👋 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 Trump administration is unable to account for nearly 1,500 additional migrant children who were placed with sponsors after leaving federal shelters. The revelation comes months after a similar admission in April concerning an initial 1,475 children. Since 2016, HHS officials have called sponsors to check on migrant children 30 days after placements. The department has said it is not legally responsible for children after they are released from government custody. (New York Times)
2/ Dr. Christine Blasey Ford wants the FBI to investigate her allegations against Brett Kavanaugh before senators hold a hearing. Ford has not yet confirmed whether she will attend a public hearing on Monday. (Washington Post / New York Times)
Kavanaugh in 2015: “What happens at Georgetown Prep, stays at Georgetown Prep.” Kavanaugh made the remarks during a speech he gave at Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law. (Politico)
One of Ford’s former classmates wrote a Facebook post saying she remembers hearing about the alleged assault by Kavanaugh. Cristina Miranda King says she has no first-hand information to corroborate Ford’s claims. “I did not know her personally but I remember her,” King wrote. “This incident did happen.” King has since taken down her post. (NBC News / Law & Crime)
3/ Sen. Chuck Grassley canceled a meeting at which members of the Senate Judiciary Committee were expected to vote to advance Kavanaugh’s confirmation. The meeting was originally scheduled for Thursday morning. A new date has not yet been announced. (CNBC / Time)
4/ The FBI and DOJ are expected to defy Trump’s order to declassify and release unredacted versions of Carter Page’s FISA warrant and text messages sent by James Comey and other agency officials. The agencies are expected to submit their documents and propose redactions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which will package the materials and send them to the White House for approval and release. Doing so would put the agencies in direct conflict with Trump, who has the power to declassify the materials on his own. (Bloomberg / Daily Beast)
- Trump said exposing potential corruption in the Russian investigation could become one of the “crowning achievements” of his presidency and called the investigation “a cancer in our country.” (The Hill)
5/ A new federal court ruling requires political nonprofits to disclose many of their political donors. The Supreme Court refused to intervene and grant an emergency request to stay a ruling by a federal judge in the District of Columbia. The judge threw out a decades-old FEC regulation allowing nonprofits to keep their donors hidden unless the donations were earmarked for specific purposes. (Washington Post / NPR)
poll/ A growing number of Americans don’t want Kavanaugh to be appointed to the Supreme Court. Thirty-six percent of adults surveyed said they oppose Trump’s nominee — up six points from a similar poll conducted last month. Thirty-one percent said they were in favor of Kavanaugh’s appointment. (Reuters/Ipsos)
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao flew on Federal Aviation Administration planes instead of commercial flights on seven occasions in 2017, costing taxpayers almost $100,000. Newly released records show that one set of flights to and around Europe by Chao and her staff cost an estimated $68,892. (Politico)
A senior FEMA official has been suspended without pay in relation to a DHS inspector general investigation into improper use of government vehicles by FEMA administrator Brock Long. John Vetch was informed of his suspension last Friday, just as FEMA was coordinating the response to Hurricane Florence. (Politico)
Trump again lashed out at Jeff Sessions. He criticized the Attorney General on a wide range of issues, including immigration and Sessions’ 2017 decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. “I don’t have an Attorney General,” Trump said. “It’s very sad.” (The Hill)
Kim Jong-un told South Korean president Moon Jae-in he would commit to taking concrete steps toward denuclearization but stopped short of promising to completely relinquish his nuclear weapons. Kim’s offer includes a promise to “permanently dismantle” facilities central to fuel production for North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. (New York Times)
In a new book, Stormy Daniels writes that Trump didn’t “even want to be president.” And, yes, as per The Guardian, the tell-all memoir has Daniels writing in “sometimes excruciating detail about the president’s genitals.” We’ll save most of the salacious descriptions for the book and leave you only with Daniels’ evocation of “the mushroom character in Mario Kart.” (Daily Beast / The Guardian)
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