Eric Thayer / Reuters

Today in 5 Lines

The Congressional Budget Office projected that the House Republicans’ new health-care plan would result in 24 million Americans losing their health insurance and lower federal deficits by $337 billion over 10 years. Iowa Representative Steve King defended a comment he made on Twitter about restoring “our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” The Justice Department has until the end of the day to provide evidence to the House Intelligence Committee to substantiate President Trump’s allegations that former President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer attempted to soften Trump’s accusations, saying Trump wasn’t using the term “wiretapping” literally. Spicer also said Trump plans to donate his $400,000 salary to a charity at the end of the year and would “let the press corps determine where it should go.”


Today on The Atlantic

  • City of Spies: In Washington, D.C., everyday encounters between government officials, lobbyists, and diplomats could be innocent—or they could be sinister. Molly Ball takes a look at the “spy game always being played below the capital’s surface.”

  • Tell Me No Lies: Julie Beck unpacks the science behind why facts can’t fight false beliefs. “The inherent contradiction of false knowledge is that only those on the outside can tell that it’s false,” she writes. “It’s hard for facts to fight it because to the person who holds it, it feels like truth.”

  • The Ascent of Steve King: The Iowa representative has a history of making “controversial, blatantly false, or outright racist” comments. Republican leaders once condemned King and cast him as an extremist outsider. In the age of Trump, however, his unchanged views have moved toward the mainstream. (David A. Graham)

Follow stories throughout the day with our Politics & Policy portal.


Snapshot

U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a card made by a child and given to him by an attendee of a healthcare meeting at the White House in Washington. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters


What We’re Reading

The Culling: President Trump’s budget proposal, which is set to be released later this week, is expected to include cuts across federal agencies, the repercussions of which may be felt most in the Washington area. (Damian Paletta, The Washington Post)

The Obama Plan: During interviews with Vox’s Jeff Stein, six current and former aides to Barack Obama discussed the former president’s political and apolitical ambitions for life outside the White House. Hint: He looks to Michelle as a model for how to approach Trump.

At Home With Kellyanne: In an interview with The Record, Kellyanne Conway discussed the president’s wiretapping allegations against former President Obama. (Mike Kelly)

‘Is Intersectionality a Religion?’: New York’s Andrew Sullivan argues it is. He writes: “If you happen to see the world in a different way, if you’re a liberal or libertarian or even, gasp, a conservative, if you believe that a university is a place where any idea, however loathsome, can be debated and refuted, you are not just wrong, you are immoral.”

Bounce Back: Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley describes his failed campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination as “the most frustrating experience I’ve ever had in politics.” After a difficult year, O’Malley is supporting state and local Democrats, and coming to terms with the outcome of the 2016 election. (Ruby Cramer, BuzzFeed)


Visualized

How Does the New Plan Affect Me?: These graphics highlight which Americans might be worse off under the House Republicans’ new health-care plan, and who could fare better. (Haeyoun Park, Margo Sanger-Katz, and Sergio Pecanha, The New York Times)


Question of the Week

In the week leading up to Super Bowl 51, we asked you to imagine that Capitol Hill had a football team—and suggest potential team names. Since this week marks the beginning of March Madness, we want to know: If you had to pick a lawmaker to coach your team and take it to the Final Four, who would you pick—and why?

Send your answers to hello@theatlantic.com, and our favorites will be featured in Friday’s Politics & Policy Daily.

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey) and Candice Norwood (@cjnorwoodwrites)

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