×
October 19, 2018

Stephen Colbert kicked off Thursday's Late Show with a family-friendly joke about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's reported post-election report on President Trump and Russia, and Sting's tantric ... prowess — followed by a Gen-X-friendly joke about Ferris Bueller's Day Off. "Of course the big story continues to be Donald Trump reacting to the likely murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi with a firm ¯\_(ツ)_/¯," Colbert said. Trump has been exercising "an uncharacteristic amount of caution" in rendering a verdict on what happened to Khashoggi and whether the Saudi government is culpable, but on Thursday, the president "gave his hot take on the journalist's fate": "It certainly looks" like Khasoggi is dead, and "it's very said."

Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo want everyone to cool their heels until the Saudis finish their investigation, "and Saudi Arabia is really making headway with their 'investigation,' because today, one of the 15 alleged Saudi killers died in a car accident in Riyadh," Colbert said. "One down. Right now in Riyadh there are 14 other guys saying, 'It's a nice day, I think I'm gonna walk.''

"Trump's getting some criticism for his bold soft-on-murder stance, but some people still have his back," Colbert said, showing a clip of televangelist Pat Robertson "downplaying Khashoggi's murder and prioritizing the financial benefit of siding with Saudi Arabia," notably when it comes to arms sales. "Thank you, reverend, thank you for capturing the core message of Christianity: How important can one man's death be?" Colbert deadpanned.

He ended with the profanity-filled shouting match outside the Oval Office between "the White House's own Statler and Waldorf," Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton. (The similarity really is striking.) Colbert counseled a truce: "Fellas, fellas, don't fight, you're both terrible." Watch below. Peter Weber

10:05 p.m.

President Trump won't be breaking rugbrød with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen any time soon.

Trump tweeted on Tuesday night that he will no longer visit Denmark later this month, and he's putting his change in plans squarely on the shoulders of Frederiksen. "Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen's comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time," he said. Both countries will save money, Trump added, thanks to Frederiksen being "so direct."

Greenland is an autonomous territory of Denmark, and on Sunday, Trump confirmed reports that he was "interested" in buying it. In response, Frederiksen said Greenland is "not for sale," and she hoped Trump's comments were "not meant seriously." Trump's trip, it should be noted, officially had nothing to do with his misplaced desire to purchase the island — he was invited to visit Denmark by Queen Margrethe II. Catherine Garcia

9:12 p.m.

The Log Cabin Republicans, a national organization for LGBTQ members of the GOP, lost a board member over the group's decision to endorse President Trump.

"There is no world where I can sit down at the dining room table and explain to my children that I just endorsed Donald Trump for president," Jennifer Horn told The Washington Post. "It is contrary to everything that I have ever taught them about what it means to be a good, decent, principled member of society."

Horn sent her resignation letter on Monday, after the Log Cabin Republicans' chair and vice-chair announced in a Post op-ed that the group was endorsing Trump because he's taking "bold actions that benefit the LGBTQ community," including enacting tax cuts and pledging to "end the spread of HIV/AIDS in 10 years." In her letter, Horn said, among other things, she opposed Trump's "regular verbal assaults against women, immigrants, elected members of Congress, [and] party members who do not agree with him on policy or principle."

Prior to joining the Log Cabin Republicans' board, Horn was chairwoman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, and she told the Post she was disappointed in 2016 when Trump did not remove language from the party's platform that advocated against equal rights for LGBTQ people. Horn remains hopeful that more Republicans will start speaking out against Trump. "People have to know, our party is dying because of the silence of those who oppose this president," she said. Catherine Garcia

8:03 p.m.

Police officers in Phoenix must now fill out a form every time they point a gun at a person, with a supervisor then reviewing the incident, a policy the city has been considering for several years.

City officials announced the new rule on Monday, with Police Chief Jeri Williams saying, "When a gun is pointed at someone, that's a traumatic event. I think this is a first step in being ... that accountable, transparent organization that is willing to share what we do and how we do it."

This was first recommended in 2015 by a community panel, and again in April by the National Police Foundation, which studied a spike in officer-involved shootings last year; there were 44 incidents in 2018, up from an average of 21 from 2009 to 2017, CNN reports. Other major cities also document when officers point their guns, including Dallas, New Orleans, and Chicago.

The city did not say if this new policy is in response to a video released two months ago, which showed an officer pointing a gun at a family during a shoplifting investigation. Police say the woman did not listen when officers told her to lift her hands, and they were concerned she might be hiding a weapon. Catherine Garcia

7:01 p.m.

By the end of 2022, Hasbro products will be mostly free of plastic packaging, the toymaker announced Tuesday.

