July 19, 2016

Stephen Colbert celebrated the Republican National Convention's opening night on Monday's Late Show by reuniting with some old Comedy Central friends, Jon Stewart and "Stephen Colbert." "Hello, nation," the Colbert Report Colbert said. "Did you miss me? I know I did. Well, it's time to say aloha to Stephen Colbert, and aloha to Stephen Colbert." The audience was especially excited when Colbert resurrected "The Word," Colbert's old poke at Fox News frenemy Bill O'Reilly.

"Just to remind you, 11 years ago, I invented a word: truthiness," Colbert said, with "Trademark Viacom @2005, All Rights Reserved" written in the "Word" box, where most of the jokes happen. "You see, truthiness is believing something that feels true, even if it isn't supported by fact." He said that he (the Colbert Report Colbert) and Trump have a lot in common, both being "over-the-top TV personalities who decided to run for president," though Trump has surpassed him now. "Truthiness has to feel true, but Trumpiness doesn't even have to do that," he explained. "In fact, many Trump supporters don't believe his wildest promises, and they don't care." He cited the border wall as an example.

"If he doesn't ever have to mean what he says, that means he can say anything," Colbert said. "Here's the deal: Truthiness was from the gut, but Trumpiness clearly comes from much further down the gastrointestinal tract." He wrapped up with a genuinely good summation of Trump's base of support, a reminder of why his Colbert Report faux pundit persona was so effective: "And that is why I believe Donald Trump is a leader for our times: an emotional megaphone for voters full of rage at a government that achieves nothing, an economic system that leaves them behind, and politics that elects people unfit for the job. And if you don't share their feeling that you don't recognize your country anymore, trust me, if Trump wins, you will." Watch below. Peter Weber

11:09 a.m.

President Trump's personal lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani reportedly attempted to secure a visa for former Ukraine prosecutor Viktor Shokin, CNN reported Friday.

George Kent, the deputy assistant of state for European and Eurasian affairs, reportedly told congressional investigators that Giuliani asked both the State Department and the White House for a visa, two people familiar with his closed-door deposition earlier this week said. The State Department reportedly objected to the request and refused to grant the visa, which led Giuliani to seek help from the White House. It's unclear what the response was there, but Shokin never did receive a visa. CNN notes that the revelation appears to reveal that Giuliani's attempts to gather information about Democrats went further than previously understood.

Shokin was pushed out of his position in 2016 when several world leaders, including former Vice President Joe Biden, voiced concerns that Shokin was not pursuing corruption cases in Ukraine. Giuliani has previously said he wanted to interview Shokin because he promised to reveal information about Democrats' actions in Ukraine. Giuliani has alleged that Biden was trying to stop investigations to protect his son, Hunter, who was sitting on the board of a Ukrainian gas company at the time, though there is no evidence of wrongdoing on either of the Bidens' part. Read more at CNN and NBC News. Tim O'Donnell

10:44 a.m.

Oh, so close.

It looks like the Brexit deal U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson brokered with the European Union on Thursday won't get through British Parliament on Saturday, as Johnson had hoped, adding to a growing list of defeats in his short tenure.

U.K. Parliament passed an amendment during its first Saturday session in 37 years that requires Johnson to request a Brexit delay from the European Union by 11 p.m. Saturday. The vote was tight, but ultimately a cross-party group backed the amendment by a count of 322-306. It does not necessarily mean that the MPs were opposed to Johnson's deal — instead it signals they are withholding their support. Oliver Letwin, the MP who led the charge for the amendment, said he was leaning toward backing Johnson's deal, but he prioritized keeping the insurance policy of an extension in place to prevent the U.K. from crashing out of the EU on Oct. 31 without a deal, should Parliament have blocked it.

The government was clear that, after being defeated in the amendment vote, it would abandon a follow-up vote on the deal, as the amendment rendered it "meaningless." It appeared Johnson was close to receiving the votes he needed to pass the deal, and he said he would move forward with Brexit legislation next week, though he insisted he will not negotiate a delay with the EU in the meantime. Read more at BBC and The Guardian. Tim O'Donnell

8:14 a.m.

Three years later and the results are in.

In a letter sent to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) earlier this week, which was released Friday, the State Department said it found "no pervasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information" after wrapping up its internal investigation launched in 2016 related to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of private email during her tenure.

That appears to be mostly good news for Clinton and the Department, but the investigators did, however, determine that 38 unidentified current and former State Department officials were "culpable" in 91 cases of sending classified information that ended up in Clinton's personal email, meaning the use of private email did increase the vulnerability of such information.

Any of the 38 officials still working for the State Department could reportedly face some form of disciplinary action, while the violations will be noted in the files of all 38, and will be considered when applying for or renewing security clearances. All in all, the investigation covered 33,000 emails and found 588 violations, though it could not assign fault in 497 cases. Read more at The Associated Press and The Guardian. Tim O'Donnell

October 18, 2019

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has uh... something to say.

In a Thursday interview with the Campaign HQ podcast, Hillary Clinton suggested Russia was "grooming" a current 2020 candidate "to be the third party candidate," clearly implying that the outsider Democrat Gabbard is a "favorite of the Russians." So with a very absurd and slightly unhinged tweet storm, Gabbard fired back.

Reports have indicated Gabbard's campaign has become a target of foreign bots and Russian media — something Gabbard didn't address in her Friday tweets. She instead labeled Clinton "the queen of warmongers" and "embodiment of corruption," and taunted her by declaring "this primary is between you and me."

Clinton's spokesperson responded with a sly zinger...

... while Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) just tried to figure out exactly what went down.

And 2016 Green Party nominee Jill Stein, who Clinton also declared a Russian asset in her Thursday interview, challenged the former secretary of state to a debate. Kathryn Krawczyk

October 18, 2019

Having spent much of his career living in Maine (and writing about scary stuff happening in it), Stephen King is moving to the second spookiest state in America: Flooooooridaaaaa.

In preparation for the move, the author has received approval to re-zone his famous home in Maine as a nonprofit, which will serve as both a museum for King's archive and a retreat for up to five writers. And if you're thinking "five writers staying at Stephen King's mansion" sounds like a great setup for a horror novel, you should probably apply for a residency. Read more at People. Scott Meslow

October 18, 2019

The '90s teen movie Clueless became a breakout hit due, in large part, to Alicia Silverstone's star-making performance as the fashion-obsessed Cher Horowitz. So what is Hollywood, in its infinite wisdom, planning next? A Clueless reboot without Cher Horowitz.

The proposed Clueless TV series would follow Cher's best friend Dionne as she does her best to solve the mystery of Cher's disappearance — so let's hope they won't be taking the title Clueless too literally this time. Read more at The Hollywood Reporter. Scott Meslow

October 18, 2019

The President Trump x Mick Mulvaney collaboration is here.

In a Thursday press conference, the acting White House chief of staff unexpectedly admitted that yes, Trump had engaged in a quid pro quo with Ukraine, that it "happens all the time in foreign policy," and that reporters should "get over it." Mulvaney eventually walked back the entire statement, but for some reason, the latter phrase still became the subject of a Trump campaign T-shirt less than 24 hours later.

This shirt is best worn while sipping a Coke through a Trump disposable straw, preferably kept cold in a Witch Hunt tweet coozie. Kathryn Krawczyk

See More Speed Reads