Lots of serious political commentators viewed the unexpected Monica Lewinsky essay in last week's Vanity Fair through the frame of how it will (or won't) affect Hillary Clinton's possible 2016 presidential run. On the Fox News side of the political spectrum, noted Stephen Colbert on Monday night's Colbert Report, the lens was more narrowly focused on why Hillary got Vanity Fair to run the Lewinsky essay now.
Colbert ran through the most-voiced conspiracy theory — that Team Clinton wants this rehashed now so it will (again) be old news by next year ("Because if there's one thing the conservative media is known for, it's letting things go") — but then he delved into an increasingly silly list of ways the Clinton cabal is manipulating the news media. Speaking of old news, this would have been timelier last week. But nation, good comedy writing has a long statute of limitations. --Peter Weber
In a televised address, President Trump on Monday shared his strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia, saying the United States military is "not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists."
Speaking in front of an audience of soldiers at Ft. Myer, Virginia, Trump said the American people are "weary of war without victory," and he "shares their frustration." When it comes to Afghanistan, while his original instinct was to pull all troops out, he listened to his advisers and came up with a new strategy of adding soldiers, but never revealing the number of troops on the ground in the country or announcing upcoming military actions. Trump is also expanding authority for American armed forces to "target terrorists and criminal networks that sow violence and chaos throughout Afghanistan," he said.
Trump will not set a timetable on when to withdraw troops, instead using a conditions based approach, and economic development in Afghanistan will help defray the United States' cost. The U.S. must "seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifice of lives," Trump said, and the "consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable." Catherine Garcia
President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won't be bonding over a shared belief in fake news.
Trump often talks about his dislike of most media, Fox News being the main exception, tweeting on Monday morning that the "very dishonest Fake News Media is out of control!" and telling the "Fake News" it should listen to Liberty University's Jerry Falwell, who was "fantastic on Fox and Friends."
McConnell has a different outlook. Later Monday, he revealed during a Q&A with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the Louisville Chamber of Commerce that his "view is that most news is not fake, but I do try to look at a variety of sources." McConnell was asked which publications he reads, and shared that he reads articles from different outlets for balance. "I try not to fall in love with any particular source," he said. Catherine Garcia
A 63-year-old woman with terminal ovarian cancer was awarded $417 million Monday after a jury in Los Angeles found Johnson & Johnson liable for not warning her about the risk of using the company's talcum products.
Eva Echeverria's lawsuit is one of 4,500 in the United States, which allege that Johnson & Johnson disregarded studies that link its baby powder and Shower to Shower products with ovarian cancer. The jury awarded her $347 in punitive damages and $70 million in compensatory damages, and found there was a connection between her cancer and the powder. Echeverria was diagnosed in 2007, and said she started using Johnson & Johnson's baby powder at age 11, and didn't stop until 2016; Echeverria testified she would have quit much sooner had she known about the link.
Her lawsuit cited a 1982 study that showed woman who put talc on their genitals had a 92 percent increased risk for ovarian cancer, with the head researcher telling Johnson & Johnson it should put warning labels on its products, the Los Angeles Times reports. Johnson & Johnson, which said it plans on appealing the verdict, cited a different study from 2000, where researchers stated there was "no overall association" between talc use and epithelial ovarian cancer, but there was a "modest elevation in risk" for the type of cancer Echeverria has — serious ovarian cancer. She was not in the courthouse when the jury made its ruling, her attorney said, because she was too ill to attend. Catherine Garcia
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds in the wake of the deadly Charlottesville white supremacist rally, 37 percent of Americans approve of President Trump's job performance while 58 percent disapprove.
When it comes to how he responded to the incident in Charlottesville, just 28 percent approve compared to 56 percent who do not. The poll also found that nine percent of respondents, the equivalent of 22 million Americans, believe it is acceptable to hold white supremacist or neo-Nazi views, and 10 percent support the alt-right movement, while 50 percent oppose it. The poll, a random sample of 1,014 adults, was conducted August 16-20 in English and Spanish, on landlines and cell phones. The margin of sampling error is 3.5 points. Catherine Garcia
To everyone who missed Monday's total eclipse: Don't worry, you've got another shot at seeing one on April 8, 2024. In exactly 6 years, 7 months, and 18 days, the moon will once again eclipse the sun.
While Monday's eclipse spanned from Oregon to South Carolina, the 2024 eclipse will be visible from Mexico up to Canada, crossing the paths of American cities including Dallas, Indianapolis, and Cleveland. Take a look at the map below, and start planning for 2024. Becca Stanek
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) August 21, 2017
On Monday, President Trump stared directly at the sun during the solar eclipse and proceeded to give the moon a big thumbs up. As Trump snuck a peek sans glasses, defying common sense and the advice of scientists, a bystander reportedly shouted: "Don't look."
The president watched the rare event from the White House's Truman Balcony. He was joined by first lady Melania Trump and their 11-year-old son Barron, neither of whom appeared to look directly at the sun without the necessary protective eyewear, which is intended to prevent permanent eye damage.
Watch Trump watch the eclipse below. Becca Stanek
— ABC News (@ABC) August 21, 2017
Pres Trump gives the eclipse a thumbs up. pic.twitter.com/kSmkAynYp9
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) August 21, 2017
On Monday afternoon, portions of the United States fell dark as the moon eclipsed the sun. For those who missed the rare coast-to-coast event — or for those who simply want to relive its spectacular beauty — check out some photos and videos of the total solar eclipse below. Becca Stanek
— Al Seib (@AlSeibPhoto) August 21, 2017
The solar eclipse reaches its peak as seen from Salt Lake City on August 21, 2017. (Jeremy Harmon | The Salt Lake Tribune) pic.twitter.com/pI3nW1pfc5
— Salt Lake Tribune (@sltrib) August 21, 2017
— TIME (@TIME) August 21, 2017
— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) August 21, 2017
— Jeva Lange (@Jee_vuh) August 21, 2017
— NASA (@NASA) August 21, 2017
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 21, 2017