Mornings on the Mall
Thursday, August 22, 2019
Hosts: Mary Walter and Vince Coglianese
Executive Producer: Heather Hunter
5am – A/B/C AIR CONDITIONING AT 82 DEGREES AT NIGHT?? Set your air conditioning to 78 degrees during the day, 82 degrees at night, federal agencies recommend. The U.S. EPA and Department of Energy’s Energy Star program recommend setting your thermostat to 78 degrees while home, 85 while out and 82 while sleeping to reduce costs & energy use. What temperature do you set your thermostat in the summer?
5am – D/E LATEST EPSTEIN NEWS:
- AG BARR ON EPSTEIN: While citing “serious irregularities” at the prison where Jeffrey Epstein died, Attorney General Bill Barr says, “I have seen nothing that undercuts the finding of the medical examiner that this was a suicide.”
- EPSTEIN’S JAIL TIME: At least eight jail officials knew Jeffrey Epstein was not to be left alone in cell. (Washington Post) – At least eight Bureau of Prisons staffers knew that strict instructions had been given not to leave multimillionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein alone in his cell, yet the order was apparently ignored in the 24 hours leading up to his death, according to people familiar with the matter. The fact that so many prison officials were aware of the directive — not just low-level correctional officers, but supervisors and managers — has alarmed investigators assessing what so far appears to be a stunning failure to follow instructions, these people said. Like others, they spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing investigations. They declined to identify the eight. Investigators suspect that at least some of these individuals also knew Epstein had been left alone in a cell before he died, and they are working to determine the extent of such knowledge, these people said, cautioning that the apparent disregard for the instruction does not necessarily mean there was criminal conduct. The explanation, they said, could be simpler and sadder — bureaucratic incompetence spanning multiple individuals and ranks within the organization.
- EPSTEIN’S WORK RELEASE: Jeffrey Epstein arranged for sex with 18-year-old while on work release from jail: lawsuit. (Fox News) – Jeffrey Epstein had sex with an 18-year-old woman inside the headquarters of a nonprofit while on work release from Florida jail — as plainclothed sheriff’s deputies stood guard outside — one of three new lawsuits filed Tuesday in New York against the late financier’s estate alleges. A woman identified only as Kaitlyn Doe claims she flew to West Palm Beach, Fla., in October 2008 shortly after her 18th birthday to work for Epstein’s new nonprofit, the Florida Science Foundation. Once she arrived, she was allegedly coerced into performing sex acts for Epstein, sometimes alone and sometimes with another young woman, inside the offices of the non-profit, all while he was on work release, the lawsuit says. “Jeffrey Epstein, through his brazen and powerful organization, was quite literally able to commit federal sex trafficking offenses at his work release office, during his jail sentence,” according to the lawsuit. At the time, Epstein was serving an 18-month prison sentence at the Palm Beach County Jail after pleading guilty to state prostitution charges. As part of the plea agreement, Epstein also registered as a sex offender and paid victims financial settlements, the Sun Sentinel of South Florida reported. About three months into his sentence, Epstein was granted permission from Palm Beach Sheriff Ric Bradshaw to leave jail for up to 12 hours a day, six days a week on work release at his nonprofit, the Palm Beach Post reported. Epstein paid off-duty Palm Beach sheriff’s deputies dressed in suits to stand guard outside the office while he was inside.
- FORMER CELLMATE CLAIMS HE’S BEING THREATENED. (NY Post) – Jeffrey Epstein’s former Manhattan cellmate says guards at the lockup have been threatening him since the financier’s death, according to a legal filing by his attorneys Tuesday asking a judge to move him to a new prison.
- EPSTEIN’S WILL: Jeffrey Epstein signed will 2 days before suicide, report says. Disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s will was filed in the U.S. Virgin Islands and it showed that he signed it on Aug. 8 — two days before investigators said he hanged himself in his New York City jail cell. The accused sex trafficker and alleged pedophile was worth $577,672,654, or about $18 million more than he previously stated in court papers when he had tried to land bail on federal sex-trafficking charges, the New York Post reported Monday, citing new court documents. The 66-year-old put all of his holdings in a trust, referred to as “The 1953 Trust” in court papers, named after the year he was born, the document revealed. There were no details on the trust’s beneficiaries. The court papers noted Epstein’s only potential heir was his brother, Mark Epstein. The 21-page filing included a copy of Epstein’s death certificate from Aug. 15, five days after his suicide, which noted: “Immediate Cause: Pending Further Study.”
