September 25, 2017

After famously dubbing President Trump a "bum" over the weekend, LeBron James doubled down on his comments at the Cleveland Cavaliers' media event on Monday. "The thing that kind of frustrated me and pissed me off a little bit is that [Trump] used the sports platform to try to divide us," James said in response to Trump's comments about NFL protests as well as his decision to disinvite the Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry from the White House. "It is so amazing what sports can do for everyone, no matter what shape or size or race or ethnicity or religion or whatever … It just brings people together like none other."

James added: "We're not going to let — I'm not going to let ... one individual, no matter the power, no matter the impact that he should have or she should have, ever use sport as a platform to divide us."

James also stressed that everyone should try every day to make a difference for others. "We know this is the greatest country in the world," James said. "It's the land of the free. But we still have problems just like everybody else, and when we have those problems we have to figure out how to come together and be as great as we can be as a people. Because the people run this country. Not one individual. And damn sure not him." Jeva Lange

September 20, 2017

In his Tuesday night monologue, Jimmy Kimmel accused Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) of lying "right to my face," harshly contrasting the Louisiana senator's promises to Kimmel with the terms in the health-care bill he has co-authored with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Earlier this year, Cassidy assured Kimmel that he would follow the "Jimmy Kimmel Test," meaning families with children like Kimmel's son, who required emergency open-heart surgery shortly after birth, shouldn't be denied affordable health care.

Kimmel said the Cassidy-Graham bill fails this test. Cassidy responded Wednesday, saying: "I'm sorry [Kimmel] does not understand."

Under the Republican bill, "more people will have coverage and we protect those with pre-existing conditions," Cassidy told CNN's New Day — a claim critics say is patently false.

"The counterargument will be, pre-existing conditions will be up to the pricing of the particular state and market," CNN's Chris Cuomo replied. "So it's not what it is now, where you can't allow insurance companies to cherry pick and punish people for pre-existing conditions. So the protection is not the same, senator, on that one point." Watch below, and catch up on Kimmel's monologue here. Jeva Lange

September 5, 2017

On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration's intention to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, calling the end of the Obama-era policy that grants work permits to young immigrants brought into America illegally as children a "compassionate" enforcement of "immigration laws." Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach had a blunter message for the affected young people, colloquially known as DREAMers after the protective DREAM Act: "Go home and get in line."

Even many Republicans have spoken out against Trump's decision, which affects roughly 800,000 individuals. Kobach, though, told MSNBC's Hallie Jackson before Sessions' announcement Tuesday that he "would suggest [DREAMers] go home and get in line, come into the United States legally, get your green card, then become a citizen. Do it the right way like so many of your hundreds and thousands of countrymen are trying to do." Watch below. Jeva Lange

September 5, 2017

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough ripped President Trump on Tuesday for what Scarborough characterized as the president's bumbling efforts to help Hurricane Harvey victims. The particular moment Scarborough seized on involved Trump helping to load a pickup truck with supplies and handing a large bucket to the driver in the cab, rather than setting it in the bed of the truck:

"You have to just take it," Scarborough joked of the driver's response. "Because the president's putting [the bucket] in the wrong place. You know, here's your bag of cement."

Scarborough's co-hosts were less sold on the controversy. "What does that have to do with anything?" asked Mika Brzezinski. Willie Geist added: "That was obviously a photo op for the president, who did a nice job going down there twice, let's give him credit for going down there."

Watch the conversation below. Jeva Lange

August 22, 2017

A super PAC "closely aligned" with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) released an ad Tuesday that skewers Kelli Ward, the Republican primary challenger to Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, Politico reports. Ward has been publicly backed by President Trump. The ad is the latest move in an unfolding proxy war between Trump and certain Senate Republicans, where the future of vulnerable Sen. Flake, a constant thorn in the president's side, hangs in the balance.

The Senate Leadership Fund's ad blasts Ward for being an "embarrassing" conspiracy theorist, dubbing her "Chemtrail Kelli Ward" and "not conservative. Just crazy ideas." The ad additionally slams Ward for calling on Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to resign following his cancer diagnosis after having previously lost to him "big league" in a bid for the Senate last year.

People close to the super PAC told Politico that the Senate Leadership Fund's "offensive [is] part of a broader effort to show that any Trump-led push to undermine Flake, or any GOP incumbent for that matter, won't go uncontested." Watch the ad below. Jeva Lange

August 18, 2017

If you find it nearly impossible to keep up with the news these days, CNN's Brooke Baldwin has a handy summary of President Trump's past four weeks in office. Only, it takes Baldwin nearly three minutes to read through the entire list of bullet points.

"Let's all just take a moment, just remind you what has happened. Incredibly significant events, one after the other," said Baldwin. "In no particular order, President Trump in the last four weeks has: fires his chief strategist; fires his chief of staff; hires a new one; hires a new communications director; fires him — "

That would be enough for an entire summer, but Baldwin is barely getting started. Watch the entire recital below. Jeva Lange

August 17, 2017

Instead of Tiki torches, the thousands of marchers who gathered at the University of Virginia on Wednesday night held candles in upside-down cups, passing the flame around like you might see at an Easter vigil.

They chanted "love wins" instead of "Jews will not replace us!"

And they sang, "The Star-Spangled Banner," "God Bless America," "We Shall Overcome," and also "Amazing Grace," a song written by a former slave-ship captain after he came to see that slavery is evil.

Organizers of the event, which also paid respects to the three people who died during the "Unite the Right" melee in Charlottesville on Saturday — anti-racism protester Heather Heyer and Virginia State Police troopers H. Jay Cullen and Berke M.M. Bates — said they spread the word through text message, phone calls, and word of mouth, intentionally keeping it off social media so as not to attract any disruptive groups. Participants called it cathartic. "I have struggled to let go of my anger over what was done to us last weekend," tweeted UVA Dean of Students Allen Grove, "but seeing 5,000 of my fellow citizens tonight sure helped."

The University of Virginia also made it clear which of the two marches, each following the same route, it wanted to claim as its own. Peter Weber

August 16, 2017

Media Matters' quick compare-and-contrast of President Trump's combative press conference Tuesday alongside previous Fox News segments revealed the president borrowed heavily from the conservative news network for his talking points.

That line Trump used about waiting to get all "the facts" before he made a statement condemning the violence of white nationalists at the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia? Fox said it first. Trump's claim that there was violence on "both sides"? Fox said that too. His mentions of the alt-left? Fox News' Sean Hannity loves to talk about that. His insistence that there were some "very fine people" marching alongside white supremacists and neo-Nazis? Yep, that's a Fox favorite. Even Trump's hypothetical question about whether monuments to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson should also be taken down because, as he pointed out, they were slave owners, was first asked on Fox.

It seems Trump's claim that he has "very little time for watching TV" may be a bit outdated. Watch the president parrot Fox News below, in a video spliced together by Media Matters. Becca Stanek

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