CNN Russia expert says RT was alone in not covering James Comey's Trump testimony. Jake Tapper notes Fox News wasn't, either.
The public testimony of FBI Director James Comey in Monday's House Intelligence Committee hearings was "rather bad news" for President Trump, CNN's Jake Tapper said Monday afternoon, and he asked the two conservative members of his panel — former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Mary Katherine Ham — if there was any good news for Trump. Santorum said yes, kind of. "I think the good news is that Comey went out and announced there is an investigation," he said, so Trump and his Republican allies "can start putting pressure externally to get this thing moving" to its conclusion. Ham agreed and argued that the White House should be focusing on its actual good news, the Senate hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
Tapper got some views from former Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon and Bloomberg White House correspondent Margaret Talev, then turned to CNN senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward. Russian President Vladimir Putin is "somebody who likes to meddle in elections and enjoys sowing chaos in the electoral process in liberal democracies throughout the world," he said, so isn't Putin just really "enjoying this, one way or another? The American political system is in disarray."
Ward half-agreed. "I think up to a certain point he was kind of enjoying it, he was enjoying the ambiguity of it, the possibility that he could have thrown the election in the most powerful, important, consequential country in the world — that certainly spoke to his ego," she said. "But what was noticeable today, while every single news channel pretty much in the world — and I'm talking globally, Sky News, BBC, Al Jazeera — one news channel that very noticeably did not take today's hearing was Russia Today, and I do think you are starting to see now the beginning of what we might call a 'conscious uncoupling' of the Kremlin and the Trump administration."
"Russia Today wasn't covering it this afternoon," Tapper said. "Also, when I looked up, Fox News wasn't covering it, they were covering the Gorsuch hearings."
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 20, 2017
"An interesting observation," Tapper said dryly, if slightly immodestly. Peter Weber
Not all of Philip Roth's best work appeared in the pages of an award-winning novel. Roth, a celebrated author who passed away on Tuesday, once penned some devastating analysis on President Trump, calling him a "callow and callous killer capitalist."
In correspondence with The New Yorker last year, Roth drew parallels between Trump and aviator Charles Lindbergh, who features prominently in Roth's novel The Plot Against America as an isolationist president during the 1940s.
"It is easier to comprehend the election of an imaginary president like Charles Lindbergh than an actual president like Donald Trump," Roth wrote. "Lindbergh, despite his Nazi sympathies and racist proclivities, was a great aviation hero who had displayed tremendous physical courage and aeronautical genius in crossing the Atlantic in 1927. He had character and he had substance and, along with Henry Ford, was, worldwide, the most famous American of his day. Trump is just a con artist."
Roth went on to further eviscerate Trump, who he called "humanly impoverished" compared to other former presidents.
"Trump is: ignorant of government, of history, of science, of philosophy, of art, incapable of expressing or recognizing subtlety or nuance, destitute of all decency, and wielding a vocabulary of 77 words that is better called Jerkish than English," wrote Roth. Read more of Roth's comments on modern politics at The New Yorker. Summer Meza
The Loch Ness monster may very well be nothing more than an elaborate hoax, but a team of scientists from around the world plans to find out once and for all. The researchers will test the "environmental DNA" of the Scottish waters where Nessie allegedly dwells in order to see if anything fishy comes up, Reuters reports.
The idea is that the inhabitants of a given environment leave their traces everywhere: bits of scales, feces, cryptozoological saliva, what have you. "This DNA can be captured, sequenced, and then used to identify that creature by comparing the sequence obtained to large databases of known genetic sequences from hundreds of thousands of different organisms," said Neil Gemmell, a professor at the University of Otago in New Zealand.
Even if "sea monster" doesn't pop up in the results, the experiment won't be a wash. The scientists are still hoping to identify new organisms in Loch Ness, just of the slightly smaller, bacterial variety. Jeva Lange
Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth made a disastrous attempt at sympathizing with Kim Jong Un on Wednesday, suggesting the North Korean dictator "probably doesn't love being the guy that has to murder his people all day long."
