Actress Rose McGowan, back on Twitter Thursday after a brief suspension, sent a series of tweets to Amazon's Jeff Bezos, in which she asked him to stop funding "sexual harassers" and accused "HW" of raping her.
"I told the head of your studio that HW raped me," McGowan tweeted to Bezos. "Over and over. I said it. He said it hadn't been proven. I said I was the proof." McGowan also said she was calling on Bezos to "stop funding rapists, alleged pedos, and sexual harassers. I love @amazon but there is rot in Hollywood." McGowan didn't speak to The New York Times for its bombshell article on sexual misconduct allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein, but the newspaper did mention a 1997 incident between the two, which took place in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival and ultimately led to Weinstein paying McGowan a $100,000 settlement.
On Tuesday, McGowan had also mentioned Bezos in a tweet, saying it was "time to look at who funds and airs his shows. What's up @jeffbezos." Twitter said it temporarily locked McGowan's account on Wednesday night because she tweeted a private phone number, which violates the company's terms of services. An annoyed McGowan, referencing President Trump's penchant for firing off tweets that could start World War III, responded, "When will nuclear war violate your terms of service?" Catherine Garcia
Stephen Colbert kicked off Tuesday's Late Show with some much-need "good news" out of Wakanda, the fictional African nation featured in the blockbuster movie Black Panther, which crushed all sorts of box office records over the weekend. "Meanwhile, back here in America, we have our own drama," he said, with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of 13 Russians and three Kremlin-linked entities — and President Trump tweeting about it for the rest of the weekend.
Some of the indicted Russians trying to influence the 2016 election were in contact with "unwitting individuals" associated with Trump's campaign, according to the indictment. "Unwitting — so that narrows it down to the entire Trump campaign." Trump's first tweets claimed vindication, but as "the mean TV people pointed out that it did not exonerate Trump," his tweets got progressively angrier, Colbert said. You can watch him reads some of them, with commentary, below. Peter Weber
"This morning, the White House was able to get a break from the scandals of today with a scandal from 10 years ago," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show, recapping the Washington Post profile of Rachel Crooks, who said President Trump forced an unwanted kiss on her in Trump Tower. "Of course, the president was far too consumed with today's domestic crises to notice this," Colbert began, quickly abandoning the joke to read Trump's odd tweeted denial.
"We're also hearing more about the women who actually consented to let Trump kiss them," Colbert said, pointing to the alleged affair Trump had with former Playboy model Karen McDougal. "No surprise — in her centerfold, her turn-ons included rampant corruption, thin-skinned egomaniacs, and one wide yellow hair piled atop a deflated basketball," he joked. McDougal sold her story to the National Enquirer before the election, then buried it until The New Yorker published McDougal's handwritten notes about the affair. "Welcome to Trump's America, where if the story is too steamy and trashy for the National Enquirer, you'll find it in The New Yorker," Colbert marveled.
He read some of McDougal's recollections. "Yes, Trump lets his mistresses know right up front that he's willing to pay — that's why he has a sign in his hotel room, 'We Validate Porking,'" Colbert quipped, throwing in several more off-color jokes, and an aside about Mr. T, as he walked through the details of the purported affair — and its dates. "How dare you, sir! Cheating on Stormy Daniels?" Colbert fake-huffed. "Do you not respect the sanctity of the billionaire-porn star relationship? You just go ahead and three-time the person you're two-timing with?"
"Bill Clinton would blush at how easily Trump seems to duck consequences" of his "slow-moving sex scandal," including "porn stars, hush money, caught-on-tape crudeness, and tawdry tabloids," Mike Allen said at Axios, but with Daniels and McDougal promising to talk, it may speed up soon. Peter Weber
CNN's Anderson Cooper swats down the 'sick' Parkland conspiracy theories, aided by student David Hogg
There were four more funerals Tuesday for students slain last week in Parkland, Florida. But "as these kids buried their friends, some sick conspiracy theories have been cropping up," Anderson Cooper said on CNN Tuesday night. One claims the student survivors demanding new gun laws are "crisis actors" and another insists student David Hogg is a gun-grabbing "pawn" of the FBI.
"While we'd normally be reluctant to even give these conspiracy theories any oxygen at all," Donald Trump Jr. rewteeted the FBI one, making it "newsworthy," Cooper said. "We'd love to talk to Don Jr. about why he did that, why he is, by extension, attacking these kids who just buried their friends, but it turns out he's in India promoting his father's real estate empire." Instead, he had on Hogg and his father, former FBI employee Kevin Hogg. David Hogg called the conspiracy theories "unbelievable," said Don Jr.'s retweet was "disgusting to me," and judged it "hilarious" that anybody would think his dog-cuddling dad is pulling his strings.
