July 27, 2017
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Newly minted White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci directed some very interesting communications at The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza during a phone conversation Wednesday night. On Thursday afternoon, Lizza published details of his conversation with Scaramucci, after Scaramucci had called into CNN earlier in the day to interrupt an interview Lizza was giving.

Lizza said Scaramucci initiated their Wednesday night phone call and never requested it take place off the record, and said the bombastic new White House employee called to ask Lizza to reveal a source. Lizza had tweeted that Scaramucci was dining with President Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Fox News host Sean Hannity, and former Fox News co-president Bill Shine, and Scaramucci was apparently convinced White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus had given Lizza the information.

The details Lizza published of their conversation are ... colorful:

"I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I'll fire tomorrow. I'll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus — if you want to leak something — he'll be asked to resign very shortly." The issue, he said, was that he believed Priebus had been worried about the dinner because he hadn't been invited. "Reince is a f--king paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac," Scaramucci said. He channelled Priebus as he spoke: "'Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the f--king thing and see if I can c--k-block these people the way I c--k-blocked Scaramucci for six months.'"

[...] Scaramucci also told me that, unlike other senior officials, he had no interest in media attention. "I'm not Steve Bannon, I'm not trying to suck my own c--k," he said, speaking of Trump's chief strategist.

[...] "Okay, the Mooch showed up a week ago," he said. "This is going to get cleaned up very shortly, okay?" [The New Yorker]

Scaramucci also told Lizza that he had to end their call so he could "start tweeting some sh-t to make this guy crazy," referring to Priebus, Lizza said. Minutes later, Scaramucci sent the tweet about leaks in which he cryptically tagged Priebus.

Read Lizza's entire recounting at The New Yorker. Kimberly Alters

November 11, 2016

Nevada Sen. Harry Reid (D) is retiring from the Senate come January, his seat safely ensconced in the Democratic hands of Catherine Cortez Masto, who won election Tuesday and will become the nation's first Latina senator. And with the burden of literal political correctness lifted off him, it seems Reid is ready to say what he really feels about Donald Trump, America's president-elect.

In a brutal statement released Friday, Reid eviscerated Trump, calling for him to "roll back the tide of hate he unleashed." He also mentioned the anecdotal fear the coming Trump presidency has evoked in minorities, saying, "I have heard more stories in the past 48 hours of Americans living in fear of their own government and their fellow Americans than I can remember hearing in five decades in politics."

"We as a nation must find a way to move forward without consigning those who Trump has threatened to the shadows. Their fear is rational," Reid continues. And as for Trump himself? He's a "sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate," Reid bellows. "He has a tremendous amount of work to do and he must begin immediately."

Read Reid's full statement below. Kimberly Alters

October 13, 2016

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek got brutally — yet hilariously — honest with a contestant in Wednesday night's episode. It all started when Susan Cole, a legislative librarian, told Trebek she was a fan of "nerdcore hip-hop."

Trebek responded by asking what exactly that was, though he was already pretty sure he didn't like the sound of it. "It's people who identify as nerdy, rapping about the things they love: video games, science fiction, having a hard time meeting romantic partners, you know," Cole said, insisting it's "very fun."

"Losers, in other words?" Trebek said.

Watch the moment below — and try not to feel too bad when you giggle. Becca Stanek

August 4, 2016
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Donald Trump's latest comments on NATO pushed conservative Erick Erickson over the edge. Writing on The Resurgent, Erickson said he'd lost patience not only with Trump, but also with all of the Republican nominee's supporters, after Trump's suggestion that he'd only protect NATO members that had paid their dues.

Demanding payment before defending treaty allies would essentially turn NATO into a "damn shakedown scheme," Erickson wrote. "You should be ashamed of yourselves. You should be ashamed of the fact that your cult leader who claims to have been personally affected by 9/11 does not even know our NATO allies protected his ass that day. You should be ashamed that he wants to turn one of the strongest military alliances in the history of the world into a racket where protection is bought."

Anyone buying into Trump's ideas, Erickson said, is just as bad as Trump. "You people reflect the evil character of your god," Erickson wrote. "You should be ashamed, but you have no shame left. You all deserve to be defeated and annihilated. You disgust me in cheering him on. He disgusts me." Becca Stanek

May 13, 2016

In a Friday news conference on state television, Russian government officials adamantly denied claims leveled by the former director of the country's anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, that Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics were involved in a government-sponsored doping ploy. President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, says Rodchenkov's allegation that the government ordered up a performance-enhancing cocktail that blended alcohol with three different anabolic steroids, which was then served to numerous medal-winning athletes, was "absolutely groundless."

"They are not substantiated by any trustworthy data, they are not backed by any sort of documents," Peskov said. "All this simply looks like slander by a turncoat." One of the athletes who was allegedly involved in the doping scheme, gold medalist bobsledder Alexander Zubkov, also denies partaking. "I have always been absolutely clean," Zubkov said.

Rodchenkov explained to The New York Times how more than 100 contaminated urine tests were removed from the testing lab in the dead of night in Sochi through a "hand-size hole" in the laboratory wall hidden by a cabinet. He says that bottles that were supposedly "tamper-proof" were then broken into undetected, allowing the doping ploy to ultimately go unnoticed.

Russia won 33 medals in Sochi, the highest count of the 2014 Games. Rodchenkov recently fled Russia out of fear for his life. Becca Stanek

February 16, 2016
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One person who is convinced Donald Trump will never be elected president of the United States is the man who currently holds the office.

"I continue to believe Mr. Trump will not be president," President Obama said Tuesday during a news conference. "And the reason is that I have a lot of faith in the American people. Being president is a serious job. It's not hosting a talk show, or a reality show. It's not promotion, it's not marketing. It's hard. And a lot of people count on us getting it right."

As president, Obama said, you have to make difficult decisions that not everyone will like, and not do things just for publicity. "It requires being able to work with leaders around the world in a way that reflects the importance of the office and gives people confidence that you know the facts and you know their names and you know where they are on a map and you know something about their history," he added. Catherine Garcia

July 13, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) announced today that he is the 15th major Republican running for president. He has a lot working in his favor — including an impressive early lead in Iowa. And while Walker is something of a hero on the right for his highly publicized battles with Wisconsin's labor unions, his adversarial relationship with organized labor could well do him harm among working-class voters.

Big Labor, for its part, seems eager to crush Walker. Here's how AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka welcomed Walker to the presidential race, as flagged by The Huffington Post's Sam Stein.

Ouch. Ben Frumin