👋 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/ Attorney General William Barr directed immigration judges to deny some asylum seekers the opportunity to post bail after being detained. Previously, migrants who established “a credible fear of persecution or torture” in their home country were eligible to seek release on bond. Now they could end up being jailed indefinitely while they wait months or years for their claims to be processed. The Department of Homeland Security will have the discretion to decide whether to release immigrants who initially crossed the border illegally, but later claimed asylum. The order will go into effect in 90 days. (New York Times / CNN / Washington Post / NBC News / Politico / ABC News)
2/ Trump vetoed a bipartisan resolution to end American military involvement in the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen. Earlier this month, Congress voted to invoke the War Powers Resolution to try to stop U.S. involvement in the foreign conflict. Trump called it “an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities.” The veto – the second of Trump’s presidency – comes a month after he vetoed a resolution to reverse his national emergency declaration aimed at securing funding for a border wall. (Politico / Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News / Axios / Reuters / Associated Press)
3/ Trump’s attorneys and the White House plan to resist congressional requests for information about security clearances approvals, Trump’s meetings with foreign leaders, and other topics the administration deems subject to executive privilege. While House Democrats say they’ll continue to issue subpoenas, they also said they have little confidence that Barr will enforce contempt actions if their demands are ignored. Congressional subpoenas — and any criminal contempt proceedings — expire at the end of a congressional session. (Washington Post)
4/ Barr and Rod Rosenstein will hold a press conference to discuss the Robert Mueller report at 9:30 am ET Thursday. It’s not clear if the news conference will occur before or after the release of the redacted, 400-page report. [Story is developing…] (CNBC / Washington Post / Politico / New York Times / USA Today)
poll/ 58% of Americans think Trump obstructed the investigation into whether his campaign had any connection to Russia, while 40% don’t think he attempted to obstruct justice. 35% of Americans, meanwhile, think that Trump did something illegal related to Russia, and another 34% think Trump’s done something unethical. (Associated Press)
poll/ 30% of Americans accept Trump’s claim that Barr’s 4-page summary Robert Mueller’s report is a “total exoneration.” 45%, meanwhile, said they believe the Mueller report is inconclusive. 51% believe that Trump administration officials will get away with corruption or unethical behavior. (Politico)
poll/ 38% of voters believe the allegation that Trump’s 2016 campaign was spied on. 28% said they don’t believe the campaign was spied on and 35% said they don’t know or have no opinion about it. (Politico)
poll/ 40% of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing as president. 54% disapprove. (Monmouth University)
An aluminum company partially owned by a Russian oligarch plans to invest around $200 million to build a new plant in Mitch McConnell’s home state. McConnell was among the advocates for lifting U.S. sanctions on Rusal, the aluminum company Oleg Deripaska partially owns. (Newsweek)
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plans to a hire Fox News commentator as his top spokeswoman. Trump planned to appoint Monica Crowley to the National Security Council, but she withdrew from consideration in January 2017 after it was reported that she plagiarized portions of her 2012 book and portions of her 2000 Ph.D. thesis. (Bloomberg)
Ivanka Trump said her father asked her if she wanted the World Bank job, but she passed on the offer because she was “happy with the work” she’s currently doing. Trump previously said he considered naming Ivanka to head the World Bank because “she’s very good with numbers,” but ultimately didn’t because people would have complained about “nepotism.” (Associated Press)
The Trump administration will allow lawsuits in U.S. courts against foreign companies that use properties confiscated by Cuba during Fidel Castro’s revolution six decades ago. The European Union urged the administration not to move forward with the new policy, threatening lawsuits against the U.S. at the World Trade Organization, as well as European courts imposing economic penalties against U.S. companies. (Reuters / ABC News / Wall Street Journal / New York Times)
The Pentagon has not held an on-camera press briefing in more than 300 days. The Department of Defense manages nearly $700 billion. (Time)
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