August 13, 2019

"Every four years, candidates descend on the Iowa State Fair to narrow the field by clogging their arteries," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show, documenting some of the fried and breaded things the 2020 Democrats ate. "Some Democratic candidates are trying to differentiate themselves from the pack by releasing plans," he added. "My favorite so far is this one: Bernie Sanders says that if he's elected, he'll reveal whether aliens are real."

But "one candidate had a particularly bad weekend in Iowa," Colbert said: Joe Biden. It started when he "said a whoopsie" at a town hall in Des Moines, suggesting "white kids" are the opposite of "poor kids." Still, when President Trump tried to mock Biden as mentally unfit for saying Democrats believe "truth over facts," Trump "got being wrong wrong," he added. "Also, I believe this is a case of the pot calling the kettle mentally unfit."

Trump mocked "Biden on Twitter, saying 'Does anybody really believe he's mentally fit to be president?'" Seth Meyers said at Late Night. "That would be a great question — if anybody else was asking it. But this is like having the crazy guy in the subway walk up to you and say 'Can you believe this other guy?'"

"Joe Biden made not one but two dopey comments at the Iowa State Fair," Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live, showing them. "At least he's saying this stuff by accident. But Biden isn't backing down, he's not making excuses. This is a man who speaks his mind, whether it makes a bit of sense or not." He illustrated his point with a fake Biden campaign ad.

"The candidate I feel bad for at this event is Cory Booker, because don't forget, he's a vegan — at the Iowa State Fair," Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. "That's like being a Satanist on Christian Mingle." But it was Biden who "kept sticking his foot in his mouth," he said. Along with his poor=black groaner and the "truth over facts" flub, Biden also had a "weird memory lapse," saying he was vice president during the 2018 Parkland shooting, Noah noted. "Let's be honest, mistakes like this don't help the narrative that he's too old to run." Watch below. Peter Weber

1:18 a.m.

President Trump may think it amusing and laudatory that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo berated and cursed out NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly last week after she asked him tough questions about Ukraine and whether he supports his diplomats, but NPR isn't laughing at Pompeo's behavior.

The State Department informed NPR diplomatic correspondent Michele Keleman on Sunday, without explanation, that she will no longer be traveling with Pompeo on this week's trip to Britain, Ukraine, and Central Asia. NPR CEO John Lansing demanded an explanation Tuesday and told the State Department if NPR doesn't get satisfactory answers by Wednesday, when Pompeo is scheduled to depart, NPR "will have no choice but to conclude that Ms. Kelemen was removed from the trip in retaliation for the content of NPR's reporting."

The government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a Freedom of Information Act request Tuesday seeking emails, text messages, and other records related to the State Department's decision to kick Keleman off Pompeo's trip. "The requested records would shed light on whether the State Department or Secretary Pompeo did, in fact, retaliate against NPR as a result of the contentious January 24, 2020 Interview," CREW's Nikhel Sus wrote in the filing.

After Kelly's interview with Pompeo, she told NPR on Friday, he called her into a separate room and "asked, 'Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?' He used the F-word in that sentence and many others." Kelly also said Pompeo made her point out Ukraine on an unlabeled map — she says she did; Pompeo, in his official response, snidely (and improbably) suggested she pointed to Bangladesh. Pompeo also accused Kelly of lying, though emails of her exchange with Pompeo's staff show Kelly was forthright and stayed within agreed-upon parameters.

Pompeo calling her a "liar" is "not what bothers me," Kelly wrote in an New York Times op-ed Tuesday. Iran and the U.S. are close to war, and "the stakes are too high" for a secretary of state's "impulses and decisions not to be examined in as thoughtful and rigorous an interview as is possible. Journalists don't sit down with senior government officials in the service of scoring political points. We do it in the service of asking tough questions, on behalf of our fellow citizens. And then sharing the answers — or lack thereof — with the world." Peter Weber

12:28 a.m.

Retired Chief Special Operator Edward Gallagher, the Navy SEAL who was accused and acquitted of several war crimes, has posted a video on Facebook and Instagram attacking his former platoon members who testified against him during his court-martial.

In the video, posted Monday, Gallagher called the men "cowards" and highlighted their "names, photos, and — for those still on active duty — their duty status and current units," the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. While covering Gallagher's case, the Union-Tribune reported the names of some of his platoon mates, but did not publish their photos.

