Dorian takes over the week

Donald Trump insists he was right about Alabama and Hurricane Dorian

Welcome to OnPolitics, it’s Annah Aschbrenner. Been a lot going on this week. Let’s process some of it together.

It’s hard to talk about anything that happened this week without mentioning Hurricane Dorian. The storm continues to churn in the Atlantic Ocean, after tearing through the Bahamas, killing at least 20 people, and moving up the coast of the southeastern U.S. It’s been a week filled with anxiety and fear for millions of people.

After canceling a trip to Poland to monitor the hurricane’s status, President Donald Trump spent Labor Day morning on the links at Trump National Golf Course. Trump caught some flak for it, from London’s mayor specifically, but insisted he played “a very fast round.” A few days later, the president held up an altered map of the hurricane’s path that included Alabama getting hit. He was responding to criticism he had misstated the storm’s direction earlier, and doubled down later in a tweet. But the map included in that tweet came out before his previous statement about Alabama. And then on Thursday, a White House aide said he did indeed brief the president on Alabama and Dorian. 

This week in News Across the Pond

New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had a rough week. After a contentious few days in Parliament, Johnson got hit with a double defeat: rebel lawmakers successfully blocked a “no-deal” Brexit, and then he failed to get the support needed to call a new election. What does that mean? Our man in London, Kim Hjelmgaard, says “Next steps are far from clear: for Brexit, for Britain and perhaps for Johnson, who has insisted on taking a ‘do or die’ approach to (a European Union) departure.”

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Poland in the president’s place, and stayed at one of the president’s hotels. Was he told to stay there? No, the president says. Did the president suggest that hotel? Pence’s office said yes, but it was “solely a decision by the Office of the Vice President.” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wasn’t buying it.

Pence and Johnson finished their weeks with a sitdown to talk trade when (and if) the UK leaves the EU. Johnson made reference to “chlorinated chicken” and said Americans aren’t eating enough haggis. (Can confirm that I, indeed, am not eating haggis frequently.) Pence for his part said the U.S. is “ready to go to work on that free trade agreement.”  

This week at the White House

  • There’s an agreement ‘in principle’ with the Taliban to withdraw 5,000 U.S. troops.
  • States are going to get nearly $2 billion to fight the opioid epidemic.
  • $3.6 billion is being diverted to fund the border wall. 
  • A judge ruled in favor of a Playboy reporter who had his White House press credential suspended. 

This week in 2020

  • Climate change came off the back burner and into the limelight. 
  • Joe Biden defended himself after a gaffe related to a story of war.
  • Kamala Harris speaks for a lot of us when she says paper straws aren’t great.
  • Will universal basic income work? A California town is testing it out.

Thanks for reading. And if you’re in the path of Hurricae F, stay safe. — Annah Aschbrenner 

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