The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: AT&Teachable Moment?

In a memo to employees, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said that hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant “was a serious misjudgment.”

Jose Luis Magana / AP

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey), Taylor Hosking (@Taylor__Hosking), and Lena Felton (@lenakfelton)

Today in 5 Lines

  • President Trump outlined a plan to lower prescription-drug prices by cutting out the middleman and encouraging market competition, but opted not to change rules restricting the federal government from negotiating drug prices directly with drug manufacturers.

  • In a memo to employees, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said that hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant “was a serious misjudgment.” The company hired Cohen on a one-year contract for $50,000 per month in early 2017.

  • In a wide-ranging interview with NPR, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly offered his thoughts on a number of the administration’s policy decisions, and said he has a close relationship with Trump.

  • A 14-year-old male is in custody after he allegedly shot another student in the arm at Highland High School in Palmdale, California, said the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

  • White House official Kelly Sadler apologized to Meghan McCain, Senator John McCain’s daughter, after reports that she mocked the senator’s brain-cancer diagnosis.

Today on The Atlantic

  • The Bitter Truth: Conor Friedersdorf argues that President Trump is betraying one of his key campaign promises: He’s not draining the swamp; he’s only enriching it.

  • A Promise Democrats Don’t Know How to Keep: Progressives want to create a jobs guarantee—but they’re facing “a trillion-dollar logistical puzzle, wrapped in a politically fraught stimulus effort, inside an experimental economic enigma,” writes Annie Lowrey.

  • The Art of the Small Lie: How does President Trump keep getting away with lies? He simply keeps insisting that what he says is true. (David A. Graham)

  • Assessing a New Threat: The escalation of hostilities between Iran and Israel has many on both sides of the conflict wondering: Is there war ahead? (Avi Issacharoff)


Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar listens as President Trump delivers a speech about lowering prescription-drug prices from the Rose Garden. Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

What We’re Reading

A Historic Divide: The #MeToo era has revealed two competing forms of feminism: individual versus social. (Moira Donegan, The Guardian)

Doing It His Way: Trump critics have called the president’s foreign-policy rhetoric “bellicose,” “dark,” and “childish.” But the latest developments on North Korea and Iran suggest that his approach is working. (Greg Sanders, The Federalist)

Shattering the Mystique: Those on the right capitalize on the taboo nature of their ideas. That’s all the more reason, argues Michelle Goldberg, for the left to be willing to engage in debate. (The New York Times)

Putin Picked Me: Michael McFaul explains how Vladimir Putin made him public-enemy No. 1 during his stint as the U.S. ambassador to Russia. (The Washington Post)


Sixteen Months In: After decades of supporting Democrats, many counties in the upper Midwest voted for Donald Trump in 2016. Here’s how those voters are feeling now. (Dan Balz and Melina Mara, The Washington Post)