President Trump speaks upon the return of U.S. detainees Tony Kim (3rd L), Kim Dong-chul (4th R) and Kim Hak-song (2nd R) after they were released by North Korea, at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland early Thursday. Credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Freedom: Three detainees held in North Korea return home
Monica Lewinsky Has a Great Point: What she tweeted about an unvite from Town & Country
ResistanceHole is the Political Satire We Need Right Now: Mr. Drumpf, your newest nightmare is here
What the White House is Talking About: Later this afternoon, President Trump departs Washington for Indiana and a rally in Elkhart this evening. He returns to the White House tonight.
What the White House Press Corps is Talking About: The return of the three American detainees from North Korea. And, for those in the corps who covered it, how to stay awake today.
FREEDOM: The middle-of-the-night arrival home of three prisoners from North Korea to Joint Base Andrews was an emotionally moving, and diplomatically important, moment. While the plane was on the tarmac, Trump and first lady Melania Trump boarded to personally greet Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang Duk (also called Tony Kim). The President gave brief remarks which included thanks to Kim Jong Un. "I really think he wants to do something and bring his country into the real world," Trump said, anticipating his upcoming face-to-face meeting with Kim. "I think this will be a very big success. It's never been taken this far, there's never been a relationship like this. Some great things can happen, and that's what we hope."
🚨 The meeting will take place in Singapore on June 12, according to a tweet from the President.🚨
How Americans Feel About the Trump-Kim Summit: New CNN polling finds a whopping 77% of Americans approve of Trump's decision to meet with Kim, and the approval for his overall handling of the North Korea relationship is up 10 points. This part of the poll is particularly fascinating and could translate to overall approval numbers going up for the President:
"I'm Closest to the President": This was apparently Michael Cohen's pitch for business to companies and interests hoping to gain access to the Trump administration -- a lucrative moment for Cohen to peddle his relationship with the President into dollars. Not to say that wasn't what a lot of folks who knew the President were doing. In 2016, with the surprise win of a presidential candidate with no political background, several entities were searching for a way to best get close to the new administration. The question surrounding Cohen is whether his cashing-in will upset Trump enough to turn on him, or if the deals were mutually agreeable and clear of ties to any nefarious people.
Trump Not Being Be Best: Quick note that Trump was back to the Twitter name-calling today.
Monica Lewinsky Has A Great Point: Lewinsky took to Twitter yesterday to complain, rightfully so, that a magazine had disinvited her from an important event, to which she had already said she would attend, because Bill Clinton had RSVP'd "yes" as well. Such. A. Bad. Move.
Credit: @MonicaLewinsky/Twitter I thought it was awesome that Lewinsky made this public, and so did many others, who readily named the publication at fault as Town & Country. I'm a huge T&C fan, so I was glad to see this morning, after several hours of silence, that the magazine finally apologized to Lewinsky. It was sort of a weak mea culpa, but I'm hopeful that someone high on the masthead personally called Lewinsky and issued a more personal regret.
Huma Abedin is Now BFFs with Harvey Weinstein's Ex-Wife: Georgina Chapman, who was married to Harvey Weinstein and is mother to two of his young children, has broken her silence about her ex, a once-powerful Hollywood producer who lost everything when numerous women came out publicly accusing him of monstrous behavior including sexual misconduct and assault. Chapman, one half of the design duo behind Marchesa, tells Vogue she had no idea what her husband was up to, and says she was "naive."
Interestingly, via playdates with their sons, Chapman has become besties with Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's former top aide, who was herself tangled in a messy spousal scandal. Here's what Abedin says about Chapman: "We just . . . bonded," Abedin says and lets out a dark laugh. "In allll kinds of ways. This particular club, ironically, it's not such a small one: women who have had to endure it in such a public way, women like Georgina and me. People don't feel sorry for us; you don't get that empathy. People think you're beautiful, you're thin, you're rich, you're photographed on the red carpet, and you get stuck in this category. There's so much more depth beyond all that with Georgina." Abedin's estranged husband, of course, is Anthony Weiner. The story includes this recent photograph of Chapman:
Also, Remember Yesterday ...: ...when I talked about how the Donald Trump Jr./Vanessa Trump divorce is playing out in Page Six, the gossip section of The New York Post? Yeah, it is. Here's the latest missive on the couple's love life: Junior is allegedly dating Fox News' Kimberly Guilfoyle.
