The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Session and Off Again

Andrew Harnik / AP

Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey), Madeleine Carlisle (@maddiecarlisle2), and Olivia Paschal (@oliviacpaschal)

Today in 5 Lines

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions responded to attacks from President Trump in a statement, saying the Justice Department “will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.”

  • Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Trump discussed pardoning his former campaign chair Paul Manafort with his lawyers several weeks ago, but they advised against it.

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo named Stephen Biegun as the special envoy to North Korea. Pompeo and Biegun will visit Pyongyang next week.

  • Reality Winner, a former contractor with the National Security Agency, was sentenced to five years and three months in prison for leaking information about Russian hacking attempts.

  • Hawaiians are bracing for Hurricane Lane, a Category 4 storm expected to hit the main islands Thursday and Friday.

Today on The Atlantic

  • More to Come: On Tuesday, Paul Manafort was convicted of fraud and Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign-finance laws. The saga is only just beginning. (Adam Serwer)

  • ‘Trump’s Mafia Mind-Set’: Recent statements from President Trump sound like the conversations Jeffrey Goldberg used to have while covering organized crime in the 1990s.

  • What Does It Mean?: Many Democratic candidates have recently pledged not to take money from corporate PACs. But that promise is mostly symbolic. (Elaine Godfrey)

  • The New ‘I’m Not a Crook’: President Trump’s obsession with the phrase “witch hunt” could become as infamous as Nixon’s “I’m not a crook.” (Conor Friedersdorf)

  • Rising Uncertainty for Dreamers: A DACA ruling from a federal district judge in Texas could conflict with previous orders that have allowed the program to proceed, and, as a result, fast-track the issue to the Supreme Court. (Priscilla Alvarez)

Recommended Reading


Vice President Mike Pence kneels as he listens to astronaut Suni Williams, right, talk with astronaut candidates in the pool at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. David J. Phillip / AP

What We’re Reading

The Only Choice: Trump’s voters don’t care about his personal morals or alleged corruption—they care that he’s not a Washington insider, writes Salena Zito. And the Democrats aren’t offering any good alternatives. (The New York Post)

Mountains of Evidence: Here’s why former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen cut a plea deal and admitted to committing eight federal crimes. (Rebecca Davis O’Brien, Nicole Hong, and Joe Palazzolo, The Wall Street Journal)

Venezuela Proves Nothing: Socialism is not why Venezuela is collapsing, despite what America’s right-wing media is saying. That argument is lazy and dishonest, writes Francisco Toro. (The Washington Post)

What’s the Difference Between Sanders and Warren?: The two progressive senators are often conflated. But Warren sees a clear difference: “He’s a socialist, and I believe in markets.” (Ruby Cramer, BuzzFeed)


‘The Myth of the Criminal Immigrant’: Polling shows that almost half of Americans think immigrants make crime worse. But studies suggest no connection between increased immigration and increased crime. (Anna Flagg, The Marshall Project)