October 9, 2019

Matt Lauer was fired from Today after allegedly raping an NBC News colleague, Ronan Farrow's new book has revealed.

When NBC News fired Lauer in November 2017, it cited having received a complaint of "inappropriate sexual behavior." Numerous women would later accuse Lauer of sexual misconduct, but the identity of this initial accuser and the details of her allegation were not known.

Now, Farrow's new book Catch and Kill includes an interview with the initial accuser, Brooke Nevils, who alleges Lauer anally raped her in his hotel room during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Variety reports.

According to excerpts from the book, Nevils alleges Lauer pushed her onto the bed, "flipping her over, asking if she liked anal sex." She says she declined several times and "was in the midst of telling him she wasn't interested again when he 'just did it.'" Farrow writes that Nevils stopped saying no and "wept silently into a pillow," and she says she "bled for days" afterward.

"It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent," Nevils tells Farrow. "It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn't want to have anal sex."

Farrow reports Nevils had additional sexual encounters with Lauer while being scared of the power he had over her career, describing the encounters as "completely transactional." Eventually, she told colleagues and superiors and in 2017 went with a lawyer to NBC Universal's human resources, prompting Lauer's firing.

But the book claims NBC News President Noah Oppenheim and NBC News Chair Andrew Lack still "were emphasizing that the incident hadn't been 'criminal' or an 'assault' — which she claims caused her to throw up."

In a new statement, NBC News that Lauer's "conduct was appalling, horrific and reprehensible" and that "our hearts break again for our colleague." Savannah Guthrie addressed the new claims on Today Wednesday, calling them "shocking and appalling." Lauer has denied any "abusive" behavior.

Update: Lauer has denied Nevils' allegation in a new statement, calling it "categorically false" and saying their encounter as "completely consensual." Brendan Morrow

5:39 p.m.

At least 14 people are dead and hundreds more injured after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake hit eastern Turkey on Friday, Turkish officials tell The Associated Press.

The quake hit at 8:55 p.m. in the Elazig province, where Gov. Cetin Oktay Kaldirim told NTV television that three people had died. Gov. Aydin Barus of the the neighboring Malatya province told state TV that five people had been reported dead there. At least 225 people were injured in Elazig and 90 in Malatya, the Daily Sabah reported.

Several aftershocks followed the initial quake, with the harshest ones hitting magnitudes of 5.4 and 5.1. Some buildings collapsed in Elazig and one caught fire in the town of Sivrice, but it was quickly doused. A four- or five-story building had also collapsed in the town of Maden, and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told NTV television earlier Friday that rescuers were on the scene.

Some people's homes were too damaged to return to, and others were afraid to go back inside in case of later shocks or collapses, so they were "being moved to student dormitories or sports center amid freezing conditions," AP writes. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:58 p.m.

After Annabella Sciorra testified that disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein raped her in the early 1990s, Rosie Perez took the stand Friday to back her up.

Perez testified in the ongoing Weinstein rape trial after Sciorra told jurors Thursday that in 1993 or 1994, Weinstein raped her in her New York apartment. Bolstering Sciorra's claim, Perez said Friday that in 1993, Sciorra told her, "I think I was raped," The New York Times reports.

Although Perez testified that Sciorra initially did not name the alleged perpetrator, she said Sciorra later told her it was Weinstein.

"She swore me never to tell anybody," Perez said. "I told her to go to the police, and she said: 'I can't. He will destroy me. He will destroy my career."

Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 80 women, is facing charges of sexual assault and rape. He has pleaded not guilty and denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex acts. Prosecutors allege Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on a woman in 2006 and raped a woman in 2013, but Sciorra testified as a "prior bad acts" witness as prosecutors attempt to establish a pattern of behavior. If convicted, Weinstein faces possible life in prison. Brendan Morrow

4:53 p.m.

Apparently President Trump thought we hadn't had enough Star Trek spinoffs for one year.

After literal years of anticipation, President Trump debuted a logo for the "Space Force" he's been touting his entire presidency. It's none of the adorable logos he asked Trump email subscribers to vote on about a year and a half ago, but instead a near-exact replica of the Starfleet Command logo from Star Trek.

The similarities were immediately apparent ...

... and George Takei quickly verified we weren't just seeing things. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:23 p.m.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) warned Friday that President Trump abused the power of his presidency and will do so again unless removed from office.

