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December 4, 2017
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John Dowd, President Trump's personal lawyer and the purported ghostwriter of a Trump tweet that suggests Trump obstructed justice in the federal investigation of his campaign's ties to Russia, has a novel legal theory that surely would have been welcomed by Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon: The "president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution's Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case." Dowd tried out his argument on Axios chief Mike Allen, and also defended the tweet he says he wrote, insisting that it "did not admit obstruction. That is an ignorant and arrogant assertion."

The House impeached Clinton and was set to impeach Nixon for obstruction of justice and other perceived "high crimes." The Republican-led House hasn't demonstrated any appetite to prosecute Trump, but Special Counsel Robert Mueller is moving fast in his investigation, and "Trump's legal team is clearly setting the stage to say the president cannot be charged with any of the core crimes discussed in the Russia probe: collusion and obstruction," Allen says. "Presumably, you wouldn't pre-emptively make these arguments unless you felt there was a chance charges are coming." Peter Weber

1:12 a.m. ET

After The Wall Street Journal reported last week that a few weeks before the 2016 election, President Trump's personal lawyer paid adult film actress Stephanie "Stormy Daniels" Clifford $130,000 to stay quiet about an alleged 2006 extramarital affair with Trump — which Clifford now denies — InTouch magazine published a 2011 interview with her Wednesday evening in which she details her sexual encounter with the man who is now president of the United States.

"Trump can't stop this story because the interview was from 2011, before she signed her nondisclosure, and the magazine also verified Daniels' account with two sources at the time and had the actress take a polygraph," Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. "Wow, maybe InTouch magazine should lead the Russia investigation." The alleged affair took place four months after Trump's wife, Melania, gave birth to Barron. "That's a classic pickup line," Colbert said: "Hey baby — is what my wife just gave birth to. You want to go to dinner?" Dinner was reportedly in Trump's hotel room, and the dress was casual, he recounted. "Sweatpants, eating in the bedroom — even back then he was preparing for the presidency."

Colbert walked through some of the other details of Clifford's account, some of them kind of disturbing. "Brace yourself, folks, because Stormy also says Trump paid her his highest compliment for a lover: 'He told me ... I was someone to be reckoned with, beautiful and smart just like his daughter,'" Colbert said, breathing and heaving into a paper bag. "Quick question: Can child protective services take custody of an adult woman?" You can watch more below. Peter Weber

1:12 a.m. ET

President Trump changes his mind constantly — he's ready to sign a bipartisan immigration bill he doesn't agree with one minute, then decrying it the next — so much so that Seth Meyers can't help but see similarities between Trump and fictional teens on television dramas who will do anything to fit in. Hear him out.

On Wednesday's Late Night, Meyers noted that while Republicans control all three branches of government, there's still the possibility of a government shutdown as the two parties try to carve out a DACA deal before Friday. Trump's "shithole" comments definitely complicated things, Meyers said, as well as his inability to stick to one plan. Last week, Trump suggested he'd go along with a bipartisan immigration bill, even if he didn't love it, but hardliners like Stephen Miller got to him, and he decided he was not interested in the bipartisan deal after all. "Trump's position is literally, 'I'll think whatever you want me to think,'" Meyers said. "He's like the bad boy from every teen drama."

The easiest way to sway Trump is by showering him with gifts, specifically candy, Meyers said. He related a story Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) shared about discovering Trump loves red and pink Starbursts, and then ensuring he gave him a giant jar (clearly marked as a gift from McCarthy) filled with only those two flavors. "I'll bet Putin is so pissed," Meyers said. "He spent millions of dollars and years of effort hacking into our election when he could have just stopped off at CVS and won Trump over for $2.99. Seriously, you can get Trump to do anything as long as you offer him candy. People think Robert Mueller is going to be the end of Trump, but it might just as likely be a weirdo in a van." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

January 17, 2018

Congress is two days away from a government shutdown, and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) doesn't have enough Republican votes for a fourth straight short-term spending package, facing discontent from GOP defense hawks and the far-right Freedom Caucus. Democrats say they will vote against it, despite a tacked-on 6-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), because Republicans won't agree to a deal to protect DREAMers. The White House and House GOP leaders are leaning on GOP holdouts while preemptively blaming Democrats if the government shuts down, arguing that Democrats are voting against CHIP.

