Kids, it’s been a busy 24 hours. Before we get started, a friendly reminder that this is all SOOPER BASIC: The President of the United States pressured a foreign country to manufacture dirt on a political opponent and dangled military aid — aid that had already been approved of by a bipartisan Congress — in exchange. It’s bad!
Right, so, yesterday’s big news was that Rudy Giuliani’s client and goons, these two Soviet-born Ukranian dudes, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were arrested yesterday for being involved in a scheme to funnel foreign money to American politicians and manipulate U.S.-Ukraine relations. Specifically, they used a pro-Trump PAC to pay former Texas Congressman Pete Sessions some $3 million to strongly encourage Mike Pompeo to remove the then-ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. Sessions wrote a letter and then Pompeo removed Yovanovitch. The justification was that Yovanovitch was anti-Trump, but really, she was standing in the way of their schemes to get on the Ukrainian state-owned gas company’s board, and looking into Giuliani’s hare-brained conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. (There was also a whole investing in marijuana companies scheme that they are in trouble for, but that’s not really of import here.)
Did I mention that Lev Parnas’s company is called “Fraud Guarantee?”
ALRIGHT, so Parnas and Fruman were on their way on a one-way trip to Vienna when they were arrested, and guess who was planning on meeting them there?
Maybe Rudy Giuliani shouldn't have made this video of himself and his Ukraine co-conspirators Orb Parnas and Igor Fruman WHILE they were planning their getaway, at the Trump Hotel. #EqualityTownHall Fraud Guarantee. ; https://t.co/acflE9oQtH pic.twitter.com/jeLGYUCvOm
— Robert De Niro (@RobertDeNiroUS) October 11, 2019
News is that Rudy is DEFINITELY also under criminal investigation for all of this because of course he is.
And lookee who took pictures with these two cartoon characters:
Don Jr., Tommy Hicks, Jr. , Parnas and Fruman in calmer times. pic.twitter.com/zCxuIDFi5N
— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) October 10, 2019
Did I mention the part where one of the PACs they funneled money through was one of Dummy Jr.’s PACs?
— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) October 10, 2019
"I don’t know those gentlemen,” Trump says of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.
He had dinner with them at the White House, according to @ProPublica, who report Parnas posted selfies with POTUS on Facebook & geotagged the WH.
There were ten exclamation marks in his status update. pic.twitter.com/QF1vDPfuo5
— Martyn McLaughlin (@MartynMcL) October 10, 2019
I know everyone immediately debunked that claim that Trump made about never meeting Parnas, but this is just a gem pic.twitter.com/kNxRNNofFE
— Brooke Binkowski (@brooklynmarie) October 11, 2019
President I Don’t Know Her tried to wave this off as insignificant, that he takes pictures with everyone, and really, he doesn’t know these guys at all.
Good luck with that!
Meanwhile, Rick Perry and the Department of Energy were subpoenaed for documents related to this whole mess because Governor Good Hair, he’s in this neck-deep, too.
making a bad day worse for President Foreign Collusion, the woman at the center of Giuliani, Parnas, and Fruman’s shenanigans, Marie Yovanavitch, she chose to testify to Congress today, despite the State Department’s insistence that no one from their offices would cooperate.
Today, we see the State Department attacked and hollowed out from within.
State Department leadership, with Congress, needs to take action
now to defend this great institution, and its thousands of loyal and
effective employees. We need to rebuild diplomacy as the first
resort to advance America’s interests and the front line of
America’s defense. I fear that not doing so will harm our nation’s
interest, perhaps irreparably.
That harm will come not just through the inevitable and
continuing resignation and loss of many of this nation’s most
loyal and talented public servants. It also will come when those
diplomats who soldier on and do their best to represent our nation
face partners abroad who question whether the ambassador truly
speaks for the President and can be counted upon as a reliable
partner. The harm will come when private interests circumvent
professional diplomats for their own gain, not the public good.
The harm will come when bad actors in countries beyond Ukraine
see how easy it is to use fiction and innuendo to manipulate our
system. In such circumstances, the only interests that will be
served are those of our strategic adversaries, like Russia, that
spread chaos and attack the institutions and norms that the U.S.
helped create and which we have benefited from for the last 75
Meanwhile, Gordon “Call Me” Sondland has confirmed that he will testify next week after all, after not showing up this week.
