Writer Tina Dupuy became the eighth woman to accuse Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) of inappropriate sexual behavior, claiming he groped her while they were taking a photo at a party in 2009. "I only bug celebrities for pictures when it'll make my foster mom happy," Dupuy wrote Wednesday at The Atlantic. "She loves Franken, so I asked to get a picture with him. We posed for the shot. He immediately put his hand on my waist, grabbing a handful of flesh. I froze. Then he squeezed. At least twice."
Earlier Wednesday, Franken's seventh accuser came forward to say that the Minnesota senator tried to kiss her without consent during a taping of his radio show in 2006, an allegation Franken said was "categorically not true." Just hours later, dozens of Democratic senators called on Franken to resign. His office said he will make a statement Thursday.
Dupuy likened her experience with Franken — a senator she had liked — to the conundrum liberal women face with former President Bill Clinton:
I'm also no longer defending Bill Clinton. I'm ashamed I ever did. But I'm not condemning or admonishing Hillary. I think we all make the choices that seem right at the time. I don't feel like pummeling her with my privilege of hindsight. But there's a rot in the Democratic Party. It's not just bad men and exhausted women; it's that we chose Bill over the women. And that original sin lost us the election of what we all assumed would be the first female president of the United States. And Trump, who boasted he could "grab 'em by the pussy," being in the White House doesn't make that untrue. It just makes it a painful irony. [The Atlantic]
After speaking with Saudi King Salman about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Trump wants a second opinion.
Trump announced Monday on Twitter that he will be "immediately" sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with the Saudi monarch. The president also noted King Salman "denies any knowledge of what may have happened" to Khashoggi, who disappeared after going to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain a document he needed to get married. Turkey says it has evidence that Saudi agents killed Khashoggi, The Washington Post reports.
Trump has threatened to inflict "severe punishment" on Saudi Arabia if it is proven to be responsible, and on Sunday, Saudi Arabia threatened retaliation against if the U.S. if it follows through on any sanctions, per The Associated Press.
Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened “to our Saudi Arabian citizen.” He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer. I am immediately sending our Secretary of State to meet with King!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2018
Trump in his tweet specifically references the fact that Jamal Khashoggi is not an American citizen, going out of his way to quote Salman as saying Khashoggi was "our Saudi Arabian citizen." This is something Trump has previously pointed out several times, although he told Fox & Friends last week that the fact that Khashoggi isn't an American citizen "in this case doesn't matter" and that "I don't like it." Brendan Morrow
The #MeToo movement has forced many on the left to reassess their feelings about the Bill Clinton impeachment scandal. But Hillary Clinton isn't budging.
Clinton told CBS in a new interview that her husband's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky in the mid-1990s was not an abuse of power, pointing to the fact that Lewinsky "was an adult." At the time of the scandal, Bill Clinton was 49 years old and Lewinsky was 22.
Lewinsky said in 2014 that her relationship with Clinton was consensual, although he "took advantage of" her. However, she said in February 2018 that she's now beginning to question this, saying that with such a power imbalance between the two, "the idea of consent might well be rendered moot." She also called what President Clinton did a "gross abuse of power."
Even some Democrats — including Hillary Clinton's successor in the Senate, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) — now believe that President Clinton should have stepped down, but Hillary Clinton told CBS that her husband "absolutely" should not have done so. She pointed to the fact that there was an investigation that she believes "came out in the right place." When also asked what role she played in criticizing the character of her husband's accusers, Clinton responded, "none," saying she takes "responsibility for my life and my actions." Watch a portion of Clinton's interview with CBS below. Brendan Morrow
Ryan Gosling's First Man did not quite achieve lift-off.
The Neil Armstrong biopic came in third place at the box office this weekend, with last week's releases, Venom
It seems A Star Is Born, another critically-acclaimed movie with Oscar
The biggest success story of the month, though, is Venom, which took the number one spot once again this weekend and grossed another $35 million after having the best October opening of all time. This brings the comic book film, based on the Spider-Man source material but without Spider-Man actually being in it, up to a domestic total of $142 million and counting, a massive success for Sony and a clear indicator that their planned universe of Spider-Man films has gotten off on the right foot with audiences. Brendan Morrow
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) took President Trump up on his offer. Trump, who regularly mocks Warren's assertion that she has Native American ancestry, said he would donate $1 million if she took a DNA test. Now she has. It found "strong evidence" she had a Native American in her family tree at least six generations ago, The Boston Globe reports. Warren provided a DNA sample to a lab in Georgia, and the results were analyzed by world-renowned Stanford DNA ancestry expert Carlos Bustamante and sent to Warren last week. "The vast majority" of her ancestry is European, Bustamante found, but the results also "strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor."
