👋 Away Message: So we had a little scheduling snafu here at WTF HQ, where both myself and Joe (voice of the pod) double-booked ourselves with personal and professional obligations next week. Oopsie! Not a very great job using a calendar on my part, I guess. On the other hand, it appears the government isn't going to be open for business anyway... Unless something truly WTF-y happens, I'll see you all again on Tuesday, October 10th, because Monday is a holiday (Indigenous Peoples' Day).
In the mean time, try our little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding and for being here. I'm going to miss you.
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1/ Earlier this summer, a handful of Trump lawyers believed Jared Kushner should step down due to legal complications arising from the Russia probe. After internal debate, the suggestion was ultimately dismissed as one of several efforts “focused on sabotaging” Kushner, who had several interactions with Russia during the 2016 campaign and transition. (Wall Street Journal / Washington Post)
2/ A Supreme Court justice temporarily reinstated Trump’s refugee ban. Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the government couldn’t prohibit refugees from entering the country if they had reassurances from a resettlement agency. Justice Kennedy overruled the lower court. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the travel ban on October 10. (Bloomberg / Reuters)
3/ Trump’s voter fraud commission is heading to New Hampshire, where Kris Kobach claimed out-of-state voters’ ballots led to the election of Senator Maggie Hassan over Kelly Ayotte in 2016. Trump has repeatedly charged without evidence that millions voted illegally in the last election, and he established the commission in May. (Reuters / NBC News)
4/ Lawmakers rejected Trump’s proposal to slash health research funding. Trump had requested deep cuts to the National Institutes of Health. Instead, Congress increased funding for biomedical research, passing a $36.1 billion appropriations bill for the agency. (New York Times)
5/ Mexico rescinded its offer of aid to the United States after Trump failed to offer condolences following the Mexico City earthquake and its own hurricane. The country had previously pledged to help fund the Hurricane Harvey recovery effort “as good neighbors should always do in trying times.” (LA Times)
6/ The U.N. Security Council unanimously passed its toughest sanctions on North Korea yet. The sanctions will limit Pyongyang’s oil imports and halt its textile exports in an attempt to “take the future of the North Korean nuclear program out of the hands of its outlaw regime.” (Washington Post)
- Trump will visit China in November. He has repeatedly called on Beijing to put an end to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. (Bloomberg)
7/ Russian actors remotely organized and promoted pro-Trump, anti-immigrant protests via Facebook. A former FBI agent referred to the events as Russia’s “next step” in its influence campaign. Facebook confirmed it “shut down several promoted events as part of the takedown” it reported last week. (Daily Beast)
8/ The White House legislative affairs director said Trump would not tie border wall funding to DACA legislation. The claim echoes that of House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, who made similar remarks last week. The legislative affairs director said Trump “is not backing off a border wall.” (The Hill)
9/ Two senators unveiled a bipartisan proposal to block Trump’s transgender military service ban. Kirsten Gillibrand’s and Susan Collins’ amendment would bar the military from removing transgender service members based on their gender identity alone. (CNN)
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