👋 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/ Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she is “disturbed” by the coordination between Mitch McConnell and the White House for the Senate impeachment trial. Murkowski said McConnell has “confused the process” by declaring that he is acting in “total coordination” with Trump to set the parameters of the trial. “To me,” she continued, “it means that we have to take that step back from being hand in glove with the defense.” Murkowski, a moderate Republican, did not say how she will vote in the upcoming trial. (CNN / New York Times / ABC News / KTUU)
📌 Day 1058: Mitch McConnell: There’s “no chance” that Trump will be removed from office as a result of the impeachment trial in the Senate. McConnell added that it “wouldn’t surprise” him if some Democrats broke ranks to vote in favor of Trump, calling the case “so darn weak.” McConnell and the White House have agreed to coordinate their plans for the trial, which McConnell has said he will end as soon as he has 51 GOP votes in place for a final vote. “We know how it’s going to end.” (NBC News / CNN / Washington Post)
📌 Day 1064: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi won’t commit to sending the articles of impeachment against Trump to the Senate until she sees “the process that is set forth” to ensure a “fair” trial. Democrats have questioned the impartiality of the Senate trial after Mitch McConnell said he’s coordinating with the White House to quickly acquit Trump. Senior Democratic aides suggested it was “very unlikely” that the House will send the articles to the Senate before January, effectively delaying the impeachment trial well into the new year, in order to pressure Republicans to allow new witnesses and evidence in the proceeding. “We cannot name managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side,” Pelosi said. “So far we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us.” (New York Times / ABC News / Politico / CNN / NBC News / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg)
2/ Trump retweeted an article that contained the name of the alleged whistleblower at the center of his impeachment. Trump, using his personal Twitter account, retweeted his reelection account, which had posted a link to a Washington Examiner story from Dec. 3 that named the alleged whistleblower in the headline. Several people close to Trump, including Ivanka and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, cautioned Trump against saying or posting the name in public. (Mediaite / Daily Beast)
3/ 45 immigration judges have left their positions, moved into new roles in the immigration court system, or died over the last year — nearly double the number who departed their posts in 2017 and 2018. Meanwhile, the Justice Department is facing a backlog of more than 1 million cases, pushing many immigration cases years into the future. (CNN)
poll/ 41% of Germans consider Trump more of a threat to world peace than Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, or Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Kim came in second with 17%, followed by Putin and Khamenei with 8%, and Xi at 7%. (Axios)
poll/ 55% of Americans support Trump’s conviction by the Senate, while 40%, are opposed. (Yahoo News)
poll/ 49% of Americans approve of the decision to impeach Trump with 42% disapproving, and 9% unsure. (HuffPost)
poll / 49% of Americans said Trump will be remembered as a “poor” or “below average” president. 21% of those polled said Trump would be described as an “outstanding” leader, and another 12% said Trump was an “above average” president. (Newsweek / YouGov)
👋 Programming note: WTF Just Happened Today will be on holiday break Dec. 31st through Jan. 2nd. We’ll return on Jan. 3rd, unless there’s a reason to return sooner (or no reason to return at all).
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