a person holding a CNN sign being hit by a train, with the commentary, “Nothing can stop the #TrumpTrain!!” The White House said the tweet was inadvertently posted and it was deleted. And, finally, Trump retweeted a critic who called Trump a “fascist” for “seriously considering” pardoning former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was found guilty of ignoring a judge’s order to stop racially profiling Latinos during patrols. (USA Today / CNN / Washington Post)
Trump finally calls out racism in Charlottesville.— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) August 15, 2017
And then retweets Pizzagate conspiracy theorist.
Kelly has his work cut out for him. pic.twitter.com/yDe8ea9YAN
I'm announcing my retirement from Twitter. I'll never top this RT. pic.twitter.com/HuGHkiPoyR— Mike Holden 💙 (@MikeHolden42) August 15, 2017
- Trump says he’s seriously considering pardoning former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a vocal Trump supporter during the 2016 presidential campaign. Earlier this month Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for ignoring a court order to stop detaining suspected illegal immigrants. He faces up to six months in prison. (ABC News)
2/ Trump, again, blamed both sides for the Charlottesville violence, asking why the “alt-left” is not being blamed because, he says, they were “very, very violent” when they confronted white nationalist and Nazi groups. He asked if George Washington statues were going to come down next. (New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / Bloomberg)
Trump asks about "alt-left": "You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent" pic.twitter.com/9BpzwLqVVm— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 15, 2017
3/ Four CEOs have now resigned from Trump’s advisory council over his slow denouncement of white supremacists. The chief executives of Merck, Under Armour, Intel, Alliance for American Manufacturing have all quit the manufacturing council. Trump, meanwhile, tweeted that “For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!” Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, left the council earlier this year after Trump announced the US would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. (CNN Money / Recode / Reuters / The Hill)
4/ Trump won’t visit Charlottesville, because “why the hell would we do that?” The White House official suggested that the administration sees no upside and whatever Trump might do in Charlottesville would be “used against” him by the media. (The Daily Beast)
5/ Trump went off script, ad-libbing his “many sides” remark in response to Charlottesville violence. “Those were his own words,” a senior White House official said. His “on many sides” comment “were not” in his prepared remarks. (ABC News)
6/ The leaders of four minority House caucus groups sent a letter to Trump asking him to fire Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, and Sebastian Gorka. “Americans deserve to know that white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis are not in a position to influence U.S. policy,” the heads of the black, Hispanic, Asian and progressive caucuses wrote, suggesting that their continued presence in the White House is emboldening a resurgence of white supremacy. (Associated Press)
7/ North Korea won’t fire missiles at Guam after all. State media said Kim Jong-un reviewed plans to fire missiles towards Guam but decided to hold off. He warned he could change his mind “if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions.” (NPR / BBC / Wall Street Journal)
8/ The Justice Department has demanded that 1.3 million IP addresses from a Trump resistance site be turned over. The web hosting company, DreamHost, is fighting the search warrant, saying that the request for visitor logs, contact information, emails, and photos could be used to identify people who are exercising their Constitutional right of free speech to protest. Prosecutors obtained a search warrant for the records in July and are now asking a federal judge to force the company to turn over the information. (The Hill / Business Insider / CNN / DreamHost)
9/ Trump’s threat to end Obamacare insurance subsidies would send premiums up 20% next year and increase the federal budget deficits by $194 billion in the coming decade, the Congressional Budget Office said. Trump has said he would “Let Obamacare implode” in order to force Democrats to negotiate on a replacement plan. (New York Times / Vox)
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