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December 7, 2017

Time's Person of the Year is "the #MeToo movement," Stephen Colbert noted on Wednesday's Late Show, "which means that everyone who still subscribes to magazines just learned what a hashtag is." He applauded Time's "great choice," but said "a movement where sexual assault survivors are actually believed shouldn't be on the cover of Time; it should be on the cover of It's About Damn Time." As it is every year, the winner was announced on the Today show, Colbert said. "Really a shame Matt Lauer couldn't be there."

President Trump, last year's Person of the Year, came in at No. 2, and he's "gotta be annoyed," Colbert said, reading Trump's tweet on the topic. Still, "it really had to be the #MeToo movement, because it seems like every day a new man is being accused of sexual misconduct. But not today — today, it's the same man, Minnesota senator and former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken."

The straw that broke Franken's political back was a new accusation that he tried to kiss a former congressional aide in 2006, and when she ducked the kiss, he allegedly said, "It's my right as an entertainer." Nope, said Colbert. "I'm an entertainer, and I happen to always carry a copy of the Bill of Rights for Entertainers." Some of the perks he read sounded pretty good, but unwanted kissing was not among the enumerated rights. Franken will announce his future plans on Thursday, but the number of his Democratic colleagues calling on him to resign makes it seem inevitable. "The idea is so popular among Democrats," Colbert said, "that Al Franken is quoted as saying, 'I strongly believe Al Franken should resign... Oh wait! No, that's me!'" Peter Weber

2:46 a.m. ET

There was a lot of speculation as to why President Trump abruptly pulled out of a June 12 summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un that he had agreed to attend and was evidently excited about. Tony Schwartz, a Trump critic who shadowed the real estate developer for a year in the 1980s to ghostwrite Trump's bestseller The Art of the Deal, had a theory. "Trump has a morbid fear of being humiliated and shamed," Schwartz told The Washington Post on Thursday. The summit was all about "showing who’s the biggest and the strongest, so he is exquisitely sensitive to the possibility that he would end up looking weak and small. There is nothing more unacceptable to Trump than that." Schwartz elaborated on Twitter:

Negotiating with Trump based on logic or rational argument is a dead end, Schwartz explained on MSNBC's The Beat with Ari Melber.

Still, there is an advantage of sorts to Trump's negotiating style, at least for Trump, he added. Watch below. Peter Weber

2:00 a.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) has lost the support of the National Association of Realtors after he told a delegation last week that homeowners shouldn't have to sell their properties to people whose lifestyles they don't agree with.

Members of the Orange County Association of Realtors met with Rohrabacher while lobbying for H.R. 1447, which expands the Fair Housing Act of 1968 to include anti-discrimination protections based on a person's sexual orientation and gender identity. One attendee told The Orange County Register that Rohrabacher said to the group, "Every homeowner should be able to make a decision not to sell their home to someone [if] they don't agree with their lifestyle."

On Thursday, Rohrabacher confirmed to the Register that he said this, questioning why homeowners can't "choose who they do business with. We've drawn a line on racism, but I don't think we should extend that line. A homeowner should not be required to be in business with someone they think is doing something that is immoral." He said he's not "anti-gay" personally, but "there are some fundamental Christians who do not approve of their lifestyle. I support their rights."

The National Association of Realtors pulled its support of Rohrabacher after getting a letter from the founder of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals. The NAR had recommended that members send Rohrabacher campaign donations. Rohrabacher, now in his 15th term and up for re-election, told the Register it was "sad to see" that the real estate group's priority is "standing in solidarity with making sure a stamp of approval is put on somebody's private lifestyle." Catherine Garcia

1:54 a.m. ET

"Only Donald Trump could cancel a summit with Kim Jong Un in the morning and then have a meeting with Sylvester Stallone later in the day — soak it up, we'll probably never see anything like this again," Jimmy Kimmel said on Thursday's Kimmel Live. Trump broke off the summit with a "Dear John letter" that "was the nuclear nonproliferation equivalent of 'You break up with me? I break up with you!'" Kimmel said. The most interesting part of the letter, which was "not exactly what you would call Lincolnesque," was the juxtaposition of threats and outreach, he said. "See, that's Trump diplomacy in a nutshell: I look forward to our friendship, but if not, I will kill you."

Trump left the door ajar to future talks, Kimmel said, and if you want to be optimistic, this "feels kind of like we're at the part of the movie where the couple breaks up but then they realize they can't live without each other, and one of them has to run through the airport to stop the other one from getting on a flight."

As it turns out, The Late Show imagined such a "rom bomb" on Wednesday night.

