👋 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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WTF Just Happened Today will be back on Tuesday, December 26th. Until then, join me in the community forum to share and discuss what the fuck is going on. ✌️
1/ The House Intelligence Committee asked Steve Bannon and Corey Lewandowski to testify as part of their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Both were asked to testify in early January as part of a voluntary, closed-door meeting. The committee hasn’t received a response from either Bannon or Lewandowski, yet. (Bloomberg)
2/ Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law after cable news networks questioned if he would keep his promise to sign the legislation before Christmas. Trump was initially schedule to sign the bill in early 2018 in order to delay automatic spending cuts and give companies time to adjust to the changes in the new tax code. Instead, Trump called his staff to the Oval Office after seeing the news coverage and said the the legislation needed to be signed “now.” (New York Times / Washington Post)
3/ The Koch brothers network will launch a multimillion-dollar push next year to sell the GOP tax bill, with paid advertising and town halls to educate voters. About one-third of the country supports the tax plan. (Politico)
4/ More than 700 people have left the EPA since Trump took office and most are not being replaced. Of the employees who have left, more than 200 are scientists. (New York Times)
5/ Trump has visited his properties more than 100 times this year. His prolonged holiday visit to Mar-a-Lago will mark the 106th day Trump has visited one of his properties as President. (CNN)
6/ A meeting between Trump and his top advisers turned into a heated exchange over the midterm elections. Corey Lewandowski criticized the Republican National Committee and several White House departments for not raising enough money and not doing enough to support Trump’s agenda. Later, outside the Oval Office, Lewandowski political director Bill Stepien had a “very intense” conversation about the broader political operation that stretched for 10 minutes. (New York Times / Washington Post)
- The White House is bracing for a bloodbath in the 2018 midterms, which could eliminate the Republican congressional majorities and stymie Trump’s legislative agenda. (Politico)
7/ Trump’s deputy chief of staff will leave the administration early next year to pursue private-sector work. Rick Dearborn oversaw the White House’s political operation, public outreach, and legislative affairs. (Wall Street Journal)
poll/ 28% of Americans have a positive view of Robert Mueller’s investigation compared to 21% who have a negative view, and 15% who have a neutral view. 36% of those polled have no opinion of Mueller yet. (Wall Street Journal)
Trump left the White House without holding an end-of-the-year press conference. It’s the first time in 15 years that a president has opted not to. (CNN)
The Trump administration is considering separating parents from their children when families are caught entering the country illegally. The move is meant to discourage border crossings, but immigrant groups have called it draconian and inhumane. (New York Times)
Carter Page failed his Ph.D. twice and blamed it on “anti-Russian bias.” Examiners called the former Trump foreign policy advisor’s thesis “verbose” and “vague.” (The Guardian)
Nearly $1.5 million in taxpayers’ money has been spent over the past two decades to cover harassment claims across all Senate offices, a report released by the Senate’s Rules and Appropriations committee shows. (CBS News)
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