i want you back
September 10, 2019

Six months into John Bolton's tenure as national security adviser, President Trump was already missing his predecessor.

NBC News reports that as Trump started to sour on Bolton, whose resignation was announced Tuesday, he began reaching out to his predecessor, H.R. McMaster, for advice. McMaster was ousted as national security adviser in March 2018, but by the fall, Trump was reportedly calling him to say "that he missed him," getting his take on various issues including Iran, one area where he and Bolton had disagreements.

But Trump has evidently been planning for Bolton's exit for a while now, as earlier this year, he placed his name "on a list of officials he'd like to get rid of before the end of the year," NBC reports. He was losing his "patience" with Bolton, the report also says, in part because of "what he viewed as Bolton's positioning himself in the news media as the decision-maker on key issues like Iran and Venezuela."

The calls to McMaster reportedly continued up until at least "a few months ago." The report notes that this isn't the first time Trump has reached out to an official he got rid of, reportedly calling former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus while being unhappy with then-Chief of Staff John Kelly. So although Bolton and Trump are currently engaged in a public spat over the circumstances that led to his departure, he can probably expect some friendly phone calls once Trump gets stuck with a replacement he hates even more. Brendan Morrow

April 15, 2019

A Fox News interview on Monday morning unexpectedly turned into a debate about Fox News itself.

Anchor Bill Hemmer on Monday spoke with DNC Chair Tom Perez, and he ended the interview by asking if Perez would reconsider hosting Democratic debates on the network, per The Daily Beast. Perez said in March that the Democratic National Committee won't partner with Fox for 2020 debates due to its "inappropriate relationship" with President Trump, as had been described in a recent piece in The New Yorker.

In light of this, Hemmer asked on Monday, "Will you reconsider your decision on having debates here on the Fox News channel?" The anchor clearly didn't get the response he was looking for, with Perez responding, "You know what, Bill, here's why we won't do that: because I don't have faith in your leadership at Fox News at the senior levels." Perez told Hemmer that he has respect for him and others like Bret Baier but argued that Fox doesn't "trust" its own viewers and that its senior leadership has "pierced that line between editorial and your Sean Hannity shows."

Hemmer argued with Perez about this in a weirdly meta exchange, saying there's a "line" between the network's prime-time opinion shows and the news shows that air earlier in the day. "It's like reading a newspaper, Tom," Hemmer said. Hemmer closed the interview not satisfied with Perez's answer, telling him one last time, "I really hope you reconsider." Based on what Perez said, Hemmer probably shouldn't hold his breath. Watch the exchange via The Daily Beast below. Brendan Morrow

March 15, 2019

Nearly eight months after firing James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Disney has suddenly changed its mind.

Gunn, who was removed from the Marvel sequel in July 2018 when offensive jokes he made on Twitter years earlier resurfaced, has been rehired to direct the movie, reported Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter on Friday.

This is jaw-dropping news for a number of reasons, one being that Gunn had previously been set to write and direct The Suicide Squad for Marvel Studios' competitor, DC, which seemed to close the door on any potential return to Vol. 3. Even before that, though, Disney had shown no signs that it was considering a reversal, with CEO Bob Iger telling the Reporter in September that he has never "second-guessed" the decision.

But Disney had faced criticism for its move, especially considering the tweets were dug up by far-right personality Mike Cernovich because Gunn is a vocal critic of President Trump. The cast of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies spoke out against the decision at the time, saying in an open letter that "we hope Americans from across the political spectrum can ease up on the character assassinations and stop weaponizing mob mentality."

Strangely, Deadline reports that the decision to bring Gunn back was made "months ago." Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn reportedly met with Gunn several times and was "persuaded" by his apology; Gunn had said that his old tweets were "totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative" and that he has "regretted them for many years since."

The plan is now for Gunn to work on both The Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the Reporter says, meaning he'll be making extremely similar comic book films for competing studios back-to-back. DC's film will reportedly come first, and it's set for release in 2021. Brendan Morrow

November 3, 2017

In a phone call last month, President Trump offered his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, a White House gig, The Daily Beast reports. The job was a senior post in the Office of Public Liaison, The Daily Beast reports, but Lewandowski ultimately decided that working in that office was "beneath him."

Lewandowski was fired by the Trump campaign in June 2016 and was accused of assaulting a reporter and frequently losing his temper with campaign staff during his tenure as campaign manager. Although he "strongly" considered accepting Trump's offer, per The Daily Beast, Lewandowski apparently concluded that he deserved more than a position in the Office of Public Liaison, which focuses on interest-group outreach, and reportedly told an associate that the position was "chump change."

The offer reportedly came amid speculation that the president wants more familiar faces and Trump loyalists in the White House, as Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation heats up and senators from within his party increasingly criticize him. Still, one White House official told The Daily Beast that when they heard Trump was apparently considering welcoming Lewandowski to the administration, "I just kept thinking, 'Please, God above, let this not happen.'"

The White House would neither confirm nor deny to The Daily Beast that Lewandowski had been offered a job, and Lewandowski did not respond to requests for comment. This wouldn't be the first time that Trump has longed for the return of one of his former aides, though: In May, The Daily Beast also reported that the president felt "really, really, really bad" about firing former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and wanted to bring him back to the White House — against the wishes of his lawyers — once the FBI finished its investigation of Flynn. Kelly O'Meara Morales

See More Speed Reads