The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Dear Jim

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly examining a draft letter written by President Trump enumerating his reasons for firing former FBI Director James Comey.

Evan Vucci / AP

Today in 5 Lines

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly examining a draft letter written by President Trump enumerating his reasons for firing former FBI Director James Comey. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump will make an announcement on DACA, the Obama-era program offering protections for young undocumented immigrants, on Tuesday. Meteorologists are tracking Hurricane Irma, a storm brewing in the eastern Atlantic ocean that became a Category 3 hurricane on Thursday. Trump is expected to visit Texas and Louisiana on Saturday, his second visit to the flood-ravaged region this week. The U.S. economy added 156,000 jobs in August, and the unemployment rate increased slightly to 4.4 percent.

Today on The Atlantic

  • Millionaire Tax: Many progressives—and even former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon—have suggested putting an additional tax on people whose income exceeds $1 million. Derek Thompson explains why it might be a good idea.

  • Uncertain Futures: If President Trump ends DACA, many medical students who are beneficiaries of the program have no clear path to finishing their education and starting their careers. DACA is “tied to so many opportunities, to take it away with a stroke of a pen is heartbreaking,” said one student. (Jeremy Raff)

  • Splitting Up in Prison: One Chicago court is working to solve a complicated problem in the criminal-justice system: how difficult it is for inmates—especially women—to get a divorce. (Kim Bellware)

  • What Game of Thrones Has Taught Us About Politics: “Winter is coming,” they warned us, and the seventh season of Game of Thrones might have proved them right. But no one mentioned that winter in Westeros would coincide with so many troubling events in real-world politics. In a new episode of Radio Atlantic, Megan Garber, staff writer for The Atlantic, joins cohosts Alex Wagner and Matt Thompson for a conversation about lessons from the show, and other recent pop culture. Listen and subscribe here.

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


Faith leaders place their hands on the shoulders of President Trump as he takes part in a prayer for those affected by Hurricane Harvey in the Oval Office of the White House. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

What We’re Reading

Teaming Up: Special Counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly enlisted agents from the IRS’ Criminal Investigations unit—a specialized entity focused on financial crime—to help with his probe into Russian election interference. (Betsy Woodruff, Daily Beast)

America’s Dads: The Washington Post’s Ben Terris asked Mitt Romney, former President Bill Clinton, Senator Tim Kaine, and other lawmakers for advice on fatherhood. Here’s what they said.

A Conservative Dream Act?: As President Trump wrestles with whether or not to end DACA, the Obama-era protections for young undocumented immigrants, conservative lawmakers are drafting legislation that might offer him an escape hatch. (Franco Ordonez, Brian Murphy, and Anita Kumar, McClatchy)

What They’ve Learned: Here’s what the past few months of debate over plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act have taught members of Congress about negotiating health-care policy. (David Nather, Axios)

‘Mick the Knife’: Mick Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget, is one of the only Trump administration officials with government experience. And he’s using that experience to dismantle the federal bureaucracy. (Michael Grunwald, Politico)


Historically Expensive: Here’s how the cost of Hurricane Harvey compares to other major natural disasters that have impacted the U.S. since 1980. (Kevin Quealy, The New York Times)

Question of the Week

Last week, it was rumored that Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich and Colorado Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper were eyeing a joint bid to challenge President Trump in 2020. While Kasich shot down those rumors on Sunday, the hypothetical pairing prompted us to ask your dream bipartisan match-up to run in 2020.

Hadley Sachs would vote for a Joe Biden-John McCain ticket because “they are both deeply invested in maintaining the rule of law, both career politicians, and both unequivocally sane.”

Reader John Vaught LaBeaume offered his idea of a “centrist libertarian dream ticket”: Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona and Representative Jared Polis of Colorado. Jamie Ballenger also mentioned Flake, saying a Bernie Sanders-Jeff Flake ticket would cover all the bases: “old/young, social Democrat/conservative Republican, east/west. And, both seem actually fond of humanity and want to do right by us.”

Finally, Sandy Bryson suggested U.S. House candidate for Kansas and former Marine combat aviator from Amy McGrath should run with Democratic Senator Kamala Harris because both display “intelligence, no fear, world experience, empathy.”

Thanks to everyone who submitted responses, and stay tuned for next week’s Question of the Week.

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)