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Former insurance industry executive apologizes to Michael Moore

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Filmmaker Michael Moore received an apology from a former health insurance industry executive for his role in attempting to smear the documentarian and his documentary on the for-profit health care industry, Sicko.

“I’m sorry for the part I played in attacking the movie,” said Wendell Potter, a former vice president of corporate communications at CIGNA, who appeared on MSNBC’s Countdown Monday night, along with Moore.

“I knew when I saw the movie the first time that you really got a lot of it right, and I was really not happy at all to be apart of the effort to discredit the movie, but I was still working for the industry then, so my apologies,” he added.

Moore immediately accepted the apology and told Potter that he thinks of him as a “real hero.”

“You’ve done something very brave and courageous, giving up a very good job knowing that you would not earn that income again and probably be vilified by this industry, and coming forward,” Moore said.

Moore said that his exchange with Potter was the first time in his 20-year career that a top executive had ever admitted his role in smearing him and his films.

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As the spokesperson for CIGNA, Potter aided the media campaign against Sicko, along with the healthcare industry front group Health Care America, which he said on his blog was once a drug industry front. He later reprised his role to defeat President Barack Obama’s health care reform plan.

The front group was never exposed by any journalists and was quoted extensively, Potter has said.

Potter, now a fellow at the Center for Media and Democracy, a corporate watchdog group, told Moore that at the time he was spying on Moore at the film’s official U.S. premiere, he was considering changing occupations. Potter has said that he concealed his identity while attending the screening with his son, who happened to be a fan of Moore’s work.

“[My son] saw me be very effected by that movie. It’s hard to watch that movie and not almost tear up many times during the movie. I was thinking of leaving my job. I didn’t know how I could do it, but I felt I should do something other than what I was doing,” the health care industry whistleblower said.

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In related news, the World Health Organization yesterday launched a global drive for universal health care, noting that over 100 million people enter poverty each year due to illness or extremely high medical bills.

This video was originally broadcast by MSNBC on Monday, Nov. 22, 2010.

With AFP and earlier reporting by Eric W. Dolan.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Soccer star slams Trump for attacking her teammate: He hates women he ‘cannot control or grope’

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On Wednesday, U.S. Women's Soccer champion Ali Krieger rebuked President Donald Trump for his attacks on her teammate Megan Rapinoe, saying that the president feels threatened by women that he "cannot control or grope":

In regards to the “President’s” tweet today, I know women who you cannot control or grope anger you, but I stand by @mPinoe & will sit this one out as well. I don’t support this administration nor their fight against LGBTQ+ citizens, immigrants & our most vulnerable.

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2020 Election

Bernie Sanders: ‘I intend to be the Democratic nominee’

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Bernie Sanders intends to be the 2020 Democratic nominee - and he's not planning to back down anytime soon. Not even with 23 other Democratic presidential hopefuls in the running alongside him.

MSNBC's Kasie Hunt spoke with Sanders for an interview prior to the first Democratic debate night where he plainly said, "I intend to be the Democratic nominee."

In the interview, Sanders also discussed his plan to end student loan debt and Medicare for all. But before that, he said there was another pressing issue.

"Our goal right now is to win it," Sanders said. "And by the way, as you you may know, poll after poll shows what against Trump? Shows me beating Trump by 8, 9 or 10 points. We're going to beat Trump, we're going to win the Democratic nomination."

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Justice Department sues Omarosa Manigault Newman over financial disclosures

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The Justice Department on Tuesday sued Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former contestant on "The Apprentice" who campaigned for President Donald Trump and later worked for him in the White House, alleging she failed to file a required public disclosure report after she left 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, claims Manigault Newman "knowingly and willingly" failed to file the financial disclosure report after corresponding multiple times with attorneys for the White House. It accuses her of violating the Ethics in Government Act (EIGA) by not filing the report, which was required because her salary exceeded $124,406, despite several oral and written reminders from White House ethics lawyers.

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