President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, will testify on Thursday to
House impeachment investigators, and his lawyers say he will do so despite the State Department's "current direction not to testify."
— Billy House (@HouseInSession) October 11, 2019
Fiona Hill, President Helenski’s former aid to Russia and Ukraine, she is planning on testifying next week to Congress that Sondland and Giuliani were up to shenanigans:
Breaking via NBC: Fiona Hill, Trump's former top aide on Russia & Europe, plans to tell Congress that Giuliani and E.U. ambassador Gordon Sondland circumvented the National Security Council and the normal W.H. process to pursue a shadow policy on Ukraine. https://t.co/lbjv7vTZbS
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 10, 2019
At least four national security experts expressed concern immediately before and after the phone call with the President of Ukraine, suggesting that people were concerned about what President Conspiracy Brain was doing on that front long before the whistleblower heard anything about it — so concerned they went to a White House lawyer about it.
And they may just be the first of a flood of witnesses. The Daily Beast is reporting that new potential whistleblowers are being vetted at the moment, as people realize the momentum is on their side.
In not-related-to-this-Ukraine-mess news, but definitely related to impeachment, The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia District ruled that President Bankruptcy has to hand over his tax returns to Congress. And in fact, Judge Naomi Reo — a Trump appointee — wrote:
“Impeachment provides the exclusive method for Congress to investigate actions of illegal conduct by impeachable officials, particularly with the aid of compulsory process,” she wrote.
“Throughout our history, Congress, the President, and the courts have insisted upon maintaining the separation between the legislative and impeachment powers of the House and recognized the gravity and accountability that follow impeachment.”
As for President Asshole, he held a rally last night that I REFUSE to discuss other than to point out that his team used “Purple Rain” against the express wishes of Prince’s estate, giving me JUST ONE MORE REASON TO HATE HIS ORANGE ASS.
In Other TV News
Reminder that El Camino is available on Netflix RIGHT NOW:
Well played, boys. Well played.
CNN’s LGBTQ town hall was interrupted by trans protestors last night, but everyone was very cool about the whole thing, because obviously.
A San Francisco Fox affiliate has apologized for using “BRAVES SCALPED” in a chyron in a story about the Atlanta Braves losing to the St. Louis Cardinals. And yes! It was insensitive towards Native Americans, but you know what else is insensitive to Native Americans? Naming a baseball team “The Braves” and doing “tomahawk chops” as part of y’all’s whole thing.
This NBA-China thing, it’s not great. At a press conference in Japan, CNN reporter tried to ask The Rocket’s James Harden and Russell Westbrook about the league’s relationship with China only to have a Houston Rocket’s media relations employee come out to say that the players are only here to talk basketball, and take the reporter’s microphone away. COOL COOL COOOOOOOL. The NBA apologized to the reporter, but come on.
The stuntman wrongful death lawsuit against AMC and The Walking Dead is moving forward and will begin on December 9.
A lawyer who was trying to get to her client, an undocumented immigrant, was shoved to the ground by an ICE officer, and her foot was broken in the process. The whole thing was filmed by a Netflix documentary crew for the series, Living Undocumented, but the U.S. Attorney’s office declined to press charges against the officer because we are living in a lawless time. But that’s OK, the ACLU is representing the lawyer in a lawsuit against the ICE agent and ICE itself. Good.
Boy, this Matt Lauer story is a mess, and let me just be very fucking clear: I believe Ronan Farrow. I always believe Ronan Farrow. It’s bizarre that the secret son of Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow has somehow become the most trustworthy person in the media world, but it’s certainly not the most bizarre thing in this particular timeline.
Meanwhile, Matt Lauer released a letter that I only passingly referenced the other day because fuck that guy, but needless to say, it painted him, the most powerful man in NBC News, as a hapless victim while his accuser walked free without any real consequences. As you might imagine, people are pissed at this response, including his accuser, Brooke Nevils, who released a statement to Variety that basically invites Matt Lauer to go fuck right off:
“I knew what kind of person Matt Lauer was when I made the decision to report him to NBC in November 2017, and I knew what kind of a person he was when I made the decision to tell my story to Ronan Farrow. In both of those cases, I asked that my allegations be thoroughly investigated, and that Matt be given the opportunity to defend himself. I provided dates, times, evidence of communications, and corroborating accounts. Both NBC and Farrow found me credible.”
