May 16, 2018
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Rudy Giuliani defended President Trump on Fox News on Wednesday night by saying that what matters isn't whether Trump's campaign got compromising information on Hillary Clinton from Russians, but rather that Trump never used it.

"They rejected it," he told host Laura Ingraham. "If there was collusion with the Russians, they would have used it." Now a member of Trump's legal team, Giuliani said that when he was running for office in New York City and for president, Democrats "were looking for dirt on me every day. That's what you do, maybe you shouldn't, but you do. Nothing illegal about that." When it comes to the sources of that dirt, he added, no one is off limits. "Even if it comes from a Russian, a German, an American, doesn't matter," he said.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is about to start his second year investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians, and the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday released transcripts from an interview it conducted with Donald Trump Jr. regarding a meeting he had in Trump Tower ahead of the election with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer. Trump Jr. set up that meeting after learning that the lawyer was offering the Trump team compromising information about Clinton. Catherine Garcia

4:04 a.m. ET
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Alex Jones and/or his Infowars site have been banned from Facebook, Apple, YouTube, and Spotify over their hateful and demonstrably false conspiracy theories, and even Twitter just put Jones on one-week probation, but none of that has anything to do with why the Federal Communications Commission shut down Jones' flagship radio station, Radio Liberty. According to documents in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Austin this week, Radio Liberty had been illegally broadcasting over a local FM station from 2013 until it ceased pirating the airwaves in December and switched to online streaming and a call-in "listen line."

FCC agents from Houston tracked the pirate radio signals to apartments in north-central Austin owned by defendants Walter Olenick and M. Rae Nadler-Olenick, the Austin American Statesman reports. According to the FCC, the Olenicks refused to pay the agency's $15,000 fine or recognize its authority and threatened to treat FCC agents as trespassers if they returned to the property. On Wednesday, the American Statesman said, the once-pirated frequency, 901. FM, was playing religious programming. Peter Weber

3:19 a.m. ET

"It is a chilling day in American history, and not just because I keep this theater at 52 degrees," Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. "For the first time ever, a president has used the power of his office to punish members of the intelligence community who have criticized him." He played White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reading President Trump's statement on why he revoked former CIA chief John Brennan's security clearance, and one charge stuck out: Brennan's alleged "wild outbursts on the internet." "I'd say that's the pot calling the kettle black, but there may be tapes of it calling the kettle much worse," Colbert joked.

Trump's been threatening to hit Brennan for a month, and announcing it today "is just an obvious attempt to distract our attention from America's sweetheart, Omarosa," Colbert said. Her claim that Trump used the N-word, and that it's on tape, "has sparked a national debate: Exactly how big of a racist is the president? I mean, on a scale of "Drunk Uncle at Thanksgiving' to 'Drunk Uncle at Trump Rally'?" Trump has insisted, frequently, that he is "the least racist" person, and Colbert suggested Trump doth protest too much.

Yes, it was "another rough week for the Trump White House: scandals, bad press, bad polls numbers," Trevor Noah said on The Daily Show. "But the good news is, they found someone to blame," Brennan. He also found Trump's rationale curious. "Unfounded allegations, wild internet outbursts, and lying?" Noah asked. "It sounds like Sarah Sanders is just reading from President Trump's daily schedule." Throw in the officials he says he's targeting next, "Trump's enemies list," and it's pretty clear "Trump isn't just protecting secrets for the good of the country," Noah said, wondering how Rosie O'Donnell and Don Lemon aren't on the list, too. Watch below. Peter Weber

2:25 a.m. ET

Tom Arnold, promoting a Viceland show about hunting for "the Trump tapes," sat down with Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday's Kimmel Live, and he said Omarosa Manigault Newman is right — there is tape of President Trump using the N-word. On reality TV shows, "the crew has fun" and creates compilations tapes, Arnold explained, and in 2016 he mentioned on a comedy show that he's seen an Apprentice compilation tape in which Trump uses the N-word and also jokes that Eric Trump is mentally disabled. "There's two people that have never called me a liar about the N-word tape: Donald Trump and Mark Burnett," Arnold said. "Because they know it's true. They absolutely know it's true."

Burnett, the Apprentice producer, and Trump are "best friends," Arnold claimed, and Burnett is protecting the president. "If you could see one day of Donald Trump on that set, one full day, you'll realize, 'Oh my God, that's what's going on in the White House — he's incompetent, he is racist, he sexually harasses people,'" he said. "You've seen it?" Kimmel asked. "Absolutely I've seen it, and you will see it," he said. "And there's a pee-pee tape!"

"The truth is, we don't know if there's a tape," Trevor Noah said on The Daily Show, and Roy Wood Jr. explained why he hopes there isn't one. When Noah suggested fallout from a recording of Trump using the N-word "would be catastrophic," Wood played his own "tapes of Trump saying racist things," not secretly. "You don't need to wait for a secret tape to prove Trump is a racist," he said.