In Cooper's panel discussion, Jack Kingston insisted he "would never say" that the kids are crisis actors, but he did repeat his more respectable conspiracy theory about George Soros controlling the Parkland students. "It would shock me if they did a nationwide rally and the pro–gun control left took their hands of it," he said.
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) February 21, 2018
"When you say something like that, it's so bad, and I'm going to tell you why it's bad," Van Jones told Kingston. But Parkland student Sarah Chadwick had already beaten him to the punch. Peter Weber
Hey Jack! Just wanted to let you know that, yes! Us 17yrs really are planning a nationwide rally! It’s crazy what determination, and a strong work ethic can lead to! But I mean you have neither of those things so I wouldn’t expect you to understand. https://t.co/SM6BThmIqv
— Sarah Chadwick// #NEVERAGAIN (@sarahchad_) February 20, 2018
It appears Dallas officials aren't the only ones rethinking the National Rifle Association's May meeting in Texas. Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) was listed as a featured speaker at the NRA's leadership forum, Steve Bousquet wrote at The Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday, and his "office confirmed the invitation, but said no decision has been made on whether he will attend." By Wednesday morning, as a Florida Daily Kos diarist noted, Scott was no longer on the NRA's list of speakers.
— Nicole C. Morris (@rockstaresquire) February 20, 2018
The NRA calls its annual conference "a must stop for candidates seeking the highest levels of elective office," Bousquet notes, and Scott, a featured speaker at its 2017 conference, is one of the group's favorites. After Scott pushed through a number of laws loosening gun restrictions, the NRA gave him "its highest compliment, an A-plus rating, as the NRA flooded Florida homes with millions of mailers to help Scott clinch re-election four years ago." After last week's school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Bousquet says, "suddenly, the NRA's A-plus rating looks like an albatross, a potential drag on Scott's expected run for the U.S. Senate." Peter Weber
Jared Kushner really doesn't want to give up his high-level security clearance, White House officials say
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, stung by the Rob Porter scandal, moved Friday to revoke high-level access to classified information for White House employees whose background checks have been pending since before June 2017. Chief among the numerous White House officials with interim security clearances is Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, and Kusher "is resisting giving up his access to highly classified information," The New York Times reports.
Kushner is the elephant in the room when it comes to security clearance, The Washington Post reports, with White House Counsel Don McGahn's office feeling "they cannot take action on other people whose background checks have dragged on because they did not take similar steps with Kushner." Kushner is reportedly being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, but his several amendments to his background application means he is actually safe from Kelly's directive, for now. Still, Kelly's push to tighten the loose White House security situation has put him at loggerheads with Kushner, the Times reports:
Mr. Kushner, frustrated about the security clearance issue and concerned that Mr. Kelly has targeted him personally with the directive, has told colleagues at the White House that he is reluctant to give up his high-level access, the officials said. In the talks, the officials say, Mr. Kushner has insisted that he maintain his current level of access, including the ability to review the [president's] daily intelligence briefing when he sees fit. But Mr. Kelly, who has been privately dismissive of Mr. Kushner since taking the post of chief of staff but has rarely taken him on directly, has made no guarantees. [The New York Times]
You can read more about Kushner-Kelly tensions at The New York Times, and watch reporter Julie Hirschfeld Davis discuss her report on CNN. Peter Weber
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) February 21, 2018
Activists say at least 250 people, including 50 children, have been killed over the last few days in Eastern Ghouta, Syria, and another were 1,200 injured.
Panos Moumtzis, the United Nations' Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, told the BBC the situation there is "beyond imagination," with countless people experiencing "extreme suffering." The government of President Bashar al-Assad has been dropping bomb after bomb in Eastern Ghouta, the last major opposition stronghold near Damascus, for several days; the military says it is trying to free the area from terrorists.
The bombing went into overdrive on Sunday and Monday. Resident Firas Abdullah told the BBC that "the missiles and the mortars are dropping on us like rain. There is nowhere to hide from this nightmare and it isn't over." A U.N. spokesperson said at least six hospitals in the region were hit by bombs on Monday and Tuesday, and there are shortages of food, since only one humanitarian convoy has been let into Eastern Ghouta by the government since November. Activists say this is the worst violence in Syria since a chemical attack in 2013. Catherine Garcia
How's this for some customer service? After a United Airlines gate agent discovered a passenger's missing wedding/engagement ring, she gave the ring to a pilot, who personally dropped it off at the passenger's home in San Francisco.
Brit Morin tweeted that her ring disappeared somewhere between New York City and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, last week. After a gate agent discovered it, the agent put the ring away in a safe, then gave it to the pilot for a very special delivery. The captain dropped the ring off on Monday along with a note, which read: "I take pride in getting passengers from Point A to Point B safely and on time. Today, I'm happy to be part of a team focused on making just one individual happy (you!)." Morin tweeted that she now has "a newfound faith in humanity and airlines. Thanks United." Catherine Garcia