👋 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/ A report from the Department of Homeland Security’s independent watchdog found the squalid conditions at migrant detention camps were more widespread than initially revealed. The report describes standing-room-only cells, children without access to showers or hot meals, and detainees desperately begging to be released. Inspectors visited five facilities in June, where they found many migrants are given only wet wipes to clean themselves and bologna sandwiches to eat, leading to additional health problems. Children at two of the camps were not given hot meals until inspectors arrived. Overcrowding was so severe that migrants were banging on cell walls and pressing notes up against the windows begging for help. (New York Times / Reuters)
2/ A federal judge blocked Attorney General William Barr’s order to indefinitely detain immigrants seeking asylum and deny them bail if they crossed into the U.S. border without permission. The order requires immigration judges to conduct hearings for asylum applicants to ask for release on bail within seven days if they have shown a “credible fear” of returning to their country of origin. (Bloomberg / New York Times)
3/ Trump claimed that he is “absolutely moving forward” with including the citizenship question on the 2020 census, contradicting both the Justice Department and the Commerce secretary, and calling the news reports “FAKE!” Yesterday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the Census Bureau was in the process of printing the census form without the citizenship question following the Supreme Court’s decision to effectively block the question from being added to the questionnaire. (New York Times / CNBC / The Hill)
4/ The National Parks Service is diverting $2.5 million meant to improve parks in order to cover costs associated with Trump’s Fourth of July event on the National Mall. Trump officials have consistently refused to disclose how much taxpayers will have to pay for the “Salute to America” event. The diverted park fees make up just a fraction of the extra costs the government will have to pay as a result of the event, which will include tanks, military flyovers, Air Force One, and an extended pyrotechnics display. (Washington Post)
5/ Trump defended the cost of his “Salute to America” event, saying it will be “very little compared to what it is worth” because it will be “the show of a lifetime.” Military chiefs, meanwhile, are concerned about the politicization of the event – They’ve been asked to stand with Trump during the event. (Politico / Washington Post / CNN)
6/ Trump will hold a campaign rally in North Carolina on the same day Robert Mueller is scheduled to testify publicly to Congress. Trump’s campaign announced that he will be returning to Greenville, N.C. on July 17 to offer counter-programming to Mueller’s highly anticipated public testimony about his report on Russian election interference in 2016 and possible obstruction of justice by Trump. The Trump campaign’s chief operating officer said the rally will be an opportunity to highlight “the successes of the Trump presidency.” (Washington Post)
- 📌 Day 888: Robert Mueller agreed to testify before the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees in back-to-back public hearings on July 17th about his investigation into Russia’s election interference and possible obstruction of justice by Trump. The announcement came after the two panels issued a subpoena compelling Mueller’s testimony. Mueller previously said he did not want to testify and his report should serve as his testimony. Members of Mueller’s team will also participate in a closed-door session with lawmakers. (NBC News / Washington Post / New York Times / Politico / ABC News / CNN)
poll/ 41% approve the job Trump is doing as president while 54% disapprove. 29% strongly approve with 44% who strongly disapprove. (Gallup)
Become a member.
Help keep WTF Just Happened Today going with a small contribution.