September 5, 2018

After The New York Times published an anonymous op-ed written by a current "senior official in the Trump administration" on Wednesday, readers rushed to decipher and deduce who the mysterious author might be.

Who would be so bold as to write that they are part of an internal "resistance" working to thwart President Trump's agenda? Could it be White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, tired of her relentless public defense of the president? Perhaps her husband, George Conway, a vocal critic of Trump's, wrote the op-ed and "fired it off from Kellyanne's email account," one communications official suggested.

A Twitter poll from Weekly Standard writer John McCormack had several officials in fierce competition — with 173 votes, 25 percent said first daughter and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump wrote it, while another 32 percent voted for U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Who would go so far as to call Trump "impetuous, adversarial, petty, and ineffective?" Washington Post reporter Ishaan Tharoor said the "growing consensus" was that National Security Adviser John Bolton penned the piece, which could explain why the Times characterized the author as a "he" and why the op-ed chose to highlight Trump's handling of his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Until Times investigators "unearth the identity of an author [their colleagues] have sworn to protect with anonymity," as reporter Jodi Kantor said, or until the unnamed official resigns and steps forward, read the op-ed for yourself at The New York Times to make your best guess. Summer Meza

4:47 p.m.

In today's edition of this is why we can't have nice things, the Federal Communications Commission reported Wednesday that it received a whopping 1,312 complaints over Jennifer Lopez and Shakira's halftime show at the Super Bowl earlier this month, per Fox Business.

The performance — which paid homage to the women's Latina roots — was described as "completely inappropriate," "obscene," and a "strip club act" by irate viewers, with objections arriving from every state except Vermont.

The most baffling news of all, though, was that somehow only around 50 people filed complains when Maroon 5's frontman, Adam Levine, performed topless at Super Bowl LIII in 2019 and subjected all of us to his unfortunate tattoo collection. Jeva Lange

4:44 p.m.

No Time to Die should have been called No Time for a Bathroom Break, because rumor has it the film is going to be the longest James Bond movie ever made.

According to unofficial run times posted on AMC and Regal Cinemas' websites, Daniel Craig's fifth and final installment in the 007 franchise will take 163 minutes, or nearly three hours, to watch, reports Esquire.

If that turns out to be the case, it would make No Time to Die an entire quarter of an hour longer than the next-longest Bond movie, Spectre, and almost a full hour longer than the shortest (but still also somehow the longest?) Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. Jeva Lange

4:22 p.m.

Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg twice compared to Social Security to a Ponzi scheme when he was in office, CNN reports, which is a far cry from his current stance as a Democratic presidential candidate.

Nowadays, Bloomberg has vowed to to strengthen entitlement programs, but he used to see them as a major hurdle in the effort to shrink the United States' deficit. During appearances on his old radio program "Live from City Hall," which were reviewed by CNN's KFile, Bloomberg made the Ponzi scheme comparison once in 2006 and again in 2009. The latter instance was in relation to Bernie Madoff, who was arrested in December 2008 and later pleaded guilty to a massive Ponzi scheme.

"I don't know if Bernie Madoff got his idea from there, but if there's ever a Ponzi Scheme, people say Madoff was the biggest? Wrong," Bloomberg said. "Social Security is, far and away."

Stu Loesner, a spokesman for Bloomberg, attempted to explain Bloomberg's comments to CNN. "The Social Security Administration itself gives out detailed actuarial tables on when and how payments will exceed income, and the issue needs attention because we're running the cushion between them down," he said. "Mike believes that between now and that time, we will need to boost receipts by raising contributions from those who can best afford it, which what he'll do as president." Read more at CNN. Tim O'Donnell

4:03 p.m.

Heading into the 2020 presidential election, immigrants make up more of the voting population than ever before.

Immigrants account for roughly 10 percent of the electorate — 23 million eligible voters — marking a record high and nearly doubling that of 2000, according to analysis by Pew Research Center.

