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July 17, 2017

The feud between Fox News host Sean Hannity and Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough is still going strong. Tensions spiked Monday morning after Scarborough blasted "a TV show" for its recent interview with Donald Trump Jr., which elicited incomplete answers about Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russia lawyer. Scarborough deemed the show — which was very obviously Hannity's — "state-run television."

Hannity fired back with a series of tweets skewering "Liberal Joe." Hannity suggested the only reason that Scarborough recently announced he's leaving the Republican Party is because he "had to become an MSNBC liberal to keep his job" and claimed that Scarborough had previously "begged" former Fox News executives Bill Shine and Roger Ailes for a job.

Hannity, borrowing a line from President Trump, also deemed Morning Joe "low-rated establishment TV." Becca Stanek

5:48 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday said that President Trump's administration "never really intended" to separate migrant families who cross the border without documentation.

Sessions told CBN News that he didn't feel he took "an extreme position," and defended his use of the Bible to justify detaining children away from their parents for an indefinite period of time. Sessions was criticized after he quoted scripture to explain why the family separations were absolutely necessary, saying the separations were simply a matter of enforcing the law, which the Bible condones.

"It hasn't been good and the American people don't like the idea that we are separating families,” Sessions said on CBN. "We never really intended to do that. What we intended to do, was to make sure that adults who bring children into the country are charged with the crime they have committed."

When Sessions first announced the zero-tolerance policy last month that would prosecute every adult who crossed the border illegally, he previewed the family separations. "If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child may be separated from you as required by law," he said in May. He later stood by his statements, saying that "it is very biblical to enforce the law."

He additionally defended the administration's current hard-line immigration policies, which will continue to detain families together rather than separate children. "It's not indefinite really," Sessions said of the detentions, "because we can't hold and we will not be holding people for extended periods of time awaiting a hearing on asylum." Read more from the interview at CBN News. Summer Meza

4:43 p.m. ET
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration has been given approval to house unaccompanied migrant children in U.S. military bases, an anonymous defense official told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The Department of Health and Human Services requested permission from the Pentagon to place up to 20,000 minors on military bases starting early next month, The Washington Post reported, an idea that officials have apparently been toying with for months. Officials requested "temporary beds" to be filled through the end of the year.

Unaccompanied minors have been housed in military bases before, the Post reports, like in 2014 when the Obama administration set up temporary centers on three military bases for about 7,000 children. This recent proposal left unclear why HHS is requesting so many beds, which could be located on bases in Texas and Arkansas where agency staffers visited last week. Defense Secretary James Mattis expressed support for the idea, defending it based on the military's past efforts to house refugees and victims of natural disasters.

HHS officials will be assigned to provide care, "including supervision, meals, clothing, medical services, transportation, or other daily needs." Read more at The Washington Post. Summer Meza

4:06 p.m. ET

Croatia locked up its spot in the World Cup Round of 16 on Thursday, thanks in part to a stunning mistake by Argentine goalkeeper Willy Caballero in the 53rd minute. In an attempt to pass the ball to his own defender, Caballero gave it straight to Croatia's Ante Rebić, who put the ball right back into the net.

"It's a howler, an absolute howler, on the biggest stage," the Fox Sports announcer groaned.

Croatia's Luka Modrić scored his team's second goal in the 81st minute, with Ivan Rakitić contributing his own in the 92nd, ending the game with a score of 3-0. FiveThirtyEight gives Argentina a 33 percent chance of making the Round of 16 at this point, with Iceland the more likely team to advance from Group D with a 46 percent chance. Jeva Lange

3:52 p.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The White House wants to push the Departments of Education and Labor together.

The Office of Management and Budget on Thursday proposed a merger of the two departments into one Department of Education and the Workforce, its first step under President Trump's plan to shrink the federal government. Federal food stamps would be relocated to the Department of Health and Human Services, which would be given a new name, among other proposed moves, ABC News reports.

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney cited redundancy in government agencies for this and future mergers. "If it's cheese pizza, it's [under the Food and Drug Administration], but you put pepperoni on it and it becomes a USDA product," he told The Associated Press. That's why the OMB suggested a single food safety agency within the Agriculture Department.

Most changes, including the Education-Labor union, would require congressional approval, per AP. Former President Ronald Reagan similarly thought to eliminate the Education Department but couldn't get Congress on board.

The merger was reported Wednesday in the trade publication Education Week. It's the first official move in Trump's executive order mandating the reorganization of the executive branch announced in March 2017. Kathryn Krawczyk

3:02 p.m. ET
Screenshot/Twitter/CBS News

The House of Representatives on Thursday swatted down the more conservative of two immigration bills under consideration — but the margin between passing and failing was narrower than expected.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), met its end with a 231-193 vote against, per NBC News. It would've authorized but not specifically doled out border wall funding, and contained no provisions for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients brought here illegally as children. The Goodlatte bill was expected to fail spectacularly, but only 41 Republicans opposed it, along with all Democrats.

The more moderate of the two bills, backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), is also expected to fail. It contains a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, provides $25 billion in border wall funding, and eliminates the visa lottery in favor of a merit-based system, per NBC. That vote was supposed to happen Thursday but was postponed until Friday, NPR reports. Republican lawmakers will likely use the time to try to attract more "yes" votes. Kathryn Krawczyk

2:37 p.m. ET

First lady Melania Trump faced extraordinary backlash last year when she traveled to visit victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas while wearing "black snakeskin stilettos." She's really outdone herself this time, though: On Thursday, the first lady was photographed traveling to visit immigrant children who have been separated from their parents at the border due to her husband's policies while apparently wearing a jacket that says "I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?"

The British tabloid the Daily Mail noticed the message on the back of the Zara jacket. The first lady apparently "removed the offending jacket, which bore the controversial phrase in white graffiti-style writing across the entire back section, before disembarking the plane upon her arrival," the Daily Mail notes. Jeva Lange

2:10 p.m. ET
MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB/AFP/Getty Images

Genealogy testing is inherently creepy. After spitting into a vial and sending it off, your saliva's final resting place can be a mystery (unless it's accidentally sent to another customer).

That's why lawmakers want to protect your bodily fluids and the data they provide. Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) wrote a letter asking four major genetic testing companies to clarify their privacy and security policies, and they shared the letter with Stat.

The four companies that got a letter — 23andMe, AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA, and National Geographic Geno — haven't been embroiled in any scandals. But the Democrats told Stat they want to uncover potential problems in how data is used and stored before something does go wrong. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) similarly questioned these companies' ethics in November and pressed the FTC to ensure it was clear how customers' DNA would be used.

After all, earlier this month, testing company MyHeritage announced that it had accidentally leaked 92 million customers' email addresses, per Reuters. And McClatchy recently found some skeevy details about what Ancestry has done with the world's largest collection of human saliva. Questioning these companies early will hopefully avert a sticky situation. Read more at Stat. Kathryn Krawczyk

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