The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: First Daughter

Inside Ivanka Trump’s “snow globe” world. Plus: White House officials reportedly pressured U.S. immigration authorities to release detained immigrants into sanctuary cities.

Susan Walsh / AP

What We’re Following Today

It’s Friday, April 12.

‣ On Tuesday, Attorney General William Barr told a House committee that he’d release the full Mueller report—with redactions—to the public “within a week.” That means as soon as this weekend, just as members of Congress head back home to their districts for two weeks of recess.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

Trump’s Plan: White House officials pressured U.S. immigration authorities to transport detained immigrants to sanctuary cities and release them in order to retaliate against President Donald Trump’s political enemies, The Washington Post reported. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement rejected the idea as inappropriate. Two government whistle-blowers had independently reported the plan to Congress. (Last week, Russell Berman wrote about the “dozens” of Trump administration whistle-blowers who are working with House Democrats.)

(Mike Coppola / Getty)

Night at the Museum: The American Museum of Natural History has faced fierce criticism for agreeing to host a gala honoring Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, reports Ed Yong. Since he was elected in the fall, Bolsonaro has tried to open the Amazon rainforest for agriculture and mining, and has taken land from indigenous communities he compared to chicken-pox spots. He has also frozen about half of Brazil’s science spending, and made multiple racist, misogynistic, and homophobic statements. Critics ask, how can a museum dedicated to the natural world host a politician who so openly disregards it?

Work for Health Care: Soon, many Americans might have to find a job in order to receive Medicaid. Conservatives celebrate the policy, arguing it addresses work disincentives. But recent data suggest that only a small number of Americans on Medicaid aren’t working because they don’t want to—many cannot work because they are disabled, are taking care of family, or cannot find a job. “Medicaid work requirements might not encourage more people to seek employment, but they do remove large numbers of people from health-care coverage,” Lola Fadulu writes. “The result is especially severe for African Americans.”

Pontificating: This week, former Pope Benedict XVI wrote a letter addressing the Catholic Church’s sexual-abuse scandal, in essence blaming the crisis on the sexual revolution of the 1960s. In 2013, when Benedict became the first pope in modern history to resign, he pledged to stay in the background and of the way of Pope Francis. But “Benedict didn’t stay in the background,” writes Rachel Donadio. “Instead, he published a letter that is incoherent, inaccurate, and at times truly bizarre.”

The Long Shot: Howard Dean made waves in 2004 as a Democratic presidential candidate who became a legitimate front-runner. On this week’s episode of Radio Atlantic, Dean talks with Edward-Isaac Dovere about the lessons of his candidacy, the Trump presidency, and the 2020 presidential race.

Ivanka’s Dreamworld

(Matt Buck)

Before her father won the White House, Ivanka Trump spent years cultivating her personal brand. In November 2016, it all came tumbling down. Elaina Plott profiles the elusive first daughter and her well-curated self-image:

You could tell by his eyes, the way they popped and gleamed and fixed on someone behind me. Only one person gets that kind of look from Donald Trump. “Oh!” the president said. “Ivanka!”

Ivanka Trump lifted her hands, astonished. “I forgot you guys were meeting—I was just coming by!” she said. “Uh-oh!” → Read on.


Truck drivers chat as they wait in a long customs line in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in order to cross into the U.S. (Jose Luis Gonzalez / Reuters)

Ideas From The Atlantic

Julian Assange Got What He Deserved (Michael Weiss)
“Fish and guests might begin to stink after three days, but Assange has reeked from long before he stepped foot in his hideaway cubby across from Harrods. He has put innocent people’s lives in danger; he has defamed and tormented a poor family whose son was murdered; he has seemingly colluded with foreign regimes not simply to out American crimes but to help them carry off their own; and he otherwise made that honorable word transparency in as much of a need of delousing as he is.” → Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

The Next Reckoning: Capitalism and Climate Change (Nathaniel Rich, The New York Times Magazine) (🔒 Paywall)
‣  ‘Blackness Isn’t Safe, Anywhere’: How the Church Burnings in Louisiana Send a Dangerous Message (Janell Ross, NBC News)
Pete Buttigieg Will Not Let Mike Pence Forget His Anti-gay Agenda. Good. (Mark Joseph Stern, Slate)
The Rampant Negligence in South Carolina Prisons (Emily Bohatch, The State)
What We Already Know About the Mueller Report Should Scare Us (Joe Walsh, The Bulwark)

And One More Thing …

‘An Ode to Elegies’: April is National Poetry Month. To celebrate, The Atlantic’s Books Briefing selected these poetic tributes.

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