January 13, 2020

It has been less than two weeks since Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed in an airstrike authorized by President Trump, and Trump still can't get his story straight about why he approved the operation, Seth Meyers said on Monday's Late Night.

Trump has finally settled on claiming that Soleimani was going to target U.S. embassies, but he keeps changing the number. "In the span of two days, he went from not talking about embassies at all to saying it was one embassy to saying it was multiple embassies to saying it was four embassies," Meyers said. "I know Trump is a bad liar, but even for him it's obvious he's making stuff up off the top of his head." Putting on his best Trump voice, he added: "What if it was four embassies? Is that a number where you would all leave me alone? What if they were Embassy Suites, that would be bad, right?"

Even Trump's team is having a hard time keeping up with his lies, Meyers said, and that reminds him of the George W. Bush administration. They did the same thing before the Iraq War, with Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice all lying "repeatedly" about the intelligence they used to justify invading Iraq, he said. That's "eerily similar" to what's going on today.

"They claimed definitively that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and had ties to the terrorists who carried out 9/11," Meyers said. "They manipulated intelligence and concocted all kinds of lies about that intelligence to justify an immoral and catastrophic war that destabilized the region and the world." Watch Meyers explain more parallels between Trump and Bush in the video below. Catherine Garcia

3:26 p.m.

Kansas Jayhawks forward Silvio De Sousa has been suspended indefinitely by the team for his role in an ugly brawl at the end of Tuesday night's Kansas-Kansas State game, ESPN reports.

"I have suspended Silvio De Sousa indefinitely pending the final outcome of the review by KU and the Big 12 Conference," Jayhawks coach Bill Self said in a statement. "As I said last night, we are disappointed in his actions and there is no place in the game for that behavior."

The melee — which occurred in the disabled seating section of Kansas' Allen Fieldhouse — began after De Sousa blocked a shot by Kansas State's DeJuan Gordon in the closing moments of Kansas' 81-60 victory. De Sousa stood above the fallen Gordon as an apparent taunt, Gordon's teammates confronted De Sousa, and a wild fight quickly ensued, with De Sousa at one point brandishing a stool. De Sousa was suspended for the entire 2018-19 season after being implicated in the FBI's investigation into corruption in college basketball, and though he was supposed to sit out the current season, Kansas successfully — and now, regrettably — appealed the ban. Jacob Lambert

2:36 p.m.

Republicans weren't the only ones displeased with the address House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) gave to the Senate during Tuesday's impeachment proceedings. Democrats were also hoping for a little more decorum, The Washington Post reports.

Several Democratic senators, while much tamer in the criticism of Nadler, indicated they think his accusations that Republicans were participating in cover-ups and treachery took things too far. "When I make an argument, it's about the fundamentals — witnesses, documents, and the evidence," said Sen. Robert Casey Jr. (D-Pa.). "I think that's better."

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) agreed that tensions were running high on both sides (Democrats also thought President Trump's defense team went overboard) Tuesday, adding that it was "necessary" and "appropriate" for Chief Justice John Roberts to remind "us that we have to maintain decorum and respect for one another throughout this process."

In comparison to Nadler, House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) shone in the eyes of Democratic lawmakers. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), for example, didn't respond directly to a question about Nadler, instead opting to praise Schiff, while Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said Schiff's words were "the most insightful."

On Wednesday, Schiff appeared to make a concerted effort to keep the peace during his opening remarks, and he even jumped in and answered a question directed at Nadler during a pre-trial exchange with reporters. Read more at The Washington Post. Tim O'Donnell

2:35 p.m.

Try as he might, Trump just can't reinvent the facts on this one.

Somehow, Trump stuck a very incorrect notion into a question about Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk in a Wednesday interview with CNBC's Squawk Box. After praising Musk because he "does good at rockets," Trump suggested "he's one of our great geniuses" who "we have to protect." After all, Trump said, we have to "protect Thomas Edison" and "people who came up with the light bulb and the wheel and all of these things."

