👋 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/ The Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration’s request to skip the appeals court process and review a district court judge’s ruling requiring the administration to resume renewals of protected status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. In September, Trump announced that he would shut down DACA on March 5, but two federal judges ordered the administration to allow people to renew their protected status while legal challenges move forward. DACA shields some 700,000 young, undocumented immigrants from deportation. (New York Times / Politico / Washington Post)
2/ Trump’s refusal to drop his demand that Mexico pay for a border wall derailed a planned White House visit by President Enrique Peña Nieto. A contentious phone call between the two presidents led to an impasse over the promised border wall, which Mexico considers offensive and has no intention of paying for. (Washington Post / New York Times)
3/ The House Intelligence Committee released a redacted version of the Democratic memo rebutting the memo written by Devin Nunes, which claimed the FBI and Justice Department were biased against the Trump campaign and abused their power. Trump blocked the release of the latest memo two weeks ago. It was released after undergoing a review by top law enforcement officials and redactions. The White House dismissed the Democratic memo as an attempt “to undercut the president politically.” Click here to read the redacted version of the Democratic memo. (New York Times)
4/ Trump’s reelection campaign used a photo of one of the survivors from the school shooting in an email soliciting campaign donations. The photo shows 17-year-old Madeline Wilford in a hospital bed surrounded by members of her family and the president and first lady. “Trump is taking steps toward banning gun bump stocks and strengthening background checks for gun purchasers,” the email reads with a link to the campaign’s donation page. (CNN)
5/ Trump claimed he would have run into the Florida high school during the shooting without a gun to stop the gunman. “I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon,” Trump told a group of governors at the White House. He added: “Don’t worry about the NRA. They’re on our side.” (The Hill / NBC News)
6/ Ivanka Trump thinks it’s “inappropriate” to ask her about her father’s sexual misconduct because she has a “right as a daughter to believe my father.” In the same interview, Trump also said her father’s proposal to arm teachers is “an idea that needs to be discussed.” She added: “I think that having a teacher who is armed who cares deeply about her students or his students and who is capable and qualified to bear arms is not a bad idea.” (NBC News / CNN)
7/ The White House declined to say if any interim security clearances have been revoked. In a memo earlier this month, John Kelly directed aides to “discontinue” interim security clearances for individuals whose security clearance applications have been pending since June 1 or earlier. Jared Kushner has been unable to obtain a permanent security clearance. (CNN / Politico)
poll/ Trump’s approval rating is back down to 35%, matching his lowest to date. Trump also earned his lowest approval rating among Republicans at 80%. Trump holds a 5% approval rating among Democrats and 35% among independents. (CNN)
poll/ 54% of registered voters say they back a Democrat in their congressional district. 38% say they back a Republican. (CNN)
poll/ 58% of Americans say they trust Robert Mueller’s investigation, while 57% say they don’t trust Trump’s denials, and 76% believe Russian will continue to meddle in American elections. (USA Today)
Every public school in West Virginia was closed because of an ongoing teachers’ strike over pay, insurance and health care costs. All 680 public schools in the state’s 55 counties were closed. (CNN)
Net neutrality activists are holding a day of action to push for one more Republican senator to support a bill that would vacate the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality laws. The senator would become the tie-breaking vote needed to send the bill to the House. (The Hill)
Trump’s personal pilot is in the running to become the next leader of the Federal Aviation Administration. John Dunkin flew Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign, and is now on the shortlist to head the FAA, which sets civil aviation policies and regulations for the entire country. (Washington Post)
Trump privately talks about how he would love to execute all drug dealers in America. He’s been telling friends for months that Singapore’s policy of executing drug traffickers is the reason its drug consumption rates are so low. (Axios)
Stephen Miller was caught dozing off during a meeting with governors about school safety following the mass shooting at a Florida high school. (The Hill)
The Trump Organization said it donated profits from “foreign government patronage” at its hotels to the U.S. Treasury, but declined to identify those foreign customers, the amount donated, or how it was calculated. (ABC News / Washington Post)
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