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July 17, 2017
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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer returned to the lectern Monday to deliver a defense of Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting in June 2016 with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer. Spicer insisted at the press briefing that "there was nothing as far as we know that would lead anyone to believe" that Trump Jr.'s meeting was not focused on Russian adoption policies.

Except, of course, Trump Jr.'s own emails: Last week, Trump Jr. published his emails with publicist Rob Goldstone setting up the meeting, in which Goldstone explicitly said the lawyer claimed to have compromising information on Hillary Clinton that would help his father's chances in the presidential election.

Just hours before Spicer made the claim, President Trump tweeted that his son "attended in order to get info on an opponent." Becca Stanek

4:53 a.m. ET

Stephen Colbert said Monday that he watched the news over the weekend, then "to cheer up, I watched Ken Burns' Vietnam," about a "slightly less divisive time in America." He was talking about President Trump's feud with the NFL, which began Friday when the president encouraged NFL owners to fire "son of a bitch" players who kneel during the national anthem. "After all, the singing of the national anthem is a sacred time," Colbert said, "when red-blooded Americans stand up and run to the bathroom, because that's when the line is the shortest."

"'Son of a bitch,'" Colbert repeated. "That was unnecessary roughness. There should be a flag on that play, and I'm going to say, a Confederate flag." Trump insisted that his comments targeting only black athletes had nothing to do with race, but Colbert wasn't convinced. "Kneeling during the national anthem has everything to do with race — just like your presidency," he said. It has nothing to do with the American flag, however. "Saying that kneeling is a protest against the flag is like saying that Gandhi's hunger strikes were a protest against snacking," Colbert said. In fact, there are rules about how to act around a flag, he added, but it's clearly Trump violating them, not the NFL players.

"Believe it or not, Trump's war with the NFL this weekend wasn't the only fight with black athletes," Colbert said, pointing to Trump's other feud, with the NBA, disinviting the Golden Warriors to the White House because Steph Curry was meh on attending. "But in this instance, Donald Trump is messing with forces he doesn't understand: LeBron James," Colbert said. And James wasn't the only one dunking on Trump on Twitter, he added, reading the "sickest" burn from the Chicago Bulls' Robin Lopez. "It's official," he concluded. "Donald Trump is now going to get fewer visits from basketball players than Kim Jong Un." Watch below. Peter Weber

2:41 a.m. ET

Monday night's installment of celebrity mean tweets on Jimmy Kimmel Live featured some of America's biggest stars reading unkind things about themselves from Twitter, and in some cases, responding with their own insults, a few of which are pretty profane. Gal Gadot kicked things off, confusedly responding to an admirer's critique of her body while R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" played in the background. Emma Watson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jennifer Anniston, Dave Chappelle, Kristin Bell, and Elisabeth Moss swatted away relatively mild tweets before John Lithgow, Gwyneth Paltrow, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Jennifer Lawrence got saltier ones, and Kumail Nanjiani reacted to his 140-character query by going NSFW himself. Most of the mean-tweeters were people you have never heard of, but Alec Baldwin's tweet was from a certain current president of the United States. Watch below. Peter Weber

2:09 a.m. ET

Six days after Hurricane Maria churned over Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm, destroying homes and leaving almost the entire U.S. territory without electricity during the hottest season, things are "brutal," resident Juan Bautista Gonzalez tells Bloomberg News. "No one can sleep. I spend all night tossing and turning. This is chaos." Many people don't have enough food or water, there is no internet, cellphone service is scarce, gas lines are long, and few people have air conditioning.

Maria cost $40 billion to $85 billion in insured losses across the Caribbean but mostly in Puerto Rico, catastrophe-modeling firm AIR Worldwide estimated on Monday. The federal government stepped up its relief efforts on Monday, sending FEMA head Brock Long and Tom Bossert to the island. Along with 1,400 National Guard personnel, FEMA said it has 700 people on the ground in Puerto Rico and the Energy Department has crews working on the long process of restoring power.

Congress is discussing an aid package, the five living former presidents extended their One America Appeal fundraising campaign to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands on Monday, and after being criticized for tweeting about the NFL but not a U.S. territory with 3.4 million suffering Americans, President Trump sent out some tweets on Monday night:

In an interview with Fox News, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló acknowledged the territory's debt problem but asked for Congress to send help to address the "unfolding humanitarian crisis" in part of America. Peter Weber

2:00 a.m. ET

Dressed in his wedding suit, Clayton Cook didn't hesitate to leap into a park lake to rescue one of the children watching him take photos with his new wife.

