On Wednesday, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) admitted that he made "inappropriate" comments to his top political adviser, Rebekah Mason, but denied having a sexual relationship with her.
— seattlepi (@seattlepi) March 23, 2016
AL.com reports that in 2014, members of Bentley's family recorded him while trying to determine if he was having a relationship with Mason. On the tape, Bentley can be heard telling a woman he calls Rebekah that he loves her and enjoys touching her intimately. Bentley, who apologized to the people of Alabama during his press conference, said he has made amends with his family, Mason, and Mason's family, and will not step down from his position. He also said he loves all of his staff members, but "absolutely" loves "some more than others."
Bentley was accused of having an affair with Mason by former Alabama Law Enforcement Secretary Spencer Collier, who said the governor told him he was "madly in love" with Mason and would lease a state plane so Mason's name was not on the flight manifests (a claim Bentley denies). Collier was fired on Tuesday by Bentley, following an internal investigation that found possible wrongdoing under his watch, AL.com reports. Collier says once he came across evidence of the affair, he warned Bentley that if it was found he misused state resources during the relationship, criminal charges could be filed.
Last August, Bentley's wife filed for divorce, but did not say if the tapes were a factor in her decision. Mason is not a state employee, and works for the Alabama Council for Excellent Government, a 501(c)(4) established to promote Bentley's political agenda, AL.com reports. Mason said in a statement she is a victim of "gender bias," and "there are still some people who are set on hindering the ability of women to work in the political arena." Catherine Garcia
The last time Donald Trump came on Jimmy Kimmel Live, back in December, Kimmel read him a Dr. Seuss-style children's book, Winners Aren't Losers. It was apparently a hit with Trump's grandkids, so Kimmel read Trump the follow-up book, Winners Still Aren't Losers, on Wednesday's show. It captures Trump's campaign pretty brilliantly, from the tweeting to the name-calling, with a nod even to the scandal-plagued Trump University. "Here are some heads, these are heads you can use, these heads talk all day on TV cable news," Kimmel read. "Just say funny things, and skips the issues, they'll give you free airtime whenever you choose." Trump nodded at that and mouthed, "True." And you can watch Kimmel join in that proud tradition below. Peter Weber
On Wednesday's Jimmy Kimmel Live, Donald Trump weighted in on the ongoing primary fight between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. "Well, I actually think Bernie would be easier to beat, even though he shows up a little bit better in the polls," Trump told Kimmel, though he acknowledged "I may be wrong." But Sanders has gotten a raw deal, Trump argued. "The system is rigged" in both parties, Trump contended, but he won by such large margins it did not matter. "I think it's very unfair what's happening with Bernie, actually," he added.
Kimmel asked Trump if he'd ever met Sanders. "I've never really had the privilege," Trump said. So Kimmel passed on a question from Sanders, who will be on Kimmel Live Thursday night: Is Trump willing to debate him before the California primary, since Clinton won't? "Yes, I am — how much is he going to pay me?" Trump said. "You would do it for a price?" Kimmel asked. "Yes, because if I debated him, we would have such high ratings," Trump said. "If he would pay a nice some for some charity, I would love to do that." Watch below. Peter Weber
In response to outrage over the brutal gang rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in April, Indonesian President Joko Widodo approved on Wednesday new punishments for sex offenders found guilty of abusing children.
Effective immediately, the maximum penalty is now death and chemical castration, and after being released from prison, convicted pedophiles could be ordered to wear electronic monitoring devices, Agence France-Presse reports. "This regulation is intended to overcome the crisis caused by sexual violence against children," Widodo said. "Sexual crimes against children are extraordinary crimes, because they threaten the lives of children."
Under previous laws, the maximum sentence for rape, including of a minor, was 14 years in jail. In the case of the 14-year-old girl raped and murdered in April, seven teens, all either 16 or 17 years old, have been arrested. The girl was followed by a drunken mob while she walked home from school on the island of Sumatra; three days later, her naked body was found tied up in a wooded area. Catherine Garcia
Yes, Donald Trump admitted on Jimmy Kimmel Live, he has used aliases in the past, but it's only because he wanted to save money on real estate deals.
— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) May 26, 2016
Trump explained to Kimmel that while setting up transactions, he would use "an alias in terms of setting up a meeting with Mr. Donald Trump. And many people in the real estate business do that, you use alias. And you have to, frankly, otherwise they find out it's you and they charge you more money — and nobody wants to pay more money." He'd often use an alias "when I was out in Brooklyn with my father and I'd want to buy something. And honestly nobody knew who Trump was at that time, nobody knew me, so it wasn't so much so important. But I would never want to use my name because you had to pay money for the land."
Trump has shied away from reports that he used to pose as his own spokesman, going by such creative monikers as "John Miller" and "John Barron." His youngest son's name is Barron, and he said he did use that name once and made "a very good deal." He also revealed that he'd be delighted to have a one-on-one debate with Bernie Sanders, promising the duo "would have such high ratings." Watch the alias conversation below. Catherine Garcia
At least four people were shot during a T.I. concert at Irving Plaza in New York City Wednesday night, leaving one person dead and another in critical condition, the NYPD said.
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) May 26, 2016
Sources told CBS New York the shooting started with a fight backstage, and shots rang out in the venue at around 10 p.m. Officials said a 34-year-old man was shot in the chest, a 33-year-old man was shot in the abdomen, and a 26-year-old woman was shot in the left leg. A fourth victim's age and condition are unknown.
Gunshots just went off at the T.I concert, never been so scared in my life pic.twitter.com/rn0CjpAuaU
— Marco (@markygeezy) May 26, 2016
A witness told CBS New York the show was about to start when "we saw two people up on the VIP arguing, and then everybody started running because they heard the shots. It was terrifying. We just kept running with everybody else because they were running for their lives, so we just started running, and I fell, and I got stomped on a little bit." In 2006, there was a shooting at a T.I. concert in Cincinnati, and the hip-hop artist's personal assistant, Philant Johnson, was killed. Catherine Garcia
On Wednesday, police in Bolivia used high-pressure water cannons against disabled activists trying to get to the presidential palace to demand an increase in benefits.
The activists have been camping in La Paz for a month, and want a five-fold increase in their state benefits, the BBC reports; they receive 500 bolivianos ($14) a month. Many of the activists were in wheelchairs, and the government said they attacked officers with knives and harmful gases.
The government has rejected their demands because it says it reached a deal with other disability groups already, and in a statement, the Interior Ministry said, "We believe this type of action is aimed at generating conflict, clashes, and violence." Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in South America, with 388,000 people living there on disability, AFP reports. Catherine Garcia
On Wednesday night, the Donald Trump campaign announced it had parted ways with Rick Wiley, its national political director.
Campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks did not respond to Politico's inquiry of whether Wiley was fired or resigned, but sources say he was fired. Wiley was hired by Paul Manafort, who joined the Trump campaign in late March as chairman, and sources say he never clicked with campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Sources tell Politico Wiley also clashed with Karen Giorno, who ran Trump's campaign during the Florida Republican primary. He would often refuse to take her calls or return her emails, and after she shared this information with Trump, he ordered Wiley to keep away from Giorno and not call her or email her, the sources said.
In a statement, the Trump campaign said Wiley was "hired on a short-term basis as a consultant until the campaign was running full steam," and now it is "doing better than ever." A Trump source told Politico that Wiley, who served as campaign manager for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) during his failed bid for the Republican nomination, "has RNC tattooed on his forehead. He's not part of the Trump culture. Wiley was someone who didn't understand what we were able to do, and he wasn't interested in being a part of the team in the end anyway." Catherine Garcia