What Washington is Talking About: How everyone's going to vote on CIA director nominee Gina Haspel. Sen. Rand Paul is a no, Sen. Joe Manchin is the only Dem yes, and Sen. John McCain called on his colleagues to reject her, saying in a statement her "role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing. Her refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality is disqualifying."
What America is Talking About: Ford is suspending production of the F-150, the most popular vehicle in America for more than four decades, due to a fire at one of its suppliers' facilities. The company said it plans to have production back up and running ASAP and that its dealers have an inventory of about 84 days worth of the truck.
What Tehran is Talking About: Iran and Israel exchanged fire last night, with Iran firing off more than 20 missiles from Syria. And Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir told our Wolf Blitzer Wednesday that should Iran restart its nuclear missile program, the kingdom will pursue making a bomb of its own.
Poll of the Day: The Dems' midterm lead has evaporated. For the first time this election cycle, Dems' lead over Repubs is within the margin of sampling error of CNN's poll, 47% to 44%. This comes as approval for President Trump's handling of issues including the economy, foreign trade, and foreign affairs is on the rise.
DJTJ's History of Incorrectly Accusing Twitter of Censorship: Donald Trump Jr. accused Twitter on Wednesday of censoring Candace Owen's tweet (it was a tweet celebrating the shoutout she got from @realDonaldTrump). But actually, Owens had just deleted her tweet. I wrote here about how it's not the first time DJTJ has suggested the social network is blocking tweets and how it's similar to what we've seen with Diamond and Silk, who've also erroneously accused Big Tech of censoring them because of their political views.
Two rules to go by before accusing Twitter of censorship: 1. Check to see if the tweet was deleted, and 2. Check to see if it's because your sensitive settings are on. DJTJ has still not deleted his inaccurate tweet.
ResistanceHole is the Political Satire We Need Right Now: The Onion has launched its latest ClickHole editorial project, the liberal viral-media parody site ResistanceHole. It joins PatriotHole, their conservative parody site which launched last May, in mocking the absurd partisan culture of our times, and I couldn't be more excited.
Their posts are laser-focused on Trump, or "Drumpf," the nickname they use more liberally than that one friend you have who's always telling you to watch 20-minute John Oliver clips. "To the brave women and men of the #Resistance: we call upon you to like and share our content so that we can get the web traffic we need to IMPEACH President Trump. We've got a long road ahead of us, but make no mistake, together we will prevail," the site wrote in an introductory post.
PatriotHole succeeded by using ClickHole's over-the-top, absurd brand of humor to poke fun at ~liberal elites~ and other conservative enemies. Their Alex Jones-styled character, Doug Baxter, is a treasure. They created a site where even conservatives could laugh at conservatives. It's high time liberals get the same opportunity.
Among their first posts is this one about political street art lol:
The First MAGA Ye Single to Chart: Of the two songs Kanye West has released since going MAGA, neither of them are big hits. His "Ye Vs. the People" featuring T.I. has debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 85 with 7.4 million US streams and 12,000 downloads. "Lift Yourself" did not chart.
"This Is America" Heading for Top 5 Debut: Meanwhile, the new Childish Gambino track is off to a strong start, with 20 million US streams and 50,000 downloads. That could be enough for a top 5 debut next week, Billboard reports, and enough to best his previous biggest hit, the No. 12-charting "Redbone" from last year.
Street Art Sighting: This mural of a zombie Statue of Liberty and a map of Iran covered in barbed wire was spotted Wednesday on a wall at the former US Embassy in Tehran, Iran.
P.S.: Spotify has pulled all R. Kelly songs from its playlists, both curated and algorithmic, although his music will remain on the service. "His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. We don't censor content because of an artist's or creator's behavior, but we want our editorial decisions -- what we choose to program -- to reflect our values," the company said in a statement.