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March 19, 2019

George Conway has been sniping at President Trump for months, but subtweeting the president with clinical definitions of personality disorders was apparently a bridge too far for Team Trump. On Monday night, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted that Trump had turned "Mr. Kellyanne Conway" down for an unspecified "job he desperately wanted," adding kind of incongruously that Conway "either fired/quit, didn’t want the scrutiny" of working at the Justice Department. Conway, a prominent conservative lawyer, "hurts his wife because he is jealous of her success," Parscale suggested.

This prompted a tweet from the president of the United States himself, who deemed his senior counselor's husband "a total loser." Conway didn't seem hurt, tweeting back the clinical definition of narcissistic personality disorder.

Conway also congratulated Trump on spreading the word about mental illness, in a manner of speaking, and linked to a Rolling Stone article he said will help people "understand you, and why you're unfit and incompetent for the esteemed office you temporarily hold."

If you're interested in perhaps the most interesting marriage in Washington, CNN had a fortuitously timed segment on the Conways on Tuesday morning, and you can watch it below. Peter Weber

12:21 p.m.

More than 12,000 Boy Scouts have allegedly been sexually abused by more than 7,000 troop leaders and volunteers in the organization, reports ABC News.

Newly released court documents provide testimony substantiating the claims, writes ABC News. Expert witness Janet Warren, who is a professor at the University of Virginia's medical school, revealed during a January trial she has been evaluating the Boy Scouts of America's handling of sexual abuse cases from 1944 to 2016. During this trial, which centered around sexual abuse allegations at a Minnesota children's theater, Warren said that there were 7,819 perpetrators and 12,254 victims within the organization, reports ABC News.

Attorney Jeff Anderson publicized these numbers on Tuesday and said 130 of the alleged abusers live in New York and could face legal repercussions.

The Boy Scouts of America said they never knowingly allowed a perpetrator to work with youth, but did confirm that Warren has worked with the organization to conduct research on the database detailing alleged abuse.

"We care deeply about all victims of child abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. We believe victims, we support them, and we have paid for unlimited counseling by a provider of their choice," the Boy Scouts of America told ABC News.

The organization was previously charged with concealing child molesters and reports of abuse; however, the numbers suggested by Warren are significantly higher than any past allegations, per ABC News. Marianne Dodson

12:00 p.m.

James Holzhauer is kicking Daily Doubles and taking names.

On his fourth day on Jeopardy! two weeks ago, Holzhauer easily crushed Jeopardy!'s one-game winnings record of $77,000, pulling in $110,914. He's since passed $1 million in earnings and crushed a few more records on the way — and his fellow Jeopardy! elites have a few theories on how he's done it.

Just a few days after setting a new one-game record, Holzhauer did it again with a $131,127 haul. He now claims the top seven single-game winnings spots, per the official Jeopardy! recordbooks. Holzhauer also hit the $1 million mark in the shortest number of games — 14 — on Tuesday night, and has the second-highest regular-season winnings total of all time.

Ken Jennings, who still has the highest regular-season win total of all time, told The Associated Press that Holzhauer is doing so well because "Most Jeopardy! players never think about maximizing winnings." Jennings says he "wouldn't have the stomach to bet $60,000 on a Final Jeopardy clue," but Holzhauer, a professional sports better, told Wired that he doesn't have a "mental block" because "it's only money." 2017 Tournament of Champions winner Buzzy Cohen also credits Holzhauer's board-hopping strategy, saying the game show prodigy "took a playbook that has existed and executed it flawlessly."

But it's not all fun and Final Jeopardy! for everyone. Seeing as "every game show has a prize budget" largely "determined by way of averages of what has been won in the past," a former Game Show Network programming head tells The Atlantic that "James's performance, I'm sure, is causing grief for an accountant somewhere." Kathryn Krawczyk

11:47 a.m.

Northern Irish journalist Lyra McKee's death is forcing politicians to face hard truths, as dormant sectarian violence threatens to resurface in Northern Ireland.

At McKee's funeral in Belfast on Wednesday, the priest administering the service, Father Martin Magill, commended Northern Irish politicians — unionists and republicans alike — for their joint statement condemning violence and urging for calming following McKee's murder.

Many notable political leaders were sitting in the front pews, including Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. But after the compliment, Magill directly challenged those in front of him, sparking a standing ovation from attendees.

The 29-year-old journalist was killed last Thursday while watching a riot in Derry, Northern Ireland, by stray bullets from dissident republicans believed to be affiliated with the New Irish Republican Army, a recently formed Irish nationalist militant group that does not recognize the terms of the Good Friday Agreement signed in 1998, which put a halt to sectarian violence in North Ireland.

In addition to McKee's murder, a large bomb detonated in Derry in January, though there were no casualties.

