Taking the stage for his first news conference since July, President-elect Donald Trump immediately addressed a controversial report released Tuesday night that claimed U.S. intelligence officials had received word that Russia possessed incriminating information on Trump. The dossier, which several news organizations said was full of unverified and unconfirmed — though bombastic — claims, was published by BuzzFeed News in full Tuesday night. Trump wasted no time in condemning the report, and criticized intelligence agencies for "maybe" releasing that "nonsense," which he said "should have never been written":
Trump: "It was released maybe by the intelligence agencies -- who knows ... which would be a tremendous blot on their record" pic.twitter.com/rq2zf67rtQ
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) January 11, 2017
Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer opened the press conference by slamming BuzzFeed as a "left-wing blog," and saying its public release of the dossier was "outrageous and frankly irresponsible." Trump in recent weeks has taken to doubting U.S. intelligence, and he was especially hesitant to accept the intelligence community's conclusions that Russian President Vladimir Putin had directed cyberattacks on the U.S. in order to help Trump win the presidential election.
Both Trump and the Kremlin have denied Russia possesses any incriminating information on the president-elect. Kimberly Alters
Jon Stewart returned to The Daily Show last night with one mission in mind: To bash Congress for not following through with granting healthcare to 9/11 first responders. Stewart slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for not keeping his promise to first responders five and a half years ago and blocking the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act — which would permanently reauthorize an expiring healthcare program for 9/11 responders — from being included in the highway bill up for passage.
"Here's what I believe it is: Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky doesn't give a shit about anything but politics," Stewart said Monday night in his first appearance on the show since he stepped down in August. "The first responders were told the Zadroga Act would be included — they were told this last week — in the transportation bill passed last week. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky pulled it out of the transportation bill when he didn't get concessions about loosening oil export regulations."
Stewart has been working on the issue since 2010, when he held a panel of four 9/11 first responders ahead of the bill's initial passage that year. "As this bill comes up this week, we're going to keep [McConnell] to his word," first responder Kenny Specht, a member of Stewart's first panel, said Monday night. Of the three other members of the original panel, one had died and two were too ill to make it.
Watch the full clip below. Becca Stanek
Jon Stewart is back on television. But this time, he'll be working behind the scenes. Politico reported Wednesday morning that the former Daily Show host is an executive producer for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, meaning that he "has a voice in behind-the-scenes conversations about the show's production and creative direction," CNN reports.
The show's two other executive producers, Tom Purcell and Meredith Bennett, were announced last month; Stewart's involvement wasn't confirmed by CBS until Wednesday morning. Stewart has already made an in-person appearance on the show, too: In the program's cold-open, Stewart, clad in umpire attire, announced the show's start by shouting, "Play ball!" and singing the national anthem. Becca Stanek