👋 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/ Sen. Dianne Feinstein referred a letter to the FBI containing information about possible sexual misconduct between Brett Kavanaugh and a woman when the two were in high school. The letter is said to be from one of Feinstein’s California constituents. Feinstein did not show the letter to any of her Democratic colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Newsweek / The Intercept / NPR / BuzzFeed News)
Sen. Cory Booker released another batch of confidential documents related to Kavanaugh. The 28 new documents are from Kavanaugh’s time in the Bush White House and show his involvement in judicial nominations. (NBC News / Politico)
The Senate Judiciary Committee delayed Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote until next week. (Washington Post)
2/ The Trump administration quietly redirected $200 million from various DHS programs to ICE accounts despite repeated congressional warnings of ICE’s “lack of fiscal discipline” and “unsustainable” spending habits. Of the $200 million, $93 million will go toward immigrant detention and $107 million will go toward deportation expenses. The news comes a day after a financial document showed the administration diverted $10 million from FEMA to ICE in June. (CNN / NBC News)
3/ Meanwhile, the number of unaccompanied minors detained at the southern border has risen to a record high. Since last summer, the administration has increased by more than five-fold the number of children detained at federally contracted shelters dedicated to migrant children. This month, there were more than 12,800 children in custody, compared to 2,400 in May 2017. (New York Times)
4/ The DHS inspector general is investigating whether FEMA administrator Brock Long misused government vehicles during his commutes from Washington to North Carolina. The IG’s office, which became interested in the case after one of Long’s vehicles was involved in an accident, is looking into whether he misused government resources and personnel during his regular six-hour trips home. (Politico)
5/ Trump accused Democrats of inflating Hurricane Maria’s death toll in Puerto Rico. “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” Trump tweeted. “When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths.” He claimed Democrats added anyone who died for any reason to the list of hurricane-related deaths. He added: “I love Puerto Rico!” (New York Times / CNN / CNBC)
Trump has made 5,000 false or misleading claims during his time in office. His 5,000th claim came yesterday in the form of a tweet about Robert Mueller: “Russian ‘collusion’ was just an excuse by the Democrats for having lost the Election!” (Washington Post)
An audio recording revealed the NRA gave Montana Sen. Jon Tester’s opponent advance notice that it would be funding efforts to help defeat Tester in the midterms. The move could represent a violation of campaign finance laws, which legally bar the NRA from coordinating its ad buys with a federal campaign. (Daily Beast)
Negotiators from the House and Senate have agreed to a plan that would avoid another government shutdown as long as both sides sign it before the Sept. 30 deadline. Under the agreement, federal funding would be extended through Dec. 7. (NPR)
A report from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center found that a second round of GOP tax cuts would add $3.8 trillion to the federal deficit over the next two decades. The bill, which the House Ways and Means Committee approved Thursday, would reduce federal revenue by $631 billion over the next year and by another $3.15 trillion by the year 2038. (The Hill)
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