January 10, 2020

White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley didn't do a great job defending his employer on this one.

As Democrats and some Republicans continue to criticize President Trump's decision to assassinate Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Gidley chimed in to compare it to the killings of several controversial leaders during former President Barack Obama's presidency. But as journalists and former Obama officials made clear, Gidley's comparisons weren't exactly accurate.

Yes, Obama did oversee the killing of Osama bin Laden, which was a widely praised move. But the "legality" of the U.S. killing of al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki was "a huge political issue" that even led Democrats to team up with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to challenge it, Lawfare's Susan Hennessey writes. And Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi? He was overthrown and killed by a Libyan mob.

Gidley's tweet came just after Fox News aired a clip of Trump telling network host Laura Ingraham that "I think" Soleimani was planning to attack "four embassies" when he was assassinated, and "that it was probably going to be the embassy in Baghdad." This begs the question that The New York Times' Maggie Haberman later tweeted in response to Gidley: "Why not release the intel since POTUS keeps talking about it?" Kathryn Krawczyk

2:30 p.m.

Mort Drucker, the beloved artist known for his work at MAD magazine, has died at 91.

Drucker died Wednesday at his home in New York, his friend John Reiner confirmed to The New York Times. Reiner told CNN's Jake Tapper his death was not thought to be related to COVID-19.

After joining MAD in 1956, Drucker's hilarious caricatures satirizing pop culture soon became iconic, and he illustrated more than half of the magazine's movie parodies from the 1960s through 2008, per the Times. In a 2000 interview with the Times, he noted, "I think I've drawn almost everyone in Hollywood."

Among Drucker's other notable work includes the poster for George Lucas' American Graffiti; according to The Hollywood Reporter, Lucas personally drove to Drucker's home on Long Island to convince him to draw it.

"The World has lost a not just an extraordinary talent but a shining example of kindness, humility and humor," the National Cartoonists Society said in a statement.

MAD fans on Thursday quickly began sharing their favorite cartoons from Drucker's legendary career, including his parodies of Jaws and Star Wars. "Many of his illustrations are as vivid in my mind as the movies and TV shows that inspired them," The New York Times' Dave Itzkoff wrote.

Reiner told CNN's Jake Tapper that Drucker's final words to him were, "I'm the luckiest man — I've had a wonderful life." Brendan Morrow

2:11 p.m.

First lady Melania Trump is officially donning a face mask during the COVID-19 pandemic, although the jury's still out on whether her husband will follow suit.

In a social media post Thursday, the first lady shared a photo of herself wearing what appears to be a surgical mask, touting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation "to wear cloth face coverings."

"Remember, this does NOT replace the importance of social distancing," she wrote. "It is recommended to keep us all safe."

Melania's masking comes one week after President Trump announced he would not be wearing a mask, despite the CDC-issued guidelines urging people to do so. At the time, Trump implied that it would be odd to be "sitting in the Oval Office, behind that beautiful Resolute Desk" while wearing a mask, so it's unclear how he's taking this news.

The photo of the first lady appears to show her wearing a surgical mask rather than the CDC-recommended "cloth face covering," the former of which is recommended only for use by health care professionals and medical first responders amid critical supply shortages.