The number of eligible voters who are immigrants has increased more rapidly than that of the U.S.-born population over the last two decades due to both the increase in the number of immigrants living in the U.S., and an increase in naturalization. Forty-six percent of U.S. immigrants who are eligible to vote live in states with Democratic primaries or caucuses on or before Super Tuesday.

Hispanic and Asian immigrants make up the majority of eligible immigrant voters and see higher voter turnout rates than that of U.S.-born Hispanic and Asian people. Immigrants from Mexico are the largest group, accounting for 16 percent of foreign-born voters.

Immigrant voters include those born outside of the U.S. who are at least 18 and gained U.S. citizenship. The findings were pulled from Census Bureau data. Read more at Pew Research Center. Taylor Watson

3:36 p.m.

President Trump loves to threaten lawsuits against the media, but it looks like he's now actually filing one.

The Trump campaign announced Wednesday it's suing The New York Times for libel over a 2019 opinion column, "The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo" by Max Frankel. In the op-ed, Frankel writes "there was no need for detailed electoral collusion between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin's oligarchy because they had an overarching deal: the quid of help in the campaign against Hillary Clinton for the quo of a new pro-Russian foreign policy, starting with relief from the Obama administration's burdensome economic sanctions."

The campaign's legal adviser claims these statements were "100 percent false and defamatory" and the Times "was aware of the falsity at the time it published them." Axios notes that to win this lawsuit, the campaign would need to prove the Times acted with "actual malice," which is usually a "high bar" to clear. As CNBC's Christina Wilkie wrote, the "suit claims the Times must've known the *March 2019* op-ed was false because of what was in the *April 2019* Mueller report."

The Times said Wednesday the Trump campaign has "turned to the courts to try to punish an opinion writer for having an opinion they find unacceptable." But "fortunately," the Times added, "the law protects the right of Americans to express their judgments and conclusions, especially about events of public importance."

Trump has long threatened to sue media organizations for coverage he dislikes, but he generally hasn't ended up following through. As for why, The Washington Post explained in 2018 when Trump threatened to sue the Times over a story about his taxes that "he would be required as part of the discovery process to provide private financial documents that he has long resisted making public."

This is something pundits noted on Wednesday, with The Daily Beast's Harry Siegel tweeting, "The Times has to be licking its lips thinking about discovery here if the suit gets that far." Brendan Morrow

3:01 p.m.

The House on Wednesday passed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, making lynching a federal crime.

The bill was passed with a vote of 410-4. The bill is named in honor of Till, who was murdered at age 14 in a racist attack in Mississippi in 1955. His lynching was one of 4,742 that were reported between 1892 and 1968, reports NBC News.

Only Reps. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) voted against the bill; Yoho told CNN's Manu Raju the bill is an "overreach of the federal government."

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), meanwhile, hailed its passage as a way to "finally bring justice" to the victims of lynching.

The legislation now moves to President Trump for his final signature. The Week Staff

2:51 p.m.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) again apologized Wednesday for previously incorrectly claiming tribal heritage and releasing DNA results that revealed she had Native American ancestry. The most recent apology was in response to a letter from several citizens of the Cherokee Nation, as well as members of other tribes standing in solidarity, calling on her to go beyond acknowledging her mistakes and do her part to dispel beliefs spread by white people claiming Native heritage.

The letter asked Warren to unequivocally state she and her ancestors are white, explain that "only tribal affiliation and kinship determine Native identity," and that "Native people are the sole authority on who is — and who is not — Native."

In a response letter, Warren affirmed she understood all three of those points, and thanked the Cherokee Nation for holding her "accountable," while also highlighting actions she has taken as a lawmaker as well as provisions she has included in her presidential campaign plans with tribal interests in mind.

Warren did push back in one instance, however. The signatories of the letter said Warren's actions were part of a "long and violent history" of "white members of fake 'tribes'" being rewarded federal contracts "set aside for minority business owners." Warren said she "appreciated my incorrect identification as Native was loaded given the history," but distanced herself from the aforementioned cases because she "never benefited financially or professionally" from her claims. Read the Cherokee Nation's letter here and Warren's response here. Tim O'Donnell

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