After slamming President Trump's "revolving door" of "amateurs, grifters," and "felons" last year, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is reportedly back visiting the White House.
Christie, Politico reports, spent the day in the West Wing on Friday as the president's team gears up for the Senate's upcoming impeachment trial.
The former New Jersey governor competed against Trump for the 2016 Republican nomination and was later ousted from Trump's transition team. Last year, he released a book in which he wrote that Trump surrounds himself with "a revolving door of deeply flawed individuals — amateurs, grifters, weaklings, convicted and unconvicted felons."
Christie also revealed that he turned down offers to join the administration no fewer than seven times, and he suggested in an interview that some in Trump's inner circle were "lying" about Russia because "bad people and stupid people lie for no reason."
Despite his harsh words, the former governor in December launched a pro-Trump advocacy group, saying there has been "a lack of attention on the positive things the administration has done for the country." As Politico reports, the Trump administration has been preparing a "made-for-TV" defense of Trump ahead of the trial, and Trump is closely monitoring the image his defense portrays as he seeks "to get his side of the story told."
The specific reason for Christie's West Wing visit isn't clear, but when he launched his pro-Trump group, he said he's "always tried to get the other part of the story out there to the people." Brendan Morrow
After being fired by NBC, Megyn Kelly has returned to interview someone fired by CBS.
Kelly on Friday released an interview on YouTube with a former CBS News employee who was fired after a tape leaked showing ABC News anchor Amy Robach complaining that the network didn't air her story about convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Ashley Bianco worked at ABC at the time of Robach's rant but since moved to CBS, and journalist Yashar Ali previously reported "ABC News executives have informed their counterparts at CBS News" that she accessed the footage. Bianco was subsequently fired from CBS.
But Bianco denies being involved in leaking the rant, which she says "everyone in the office was freaked out" about. Instead, she says she only clipped it and saved it in the network's internal system "for office gossip," not returning to it after that day.
"It wasn't me," Bianco told Kelly. "I'm not the whistleblower. I'm sorry to ABC, but the leaker's still inside. I never did any of that."
Robach in the tape, which was leaked by a right-wing organization, complains about having interviewed an Epstein accuser but suggests ABC "quashed the story" in part due to fears of losing access to Kate Middleton and Prince William; the accuser in question claims she was forced to perform sex acts with Prince Andrew, which he denies. Robach later walked these comments back, saying her story was not ready for air.
This, Entertainment Tonight notes, is Kelly's first independent interview since her departure from NBC. Kelly's morning show was canceled in October 2018 after controversial comments she made questioning why it's not okay to wear blackface on Halloween. In January, she officially parted ways with the network in the middle of a three-year contract. She recently made a return to her former employer, Fox News, with an appearance on Tucker Carlson's show, promising she'd soon "get back out there." Brendan Morrow
Just when you thought she was out of the Democratic presidential debates, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is back in.
After participating in the first two rounds of presidential debates, Gabbard didn't qualify for the third in September, having failed to reach two percent support in four qualifying polls. But thanks to a Monmouth University New Hampshire poll released Tuesday, she's now qualified for the next debate in October, Politico reports. Gabbard had already surpassed the 130,000 individual donor requirement.
This means the debate stage is set to grow from 10 candidates in September to at least 12 candidates in October. Since there are more than 10 candidates, the event looks likely to take place over two nights, although the Democratic National Committee has not confirmed that.
The candidates who have qualified are former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, billionaire Tom Steyer, and Gabbard. This will be Steyer's first time participating in the Democratic debates.
The requirements for this upcoming fourth debate were the same as they were for the third, but for the fifth debate, they're being raised slightly to three percent support in four qualifying polls (or 5 percent in two early states) and 165,000 individual donors. In latest the New Hampshire poll, Gabbard is at two percent.
No one else is currently expected to qualify for the fourth debate, which is set to begin on Oct. 15. Brendan Morrow