When a Politico writer said it would be interesting to see how many Democrats "vote against a 6-yr CHIP extension," Ryan press secretary Doug Andres retweeted, roping in late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel, a vocal proponent of funding children's health care. Kimmel wrote back.

The argument continued:

It was actually a pretty good summation of the political fight. Andres appeared to have a hard time believing this was his life.

Funding for CHIP expired in September. Everyone believes a standalone bill to fund it would easily pass in both houses. Peter Weber

January 17, 2018

If he wasn't before, Cam Dedman is now definitely his grandfather's favorite.

Last year, Dedman decided that for his grandfather Fred Lamar's next birthday, he would surprise him by completely restoring his 1957 Chevy Bel Air. "My grandpa is like my best friend," Dedman told WDRB. "He does everything with me." The car had been sitting in his grandparents' garage since 1976 and was in terrible shape. Throughout the entire restoration process, Dedman posted updates on social media, and family and friends who watched from start to finish flew to Kentucky last weekend to watch as he surprised Lamar with the car on his 81st birthday. When he saw the Bel Air, Lamar was stunned and, overcome with emotion, began to cry.

Lamar bought the car when he was 28, and he never thought he'd see it look brand new again. "I love it," he said. The pair has always been close and both love traveling together and classic cars, so for their next adventure, Lamar and Dedman plan on traveling across Kentucky in the Bel Air, visiting different car shows. Catherine Garcia

January 17, 2018

After HLN's Ashleigh Banfield ripped apart an article published over the weekend accusing actor Aziz Ansari of sexual assault, the author fired back, calling Banfield a "burgundy lipstick bad highlights second-wave feminist has-been."

A woman using the pseudonym "Grace" spoke to the website babe.net, saying Ansari pressured her to engage in sexual acts, ignoring her cues that she was uncomfortable. Ansari said in a statement he was "surprised and concerned" because he thought they were both on the same page, and he had several defenders, including Banfield. On her show Monday, Banfield said it was "appalling" that Grace tried to frame what happened as a rape or sexual assault and "potentially destroyed this man's career over it, right after he received an award for which he was worthy." When Banfield's producer invited the article's author, Katie Way, to appear on the show, she responded with a scathing email that attacked Banfield's age and looks.

Banfield shared some of the comments on her show Tuesday, and on Wednesday, the entire email was sent to Business Insider from Way's editor, Amanda Ross. In the email, Way said she's "certain no one under the age of 45" has heard of Banfield, and said she "targeted a 23-year-old woman in one of the most vulnerable moments of her life, someone she's never f—g met before, for a little attention." Way called Grace "the bravest person I've ever met" and said she will never appear on HLN. "I will remember this for the rest of my career — I'm 22 and so far, not too shabby!" Read the harsh email in its entirety on Business Insider, and watch Banfield's reaction in the video below. Catherine Garcia

January 17, 2018
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Walmart announced Wednesday it is now offering a product that safely destroys all forms of unused opioid drugs, but experts say the item is not necessary.

Walmart's product, DisposeRx, and warm water will turn opioids — including powders, tablets, pills, capsules, liquids, and patches — into a biodegradable gel that cannot be converted back into a usable drug. Walmart said this is the first product of its kind, and with 42,000 Americans dying in 2016 from opioid overdoses, the company wanted to take "an active role in fighting our nation's opioid issue, an issue that has affected so many families and communities across America."

About one-third of medications sold go unused, and it's easy for excess pills to end up in the wrong hands, spreading addiction. But DisposeRx isn't necessary, Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis University, told NPR. Opioids can just as easily be flushed down the toilet. "The problem is the general public just doesn't know that," he said. "Think about it. Every time someone taking an opioid medication urinates or defecates, it gets into the water supply. So that's not the real problem." Catherine Garcia

January 17, 2018
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Meeting with Democrats on Wednesday, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly called some of President Trump's campaign stances on the border wall "uninformed," several people told CNN.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) confirmed the comment during an interview with Wolf Blitzer, and a person familiar with Kelly's meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus said Kelly told them he was working on educating Trump on campaign vows versus policy. "You make campaign promises but then you learn the reality of governing, which is difficult," Kelly said, per a lawmaker at the meeting.

The hour-long meeting ended without any sort of a deal regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigrants, but Kelly "indicated the president is motivated to have a fix," Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) said, and he will look into a bipartisan immigration bill Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) and Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) put together. "He didn't say he'd sign the bill, but he definitely indicated there would be a positive review," Grisham said. Catherine Garcia

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