The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Schiff Storm
GOP members call for the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to resign. Plus: The Department of Housing and Urban Development sues Facebook
What We’re Following Today
It’s Thursday, March 28. President Donald Trump and the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee called for Democratic Chairman Adam Schiff to resign, arguing that he “abused [his] position to knowingly promote false information” about the Russia investigation. Schiff hit back:
And the Department of Housing and Urban Development is suing Facebook for allegedly violating the Fair Housing Act. HUD says that Facebook’s advertising tools, which allowed advertisers to restrict an ad’s reach on the basis of categories including race and religion, enabled housing discrimination.
2020's Mueller Shadow: President Trump wants to shape his presidential campaign around Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s finding that there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election. But Republican strategists aren’t sure that’s a good idea. Elaina Plott and Peter Nicholas take us inside GOP discussions over Trump’s campaign for reelection.
Meanwhile, many of Trump’s critics are frustrated that the Russia probe didn’t end his 2020 run. However, Trumpism would still be up for reelection even if the man himself wasn’t, argues Ron Brownstein, and “there’s a far better chance of uprooting [Trump’s] influence over the long run if his presidency is ended by the voters, not the courts or Congress.”
Fly Me to the Moon: Vice President Mike Pence announced this week that the U.S. plans to put American astronauts back on the moon—which no human has visited since 1972—in the next five years. That plan has a couple of holes, writes Marina Koren. How will the U.S. pay for it? During the Apollo program’s peak, NASA’s budget made up more than 4 percent of federal spending. Today it’s less than half a percent. And why go to the moon at all? As Barack Obama said in 2010, “We’ve been there before.”
The Never-Ending Audition: Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has the dubious honor of being the longest-serving interim head of the Department of Defense ever. Many onlookers thought he’d be the department’s permanent leader by now, writes Kathy Gilsinan, but presidential politics keeps getting in the way.
Lasting Grief: For people affected by mass shootings, trauma can deepen over time, especially around anniversaries of the event—and recovery is often nonlinear. Support for survivors often doesn’t address the complicated realities of grief and trauma, writes Ashley Fetters.
Fans gather outside the Great American Ball Park before an Opening Day baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates in Cincinnati. (Gary Landers / AP)
Ideas From The Atlantic
The Strange, Unsatisfying End to the Jussie Smollett Case (Conor Friedersdorf)
“Still, so long as hate-crime laws are on the books, there is a strong case for treating hate-crime hoaxes as among the most serious nonviolent crimes.” → Read on.
After Christchurch, Commentators Are Imitating Sebastian Gorka (Graeme Wood)
“A funny thing happened after the tragedy of Christchurch: Everyone discovered, all at once, that ideology matters. Four years ago, commentators were contorting themselves to attribute jihadism to politics, social conditions, abnormal psychology—anything but the spread of wicked beliefs that lead, more or less directly, to violence. Ideology for thee but not for me.” → Read on.
What Else We’re Reading
‣ How Donald Trump Inflated His Net Worth to Lenders and Investors (David A. Fahrenthold and Jonathan O’Connell, The Washington Post) (🔒 Paywall)
‣ Betsy DeVos Is Right: Feds Shouldn’t Be Funding Special Olympics (Nick Gillespie, Reason)
‣ How to Confront the Courts (Jesse Williams, Dissent)
‣ Congressional Republicans Have Been Friendly With Nativist Leaders Long Before Trump (Sarah Posner, The New Republic)
‣ Beto O’Rourke Is Genuinely Inauthentic (Christian Schneider, The Bulwark)
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