- Bill Gates’ former science adviser ‘shocked’ to be named backup executor of Epstein will. (Fox News) — A former science adviser for Bill Gates said Tuesday he was “shocked” to learn Jeffrey Epstein had named him as a back-up executor of his $578 million will, according to a report. Boris Nikolic, a 49-year-old biotech venture capitalist, was named as one of three executors of Epstein’s will which was filed Monday in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein owned two islands, Little St. James and Great St. James. Nikolic was a former science adviser to Gates, the Microsoft founder and philanthropist. “I was not consulted in these matters and I have no intent to fulfill these duties, whatsoever,” Nikolic said in a statement provided to Bloomberg.
6am – A/B/C TRUMP’S PRESS GAGGLE HIGHLIGHTS:
- REPORTERS WHINE ABOUT HOT GAGGLE: Bloomberg’s JENNIFER JACOBS: That sweaty gaggle lasted nearly 40 minutes in almost 90 degree DC heat. One reporter’s cellphone auto-shut down due to the hot temperature, midway through Trump’s remarks.
- TRUMP ON RECESSION TALK: “The fake news, of which many of you are members, is trying to convince the public to have a recession. ‘Let’s have a recession!’
- TRUMP’S CONTROVERSIAL ‘CHOSEN ONE’ COMMENT: Donald Trump looked to the sky with his hands raised and said, “I am the chosen one,” as he defended his administration’s tough stance on trade with China and slammed past U.S. presidents.
- ON MONDAY: “Thankfully, the time where you buy and sell other countries and populations is over,” Denmark’s PM says of Trump’s interest in purchasing Greenland
- ON TUESDAY: President Trump tweets that he is “postponing” his upcoming meeting with Danish PM Mette Frederiksen based on her comments “that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland.” The US president has been expected to visit Denmark in early September.
- Danish PM is ‘annoyed and surprised’ that Trump cancelled his visit but claims the invitation ‘remains open’
- ON WEDNESDAY: Trump says that Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comment that his idea of buying Greenland is ‘absurd’ was “nasty” and a “very not nice way of saying something.”
- BACKGROUND CHECKS: President Trump on background checks: “I have an appetite for background checks … we already have very strong background checks but we are going to be filling in some of the loopholes”
- TRUMP ON TAX CUTS: President Trump: “I’m not looking at a tax cut now, we don’t need it, we have a strong economy.”
- TRUMP RIPS NBC: OUCH: Trump Tattoos NBC, Alexander as ‘Organ of the Democrats,’ Worse Than CNN
- BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP: President Trump says the administration is considering an executive order that ends birthright citizenship, putting an end to children born in the U.S. whose parents are illegal immigrants automatically becoming U.S. citizens. The White House also announced plans to allow migrant families to be held indefinitely, rather than a maximum of 20 days. President Trump: “We are looking at birthright citizenship very seriously. … It’s frankly ridiculous”
6am – D CONTROVERSY OVER SEAN SPICER JOINING DWTS:
- ‘Dancing With the Stars’ host Tom Bergeron slams politically ‘divisive bookings’ after Sean Spicer is cast. (Fox News) Tom Bergeron, the longtime host of “Dancing With the Stars,” was disappointed in this season’s casting. He took to social media on Wednesday to post a lengthy statement explaining his feelings about which “celebrities” will be featured on Season 28 of the hit reality competition series, in particular referring to how Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump’s former White House press secretary, is a contestant. Bergeron wrote how he hoped the new season “would be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations.” “We can all agree to disagree, as we do now, but ultimately it’s their call,” he continued. “I’ll leave it to them to answer any further questions about those decisions.” Bergeron made a pledge to the show’s fans: “For me, as host, I always gaze into the camera’s lens and imagine you on the other side, looking for a two-hour escape from whatever life hassles you’ve been wrestling with. That’s a connection and a responsibility which I take very seriously, even if I occasionally season it with dad jokes.” In response to Bergeron’s post, “DWTS” executive producer, Andrew Llinares, told Fox News in a statement on Wednesday: “We’ve got a great and diverse cast. We are excited about the season.”
