The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Comey What May

President Trump called James Comey an “untruthful slime ball” following the release of excerpts of his book, A Higher Loyalty.

Soren Larson / Reuters

Today in 5 Lines

  • President Trump called James Comey an “untruthful slime ball” following the release of excerpts of his book, A Higher Loyalty, in which the former FBI director claims that the president is “unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values.”

  • Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who was the target of an FBI raid earlier this week, is under criminal investigation, according to court documents.

  • Trump pardoned Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the chief of staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney, who in 2007 was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice. “I don’t know Mr. Libby,” Trump said in a statement, “but for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly.”

  • The Justice Department inspector general transmitted a report to Congress accusing former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe of misleading investigators.

  • At a United Nations Security Council meeting, Ambassador Nikki Haley accused the Syrian government of using banned chemical weapons at least 50 times during its civil war.

Today on The Atlantic

  • Deployment Has Benefits: The former national chief of the Border Patrol reflects on the deployment of the National Guard in 2006, and explains why President Trump’s recent call to send troops to the southern border has merit. (David Aguilar)

  • Missing Morale: America purports to support its troops—but fails to take two decades of war seriously. For that, the “clarity of purpose so central to bonding men in combat” is rotting away. (Phil Klay)

  • Beleaguered but Employed: Trump has repeatedly criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but has stopped short of firing him. There are two major reasons why. (Natasha Bertrand)

  • James Comey Is No Hero: The former FBI director’s disregard for Justice Department rules helped put Trump in the White House. (Adam Serwer)

  • Radio Atlantic: In this Radio Atlantic news update, Robinson Meyer shares what he learned from his exclusive interview with Mark Zuckerberg, and from the CEO’s testimony before Congress. We discuss with Atlantic senior editor Gillian White whether Facebook can be regulated, and whether it will.


Michael Cohen’s Attorneys Todd Harrison and Joseph Evans walk to the U.S. District Court in New York City. Jeenah Moon / Reuters

What We’re Reading

Another Hush Agreement: Michael Cohen reportedly negotiated a deal to pay a former Playboy model $1.6 million to keep her from disclosing her alleged relationship with Elliott Broidy, a deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee with ties to Trump. (Joe Palazzolo and Michael Rothfeld, The Wall Street Journal)

The Creeping Border: Under the Trump administration, the official U.S. border zone—in which agents can question anyone suspected of being in the country illegally—has started expanding. So, too, has a “widespread feeling of paranoia” among undocumented immigrants. (Emily Gogolak, Politico)

‘Success by Trump’ Eau de Toilette: In 2015, 19 companies were producing or distributing Trump-branded consumer goods like underwear, deodorant, and steaks; now, only two are. That rapid decline is an example of how politics has transformed Trump’s business empire. (Zane Anthony, Kathryn Sanders, and David A. Fahrenthold, The Washington Post)

A ‘Striking Difference’: The United States was a leader in the percentage of women in the job market in the 1990s, but it has fallen behind other developed countries—a consequence, according to a new report, of its lack of paid-parental-leave policies. (The Economist)


Fed Up: Strikes across the country are signaling that teachers are frustrated. These seven charts explain why. (Brandon Griggs, CNN)

-Written by Lena Felton (@lenakfelton)