👋 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 Jr. met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya to determine Hillary Clinton’s “fitness, character or qualifications” for office, according to a prepared statement delivered to Senate Judiciary Committee investigators. He maintains that nothing came of the meeting, and he denies explicit collusion with Russia. Trump Jr. took questions behind closed doors. (New York Times)
2/ Nancy Pelosi urged Trump to reassure DACA recipients they would not be deported within the next six months, and he acquiesced. The message runs counter to previous White House talking points, which suggest DREAMers should “prepare for” imminent departure from the country. Pelosi later said that if Congress passes the DREAM Act, Trump “would sign it.” (The Hill)
3/ Under Betsy DeVos, the Department of Education will replace an Obama-era guidance on campus sexual assault. In a speech, DeVos argued the move is “not about letting institutions off the hook,” but rather about balancing the rights of victims and the accused. The Obama guidance said universities were compelled to combat sexual harassment and violence under Title IX. (Politico / Washington Post)
4/ The United States is urging the U.N. Security Council to impose a North Korean oil embargo and ban exports of the country’s textiles. South Korea expects another North Korean ICBM launch on Saturday. (Reuters)
5/ In a meeting with Congressional leaders, Trump suggested the debt ceiling should be scrapped altogether. The suggestion came in the same meeting in which Trump struck a fiscal deal with Democrats for a short-term debt ceiling increase, angering Republicans. (Politico)
6/ Almost 400 EPA employees have left the agency in recent days, mostly due to buyouts. When combined with retirements in the same time window, the departures amount to a workforce reduction of about 2.5%. (Wall Street Journal)
poll/ About half of white evangelicals think Muslims and atheists want to “limit their freedom,” according to a wide-ranging Baylor University survey. Two-thirds of Americans with no religious affiliation said the same of conservative Christians. (Washington Post)
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