- Sean Spicer Fires Back at Critics of His New Gig on Dancing With the Stars: ‘I’m Very Comfortable With Who I Am.’ (Mediaite) – Sean Spicer, former White House press secretary and future contestant on Dancing With the Stars, responded to his critics in in interview with Mediaite. “This is an opportunity to have some fun,” Spicer told Mediaite by phone on Wednesday evening. New York Times T.V. critic James Poniewozik, in a blistering piece characterizing Spicer as a professional liar, argued that to treat him “as a harmless joke is to whitewash the harm of what he did, which was to say things so absurdly false that he invited his political side to join him in denying their own eyeballs, to encourage people to believe that facts don’t matter if they hurt your team.” “Letting Sean Spicer tango onto prime time this fall is not the largest disgrace of all time. But it’s still a disgrace,” Poniewozik wrote, ending his piece with an infamous Spicerism: “Period.” “I’ve never really cared what they think,” Spicer told Mediaite of the New York Times. “I’m not going to care now.” Spicer insisted he’s not joining the game show to normalize his past or, as Poniewozik put it, “tap-dance out of infamy.”
- Here’s who else will be competing on DWTS:
- Lauren Alaina – Country singer and Season 10 runner-up on “American Idol”
- Christie Brinkley – Former supermodel and actress
- Ally Brooke – Pop singer and member of the girl group Fifth Harmony
- Hannah Brown – The most recent star of “The Bachelorette”
- Karamo Brown – Culture expert on the Netflix reality series “Queer Eye”
- Kate Flannery – Actress and former star on “The Office”
- Ray Lewis – NFL legend and sportscaster / Lewis, an NFL Hall of Famer who will no doubt use his airtime to spout religious platitudes and recreate his patented “Squirrel” dance. Just don’t expect him to give a full accounting of his role in the stabbing deaths of two men outside a nightclub in 2000. Lewis was initially charged with murder, but the charges were dropped and he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice.
- Kel Mitchell – Actor and former Nickelodeon star who was one half of “Kenan and Kel”
- Lamar Odom – Former NBA player, reality star and Khloe Kardashian’s ex-husband/ Odom, billed as a “former NBA star” but best known for nearly dying in a Nevada brothel after binging on cocaine and a Viagra-like drug. Oh, and being married to a Kardashian.
- James Van Der Beek – Actor and former star of “Dawson’s Creek”
- Mary Wilson – Singer and former member of The Supremes
6am – E/F People are reliving schoolyard memories with tetherball, hopscotch and Lincoln Logs, despite sore muscles and tweaked knees. (WSJ) — SAN FRANCISCO—Colleen Fazio remembers being scared while playing dodgeball in grade school. Two decades later, not much had changed. “I had the same childish fear as I did in grade school, making it honestly pretty similar to grade school and not that different,” the 24-year-old Ms. Fazio said after a dodgeball match against fellow grown-ups. “Everyone was just older.” Adults are reliving their playground memories—the good ones and the bad ones—at what’s become known as “adult recess.” Athleticism is nice, but totally not necessary. “One of my teammates sometimes will insist on playing dodgeball or kickball with a bag of Cheetos Puffs in one hand,” said 27-year-old Christine Clinton, playing on the same dodgeball field as Ms. Fazio. In Seattle’s Cal Anderson Park, about 1,000 men and women turned out for an adult recess one Saturday earlier this month that included kickball, hopscotch and tetherball, along with chicken nuggets and grilled cheese sandwiches. “I thought back to the last time when I really had fun, and it was these games when I was a kid,” said Clay Lundquist, managing director of Center Stage Entertainment Marketing, which produced the recess. In Greensboro, N.C., the city decided to put on an adult recess program at the local Barber Park to help celebrate national Park and Recreation Month in July. The games included Twister, four square and tetherball. “When we were doing this, I said we have to have tetherball, which was always my favorite,” said Jennifer Hance, community engagement director for Greensboro’s parks department. “I oddly did remember you have to wrap it around the pole before the other person did.” The turnout of 600 surpassed the city’s goal of 500. Not quite everything was a hit. “We didn’t have as many people hula hoop as we would have thought,” Ms. Hance said. Adult recess has proven so popular in the central Indiana cities of Kokomo and Tipton that the local United Way added more adult recess events during the year like those it first sponsored last September. Seeking to muster enthusiasm for games including cornhole—a particular crowd favorite—United Way spokeswoman Bailey Franklin wrote on an online flier: “Do you remember the feeling you had as a child from the recess bell?” Some recesses have been brought indoors, such as in Akron, Ohio, where a library branch last year began hosting a monthly adult recess for up to 30 participants who play with Tinkertoys and Lincoln Logs, Silly Putty and Play-Doh.
