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July 31, 2014

After Russell Brand mocked Sean Hannity's coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict, claiming that Hannity "sounds like a terrorist," Hannity has fired back.

Brand skewered Hannity in his YouTube show The Trews on Tuesday, saying Hannity's show didn't include a real debate about the conflict because the host's biases were clear. Brand also noted that Hannity looks "a bit like the Ken doll from the Toy Story 3 film." Brand claimed that Hannity is "not interested in truth" and only wants to promote "a particular perspective."

On his Fox News show Wednesday night, Hannity responded to Brand's accusations and called Brand to tell him his remarks were "not funny." "I need to educate you, 'cause you're kind of dumb and ignorant," Hannity said. Hannity claimed that Brand "can't get it through his thick head" what's really happening in Gaza. Check out Hannity's response to Brand in the video below. --Meghan DeMaria

And here's Brand's original video, for reference:

11:10 a.m. ET
Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Lyft

For Earth Day, Lyft has announced that it will be putting millions towards offsetting the emissions from its cars in order to make customers' trips entirely carbon neutral, CNN reports. But the plan will last a lot longer than just Earth Day 2018: The company promises to make its trips carbon neutral for the foreseeable future as a means of fighting climate change.

In the words of co-founder John Zimmer: "With great scale comes great responsibility."

Lyft will use the make, model, and miles driven by the cars of its employees to determine exactly how much CO2 it needs to offset. The company plans to donate money to projects related to forestry, renewable energy, and landfill emissions.

"As we continue to grow the business, we continue to think about finding ways to have the most positive impact possible on the cities and people that are part of our community," Zimmer said. Jeva Lange

10:13 a.m. ET

Time released its annual list of the 100 most influential people of the year Thursday, and to no surprise, the Parkland activists are featured under the subcategory "pioneers." What might be a bit more surprising is that the blurb praising the work of David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky, Jaclyn Corin, and Alex Wind was written by the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama.

"The Parkland, Florida, students don't have the kind of lobbyists or big budgets for attack ads that their opponents do," Obama writes. "Most of them can't even vote yet. But they have the power so often inherent in youth: to see the world anew; to reject the old constraints, outdated conventions, and cowardice too often dressed up as wisdom." Obama goes on:

[B]y bearing witness to carnage, by asking tough questions and demanding real answers, the Parkland students are shaking us out of our complacency. The NRA's favored candidates are starting to fear they might lose. Law-abiding gun owners are starting to speak out. As these young leaders make common cause with African-Americans and Latinos — the disproportionate victims of gun violence — and reach voting age, the possibilities of meaningful change will steadily grow. [Time]

Read the full blurb at the Time 100 list here. Jeva Lange

10:01 a.m. ET

On Jan. 20, 2017, at 12:01 p.m. ET, Donald Trump was sworn into office as America's 45th president. At 5:11 p.m., he filed for re-election.

The president has been open about his intentions to run for a second term in 2020, holding campaign-style rallies and building a re-election team. But Trump's Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill are unsure whether they're willing to back the norm-breaking president for another round, CNN's Manu Raju reported Thursday.

"A wide array of House and Senate Republicans tell me they aren't ready to endorse President Trump's bid for a second term," Raju said on Thursday's New Day, "reflecting the deep uncertainty on the Hill there is over his political standing and the tenuous relationship he has with his party." Raju said he spoke with "more than two dozen lawmakers who represent a cross-section of the GOP," adding that most of the people he spoke with demurred on the subject, saying either that it's too early to decide whether they'd support Trump or claiming that Trump might decide not to even run in 2020 — despite his repeated proclamations that he will.

"I've never heard of the party in power not lining up behind their president," CNN host Chris Cuomo said. Watch Raju's report below, which features on-camera answers from Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), as well as Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.). Kimberly Alters

9:53 a.m. ET

CNN's Chris Cuomo is not pleased about Fox News' Sean Hannity failing to disclose to viewers that he was a client of President Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, but the New Day host went out of his way Thursday to point out that Hannity is not the only TV journalist to have waded into the ethical quagmire.

"How's this different than Morning Joe?" Cuomo asked his colleagues as they discussed the Hannity scandal. "Remember in the days of the glow, when [Joe Scarborough] and Mika [Brzezinski] spoke to Trump all the time, they had him on, discussed what questions to talk about in the break? They were the Trump whisperers." Morning Joe was "applauded for his relevancy" while people now bash Hannity for a similar relationship, Cuomo went on.