One wouldn't think it has to be said, but the wheel was invented thousands of years before the United States existed and it's not exactly clear who did it. The oldest wheel dates to at least 3000 B.C. and was found, coincidentally, in modern-day Slovenia. Kathryn Krawczyk

2:19 p.m.

Democrats officially kicked off their opening arguments in the impeachment trial of President Trump Wednesday with a bit of a shift in tone after one particularly contentious late-night exchange.

Near the end of an impeachment trial session beginning Tuesday, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) on the Senate floor accused Republican senators of "voting for a cover up" as he argued in favor of an amendment to subpoena former National Security Adviser John Bolton, per The Wall Street Journal. Nadler also suggested Republicans were engaging in "treacherous" behavior, The Washington Post reports.

Republicans throughout the day on Wednesday slammed Nadler for his statement; Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told CNN it was "insulting and outrageous," while Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said the comment "offended her" and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said in a press conference, "To my Democratic colleagues, you can say what you want about me but I am covering up nothing."

Following this criticism, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) began Democrats' opening arguments Wednesday with a less combative tone, thanking senators for having "paid attention to every word and argument you heard from both sides" the day before.

"I want to begin today by thanking you for the conduct of the proceedings yesterday and for inviting your patience as you go forward," Schiff added. "We have some very long days yet to come."

CNN's Kaitlan Collins noted Schiff appeared to be addressing Republican criticism with his opening comments, although Republicans weren't the only ones not thrilled with the tone of Tuesday night's debate. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), for instance, conceded to The Washington Post that Nadler "could have chose better words." Brendan Morrow

1:39 p.m.

You have to be somewhat wily to enjoy a successful career in politics, and several senators put those street smarts on display during Tuesday's impeachment proceedings.

The lawmakers are subject to a lot of rules over the course of the lengthy trial days — no coffee, no technology, no talking — but they were able to maneuver around some of them anyway. Sens. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and David Perdue (R-Ga.) harkened back to their elementary school days by passing notes to each other, eliciting some stifled laughter.

Others stuck to 21st century methods by wearing their smart watches, including an aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Smart watches, of course, have cellular capabilities, so theoretically some of the lawmakers could have been shooting off text messages, although there's no evidence anyone took things that far. The Supreme Court's electronics ban includes such watches, but they're admittedly harder to notice than other devices.

Not everyone was sneaky, though. Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) was reportedly caught dozing off during a presentation from Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), but he swears he was just resting his eyes. Tim O'Donnell

1:18 p.m.

President Trump probably should've kept quiet on this one.

After the first day of impeachment arguments in the Senate, Trump told a press conference at the World Economic Forum that he's pretty sure he'll end up being acquitted. "Honestly, we have all the material. They don't have the material," Trump said of his impeachment defense team and of the House Democrats prosecuting him, making it clear there's some information he's holding back.

Beyond Rep. Val Demings' (D-Fla.) callout, her fellow impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) addressed Trump's comments in a press conference before the impeachment trial resumed Wednesday. "Well, indeed they do have the material — hidden from the American people," Schiff said of Trump's team. "That is nothing to brag about." Kathryn Krawczyk

12:46 p.m.

President Trump backtracked Wednesday on his 2016 campaign promise to protect funding for entitlements like Medicare and Social Security, suggesting in an interview with CNBC that he would be open to slashing "at some point" them since they're "the easiest" thing to cut.

Well, unsurprisingly, that didn't sit well with his Democratic opponents, who quickly pounced on the comment.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who is one of the leading candidates in the Democratic presidential primary, used Trump's words to call for an expansion of such programs, while the House Ways and Means Committee called the suggestion "unacceptable." Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) thinks it's a warning from Trump that people should take seriously.

Trump's reasoning for possibly cutting entitlements is that the trajectory of the country's economic growth could one day allow for it. But don't expect that to change any minds on the other side of the political aisle. Tim O'Donnell

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