President Donald Trump told reporters in London Tuesday that “legal scholars”—who Trump did not name—examined transcripts of his two phone conversations with Ukraine’s leader and concluded they were “absolutely perfect calls,” a story that was immediately ridiculed by academics and critics.
“You’ll see there was absolutely nothing done wrong,” Trump said during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “They had legal scholars looking at the transcripts the other day and they said, ‘These are absolutely perfect. Trump is right when he uses the word.'”
President Donald Trump: "I had legal scholars looking at the transcripts the other day and they said 'these are absolutely perfect, Trump is right when he uses the word'" pic.twitter.com/hQHJErl3oD
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) December 3, 2019
Joyce White Vance, a University of Alabama law professor and MSNBC contributor, urged reporters to “make Trump identify the legal scholars who reviewed the transcripts (plural!) and said they were ‘absolutely perfect.'”
“Then those scholars should be interviewed,” said Vance. “But I feel certain they don’t exist.”
Political scientist Miranda Yaver suggested Trump either completely fabricated the story or used the “legal scholar” label very loosely.
“Yeah, that’s not how legal scholars talk. I’m just gonna go out on a limb and say he thinks that Jeannine Pirro is a legal scholar,” tweeted Yaver, referring to the host of the Fox News show “Judge Jeanine.”
Others piled on:
Amazing how these people never have names https://t.co/e680Hiyo59
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) December 3, 2019
Ok, show of hands, "legal scholars": