The Atlantic Daily: Comey Speaks

A Senate hearing becomes must-see TV, the U.K. votes, the UN reports on ISIS’s destruction, and more.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on June 8, 2017, regarding Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

What We’re Following

The Comey Hearing: In his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, former FBI Director James Comey affirmed his belief that President Trump fired him “because of the Russia investigation.” He did not accuse the president of obstructing justice, leaving that question up to Robert Mueller, the appointed special counsel. In response, Trump’s personal lawyer accused Comey—inaccurately—of leaking classified information, referring to the memos Comey had drafted regarding his conversations with the president. All in all, writes David Frum, “Thursday was a bad, bad, day for Team Trump.”

Britain’s Special Election: U.K. voters headed to the polls today to choose which party will be able to form a new government. Prime Minister Theresa May had called the snap election to solidify her Conservative party’s power ahead of Brexit negotiations with the EU. But in the weeks leading up to the election, May’s lead shrank, and as of this writing the exit polls project that no one party will win enough seats to control the parliament. Follow our latest coverage here.

Lives Lost: The UN reports that since the end of May, ISIS has killed more than 200 Iraqi civilians, including children, who were trying to escape the ISIS-held parts of western Mosul. Iraq’s U.S.-backed effort to retake the city is still ongoing, but the UN calls these mass killings a “significant escalation” of the conflict. Elsewhere, Yemen is suffering an “unprecedented” cholera epidemic with more than 100,000 suspected cases—a health crisis compounded by the country’s ongoing civil war.


Caitlin Cadieux created this image for an animated video on how the internet is changing friendship. Watch it here.

Evening Read

As Trump proposes lifting restrictions against the sale of American mustangs for slaughter, Susanna Forrest considers the history of horse meat:

In the 19th century … America … needed no horse meat. For one part, the Pilgrims had brought the European prohibition on eating horse flesh, inherited from the pre-Christian tradition. But for another, by the 1700s the New World was a place of carnivorous abundance. … Besides, horse meat was considered un-American. Nineteenth-century newspapers abound with ghoulish accounts of the rise of hippophagy [eating horse meat] in the Old World. In these narratives, horse meat is the food of poverty, war, social breakdown, and revolution—everything new migrants had left behind. Nihilists share horse carcasses in Russia; wretched Frenchmen gnaw on cab horses in besieged Paris; poor Berliners slurp on horse soup.

But in the 1890s, a new American horse meat industry arose, if awkwardly.

Keep reading here, as Forrest explores the treacherous politics of hippophagy.

What Do You Know?

1. About _____________ percent of the observable universe consists of empty space.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

2. Human fetuses’ eyelids unfuse after about ____________ weeks of gestation.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

3. Article ____________ of the U.S. constitution prohibits the use of religious tests as a qualification for holding office.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Answers: 80, 20, VI

Urban Developments

Our partner site CityLab explores the cities of the future and investigates the biggest ideas and issues facing city dwellers around the world. Adam Sneed shares three of today’s top stories:

On the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth, CityLab writers share some of the architect’s greatest hits in (or near) American cities.

Americans don’t know a whole lot about the NSA, and the same goes for the NSA’s headquarters. Indeed, the built environment of the security state reflects the anxieties of the modern age.

This week is all about infrastructure in the White House (or it’s supposed to be, anyway). President Trump went to Cincinnati to talk about fixing America’s waterways; will his plan to fund it really work?

For more updates from the urban world, subscribe to CityLab’s daily newsletter.

Reader Response

Ahead of Comey’s hearing this week, we asked the readers of our Politics & Policy Daily newsletter what questions they would ask the former FBI director. From John:

Mr. Comey, if it’s true, as has been reported, that the president asked you to discontinue the investigation of Michael Flynn, why didn’t you report this to the appropriate congressional committees and the Justice Department immediately?

Fortunately, the Senate Intelligence Committee wondered some of the same things. Find more reader questions—plus answers from Comey’s testimony—here, and subscribe to the Politics & Policy Daily here.


Mummy flops, temper lost, cosmos contemplated, employees undermined.

Time of Your Life

Happy birthday to Anne’s son Wyatt (twice the age of YouTube), to Tawhai’s mother Alison (a year younger than color TV), to Sarah’s art-school classmate Keith (the same age as commercial nuclear power), and to Janette, who reflects on a tragic event from her lifetime:

I will never forget 9/11. As a kid it was the first time I thought of the world as hostile.

Find more readers’ memories from that day here. To celebrate your loved ones in The Atlantic Daily, fill out this form, and click here to explore the Timeline feature for yourself.

The Atlantic Daily is written by Rosa Inocencio Smith. To contact us, email