The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Barack At It Again

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.John Gress / Reuters

Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)

Today in 5 Lines

  • President Trump called for the Justice Department to launch an investigation into who authored the anonymous op-ed published in The New York Times on Wednesday.

  • In a speech at the University of Illinois, former President Barack Obama issued a harsh rebuke of Trump and urged Americans to vote in the midterm elections. Read his full remarks.

  • In an interview on Fox & Friends, Trump suggested he’d be willing to “shut down the government over border security,” if not for the upcoming midterm elections.

  • During testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, John Dean, the former Nixon White House counsel, warned of a “presidential-powers friendly” Supreme Court if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed.

  • George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, was sentenced to 14 days in jail and one year of supervised release.

Today on The Atlantic

  • Goodbye, Alex Jones: Twitter took a definitive stance this week when it decided to ban the prominent conspiracy theorist from its platform, writes Taylor Lorenz.

  • What’s in a Name?: The author of the Times’ anonymous op-ed claimed that Trump’s opponents in the White House are not part of the “popular ‘resistance’ of the left,” prompting the question: What exactly is “the resistance”? (Hannah Giorgis)

  • Seriously?: The saddest part about the anonymous op-ed published in the Times is the author’s celebration of the very few “bright spots” of the Trump administration, writes Todd S. Purdum.

  • An Era of Acrimony: The drama over Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation highlights the “deterioration of comity and the destruction of norms” that have plagued the Senate for the past decade. (Norm Ornstein)

Recommended Reading


Former President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Urbana, Illinois.  (John Gress / Reuters)

What We’re Reading

A Break in the Trend: Another progressive insurgent candidate attempted to unseat an incumbent Democrat on Thursday night. Here’s why she lost. (Ryan Grim and David Dayen, The Intercept)

It’s All for Show: The purpose of the Democrats’ demands and objections during the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is “to put on an absurdist drama in which the finale is never in doubt,” argues Jonah Goldberg. (National Review)

It Takes a Village: The political rise of California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom was funded, primarily, by eight prominent San Francisco families. (Seema Mehta, Ryan Menezes, and Maloy Moore, The Los Angeles Times)

‘All We Need Is a Little Help’: A nationwide prison strike “to end prison slavery” began on August 21. One participant tells the story of the strike—from the inside. (Daniel A. Gross, The New Yorker)


‘You’re Not My Mom Anymore’: This short documentary offers an intimate look into the trauma caused by the separation of a five-year-old boy and his mother at the U.S.-Mexico border. (Jeremy Raff, The Atlantic)

The Big 5-0: From Stormy Daniels to Susan Collins, here’s Politico’s annual look at the 50 ideas driving politics—and the people behind them.