The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Stormy With a Chance of Lawsuits

Stormy Daniels is suing Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, for defamation.

Bill Haber / AP

Today in 5 Lines

  • President Trump ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats from the United States and the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle.

  • Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, challenged adult-film star Stormy Daniels’s charge that someone threatened her with physical harm if she spoke publicly about an alleged affair with Trump. Daniels is now suing Cohen for defamation.

  • The White House said Trump has confidence in Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin “at this point in time,” despite reports that Shulkin may soon be fired.

  • The Federal Trade Commission is investigating Facebook for potentially misusing the personal information of millions of users.

  • Linda Brown, the child at the center of the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, died at age 76.

Today on The Atlantic

  • Why Does This Sound Familiar?: There are some key similarities between Stormy Daniels’s tale of a sexual encounter with Donald Trump and Hollywood stories of the “casting couch.” (Sophie Gilbert)

  • ‘Go Ahead. Sue Me’: Donald Trump has always used the law as a weapon. But that strategy isn’t working for him anymore. (David Frum)

  • Making a Bad Problem Worse: President Trump’s War on Drugs has the potential to increase the racial disparities that already exist in the criminal-justice system. (Vann R. Newkirk II)

  • ‘John Bolton Is Misunderstood’: Trump’s pick for national-security adviser might overestimate the utility of military power, writes Reihan Salam, but there’s another side to him that should make Americans optimistic.

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


Sequita Thompson, center, discusses the shooting of her grandson, Stephon Clark, during a news conference in Sacramento, California. Clark, who was unarmed, was shot and killed by Sacramento police officers last week. Rich Pedroncelli / AP

What We’re Reading

Why the Stormy Daniels Story Matters: Donald Trump’s alleged affair with an adult-film star is more than just a sex scandal. (Dylan Matthews, Vox)

Do Conservatives Like the Spending Bill?: For some, it adds to a string of disappointments: “Despite Republican promises of fiscal responsibility,” writes Barbara Boland, “they continue to spend like drunken sailors on holiday.” (The American Conservative)

‘This Freakin’ Guy’: Jennifer Finney Boylan argues that President Trump’s decision to ban most transgender people from serving in the military reveals his true nature. (The New York Times)

A Tidy Microcosm: The results of the Republican primary in Ohio’s 16th congressional district could show where the GOP is headed in the midterms. (Henry J. Gomez, BuzzFeed)

Democrats Need a Tsunami: A new report shows that in order to win a majority in the House, Democrats need a massive electoral wave not seen in more than four decades. (David A. Lieb, Associated Press)


‘Maternity Desert’: This short documentary tells the story of a young African American woman navigating a high-risk pregnancy in Washington, D.C., where maternal deaths are twice as high as the national average. (Sophia Myszkowski and Brianna Pressey, The Atlantic)

Do Svidaniya: Here are all the countries expelling Russian diplomats. (Angela Dewan, Milena Veselinovic, and Carol Jordan, CNN)

ICYMI: See some of the most memorable photos from Saturday’s March for Our Lives. (Alan Taylor, The Atlantic)

Testing, Testing

Hi readers, Elaine here. Starting next week, we’ll be testing an additional way for you to receive the Politics & Policy Daily newsletter using Amazon’s Alexa. Over the course of four days, we’ll air a short news briefing that can be accessed through your Amazon account. We’ll highlight the day’s news and The Atlantic pieces making sense of it all.

If you’re interested in participating in the test, please fill out this survey. We look forward to hearing your thoughts!

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)