Last Friday, Canadian newlyweds Clayton and Brittany Cook noticed three kids were following them around Victoria Park in Kitchener, Ontario, as they took their pictures. At one point, Clayton saw two of the kids looking at the water, and spotted the third child struggling to get out. Clayton jumped in, grabbed the boy, and brought him to safety.

The entire time, photographer Darren Hatt was snapping pictures, and he shared the story on his Facebook page. It wasn't until later that the couple realized how the situation could have played out if Clayton hadn't noticed what was going on. "It's hitting us more that if we weren't in the right place at the right time, things may have gone differently and perhaps even tragically," Brittany told HuffPost. Catherine Garcia

1:16 a.m. ET

President Trump's profane response to NFL players who are using their platform to peacefully protest police brutality is enough for Seth Meyers to dub Trump the "first NC-17 president."

On Friday, Trump said players who kneel during the national anthem should be fired, shouting, "get that son of a bitch off the field." On Monday's Late Night, Meyers asked viewers to "just take a step back and consider how embarrassing it is that news anchors now have to introduce comments from the president by warning little children to leave the room." While Trump's the first NC-17 president, "it's not even a good NC-17 movie," Meyers said. "Trump is basically the Showgirls of presidents. Trump's presidential library is going to be in the back of a video store where they keep all the pornos. You're going to have to enter through a beaded curtain."

Trump's "unhinged rant" just went downhill from there, Meyers continued, as Trump claimed the NFL is seeing its ratings drop because people would rather watch him. "That's right, in Donald Trump's mind, people are turning off NFL games, gathering their friends, and ordering pizza to watch an out-of-shape blowhard shuffle around like he got separated from a tour group." If you think that's harsh, watch the video below and skip ahead to Late Night writer Amber Ruffin's three-minute burn session. Catherine Garcia

12:55 a.m. ET

Jimmy Kimmel said on Monday night's Kimmel Live that over the weekend, strangers in three cities he visited just kept approaching him to tell him stories about how the Affordable Care Act had saved or improved their lives, then thank him for his bizarre, high-profile opposition to the Republicans' latest effort to replace ObamaCare with a bill that fails Sen. Bill Cassidy's (R-La.) "Jimmy Kimmel Test." "They came up to me and said, 'Mr. Fallon, thank you for speaking out,'" Kimmel joked. "I talked to probably 200 people, and I heard these stories over and over agin."

The latest GOP bill, Graham-Cassidy, is wildly unpopular, even among Republican people, but Republican politicians "don't actually care what you think; they want you to think what they think," Kimmel said. "That's why they keep saying ObamaCare is a 'disaster.' You hear that word a lot. ObamaCare definitely needs work, but think about this: Did anyone have to convince you Hurricane Harvey was a disaster?"

He repeated his thanks to Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) for helping to apparently doom the bill, then he played clips of Fox News reacting to his thank you tweets and an article on how Kimmel consulted with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and health experts before criticizing Graham-Cassidy. Kimmel responded to the accusation that he's a "pawn" of the Democrats with a sarcastic "confession" and then noted that six organizations have fact-checked his critique against Cassidy's defense, and all of them sided with Kimmel. With the bill at least on life support, he took his bow. "The best news is, now I can go back to talking about the Kardashians," Kimmel joked. Well, maybe. Watch below. Peter Weber

12:14 a.m. ET

Despite another Republican senator coming out against his health-care bill on Monday evening, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he will "press on" in an attempt to repeal ObamaCare, calling his proposal "a damn good idea."

"It's okay to vote," Graham said during a CNN town hall debate in Washington. "It's okay to fall short, if you do, for an idea you believe in."

Graham and his bill's co-author Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) squared off against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who argued that under the bill, millions of people will lose health insurance. The Graham-Cassidy plan calls for block grants to be sent to states so they can decide how to best help their residents, Graham and Cassidy said, but that's not a solution, Klobuchar responded — it merely "passes the buck to the states but doesn't give them the bucks to cover people." Sanders said that no one in Washington wants to see people die, but "you tell me what happens when somebody who has cancer, somebody who has a serious heart condition, somebody who has a life-threatening disease suddenly loses the health insurance they have."

There was one moment of unity: During the debate, President Trump tweeted a video of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) discussing repealing and replacing ObamaCare, mocking him for coming out against Graham-Cassidy last week. Graham, who counts McCain as a close friend, snapped that "John McCain can do whatever damn he wants to! He has earned that right."

Sanders said he had no idea how Trump could blast McCain, "one of the most decent people in the U.S. Senate." Catherine Garcia

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