April 17, 2018

"Hi, it's only Monday," CBS This Morning cohost John Dickerson reminded Stephen Colbert on Monday's Late Show. "I'm sweating from the news," Colbert said. He asked if Dickerson has read former FBI Director James Comey's new book, A Higher Loyalty, and Dickerson said he'd skimmed it and read the transcript of Comey's interview on ABC News. But he had some well-thought-out ideas about the risks and rewards of Comey's project.

What Comey is "trying to do is he's making the case for a moral standard at a time when all of those standards are being thrown out by the president — and some people love the fact that those standards are being thrown out — and so he's trying to make this case while he has fallen short of standards as well," Dickerson said. "He's not totally clean. So the question is, now that he's got this book out there, will people hear that it's a call to a higher standard? Will they think this is just more weaponry in a partisan fight? If those standards he's making a case for get written down as just more weaponry in a partisan fight, then he's actually net-reduced our belief in those standards that he says should be above politics. So that's the fight for him: Can he protect those standards from the launch of his own book?"

"Wow," Colbert said. They talked more about Comey and Trump, the increasingly impossible job of the presidency, Jimmy Carter getting so into the minutiae that he took over the scheduling of the White House tennis courts, and what it's like to float in a sensory deprivation tank. Watch below. Peter Weber

9:38 a.m. ET
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There's a new national health crisis, and it has nothing to do with a disease or disorder. It's family separation.

President Trump's policy of splitting migrant children from their parents at the border has drained $40 million from the Health and Human Services Department — even after the policy's June 20 reversal, Politico reports. Now, the department is preparing to spend $200 million more.

Housing the influx of separated children in temporary shelters costs nearly $800 per child per night. It cost the government roughly $1.5 million each day, at the height of the crisis, to house the more than 2,500 children in government custody, totaling at least $30 million over the past two months, two sources tell Politico. Then tack on another $10 million for case workers who will handle family reunification for the next few months, plus an undetermined amount to send emergency response teams and health workers to refugee facilities. And don't forget the cost of transporting children back to their families.

These ever-expanding charges have HHS prepared to draw another $200 million originally allocated to other refugees and fighting HIV, Politico says. Sources suggest the unexpected spending could leave other initiatives, such as unemployment services, underfunded.

"We have a public health emergency like Ebola, Zika, hurricanes — except this one is man-made," Emily Holubowich, the executive director of the nonprofit Coalition for Health Funding, tells Politico. And with many children still split from their families, the emergency isn't over yet. Read more at Politico. Kathryn Krawczyk

9:33 a.m. ET

President Trump is waging a war against "fake news," but he's fighting battles without the proper weapons.

Beck Dorey-Stein, who worked as a White House stenographer for five years, told CNN's New Day on Wednesday that Trump's aversion to recorded conversations makes it difficult to parse the truth when questions arise later. Dorey-Stein worked under the Obama administration before spending only a few months with the Trump administration before resigning.

Dorey-Stein recalled how she used to sit in the Oval Office with former President Barack Obama, recording his every interaction with the press. If people later questioned his words or the context for a quote, she explained, Obama would simply refer to the transcript of the conversation. Trump, on the other hand, "does not like microphones near his face," she said. "Even if a stenographer is present," she continued, "he doesn't often say 'check the transcript,' because the transcript will reveal the truth." She said that if Trump was "really interested in fighting 'fake news,'" he would encourage recordings and fall back on the transcripts to prove his claims.

She said that his lack of understanding and respect for official stenographers was partially responsible for the friction between him and British Prime Minister Theresa May, whom he denied criticizing until a recording of his criticism emerged.

"I quit because I couldn't be proud of where I worked any more," Dorey-Stein explained. "I felt like President Trump was lying to the American people, and not even trying to tell the truth." Watch the segment below, via CNN. Summer Meza

9:23 a.m. ET

The San Antonio Spurs have agreed to trade All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors, ESPN reports, ending a season-long saga surrounding Leonard's discontent in Texas. The former Finals MVP played just nine games last season, the result of a confusing and opaque battle with a lingering thigh injury.

Leonard has just one year remaining on his contract and is widely expected to pursue a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency next summer. ESPN's Chris Haynes reported that Leonard has "no desire to play in Toronto," per a league source, while Yahoo Sports' Chris Mannix agreed that Leonard is likely a "one-year rental for the Raps."

