August 14, 2019

Rep. Steve King's (R-Iowa) comments on rape and incest and Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli's rewriting of history left Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) stunned during an appearance on CNN Wednesday evening.

Host Wolf Blitzer asked the 2020 presidential candidate to share her thoughts on their controversial remarks. Cuccinelli on Tuesday said the Statue of Liberty's plaque should read "give me your tired, your poor who can stand on their own two feet, and who will not become a public charge," and declared that the famous Emma Lazarus poem is about "people coming from Europe."

Regarding Cuccinelli, Harris said the U.S.'s position "was wherever you come from, give us your tired, your poor, your sick, so I find it remarkable in a very troubling way that he actually had the gall to speak the words he spoke. It's clear that's how they feel, but the fact that he actually said it, and unapologetically, tells us exactly where we are."

King, speaking in front of a conservative club in Urbandale, Iowa, on Wednesday, defended abortion restrictions that do not provide exceptions for rape or incest, asking if "there would be any population of the world left" if "we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest."

Harris couldn't help but laugh after hearing the soundbite. "These guys are just out of their minds," she said. "What is that? You've got one saying the Statue of Liberty only applies to people from Europe, you've got another one saying rape and incest are okay, what is going on with these people? They do not understand the importance and the responsibility of their jobs." Catherine Garcia

September 15, 2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May isn't pleased about President Trump's tweets regarding the Friday morning attack in London. In an interview after the fire on a London Underground train, apparently caused by the detonation of an "improvised explosive device," May doled out some very pointed advice on what constitutes an appropriate response to a suspected "terrorist incident." "I never think it is helpful for anyone to speculate in what is an ongoing investigation," May said, a stance echoed by London police.

Trump, of course, had done exactly that in his tweets Friday morning, using the attack to push his proposed travel ban on visitors from majority-Muslim countries and declaring that "loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner." He claimed these "sick and demented people" were "in the sights of Scotland Yard," which is information that Scotland Yard has not publicly shared.

May said police are still working to "discover the full circumstances of this cowardly attack and to identify all those responsible." The incident left at least 22 people injured. Becca Stanek

February 28, 2017

At a time when seemingly every aspect of American life breaks along fairly predictable partisan lines, there's something refreshingly quixotic about the fractured reaction to this photo of White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway kneeling on a couch in the Oval Office, after snapping a smartphone photo of President Trump and the leaders of black colleges and universities.

"I don't care how Kellyanne Conway sits on a sofa in the Oval Office and can't imagine why it would bother people," tweeted New York's Jonathan Chait, a liberal. Amanda Carpenter, a conservative political operative, responded to a #CouchGate post from the The Reagan Battalion by rolling her eyes: "She was getting a picture, [people]. Calm down." Last Week Tonight writer Josh Gondelman quipped that he'd "only be able to get mad at the way Kellyanne Conway sits on a couch if it turns out she's hiding... Trump's tax returns under her."

On the other hand, Conway clearly had her shoes on the Oval Office couch, and some people viewed that as a sign of disrespect for the office, especially since there was no obvious reason she needed to be snapping a photo with her phone, or to snap it from the couch:

Several commentators recalled the conservative outrage when former President Barack Obama was photographed with his feet on his desk in the Oval Office, while others, like Rachel Vorona Cote at Jezebel, bristled at what she called Conway's "alternative decorum" and purported lack of respect for "the country's most esteemed African American educators" gathered in the room. Bret Stephens, the Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editorial page editor, was similarly unimpressed:

But hey, at least we've all stopped arguing about that white-and-gold dress. Peter Weber

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