👋 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 U.S. military will build six tent cities near border for migrants. The tents will likely not be on military bases, and ICE — not the military — will be responsible for migrant detention and custodial support. (NBC News)
2/ Trump’s immigration plan will emphasizes immigrants’ skills over their family ties. The plan will significantly scale back family-based immigration and increase the educational and skills requirements to move to the United States. (New York Times / NPR)
3/ Trump, frustrated by advisers, is not convinced the time is right to attack Iran. “They are getting way out ahead of themselves, and Trump is annoyed,” one official said of aides pushing for aggressive action. (Washington Post)
- Trump told his Pentagon chief he does not want a war with Iran. Trump’s statement came during a briefing on the rising tensions with Tehran, and officials said he was firm in saying he did not want a military clash. (New York Times)
4/ The Missouri Senate passed a bill to ban abortions at 8 weeks. Senators approved the legislation 24-10 and now needs at least one more vote of approval in the GOP-led House before it can go to Republican Gov. Mike Parson, who voiced support for the bill. (Associated Press)
- Alabama governor signs near-total abortion ban aimed squarely at Roe v. Wade, but the Supreme Court may prefer to chip away at abortion rights rather than overrule Roe outright. The new law is the most restrictive anti-abortion measure passed in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. The controversial abortion bill could punish doctors who perform abortions with life in prison. (New York Times / CBS News) / CNN)
5/ Trump moved to ban foreign telecom gear as part of an ongoing battle with China. American officials have long warned that they would stop sharing intelligence if allies installed Chinese technology on their 5G networks. (New York Times)
6/ Farmer who voted for Trump says he’ll “never vote for him again” as family is set to lose $150,000 in China trade war. “This is survival at this point. I mean, for a lot of operations it is a survival thing,” Iowa farmer Robert Ewoldt said. (Newsweek)
7/ Company owned by Brazilian crooks received $62 million in Trump bailout cash meant for struggling U.S. farmers. The Trump administration has forked over more than $62 million — taxpayer cash that was supposed to be earmarked for struggling American farmers — to a massive meatpacking company owned by a couple of… (New York Daily News)
8/ Trump pardoned his billionaire friend Conrad Black, who wrote a book about him. Black was convicted in 2007 on fraud charges, including alleged embezzlement, and obstruction of justice. (Washington Post / Reuters)
9/ Attorney General William Barr denied he is blocking Robert Mueller’s testimony before Congress. “It’s Bob’s call whether he wants to testify,” Barr said. (Wall Street Journal)
10/ Ted Cruz warned that Trump’s “Space Force” is needed to prevent space pirates. “Pirates threaten the open seas, and the same is possible in space,” Cruz said. (The Hill)
11/ Scott Pruitt spent nearly $124,000 on “excessive airfare” and the EPA watchdog suggests agency recover the $124,000 in travel expenses. A new Office of Inspector General report suggests there was not “sufficient justification to support security concerns requiring the use of first- and business-class travel.” (Washington Post / NBC News / CNN)
12/ Trump’s prized Doral resort is in steep decline, according to company documents, showing his business problems are mounting. Eric Trump said the resort was “on fire,” but the company later said profitability was down 69%. (Washington Post)
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago took a financial hit last year. “The Art of the Deal” continues to make money, but Trump’s dozen-plus other books brought in next to nothing — $201 or less. (Politico)
Trump’s wealth in the spotlight with new disclosure forms. America is about to get a tantalizing look into the hidden fortune on which Donald Trump made his name but is at the root of some of the most mysterious unresolved questions about his presidency. (CNN)
Televangelist Jim Bakker Show Peddles $45 Coin to Pray for President Donald Trump in SpectacularGrift. For just $45, you can pray for the president with this coin that’s sold by a guy who says God told him you need the coin. (esquire.com)
poll/ Voters still see Trump as a successful businessman. The president maintains a positive image despite recent negative reports about his tax filings. (Politico)
poll/ 77% of Americans don’t think Trump’s term should be extended two years. 7% of respondents said that if Trump loses the 2020 election, he should ignore the results and stay in office. (University of Virginia Center for Politics)
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