Cuomo admitted that Morning Joe, which is on MSNBC, is a direct competitor of New Day, but he explained that was part of why he paid attention to how their hosts interacted with Trump. "I was watching the headlines very closely, because I believed it worked against us here," he said. "Because we didn't have that kind of access — because we weren't mwah mwah mwah mwah with Donald Trump all the time," he added, making kissing sounds.

Media analyst Brian Stelter pushed back, asking: "Isn't the difference that [Trump] is now president and Hannity is providing a shelter from the storm?" Watch the whole conversation below. Jeva Lange

9:00 a.m. ET
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has dropped libel lawsuits against BuzzFeed and Fusion GPS over last year's publication of a dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, Politico reports. Among its other allegations, the dossier claims Cohen "secretly [met] with several Russian Presidential Administration (PA) Legal Department officials" in Prague in August 2016 and that he is "heavily engaged in a cover up and damage limitation operation in the attempt to prevent the full details of Trump's relationship with Russia being exposed."

Cohen has repeatedly denied going to Prague, tweeting in January 2017 after the publication of the dossier that he had never visited the Czech city "in my life." McClatchy wrote a week ago that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has "evidence that … Cohen secretly made a late-summer trip to Prague during the 2016 presidential campaign," adding that if their reporting is true, "it would … be one of the most significant developments thus far in [Mueller's] investigation of whether the Trump campaign and the Kremlin worked together to help Trump win the White House." Cohen replied by tweeting again "no matter how many times or ways they write it, I have never been to Prague."

Cohen is also wrapped up in a suit brought by adult film star Stormy Daniels, and pursuing the libel case "could have [made it] difficult for Cohen to convince that judge to put Daniels' case on hold while Cohen continued to press civil suits in other federal courts," Politico writes.

In a statement, Cohen's attorney David Schwartz said: "We believe the defendants defamed my client, and vindicating Mr. Cohen's rights was — and still remains — important. But given the events that have unfolded, and the time, attention, and resources needed to prosecute these matters, we have dismissed the matters, despite their merits." Jeva Lange

8:26 a.m. ET
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Trump entered office believing that his legacy-defining deal would be Middle East peace, but he doesn't talk about that anymore — "the peace deal looks dead and cremated," so "there's very little point," says Jonathan Swan at Axios. Instead, Trump now sees the North Korea situation as his "great man" moment, Swan reports, and "sources close to him say he genuinely believes he — and he alone — can overcome the seemingly intractable disaster on the Korean Peninsula."

Trump "definitely thinks it's a duel of personalities," a source familiar with the president's thinking on North Korea tells Axios. Another added, "He thinks, 'Just get me in the room with the guy [Kim Jong Un] and I'll figure it out.'" People close to Trump told Swan that Trump viewed his Twitter brinkmanship with Kim as "pretty intentionally calibrated," though one source said, "I'm not sure people thought it was a coherent strategy, and certainly I don't think the Pentagon signed off on it." And Trump's aides are much more skeptical than the president about the chances of success in the Trump-Kim summit, if it happens.

All "great men" probably faced skeptics, too, and personally tackling the North Korea standoff is a high-risk proposition for Trump that promises high rewards, if successful. If not, North Korea is a burgeoning nuclear power. "If the meeting, when I'm there, is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting," Trump said at a press conference Wednesday. Peter Weber

7:09 a.m. ET

President Trump sent off his first tweet mentioning Stormy Daniels on Wednesday morning, commenting on a post by a Scottish Trump super-fan comparing the sketch Daniels released of the man she said threatened her to keep quiet about Trump with a photo of her ex-husband. Jimmy Kimmel had a little background on the Scottish woman who started the meme, suggesting Trump get a restraining order against her, but he found the entire episode "absolutely nuts. Reportedly, his advisers tried to convince him that he would only make things worse if he addressed this on Twitter," Kimmel said on Wednesday's Kimmel Live, "but you know that's like telling a 4-year-old with a squirt gun not to shoot you with it — you're going to get wet."

"So he tweeted, and he called it 'fake news,' which is his thing," Kimmel said. "President Trump seems to be confused about what is and isn't fake news, so to help out — because we're all about helping out here at this show — we asked a local third grader named Noah to break it down for the president in a very simple way." And Noah, 9, did just that, adorably and concisely. Watch below. Peter Weber

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