👋 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 three anti-Muslim videos on Twitter, which were initially shared by a far-right British activist who has previously been charged in the UK with “religious aggravated harassment.” The unverified videos, posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, depict purported Muslims committing acts of violence and were titled: “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” “Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!” and “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!” Theresa May, the British prime minister, said Trump was “wrong” to share the videos, while Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the tweets as part of a conversation about the need for national security and military spending. (New York Times / Washington Post / CNN)
2/ Trump Jr. agreed to meet with the House Intelligence Committee on December 6th. It’s the first opportunity for lawmakers to question Trump’s son over his contacts with Russians during the campaign, including the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between campaign officials and Russian operatives promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. (CNN)
- Mark Your Calendars. What the fuck is happening in Washington. (WTF Community Center)
3/ The Office of Special Counsel opened a case file into whether Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act when she made comments about Doug Jones, the Democrat running against Republican Roy Moore in the December 12th special election for an Alabama US Senate seat. The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from using their offices to campaign for or against political candidates. During an appearance on Fox News last week, Conway called Jones “weak on borders” and “weak on crime.” (The Hill)
4/ North Korea claimed its “successful” ICBM test yesterday was a “breakthrough” that puts the US mainland within range of its weapons. North Korea said the new Hwasong-15 missile reached an altitude of about 2,780 miles - more than 10 times the height of the International Space Station - and flew 590 miles during its 53-minute flight. (Reuters / Washington Post)
5/ Trump still questions the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate and continues to promote the conspiracy theory in closed-door meetings. Advisers say Trump also harbors a handful of other theories, including one that widespread voter fraud cost him the popular vote and another that the voice on the “Access Hollywood” tape wasn’t his. Trump’s friends do not deny that he has an alternative version of events. (New York Times)
6/ Trump believes that Robert Mueller’s investigation will exonerate him by the end of the year. Trump has told friends that “this investigation’s going to be over with pretty soon” and the White House has little to fear because his “brilliant” lawyer, Ty Cobb, said so. Mueller has indicted Paul Manafort and a former Manafort associate, Richard Gates, on money laundering charges. George Papadapoulos, a former Trump campaign adviser, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. And Michael Flynn is no longer communicating with Trump’s legal team, suggesting that Flynn may be preparing to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation. (Washington Post)
Robert Mueller has postponed grand jury testimony linked to his investigation into Michael Flynn. Additional witnesses were expected to be questioned in early December. The grand jury testimony was postponed with no reason given. (CNN)
A federal judge allowed the DNC to depose Sean Spicer on whether he violated a decades-old court order on election night that prevented the RNC from challenging voters’ eligibility at the polls. (Politico)
Subpoenas are being sent to 23 Trump businesses requiring them to preserve records for lawsuit accusing the president of profiting from his office. The lawsuit contends that Trump’s continued ownership of his businesses – including the Trump International Hotel in Washington – enables him to make money from foreign and domestic governments, breaching two Constitutional clauses intended to prevent that. (Bloomberg)
poll/ 71% of millennials want a third political party, saying Republicans and Democrats are doing a poor job of representing America. 63% of millennials disapprove of the way Trump is handling the job. 65% believe the country is on the wrong track overall. (NBC News)
Dept. of Deplorable.
Trump wants to know why the “deep state authorities” aren’t investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails. (The Hill)
After CNN disinvited itself from the annual White House holiday party for the press, Trump called for a boycott of CNN. (Reuters)
Trump asked if NBC will fire “low ratings” Joe Scarborough for a 2001 “unsolved mystery” in Florida where a Scarborough intern was found dead in his office. The “mystery” is that the intern had an undiagnosed heart condition. She collapsed, hit her head on the desk, and died from a blood clot. The medical examiner ruled the death an accident. (The Hill)
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