👋 Away Message: So we had a little scheduling snafu here at WTF HQ, where both myself and Joe (voice of the pod) double-booked ourselves with personal and professional obligations next week. Oopsie! Not a very great job using a calendar on my part, I guess. On the other hand, it appears the government isn't going to be open for business anyway... Unless something truly WTF-y happens, I'll see you all again on Tuesday, October 10th, because Monday is a holiday (Indigenous Peoples' Day).
In the mean time, try our little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding and for being here. I'm going to miss you.
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1/ Trump’s attorneys met with prosecutors from special counsel Jack Smith’s office ahead of a potential indictment in connection with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Trump said his lawyers had “a productive meeting” with the prosecutors, which included his lawyers explaining to Smith’s team that “I did nothing wrong, was advised by many lawyers, and that an indictment of me would only further destroy our country.” Trump added that “no indication of notice was given during the meeting.” Last week, Trump received a letter notifying him he is a target of the special counsel’s investigation. An indictment would be the third one for Trump, who was indicted last month on 37 criminal counts related to his handling of classified materials. Trump was also indicted in April on 34 counts from the Manhattan DA related to falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment made to Stormy Daniels. The grand jury that’s been hearing evidence in the probe typically meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A court official, however, said that there haven’t been any indictments returned today and none are expected. Trump is the current front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination and no former or current president has ever been indicted. (NBC News / CNN / ABC News / New York Times / Associated Press / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg)
2/ Ron DeSantis cut more than a third of his presidential campaign staff. Some 38 staffers have been let go from the campaign since its May 24 launch. The campaign sent a note on “messaging guidance” to supporters, saying the campaign is “leaning into the reset” and “embrace being the underdog” as it cuts down on event and travel costs. The campaign has spent 40% of the $20 million it raised between entering the race. (Politico / CNN / NBC News / Washington Post)
3/ Mitch McConnell was escorted away from cameras after he suddenly froze mid-sentence and stopped speaking for about 25 seconds during a press conference. While the 81-year-old has claimed since then that he’s “fine,” he fell two weeks ago and has been using a wheelchair periodically to get around. Earlier this year, McConnell suffered a concussion after falling down. Meanwhile, 90-year-old Dianne Feinstein appeared confused and mistakenly started reading a statement during a routine Senate Appropriations Committee vote, which required her to simply say “Aye” or “Nay” when her name was called. Feinstein announced earlier this year that she will not run for reelection in 2024. (NBC News / ABC News / CNN / USA Today / NPR / Politico / New York Times)
4/The U.S. economy grew at a faster-than-expected pace during the second quarter. GDP increased at a 2.4% annualized rate for the April-through-June period after a 2% pace in the previous three months. The Federal Reserve said it no longer expected a recession to begin this year. (ABC News / CNBC / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / New York Times)
5/ The Supreme Court allowed work to resume on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Last month, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked completion of the natural gas pipeline while the court reviewed a provision in June’s debt ceiling legislation, which mandated the completion of the pipeline and barred most legal challenges to the construction. The pipeline provisions were added to the Fiscal Responsibility Act in order to secure Joe Manchin’s vote for the Inflation Reduction Act. (NPR / CNN / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Politico / NBC News)
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