1/ The Trump administration separated more than 900 migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border after a judge ordered the government to stop the practice in June 2018 except in cases where a parent is unfit or presents a danger to the child. One man lost his daughter because a Border Patrol agent claimed he had failed to change the girl’s diaper and another had his child taken from him because of a property damage conviction allegedly worth $5. Another man who has a speech impediment had his 4-year-old son taken from him because he couldn’t clearly answer Border Patrol agent’s questions. Attorneys for the ACLU asked a federal judge to block the Trump administration from continuing to separate migrant children from their parents. (Washington Post / CNN / NBC News)
- 📌 Day 524: A federal judge ordered the federal government to reunite migrant families separated under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy and to end most family separations. U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw issued a nationwide injunction requiring that all children under the age of five be reunited with their parents within 14 days and that older children be reunited within 30 days, and temporarily stopping the practice of separating children from their parents. The judge also ordered that all children who have been separated be allowed to talk to their parents within 10 days. (Politico / New York Times / CNN / Washington Post)
2/ The Federal Reserve cut interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point – the first rate cut in more than a decade. The move is meant to protect the U.S. economy against the effects of an economic slowdown in China and Europe and the uncertainty from Trump’s trade war. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the rate cut was a precautionary, “midcycle adjustment” to provide “insurance” against “downside risks.” Trump, who has called in recent months for the Fed to cut interest rates by a full percentage point, tweeted that the interest rate cut was “not enough” and that Powell had “let us down” “as usual.”(New York Times / Politico / CNBC / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / Washington Post)
- 💡What the interest rate cut means for you. (New York Times)
3/ Two of Mitch McConnell’s former staffers lobbied Congress and the Treasury Department on the development of a $200 million investment in a Kentucky aluminum mill backed by a Russian aluminum company. Rusal could only make the investment after winning sanctions relief from the Treasury Department initially imposed in April 2018 on Rusal and other companies owned by Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch and Putin ally. (Politico)
📌 Day 739: The Trump administration lifted sanctions against three companies owned by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. The Treasury Department originally sanctioned Deripaska, six other oligarchs, and their companies in April in response to Russia’s “malign activity” around the world. The sanctions against Deripaska himself will remain in effect, but his companies launched a lobbying campaign to argue that the sanctions against aluminum giant Rusal would disrupt the aluminum market and damage U.S. companies. (Reuters / New York Times / Fox News / Bloomberg)
📌 Day 818: 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)
📌Day 917: Following Robert Mueller’s testimony and warnings about Russia’s continued attempts to interfere in U.S. elections, Senate Republicans blocked two election security bills and a cybersecurity measure. Democrats attempted to pass two bills by unanimous consent on Wednesday that would require campaigns to notify the FBI and the FEC if they receive offers of assistance from foreign governments. The other bill would let the Senate Sergeant at Arms offer voluntary cyber assistance for the personal devices and accounts of lawmakers and their staff. Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith blocked all three of the bills without giving any reason for her objections or indicating whether she blocked the bills on behalf of herself or the GOP caucus. Mueller testified yesterday that “The Russian government’s effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious” and that “it wasn’t a single attempt. They’re doing it as we sit here. And they expect to do it during the next campaign.” (The Hill / CNN)
📌 Day 922: Mitch McConnell defended his decision to block an election security bill in a speech on the Senate floor, accusing his critics of engaging in “modern-day McCarthyism” to “smear” his record. McConnell and Senate Republicans blocked Democratic attempts to bring up several bipartisan election security bills for votes, including legislation to require a paper trail for ballots and the disclosure for online political ads. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough dubbed McConnell “Moscow Mitch” for the move with opinion columnist Dana Milbank labeling McConnell a “Russian asset.” McConnell has blamed Democrats for politicizing election security. Following McConnell’s speech, the hashtag #MoscowMitchMcTreason began trending on Twitter. (KTLA / Washington Post / New York Times / The Hill)
4/ A former congressional staffer who tried to discredit Robert Mueller’s investigation has been promoted on the National Security Council staff. Kash Patel spearheaded the efforts with Devin Nunes to call the court-approved surveillance of former Trump adviser Carter Page into question. Now, Patel has been promoted to a leadership position focused on counterterrorism at the NSC’s Directorate of International Organizations and Alliances. (Daily Beast)
5/ A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by the Democratic National Committee against Trump’s presidential campaign related to Russian hacking of Democratic party computers and the release of material stolen by the hackers. The ruling terminated the DNC’s claims against the Trump campaign, individual members of the campaign, including Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. (CNBC)
7/ The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iran’s top diplomat, following Tehran’s recent missile-test launch, seizure of a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, and the downing of a U.S. military drone. The sanctions against Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif were delayed after State Department officials argued that would close the door to diplomacy. (Washington Post / Wall Street Journal)
🐊 Swamp things.
A church in Baltimore kicked Ben Carson off of their property after the Housing and Urban Development secretary attempted to hold a press conference without first asking for permission. HUD officials moved the news conference to an adjacent alley, where Carson compared Baltimore to a patient with cancer and that the “cancer is going to have a devastating effect” that “we can’t sweep them under the rug.” Carson, who was in Baltimore to talk about opportunity zones and federal programs, said the Morning Star Baptist Church of Christ kicked him off because of “animosity.” (Baltimore Sun / CBS Baltimore / CNN)
The Department of Justice is investigating whether former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke used personal email accounts for official government business. The investigation is part of a larger probe into Zinke, who has been criticized for mixing his personal, political, and official business while in Trump’s cabinet. Zinke resigned in 2018 following scrutiny of his participation in a land deal with the chairman of Halliburton. (Politico)
A Democratic senator temporarily blocked a Trump nominee from serving as the top lawyer for the Interior over concerns that Daniel Jorjani possibly lied to lawmakers during his confirmation hearing about his role in reviewing public information requests submitted to the agency. (The Hill / HuffPost)
The Senate Armed Services Committee advanced Air Force Gen. John Hyten to be the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, despite allegations of sexual assault by a former subordinate. (Politico)
Energy Secretary Rick Perry contradicted Trump on climate change, saying “The climate is changing. Are we part of the reason? Yeah, it is.” Trump has repeatedly expressed skepticism about the role humans play in climate change. (CNBC)
Trump sent the U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs to Sweden to monitor the court proceedings for rapper A$AP Rocky. The Harlem rapper is accused of beating a 19-year-old man in Stockholm on June 30th. He pleaded not guilty to the charges. Robert O’Brien’s job is to advise the government on hostage issues. (The Independent)
📺 Tonight’s debate will start at 8 p.m. ET and end around 10:30 p.m. ET. Watch on CNN.
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