👋 Away Message: It's infrastructure week at WTF HQ! This will be the last edition of WTFJHT until May 31. WTF is taking a much needed break to retool ahead of what is shaping up to be a very consequential midterm cycle (we've also had a few unresolvable scheduling snafus/conflicts here, so I'm just going to take a mulligan on this one). In the mean time, we've built a little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding! I'm going to miss you. You'll hear from us again on Tuesday, May 31. Thanks for being here.
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1/ A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration must resume accepting new DACA applications, saying the Department of Homeland Security’s legal explanation for ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was “arbitrary,” “capricious,” and predicated on “virtually unexplained” grounds and therefore “unlawful.” DHS now has 90 days to better explain its reasoning for canceling the program, or the judge will rescind the government memo that terminated the program. (New York Times / Politico / Washington Post / NBC News)
2/ Mick Mulvaney advised bankers and lobbyists that increasing campaign contributions would help weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – the agency he runs. Mulvaney capped off his speech at a American Bankers Association conference by arguing that trying to sway legislators with campaign contributions was one of the “fundamental underpinnings of our representative democracy.” Mulvaney, who is rumored to be at the top of the list when it comes to Trump’s next pick for chief of staff, also revealed that he would only meet with lobbyists who contributed to his campaign during his time as a congressman. “If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you,” Mulvaney explained. “If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.” (New York Times / Washington Post)
3/ Ben Carson proposed tripling rent increases for low-income Americans receiving federal housing subsidies, which would affect more than 4.5 million families. The proposed legislation requires congressional approval. (Washington Post)
4/ In 2015, Ronny Jackson drunkenly banged on the hotel room door of a female employee in the middle of the night. The Secret Service stopped him out of concern that he would wake then-president Barack Obama. (CNN)
- Jackson was known as “the candy man” inside the White House for “hand[ing] out the prescription drugs like they were candy.” (CNN)
5/ Scott Pruitt’s head of security, Pasquale Perrotta, moonlighted for American Media Inc. during the 2016 presidential campaign. A.M.I. owns the National Enquirer, which purchased the rights to Karen McDougal’s story about her alleged affair with Trump. A.M.I.‘s chairman, David Pecker, is a close friend of Trump’s. Perrotta received a waiver from the EPA under the Obama administration to hold outside employment. (New York Times)
6/ Trump praised Kim Jong Un as a “very honorable” person and expressed hope their meeting will occur “as soon as possible.” Trump sidestepped the question when asked to explain his comment that Kim, whom he once mocked as “Little Rocket Man,” is an “honorable” person. (CNN / The Hill)
7/ Don Blankenship is running for the U.S. Senate in West Virginia while living in a $2.4 million villa in Nevada. Blankenship refers to himself as an “American competitionist,” despite admiring China’s state-controlled economy and expressing interest in obtaining Chinese citizenship. Blankenship spent a year in prison for his involvement in a coal mining explosion that killed 29 people during his time as a coal mining executive. He is running as a champion of miners and using ads to dispute the settled facts regarding his role in the explosion. (New York Times)
poll/ 22% of voters reported seeing paycheck increases in April due to the new tax law, down from 27% the month prior. 55% of voters said they hadn’t noticed a bump in April, compared to 50% in March. (Morning Consult–Politico)
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