👋 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/ Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi cancelled a planned budget meeting with Trump after he cast doubt on their negotiations and attacked them publicly on Twitter. Trump tweeted that the “problem” with “Chuck and Nancy” is that they “want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!” The government’s current funding expires on December 8th and a temporary spending bill is needed to prevent a government shutdown. Democrats are pushing for the year-end spending bill to include protections for so-called “Dreamers,” which Trump ended in September. Pelosi and Schumer instead requested a meeting with Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. (Associated Press / Wall Street Journal / Politico)
2/ The White House accused Schumer and Pelosi of “pettiness” and “political grandstanding” for pulling out of the meeting with Trump after he attacked them on Twitter. Trump, seated between two empty chairs with placard props for Schumer and Pelosi, called the two “weak” and said “they’ve been all talk and they’ve been no action, and now it’s even worse — now it’s not even talk.” (ABC News / NBC News)
3/ The Senate Budget Committee advanced the GOP tax reform bill in a party-line vote, with both Bob Corker and Ron Johnson backing the measure a day after threatening to withhold their support. The tax bill now heads to the full Senate floor, where at least six Republicans don’t currently support the plan. Republican leaders in the Senate can only lose two votes and still pass their plan without the support of Democrats. (Politico / Reuters / Bloomberg)
4/ Trump paid $1.375 million to settle a class-action labor case in 1998. Trump employed a crew of 200 undocumented Polish workers who worked in 12-hour shifts and were paid $4 an hour to demolish the Bonwit Teller building on Fifth Avenue to make way for the Trump Tower. (New York Times)
5/ Trump is now suggesting that the “Access Hollywood” tape is fake, despite apologizing for what he described as “locker room talk” between men in October 2016. “Access Hollywood” responded to Trump, saying: “The tape is very real.” (The Hill / New York Times)
6/ Project Veritas got caught trying to spread fake news about Roy Moore. The organization, run by conservative activist James O’Keefe, targets the mainstream news media in an attempt to set up undercover “stings” that involve using false stories and covert video meant to discredit media outlets. The Washington Post reported that a woman falsely told its reporters she had been impregnated by Moore as a teenager. (Politico)
7/ The Trump Foundation donated $10,000 to Project Veritas in 2015, a month before Trump announced his candidacy for president. The organization is responsible for a video claiming to show that Hillary Clinton supporters were paid $1,500 to cause violence during Trump’s rallies, as well as videos targeting CNN and Planned Parenthood. (Newsweek)
8/ North Korea fired a ballistic missile for the first time in more than two months. Trump warned North Korea in a September speech at the United Nations that if it threatened the US or its allies, he would have “no choice but to totally destroy North Korea” and called Kim Jong-un “rocket man.” The US believes Pyongyang may be able to put a miniaturized warhead on a missile in 2018, which would theoretically give North Korea the capability to launch a missile capable of hitting the US. Trump told reporters that he “will take care of it,” adding that North Korea “is a situation that we will handle.” (New York Times / CNN)
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