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March 17, 2017

President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are, by the looks of things, probably not exactly going to be best friends. On Friday, when trying to highlight some common ground between them, Trump dredged up a major diplomatic scandal between the U.S. and Germany. "As far as wiretapping by this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps," Trump said, a reference to the National Security Agency secretly tapping phone calls of the German chancellery for decades, a revelation that first came to light in a 2013 WikiLeaks report.

In regards to Trump's own claims of being wiretapped by Obama, on Thursday the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said there are "no indications" that anything of the sort happened. Nevertheless, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer alleged Obama was able to get intelligence on Trump through the British spy agency GCHQ — a theory that was first floated by former judge Andrew Napolitano on Fox News. Spicer quoted Napolitano as saying: "Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command. He didn't use the NSA, he didn't use the CIA, he didn't use the FBI, and he didn't use the Department of Justice, he used GCHQ." The United States later formally apologized to Britain for citing the untrue rumor, though Spicer denied later Friday that the White House regretted repeating the allegation.

When accused Friday of spreading the baseless accusations, Trump shrugged off responsibility. "We said nothing. All we did was quote a very talented legal mind ... So you shouldn't be talking to me you should be talking to Fox." In response, Fox News' Shepard Smith said Friday: "Fox News cannot confirm Judge Napolitano's commentary. Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now-president of the United States was surveilled at any time, any way. Full stop." Jeva Lange

1:13 p.m. ET

Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones are running to fill the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions — but don't forget, Alabama is already represented in the Senate by Sen. Richard Shelby (R), who told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday he does not want Moore as a colleague.

"I'd rather see the Republican win, but I'd rather see a Republican write-in. I couldn't vote for Roy Moore," Shelby said on State of the Union. "I didn't vote for Roy Moore, but I wrote in a distinguished Republican name, and I think a lot of people could do that. Will they do it, I'm not sure."

"I understand [Republicans] would like to retain that seat in the U.S. Senate," he continued, " but I tell you what, there's a time — we call it a tipping point. I think, so many accusations, so many cuts, so many drip, drip, drip. When it got to the 14-year-old's story, that was enough for me. I said, 'I can't vote for Roy Moore.'"

Shelby affirmed he thinks the women who have accused Moore "are believable," arguing that the GOP and Alabama alike can do better. Watch an excerpt of Shelby's interview below. Bonnie Kristian

12:50 p.m. ET

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley maintained on CNN's State of the Union Sunday that President Trump's decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel this past week will not hinder the Israel-Palestine peace process.

"When it comes to those that are upset upset, we knew that was going to happen. But courage does cause that. When you make a decision, you're going have some that see it negatively and you're going to have some that see it positively," she told host Jake Tapper. "But I strongly believe this is going to move the ball forward for the peace process."

Trump's controversial announcement sparked outrage among religious leaders and Arab League nations, as well as protests by Muslims worldwide, some of them violent. Watch an excerpt of Haley's comments below, or watch the full interview via CNN here. Bonnie Kristian

12:09 p.m. ET

"Women who accuse anyone [of sexual misconduct] should be heard. They should be heard and they should be dealt with," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation. "And I think we heard from them prior to the election. And I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up," she continued.

Asked whether the election means sexual misconduct accusations against President Trump are a "settled issue, " Haley said the public must make that call. "I know that he was elected," she said. "But, you know, women should always feel comfortable coming forward. And we should all be willing to listen to them."

Watch a clip of Haley's CBS appearance below. Bonnie Kristian

10:42 a.m. ET

After coming under criticism for being too slow to address sexual misconduct allegations against media figures like producer Harvey Weinstein, Saturday Night Live has been making up for lost time. The latest episode sees the subject pop up in the cold open, a Weekend Update segment, and a sketch called "Sexual Harassment Charlie."

The scene is an office workplace, where two newly fired employees — James Franco's CFO Doug and Kenan Thompson's elderly front desk man, Charlie — are apologizing to their female coworkers for past sexual harassment. Doug apologizes for inappropriate nicknames and compliments, while Charlie is sorry for making comments like, "If I was 11 years younger, I'd put you in a large sack, throw you in the trunk of my Eldorado, drive you to my sister's house with a big old medical bed, crack open the windows, and show you a good old time for 28 minutes."

Where Doug's apologies are met with renewed disgust, the women wave away Charlie's vivid retelling of his far more serious misconduct as "Charlie being Charlie." The skit's interrogation of inconsistencies in how we respond to harassment ends with an unexpected twist. Watch the whole thing below. Bonnie Kristian

10:14 a.m. ET
Anwar Amro/Getty Images

Lebanese security forces deployed tear gas and water cannons against protesters outside the U.S. Embassy near Beirut, Lebanon, on Sunday. The demonstrators, who threw rocks and set fires in the road, were protesting President Trump's announcement that the United States will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Some protesters reportedly attempted to break into the American diplomatic compound by climbing through barbed wire defenses, and Lebanese police barricaded the road near the embassy entrance.

"There is a lot of anger here. What they're chanting is, 'Palestine forgive us, they closed the door on us,' clearly in reference to Arab leaders," said Al Jazeera reporter Zeina Khodr, who was on the scene. "The protesters here feel Arab leaders have just been talking, but not taking any action." Bonnie Kristian

10:05 a.m. ET
Adam Ihse/Getty Images

A synagogue in the city of Gothenburg, Sweden, was attacked with firebombs late Saturday evening while a youth event was happening inside. No one was injured, and the building was not damaged. Swedish authorities have arrested three people in connection to the attack, and eyewitnesses report the flaming objects were thrown by a group of about a dozen young men.

The attack has been linked in news reports to Friday protests in Malmo, Sweden, in which critics of President Trump's decision to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel's capital shouted anti-Semitic slogans. "I'm terribly upset over the attack on a synagogue in Goteborg yesterday and calls for violence against Jews at a demonstration in Malmo," Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said Sunday. "There is no place for anti-Semitism in our Swedish society. The perpetrators will be held accountable." Bonnie Kristian

10:01 a.m. ET
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Foreign ministers from 22 Arab League nations issued a statement Sunday saying President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel this past week is a "dangerous development that places the United States at a position of bias in favor of the occupation [of Palestine] and the violation of international law and resolutions."

The statement asks Trump to make a retraction. Failing that, signatory states will petition the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution denouncing the decision, which critics say will impede the Israel-Palestine peace process.

Trump argued his announcement is "nothing more or less than a recognition of reality," as Israel's government is based in Jerusalem. Read The Week's Noah Millman on why he may be right. Bonnie Kristian

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