👋 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/ Dozens of government lobbyists and contractors have memberships at Trump’s private golf clubs. At least 50 executives whose companies hold federal contracts and 21 lobbyists and trade group officials are members of the golf clubs Trump has visited most often as president – two-thirds have played the same day Trump was there. While legal, ethics experts questioned whether it’s appropriate for a sitting president to collect money from lobbyists trying to shape policy or win government business. (USA Today)
2/ Trump plans to “revisit” his DACA decision in six months if Congress can’t pass legislation on the issue. “Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit this issue!” Trump tweeted. Administration officials tried to clarify Trump’s tweet, saying he would use the “tools at his disposal to put more pressure on Congress.” Trump said he has “no second thoughts” on DACA. (CNN / Politico / Washington Post)
3/ A White House talking points memo urged DACA recipients to prepare for a “departure from the United States.” The statement was contained in a memo sent by the White House to offices on Capitol Hill, providing talking points for supporters. “The Department of Homeland Security urges DACA recipients to use the time remaining on their work authorizations to prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States – including proactively seeking travel documentation – or to apply for other immigration benefits for which they may be eligible,” the memo says. (CNN)
4/ Fifteen states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit challenging Trump’s decision to end DACA. The multistate lawsuit argues their state economies will be hurt if residents lose their status and seeks to block Trump’s decision and maintain DACA. (Reuters)
5/ Trump sided with Democrats and agreed to increase the debt limit and fund the government until mid-December. The agreement came after the House approved nearly $8 billion in disaster aid for Hurricane Harvey victims. Democratic leaders offered to support the short-term package to fund the government, raise the debt ceiling, and provide relief for Harvey victims in order to maintain leverage on issues like government spending, health care, and DACA later this year. (New York Times / Washington Post / Politico)
6/ Facebook found $100,000 in ad spending during the election tied to a Russian “troll farm” with a history of pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda. Facebook said 3,300 ads had digital footprints that led to a Russian company targeting voters. The Facebook team also discovered 470 suspicious and likely fraudulent Facebook accounts and pages that were operated out of Russia. (Washington Post)
7/ Trump Jr. will meet with the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday to discuss the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia. It’s the first time someone from Trump’s inner circle will speak with the committee members about the campaign’s alleged attempts to engage with Kremlin surrogates. Committee members still hope to interview Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner about the meeting they held at Trump Tower with the Russian lawyer claiming to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Kushner and Manafort have already spoken to the Senate Intelligence Committee. (Washington Post)
8/ The House intelligence committee subpoenaed the FBI and Justice Department last month, seeking documents related to a dossier that alleged Russia collected compromising material on Trump. The pair of subpoenas were issued last month and are designed to “undermine” the claims about the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. “We’ve got to run this thing to ground,” said Republican Rep. Michael Conaway, who is heading the House Russia investigation. Rep. Adam Schiff said that he and other Democrats on the committee objected to the subpoenas. (CNN / Reuters)
9/ The Senate wants to force Trump to go on the record and condemn the white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville while “rejecting white nationalists, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other hate groups.” The joint resolution means it will be sent to Trump to sign into law. (Politico)
10/ Putin: The North Korea situation could be “impossible” to resolve and may lead to a “global catastrophe” if its nuclear tests lead to anything other than talks. He added that sanctions and pressure won’t be enough to rein in North Korea. (CNN)
poll/ 55% of voters say they’re comfortable with the nation becoming more diverse and tolerant of different lifestyles, gender roles, languages, cultures and experiences. 24% say they’re uneasy with these changes, because they believe what makes the US special is the country’s uniquely American experience, speaking English and sharing a background that brings everyone together. (NBC News / Wall Street Journal)
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