The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Stormy Chaser

President Donald Trump praised a federal judge’s decision to throw out Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against him, calling her "Horseface," and threatening to "go after" her.

Markus Schreiber / AP

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

Today in 5 Lines

  • In a pair of tweets, President Donald Trump said Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman “totally denied any knowledge” of what happened to journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul October 2. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Saudi Arabia meeting with leaders.

  • In an interview on Fox & Friends, Senator Lindsey Graham said that the U.S. should “sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia” in response to the disappearance of Khashoggi.

  • Florida officials announced that the death toll from Hurricane Michael has risen to 26.

  • Trump threatened to cut foreign aid to Honduras if it doesn't stop migrants from journeying to the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • Trump praised a federal judge’s decision to throw out Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against him, calling her "Horseface," and threatening to "go after" her.

Today on The Atlantic

  • A Bad Standard: Elizabeth Warren’s announcement that she has a distant Native American ancestor plays into America's age-old game of racial essentialism, writes Vann R. Newkirk II.

  • Replacing Ryan: In Wisconsin’s first congressional district, the race to replace the retiring speaker of the House is a study in opposites. (Russell Berman)

  • Flip-Flopping: In a Sunday interview on 60 Minutes, Trump changed his position on climate change—again. (Robinson Meyer)

  • Was Gary Hart Framed?: At the end of his life, conservative political consultant Lee Atwater made a startling revelation: The sex scandal that derailed Hart’s career had been set up by conservative operatives. (James Fallows)


Lorrainda Smith sits with her 2-day-old son, Luke, as she and her husband Wilmer contemplate sleeping in their truck in a parking lot after their home was damaged by Hurricane Michael and they were told a nearby shelter in Panama City, Florida was closed. The family eventually received a police escort to a nearby hospital for assistance, as a nightly curfew prohibits the public from being out past dark. (David Goldman / AP)

What We’re Reading

An Arizona Upset?: Democrat Kyrsten Sinema was all but a shoo-in for Arizona’s open Senate seat. But after a video clip of Sinema calling the state “the meth lab of democracy” surfaced, Martha McSally, her Republican opponent, is surging. (David Byler, The Weekly Standard)

What To Do With Bill Clinton: Hillary Clinton’s assertion that her husband’s affair with Monica Lewinsky was not an abuse of power has brought the former president back into #MeToo’s spotlight. “He won’t account for his own actions, so we have to account for him,” writes Monica Hesse. (The Washington Post)

There’s a Lot Going On in 2018: Ronald Brownstein lays out the four trends that Democrats should be excited about this year—and four that should concern them. (CNN)

American Snipers: A BuzzFeed News report reveals that American soldiers were hired to assassinate dissident politicians in the Middle East. (Aram Roston)

Waiting To Be Executed: A man on death row for a 2002 murder has asked the Nevada state government to speed up his own execution, throwing the state into a legal tailspin. (Maurice Chammah, The Marshall Project)

He’s Running: In an interview with Rolling Stone, former San Antonio mayor and Obama administration official Julian Castro said he’s considering a presidential bid: “I’m likely to do it,” Castro said. “I’ll make a final decision after November, but I’m inclined to do it.” (Andy Kroll)


Follow the Money: These are the candidates who raked in the most cash in the most competitive House races in the country. (Sarah Almukhtar and Rachel Shorey, The New York Times)