In response to reports that his former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen “secretly” recorded him discussing a hush money payment to a former Playboy model, President Trump on Saturday suggested such a recording would be “illegal.” Referring to the FBI raid on Cohen’s offices during which agents reportedly seized the recording, Trump called it “inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office.” “Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client—totally unheard of & perhaps illegal,” he wrote on Twitter. The president was said to have been shocked upon learning of the recording on Friday, reportedly saying, “I can’t believe Michael would do this with me.” By Saturday, despite his outrage over the “illegal” recording, he tried to play down the tape’s significance: “The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!”
A cardiologist well-known for treating former President George H.W. Bush was fatally shot by a bicyclist near a Houston medical complex on Friday. Houston police are now trying to determine whether the attack on Dr. Mark Hausknecht, who was killed while riding his bike to work, was random or a targeted act. “The suspect was on a bicycle as well. Rode past the doctor, turned and fired two shots. The doctor immediately went down,” Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief Troy Finner said. Hausknecht, 65, was taken to a hospital after the incident but succumbed to his injuries. He treated Bush in 2000 for an irregular heartbeat and appeared alongside the then-president at a news conference to announce treatment at the time. Bush issued a statement late Friday offering his condolences to Hausknecht’s family. “Mark was a fantastic cardiologist and a good man,” he said. “I will always be grateful for his exceptional, compassionate care.”
A woman who lost nine members of her family in a tragic tourist boat accident in Missouri on Thursday says she and other passengers were told by the captain not to grab their life jackets. “My husband would want me to say this. He would want the world to know that on this boat we were on, the captain had told us, ‘Don’t worry about grabbing the life jackets—you won’t need them.’ So nobody grabbed them as we listened to the captain as he told us to stay seated,” Tia Coleman told local television station FOX59 on Friday. She said she believed “a lot of people could have been spared” if they’d had their life jackets on. Of the 17 victims, nine came from Coleman’s family. The Coleman family was reportedly not supposed to be on the boat, but boarded due to a last-minute ticket mix-up.
Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, “secretly recorded a conversation” with Trump in which the pair “discussed payments” to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claims she had an affair with the president, according to The New York Times. The FBI obtained the recording, which was made two months before the 2016 election, during a raid on Cohen’s office. The raid was part of a Justice Department investigation into whether Cohen broke campaign finance laws to “tamp down embarrassing news stories” about Trump. White House attorney Rudy Giuliani told the newspaper that Trump “discussed the payments” with Cohen, but “the payment was ultimately never made.” He described the recording as less than two minutes long. “Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance,” Giuliani told the Times. McDougal claims that she sold her story for $150,000 to The National Enquirer—which then refused to publish it, thereby ensuring that it would never be brought to light. This is from Rabbit Hole, a members-only breaking news analysis that goes deep on the story that everyone is obsessing over. Sign up for Beast Inside to get it every week.
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James Gunn, director of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy movies, has been fired from the third installment of the series over his old Twitter posts featuring jokes about pedophilia and rape, according to The Hollywood Reporter. On Thursday, conservative figures like Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich resurfaced Gunn’s old posts seemingly because of his anti-Trump views. In response to the backlash, Gunn tweeted that he was a “provocateur” when he started out, making movies “that were outrageous and taboo.” He continued, saying he has since “developed as a person.” “So has my work and my humor,” he said. Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said that the “offensive attitudes and statements” in Gunn’s tweets are “indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s value,” resulting in the end of their business relationship. Cernovich told The Daily Beast: "Disney took the right first step, but it's time to do an open investigation into all of Hollywood. That this was conducted in the open is disturbing and leaves one to wonder what happens no one is around."
Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) once claimed on his talk radio show that African-Americans have an “entitlement mentality” and warned that a “racial war” was brewing because “violence regularly occurs at black gatherings.” CNN’s KFile reports that during a 2012 broadcast of the “The Jason Lewis Show,” which ran from 2009 until 2014, the congressmen insisted that the “entitlement mentality” was a “cultural problem in the African-American community.” He also said that black people are “addicted” to government welfare programs, causing “unwanted pregnancy, illegitimacy” and broken families. In another broadcast, Lewis claimed there was an increase in black-on-white violence, saying white people are the “real victims of most racial violence.” This comes after the congressman’s comments on not being able to call women “sluts” surfaced in another CNN report.
Rapper Offset was arrested on Friday after police pulled his car over and found “at least one weapon” inside his vehicle, according to TMZ. The rapper, part of the group Migos, was originally pulled over while he was driving outside Atlanta for “tinted windows.” Police then found at least one gun in his SUV, which violates his probation. His wife, rapper Cardi B, gave birth to their daughter Kulture earlier this month. A witness told TMZ that Cardi B nor the child were in the vehicle at the time of the arrest.
A private investigator has been charged for planting a tracker on the vehicle of fitness guru and TV personality Richard Simmons’ caretaker in order to “monitor” Simmons’ movements, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Scott Brian Mathews is being charged with a “misdemeanor crime” for planting the device, which Simmons claims was being used to “determine whether [he] had visited hospitals in connection with a purported gender transition.” He also claims that Mathews was tracking him for over a year and he was hired by tabloid In Touch Weekly. Simmons called gender change rumors, published by the likes of The National Enquirer and Radar Online, “false and fabricated” in a June lawsuit. If Mathews is convicted, he will lose his private investigator license.
A WWII veteran is suing Paramount Pictures after he rented his home to the production company for filming use and was left with a “trashed” home, missing personal items, and damage to memorabilia, Courthouse News reports. In a complaint filed Thursday, Sidney Price accused Paramount of “breach of contract, trespass, conversion, infliction of emotional distress and negligence” while filming a Netflix comedy starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill called “Maniac.” Price described how he entered a $15,500 contract that would allow crews access to his front entrance and first floor. They allegedly started packing up Price’s belongings in boxes and “recklessly” throwing valuable goods, damaging them. When he protested, a crew member allegedly told him, “We’re Netflix. We can do what we want.” Price claims that 20-30 boxes of his belongings are missing. He also accused the crew of removing his 60-year old front hedges and attempting to remove the windows. After he had a standoff with the crew about the windows, Price claims he suffered from a mild heart attack despite having no previously existing heart symptoms. Paramount or Netflix have yet to respond to the suit, and did not respond to Courthouse News' request for comment.