Wednesday kicked off with yet another big NBC News scoop, this one about President Trump asking for a "nearly tenfold" increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. "A tenfold increase?" Stephen Colbert gasped on The Late Show. "Excuse me while I onefold into the fetal position. He knows that we can already end all life on Earth, right? The cockroaches will survive — which is good news for Steve Bannon." Trump denied on Twitter that he said any of that and lashed out at NBC News — then at the free press.
Trump told reporters that "it's frankly disgusting how the press is able to write whatever they want to write, and people should look into it," and Colbert had an answer: "For the record, people did look into it. In fact, 'We the People' looked into it and thought, yeah, they should write whatever they want." Sadly, "him the people" apparently disagrees with the First Amendment, suggesting that NBC lose its "license" for reporting "fake news" that demeans him, Colbert sighed. He had two follow-up questions — neither one of which addressed whether the president can pull a network's broadcast license. (Spoiler: He can't.)
Jimmy Kimmel also looked at Trump's tweet asking when it's "appropriate" to "challenge [NBC's] License," and he had an answer: "Never? I don't know, because that's what dictators do?" This is like the "Comic Book of Revelations," he said. "Everything Trump says is fake is true, everything he says is honest is dishonest." Kimmel showcased his "fun idea" of correcting Trump's tweets accordingly, and you can watch how that worked below. Peter Weber
Republicans have rolled 'legislation to keep families together' into an immigration vote that likely won't pass the House or Senate
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced Wednesday that "tomorrow the House will vote on legislation to keep families together" in an effort to halt the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy of splitting up migrant parents from their children at the border. "The administration says it wants Congress to act and we are," Ryan said.
House Republicans, though, do not appear to have the votes on their immigration compromise bill, which includes "a path to address the family separations," CNN reports. What's more, that legislation has no realistic chance in the Senate.
Paul Ryan says Republicans don’t want families separated at the border, so they’re adjusting their immigration bills — bills that likely won’t pass the House and won’t even get a vote in the Senate — to address that crisis.
Again, unclear how this becomes law.
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) June 20, 2018
Peak House GOP conference — they’re going to try to pass a bill that won’t be able to become law in order to fix family separation, which Trump could end right now. And they won’t say whether they’d consider legislation that actually could pass to fix it.
— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) June 20, 2018
Notably, there is no law mandating the separation of immigrant families at the border, and legislation is not required to stop the policy — only an order from President Trump. Senate Democrats, as a result, have been resistant to legislation targeting the "zero tolerance" policy, demanding the president address it on his own. Jeva Lange
Disney's hounding of 21st Century Fox finally paid off.
Fox accepted Disney's massive $71.3 billion offer in cash and stock to buy the company, The Wall Street Journal reports. The whopping deal, which Disney proposed Wednesday morning, is "superior" to Comcast's $65 billion all-cash offer made earlier this month, Fox said in a statement Wednesday. Disney had previously offered $52.4 billion in stock before being outflanked by Comcast.
The rejection is good news for Comcast's bank account. Buying Fox would've plunged Comcast nearly $170 billion in the hole and made it one of the most indebted companies in the world, CNN reports.
Disney's acquisition includes the 20th Century Fox film and TV studio, Fox's American cable channels, and U.K.-based Sky News, says Bloomberg. Some major Fox assets, including Fox News, Fox Sports, and its TV stations, aren't part of the purchase. They'll be spun off into a so-called "New Fox."
The Justice Department still has to okay the deal, and Fox was worried that Comcast's offer posed bigger regulatory concerns, the Journal reports. A judge's recent approval of the AT&T-Time Warner merger bodes well for Fox and Disney's union. Kathryn Krawczyk
President Trump is worried about staff holdovers.
Trump is becoming paranoid that officials who also worked for previous administrations are not sufficiently loyal to him, The New York Times reported Tuesday. "The Bushies in the White House are out to get me," he reportedly said of staffers who also worked for former President George W. Bush.
