PBS announced Wednesday it has "indefinitely suspended distribution" of the late-night talk show Tavis Smiley after the host was accused of sexual misconduct.
"PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after leaning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley," the public broadcaster said in a statement. "This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. The inquiry uncovered multiple credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today's decision."
Variety reports PBS received several complaints of misconduct by Smiley, and its investigation found credible allegations that Smiley had sexual relationships with several subordinates, with many saying he also created a verbally abusive and threatening workplace environment. Catherine Garcia
A sixth woman has come forward to say she was groped by former President George H.W. Bush, Time reported Monday. Roslyn Corrigan was only 16 years old when she says Bush grabbed her behind as they took a photo together during an event at a CIA office in Texas in 2003. Corrigan's mother Sari told Time that her daughter told her right after the picture was taken that Bush had groped her. "I was really, really upset. She was very upset," Sari told Time. "But, you know, it's the president. What are you supposed to do?"
Corrigan said that she felt emboldened to speak out publicly after listening to a podcast called "Is Everything Sexual Assault Now?" where former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro dismissed allegations of Bush's groping as harmless and playful encounters. "I just couldn't sit with that," Corrigan told Time. "I can't sleep anymore, because that's not true, and it's not an excuse."
A spokesperson for Bush told Time that the former president "simply does not have it in his heart to knowingly cause anyone harm or distress, and he again apologizes to anyone he may have offended during a photo op." In the last month, Bush has been repeatedly accused of groping women while taking photos with them, including telling them the same dirty joke: Novelist Christina Baker Kline wrote at Slate that Bush groped her after making a "David Cop-a-feel" pun, in reference to the famous magician, as he took a picture with her and her husband, echoing allegations made by actresses Heather Lind and Jordana Grolnick.
A Bush spokesperson has said in response to the allegations that "to try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner." Kelly O'Meara Morales
Just a day ahead of the House's scheduled vote on the GOP health-care bill, conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks announced its opposition to Republicans' ObamaCare replacement plan. In a letter, FreedomWorks urged Republican lawmakers to vote 'no' on the American Health Care Act, arguing it "does not go far enough to permanently dismantle the ObamaCare framework."
"There are parts of the American Health Care Act that bring about positive reforms, including the expansion of health savings accounts (HSAs), the repeal of most of ObamaCare's taxes, and Medicaid reforms," the letter said. "Unfortunately, even with recently submitted changes, the American Health Care Act has too many ObamaCare-like flaws." The letter warned Republicans that Americans will judge the bill based solely on whether health-insurance premiums decline; if premiums don't go down because the AHCA "leaves in place parts of ObamaCare that have caused premiums to rise, Republicans will pay a price."
FreedomWorks is just the latest conservative group to come out against the GOP health-care bill. Earlier this week, both Heritage Action and Club for Growth warned Republican lawmakers the AHCA does not go far enough to undo ObamaCare.
Employees at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls were told last week to remove all Ivanka Trump brand signage and bury the brand's products deep within the racks, The New York Times reported Wednesday, citing a note obtained from the retailers' parent company TJX Companies. "Effective immediately, please remove all Ivanka Trump merchandise from features and mix into the runs," the note read, referring to "the normal clothing racks where the majority of products hang," The New York Times explained. "All Ivanka Trump signs should be discarded."
TJX Companies spokeswoman Doreen Thompson confirmed employees were directed to "mix this line of merchandise into our racks," but she made it clear they did not "remove it from the sales floor." "We offer a rapidly changing selection of merchandise for our customers, and brands are featured based on a number of factors," Thompson said.
The New York Times noted Thompson "did not respond directly to questions" about whether it was "unusual" to throw away signs promoting a specific brand, but an employee at one of the company's stores said she had never before "received such a request during her several years at the company."
The news about TJX Companies follows Nordstrom's announcement last week that it would no longer be selling Ivanka Trump brand merchandise "based on performance," not politics. Shortly after Nordstrom's announcement, Neiman Marcus appeared to have pulled Ivanka Trump jewelry from its website.
President Trump on Wednesday criticized Nordstrom on Twitter for treating his daughter "so unfairly." Ivanka Trump announced last month she would be taking a "formal leave of absence" from her companies after her father took office. Becca Stanek
President-elect Donald Trump has added another billionaire to his team. Trump announced Monday that he would nominate Vincent Viola, the billionaire owner of the Florida Panthers hockey team, to serve as secretary of the Army. "Viola's business experience makes him well positioned to help guide a Fortune 10-sized company, the U.S. Army," Trump's transition team said in a statement.
Viola, who made his fortune trading and investing in stocks, is the founder and current executive chairman of the high-speed electronic trading firm Virtu Financial. Previously, he was the chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Viola graduated from West Point in 1977, and he was a big donor to the academy's Combating Terrorism Center, established after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He was also involved in producing a textbook about battle strategy.
Viola joins a long list of billionaires and millionaires chosen for the new administration, including Betsy DeVos, Trump's pick for education secretary; Wilbur Ross, the nominee for commerce secretary; Linda McMahon, chosen to lead the Small Business Administration; Todd Ricketts, the deputy commerce secretary-designee; Stephen Mnuchin, the treasury secretary nominee; and Elaine Chao, Trump's choice for transportation secretary. Becca Stanek