7am – A INTERVIEW – ADAM KENNEDY – Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Communications at The White House
- Donald Trump signs order forgiving disabled veterans’ college loans
- President Trump says the administration is considering an executive order that ends birthright citizenship, putting an end to children born in the U.S. whose parents are illegal immigrants automatically becoming U.S. citizens. The White House also announced plans to allow migrant families to be held indefinitely, rather than a maximum of 20 days.
7am – B/C AOC NEWS:
- AOC calls Electoral College a ‘scam’ that gives too much power to white voters, says it should be abolished. ‘The Electoral College has to go.’ First-term Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is calling for the U.S. to abolish the Electoral College, saying that the voting system is a “scam” that negatively impacts minorities. Ocasio-Cortez made her argument on Monday in an Instagram story that includes her driving along a deserted highway and quipping, “many votes here, as you can see.” “Very efficient way to choose leadership of the country. I mean I can’t think of any other way, can you?” Ocasio-Cortez says, before going on to cite a report from New York Magazine that argues the defenses of the system that determines the winner of presidential elections are flawed. The freshman lawmaker said the Electoral College is a “scam” that has a “racial injustice breakdown” undermining the votes of people of color.
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s office doesn’t answer phone calls. WASHINGTON – Call me, maybe? Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the only member of the New York City delegation who doesn’t have a staff member picking up the phone regularly. The Post called the offices of all 13 lawmakers representing New York City – even those in high-profile positions like Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler – and a real person answered the call on every occasion, in every office location, except for calls dialed to AOC’s two offices. The phones weren’t immediately answered at Rep. Adriano Espaillat’s office as he moved to his new Bronx district location, but an aide promptly picked up Espaillat’s Harlem and Washington, DC lines. A call to AOC’s Jackson Heights office goes to a series of voicemails with no ability to leave a message as of Monday. In DC, a constituent can maybe get a person on the line if the caller bypasses the office’s unique filtering system that aims to block outside callers from clogging up the phone lines. Aides to Ocasio-Cortez say the issue is call volume. Their office deployed a special phone filtering system that blocks callers without New York or DC area codes from even making it through. Such callers get a message directing them to the Bronx Democrat’s website. There’s no option to leave a message.
7am – D INTERVIEW – LARRY MICHAEL – Voice of the Redskins – previewed tonight’s preseason game of the Washington Redskins at the Atlanta Falcons.
- Redskins coach Jay Gruden leaves things loose until he is forced to make decisions. Well, it’s about that time as Washington plays the Falcons tonight (7:30, NBC-4). The second-to-last preseason game is a bit of a dress rehearsal, and starters will play the first half or more while several positions remain uncertain. Tonight’s questions are the same ones that have lingered since training camp began. The team’s overall depth has greatly improved, but will left tackle Trent Williams’ ongoing holdout create a domino effect that damages the offense?
7am – E De Blasio mocked after video malfunction at labor forum: Voice ‘higher than his poll numbers.’ (Fox News) – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio got some laughs — though not for the reasons he expected — when a top labor union played his video message to a crowd in Iowa on Wednesday. The 2020 hopeful sent a video message because he couldn’t make it to a labor forum held by the AFL-CIO’s Iowa Federation of Labor. When it played, the audio sounded abnormally high-pitched, prompting Washington Post reporter Matt Viser to crack that the mayor “sounded like he’d gulped a canister of helium.” Whoever was operating the video equipment appeared to try and fix the audio as viewers could see a mouse pointer moving across the screen and a box popping up over de Blasio’s face. t’s unclear what caused the apparent malfunction but the 2020 hopeful’s high-pitched voice prompted audible laughter from the audience. Campaign spokesman Olivia Lapeyrolerie blamed a “technical glitch” when reached by Fox News, writing in an email: “It was obviously a technical glitch. I cannot believe you a [sic] writing a story on this.” The mayor also seemed to make light of the incident, tweeting that he would make a “less entertaining” video available. Bill de Blasio @BilldeBlasio: A canceled flight can’t stop me from sharing my vision for putting unions and working people first (or apparently from auditioning for Alvin and the Chipmunks). To @IowaAFLCIO: Stay tuned for a less-glitchy video featuring my actual (and less entertaining) voice.
