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scandal
May 22, 2018

More than 200 professors at the University of Southern California have called on President C.L. Max Nikias to step down, writing in a letter that he has "lost the moral authority to lead" after it was reported that the campus gynecologist was able to see patients for years, despite complaints.

The professors sent a letter to the USC Board of Trustees on Tuesday, saying Nikias failed to "protect our students, our staff, and our colleagues from repeated and pervasive sexual harassment and misconduct." The Los Angeles Times reported last week that Dr. George Tyndall, the only gynecologist on campus for several decades, was accused of inappropriate behavior, but he wasn't removed from the student health center until 2016, when a nurse complained to a rape crisis center.

An internal university investigation found that Tyndall's pelvic exams were outside the scope of current medical practice and considered sexual harassment. Tyndall, who denies any wrongdoing, was able to resign and receive a payout, and USC did not report him to the state medical board. USC Provost Michael Quick wrote in a letter on Monday that senior leadership on campus did not learn about the complaints until last year, and "this claim of a coverup is patently false."

An hour after the Board of Trustees received the letter, Chairman John Mork released a statement announcing that the trustees found the report on Tyndall "troubling" but they still "strongly support" Nikias. Nikias has said he understands "the faculty's anger and disappointment," and the university will rewrite its Code of Ethics. Catherine Garcia

May 17, 2017

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced that he has invited former FBI Director James Comey to a hearing next Wednesday. "But I still need to speak with him," Chaffetz added. "Evidently has a new [number]."

On Tuesday, Chaffetz wrote a letter to acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe saying that if the reports of a "Comey memo" are true, then "these memoranda raise questions as to whether the president attempted to influence or impede the FBI's investigation as it relates to Lt. Gen. [Michael] Flynn. So the committee can consider that question and more, provide ... all memoranda, notes, summaries, and recordings referring or relating to any communications between Comey and the president."

CNN's Eric Lichtblau said before Chaffetz's announcement Wednesday that a Comey hearing "should be one for the history books."

"Newly exiled FBI director pitted against the president who fired him. Add backdrop of Russian election influence. Cue the grainy Watergate photos of Sam Ervin and Howard Baker," Lichtblau said. "And remember, Comey has always had quite a flair for drama, as we saw exactly 10 years ago when he testified in the Senate about his famous hospital-room showdown with George W. Bush's White House aides at John Ashcroft's bedside. We could get a hearing in the next few weeks, if not sooner, and my guess is that Comey will insist it happen in public, not behind closed doors." Jeva Lange

March 14, 2017

Nine military officers, including a retired Navy admiral, were arrested Tuesday after being indicted in an ongoing bribery scandal.

The indictment, unsealed on Tuesday in San Diego, alleges that in return for providing classified information and other help to Leonard Francis, a Malaysian defense contractor nicknamed "Fat Leonard," retired Adm. Bruce Loveless and other officers were treated to extravagant trips, exorbitant dinners, and the services of prostitutes. Prosecutors say that Francis' company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, fleeced the U.S. Navy out of $35 million by overcharging for items it supplied to ships in the Pacific, like food and water.

More than 20 former or current Navy officials have been charged over the past three years in connection with the scandal, and Francis has pleaded guilty and is waiting to be sentenced. Catherine Garcia

June 24, 2016

Donald Trump typically uses Twitter like the rest of us — to shout rarely-thought-through opinions into the void. Unfortunately for Trump, that is not exactly the best strategy for someone running for president of the United States.

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R) told BuzzFeed yesterday that he has advised Trump to be "more disciplined" on Twitter. But if you're down for a good conspiracy, it appears that someone is simply writing Trump's "good" tweets for him now:

When using Tweetdeck, users can see how other people posted tweets — for example, the "sophisticated" Trump tweet came from an iPhone while just hours earlier a much Trumpier sounding tweet was posted using an Android, giving credence to the possibility that an aide is writing Trump's more professional posts.

Manual retweets — another of Trump's favorite tactics — also appear to come from the Android app:

(Twitter)

Whereas more standard campaign information appears to come from the iPhone:

(Twitter)

Then again, it is also entirely possible Trump has two phones — the guy is a billionaire, after all. Jeva Lange

August 31, 2015

Disgraced wrestling star Hulk Hogan sat down with Good Morning America on Monday for his first interview since WWE terminated his contract in July over a racist rant. He was caught calling his daughter's then-boyfriend the n-word in an old tape brought to light in the aftermath of Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker Media.

"I'm not a racist, but I never should have said what I said," Hogan said, reiterating an earlier apology. "It was wrong. I'm embarrassed by it."

He connected his use of the slur to the area he was raised in.

"People need to realize that you inherit things from your environment," he said. "And where I grew up was south Tampa, Port Tampa, and it was a really rough neighborhood, very low income. And all my friends, we greeted each other saying that word."

Hogan also divulged that he was suicidal in 2007, when the secret tape was believed to be filmed. Watch his full interview below. Julie Kliegman

February 13, 2015

In Oregon, Senate President Peter Courtney, House Speaker Tina Kotek, and other top Democrats have asked Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) to resign amid an ethics scandal.

Kitzhaber's fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, is being investigated over work she has done for the state and for failing to disclose income to the IRS, and lawmakers are afraid the scandal is hurting Oregon. State Treasurer Ted Wheeler released a statement Thursday saying it was with "deep sadness" that he asked Kitzhaber to step down. "Unfortunately, the current situation has become untenable, and I cannot imagine any scenario by which things improve," he said. "Oregon deserves a governor who is fully focused on the duties of state."

Kitzhaber had decided to resign on Tuesday but changed his mind after meeting with his attorney and Hayes on Wednesday, The Oregonian reports. Earlier, he had called Secretary of State Kate Brown back to Oregon from a conference in Washington, D.C., in order to have the second-in-command back in the state, but Kitzhaber told KOIN 6 News on Wednesday night: "She is the vice president, second in line, but I have no intention to resign. I will do the job I was elected to do." Catherine Garcia

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