A quintessential moment of the Trump presidency
With Kansas and Duke in OT, “CBS just scooped itself by publishing the transcript,” tweets Brennan Somers. In case you somehow didn’t hear about this, Stormy Daniels described her alleged affair with Donald Trump in an interview with Anderson Cooper on CBS’s 60 Minutes last night, and OT basketball delays and self-scoops or not, it was certainly good for ratings. CNN’s Brian Stelter is reporting that Anderson Cooper’s Stormy Daniels interview draws highest ratings for ‘60 Minutes’ in ten years. He tweets, “When the final #’s are in, Stormy is expected to rank as the highest-rated ‘60 Minutes’ episode since Barack and Michelle Obama sat down for their first post-election interview in 2008.”
Jim Rutenberg recaps the interview in The New York Times, Adult Film Star Says She Stayed Silent on Trump Out of Fear, calling it “something of a national event,” and “a quintessential moment of the Trump presidency,” while noting that previously, “Ms. Clifford had kept her public appearances to the strip club circuit.” “This is the scandal Trump deserves,” tweets Wajahat Ali.
These kids are incredible
But that wasn’t the only big story of the weekend. The New York Times has March for Our Lives Highlights: Students Protesting Guns Say ‘Enough Is Enough’ (67,000+ shares), while Jessica Durando of USA Today reports that March for Our Lives could become biggest single-day protest in D.C. in nation's history.
Meanwhile, Emma Gonzalez is responsible for the loudest silence in the history of US social protest (188,000+ shares), writes Ari Berman of Mother Jones. “I’ve seen and covered a lot of speeches in my days. None more powerful than this,” Ron Fournier says, and Vicky Mochama says simply, “these kids are incredible.” Speaking of, Fenit Nirappil of The Washington Post reveals The story behind 11-year-old Naomi Wadler and her March for Our Lives speech. Dan Zak notes (by tweet, tho), “She's not on social media. May we all one day follow her example.”
Pope Francis also weighs in, as Philip Pullella of Reuters reports in Keep shouting, don't become anesthetized, pope tells young people. In the “You can't make this stuff up!” file, as Eric Patnoudes tweets, Rick Santorum says that instead of calling for gun laws, kids should take CPR classes. Eli Watkins has that story for CNN. And People Are Sharing A Fake Picture Of A Parkland Survivor Tearing Up The Constitution, reports BuzzFeed’s Talal Ansari. Of course they are.
Bigger than it looks?
John Schwartz has just realized something: “It strikes me that if I paid my dues and reinstated my bar membership, I could probably join this legal team. But I can't afford to take out home equity loans to pay my client's legal obligations.” As Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times report, At a Crucial Juncture, Trump’s Legal Defense Is Largely a One-Man Operation. “This is a nice way of saying that Dowd left because his client plans to perjure himself,” Orin Kerr points out, highlighting this, from the piece, “Mr. Dowd had concluded that there was no upside and that the president, who often does not tell the truth, could increase his legal exposure if his answers were not accurate.”
Josh Dawsey and Carol Leonnig of The Washington Post have more with In another blow to Trump’s efforts to combat Russia probe, diGenova will no longer join legal team. At The Daily Beast, though, Betsy Woodruff writes that Trump’s Legal Team Is Bigger Than It Looks. Tweets Kyle Griffin, “Trump’s legal team is bigger than it looks. Two sources familiar with the president’s team have told The Daily Beast that about half a dozen attorneys affiliated with a conservative non-profit have been helping Jay Sekulow represent the president.”
Elliot Broidy is a busy man
AP’s Desmond Butler, Tom LoBianco and Bradley Klapper have been following the money, and their investigation finds that a Mueller probe witness secretly backed UAE agenda in Congress. Natasha Bertrand explains: “Big AP investigation finds that George Nader wired $2.5 million to Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy through a company in Canada to bankroll an effort to persuade the U.S. to take a hard line against Qatar.” If it sounds a bit familiar, Joshua Holland notes that “It's ABSCAM redux.” “Swamp gets swampier,” tweets AP_Politics.
