👋 Away Message: Hi there, Matt's currently away from the computer this week, but in the spirit of experimentation, the daily WTFJHT post will be powered by Current Status and lightly edited by a human for clarity.
(For those who aren't familiar, Current Status is a tool I developed to make it faster and easier to source the stories that the political web is currently reading and sharing.)
What to expect this week: The daily summaries will be a bit shorter, the Notables are taking the week off, but the overall number of stories in each edition of WTF Just Happened Today? will remain about the same. We'll return to our regularly schedule WTFJHT programming on Monday, May 20th. As with any experiment, I welcome your feedback. Let me know what ya think.
1/ The White House reviewed military plans to attack Iran, in echoes of the Iraq War. The plans call for up to 120,000 American troops but not a land invasion of Iran. They were updated at the request of John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser, who has been calling for the U.S. to go to war with Iran for nearly two decades. (New York Times)
2/ Attorney General William Barr instructed the U.S. Attorney in Connecticut to review the origins of the Russia investigation. The prosecutor has conducted other sensitive investigations into conduct by national security officials, including the C.I.A.'s torture of detainees. (New York Times)
3/ Global stocks fell in response to China’s retaliation against U.S. tariffs, stoking economic anxiety. Stocks around the world fell sharply on Monday as the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies showed little sign of ending soon. Signs of economic anxiety also appeared in other financial markets. (New York Times)
4/ The U.S. is preparing to slap tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports, which could add levies on roughly $300 billion in additional goods. Days after both countries raised hopes of a deal, Trump and Xi instead escalated their tariff war. (Washington Post)
- GOP's farm belt Senators back Trump as China takes aim at U.S. agriculture. Republican lawmakers in the farm belt are standing with President Donald Trump in the wake of an escalating trade war with China, which retaliated on Monday with more tariffs on agricultural goods. (CNBC)
5/ The House Intelligence Committee is investigating claims of obstruction of justice against Trump's lawyers. The Committee has opened an inquiry into Michael Cohen’s claims that lawyers for Trump and his family helped shape false testimony. (New York Times)
6/ Trump Jr. struck a deal with the Senate Intelligence Committee to come to Capitol Hill in mid-June to answer the committee's questions for 2–4 hours. The agreed-upon topics for questioning include the Trump Tower Moscow development, but no other details about the compromise are currently available. (Axios)
- Trump Jr.’s no-shows led to him being subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the Committee's Republican chairman Senator Richard Burr. Allies of Mr. Trump have mounted a campaign to quash the subpoena from the Committee, putting intense pressure on Burr. (New York Times)
7/ Trump said he would agree not to use stolen material as part of his 2020 presidential campaign. Trump said he would stay away from information stolen by foreign adversaries in his re-election bid, his first public commitment to doing so. (NBC News)
8/ Trump praised Hungary's authoritarian prime minister Victor Orbán and called him "highly respected." "Probably like me a little bit controversial, but that's okay," Trump said, because "you've done a good job and you've kept your country safe." (Axios)
9/ Before Trump’s purge at the Department of Homeland Security, some top DHS officials challenged his plan to carry out mass family arrests. Kirstjen Nielsen and Ronald Vitiello were ousted after halting an operation that would have targeted thousands of parents and children in 10 cities for arrest and deportation. (Washington Post)
10/ Exclusive photos reveal children sleeping on the ground at a Border Patrol station in Texas. Photos obtained by CNN show migrants at the Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas over the weekend, many of whom are children, sleeping on the ground on rocks and covered by Mylar blankets. A baby bottle filled with milk can be seen in one photo next to a child sleeping outside on dirt, and in another, a woman is seen sitting on rocks leaning against a wall clutching a child. (CNN)