This is awkward
January 12, 2018

The African nation of Botswana issued a press release Friday seeking clarification over whether Trump believes it too is a "sh--hole country" — a term the president reportedly used Thursday during a discussion about immigration from the continent. "The Botswana Government has … inquired from the U.S. Government through the Ambassador, to clarify if Botswana is regarded as a 'sh--hole' country given that there are Botswana nationals residing in the U.S., and also that some of Botswana may wish to visit the U.S.," the statement says.

Botswana additionally wondered "why President Trump must use this descriptor and derogatory word, when talking about countries with whom the U.S. has had cordial and mutually beneficial bilateral relations for so many years." Read the full press release below. Jeva Lange

March 7, 2016

It's been a brutal primary season for Marco Rubio, who's managed just two wins so far: Minnesota and Puerto Rico. The race for the Republican Party nomination could get even more embarrassing for the Florida senator, if the Monmouth University poll for his home state released Monday is any indication.

The poll shows Donald Trump leading the way in Florida with 38 percent support among likely primary voters to Rubio's 30 percent. The Sunshine State's 99 delegates are up for grabs March 15 in a winner-take-all contest.

Ted Cruz and John Kasich trail with 17 percent and 10 percent, respectively. The poll's margin of error is 4.9 percentage points. Julie Kliegman

March 2, 2016

MSNBC's Morning Joe has come under fire in recent weeks for appearing to have a buddy-buddy relationship with Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.

So how did Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski handle Trump coverage in the wake of his sweeping Super Tuesday wins? They reminded everyone just how much they've praised the billionaire business mogul in recent months.

Here's a montage the show aired Wednesday, featuring a whole lot of clips of the hosts asserting Trump's dominance since his campaign kickoff in June. Julie Kliegman

February 22, 2016

Speaking to a crowd at George Mason University on Monday, Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich credited his early supporters in a less than flattering way. He described getting elected to the Ohio Senate in 1978 thusly:

"How did I get elected? I didn't have anybody for me," Kasich said. "We just got an army of people — many women who left their kitchens to go out and go door-to-door and put yard signs up for me."

Later on in the event, a woman preceded her question for the Ohio governor with some sharp words.

"First off, I want to say your comment earlier about 'the women came out of the kitchen' to support you — I'll come to support you, but I won't be coming out of the kitchen," she said.

Watch the shutdown below. Julie Kliegman

August 15, 2015

Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) saw his campaign event in Las Vegas come to an abrupt end Wednesday when Black Lives Matter activists protested. But the news was tempered by the claim from Bush's aides that he met with some of the group's members beforehand.

New reporting from the Huffington Post published Friday suggests the meeting with activists never happened.

"There was a meeting, but no activists from the Black Lives Matter movement participated," HuffPo's Dana Liebelson wrote after speaking with the president of the Las Vegas Urban League, who hosted the event. "Instead, Bush met with a local elected official, a GOP lobbyist, and a staffer from an anti-poverty organization."

Bush's campaign did not comment on the meeting's attendees.

In recent weeks, Black Lives Matter activists have taken to protesting both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates as a means of urging them to do more to address police brutality against black people. Julie Kliegman

July 20, 2015

Rachel Dolezal was briefly in the national spotlight in June after she stepped down as president of her local NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington, amid questions about her race. After also losing her university teaching gig, she admitted in a new Vanity Fair interview that she's strapped for cash and struggling to make ends meet. But despite the hardships that come with the fallout from a white person claiming to be black, Dolezal isn't letting up on her claim:

I just feel like I didn’t mislead anybody; I didn't deceive anybody. If people feel misled or deceived, then sorry that they feel that way, but I believe that's more due to their definition and construct of race in their own minds than it is to my integrity or honesty, because I wouldn't say I'm African-American, but I would say I'm black, and there's a difference in those terms. [Vanity Fair]

The fact that reporter Allison Samuels actually found an Ancestry.com heritage test on Dolezal's doorstep in Spokane is almost too good to be true. Still, Dolezal maintains that while the public may be confused by her identity, her blackness feels real to her.

"It's not a costume," she says. "It's not something that I can put on and take off anymore." Anymore? Julie Kliegman

January 14, 2015

Virginia state delegate Joseph Morrissey isn't letting anything get in the way of lawmaking — not even jail.

The Democrat-turned-independent resigned in December after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. In June 2014, he was indicted for allegedly having sex with a 17-year-old girl multiple times in his law office. He also allegedly sent a photograph of the nude minor to a friend.

After resigning, he entered the special election to reclaim his old seat, where he won 42 percent of the vote Tuesday and was sworn in Wednesday, Politico reports. Julie Kliegman

January 8, 2015

CNN's Don Lemon is no stranger to saying the exact wrong thing on air. So maybe it shouldn't come as a shocker that he fumbled an interview Wednesday night with a Muslim human rights lawyer.

Lemon had Arsalan Iftikhar on for a segment asking if radical Islam could be connected to the deadly Charlie Hebdo attack. He proceeded to ask a patient Iftikhar if he personally supports ISIS.

"16 percent of French citizens support ISIS. Would you describe those who support ISIS as Islamic extremists?" Lemon asked. "Do you support ISIS?"

Iftikhar's response: "Wait, did you just ask if I support ISIS?"

Watch the whole segment below. --Julie Kliegman

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