While we’re at it, “Read this @kenvogel @ddknyt joint >>” tweets Jonathan Martin, who links to Fundraiser Held Out Access to Trump as a Prize for Prospective Clients, by Kenneth Vogel and David D. Kirkpatrick of The New York Times. “Elliot Broidy is a busy man, what with all that influence to peddle,” notes Will Jordan.
Kind of refreshing
New this morning, Trump, Joining Allies, Expels 60 Russians Over Poisoning in U.K., which Katie Rogers and Eileen Sullivan report on for The New York Times. Tweets Daniel Drezner, “It's been about 18 months since I've seen a U.S. administration execute a garden-variety diplomatic move smoothly coordinated with allies. It's kind of refreshing.” “I legit did not see this coming,” says Imad Khan. Allie Malloy and Jeremy Diamond cover the story at CNN, Trump expelling 60 Russian diplomats in wake of UK nerve agent attack, and Matthew Kupfer finds this “Interesting. Besides expelling 60 Russian diplomats (48 of whom are alleged intelligence agents), the US is closing #Russia's Seattle consulate due to proximity to sub base and Boeing.” Canada has also expelled Russian diplomats in solidarity with United Kingdom.
Virgil to Vuitton
Matthew Schneier is referring to the news that Louis Vuitton Names Virgil Abloh as Its New Men’s Wear Designer. Vanessa Friedman and Elizabeth Paton of The New York Times have the story on Louis Vuitton’s first African-American artistic director. “Times should have had Ultralight Beam on autoplay for this story,” says Alex Suskind. “Hypebeasts are rejoicing all over the world,” tweets Elisha Brown.
Whale watching with Tiffany
“Well, I know how I'm spending the next 30 mins,” says Julia Craven. She’s talking about Caity Weaver’s profile of Tiffany Haddish for GQ, Tiffany Haddish on Beyoncé, Growing Up in Foster Care, and Whales, “in which @caityweaver and @GQMagazine put forward perhaps our nation’s most important question WHO BIT BEYONCÉ,” tweets Evan Romano. “OBVIOUSLY read @caityweaver on the extremely delightful Tiffany Haddish, who, among other spectacular things, wore Uggs on a whale watching cruise,” advises Nora Biette-Timmons. Adds Lauren Larson, “Live today with the joie de vivre of Tiffany Haddish shouting ‘LET ME SEE THAT BODY!!!’ at a passing whale.” Weaver sums it up: “I need to make one thing crystal clear: If you think you want to hang out with @TiffanyHaddish—you do. You are correct.”
Also having a busy weekend, “Trump complained about Stormy Daniels this weekend, called it a ‘hoax’ but also asked how it might affect his poll numbers. He also trashed Tillerson's intellect and energy, said he wanted to fire Shulkin and lamented spending bill he signed.” Josh Dawsey has the recap, linking to his piece in The Washington Post with John Wagner, Trump may be preparing to make more administration personnel changes.
“This is spot on about the BBC’s Brexit problem: it's not bias per se, but a simplistic sense of balance,” says Ian Dunt, of James O’Brien’s piece in the NewStatesman, Media impartiality is a problem when ignorance is given the same weight as expertise, “In which I introduce readers to the seventeenth century denier of heliocentrism, Nigello Lawsini,” as O’Brien tweets.
“Yesterday, 10 Downing Street publicly outed Shahmir Sanni. Tonight we publish the story they tried to kill: the full inside account of one man's mission to tell the truth about Vote Leave…” tweets Carole Cadwalladr, of her piece in The Guardian with Antonio Olmos, Brexit whistleblower: ‘They cheated. It’s a lie, the whole thing.’
Joe Weisenthal links to the first piece in a “Fascinating new project from the health team at Bloomberg, tracking a series of families that have opted to forgo health insurance.” That’s Why Thousands of Americans Are Risking It and Skipping Health Insurance, by Bloomberg’s John Tozzi.
From Lingling Wei and Bob Davis of The Wall Street Journal, U.S., China Quietly Seek Trade Solutions After Days of Loud Threats.
Zack Ford of ThinkProgress reports that Pence secretly drafted Trump’s latest transgender military ban.
SoftBank Probes Who Was Behind Smear Campaign Against Top Executives, reports Bradley Hope of The Wall Street Journal.