The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Special Featured

All eyes are on the special election in Ohio’s 12th district between Trump-backed Troy Balderson and Democrat Danny O’Connor.

John Minchillo / AP

Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)

Today in 5 Lines

  • After reimposing sanctions against Iran, President Trump warned in a tweet that “anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States.”

  • On the sixth day of Paul Manafort’s trial, his former deputy, Rick Gates, described how Manafort skirted taxes and used offshore companies to accept millions of dollars from Ukrainian businessmen.

  • The Trump administration is expected to unveil a proposal that would make it harder for legal immigrants to become citizens, according to NBC News.

  • Forbes reported that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stole millions of dollars throughout his career as an investment banker.

  • Missourians are voting on an amendment that would outlaw mandatory union fees.

The Races We’re Watching

Keep an eye on the special election in Ohio’s 12th district, where President Trump won comfortably in 2016. The race has come down to Trump-backed Troy Balderson and Democrat Danny O’Connor, and recent polling shows it as a tossup. If O’Connor wins, it’ll be a good sign of things to come for Democrats in November.

In Kansas, the Republican gubernatorial primary is one to watch. Against the recommendations of senior party officials, Trump endorsed Kris Kobach over current Republican Governor Jeff Colyer in a tweet on Monday.

Finally, in a test of progressive momentum, Michigan’s Abdul El-Sayed, who has been endorsed by the Bernie Sanders wing of the party, is challenging Democratic establishment-backed candidate Gretchen Whitmer. While he’s the clear underdog in the race, El-Sayed is hoping to become the nation’s first Muslim governor.

Today on The Atlantic

  • ‘The Ultimate Betrayal’: Rick Gates’s testimony shows that it’s much too soon to conclude that the investigation into Paul Manafort’s business dealings have little to do with Trump or Russia, writes Franklin Foer.

  • A New Legal Crop: In September, Congress is expected to legalize the cultivation of hemp, a crop whose prospects had been tainted for 50 years by its association with marijuana. (Olivia Paschal)

  • Absurd Times: Wikipedia has become “the default location for finding a set of shared facts about reality,” writes Alexis C. Madrigal. Can it survive the culture wars of the Trump era?

  • A Bad Idea: Todd S. Purdum argues that CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s confrontation with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders blurs the line between reporting and performance.


Democratic candidate Danny O'Connor, in Ohio's 12th congressional district, gestures after casting his vote duringTuesday's special election in Columbus, Ohio. (Shannon Stapleton / Reuters)

What We’re Reading

What Paul Ryan Leaves Behind: The House speaker has spent years fashioning himself as a top Republican thought leader; now he’s leaving office with his party in the hands of a troll. (Mark Leibovich, The New York Times Magazine)

‘Our Politics Is Fashion’: Welcome to House of Bijan, the luxury men’s clothing store where former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort spent more than $500,000 in five years—using wire transfers from a foreign bank. (Yasmin Khorram, CNN)

Who’s Next?: Apple, Facebook, and YouTube all removed content from the conspiracy site Infowars on Monday for violating their hate speech policies. That’s a problem, writes Ben Shapiro, because what constitutes “hate speech” is extraordinarily vague. (Daily Wire)

The Tip of the Iceberg: The prosecution of Paul Manafort highlights a much broader issue: “The U.S. government has been massively underinvesting in enforcement and prosecution of white-collar crime.” (Catherine Rampell, The Washington Post)


So...What Happened?: Here’s how the administration’s accounts of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting have shifted over time. (Larry Buchanan and Karen Yourish, The New York Times)