August 14, 2019

Even President Trump has acknowledged the rising threat of white supremacy, but "there is one person who still isn't convinced: Fox New anchor and concerned face drawn on a balloon Tucker Carlson," Trevor Noah said on Tuesday's Daily Show. He didn't find Carlson's "hoax" argument persuasive: "White supremacists aren't a threat because they can only fill a college football stadium? My man, those stadiums hold 100,000 people."

"Tucker Carlson only gives white terrorists this pass," Noah noted. "After 9/11, he wasn't like: 'Al Qaeda? Please! What was it, like 19 people? ... Call me when they can sell out a Knicks game.'" He showed some other "threats" Carlson has touted on his show, like feminist scientists and the metric system. But "soft-pedaling white supremacy" apparently cost Carlson three big advertisers, Noah said, "and something tells me his bosses at Fox News didn't like what he said, because the very next day," he announced a surprise fishing vacation.

Maybe the timing was just a coincidence, "but it does seem to happen a lot over at Fox," Noah said. "Almost everyone on Fox has had to go on a surprise vacation after saying something controversial, but there's one vacation on Fox that is the greatest of all time." He assumed a mafioso voice to discuss Bill O'Reilly's never-ending holiday: "Yeah, let's just say O'Reilly's gonna be goin' on a permanent vacation. I'm Chris Cuomo, thanks for watching CNN."

CNN hasn't sent Cuomo on vacation after he threatened a guy who called him "Fredo," Noah said, showing video of the incident. "Cuomo was clearly pissed off because he feels like when this guy called him 'Fredo,' it's a negative Italian stereotype. What's funny to me, though, was that his reaction that he chose also seemed like a negative Italian stereotype." Some people are saying "Fredo" is "a reference to the dumb brother in The Godfather," Noah said, "but some are also saying it's an ethnic slur. In fact, Cuomo himself claimed it's like calling an Italian person 'the N-word.' So to find out if that's true, we're joined by Roy Wood Jr." It was a very short bit. Watch below. Peter Weber

11:37 p.m.

The Islamic State's new leader is Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi, one of the terrorist organization's founding members, intelligence officials told The Guardian.

Last October, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a raid in Syria, and officials said Salbi replaced him just hours after his death. Born to an Iraqi Turkmen family, Salbi has a background as an Islamic scholar, and came up with the ISIS religious rulings authorizing the enslavement of Iraq's Yazidi minority. Salbi met Baghdadi in 2004, when both were detained by U.S. forces at Camp Bucca in Iraq.

There aren't many founding members of ISIS left, and the group doesn't have nearly as many fighters as it did during its peak in the mid-2010s. ISIS no longer controls vast swaths of Iraq and Syria, but they are still behind assassinations and roadside bombings in northern Iraq, a senior Kurdish official told The Guardian. There are rural networks that "remain very much intact," the official said. "After all, ISIS members in Iraq still receive monthly salaries and training in remote mountainous areas. That network allows the organization to endure, even when militarily defeated."

Salbi's whereabouts are unknown, but intelligence officials believe it's likely he is near Mosul, Iraq. There is a $5 million bounty on his head. Catherine Garcia

10:35 p.m.

An attorney for Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr on Monday, requesting the he recuse himself from Parnas' criminal case.

Parnas was arrested last October and charged with campaign finance violations. In the letter, which was also filed in New York federal court, attorney Joseph Bondy said Barr has a conflict of interest and asked that a special prosecutor from outside the Justice Department handle Parnas' case. "Federal ethics guidelines bar federal employees from participating in matters in which their impartiality could be questioned, including matters in which they were personally involved or about which they have personal knowledge," Bondy wrote.

Bondy cited several reasons why Barr should recuse himself, noting that the reconstructed transcript released by the White House of President Trump's July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump telling Zelensky that Barr could help him facilitate an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. Last week, Parnas told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that Barr knew about efforts in the Ukraine to dig up dirt on Biden, saying, "Attorney General Barr was basically on the team." Read Bondy's letter here. Catherine Garcia

9:45 p.m.

Everyone knows that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for social justice, racial equality, and an end to poverty, but White House counselor Kellyanne Conway thinks he also wouldn't stand for President Trump's impeachment.

