👋 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.
Send your thoughts, suggestions, or complaints to:
1/ Trump ordered the declassification of the FISA application targeting Carter Page and the release of James Comey’s text messages related to the Russia investigation. Trump also called for the release of a senior Justice official’s notes from the investigation, as well as unredacted text messages from Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page. (Politico / CNN)
2/ The Trump administration plans to cap the number of refugees allowed into the United States next year at 30,000, the lowest ceiling since the refugee program was created in 1980. The new low represents a reduction of one-third, from 45,000. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended the move, arguing the ceiling should not be the “sole barometer” by which one measures the country’s humanitarianism. (New York Times / Politico)
3/ Trump says he feels “terribly” for Brett Kavanaugh and that Kavanaugh is “not a man who deserves this,” in reference to upcoming Senate testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when the two were in high school. Trump called Kavanaugh “a great gentleman” and expressed concern for Kavanaugh’s wife and daughters. (Washington Post)
4/ After slapping 10-percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, Trump threatened to impose tariffs on virtually all remaining Chinese imports. “We don’t want to do it,” Trump said, “but we probably — we’ll have no choice.” The threat came after China responded to the latest escalation of the ongoing trade war by imposing tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods. (South China Morning Post)
The Senate passed a short-term spending bill to keep the government open through Dec. 7 and delay a fight over Trump’s border wall. The bill was attached to a larger budget package that includes full-year 2019 funding for the Pentagon, as well as the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The House is expected to take up the bill next week. (Washington Post / The Hill)
Mueller’s plea deal with Paul Manafort took unusual steps to prevent Trump from pardoning his former campaign chairman. The deal contains language that would discourage Trump from pardoning Manafort and limit the impact of a pardon if Trump decides to do so anyway. (Politico / NY Post)
Ted Cruz leads Beto O’Rourke by nine points among likely voters, 54–45. One percent of those polled were undecided. (Texas Tribune / Quinnipiac)
Become a member.
Help keep WTF Just Happened Today going with a small contribution.