• I Ran the VA Under President Trump Until He Fired Me. Our First Trump Tower Meeting Was a Job Interview Unlike Any Other

    David Shulkin reflects on his chaotic start in the Trump administration

  • Matt Lauer Had Romantic Affair With ‘Well Respected’ NBC Star: Report

    Lucas Jackson/ReutersMatt Lauer allegedly had a coerced romantic affair with a “well respected” NBC personality, according to an exclusive report by Page Six. The unnamed woman told the publication that the relationship represented a “clear imbalance of power” and that she was made to sign a nondisclosure agreement, or NDA, when she left the network. NBC News Chief Unleashes on Ronan Farrow in New Staff MemoOne corroborative source told the New York Post that “Matt had influence over everyone’s career-one word and your career would be sunk,” the unnamed person, who apparently confirmed the affair, said. “I know there was a clear imbalance of power in this woman’s relationship with Matt.” It is unclear if the woman in the Page Six article is the same one that Ronan Farrow describes in his new book Catch and Kill, where he wrote about how Lauer repeatedly harassed a fellow on-air star who was also made to sign an NDA agreement. In Farrow’s book, the co-star, who is also unnamed, says that a separate NBC executive also propositioned her and made lewd comments about her when she was on air. “I was like meat on a hook,” the woman told Farrow. “I would walk into work with a knot in my stomach. I would come home and cry.” The woman says that when she turned Lauer and the other man down, she was punished. “My career took a sharp nosedive,” she said. The woman described in the Page Six report says she did not go to NBC human-resources officials with her complaint, but that she did tell co-workers who have corroborated her complaint.Lauer has stringently denied claims of coerced sexual relationships, saying instead that all of his affairs were consensual. NBC responded harshly to Farrow’s book, insisting that it did not cover up for Lauer. NBC News President Noah Oppenheim-himself under pressure over essays he wrote while a student at Harvard, wrote a staff memo Monday. “Farrow’s effort to defame NBC News is clearly motivated not by a pursuit of truth, but an axe to grind,” he wrote. “It is built on a series of distortions, confused timelines, and outright inaccuracies.” “I feel absolutely terrible that these three employees were subjected to Matt Lauer’s horrific behavior, but the facts do not support Farrow’s allegation of a ‘cover-up,’ and he offers no further evidence,” Oppenheim went on to say. “There is no way we have found that NBC's current leadership could have been aware of his misdeeds in the past.” The network has not said whether it will seek legal action against Farrow’s allegations.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

  • Pete Buttigieg Swats Down Beto O’Rourke on Guns: ‘I Don’t Need Lessons From You on Courage’

    Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke said on the debate stage Tuesday night that Americans who refuse to turn over banned semiautomatic rifles under his mandatory gun buyback program would be met with unspecified “consequences,” a stance which drew major pushback from his fellow Democratic contenders.The Texas Democrat didn’t get into much more detail, but made clear that police would exercise force to confiscate weapons banned under his plan, the most sweeping gun control proposal offered by any Democratic presidential candidate.“If someone does not turn in an AR-15 or an AK-47... then that weapon will be taken from them,” O’Rourke said. “If they persist, there will be other consequences."Every candidate who addressed the issue on Tuesday evening supported additional restrictions on the sale of so-called assault weapons, but none went as far as O’Rourke. And his proposal prompted a harsh rebuke from others, especially South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.“Congressman, you just made it clear you don’t know how this is actually going to take weapons off the streets,” he told O’Rourke. “I don’t need lessons from you on courage, political or personal. The problem is not other Democrats who don’t agree with your particular idea of how to handle this. The problem is the National Rifle Association and their enablers in Congress, and we should be united in taking the fight to them.”That drew a heated response from O’Rourke, who accused Buttigieg of minimizing the problem of gun violence and the toll it’s taken on victims of mass-casualty shootings.“When you, mayor, describe this policy as a shiny object, I don’t care what that meant to me or my candidacy,” O’Rourke shot back. “But to those who have survived gun violence, those who have lost a loved one to an AR-15 or an AK-47, marched for our lives, formed in the courage of students willing to stand up to the NRA and conventional politicians and poll-tested politicians, that was a slap in the face to every one of those groups and every survivor of a mass casualty assault.”O’Rourke’s proposal would likely require a massive police mobilization to enforce the confiscation of millions of firearms targeted by the plan. And that raised concerns for other candidates on the stage.“In the place I grew up in, we weren't exactly looking for more reasons for cops to come show up at the door,” said Julian Castro, the former secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. “I am not going to give these police officers another reason to go door-to-door in these communities.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

  • Bernie Sanders Says 3 People Are Wealthier Than Half of All Americans. Here’s Who They Are

    Sen. Bernie Sanders said in Tuesday’s Democratic debate that the three wealthiest Americans have more money than the bottom half of all Americans - an assertion he’s made before, including at the Democratic debate in June. Sanders is referring to billionaires Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett. And according to the fact-checking news organization Politifact, Sanders is right that they’re richer than half of all Americans.In 2018, Forbes said that Bezos and his family are worth $160 billion, Gates is worth $97 billion, and Buffett is worth $88 billion. That comes to a total of $345 billion dollars.The Guardian reported that Bezos’ ex, MacKenzie Bezos, will receive $36 billion in their divorce. That would drop his worth to a paltry $124 billion, and the total worth of Bezos, Gates and Buffett to $309 billion.Also Read: Bernie Sanders Released From Hospital After Heart AttackBut that still makes their combined wealth significantly higher than the roughly $250 billion in combined wealth for the bottom half of Americans, according to a study by the Institute for Policy Studies. The institute is a progressive think tank.Politifact has rated Sanders’ statement as true.As the Institute reported, “almost one in five American households now resides in our Underwater Nation. These households often have no savings at all or owe more than they own.”Sanders brought up the statistic in response to a question from CNN’s Erin Burnett, who asked if he wants to tax billionaires out of existence. Sanders said he does indeed want significantly higher taxes on the wealthiest people in America.“When you have a half-million Americans sleeping out on the street, 87 million people uninsured or underinsured, when you have hundreds of thousands of kids who cannot afford to go to college, and millions struggling with the oppressive burden of student debt… and you have three people owning more wealth than the bottom half of American society, that is a moral and economic outrage,” Sanders said.   Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she agreed, and accused fellow Democrats on the debate stage of wanting to protect billionaires. Sen. Amy Klobuchar fired back that “not even the billionaire” onstage wanted to protect billionaires, referring to Tom Steyer.Lawrence Yee contributed to this story.Read original story Bernie Sanders Says 3 People Are Wealthier Than Half of All Americans. Here’s Who They Are At TheWrap

  • Tourist Fined for Wearing 'Tiny' Bikini on Popular Beach in the Philippines

    A Taiwanese tourist, who was on vacation on Boracay Island with her boyfriend, was apprehended and fined for wearing a string bikini that has been called “inappropriate.”