Nevils continues, “As his open letter clearly reveals, there may be more than one Matt Lauer.”
“There’s the Matt Lauer that millions of Americans watched on TV every morning for two decades, and there is the Matt Lauer who this morning attempted to bully a former colleague into silence,” Nevils says. “His open letter was a case study in victim blaming and concluded by threatening any other woman who might dare to speak out against him. This is the Matt Lauer, then the most powerful asset at NBC News, who I feared when I continued to engage with him, as many victims of acquaintance rape do, particularly in the workplace. This is the Matt Lauer I reported in November 2017. I was not afraid of him then, and I am not afraid of him now, regardless of his threats, bullying, and the shaming and predatory tactics I knew he would (and now has) tried to use against me. The shame in this story belongs to him.”
High five, sister.
The folks at NBC are exhausted, too, according to this Vanity Fair piece: “You can see it written on Savannah and Hoda’s faces: Jesus, are we doing this again?” said someone who knows them well. “There’s a sense of, Where’s the end of it, and where does this go from here? They’re all so exhausted by the thought of going through this again. It’s definitely a wound being reopened. It’s not good.”
… and they grilled the head of NBC News, Noah Oppenheimer in a meeting, demanding to know who knew what and when.
Meanwhile, Ronan Farrow is in a slap fight with NBC News about just this question: who knew what and when, and he revealed in an interview this morning that years before Nevils was at NBC, the network signed SEVEN non-disclosure agreements, many of which were about Matt Lauer, SO YEAH. THEY KNEW THEY HAD A PROBLEM.
Like I said, Team Ronan Farrow.
Cuba Gooding Jr.’s fortunes have taken a turn: his groping trial in NYC has been delayed, but he has been accused — and charged — in a second incident.
California has signed into law two new #MeToo laws — one extends the deadline to file complaints from one year to three years; the other prevents employers from forcing their employees to waive their rights under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Hey! Cancel Bear is back with their first predictions. Let’s take a looksee:
- ABC’s safest show: The Conners. Their most at-risk: Fresh Off the Boat. Stumptown and Emergence are just doing so-so.
- CBS’s safest show: NCIS. Their most at-risk: Evil. BOOOO. THAT SHOW IS GOOD. AND IF Y’ALL HAD CHOSEN IT FOR THE HATE BLOG, IT WOULD BE GUARANTEED TO BE RENEWED.
- Fox’s safest show: 9-1-1. Their most at-risk: Almost Family.
- NBC’s safest show: The Chicago shows. The most at-risk: Sunnyside.
- Holey Moley has been renewed for a second season at ABC.
- The United States Of Al, a comedy from Chuck Lorre, has been given a pilot commitment at CBS.
- Maniac Cop is being developed into a series at HBO.
- A female FBI agents drama has been given a script commitment at Fox.
- Wildfire, a drama, is being developed at NBC.
- Katla is being developed as a series at Netflix.
- House of Salt and Sorrows is being adapted into a TV series.
- Ninth House is being adapted into a TV series.
- Lore Olympus is being adapted into a TV series.
- Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought The Air War Against Nazi Germany is being developed as a series for Apple TV+ by Steven Speilberg and Tom Hanks.
- Quibi and Telemundo are working on news shows together.
- Alfonso Cuarón has signed a deal with Apple TV+. Interesting.
- Holly Hunter is your new Sally Yates. PERFECTION.
- Alan Tudyk is going to guest star on The Rookie, for a little Firefly reunion.
- Kerry Washington has joined the cast of The Prom on Netflix.
- Wayne Brady is joining Black Lightning on NBC.
- Amber Riley will be the emcee on Little Mermaid Live! on ABC.
- Clive Owen has been cast opposite of Julianne Moore in Apple TV+’s Lisey’s Story.
- Britt Robertson, Kristoffer Polaha, Austin Basis, and Reggie Austin are all joining Little Fires Everywhere.
- Brad Maule is returning to General Hospital to play SPOILER! the ghost of Tony.
- Fivel Stewart, Anthony Keyvan, Karin Konoval, Yaani King Mondschein, Sean Blakemore, Jennifer Spence, Megan Charpentier, Alexander Grant, and Van Crosby have been cast in Close Up for Freeform.
