mistaken identity
July 18, 2020

Tributes to Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) streamed in from both sides of the political aisle Saturday morning, after the civil rights icon died Friday night at the age of 80 following a battle with cancer. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was one of the lawmakers who tweeted about his colleague, writing that it was an "honor" to serve in Congress with Lewis whom he described as a "genuine and historic American hero."

But beneath the Tweet, Rubio included a picture of himself speaking not with Lewis, but former Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who died last year. The tweet has since been deleted, although the image remained Rubio's profile photo on his Twitter page for some time after before he changed that, as well. Tim O'Donnell

January 8, 2019

John Bolton doesn't really like meetings.

Perhaps that's why the national security adviser wasn't able to talk President Trump out of withdrawing troops from Syria. And perhaps that's why Trump sometimes calls Bolton by the wrong name, The New York Times reports.

Last month, Trump announced a sudden and complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, saying America had "defeated ISIS." While Bolton opposed the move, he is "at least partly responsible for the conditions that led to" it, the Times writes. Big military decisions are usually honed between the president and several security leaders, but senior administration officials say Bolton's National Security Council had "zero" role in the move.

Because Bolton prefers one-on-one talks to group discussions, he's been blindsided by Trump's rash foreign policy choices, an official tells the Times. Bolton reportedly sees a tweet from Trump and then has to "reverse engineer" a policy to match it, the Times writes. That's what's happening regarding Syria, as Bolton rushes to convince Trump to slow down the military's withdrawal.

Bolton has so far been partly successful, with Trump conceding last week to "slowly sending our troops back home." But Bolton still hasn't broken into Trump's "inner circle," and Trump often calls him "Mike Bolton" when talking to aides, an NSC official told the Times. Read more at The New York Times. Kathryn Krawczyk

July 23, 2018

Fox & Friends First thought it had booked a rare guest: Ann Kirkpatrick, a pro-ICE Democrat running for Congress in Arizona. It could not have been more wrong.

On Monday's show, Fox & Friends First host Jillian Mele introduced "the only Democrat on stage to support ICE, Ann Kirkpatrick," and asked her to "tell us why you do support ICE." The so-called Kirkpatrick then declared she was on the show to "speak directly to Donald Trump" — who's known to watch the Fox morning show — because she's "a mother of four" and believe(s) that separating kids from their parents is illegal and inhumane."

A strong statement against Trump's family separation policy isn't what you'd expect from a Democrat who was booed Thursday for backing ICE. But then the guest dropped a bombshell: She was actually Barbara L'Italien, a Massachusetts state senator who's running for U.S. Congress. She "represent[s] a large immigrant community" and implored Trump to "stop abducting children and ripping them from their parents' arms."

Host Rob Schmitt stepped in, but still didn't quite understand what was happening. "That practice has stopped at this point, Ms. Kirkpatrick, right?" Schmitt asked. L'Italien calmly confirmed her identity and continued her statement, but Schmitt still asked "Who is this?" again before L'Italien's video feed was cut off.

In the words of Schmitt: "That didn't go as planned." Kathryn Krawczyk

Update 12:41 p.m. ET: Desiree Dunne, the executive producer of Fox & Friends First, said in a statement that L'Italien "did not identify herself as anything other than [Ann] Kirkpatrick until she was live on air." Dunne explained that the show contacted Kirkpatrick "through her press contact on file, Joe Katz, who accepted the invitation on Kirkpatrick’s behalf. Katz followed with an email confirming the segment, which also included background information and a campaign logo for Ann Kirkpatrick." Watch the hosts' on-air correction here.

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