Gallagher was acquitted on several charges, including murdering a captured 17-year-old Islamic State suspect, but was found guilty on one charge related to posing for photos with the militant's corpse, resulting in his demotion. President Trump intervened in the case multiple times, saying Gallagher was being treated "very unfairly," and in November he overruled the SEAL commander and Navy Secretary and ordered Gallagher's rank restored. Gallagher now routinely appears on conservative programs and has appeared alongside Trump at political fundraisers.

SEALs have been the targets of terrorist groups, and publicizing their names and photos endangers them and the Navy's mission, former SEALs told the Union-Tribune. David Shaw, a former petty officer 1st class, defended the men. "Each and every one of the guys who came forward were performers of the highest caliber and people of the highest reputations within the platoon," he said. "[One] was selected to serve at the most premier institution at Naval Special Warfare, and that tells you everything you need to know about his performance and speaks volumes about his character." Catherine Garcia

January 28, 2020

Not a few people rolled their eyes when Bill Clinton's impeachment nemesis Ken Starr lectured the Senate about the evils of impeachment in President Trump's impeachment trial Monday, but The Late Show turned it into a song. This homage to the 5th Dimension's groovy hit version of the Hair song "The Age of Aquarius" isn't about expanding our minds with peace and understanding, exactly, but as Stephen Colbert and his writers discovered, Kenneth Starr rhymes beautifully with William Barr. Watch below. Peter Weber

January 28, 2020

President Trump mostly avoided talking about his impeachment during a Tuesday night rally in Wildwood, New Jersey, focusing instead on slamming Democrats and praising the GOP's newest lawmaker.

Speaking to a capacity crowd of 7,000, Trump claimed he has been busy "creating jobs" and "killing terrorists" while "congressional Democrats are obsessed with demented hoaxes, crazy witch hunts and deranged partisan crusades." He commended Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.) for leaving the Democratic Party in December, calling him "brave" and "principled" for defying "the left-wing fanatics in his own party."

He also accused Democrats of trying to take away health care and criticized the Green New Deal, a proposal to tackle climate change and guarantee jobs in clean energy industries. The resolution would force Americans to "close your factories, get rid of your cows," he said, incorrectly. "You don't have too many cows in Wildwood, but if you do, they're gone." Catherine Garcia

January 28, 2020

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said the quiet part out loud on Monday when she told reporters she was "really interested" in seeing how Iowa voters react to President Trump's impeachment lawyers attacking former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

"Iowa caucuses are this next Monday evening," Ernst said. "And I'm really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, these Democratic caucusgoers. Will they be supporting Vice President Biden at this point?"

While meeting with Iowa voters on Tuesday, Biden said Ernst "spilled the beans. She just came out and flat said it. You know, the whole impeachment trial for Trump is just a political hit job to try to smear me, because he is scared to death to run against me, and he has good reason to be concerned."

Ernst is up for re-election this year, and with her Biden comments, she has invited "Democratic activists to look at her," Sue Dvorsky, a former chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party, told The New York Times. Brian Bruening, chairman of the Clayton County Democrats, said the Trump legal team's arguments had "zero effect on actual caucus voters. I don't know any Joe Biden supporter whose support of Biden has lessened because of any of the impeachment issues." Catherine Garcia

January 28, 2020

In response to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, Starbucks has closed more than 2,000 stores in China.

The flu-like virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and there are more than 4,500 confirmed cases; at least 130 people have died. Starbucks is the world's largest coffee chain, and China is the company's biggest growth market, making up 10 percent of its global revenue, Reuters reports. There are 4,292 Starbucks locations in China, and the stores that are staying open have revised operating hours.

The company does expect this to temporarily affect its finances. Due to its strong quarterly earnings, Starbucks had planned on giving an update on its 2020 financial forecast, but that has been delayed because of the outbreak, Reuters says. Catherine Garcia

January 28, 2020

On Sunday, the Israeli government will vote on annexing Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and parts of the Jordan Valley.

This could cover up to 30 percent of the West Bank, the area Palestinians want for their own independent state.

Standing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Trump on Tuesday unveiled his Middle East peace plan, which calls for Israel to control a unified Jerusalem and a new Palestinian state including outer portions of East Jerusalem. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he rejected the "nonsense" proposal and "will not kneel down." Catherine Garcia

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