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June 18, 2019

President Trump has everyone confused.

On Monday night, Trump abruptly tweeted that "next week," Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents "will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States." But in the hours that followed that tweet, both Republican lawmakers and senior officials have told CNN they've never heard of this plan.

With his tweet, Trump was seemingly referring to a roundup across U.S. expected to launch in a few months. But ICE officials immediately told The Washington Post that "the operation was not imminent," and that "they were not aware that the president planned to divulge their enforcement plans on Twitter." A senior official later told CNN that this operation was tentatively planned for July.

While ICE officials could draw a few inferences from Trump's tweet, Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) was at a total loss.

Trump still hasn't elaborated on his Monday night threat, making it look more and more like a baseless rallying cry for his Tuesday night campaign launch. Kathryn Krawczyk

June 11, 2019

To be honest, it's not really clear what President Trump meant when he brought up Kim Jong Un's brother at a press gaggle on Tuesday.

The North Korean leader's half brother, whom Kim is suspected of ordering the murder of in 2017, was reported Monday to be a CIA informant prior to his death. But when Trump was asked about the news on Tuesday, he responded by saying "I wouldn't let that happen under my auspices."

Trump was seemingly asked about the report on Tuesday, but his full quote on the matter doesn't exactly clear things up. "I saw the information about the CIA with respect to [Kim Jong Un's] brother ... and I would tell him that would not happen under my auspices," Trump said. That could mean Trump wouldn't let his metaphorical half brother lend information to foreign intelligence agencies, or it could mean he wouldn't let the CIA work with Kim's family. But judging by Trump's favorable discussion of Kim both before and after his "auspices" drop, it seems to be the latter. Watch the whole clip below. Kathryn Krawczyk

February 22, 2019

The New York Times has just published the third exposé on Sen. Amy Klobuchar's (D-Minn.) alleged mistreatment of her staff this month.

Reports about the evidently nightmarish experience of working for Klobuchar, who is running for president in 2020, were previously documented by HuffPost and BuzzFeed News, but Friday's from the Times is by far the weirdest if only for its opening anecdote.

Apparently, during a 2008 trip to South Carolina, an aide delivered Klobuchar a salad but didn't bring a fork, and there weren't any on the flight. "What happened next was typical: Ms. Klobuchar berated her aide instantly for the slip-up," the Times writes. "What happened after that was not: She pulled a comb from her bag and began eating the salad with it." Klobuchar reportedly then handed the comb to the aide and demanded they "clean it."

Aides interviewed for this piece described working for Klobuchar, who is reportedly known to berate employees frequently and throw office supplies at them, as "dehumanizing." Klobuchar is also described as shooting "slashing remarks" at employees "without particular provocation," including once saying to a staffer, "I would trade three of you for a bottle of water."

There also seems to be a potential violation of Senate rules: Klobuchar reportedly has an "unusual" parental leave policy, requiring those who take leave to commit to staying for three times as long as they were gone when they return. If they don't, they have to pay back the money they earned while on leave. A spokeswoman for Klobuchar said they have "never made staff pay back any of their leave and will be changing that language in the handbook."

Klobuchar has responded to reports of her alleged behavior by saying, "Am I a tough boss sometimes? Yes." Read more at The New York Times. Brendan Morrow

April 7, 2017

After the U.S. launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian military airfield Thursday night, killing six people, MSNBC's Brian Williams was thinking of a song by Leonard Cohen. "We see these beautiful pictures at night from the decks of these two U.S. Navy vessels in the eastern Mediterranean," Williams said Thursday on his show, The 11th Hour. "I am tempted to quote the great Leonard Cohen: 'I am guided by the beauty of our weapons.'"

Williams — who did not address the fact that these strikes were a response to a chemical attack Tuesday that killed dozens in the Idlib province, including children — continued to marvel at the deadly Tomahawk cruise missiles, calling them beautiful three times in the span of just 30 seconds. "And they are beautiful pictures of fearsome armaments making what is for them a brief flight over this airfield." Williams said. "What did they hit?"

Watch it below. Becca Stanek

October 30, 2016

New York's Metropolitan Opera canceled a show Saturday afternoon after a powdery substance believed to be the ashes left over after a cremation was sprinkled into the orchestra pit. The audience was evacuated, and though one person asked for medical attention, no one was injured.

The suspected cremains might have been an opera lover's ashes, said police investigating the incident, as a man in the audience was reportedly overheard saying "he was here to sprinkle ashes of a friend, his mentor in opera, during the performance." No arrest has been made, and though the investigation is ongoing, a representative of the New York Police Department indicated there was no evidence of criminal intent.

"We appreciate opera lovers coming to the Met," said Met General Manager Peter Gelb of the incident. "We hope that they will not bring their ashes with them." Bonnie Kristian

October 13, 2016

Donald Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., tested out a new defense of his father's lewd comments about women during an interview Thursday on WBT radio's Charlotte's Morning News. While many of the Republican nominee's defenders have brushed off his comments, which surfaced Friday in a tape from 2005, as "locker room talk," Donald Jr. took that argument a step further. "I think it makes him a human. I think it makes him a normal person, not a political robot. He hasn't spent his whole life waiting for this moment to run for the presidency," Donald Jr. said, noting that he's had "conversations like that with plenty of people where people use language off-color."

Donald Jr. argued that it's these moments that prove his dad is a "regular person like everyone else," which is what "endeared him to the American public" in the first place. In the tape, Trump can be heard talking about grabbing women by the genitals and bragging his celebrity status lets him do whatever he wants to women. Days after the tape was released, several women came forward Wednesday accusing Donald of trying to grope or kiss them without their consent.

In Donald Jr.'s opinion, those accusations are "ridiculous." "I've never heard anything dumber in my life," he said. "All of sudden, two, three weeks before election, someone comes out — it's not like he hasn't been in the public eye for 30 years." Becca Stanek

August 9, 2016

When CNN's Brian Stelter was in college and running TV Newser, Fox News wanted to scope out his opinions on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox — so they allegedly had a woman Stelter had a crush on at Fox News date him to try to get the scoop.

It sounds like the plot of a half-baked rom-com, but no. This is apparently real life.

Stelter revealed the story after news broke that former Fox CEO Roger Ailes had allegedly tried to dig up dirt on his enemies. "A lot of what [Gabriel Sherman's] reporting I think reporters have suspected for awhile," Stelter said on New Day, naming the New York reporter who has written several revealing expositions on Ailes. "I'll give you an example. About ten years ago, I had a crush on a woman at Fox News. She was a low level staffer. I was in college at the time. So I was going out on what I thought were dates."

But they allegedly weren't really dates. "She was actually reporting back to Fox News about me," Stelter said. "She was reporting back about what I thought of her and about CNN and MSNBC and Fox. Because I was a reporter on the beat, they were actually spying on me that way."

Stelter added that many reporters wouldn't have thought something like that was entirely out of line at the time, although it was later alleged that Ailes' "spying" went a lot deeper. Read Sherman's report in New York here, and listen to Stelter tell the story on New Day, via Media Matters. Jeva Lange

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