Mark Your Calendar
- Truth Be Told will debut on Apple TV+ on December 6, and this cast is BANANAS good:
- Rattlesnake will debut on Netflix on October 25, and at first, I was like, NOPE, but now I’m like HELL YES.
- MTV Floribama Shore will return on November 14.
- BookTube debuts on YouTube on October 17.
- The Preppy Murder: Death in Central Park will air on AMC and Sundance on November 13-15.
- Prank Encounters debuts on Netflix on October 25.
- Supernatural will have a marathon on TNT on Halloween.
- The Rocketeer debuts on Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney NOW on November 8.
- Desus & Mero returns on Showtime on October 14.
- Dolly Parton: 50 Years at the Grand Ole Opry will air on NBC on November 26.
- Lost Secrets debuts on Travel Channel on November 10.
- OWN Spotlight: Oprah At Home with Lupita Nyong’o and Cynthia Erivo will air on OWN on October 26.
- How to Train Your Dragon Homecoming will air on NBC on December 3.
- Gold Rush: White Water will return on Discovery on November 8.
- Blind Date premieres on Bravo on November 18.
Breaking Bad: El Camino: JESSE IS BACK. YEAH, BITCH. Netflix
Are You Afraid of the Dark?: The classic kids’ horror series is back. Series premiere. 6 p.m., Nickelodeon
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK: Is it “WERQ” instead of “WERK” in the U.K.? Series premiere. 7 p.m., Logo
Charmed: Mel, Maggie, and Macy take over the “duties of the elders” in the season premiere. 7 p.m., The CW
Dynasty: Bodies continue to be pulled from the Carrington lake, and oh, by the way, we are going to have yet another Crystal this season? Sure. Season premiere. 8 p.m., The CW
Ghost Nation: The OTHER guy from Ghost Hunters, Jason, is back with his own ghost-hunting series. Why he and Grant couldn’t reunite is a mystery to me. Series premiere. 8 p.m., Travel Channel
Fractured: A man takes his daughter to a hospital and she disappears. Then the hospital claims she was never there to begin with. What the what? Watch the trailer below. Netflix
Haunted: People tell their ghost stories. Wait, I think I’ve heard this before … Season premiere. Netflix
Insatiable: Season two. Netflix
Hometown Horror: Ooh, this new series explores local urban legends, like The Pigman. Series premiere. 10 p.m., Travel Channel
The Birch: Don’t summon tree demons unless you’re prepared to deal with a lot of twigs and shit. Series premiere. Facebook Watch
Other baseball that isn’t the Astros: The Cardinals and Nationals are playing. 7:08 p.m., TBS
ASTROS!: They play the Yankees here in Houston. GO STROS. 7:08 p.m., Fox
Other baseball that isn’t the Astros: The Cardinals and Nationals are playing. 3:08 p.m., TBS
The Banana Splits: Remember that creepy Sid and Marty Kroft kids show from the late sixties, The Banana Splits? Yeah, this is them, but they go on a murder spree. Yeah. 8 p.m., Syfy
The College Admissions Scandal: The official description: “The engrossing story of two wealthy mothers who share an obsession with getting their teenagers into the best possible college. When charismatic college admissions consultant Rick Singer offers a foolproof way into the prestigious institutions of their dreams, they are unable to resist the devil’s candy.” LOL: “DEVIL’S CANDY.” 7 p.m., Lifetime
Happy Death Day 2U: I hear good things! (But full disclosure: I still need to see Happy Death Day.) 7 p.m., HBO
Saturday Night Live: David Harbour & Camila Cabello 10:30 p.m., NBC
ASTROS!: They play the Yankees here in Houston. Again. GO STROS. 7:08 p.m., Fox
Succession: Logan considers throwing a family member under the bus (or off of the yacht, as it were) in the season finale. 8 p.m., HBO
The Righteous Gemstones: Kelvin embraces his dark side in the season finale. 9:10 p.m., HBO
Ballers: Joe “evolves” in the series finale. 10 p.m., HBO
|Fresh Off the Boat
|FOX||Friday Night Smackdown
|CBS||NCIS: New Orleans
|News/Local||Saturday Night Live
(David Harbour & Camile Cabello)
|ABC||America’s Funniest Home Videos
|Kids Say the Darndest Things
|God Friended Me
|NCIS: Los Angeles
|Bless the Harts
|NBC||Sunday Night Football