1/ The House passed a $4.6 billion emergency spending bill for the humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border. The 305-to-102 vote sends the legislation, passed by the Senate earlier in the week, to Trump, who is expected to sign it. Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to add additional protections for unaccompanied minors and restrictions on the administration's use of funds to the bill, but was forced to accept the less restrictive Senate bill after the White House made clear it opposed the changes, and Mitch McConnell said he would not take them up. "We will reluctantly pass the Senate bill," Pelosi said in a letter to Democratic lawmakers. (Washington Post / New York Times / Politico / Reuters)

  • The Department of Homeland Security projects arrests along the Mexico border to fall 25% this month. Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan attributed the drop to Mexico cracking down on Central American migrants and the expansion of a program that requires asylum seekers to remain in Mexico for their immigration court hearings. (Washington Post / CNN)

  • The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement will shift roles to take over as acting chief of Customs and Border Protection. Mark Morgan previously served at the CBP as chief of Border Patrol, before being named acting head of ICE in May. (The Hill)

2/ The Supreme Court will hear arguments over whether the Trump administration illegally tried to end DACA, which shields about 700,000 young, undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation and allows them to receive work permits. Trump tried to end the program in 2017, calling it an unconstitutional use of executive power by Obama. Lower courts have said the Trump administration's explanation isn't adequate. The Supreme Court will likely render its verdict next June, in the thick of the 2020 presidential campaign. (New York Times / CNN / Washington Post / CNBC / Bloomberg / ABC News / NBC News)

  • 📌 Day 229: Trump rescinded DACA and called on Congress to replace the policy before it expires on March 5, 2018. The Department of Homeland Security will no longer accept new applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which has provided renewable, two-year work permits to nearly 800,000 dreamers. Jeff Sessions formally announced the shift of responsibility, saying DACA "was implemented unilaterally, to great controversy and legal concern.” He called the Obama-era policy an “open-ended circumvention of immigration laws” and an unconstitutional use of executive authority. “The executive branch through DACA deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch specifically refused to authorize on multiple occasions." (New York Times / Washington Post / Politico)

3/ Trump suggested he'll delay the 2020 Census – "no matter how long" – until the citizenship question can be added. The Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration's plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, calling the justification "contrived." Trump tweeted that the court's decision was "totally ridiculous," saying he's "asked the lawyers if they can delay the Census" until the question can be added. (Washington Post / CNN / NBC News)

  • 📌 Day 889: The Supreme Court blocked the citizenship question from being added to the 2020 census. The court found that while the Department of Commerce had a right to reinstate the question, the administration provided a "contrived" justification for doing so. The Trump administration claimed the citizenship question was necessary to better comply with federal voting rights law, while critics argued it is an attempt to intimidate immigrant households. The Department of Commerce will now have to justify the addition of the question, which raises the question of whether the Trump administration will have enough time or the ability to add it before the forms have to be printed. The administration previously told the court that the questionnaire needed to be printed by the end of June. The Census Bureau found the question would reduce the response rate –especially in immigrant communities – and result in an estimated 6.5 million people not being counted. (CNN / NBC News / New York Times / NPR / Washington Post)

4/ Trump jokingly told Putin "don't meddle in the election" while touting his "very, very good relationship" with the Russian leader at the G20 Summit. Trump then pointed at another Russian official and repeated: "Don't meddle in the election." Trump's meeting with Putin was their first since last year's summit in Helsinki, when Trump took Putin's side over his own U.S. intelligence agencies on the question of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump has been increasingly pressured to publicly criticize Putin ahead of the 2020 election. (NBC News / New York Times / Politico / Wall Street Journal)

  • Trump joked with Putin that they should "get rid" of journalists after quipping about election interference. "Fake news is a great term, isn't it? You don't have this problem in Russia but we do." Putin responded in English: "We also have. It's the same." (The Guardian)

  • Jimmy Carter suggested that Trump is an illegitimate president who only won the 2016 election because "Russians interfered on his behalf." Carter said Trump should "condemn" the Kremlin's interference since the American intelligence community concluded Russia had meddled in the election. "I think a full investigation would show that Trump didn't actually win the election in 2016. He lost the election, and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf." (NBC News / Politico / CNN)