When asked by NBC News on Monday how Trump was observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Conway said he was getting ready to head to Davos for the World Economic Forum, then managed to connect the late civil rights leader to Trump's impeachment. "I don't think it was within Dr. King's vision to have Americans dragged through a process where the president is not going to be removed from office, is not being charged with bribery, extortion, high crimes, or misdemeanors," she said. "And I think that anybody who cares about 'and justice for all' on today or any day of the year will appreciate the fact that the president now will have a full throttle defense on the facts, and everybody should have that."

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both visited the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., and Trump also tweeted that it was "so appropriate" that "exactly three years ago today, Jan. 20, 2017, I was sworn into office." His impeachment trial will formally begin on Tuesday. Catherine Garcia

8:13 p.m.

A new CNN poll out Monday shows that 51 percent of Americans think the Senate should vote to convict and remove President Trump from office during his upcoming impeachment trial.

Meanwhile, 45 percent believe the Senate should vote against conviction and removal. Almost 69 percent say the trial should include testimony from new witnesses who did not appear before House impeachment investigators. Republicans are split on whether there should be witnesses in the trial — 48 percent are in favor of new witnesses, while 44 percent are not.

This was the first major national phone poll conducted since the articles of impeachment were sent to the Senate and Lev Parnas, the indicted Rudy Giuliani associate, appeared on cable news shows and implicated Trump in the Ukraine pressure campaign. The poll was conducted by SSRS from Jan. 16 to 19, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. Catherine Garcia

7:29 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday submitted his impeachment trial rules proposal, which calls for a speedy trial.

The resolution will be voted on Tuesday afternoon, and needs a majority to pass the Senate. Under his plan, each side will have 24 hours over two days for opening statements, and senators will have up to 16 hours for questions and four hours of debate. After that, a vote will be held on calling additional witnesses. If other witnesses are called, the Senate will decide if any of them testify publicly.

"Sen. McConnell's resolution is nothing short of a national disgrace," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, adding that McConnell "is hell-bent on making it much more difficult to get witnesses and documents and intent on rushing the trial through." This proposal shows that McConnell "doesn't want to hear any of the existing evidence, and he doesn't want to hear any new evidence. A trial where there is no evidence — no existing record, no witnesses, no documents — isn't a trial at all."

Eric Ueland, the White House's legislative affairs director, said President Trump and his team are happy with the proposal, as they are "seeking an acquittal as swiftly as possible." Catherine Garcia

6:51 p.m.

Authorities estimate 22,000 gun-rights advocates attended a rally in Richmond, Virginia, on Monday, to protest proposed gun control legislation.

Ahead of the event, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and temporarily banned people from carrying weapons at the state capitol, citing "credible intelligence" from law enforcement that white supremacists groups would attend the rally and incite violence. Some extremist groups did attend, but the rally was mostly peaceful and there were no reports of violence.

Democrats now control the Statehouse, and have been pushing for new gun regulations, including universal background checks and a ban on military-style rifles. Protesters chanted "We will not comply" and "USA!" and several spoke to reporters about why they came out for the rally. "So many people are misinformed and think you are safer because you take my guns away," participant Jay Lowe told NBC News. "My guns have never killed anybody. And I carry a lot." Catherine Garcia

12:16 p.m.

President Trump's lawyers filed a brief on Monday urging the Senate to dismiss the impeachment charges against him and calling the House's impeachment process a "perversion" of the Constitution, The Associated Press reports.

The 110-page brief calls the House's impeachment case "flimsy," insists Trump did "absolutely nothing wrong," and says he has "been the victim of an illegitimate partisan effort to take him down," The New York Times reports. The House filed two impeachment articles against Trump — abuse of power for withholding aid to Ukraine in order to pressure that country to investigate his political rivals, and obstruction of Congress for blocking the House's impeachment inquiry.

The brief "does not deny that Mr. Trump pressured Ukraine to open investigations into Democrats," the Times writes. Instead it argues that this was within Trump's rights as president. As to the obstruction of Congress article, the lawyers say the president has a right to confidential deliberations.

The Senate trial on Trump's impeachment begins Tuesday. He is just the third sitting president to face such a trial. The Republican-controlled chamber is unlikely to convict him. Jessica Hullinger

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