The New IRA apologized for McKee's death, but the response from Derry's citizens was not positive.

Tim O'Donnell

11:14 a.m.

Move over, geologists: there's a new field of scientific study in town.

NASA's InSight spacecraft detected a potential earthquake on Mars earlier this month, and scientists are rejoicing over the discovery of the "marsquake."

"We've been collecting background noise up until now, but this first event officially kicks off a new field: Martian seismology!" NASA geologist Bruce Banerdt said, per NBC News.

The tremor was too small to help NASA obtain any information on the Red Planet's interior, NBC News reports, but scientists are hoping the discovery will lead the seismometer to detect bigger earthquakes.

"We've been waiting months for our first marsquake," Philippe Lognonné, the principal investigator for the seismometer, said in a statement. "It's so exciting to finally have proof that Mars is still seismically active. We're looking forward to sharing detailed results once we've studied it more and modeled our data."

Lognonné expects larger quakes in the future to help determine crust thickness and core size, per NBC. Marianne Dodson

11:02 a.m.

Another Republican has hopped on the impeachment train.

After the Mueller report detailed President Trump's failure to take what Michael Gerson calls "a criminal plot by a hostile foreign government" to the FBI, the chief speechwriter for former President George W. Bush writes that "House leaders should lay the groundwork for impeachment." This move strays from politics' usual goals of "partisanship" and "endless fundraising," Gerson continues in his Monday op-ed for The Washington Post, but adds that this choice will "echo across the decades."

As Gerson describes in the Post, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report "shows that Trump and members of his campaign team were willing — actually, eager — to cooperate with Russian attempts to subvert a presidential election." Trump also "ordered subordinates to lie about their ties to the Russians," Gerson continues, going on to decry Attorney General William Barr for "provid[ing] cover for those deceptions." Yet Congress, Gerson writes, is "punting" its "responsibility" to hold Trump accountable for these actions. It's time for impeachment, Gerson finishes, because "the honor of the presidency now depends on the actions of Congress."

Gerson has previously authored Post op-eds saying Trump is a "Russian stooge" and a "danger to democracy." But it ran just ahead of another Republican's call for impeachment, this one from former Trump transition staffer J.W. Verret, published Tuesday in The Atlantic. Verret was not a "Never Trumper," but opposed Trump on several policy points. And after reading the Mueller report twice, he reached a "tipping point" with Trump's leadership and said "Republicans in Congress" should have reached it too. Kathryn Krawczyk

10:52 a.m.

President Trump just put a reporter from The Washington Post on blast for the weirdest reason imaginable.

Trump tweeted on Wednesday that he didn't actually call journalist Robert Costa for an interview that was published the night before. Instead, Trump said, he "returned his call!"

Not only was Trump strangely insisting that calling someone back can't accurately be described as calling them, but this is also exactly how Costa originally described the situation, anyway. Costa tweeted on Tuesday that Trump had called him "in response to my request for comment" about a different story and then took additional questions. In other words, Trump returned his call.

Costa was quick to point this out, tweeting back at Trump on Wednesday, "Yes, I noted this last night, before the interview posted." As the president's especially active week on Twitter continues, which reporter's statement will he call out — while at the same time confirming is completely accurate — next? Brendan Morrow

10:18 a.m.

Steven Spielberg and Netflix seem to have buried the hatchet — if there ever even was one to begin with.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors in a meeting on Tuesday decided not to make any changes to its Oscars eligibility rules, per CNBC. Going forward, a movie will still only have to play in theaters for a minimum of one week in Los Angeles in order to qualify for the awards, Variety notes, and it's still allowed to be released on streaming immediately.

There had previously been reports that Spielberg was engaged in a full-on war with Netflix and would be proposing a rule change at this meeting that would affect the streamer, which debuts its movies online either the same day as they open theatrically or a few weeks later. For example, a rule could be implemented requiring films to play in theaters for a longer period of time to be eligible or requiring they be exclusive to theaters for some time.

This war, as it turns out, may have been overblown. Spielberg didn't even end up attending this meeting let alone propose anything, and The New York Times cites sources as saying Spielberg is actually less frustrated with streaming services than with major theater exhibitors who refuse to play films like Roma since they require a lengthy exclusivity window. In fact, Spielberg reportedly lobbied AMC and Regal to play Netflix's Roma to no avail.

Breaking his silence on the issue, Spielberg told the Times that people should be able to watch movies "in any form or fashion that suits them," whether that's on the big screen or the small screen, although did still exalt the importance of movie theaters. Ironically, reports suggest Netflix may be giving its upcoming The Irishman a robust theatrical release, meaning Spielberg may get his wish without any rules changes even being required. Brendan Morrow

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