The Trump administration has seen a record-breaking number of departures and an incredibly high turnover rate, reportedly leaving Trump concerned that he can't trust the staffers who are left. Few of Trump's original team members remain, which has pushed the president to become increasingly isolated in the White House, preferring not to communicate much with his aides out of worry that they are secretly hoping for his downfall. Read more at Talking Points Memo. Summer Meza
A visibly distraught Rachel Maddow ended her show after trying to report on shelters housing babies forcibly separated from immigrant parents
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow broke down in tears Tuesday night while trying to make her way through an Associated Press report about "tender age" shelters, which are being used by the Trump administration to house babies and toddlers forcibly separated from their parents on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Rachel Maddow breaking down on live television is all of us. pic.twitter.com/KBa9ewcG48
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) June 20, 2018
Maddow, visibly distraught, was unable to make her way through the opening sentence of the report, looking up at the camera to say, "I think I'm going to have to hand this off. Sorry, that's it for us tonight, we'll see you again tomorrow."
She later tweeted an apology to her viewers:
Ugh, I'm sorry.
If nothing else, it is my job to actually be able to speak while I'm on TV.
What I was trying to do -- when I suddenly couldn't say/do anything -- was read this lede:
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) June 20, 2018
Maddow subsequently shared the AP report, which reads: "Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents to at least three 'tender age' shelters in South Texas. Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the 'tender age' shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis." Maddow added: "Again, I apologize for losing it there for a moment. Not the way I intended that to go, not by a mile."
With the possible exceptions of Corey Lewandowski and White House policy adviser Stephen Miller, nobody in Washington says they like President Trump's new "zero tolerance" policy and the resulting separation of 2,300 migrant children — including babies — from their parents, and counting. Even President Trump disavows responsibility for his administration's policy. But Iran sees the value in America separating families and locking children up in cages.
— Press TV (@PressTV) June 19, 2018
"Iran state TV no longer needs to broadcast slogans against America," U.S.-Iranian journalist Borzou Daragahi noted. Now Tehran "just shows handout pictures distributed by U.S. [government] itself." Those who live in free-press-less houses, of course, have no business throwing stones. But the Iranian government is surely not the only repressive regime delighted at this propagandistic own goal. Peter Weber
'Jarring' footage shows young girls being transferred to and from a NYC facility believed to be housing migrant minors
Spectrum News NY1 captured "jarring" footage of a number of young girls being ushered to and from the building that houses the Cayuga Centers in Harlem around 12:45 a.m. Wednesday, after a tipster told reporters that "kids separated from their parents along the southern U.S. border would be brought there," said anchor Josh Robin, who was on the scene.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has confirmed that more than 70 children who were separated from their parents at the border are now being housed in New York state. People familiar with the situation told NY1 that the Cayuga Centers are helping to care for such kids, including by placing them in foster care. A woman who was with the girls seen in the video "emphatically denied they had been separated from their parents."
"We want to be very careful," Robin said. "We don't know for sure the situation … We can't say for sure what my sources have told me, that [these girls] have been brought from the southern border." You can watch the footage below. Jeva Lange
EXCLUSIVE: Children from the southern border are being brought to NYC after being separated from their families.
Overnight, @joshrobin captured video of unusual activity at a foster agency in East Harlem. #MorningsOn1 pic.twitter.com/WhiN27wb5T
— Spectrum News NY1 (@NY1) June 20, 2018
Industrial giant GE was removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Tuesday and replaced with drug-store chain Walgreens. GE was one of the 30 original stocks in the index in 1896, and it had been on the list continuously since 1907. The company's stock has struggled over the past year. GE's leaders are implementing a turnaround plan, and the company said getting booted from the Dow "does nothing to change those commitments or our focus in creating a stronger, simpler GE." David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said replacing GE with Walgreens boosts the index's coverage of the consumer and health-care sectors, making it "a better measure of the economy and the stock market." Harold Maass