During the final day of Democrats' opening arguments in the Senate's impeachment trial, Schiff argued in favor of Trump's removal from office, after the House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. "Based on the abuse of power for which he was impeached, and his ongoing efforts to solicit foreign interference both directly and through Mr. Giuliani, there can be little doubt that President Trump will continue to invite foreign interference in our elections again and again," Schiff said, saying Trump solicited election interference both from Russia in 2016 and then Ukraine in 2020. "That poses an imminent threat to the integrity of our democracy."

Schiff went on to argue that Trump's "pattern of conduct repeatedly soliciting foreign interference in our elections for his own benefit confirms that he will stop at nothing to retain his power." Trump has denied pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden in order to benefit his 2020 presidential campaign.

After Democrats wrap up their opening impeachment arguments later on Friday, arguments from Trump's team will begin Saturday morning and last "several hours." Trump's defense doesn't have to use the full 24 hours they've been allotted, but if they do, their arguments will continue until Tuesday. Should a vote to call additional witnesses fail, the impeachment trial could conclude next week. Brendan Morrow

3:32 p.m.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he has defended everyone in his department. He just won't give examples.

In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition aired Friday, Pompeo was questioned about "people who have resigned from this department under your leadership saying you should stand up for the diplomats working here." Pompeo tried to counter by chalking the allegation up to "unnamed sources," but NPR's Mary Louise Kelly quickly pointed out that former State Department adviser Michael McKinley had made that point during his House impeachment hearing.

To that, Pompeo made a direct claim: "I have defended every State Department official on this team." So Kelly asked for an example of how he'd defended former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Pompeo again said he'd "defended every single person on this team," and then ended the conversation.

In his testimony, McKinley said he'd asked Pompeo three times to issue a statement in support of Yovanovitch after she'd been fired, after which he'd resigned. Further information about the Trump administration's opposition to Yovanovitch arose Friday in the form of a 2018 recording where President Trump reportedly appeared to direct two associates to "take her out." Kathryn Krawczyk

3:01 p.m.

President Trump's impeachment trial may not last much longer.

As Democrats' opening impeachment argument continues into its final day Friday, The New York Times reports the "increasing expectation in the Senate" is that a vote next week to call new witnesses like Democrats have advocated for will "fall short, moving the trial into its end game."

Axios is out with a similar report, writing that although Democrats need to sway four Republicans to vote for calling new witnesses assuming every Democrat votes in favor, "the prevailing view emerging among Republican Senate aides was that Democrats ... will struggle to get more than three." The Senate previously delayed a decision on whether to call witnesses until after the opening arguments, The Washington Post reports.

Breaking the votes down further, Axios notes that Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who Democrats hoped to convince, is a no, and aides expect Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) will be as well. Republican aides reportedly also believe that House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) controversially suggesting that Republicans were complicit in a "cover up" and engaging in "treacherous" behavior may have backfired.

Another senator who Democrats have been targeting is Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), but after he said Friday that the House managers "presented us with a mountain of overwhelming evidence," the Post noted this "could indicate that he is not inclined to hear more." Should no witnesses be called, Trump's impeachment trial could end next week, Axios notes.

During their argument Friday, Democrats argued Trump "tried to cheat, he got caught, and then worked hard to cover it up." These final hours of arguments are key, as Axios notes if Democrats hope to sway Republican senators in the vote on witnesses, this is their "last chance."

Brendan Morrow

2:16 p.m.

Eli Manning's quarterback career has come to an end.

After first announcing his departure earlier this week, the former New York Giant gave a press conference Friday thanking the team that let him walk away "feeling like a New Yorker, or at least a northeasterner. And while it's easy to say "once a Giant, always a Giant," Manning closed his speech by acknowledging he was "only a Giant."

After his prepared speech, Manning took questions from the media, which he kicked off by acknowledging the one vote that had kept fellow New Yorker Derek Jeter from a unanimous Hall of Fame induction. "Which one of ya'll didn't vote for him?" Manning joked to the gathered reporters before saying Jeter had been a "great role model for me all these years."

Manning was later asked about a Friday tweet from the New England Patriots' Tom Brady where he congratulated Manning on his retirement. "Not going to lie though, I wish you hadn't won any Super Bowls," Brady tweeted, seeing as Manning's two Super Bowls came from beating Brady twice. Manning said it was something they "joke around" about, but "it's not real funny to him."

Find Manning's whole remarks here, and his press conference here. Kathryn Krawczyk

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