Joan Rivers has made it clear: She's not apologizing for the joke she made on NBC's Today show Tuesday about the three women kidnapped and held captive for a decade in Cleveland.
While promoting her reality show Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best, Rivers said that she did not enjoy living in such close quarters with her daughter, Melissa Rivers. "Those women in the basement in Cleveland had more space," she quipped.
Her joke didn't seem to go over well with her daughter or any of the hosts, and it certainly fell flat with Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, two of the three women who were rescued from Ariel Castro's house of horrors in 2013. Their attorneys said that it was a new low for Rivers, and asked for an apology.
"I'm a comedienne," Rivers told The Cleveland Plain Dealer when asked for comment. "I know what those girls went through. It was a little, stupid joke. There is nothing to apologize for. I made a joke. That's what I do. Calm down. Calm f—ing down. I'm a comedienne. They're free, so let's move on." Watch the video below to hear the gag. --Catherine Garcia
At least one GOP senator is pretty sure Trump doesn't understand the basics of the GOP health-care bill
When President Trump, a month after effusively praising a House Republican health-care bill, dismissed it as too "mean" last week, some people began to suspect that Trump was more interested in getting a legislative victory than in the policy details of the victorious legislation. "I don't know that he ever understood exactly what the provisions of ObamaCare were, or what we're trying to accomplish in our health system today for more affordable quality care," Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said on MSNBC Tuesday, after Nicole Wallace asked what specific ObamaCare policies Trump actually opposed.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 27, 2017
Before he delayed a vote on the Senate GOP plan to replace ObamaCare Tuesday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) asked Trump to invite all 52 Senate Republicans to the White House for a meeting on the legislation. When reporters asked McConnell outside the West Wing if he believed Trump had command of the details of the health-care negotiations, "McConnell ignored the question and smiled blandly," The New York Times reports. Trump has been pretty hands-off in the Senate health-care talks, at McConnell's request, so only a few senators had interacted with Trump on the legislation before Tuesday's meeting, the Times says, setting up this anecdote:
A senator who supports the bill left the meeting at the White House with a sense that the president did not have a grasp of some basic elements of the Senate plan — and seemed especially confused when a moderate Republican complained that opponents of the bill would cast it as a massive tax break for the wealthy, according to an aide who received a detailed readout of the exchange. Mr. Trump said he planned to tackle tax reform later. [The New York Times]
About 45 percent of the tax benefits from the Senate bill would go to the top 1 percent of U.S. hold holds by income — those earning $875,000 a year an upwards would get a $45,500 annual tax cut, and the top 0.1 percent would pocket an average tax cut of $250,000 by 2026 — according to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center. The middle class would get a 0.4 percent raise in after-tax income, the analysis found, versus a 2 percent bump for the top 1 percent. You can read how the Senate GOP bill stacks up to Trump's health-care promises at The Week. Peter Weber
Cristina Penton boarded her Spirit Airlines flight to Dallas 36 weeks pregnant, and disembarked with a 7-pound baby boy in her arms.
The Phoenix resident was 30 minutes into her flight from Ft. Lauderdale a few days ago when she notified the flight attendants that she wasn't feeling well. Once she realized the baby was coming, the flight was diverted to New Orleans, and two of her fellow passengers — a pediatrician and a nurse — jumped up to help. Before the plane could land, Christoph Lezcano made his debut.
Penton and Christoph were taken to a local hospital to be checked out, and are both doing great. Spirit Airlines representatives visited them in their room, and showered the baby with presents, including one that's perfect for the tiny traveler — free flights for Christoph and a guest to anywhere Spirit Airlines goes, every year on his birthday for the rest of his life. Catherine Garcia
On June 14, Leo Varadkar became prime minister, or Taoiseach, of Ireland, after winning an internal race for leadership of his Fine Gael party following the resignation of Enda Kenny. On Tuesday, President Trump called Varadkar to congratulate him on his "great victory." He invited the press to observe the call. Trump began with a nod to the Irish-American community. "We have so many people from Ireland in this country," he said. "I know so many of them, too. I feel I know all of them." Then things got slightly odder.
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) June 27, 2017
Trump, perhaps searching for something to talk about, told Varadkar that he had members of the Irish press corps in the Oval Office. "And where are you from?" he asked one, Caitriona Perry, the Washington correspondent for state broadcaster Raidio Teilifis Eireann (RTE), who shot the video above. "Go ahead, come here, come here. Where are you from? We have all of this beautiful Irish press." When she identified herself, Trump said to Varadkar: "Caitriona Perry. She has a nice smile on her face. So I bet she treats you well."