8am – A INTERVIEW – ANDREW MCCARTHY – author of new book “Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency”
- ABOUT BOOK: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book, “Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency,” finds the white whale that eluded Special Counsel Robert Mueller for two years – evidence of a wide conspiracy to undermine American democracy. It wasn’t the Trump campaign, McCarthy reports, but agents of the federal government that intentionally perpetrated a fraud on the American people through the Russia collusion hoax in order to undermine the duly elected president of the United States. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, draws on his own distinguished analysis of the Trump-Russia investigation for National Review and Fox News, as well as the work of journalists who tirelessly challenged the collusion narrative trumpeted by leading news outlets, to provide a smart and brisk account of the broad effort to delegitimize Trump. “Ball of Collusion” covers the major revelations discovered so far about how top officials in the Obama administration – including the FBI and the CIA, the departments of Justice, State and the White House itself – turned government power into a political weapon to sabotage the Trump administration.
8am – B/C THE MEDIA HAS BECOME HUMORLESS:
- Donald Trump looked to the sky with his hands raised and said, “I am the chosen one,” as he defended his administration’s tough stance on trade with China and slammed past U.S. presidents
- President Trump jokes with Medal of Honor recipient Marine Corps Cpl. Hershel “Woody” Williams while speaking at the American Veterans convention: “There’s nothing like the Medal of Honor. I wanted one but they told me I don’t qualify, Woody.”
- CNN Panel Shreds Trump for Joking About Giving Himself a Medal of Honor: ‘He DOES Think He’s the Chosen One!’
- Piers Morgan: “The Left Have Become Unbearable”.
8am – D/E INTERVIEW – HANS VON SPAKOVSKY – Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation
- Trump administration lifts limits on detention of migrant children. The Trump administration moved to allow border authorities to detain families indefinitely on Wednesday, almost certainly triggering a legal challenge over the detention of children. The new regulations eliminate a previous 20-day limit on detaining migrant children, allowing families to be confined while judges consider whether to grant them leave to stay in the United States. The rules replace a 1997 agreement, known as the “Flores agreement,” which currently requires the government to keep children in the least restrictive setting. Trump has repeatedly criticized the arrangements as a “catch and release” system, allowing families to go free while they await immigration hearings. Officials said they were introducing their own version of the Flores agreement with a focus on keeping children with their parents. The move is the latest effort to tighten immigration controls, a signature issue for President Trump. Opponents immediately said imprisoning children would damage their mental health and signaled their intent to challenge the arrangement in court. “The government should not be jailing kids and certainly shouldn’t be seeking to put more kids in jail for longer,” said Madhuri Grewal of the American Civil Liberties Union. However, Trump told reporters at the White House that he was in part motivated by protecting children from the arduous journey to the American border.
- Trump says administration looking “seriously” at ending birthright citizenship. President Trump on Wednesday said his administration is once again seriously considering an executive order to end birthright citizenship months after several lawmakers cast doubt on his ability to take such action. “We’re looking at that very seriously,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House for Kentucky. “Birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land — walk over the border, have a baby, congratulations, the baby’s now a U.S. citizen. We are looking at birthright citizenship very seriously,” he added. “It’s, frankly, ridiculous.” The president proposed ending the practice that grants citizenship to those born in the United States during his 2016 presidential campaign. He revived the idea last year, saying he would sign an executive order to enact the change. Numerous lawmakers, including several Republicans, quickly pushed back on the idea and argued Trump lacked the authority to make such a change using an executive order. They cited that birthright citizenship is a right enshrined under the 14th Amendment. Trump responded to the criticism by saying birthright citizenship would be ended “one way or another.”