Carolyn Kaster / AP

While the White House has been quiet today on official public announcements, staffers — including the president — have been making lots of news on Twitter:

  • Trump got it started with an insult: "When will Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd and @NBCNews start talking about the Obama SURVEILLANCE SCANDAL and stop with the Fake Trump/Russia story? ... It is the same Fake News Media that said there is "no path to victory for Trump" that is now pushing the phony Russia story. A total scam!"
  • Trump complimented the NYT, tweeting an excerpt from an Obamacare story: "The failing @nytimes finally gets it - 'In places where no insurance company offers plans, there will be no way for ObamaCare customers to.....use subsidies to buy health plans.' In other words, Ocare is dead. Good things will happen, however, either with Republicans or Dems."
  • Finally, he got on the trail of a Fox News story from yesterday: "Wow, @FoxNews just reporting big news. Source: "Official behind unmasking is high up. Known Intel official is responsible. Some unmasked......not associated with Russia. Trump team spied on before he was nominated." If this is true, does not get much bigger. Would be sad for U.S."

Meanwhile, Dan Scavino, Trump's social media manager, tweeted for Rep. Justin Amash to be primaried. The Amash response: "Trump admin & Establishment have merged into #Trumpstablishment."

Go deeper

Appeals court allows House Democrats to continue lawsuit for Don McGahn testimony

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A D.C. appeals court on Friday allowed House Democrats to continue their case for testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn before the House Judiciary Committee.

Why it matters: The ruling has broader implications beyond this specific instance, agreeing that Congress has the standing to sue to enforce subpoenas against executive branch officials even if the White House refuses to comply.

There's little consensus on TikTok's specific national security threat

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TikTok has become a Rorschach test for how U.S. politicians view China, with little consensus on the specifics of its threat to homeland security.

The big picture: Much of what D.C. fears about TikTok is fear itself, and that's reflected in President Trump's executive order to ban the app by Sept. 20 if it's not sold by parent company ByteDance — alongside another focused on Chinese messaging app WeChat and its parent company Tencent.

U.S. sanctions Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam

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The Treasury Department on Friday placed sanctions on Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, following months of tension as she has allowed continued overreach by Beijing to subvert Hong Kong's autonomy.

Why it matters: It's the toughest sanction yet imposed on China for its destruction of Hong Kong’s relatively free political system.