The quote came about as Hegseth was asked why Kim would agree to a meeting with President Trump. "He wants a picture with the American president," Hegseth said. "The sanctions are having massive effect there, there's no doubt … And I think there's probably a point at which the guy who wants to meet with Dennis Rodman and loves NBA basketball and loves Western pop culture, probably doesn't love being the guy that has to murder his people all day long. Probably wants normalization."
Fox host and Trump adviser Pet Hegseth on Kim Jong Un: "The guy who wants to meet with Dennis Rodman and loves NBA basketball and loves western pop culture, probably doesn't love being the guy that has to murder his people all day long. Probably wants normalization." pic.twitter.com/YQAcY1BXh7
— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) May 23, 2018
CNN's Chris Cuomo fiercely debates GOP Rep. Jim Jordan over 'demonstrably false' claims of FBI misconduct
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) appeared on CNN's New Day on Wednesday to make the case for a second special counsel to investigate the origins of the probe into whether President Trump's campaign colluded with Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 election.
Jordan and host Chris Cuomo seemed to make their arguments using entirely separate sets of facts — Jordan insisting that FBI leadership was politically motivated against Trump, Cuomo pointing out that the agency's inspector general was already investigating claims of bias, and both men sharply disagreeing with the other's evaluation of the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
When Jordan proclaimed that a year had gone by without "one bit of evidence" of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Cuomo fired back by calling the claim "demonstrably false," saying the investigation had unearthed "tons of proof of potential collusion." The congressman argued that he could "see no other remedy" besides a second special counsel, and Cuomo called the effort "politicized nonsense." Watch the full battle below, via CNN. Summer Meza
Every so often there are moments where you can't help but pause and wonder, How did we get here? Case in point: Stormy Daniels Day.
The West Hollywood, California, event will take place on May 23, when the mayor and members of the city council will give porn star Stormy Daniels "a City Proclamation and Key to the City." Why? To recognize her "leadership in the #RESIST movement."
The City of West Hollywood is proclaiming May 23rd as “Stormy Daniels Day” and giving @StormyDaniels a key to the city. The City says Stormy is receiving these honors because of her leadership in the “#Resist Movement” pic.twitter.com/zQLTK8vMeD
— Yashar Ali (@yashar) May 23, 2018
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is suing President Trump for defamation. She claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006, and the president's lawyer, Michael Cohen, famously paid her $130,000 in October 2016 to keep quiet about the allegations. "Daniels has proven herself to be a profile in courage by speaking truth to power even under threats to her safety and extreme intimidation," West Hollywood's press advisory said.
The ceremony will take place — where else? — at "West Hollywood's favorite gay adult boutique" Chi Chi LaRue's. Jeva Lange
Outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is facing eroding support and confidence among his colleagues, who have reportedly floated the idea of replacing him before he retires, The Washington Post reports.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney mentioned earlier this week that he has talked with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) about replacing Ryan in the next few months, and last week Ryan was abandoned by more than two dozen Republicans on a farm bill vote due to infighting over immigration.
With administration support also waning and the midterms looming, Politico's Jake Sherman tweeted: "The White House should find someone who can get 218 then." Rep. Scott W. Taylor (R-Va.) admitted he was "totally frustrated" with the divided GOP, but added "I'm not sure that's all on" Ryan. Jeva Lange
Members of the Trump administration are growing increasingly paranoid about an alleged, unproven theory that the FBI planted "evidence" of the 2016 campaign's ties to Russia as a fail-safe in case Hillary Clinton lost the election, Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman reports. "The guy who will end up burning in all this is [former CIA director] John Brennan," said President Trump's close ally, Roger Stone. "If I were him I'd break the capsule and swallow it now. That psychopath is going down."
Trump has demanded that the Justice Department look into whether Obama administration officials coordinated surveillance of his campaign for political reasons, although reports on the matter said there was no evidence that an informant was ever embedded in the campaign, as Trump has repeatedly suggested. On Wednesday, Trump stoked the rumors, tweeting: "Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State. They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before!"