  • 📌 Day 543: Trump rejected the consensus of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, saying he doesn't "see any reason why" Russia would have interfered, and that Putin "was extremely strong and powerful" in denying it during their summit in Helsinki. Trump's refusal to condemn Moscow clashed with the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies, and comes days after the Justice Department indicted 12 Russian intelligence agents for hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in an attempt to help Trump. Putin confirmed the he wanted Trump to win the election. Prior to the summit, Trump blamed "U.S. foolishness and stupidity" for poor Russian relations. The Russian foreign ministry responded to Trump's tweet with "We agree." (New York Times / Washington Post / Reuters/Politico)

  • 📌 Day 544: Trump backtracked and tried to spin his Helsinki summit comments. Reading from prepared remarks, Trump claimed he misspoke yesterday and meant to say "I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia" that interfered in the election. Trump also said "I accept" the intelligence community's conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, but it "could be other people also." Trump asserted that "Russia's actions had no impact at all" on the election outcome. During yesterday's news conference, Trump said he doesn't "see any reason" why Russia would have meddled during the last election. Prior to that, Trump blamed the U.S. for acting with "foolishness and stupidity" toward Russia in the past. Trump also rejected the consensus of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Instead, Trump said he believed Putin's denial. (Bloomberg / CNBC / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / Washington Post)

  • 📌 Day 552: The White House deleted a key exchange between a reporter and Putin from the official transcript and video of Trump's recent summit with Putin in Helsinki. During the press conference in Helsinki, a Reuters reporter asks Putin, "Did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?" Putin then responds, "Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal." The White House omitted the first part of the question, leaving only the second part in the official transcript and video. The Russian government removed the entire exchange from their official record. [Editor's note: Apparently this was due to the audio feed switching between only the right channel and both channels. Regardless, it's unclear why the feed switched. White House transcripts are considered the official record of the president's comments.](The Atlantic / MSNBC / HuffPost)


✏️ Notables.

  1. The Supreme Court rejected Alabama's request to revive the state's ban on the most common second-trimester abortion procedure. The decision means the procedure will remain available to women seeking reproductive health services in that state. The Alabama law was blocked by lower courts, but would have affected 99% of abortions performed in the state after 15 weeks. (Politico / ABC News / New York Times / Reuters)

  2. In closed-door testimony with the House Foreign Affairs Committee, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson detailed how Jared Kushner bypassed the State Department to meet with foreign officials. Kushner privately talked with Saudi and Emirati leaders about their secret plans to impose a blockade on Qatar, leaving Tillerson and other senior national security officials — including Jim Mattis, then the defense secretary — in the dark. (Washington Post / Politico / Axios / New York Times)

  3. The White House is developing a plan to cut capital gains taxes, which would benefit the wealthy. The White House is considering revamping capital gains taxes by executive order as a way to bypass Congress. (Bloomberg)

  4. Senators blocked an effort to restrict Trump's ability to go to war with Iran. The proposal would have block Trump from using funding to carry out military action without congressional authorization. (The Hill)


🎤 Debatables.

Last night was the second of two back-to-back Democratic presidential primary debates. Here's how some of the major outlets covered it:

  1. Biden Comes Under Attack From All Sides in Democratic Debate. Senator Kamala Harris confronted the former vice president in a searing moment over racial equality, and others attacked him on policy and generational divide. (New York Times)

  2. Marianne Williamson’s “girlfriend” call to New Zealand and her other best moments in the debates. And by best, we mean all of them. (Vox)

  3. 6 Takeaways From Night 2 of the Democratic Debate. Kamala Harris stood out from the 10-person crowd several times during the NBC debate. Her exchange with Joe Biden, who is leading in the polls, put him on the defensive. (New York Times)

  4. For Biden and Harris, busing and integration became a flashpoint on the debate stage. Harris forcefully slammed Biden's history of working with segregationists and opposing school busing (NBC News)

  5. Andrew Yang says microphone was 'not on' at times during Democratic debate. Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang claimed his microphone was "not on" a few times when he attempted to jump in during Thursday night's Democratic debate in Miami. (The Hill)

  6. Candidates slam Trump at Democratic debate, but fight over racial issues, health care. The faceoff featuring 10 candidates included an intense racial moment between Biden and Harris over busing and segregation. (NBC News)


Become a member.

Help keep WTF Just Happened Today going with a small contribution.
Learn more