Monday, July 31

Š       Putin ordered 755 U.S. diplomats out of Russia in retaliation for a U.S. bill that imposes sanctions on Russia.

Š       Anthony Scaramucci was removed as White House Communications Director, reportedly at the insistence of new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Š       According to a Washington Post opinion piece by E. J. Dionne, the U.S. has almost crossed a line from democracy to autocracy as witnessed by Trump’s lawless threats, Congress’ reckless approach to healthcare, and a Trump appointed commission aimed at voter suppression.

Š       USA Today reported that the political empire affiliated with billionaire Charles Koch has spent $2 million to date to advance Trump’s tax-cut agenda.

Š       The Washington Post reported that Trump dictated his son Donald Jr’s statement that said “Donald Jr. met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign.”

Tuesday, Aug. 1

Š       A federal court ruled that a coalition of 16 state attorneys general, all of whom want to preserve Obamacare subsidies, may intervene in the appeal of a lawsuit over the fate of cost-sharing subsidies.  The ruling could make it more difficult for Trump to carry out threats to cut off the payments.

Š       At one of the nation’s largest cybersecurity conferences, attendees were invited to get hands-on experience hacking a slew of electronic voting machines demonstrating how easy the process can be.

Š       A lawsuit was filed by a former Washington, D.C., homicide detective claiming the White House or Trump was involved in a discredited Fox News story about the killing of a Democratic National Committee staffer last July.

Š       A federal appeals court retained protection for gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region saying the government made errors by dropping them from the endangered species list.

Š       Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ordered his department to define a new mission statement. The new one has eliminated any mention of promoting democracy.

Wednesday, Aug. 2

Š       Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed General Mark S. Inch as the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Inch served as head of Army Corrections.

Š       According to the Washington Post, the relationship between President Trump and Senate Republicans has deteriorated so sharply that some are openly defying his directives.

Š       Trump signed a bill that imposes new sanctions on Russia, a bill he called “seriously flawed,” because it limits his ability to negotiate sanctions without congressional approval.

Š       Trump endorsed a new bill in the Senate aimed at slashing legal immigration levels over the next decade.

Š       The White House reportedly is considering replacing the 8,500-strong US military contingent in Afghanistan with private contractors.

Š       The Senate confirmed Christopher Wray as the next director of the FBI.

Š       The New York Times reported that Trump directed the Justice Department to explore if it can sue colleges over affirmative action policies that discriminate against white applicants.

Š       GOP Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue introduced legislation aimed at limiting legal immigration to high-skilled workers who speak English.

Š       Elizabeth Southerland, a 30-year EPA senior official with a Ph.D. in environmental science, left the EPA saying that her agency is being steered in a disastrously wrong direction by EPA chief Scott Pruitt. She warned that Pruitt plans to repeal 30 rules aimed at industry deregulation of toxic substances, abandoning the polluter pays principal and instead pursuing policies that threaten human health.

Thursday, Aug. 3

Š       The Daily Beast reported that documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act reveal that the Department of Homeland Security ordered agents not to answer questions from members of Congress and lawyers at airports during the travel ban.

Š       Secretary of State Rex Tillerson threatened regime change in Venezuela saying “either Maduro decides he doesn’t have a future and wants to leave of his own accord or we can return the government processes back to their constitution.”

Š       The Washington Post released a transcript of Trump’s conversation with President Enrique of Mexico in which Trump, talking about Enrique’s refusal to pay for the ‘wall,’ said, “But you cannot say that to the press. The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that.

Š       Trump blamed Congress for the country’s deteriorating relationship with Russia, tweeting that it’s “at an all-time & very dangerous low.”

Š       The New York Times reported that a four-year, $1 billion CIA program to arm and train Syrian rebels was ended by Trump. It was one of the costliest covert action programs in U.S. history and where some weapons ended up in the hands of ISIS and al Qaeda rebels.

Š       According to The Hill, six republican states are quietly working with Trump to cut Medicaid by creating new minimum rules to qualify for aid.

Š       CBS reported that two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are moving to protect special counsel Mueller’s job with legislation to ensure the integrity of his investigations.

Š       The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that this summer’s Gulf of Mexico dead zone, surrounding the effluent of the Mississippi River, is the largest ever recorded.

Š       Moyers & Company reported that the House’s appropriations bill includes riders that would further pare back campaign finance rules, rules previously decimated through Supreme Court decisions such as Citizens United.

Š       Robert Powelson, who accused natural gas pipeline opponents of waging a “jihad” against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, was confirmed as one of this agency’s commissioners.

Š       The Senate enacted procedures to keep it from formally adjourning this month to prevent Trump from making any recess appointments.

Š       According to Truthout, Dr. Jerome Adams, who was confirmed as the new Surgeon General, has a record of views that oppose those of Trump.

Friday, Aug. 4

Š       The Washington Post reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller began using a grand jury several weeks ago as part of his Russia investigation – making it more politically difficult for Trump to fire him.

Š       According to Bloomberg News, the Department of Education had cut off student aid to Charlotte School of Law because it had violated federal law and misled students. Then the school hired Betsy DeVos’s confirmation aide and lobbyist. Now DeVos is considering reinstating student aid.

Š       According to The Washington Post and two tax lawyers, Trump may have committed tax fraud when he sold two condos to his son.

Š       The Secret Service vacated its command post inside Trump Tower in Manhattan over a dispute between the government and Trump’s company over the terms of a lease for the space. The post was relocated to a trailer on the sidewalk, more than 50 floors below, a distance that some security experts worry could hamper the agency that protects the president’s home and family.

Š       According to The Nation, Trump’s base of support is collapsing because, in failing to lead on major issues including healthcare, foreign policy, and the disarray of his White House, he’s losing the faith of the American people.

Š       Attorney General Sessions announced a major crackdown on leaks including creating a new counterintelligence unit in the FBI to manage the work.

Š       It was widely reported that in May, federal prosecutors subpoenaed documents from Jared Kushner’s family company, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, over its use of the EB-5 federal visa program to allegedly “sell” green cards to Chinese investors.

Š       Vanity Fair reported that Trump is making a radical transformation of the nation’s courts by filling vacancies. He has nominated 18 people for district judgeship vacancies, 14 for circuit courts and the Court of Federal Claims, and 23 for US attorney slots.

Š       According to ProPublica, the federal government appears to have significantly underestimated the amount of lead, arsenic and other dangerous pollutants that are sent into the air from uncontrolled burning of hazardous munitions.

Š       The House Budget Committee’s 2018 budget resolution has deep cuts in student aid for low and moderate-income students going to college, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Š       Attorney General Sessions said he wouldn’t consider four cities interested in the recently announced Public Safety Partnership program until they agree to step up assistance to ICE agents carrying out deportations.

Saturday, Aug. 5

Š       Trump’s military decisions, including delegating authority from the White House to commanders in the field, have dramatically accelerated gains against ISIS militants.

Š       According to The Washington Post, the Pentagon announced that a contingent of US ground troops is now involved in Yemen to oust al-Qaeda fighters and that it might commit more troops.

Š       The Trump administration “officially” told the U.N. that the U.S. intends to pull out of the 2015 Paris climate pact.

Sunday, Aug. 6

Š       Deputy Atorney General Rosenstein said special counsel Mueller can investigate any crimes he uncovers in scope of his probe after Trump claims it would be inappropriate for Mueller to dig into his family finances.