"I don't give a damn about what an N-word tape would mean for Donald Trump, I care what it would mean for black people," Wood said. "The last thing we need is his supporters hearing him say the N-word, because then the floodgates open. We're gonna hear Trump supporters using that word everywhere." Watch below. Peter Weber

1:55 a.m. ET

The parents of an Ohio man who went missing last week on Mount St. Helens said he survived by killing and eating bees and foraging for berries.

Last Thursday, Matthew Matheny borrowed a friend's Subaru Outback for an afternoon at Mount St. Helens. When he didn't come back, he was reported missing, and the car was found Saturday. Matheny was discovered "conscious and alive" on the flanks of Mount St. Helens Wednesday, the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office said, and he was rushed to a hospital in Vancouver.

Matheny's parents, Carney and Linda, told reporters their son is a nurse and interested in nutrition and health. "We think that may have saved him," Linda Matheny said. He has scratches on him and is dehydrated. "He never found water, but the berries must have had enough fluid to keep him going," Linda Matheny said.

Her son decided to go to Mount St. Helens for the afternoon while his friends were at work, and he "had no idea how turned around he could get, how prepared people have to be," Linda Matheny said. Both parents thanked the search and rescue teams, and said they are "so grateful to everyone we encountered." Catherine Garcia

1:01 a.m. ET
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When the White House announced Wednesday that President Trump had revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, the stated rationale was Brennan's purported "erratic conduct and behavior" and "unfounded and outrageous allegations — wild outbursts on the internet and television — about this administration."

Since Trump said he was also considering revoking the security clearances of nine other high-ranking intelligence and law enforcement officials, all of whom have publicly criticized him, most people assumed this was an unprecedented and autocratic-style act of retribution and a warning to other critics in the intelligence and law enforcement communities. Trump suggested to The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that in fact he was targeting officials specifically involved in the investigation of his campaign and Russia now being overseen by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Brennan presented evidence to Trump right before his inauguration about Russia interfering in the 2016 election, and Trump once again called into question the legitimacy the investigation upon which that intelligence assessment was based. "You know, in theory I'm not under investigation ... I'm not a target. But regardless, I think that whole — I call it the rigged witch hunt — is a sham." Trump told the Journal. "And these people led it!" he added. "So I think it's something that had to be done."

Trump's statement, briefly dated July 26, "made no suggestion Mr. Brennan gave away classified information or revealed national secrets, a common reason for revoking security clearances," the Journal noted. Trump made his list of targets sound personal. "I don't trust many of those people on that list," he told the Journal. "I think that they're very duplicitous. I think they're not good people." The feeling is probably mutual. Peter Weber

12:40 a.m. ET

During Tuesday night's Detroit Tigers game, Travis Blackwell started what he called a "line of awesomeness."

When a foul ball flew into the stands, his dad caught it and tossed it to Blackwell. The 10-year-old then ran down to the row of seats where Michael Ogden, 7, was sitting with his family. Blackwell handed the ball to Ogden, because "I wanted to make his day," he told CBS News. Ogden was there celebrating his birthday, and grinned from ear to ear. He then went up to where Blackwell was sitting, and shook his hand.

Blackwell said that a few years ago, an adult gave him a foul ball at a game, and he wanted to pay it forward. Ogden thought what Blackwell did was "awesome," and when he was at Wednesday's Detroit Tigers game, when a ball came flying over to the stands and a man threw it to him, Ogden passed it along to a girl sitting behind him. "It was her first baseball she has ever had," Ogden said. Just like that, Ogden kept the "line of awesomeness" going. Catherine Garcia

August 15, 2018
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The Center for Immigration Studies has been called a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and on Wednesday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Lee Francis Cissna spoke at the organization's annual Immigration Newsmakers event.

CIS is a think tank founded by white nationalist John Tanton, The Daily Beast reports, and it's known for publishing false information on immigration. The group wants to see not only an increase in the detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants, but also a reduction in legal immigration. CIS policy director Jessica Vaughan asked Cissna about the Trump administration's hardline approach. "For whatever reason, our authority on enforcement has not been fully exercised in the past," Cissna said. "Well, now it will be. Everything we [do] at the agency should be guided by the law, not any other thing. That's our Bible."

Cissna is the son of a Peruvian immigrant, The Daily Beast reports, and became head of the federal agency in October. He shared why he decided to remove the words "We are a nation of immigrants" from the USCIS mission statement, saying he wanted to "redefine, clarify, what the purpose of the agency is. I looked at the old mission statement and I concluded it didn't really do that. So I started from scratch."

This isn't the first time a Trump administration official has appeared at the event: Before Cissna, Thomas Homan, former director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and James McHenry, director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, both attended. Catherine Garcia

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