Trump pulling out "shouldn't surprise anyone," Seth Meyers said on Late Night. "He earned backslaps from a media desperate to praise him for something, but he repeatedly made clear he had no idea what he was doing," like "a teenager who didn't prepare his oral report and is now stalling for the bell to ring." He went on to dig into the latest in the Trump-Russia investigation, focusing on Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Rudy Giluiani, and the role of the media, both mainstream and right-wing. Watch below. Peter Weber

1:00 a.m. ET
Bill Wechter/Getty Images

The president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing 15,000 Border Patrol agents, said that the deployment of National Guard troops ordered by President Trump has had "no benefit" and is a "colossal waste of resources."

The union endorsed Trump when he was running for president, and union president Brandon Judd told the Los Angeles Times that his members "generally support the administration, but we're not going to be cheerleading when things are not going well." In April, Trump directed that National Guard troops be deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border to assist agents, but "they're not allowed to be in the public eye," Judd said. "They're not allowed to be in our lookout and observation posts, even in Texas."

There are about 1,600 National Guard troops at the border, and they have been operating surveillance cameras and offering air support; Border Patrol Acting Chief Carla Provost said officials decided that was a better use of their time. In some cases, Border Patrol agents have to leave their posts to assist National Guard troops who aren't familiar with the area, the Times reports, and it has become a burden on the agents. The deployment is expected to cost $220 million to $252 million through end of the year, a Defense Department spokesman said. Catherine Garcia

12:50 a.m. ET
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President Trump decided to pull out of his June 12 summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un while talking with advisers Thursday morning from 7-9 a.m., then dictated his Dear Kim letter — to hawkish National Security Adviser John Bolton, according to Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) — and released it to the public at 9:43 a.m. without warning allies, members of Congress, or North Korea, all of whom seemed blindsided and upset by the sudden cancelation. Trump and his advisers had only started discussing canceling the meeting less than 12 hours earlier, NBC News reports.

What made up his mind? "The president, fearing that the North Koreans might beat him to the punch, wanted to be the one to cancel first," NBC News says, citing "multiple officials." At 10 p.m. Wednesday, Bolton told Trump about North Korea's public pushback against "political dummy" Vice President Mike Pence and threat to cancel, The Washington Post reports. "Bolton advised that the threatening language was a very bad sign, and the president told advisers he was concerned Kim was maneuvering to back out of the summit and make Americans look like desperate suitors, according to a person familiar with the conversations. So Trump called it off first."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. who met with Kim twice in Pyongyang and was working to set up the meeting, publicly blamed North Korea, telling the Senate Thursday that his negotiators "received no response to our inquiries from them. ... We got a lot of dial tones." Privately, Pompeo "blamed Bolton for torpedoing the progress that had already been made," NBC News reports, citing several administration officials. "One person familiar with the summit preparations said it was Bolton who drove the decision to cancel and that he had convinced Trump to make the move." Bolton's threat of "the Libya model," and Pence's parroting that line on Monday, angered the North Koreans. Peter Weber

May 24, 2018
Barry Cronin/AFP/Getty Images

On Friday, voters in Ireland will head to the polls for an abortion referendum, deciding whether or not to lift the country's constitutional ban on the procedure.

Abortion was already illegal in the heavily Catholic nation before the constitutional ban was adopted 35 years ago, and in 2013, it was partially repealed, only for instances when the life of the mother is in danger. Deputy Prime Minister Simon Covenay said that more than 3,000 women leave Ireland for Britain every year for abortions, while countless others order pills online.

Polls suggest that there is enough support to repeal the ban, and many Irish expats have returned home because they can't vote by mail or in embassies, and they want to have their voices heard. If the amendment is repealed, the government will then introduce a bill on abortion that would be debated in parliament. Catherine Garcia

May 24, 2018
Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

David MacNeil, a Chicago-area businessman who has donated more than $1 million to President Trump, told Politico Republican candidates can expect nothing from him until they take action on an immigration bill.

MacNeil owns the WeatherTech automotive company, and employs more than 1,100 people. MacNeil told Politico that if Congress doesn't come up with a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) deal, one of his employees could be deported. "I'm saying this as a political donor who's donated seven figures in the last couple of years: I will not donate any more money to anyone who doesn't support DACA, period," he said. "I'm putting my money where my mouth is."

The "critically important" employee was brought to the United States as a toddler, and "it would be a disaster if I were not able to legally employ her," MacNeil told Politico. "They should not be playing political football, political blackmail with people's lives." Catherine Garcia

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