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January 27, 2016
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The jailed leader of the group occupying the Malheuer National Wildlife Refuge, Ammon Bundy, had his attorney deliver a message to the armed occupiers still at the Oregon refuge.

"I'm asking the federal government to allow the people at the refuge to go home without being prosecuted," Bundy said in a statement, read by attorney Mike Arnold on Wednesday afternoon. "To those remaining at the refuge, I love you. Let us take this fight from here. Please stand down. Please stand down. Go home and hug your families. This fight is ours for now in the courts. Please go home."

Bundy and other militants were arrested on a highway about 15 miles north of Burns on Tuesday evening, with one occupier, Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, shot and killed during the traffic stop. The occupiers took over the refuge on Jan. 2, and Bundy and the others arrested Tuesday are charged with impeding federal wildlife officers from doing their jobs. Earlier Wednesday, some of the militia members still at the refuge used YouTube to try to recruit supporters, with one saying on a livestream: "You can fight for your country right here in America. Get here, get some! This is history in the making. There are no laws in this United States now." He then recommended that if federal officials tried to stop a person from entering the refuge, supporters should "kill them." Catherine Garcia

3:15 p.m. ET

Next time reporters want to get a clear-cut answer from the White House, they should consider leaving it to the kids.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took questions from the children of White House journalists for a mock press briefing during Thursday's "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" events.

Some children clearly took after their reporter parents, asking hard-hitting questions about topics like President Trump's decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey. Sanders gave a kid-friendly answer, explaining that Comey "did some things that weren't really very nice," one CBS News correspondent reported. Another child reportedly asked whether Trump still trusts White House physician Ronny Jackson, who withdrew from his nomination to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs on Thursday.

But kids will be kids, so other lines of inquiry included Trump's favorite candy (pink and red Starbursts), favorite animal (elephant), and what advice he had on how to become president one day (don't care what anyone else thinks).

Sanders gave the children a quite a scoop for their first day on the job, with an announcement that Trump will visit the U.K. in July for a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May. In true childlike fashion, one kid reportedly ignored the announcement, instead choosing to ask, "How many times has Donald Trump been married?" Summer Meza

2:43 p.m. ET
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A Pennsylvania jury on Thursday found comedian Bill Cosby guilty on three counts of indecent aggravated assault.

Cosby had been charged with drugging and sexually assaulting plaintiff Andrea Constand in 2004. The verdict resulted from a retrial, after Cosby's original trial ended in a mistrial last June. Cosby, 80, faces up to 30 years in prison — 10 years per count — and a fine of up to $25,000 for each of the charges, though CNN reports that he could instead see a probationary sentence.

Five additional women besides Constand testified against Cosby during the trial, and dozens more have publicly claimed sexual misconduct by the comedian. Cosby has denied all allegations against him, and CNN reports that he will likely seek to appeal the verdict. Cosby shouted at a prosecutor after the verdict was announced, The Associated Press reports, lashing out during a discussion about whether he should be granted bail. When the district attorney pointed out that Cosby may be a flight risk because he owns his own plane, Cosby yelled, "He doesn't have a plane, you a--hole!"

Cosby's sentencing date has not been set. He will reportedly be out on bail until he is sentenced, but will be required to wear a GPS tracker to ensure that he remains in the state. Summer Meza

2:36 p.m. ET
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Singer Janelle Monáe confirmed long-swirling rumors about her sexuality in a Rolling Stone interview published Thursday. Fans of the singer and actress have long suspected that she might not be straight, based on her presentation as an androgynous "cybergirl" in many of her performances, public appearances, and creative work. But the singer herself was "loath to say" anything definitive about her sexuality, Rolling Stone reported — until now.

In the interview, Monáe acknowledged "being a queer black woman in America, someone who has been in relationships with both men and women." She confirmed that she identifies with parts of the bisexual and pansexual identities, saying, "I'm open to learning more about who I am." Ultimately, she said, she feels like "a free-ass motherf---er."

Monáe stopped short of addressing rumors revolving around her relationship with fellow actress Tessa Thompson, but expressed broader support for the queer community. "Through my experiences, I hope people are seen and heard," she said.

Monáe's third album, Dirty Computer, will be released Friday. Read more of her interview at Rolling Stone. Shivani Ishwar

2:27 p.m. ET
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Americans don't like James Comey, per se, but they still trust him more than President Trump.

A Quinnipiac poll released Thursday found that 54 percent of Americans think Comey is more likely to tell them the truth about important issues than Trump. Only 35 percent think the president is more trustworthy.