Six to 10 generations "fits Warren's family lore, passed down during her Oklahoma upbringing, that her great-great-great-grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith, was at least partially Native American," the Globe reports. But it also indicates she's no more that 1/32 Native American. Warren is expected to easily win re-election to the Senate in November, but the ad about her ancestry she released on Monday suggests she's serious about a run for president.
The Boston Globe extensively researched Republican claims that Warren got any of her academic jobs because of her claim to Native ancestry, and found only evidence that she was not considered a minority hire.
That's not to say people use dubious Native American ancestry to get preferential treatment. On Sunday, for example, the Los Angeles Times reported that a company owned by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R-Calif.) brother-in-law William Wages earned more than $7 million in federal contracts due to Wares' claim to be 1/8 Cherokee. Wares belongs to the federally unrecognized Northern Cherokee Nation, considered fraudulent interlopers by the three recognized Cherokee tribes. Neither Wares nor any of his known ancestors appear on tribal ancestry rolls dating back to the early 19th century, a Cherokee genealogist discovered, and the Times found that all of Wares ancestors identified as white. Peter Weber
New York police investigating beating after far-right chief 'Proud Boy' re-enacted assassination of socialist leader at Republican Club
On Sunday, the New York Police Department said it is looking to identify three men recorded kicking and beating a man on the street Friday night after far-right commentator Gavin McInnes and his "Western chauvinist" Proud Boys spoke at the New York Metropolitan Republican Club on Manhattan's Upper East Side. McInnes told The Wall Street Journal in an email that the Republican Club event had included him re-enacting the 1960 assassination of Japanese socialist party leader Inejiro Asanuma by a sword-wielding 17-year-old far-right nationalist. After the re-enactment, McInnes wrote, he gave a speech "making fun of" liberals and mainstream media.
We continue to investigate the violent incident on the UES on Friday night, and need information regarding these persons-of-interest. no complaints have been filed; If you were the victim of a crime, or have information about the incident, please call 1-800-577-TIPS. @NYPDTips pic.twitter.com/27hiXunk61
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) October 14, 2018
McInnes acknowledged that some of his Proud Boys had been involved in the vicious attack afterward. "It was a hell of a beating but that's what you get when you antagonize a group of people and relentlessly attack them for 24 hours," McInnes told the Journal. According to a video of the attack by freelance videographer Sandi Bachom, it started after one of the protesters who'd gathered outside the Republican club swiped a Proud Boy's MAGA hat. "If the cops hadn't pulled up, they probably would have just kept going and killed them," Bachom told Newsweek.
Police arrested three protesters for theft and assault on Friday night but none of the Proud Boys. They are also looking into Republican complaints that their clubhouse was vandalized with an anarchist symbol before the event. On Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) called the Proud Boys "thugs."
Asanuma's murderer has been celebrated as a martyr by some right-wing groups. In 1960, the U.S., represented in Tokyo by Ambassador Douglas MacArthur, called the public assassination "deplorable." Peter Weber
On Monday, right after Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, arrived in Sydney for a 16-day visit to Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific, Kensington Palace announced that the couple is expecting their first child in the spring. The prince and the former actress Meghan Markle "appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public,” the palace said.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 15, 2018
The couple will also visit Fiji and Tonga, and their trip will include watching the Invictus Games, an international sporting competition for injured veterans that Prince Harry helped launch. Peter Weber
John Oliver suggests 'Trump's intense bromance' with the Saudi crown prince allowed journalist Khashoggi's murder
On Oct. 2, U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi vanished, and Turkey said it has conclusive proof that a Saudi death squad killed and dismembered Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. This "incredibly grim" story is "absolutely horrific, and the Saudis denied it happened — although let us all agree on this: A bone saw in any context is an immediate red flag," John Oliver said on Sunday's Last Week Tonight.
Khashoggi was a "thoughtful and by no means radical critic of the Saudi royal family," Oliver said. "And this is all worrying, because the only reason to kill a journalist in your own consulate with 15 people and a bone saw you flew in that day is because you wanted to send a message, and you were sure you could get away with it." He had a pretty good idea why the Saudis would think they'd face no consequences.
America has a "long and morally compromised history" with Saudi Arabia, and while many "U.S. presidents have, to varying degrees, been willing to pander to Saudi Arabia," turning "a blind eye to a lot of things," Oliver said, President Trump has really embraced Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS, an overhyped reformer whose every positive achievement has "a much grimmer truth underneath" it. "Trump's intense bromance with MBS is bad news," Oliver said, but it makes sense because the Saudi royal family has "the two qualities he admires most in the world: Having a lot of money, and giving it to him. He basically said as much on the campaign trail."
Trump says Saudi Arabia faces "severe punishment" if it's proven they murdered Khashoggi, but "does anyone really believe that that's something he is honestly committed to?" Oliver asked. In more honest remarks, Trump "openly demonstrated to the entire world, and to Saudi Arabia specifically, that [an] arms deal [is] much more important than [a] butchered journalist." Watch below. Peter Weber