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June 14, 2018

In May, The New York Times reported that a television agent was shopping around a Crossfire-type show starring Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing porn star Stormy Daniels, and short-lived White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. They tried out the concept on Wednesday's Late Show. Stephen Colbert started off the interview by asking, "What is this?" It never quite became clear, but you got a taste of what could be: Avenatti with the punchy answers, Scaramucci filibustering.

Colbert asked about reports that Michael Cohen, President Trump's lawyer and fixer, might flip. "There's no question in my mind," Avenatti said. "I think that Michael Cohen is in a very, very bad spot, and I think that the president is in a very, very bad spot, because this is what happens when you trust your innermost secrets to a moron." Scaramucci said it was more complicated and depends on the indictment. "When my producer asked you about Michael Cohen, whether he was going to flip, you actually called Michael Cohen on the phone backstage," Colbert told Scaramucci. "Did you bring your phone out with you?" "I don't have my phone, do you want to talk to Michael?" Scaramucci asked, but sadly, he wasn't serious. Colbert ordered a bottle of rosé and three glasses.

Colbert asked Avenatti and Scaramucci — both lawyers — about Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and two lies the Trump team has been caught telling: about paying Stormy Daniels and about dictating the misleading letter about Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with Russian officials. "Lying is the rule rather than the exception with this administration, and when you can't keep your lies straight, this is what happens," Avenatti said. Scaramucci put it in the "historical context" of everybody lies, especially politicians, and Colbert wasn't having it: "Not about colluding with the Russian government to undermine our democracy!" They ended on the common ground of the first amendment. Watch below. Peter Weber

7:58 p.m. ET
Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump told Reuters on Monday he's "not thrilled" with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell raising interest rates.

Trump nominated Powell last year to replace former Fed Chair Janet Yellen, and he said, "Am I happy with my choice? I'll let you know in seven years." It's rare for presidents to criticize the Fed, as its independence is crucial for economic stability, and when asked by Reuters if he believes in its independence, Trump replied, "I believe in the Fed doing what's good for the country."

The Fed raised rates twice this year, and is expected to do it again in September. "We're negotiating very powerfully and strongly with other nations," Trump said. "We're going to win. But during this period of time I should be given some help by the Fed. The other countries are accommodated." Catherine Garcia

7:25 p.m. ET
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After three days of deliberations, there is still no verdict in Paul Manafort's tax and bank fraud trial.

Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, is facing 18 charges of tax evasion, bank fraud, and money laundering. The jury indicated it would stay until at least 6:15 p.m. on Monday night, later than they stayed on Thursday and Friday, which many took as a sign that a verdict might be announced before the day was done.

The six men and six women on the jury have been reminded on a daily basis by U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis not to listen to media coverage of the trial, so they can avoid hearing things like Trump on Friday calling Manafort a "good person," and saying his trial is a "very sad day." Manafort's attorney, Kevin Downing, responded that his client "appreciates the support of President Trump." Catherine Garcia

6:54 p.m. ET
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President Trump told Reuters on Monday that he is "totally allowed" to be involved with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, but has "decided to stay out."

He added, "As you know, I can go in and I could...do whatever, I could run it if I want." Mueller's team is also investigating whether Trump's campaign coordinated with any Russians and if Trump has obstructed justice. Trump echoed concerns made by his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who said he's worried investigators will take Trump's statements and compare them to others who have already been interviewed, like former FBI Director James Comey. "Even if I am telling the truth, that makes me a liar," Trump said. "That's no good."

Trump did not tell Reuters if he will ever agree to sit down for an interview with Mueller or his investigators, and would not say if he might revoke Mueller's security clearance, like he did last week to John Brennan, the former CIA director and one of Trump's most vocal critics. Catherine Garcia

5:32 p.m. ET

Jane Fonda may not know where she's going, but she knows where she's been.

The Academy Award-winning actress gives audiences an intimate look into her life in the first trailer for her HBO documentary, Jane Fonda in Five Acts. Directed by Susan Lacy, the film discusses Fonda's upbringing with her famous father Henry Fonda, her rise to fame, and her political activism.

Fonda opens up in the documentary, revealing her internal struggle to please her father and become whatever he wanted. "I never felt real. I just thought, 'I gotta find who I really am,'" said Fonda.

Sundance Film Festival was the first to premiere Jane Fonda in Five Acts earlier this year, reports Entertainment Weekly. The film was compiled from more than 20 hours of interview footage with Fonda, along with sit-downs with Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterson, Robert Redford, and more. HBO is set to release the film Sept. 24.

It may have taken Fonda some time to figure out who she was outside of her famous family, but she knows now: "I am what I am." Watch the full trailer below. Amari Pollard

5:06 p.m. ET
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Children spend less and less time outdoors and in "free play" time, and it has damaging effects on cognitive development.

About 30 percent of kindergarten classrooms in the U.S. no longer send kids out to recess, a Monday report from the American Academy of Pediatrics found, and the increasing focus on academics and structured enrichment activities is tied to anxiety and lower creativity later in life.

As Stat News reports, free play helps children learn, relieve stress, and develop new skills. Only about half of preschool-aged kids get daily playtime outside with a parent, even though unstructured play is key to cognitive and social development. Between 1981 and 1997, young children lost 12 hours per week of free time, the report explains, citing increased homework loads and media distractions. "Play is not frivolous," the AAP report explains. "It enhances brain structure and function and promotes executive function ... which allow us to pursue goals and ignore distractions."

The report recommended that doctors talk with families about finding time to allow children to be creative and maintain agency over their activities. Researchers acknowledged "parental guilt" that "has led to competition over who can schedule more 'enrichment opportunities' for their children," and that not all children live in safe areas for outdoor play, but emphasized the importance of finding ways to help kids develop the same skills. "Play and learning are inextricably linked," the AAP reports. Summer Meza

4:47 p.m. ET
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Michigan's top health official will go to trial for manslaughter charges in the wake of the Flint water crisis.

Arguments concluded in July over whether Nick Lyon, the state director of health and human services, would face a manslaughter trial in connection to the crisis, The Associated Press reports. Michigan's attorney general claimed Lyon didn't alert citizens to the outbreak soon enough, and on Monday a judge agreed to send Lyon to trial.

Two men died from Legionnaire's disease after the water supply in Flint, Michigan, was contaminated following the city's decision to switch water sources. Faulty old pipes contaminated the city's water, which has remained contaminated since 2014. After a 10-month preliminary hearing, Lyon was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of misconduct in office over the two deaths, per ABC affiliate 12 News. Lyon is the highest ranked of 15 officials criminally charged in relation to the water crisis, MLive says. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:35 p.m. ET
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Lunar vacations are inching closer to reality.

Astronomers have discovered ice deposits on the moon's north and south pole, a report published by the National Academy of Sciences on Monday reveals. The findings are the first "direct and definitive evidence" of water ice, the report explains. If humans return to further explore the moon, the frost patches could prove to be a source of water.

The Earth's moon, along with Mercury and the dwarf planet Ceres, were long thought to hold water on their airless surfaces. Scientists found ice deposits on the other bodies, but they previously could only identify ice under the moon's surface and craters that might be cold enough to produce surface ice.

Now, data from India's Chandrayaan-1 probe shows that frost has accumulated above the moon's rocky floor, per The Guardian. The ice comes in flakes latched to grains of moon dust and only appears in shadowed craters that don't break -261 degrees Fahrenheit, crushing everyone's hopes for a SpaceX spring break. Read more about the discovery at The Guardian. Kathryn Krawczyk

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