By David A. Graham The question to President Trump on Monday sounded relatively innocuous: “Why haven’t we heard anything from you so far about the soldiers that were killed in ...
By Elaine Godfrey Today in 5 Lines President Trump criticized a new bipartisan deal aimed at stabilizing Obamacare exchanges, a day after he publicly praised the proposal. Trump disputed an ...
By Vann R. Newkirk II ARECIBO, P.R.—“There’s no way there were just 45 deaths,” said Myrna Conty, an environmental activist whose work takes her regularly across the most remote parts ...
By Maura Ewing PHILADELPHIA—During the 15 months that Allen Woods has been held, awaiting trial, at a federal detention center downtown, he has only seen his six-year-old son once. This ...
By Russell Berman On Wednesday morning, another leading Republican senator suffered an injury that has struck lawmakers throughout the Capitol in the last nine months: presidential policy whiplash. President Trump ...
The question to President Trump on Monday sounded relatively innocuous: “Why haven’t we heard anything from you so far about the soldiers that were killed in Niger? And what do you have to say about that?” It’s certainly not the kind of question that seemed likely to set off several days of heated controversy.
But the hubbub that has ensued, centering on Trump’s response to the deaths of four soldiers in Niger and, more broadly, the way he deals with grieving military families, is yet another example of how this president inflicts crises on himself. This pattern has happened several times since Trump entered office, with the tussle over the size of his crowd on Inauguration Day and his claim that Barack Obama “wiretapped him.” In each case, Trump’s bluster and his seeming obsession with Obama have led him to commit serious unforced errors.
As is now well known, Trump took that question as an opportunity to unfavorably compare previous presidents’ method of consoling Gold Star families to his own, suggesting his predecessors had done little or none, while he tried to call the family of every fallen soldier. That answer was off-key not only because of the unsolicited slur of other presidents but also because Trump so quickly made the story about himself. While the gap between the October 4 deaths and the October 16 comment remains unexplained, Trump could easily have offered an anodyne statement praising the men’s valor and the importance of U.S. troops to fighting violent extremism.
Via:: The Atlantic
Today in 5 Lines
President Trump criticized a new bipartisan deal aimed at stabilizing Obamacare exchanges, a day after he publicly praised the proposal. Trump disputed an account that he was insensitive during a phone call with the widow of Sergeant La David Johnson, one of four U.S. servicemen killed in Niger on October 4. But Johnson’s mother said Trump “did disrespect” her son. The White House reportedly drafted a sympathy statement for Trump to make after the servicemen were killed, but he never released it. Appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey and said he had not been questioned by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Today on The Atlantic
Drama in the Scouting World: The Boy Scouts’ decision to admit girls into its Cub Scouts program is a major reversal that could offer more opportunities for young girls—while ultimately hurting the Girl Scouts. (Elaine Godfrey)
Real Consequences: Last week, President Trump ended cost-sharing reductions, a move health-policy experts argue caused instability in the individual-insurance market. Here’s what that means for people relying on Obamacare. (Olga Khazan)
The Devastation to Come: The extent of the damage left behind by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico has yet to be realized. “All of this is just the beginning,” said one environmental activist. “This is catastrophic.” (Vann R. Newkirk II)
Follow stories throughout the day with our Politics & Policy portal.
What We’re Reading
Via:: <a href=http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/AtlanticPoliticsChannel/~3/J_czDGFJ_TQ/ class="colorbox" title="The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Schrödinger’s Endorsement” rel=nofollow>The Atlantic
By Vann R. Newkirk II ARECIBO, P.R.—“There’s no way there were just 45 deaths,” said Myrna Conty, an environmental activist whose work takes her regularly across the most remote parts of the island. She scoffed at the radio reports of the official death toll, a common refrain among Puerto Ricans whose personal stories—a cousin who […]
By Maura Ewing PHILADELPHIA—During the 15 months that Allen Woods has been held, awaiting trial, at a federal detention center downtown, he has only seen his six-year-old son once. This has been hard on them both, as they used to spend time together almost every day. Woods would pick his son up from school, take […]
By Russell Berman On Wednesday morning, another leading Republican senator suffered an injury that has struck lawmakers throughout the Capitol in the last nine months: presidential policy whiplash. President Trump can’t seem to decide whether he wants Congress to pass a bipartisan deal to shore up the Affordable Care Act. On Tuesday afternoon, the president […]
By David A. Graham Thirteen days after Sergeant La David Johnson was killed in Niger, and a day after Donald Trump boasted about his actions to console grieving families in contrast to his predecessors, the president called Johnson’s family Tuesday night. It didn’t go well. Representative Frederica Wilson, a Florida Democrat, was with widow Myeshia […]
By Conor Friedersdorf Last week, the New York Times and The New Yorker published multiple allegations of abhorrent sexual misconduct against the movie producer Harvey Weinstein, drawing on years of costly investigative reporting; risking legal retaliation that could cost millions to litigate; and forcing its subject from his powerful perch in Hollywood, where his ability […]
By Uri Friedman When Donald Trump last week opted to decertify the nuclear agreement that Barack Obama forged with Iran, it appeared to fit a pattern in the president’s emerging foreign policy. In withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and the Paris climate-change accord, in announcing that he was “canceling” the U.S. opening to […]
By Elaine Godfrey Last week, the Boy Scouts of America announced it would reverse its century-old policy of no girls allowed—and the Girl Scouts aren’t happy. “Why not ask us how we could help them serve the 90 percent of the boys they’re choosing not to serve instead of pursuing serving girls?” asked Lisa Margosian, […]
One month after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, we hear from longtime Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera, who was released in May and is now in San Juan to visit with community members affected by Hurricane Maria. Until earlier this year, Rivera had been in federal prison for 35 years — much of […]