he went there
July 15, 2019

It took more than a century, but Andrew Johnson has met his match when it comes to racist presidents, presidential historian Jon Meacham said Monday.

Meacham appeared on MSNBC's Hardball to discuss President Trump telling four lawmakers — all Democratic women of color — that they needed to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came." Going on a "journey toward a more perfect union is the story of the country," Meacham said. "What the president's done here is yet again — I think he did it after Charlottesville and I think he did it, frankly, when he was pushing the birther lie about President Obama — he has joined Andrew Johnson as the most racist president in American history."

Meacham explained that in a state message, Johnson "said African Americans were incapable of self-government and relapsed into barbarism if they weren't closely supervised." Historian Eric Foner, he added, "said this was the single most racist statement by a president in a public paper." Since the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954, when the Supreme Court ruled racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, politicians have set it up so poor black Americans and poor white Americans are "pointing at each other instead of pointing up," Meacham said. "That's the story of the racial politics of the country in the modern era. By using culture instead of economics, which the Republican Party in the modern era has done very well."

The country can't escape its past, and it's "pointless to try to expiate ourselves from what Trump has been saying," he said, adding, "The way America moves forward from this is 51 percent of the time we're with Lincoln instead of Andrew Johnson." Catherine Garcia

June 25, 2019

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith lambasted President Trump on Tuesday after Trump told reporters that migrant children being held at U.S. detention centers are treated "very well."

Last week, lawyers inspecting a Border Patrol facility in Clint, Texas, that housed more than 250 migrant children described the conditions there as being "deplorable." The children wore dirty clothes, did not have access to toothbrushes, toothpaste, or soap, and were sleeping on concrete floors. When asked about humanitarian aid for the children, Trump said he hopes lawmakers pass a "humane bill," adding that Mexico is doing "much more for us than the Democrats in Congress" and his government is "treating them and doing a much better job than the Obama administration."

In response, Smith read back Fox News' reporting on how the children are being treated, and made a bold statement. "We reportedly accurately here yesterday that were these prisoners of war rather than children, withholding of those items would be violations of the Geneva Convention," he said. "That's what the president considers treating well the children of migrants who came across the border without documents."

Those kids are separated from their families, Smith continued, and while many were removed from the Clint detention center on Monday, 100 were returned on Tuesday "to that facility, which is incapable of providing toothbrushes and toothpaste and soap, where children were sitting in their own filth. Those are the facts at that facility." Catherine Garcia

January 31, 2019

He could have just worn gloves for 15 years straight, but instead, an alleged drug trafficker in Spain cut and burned off the skin of his fingers, then underwent surgery for fingerprint implants.

"It was a very sophisticated, specialist process that took place over a number of years," a Policía Nacional spokeswoman told The Guardian. Police say the man, originally from northwest Spain, was arrested on Tuesday near Madrid after 15 years on the run. His fingerprints were no longer recognizable, and he had also had a hair transplant to alter his appearance.

The man, whose name was not released, used fake documents to take on a new identity as a Peruvian citizen. He also claimed at times to be a Croatian citizen. There were four warrants out for the man's arrest, and police were finally able to nab him when they became aware that he was making frequent trips to Morocco, "presumably to engage in activities related to drug-trafficking." Catherine Garcia

August 20, 2018

Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart got Monday night's 2018 MTV VMAs started with a good old fashioned roast, targeting everyone from DJ Khaled to Camila Cabello to President Trump.

"We are live coast to coast right now," Hart said. "I'm looking at this like it's game day people, but don't worry, at this game you guys are allowed to kneel. You can do whatever the hell you want, there's no old white guy here to stop you."

After a herpes joke aimed at the cast of Jersey Shore, Hart picked on rappers Lil Pump and Lil Xan, also known as the "reasons your 12-year-old cousin wants a face tattoo. Stop writing on your goddamn face. Stop writing on your face. It's stupid. You're not going to get a job if this s—t don't work out. Stop it." Then, it was back to Trump. "You never know what's going to happen at the VMAs," Hart said. There's "bad language" and people who "run to the bathroom and send out crazy tweets. It's basically like your typical day at the White House. In your face, Trump! Suck it." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

September 5, 2015

Bill Cosby doesn't have too many fans left following dozens of allegations that the comedian has sexually assaulted, raped, and drugged women, actions he admitted to in a 2005 deposition. But fellow comedian Damon Wayans, who produced and starred in My Wife and Kids, is sticking up for him.

He didn't hold back when asked what advice he'd give Cosby on Power 101.5's The Breakfast Club show Friday:

If I was him, I would divorce my wife, wink wink, give her all my money and then I would go do a deposition. I would light one of those three-hour cigars. I'd have some wine and maybe a Quaalude and I would just go off, because I don't believe that he was raping. I think he was in relationships with all of them and then he's like, 'You know what? At 78, it don't work like that no more. I can't get it up for any of y'all. Bye, b*****s and then they're like, 'Oh, really? Rape!' [The Breakfast Club]

Wayans suggested the women who have recently spoken out about decades-old incidents with Cosby are opportunistic and don't have their stories straight.

"How big is his penis that it gives you amnesia for 40 years?" he said.

In fact, it's common for trauma survivors to have fragmented memories.

Wayans also suggested racial bias was at play in Cosby's fall from grace, since white comedian Woody Allen, who has been publicly accused of sexually assaulting his young daughter, still makes movies. If you can stomach it, watch Wayans' full interview below. Julie Kliegman

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