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January 1, 2015

In an article tracing how the political worldview of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has become mainstream in Louisiana, The New York Times dug up an interesting quote about Rep. Steve Scalise (R), who came under fire this week after it was revealed that he spoke to a summit of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Louisiana in 2002:

Stephanie Grace, a Louisiana political reporter and columnist for the past 20 years, first with The Times-Picayune in New Orleans and now The Advocate of Baton Rouge, recalled her first meeting with Mr. Scalise.

"He was explaining his politics and we were in this getting-to-know-each-other stage," Ms. Grace said. "He told me he was like David Duke without the baggage. I think he meant he supported the same policy ideas as David Duke, but he wasn’t David Duke, that he didn’t have the same feelings about certain people as David Duke did." [The New York Times]

Many conservative commentators, including Michael Brendan Dougherty at The Week, have called for Scalise to step down as majority whip of the House. Ryu Spaeth

12:53a.m.

In her victory speech Monday night, the winner of the Arizona Senate race, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, urged her supporters to show empathy and "embrace difference while seeking common ground."

Sinema defeated Republican Martha McSally, the win announced nearly a week after Election Day because it took that long to count enough ballots to determine the victor. Not all votes have been recorded, and Sinema said the U.S. is at "its best when everyone is engaged and everyone's voice is heard. That work isn't over, and we will continue to make sure every vote is counted."

A moderate, Sinema said that while campaigning, she met people who are "sick and tired of the dysfunction in Washington" and "want leaders who put aside party labels and focus on just getting things done." She said that's what she will do as senator, praising the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) as "a legend" who didn't play political games. 


"His example shines a light on the way forward," Sinema said. "Sen. John McCain stood for everything we stand for as Arizonans: Fighting for what you believe in, standing up for what's right even if you stand alone, and serving a cause greater than one's self." McCain is "irreplaceable," but that doesn't mean he won't "guide our next steps forward. He taught us to always assume the best in others, to seek compromise instead of sowing division, and to always put country ahead of party. It's up to us to carry on Sen. McCain's legacy." Catherine Garcia

12:46a.m.

"This last week has not been a good one for the president," Trevor Noah said on Monday's Daily Show, comparing President Trump's two years in office to "airplane WiFi — there are moments when it seems to be working but most of the time it's complete trash." Trump's bad week began on Wednesday, when he replaced "his house elf" Jeff Sessions with an acting attorney general so unqualified Trump blatantly lied about not knowing him. "You know, sometimes Trump lies so hard he gives my brain whiplash," Noah said. "He's like Newton's third law: For every Trump there is an equal and opposite Trump."

Trump also got blowback for lying about the cause of California's wildfires. "But he had a chance to put all of this behind him in France, where the president traveled to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I," Noah said. "All he had to do was show up for a ceremony at an American cemetery to honor the World War I troops. Super easy — but apparently, not easy enough." He canceled, citing the rain. "So the president's helicopter can't fly in the rain?" Noah asked. "What, does the helicopter have to keep its hair dry, too?"

"Well, you can't blame him — he's only got one umbrella, and he couldn't figure out how to bring it on the plane," Stephen Colbert joked at The Late Show. "Trump did attend the ceremonies yesterday, but the other leaders said mean things," like French President Emmanuel Macron, who criticized nationalism as a betrayal of patriotism. "I just want to point out that a man gave a speech about the importance of moral values, and everyone assumes he was insulting our president," Colbert said.

Colbert also savaged Trump for his "blame the victim" response to the California fires. This includes a terrible Axl Rose impersonation. Watch below. Peter Weber

November 12, 2018

Amazon has decided to divide its new headquarters between New York City and Northern Virginia, a person with knowledge of the plan told Politico on Monday night.

The headquarters will be split between Long Island City in the New York borough of Queens and Crystal City, with about 25,000 employees at each site.

Wanting a second headquarters equal to the one in Seattle, Amazon first started looking for a site in September 2017. Cities across the United States tried to lure Amazon by offering tax breaks and other incentives, and last week, The Wall Street Journal reported Amazon was going to actually open two new headquarters instead of one. The official announcement could be made as early as Tuesday. Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

Over the weekend, President Trump told advisers he wants Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen out as soon as possible, five current and former White House officials told The Washington Post on Monday.

He has complained about her for months and does not think she is doing a good enough job securing the borders, the officials said. Trump and Nielsen were supposed to visit troops stationed at the border in South Texas this week, but Trump canceled the trip.

People close to Nielsen said Trump gets frustrated when she tries to tell him about immigration laws and regulations, and he has berated her during Cabinet meetings. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who preceded Nielsen as DHS secretary, is Nielsen's biggest defender in the administration, and he's reportedly trying to either avert her dismissal or postpone it. Officials told the Post that Kelly's word doesn't mean much, because his future at the White House is also uncertain.

Trump has told White House aides that potential replacements for Nielsen include Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or David Pekoske, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, the Post reports. Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

At least 42 people have been killed by the Camp Fire in Northern California's Butte County, making it the deadliest fire in state history.

The previous deadliest blaze was the 1933 Griffith Park Fire, which killed 29 people in Los Angeles. The Camp Fire has burned 117,000 acres, destroyed more than 7,100 homes and businesses, and is just 30 percent contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on Monday. Most of the deaths were in the town of Paradise, which was almost entirely wiped out by the fire.

In Southern California, the Woolsey Fire has burned 91,572 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, destroying 370 structures and killing two people. It is only 20 percent contained. Two new fires broke out nearby on Monday, but firefighters were able to quickly get them under control, thanks to ground and air support. Winds are fanning the flames in both Northern and Southern California, and forecasters say it is not expected to rain before Thanksgiving. Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

New York City is standing in solidarity with California, as wildfires continue to rage across the state.

On Monday night, the Empire State Building was lit up in blue and gold, California's state colors. The top of the spire glowed red to look like an EMS siren "in sympathy for the victims and those affected by the California wildfires," the Empire State Building tweeted.

The wildfires have killed at least 40 people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in Northern and Southern California. Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

A friend of Republican operative Roger Stone said he's been told by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team that he will be indicted for perjury.

"This was one of the most confusing and frightening things I've experienced," Jerome Corsi, a conservative author, commentator, and conspiracy theorist, told NBC News on Monday. "I'm 72 years old and I'm afraid they're going to lock me up and put me in solitary confinement." Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and his prosecutors have reportedly called nearly a dozen of Stone's associates, including Corsi, in front of his Washington, D.C., grand jury.

Corsi said he was interviewed about WikiLeaks obtaining emails hacked from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman. NBC News reported in October that Mueller's team has communications suggesting Corsi knew ahead of time that WikiLeaks was going to publish Podesta's stolen emails; Corsi said he can't remember ever meeting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange or receiving information from anyone about Podesta's emails, and claims he "figured out" the emails were going to be published by doing his own detective work. "They have all your emails and phone records," he said of Mueller's team, adding, "They're very good at the perjury trap." Perjury is where you lie to law enforcement. Catherine Garcia

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