The results were surprisingly stable from previous surveys, despite Comey's high-profile book release and tour, and the president's corresponding attacks on him. In December, the breakdown was 56 percent to 32 percent in Comey's favor; last June, it was 56-36.

But Americans don't trust Comey because they like him. Forty-one percent view Comey unfavorably, while just 30 percent have a favorable view of the former FBI director.

The poll also pit Trump against his other public enemy: the media. Similarly, 53 percent of Americans said they trust news media to tell them the truth more than Trump, while 37 percent prefer to believe Trump. Twenty-two percent of respondents went so far as to call the news media the "enemy of the people."

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,193 voters via landline and cell phone from April 20-24, with a 3.4 percent margin of error. Read the full results here. Kathryn Krawczyk

11:34 a.m. ET
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CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who will likely be confirmed as secretary of state by the Senate this afternoon, has failed to disclose extensive business ties to China, HuffPost reports.

This isn't the first time Pompeo's China relationships have come under scrutiny. Previously, Pompeo was criticized for leaving out information about his Chinese business dealings on a mandatory Senate confirmation questionnaire, after a McClatchy report found that his Kansas company imported equipment from China. And now, newly unearthed documents viewed by HuffPost found that his ties are even deeper. He apparently has four undisclosed business ties with China. Pompeo's company reportedly imported oil and gas equipment from two subsidiaries of a Chinese state-owned oil company, China National Petroleum Corporation, in addition to the previously reported imports from two China Petrochemical Corporation subsidiaries.

For his part, Pompeo isn't backing down from his assertion that he has no relationships with foreign firms, reportedly insisting earlier this week in response to a question from Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) that he has no foreign business ties. Read more at HuffPost. Summer Meza

10:54 a.m. ET
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Two journalists and a comedian walk into a TV studio. Somehow, none of them say, "Maybe this is a bad idea."

Page Six reported late Wednesday that disgraced CBS News anchor Charlie Rose is in talks to host a show where he interviews men who have similarly been confronted by credible accusations of sexual harassment, including former Today host Matt Lauer and comedian Louis C.K. Rose was suspended by CBS last November after eight women spoke to The Washington Post accusing him of sexual harassment in the workplace, including walking around nude and making inappropriate comments.

Tina Brown, journalist and former editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast, revealed Tuesday at a women's event in New York City that Rose is in talks to headline a "#MeToo atonement series," Page Six reports, which would feature Rose sitting down with "others embroiled in sexual harassment scandals." Brown said she was approached to co-host the show with Rose, per Page Six, but turned the offer down.

Vanity Fair notes that the whispers of comeback tours for men hit with #MeToo allegations have been steadily amplifying in recent weeks, with rumors about a return for Louis C.K. — one of the few men to outright acknowledge that specific allegations made against him were true — specifically swirling of late. Read more about the rumored show at Page Six. Kimberly Alters

10:21 a.m. ET

President Trump started his Thursday morning with a wide-ranging phone interview on Fox & Friends, in which he returned to old favorite talking points and revealed new tidbits of information. Here are the highlights. Summer Meza

On first lady Melania Trump: Trump began his meandering monologue by telling the show hosts that he was joining them in honor of Melania's birthday. So what did he buy his wife for her 48th birthday? "Maybe I didn't get her so much. I got her a beautiful card. You know, I'm very busy."

On attorney Michael Cohen: The president distanced himself from his longtime attorney by characterizing Cohen's legal practice as second to his business interests. "I don't know his business," said Trump. "This doesn't have to do with me." Even though Cohen apparently only handles "a tiny, tiny little fraction" of Trump's legal work, Trump admitted that "he represents me, like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal."

On former FBI Director James Comey: Trump denied telling Comey that he didn't stay overnight during a trip to Moscow in 2013. Comey has said Trump claimed he didn't stay the night in Russia as part of his explanation as to why an unverified intelligence dossier that alleges Trump spent the night with prostitutes is false. "He said I didn't stay there the night — of course I stayed there," said Trump. "I never said I left immediately."

On White House physician Ronny Jackson: Trump energetically defended Jackson, who on Thursday dropped out of consideration to run the Department of Veterans Affairs following days of allegations of workplace misconduct. Jackson has an "unblemished" record, Trump said, and was up against "obstructionist" Democrats who wanted to block his nomination for no reason.

On pop culture: Trump praised rapper Kanye West for supporting him on Twitter, saying that West likely appreciated that black unemployment is at its "lowest" in history. The president also complimented Canadian singer Shania Twain, who came under fire for saying she would have voted for Trump. Twain is "terrific," Trump said, but she shouldn't have apologized for her comments.

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