The rental comes with a steep price: Toronto has reportedly agreed to send their own All-Star, guard DeMar DeRozan, to San Antonio. DeRozan was the Raptors' leading scorer last season at 23 points per game, and is close with his backcourt-mate and fellow All-Star Kyle Lowry. Haynes additionally reported that DeRozan was told by team brass earlier this summer that he would not be traded — a rumor the player himself seemed to confirm with a cynical post on his Instagram Story early Wednesday. TNT's David Aldridge confirmed DeRozan is "extremely upset" about the move.

Longtime Spurs guard Danny Green is also heading north in the deal, while the Raptors will lose second-year center Jakob Poeltl. The deal won't be finalized until all players pass the requisite physical — a procedure that Aldridge noted is "not nothing" given Leonard's mysterious quad injury. Still, The Toronto Star's Bruce Arthur said that because the Raptors keep young assets Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby, the trade is "worth the risk." Kimberly Alters

8:40 a.m. ET

President Trump on Wednesday morning touted his Monday press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin as a success, tweeting that "many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki."

During the conference, Trump seemed to go against U.S. intelligence agencies by questioning whether Russia really meddled in the 2016 election, saying he didn't "know any reason why it would be" Russia. Afterwards, the intelligence community appeared in distress. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats quickly followed up with a statement reaffirming Russia's "ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy." Likewise, CNN notes, every current U.S. intelligence head who has testified on the issue, and the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee, have all confirmed Russia's involvement.

Trump's latest tweets come one day after he walked back his claim that Russia didn't meddle, after widespread criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike. Kathryn Krawczyk

8:18 a.m. ET
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European Union regulators on Wednesday hit Google with a record €4.3 billion ($5 billion) fine for antitrust violations, BBC reports. The European Commission said Google abused its Android market dominance by inserting its own search engine and Chrome apps into the widely used operating system for smartphones and tablets. The regulators also said Google did other things to block competition, such as paying "certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators" to exclusively bundle its search app on handheld devices.

The fine far surpassed Google's previous $2.7 billion record-breaking fine, The Verge reports, which the EU imposed last year, saying Google had manipulated search results. Google parent Alphabet has 90 days to change its business practices or face further penalties. Harold Maass

5:14 a.m. ET

Tuesday's Late Show came at the end of a tumultuous couple of days for President Trump. Having just returned from a "disastrous" trip around Europe, during which he managed to bash NATO and rub shoulders with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump had some mopping up to do upon his return home.

In remarks Tuesday, Trump went into "emergency spin mode," Colbert said, listing his version of various events — including a weird fib about his meeting with Queen Elizabeth II — in an effort to make it into what Colbert calls the "Lying Hall of Fame."

But perhaps the biggest walk-back came after Trump stood next to Putin and told a room full of reporters that, despite conclusions to the contrary from American intelligence agencies, he was confident Russia did not meddle in the 2016 presidential election. "I don't see any reason why it would be [Russia]," Trump said. "That needs no clarification," Colbert assured, and then showed a clip of Trump saying his statement needed some clarification. "Okay, I stand corrected," Colbert said. "Alright Mr. President, I'll bite. Let's see how dumb you think the American people are."

Trump insists he simply misspoke. What he meant to say was, "I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia."

"Yes, the sentence should have been that," Colbert said. "It was not that, but then again who among us hasn't said the exact opposite of what he just said in front of cameras on multiple occasions?" He finishes with a sick burn on Trump's "double negative" flub. Watch below. Jessica Hullinger

1:54 a.m. ET
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Researchers say that with temperatures rising in Canada's high Arctic, hundreds of glaciers are shrinking and many could soon vanish.

They used satellite imagery to study 1,773 glaciers on Ellesmere Island, the most northerly island in the Arctic Archipelago, and found that from 1999 to 2015, 1,353 shrank significantly, and a few disappeared completely. "What we found is a loss of three complete ice shelves," Adrienne White, a glaciologist at the University of Ottawa, told The Guardian. "In terms of glaciers that terminate on land, we've lost three small ice caps." From 1948 to 2016, the annual average temperature in northern Ellesmere Island increased by 6.48 degrees Fahrenheit, one of the fastest rates of anywhere on Earth.

White said none of the glaciers are showing any signs of growing, and when they "break away, all of a sudden there's nothing holding back these ecosystems that have been growing and developing for thousands of years. And they're gone before we even have the chance to study them." Catherine Garcia

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