FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
June 27, 2017
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The White House appeared to draw a new red line on Syria Monday night, with Press Secretary Sean Spicer warning that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had been caught making "potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack" that "would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children," and if he "conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price." The rest of the government, including the military, appears to have been caught off guard by the announcement.

Five U.S. defense officials "said they did not know where the potential chemical attack would come from, and were unaware the White House was planning to release its statement," BuzzFeed News reports. "Several State Department officials typically involved in coordinating such announcements said they were caught completely off guard by the warning, which didn't appear to be discussed in advance with other national security agencies," the Los Angeles Times reports. "Typically, the State Department, the Pentagon, and U.S. intelligence agencies would all be consulted before the White House issued a declaration sure to ricochet across foreign capitals."

Various agencies and departments referred reporters to the White House for comment. It's "unclear how closely held the intelligence regarding a potential chemical attack was," The New York Times notes, after similarly reporting that "several military officials were caught off guard by the statement" from Spicer. "While the White House's motivation in releasing the highly unusual statement is uncertain, it is possible that Mr. Trump or his advisers decided a public warning to Mr. Assad might deter another chemical strike," the Times suggests, adding that the president has "absolute power to declassify anything he chooses to release," including intelligence on chemical weapons.

At least one Trump administration official appeared unfazed by the statement:

After U.S. intelligence pointed the finger at Assad for an April 4 chemical weapon attack on Syrian civilians, Trump ordered 59 missiles fired at an Assad air base; Russian blamed the anti-Assad opposition, claiming Syrian warplanes had hit rebel stockpiles. Last week, the U.S. shot down a Syrian government warplane after it targeted U.S. allies fighting the Islamic State. Peter Weber

3:20 a.m. ET

It's time to say hello again to the Tanners, Winslows, Balki, and Mr. Cooper — every single season of TGIF favorites Full House, Family Matters, Step by Step, Perfect Strangers, and Hangin' With Mr. Cooper are coming to Hulu.

The company announced Thursday it will exclusively stream all of the series in their entireties — more than 800 shows — beginning Sept. 29. ABC's iconic Friday night line-up went through a few iterations, and some popular TGIF programs aren't part of the deal — where's Boy Meets World? Sabrina the Teenage Witch? — but for '90s kids, this is still fantastic news. "These shows are more than just beloved hits, they were part of a cultural tradition to tune in every Friday night," Hulu's Craig Erwich said. "Now, it can be Friday any day of the week on Hulu." Catherine Garcia

2:57 a.m. ET

What a difference a few hours makes.

Before the final vote on an ObamaCare repeal, President Trump tweeted words of encouragement for GOP members of the Senate:

After the bill was defeated 51-49, thanks to Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voting with Democrats, Trump was back on Twitter with this message:

He might be regretting this post from Tuesday:

But probably not as much as saying this in 2015:

McCain hasn't hinted he voted against the bill as a way of getting back at Trump — in a statement, he said he was a no because the repeal "offered no replacement to actually reform our health-care system and deliver affordable quality health care to our citizens" — but it does make you wonder. Catherine Garcia

2:24 a.m. ET

After spending seven years promising a repeal of ObamaCare, Senate Republicans on Friday morning were unable to pass their latest version of a health-care proposal, the Health Freedom Care Act, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared "it's time to move on."

With three Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — joining Democrats in voting against the plan, it failed by one vote in what was "clearly a disappointing moment," McConnell said. He claimed that due to "skyrocketing costs," "plummeting choices," and "collapsing markets, our constituents have suffered through an awful lot under ObamaCare. We thought they deserved better."

McConnell also praised Republicans for "working hard" on the bill, which wasn't finalized until Thursday, and accused Senate Democrats of "not wanting to engage in a serious way to help those suffering under ObamaCare." Catherine Garcia

1:52 a.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) joined Democrats in voting no early Friday morning for the Republicans' last-ditch effort to repeal ObamaCare, with the bill failing on a vote of 49 to 51.

The bill, dubbed the Health Care Freedom Act, would have repealed ObamaCare's individual and employer mandates, defunded Planned Parenthood for a year, and allowed states to request waivers from benefits mandated by ObamaCare. It was the third defeat for the GOP this week, with two earlier proposals to repeal ObamaCare failing, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said it's now "time to move on."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he is "relieved millions and millions of people who would have been so drastically hurt by the three proposals put forward will at least retain their health care, be able to deal with preexisting conditions...we are relieved, not for ourselves, but for the American people." Catherine Garcia

12:34 a.m. ET
iStock

Honolulu on Thursday became the first major city in the United States to make it illegal for people to look at their phones and other electronic devices while walking across the street.

The bill will take effect on October 25, and also bans people from peering down at digital cameras, pagers, and laptops. The first time a person is cited, they'll be fined up to $35, and it goes up from there to $75 for a second offense in the same year. "Sometimes I wish there were laws that we didn't have to pass — that perhaps common sense would prevail," Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said, "but sometimes we lack common sense."

The bill was introduced by a council member who told BuzzFeed News high schoolers in his district were concerned about their peers paying more attention to their phones than their whereabouts while walking along busy streets. Catherine Garcia

July 27, 2017
AFP/Getty Images

A man on an Alaskan cruise killed his wife and tried to throw her body over the balcony, FBI documents released Thursday state.

The man, 39-year-old Kenneth Manzanares of Santa Clara, Utah, was found Tuesday night with blood all over him and his cabin on the Emerald Princess ship, and has been charged with murder. The FBI, which is handling the investigation because it took place in U.S. waters, said in its documents an unidentified man entered the cabin and saw Manzanares' wife, Kristy Manzanares, also 39, on the floor, with a major head wound. The man asked Kenneth Manzanares what happened, and Manzanares replied, "She would not stop laughing at me." The man also said Manzanares tried to drag his wife's body out of the room onto the balcony, but the man stopped him, the documents state.

Manzanares was detained by a ship security officer, and held in a cabin while the boat was rerouted to Juneau. Kristy Manzanares' company, Summit Sotheby's International Realty in St. George, Utah, told The Associated Press Manzanares was "a dedicated and loving mother who juggled her business schedule to make her children a top priority." Catherine Garcia

July 27, 2017
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

On Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) released the text of the GOP's "skinny repeal" health-care bill, which has been named the Health Care Freedom Act.

The amendment would repeal ObamaCare's individual and employer mandates for eight years, increase contribution limits to health savings accounts for three years, repeal a tax on medical devices for three years, defund Planned Parenthood for a year, and allow states to request waivers from benefits mandated by ObamaCare.

Although the proposal was just released, and several Republicans said they don't like the bill, a final vote is expected late Thursday or early Friday. Earlier in the evening, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said his chamber is open to a conference committee to work on the bill. Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads