The Atlantic Politics Daily: Favor Town

Amid an unfolding scandal over his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, President Donald Trump met in New York with … Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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Today in Politics

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the UNGA. (Lucas Jackson / Reuters)

Impeachment? Ukraine? UNGA? Who is where, and what did they just say? Here’s a streamlined account of the significant figures and where they were making news today.


📞Amid an unfolding scandal over his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Donald Trump found himself in New York sitting side by side with … Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. At a joint press conference at the UN General Assembly, Trump told reporters that he still wants Zelensky to probe the Biden family.

🤝Also in Turtle Bay, the UNGA brought Iran’s and America’s leaders to the same city, but the U.S. and its allies remain worlds away from a new deal with Tehran, Kathy Gilsinan reports.

🌊A UN-led climate panel is out with some unsurprising—but nevertheless very bad—environmental news. Sea-level rise could be worse than previously thought, and floods that used to happen every century could start happening every year in certain places. Still, urgent policy changes within the next few decades could have an impact, Robinson Meyer reports.


🐘“Those wondering the extent to which Republicans will go to defend President Donald Trump might look to the immortal words of Mean Girls protagonist Cady Heron,” Elaina Plott reports. “The limit does not exist.” Even erstwhile GOP critics of Trump are toeing the party line—or otherwise silent.

🔎Has “impeachment” become a semantics game? After all, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s yesterday-evening announcement was light on details about staffing and timing. But Pelosi’s weight behind impeachment is an important signal to some Democrats. And she’s betting that the Ukraine scandal is an easier case to sell to the American public. Russell Berman and Elaine Godfrey report on what to make of Pelosi’s recent pivot.


(J. Scott Applewhite / AP)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is surrounded by reporters as she arrives to meet with her caucus this morning.

Featured Read

(The Atlantic)

“This is not the first battle over the Constitution in American history, but the fourth,” Jeffrey Rosen writes, introducing a new project of the National Constitution Center and The Atlantic:

In the next few years, many Americans understand, the Supreme Court may provide answers to some of the most hotly contested questions of constitutional law—the scope of affirmative action and federal power, for example, or the future of Roe v. Wade. What fewer recognize is that if the balance of the current Court changes, the settlement of these questions will not be part of the ordinary stream of decisions, but will instead represent the culmination of a more fundamental battle over the Constitution that has been waged since the New Deal era, one whose outcome could define American government and politics for many decades to come.

Our Reporters Are Also Reading

The U.S. Reaches Another Asylum Deal in Central America—This Time With Honduras (Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News)

The Acting Director of National Intelligence Threatened to Resign If He Couldn’t Speak Freely Before Congress About the Whistle-Blower Complaint (Greg Miller, Shane Harris, and Karoun Demirjian) (Paywall)

Teenage Girls Are Leading the Climate Movement—And Getting Attacked for It (Zahra Hirji, BuzzFeed News)

What the ‘Crane Index’ Says About Your Changing City (Sarah Holder, CityLab)

A correction to yesterday’s newsletter: The impeachment section misattributed the quote, “We’re gonna impeach the motherfucker!” The quote came from Rashida Tlaib.

About us: The Atlantic’s politics newsletter is a daily effort from our politics desk. It’s written by our associate politics editor, Saahil Desai, and our politics fellow, Christian Paz. It was edited by Shan Wang.

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