👋 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/ Most major TV networks will broadcast Trump’s national address tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern, during which he will discuss the ongoing partial government shutdown and the southern U.S. border. ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, and Fox Business have all confirmed they will air Trump’s remarks. A response from Congressional Democrats will follow. Trump has made 1,130 false statements about immigration since taking office. (Politico / NBC News)
- Trump’s aides have been laying the rhetorical foundation for Trump to declare a national emergency at the southern border, which would allow him to circumvent some Congressional approval for his long-promised border wall. (Washington Post)
2/ Paul Manafort gave 2016 polling data to a former employee with ties to Russian intelligence services. The exchange was inadvertently revealed when Manafort’s lawyers failed to fully redact Manafort’s interview with Robert Mueller in a court filing. Manafort’s attorneys meant for Mueller’s line of questioning to remain private, but the text in question was easily readable when opened with a word processor. (Washington Post / CNBC / Daily Beast)
3/ Natalia Veselnitskaya worked secretly with the Russia prosecutor general to draft the Russian response to a U.S. money-laundering case. Veselnitskaya is the Russian lawyer who met with top Trump campaign officials at Trump Tower in 2016. The case in question isn’t directly related to the Trump Tower meeting and instead involves a scheme to launder dirty money through New York real-estate purchases. The indictment says Veselnitskaya covertly drafted an “intentionally misleading” response, which constitutes obstruction of justice. (New York Times)
U.S. carbon emissions increased by 3.4% in 2018, the largest jump in eight years. While more coal plants are shutting down, demand for electricity is on the rise—and the Trump administration continues to roll back environmental regulations meant to speed the growth of renewable energy. (The Guardian / New York Times)
The Trump administration quietly downgraded the diplomatic status of the European Union’s delegation last year without formally announcing the decision or informing the E.U. about the change. The classification was temporarily reversed after Brussels scheduled a meeting with the administration to discuss the move. (New York Times)
The Justice Department is attempting to delay the testimony of Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker until next month, after a permanent replacement has been chosen. Justice Department officials cited the ongoing government shutdown and Whitaker’s busy schedule as reasons why his testimony to the House Judiciary Committee should be delayed. (Politico)
Become a member.
Help keep WTF Just Happened Today going with a small contribution.