The company now uses plastic bags, elastic bands, and shrink wrap for its board games, including Monopoly, and some other toys. This move does not affect toys made out of plastic, like Mr. Potato Head, but Hasbro said it is trying to find an alternative material that is safe for kids and still looks like plastic. Hasbro does offer a recycling program, with customers able to send in their old plastic toys.

Because of its harmful environmental impact, more companies are trying to stop using plastic, and many cities are banning plastic bags and eliminating plastic straws. The company said it will start phasing out plastic in 2020. Catherine Garcia

5:48 p.m.

Mr. Stark, I don't feel so good...

Just after being crowned the next Iron Man in this summer's Spider-Man: Far From Home, Spider-Man's involvement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe may be over. Deadline reported on Tuesday that Disney and Sony were unable to reach an agreement that would keep Marvel Studios and its president, Kevin Feige, involved in future Spider-Man movies.

To recap, Marvel Studios did not have access to Spider-Man when it began the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008 with Iron Man, as Sony had exclusive rights to the character and was releasing movies in its own universe. But after the financial disappointment of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sony and Marvel Studios reached a deal whereby Sony and Disney would essentially share the character, with Sony continuing to make Spider-Man movies that crossed over with the Marvel universe. After appearing in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, this summer's Spider-Man: Far From Home sets up Spider-Man as a crucial character for the rest of the series, and he's established as effectively being the successor to Tony Stark.

But that may be quickly retconned, as now, Deadline reports that Feige won't produce the next two Spider-Man movies that are planned with Tom Holland, meaning they are unlikely to have any connections to the Marvel Cinematic Universe at all, and Spider-Man probably wouldn't appear in any Avengers movies, either. According to the report, Disney was looking for a 50-50 co-financing arrangement for future Spider-Man movies, but Sony turned it down. "Sony so far has decided that as valuable as Feige is, Disney is asking too high a price," Deadline writes. The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the news, adding that as a result, "Tom Holland's Spider-Man is likely to disappear entirely from the Marvel Cinematic Universe." Far from home, indeed. Brendan Morrow

5:11 p.m.

President Trump's Scottish golf courses are raising some eyebrows, but not because of the beauty of their design.

HuffPost reports that Trump filed financial disclosure statements that appear to misstate the value and profitability of his Turnberry and Aberdeen resorts. For example, in 2018, Trump claimed in his U.S. filing that the resorts were each worth more than $50 million. Meanwhile, he filed balance sheets with the British government covering the same time period that showed the resorts' combined debt exceeded their assets by 47.9 million British pounds, which was equivalent to $64.8 million at the time.

In the U.S., his public disclosure pegged the income he earned from the resorts at $23.8 million, while his filings with the U.K. Companies House office in Edinburgh, Scotland, showed Turnberry and Aberdeen lost 4.6 million pounds, or $6.3 million in that timeframe. Finally, HuffPost notes that Trump's U.S. disclosure statement did not mention the $199.5 million in loans the president made to the resorts.

HuffPost reports that knowingly providing false or incomplete information on the form is a violation of the Ethics in Government Act and is punishable by up to a year in jail, while signing the form — and subsequently making a false statement — could result in a maximum of five years' imprisonment.

However, Virginia Carter, an ethics law expert with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told HuffPost that the Office of Government Ethics does give filers quite a bit of leeway in determining asset value, though she added Trump's numbers raise "legitimate questions," as it's unclear as to how the $50 million mark was reached. "The numbers don't appear to add up," she said. Read more at HuffPost. Tim O'Donnell

4:22 p.m.

President Trump continued his feud with Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Tuesday, ultimately leading him to accuse Jewish Democratic voters of disloyalty.

This iteration of the battle between Trump and the congresswomen follows a turbulent week which saw Israel bar and unbar Tlaib from visiting her grandmother in Palestine, only to have Tlaib ultimately reject the country's approval of her appeal. Meanwhile, Trump suggested Israel would look "weak" if it allowed Tlaib and Omar to enter Israel considering their support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, or BDS, movement. It's unclear if Trump's words swayed Israel toward Tlaib's initial rejection, but, regardless, the sides have gone back and forth ever since.

On Tuesday, Trump was asked about the situation, to which he replied that "any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat" show either "a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty." About 79 percent of American Jews voted Democratic in 2018, reports NBC News' Benjy Sarlin.

The president also called Omar a "disaster for Jewish people" and, earlier in the day, mocked Tlaib for crying as she explained why she decided against visiting her grandmother. Tim O'Donnell

See More Speed Reads