That moment when the president of the US treats an international reporter like a goddamn pageant contestant. pic.twitter.com/fOXzXxrzlJ
— shauna (@goldengateblond) June 27, 2017
"Thank you for the newspapers, Caitriona," Trump told the TV and radio broadcast journalist. Peter Weber
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said a police helicopter fired shots at the Supreme Court on Tuesday and threw grenades that could have caused "dozens of deaths."
Witnesses say they heard explosions go off in downtown Caracas, Reuters reports, and Maduro vowed that "sooner rather than later we are going to capture the helicopter and those behind this armed terrorist attack against the institutions of the country." For the past three months, the opposition has protested against Maduro, while the pro-government Supreme Court has made several rulings in his favor. At least 75 people have died during the demonstrations.
Maduro wants a July 30 vote for a Constituent Assembly, which could rewrite the national charter and supersede the opposition-controlled Congress, and the opposition is calling for an early presidential election. Some supporters of the opposition, whose leaders have urged security forces to stop following Maduro's orders, believe Tuesday's attack may have been staged by the government. Earlier in the day, Maduro said if a violent revolt should occur and Venezuela is "plunged into chaos and violence and the Bolivarian Revolution destroyed, we would go to combat. We would never give up, and what couldn't be done with votes, we would do with arms, we would liberate the fatherland with arms." Catherine Garcia
On Tuesday, Paul Manafort, a former chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, retroactively filed paperwork showing that his consulting firm received $17.1 million for work done from 2012 to 2014 for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.
Manafort worked with the Party of Regions and politician Viktor Yanukovych, who served as president from 2010 until 2014, when he fled to Moscow after protesters demanded he step aside. Manafort's Foreign Agents Registration Act filing did not reveal how much he received personally, but did show that he met in 2013 with a pro-Russia and now pro-Trump congressman, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.). Any American who works in the U.S. on behalf of a foreign government or political party has to register within 10 days of agreeing to conduct the work, The Washington Post reports, and Manafort's spokesman told the paper he started preparing the filing in September.
Last August, Manafort resigned as chairman of the Trump campaign after it was reported that the Party of Regions secretly paid him millions of dollars, an allegation Manafort denies. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking at Manafort as part of his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and he's the second close Trump associate to retroactively file as a foreign agent; in March, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn disclosed that in 2016, he worked with a Turkish businessman active in his country's politics. Catherine Garcia
A Cook County grand jury indicted three veteran Chicago police officers Tuesday on charges of conspiracy, official misconduct, and obstruction of justice, accusing the officers of working together to cover up for their colleague who shot and killed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014.
The first police report stated that officers David March, Joseph Walsh, and Thomas Gaffney were "victims" of McDonald, claiming he assaulted them before Officer Jason Van Dyke came to intervene. McDonald lunged toward him with a knife, and that's when Van Dyke shot him 16 times, the report said. One year later, dashcam footage of the incident was released that completely refuted the report, showing Van Dyke shooting McDonald as he walked away. Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder, and pleaded not guilty.
Special Prosecutor Patricia Holmes Brown said in a statement that the indictment "makes clear that these defendants did more than merely obey an unofficial 'code of silence.' Rather, it alleges that they lied about what occurred to prevent independent criminal investigators from learning the truth." If convicted, the officers face years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines, the prosecutor said. March spent more than 30 years on the force, while Walsh and Gaffney were Chicago police officers for more than 20 years. Walsh and Marsh are no longer officers, and Gaffney has been suspended, NPR reports. Catherine Garcia
Sarah Palin is suing The New York Times for defamation, claiming the paper "violated the law and its own policies" in a June 14 editorial that accused the former Alaska governor of "political incitement" before the 2011 shooting of former Rep. Gabby Giffords, the New York Post reports.
Giffords, a Democrat from Arizona, was severely injured, and six people were killed after Jared Jee Loughner opened fire at a Giffords event. The Times editorial, written after the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), mentions a Palin political action committee ad that put "Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized crosshairs." Two days later, the paper issued a correction saying it was actually a "map distributed by a political action committee before the shooting. The map depicted electoral districts, not individual Democratic lawmakers, beneath stylized crosshairs." The correction went on to say the editorial "incorrectly stated that a link existed between political rhetoric and the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established."
The suit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan, and Palin is seeking damages in an amount to be determined by a jury at trial. A spokeswoman for the Times told the Post the paper has "not seen the claim yet, but will defend against any claim vigorously." Catherine Garcia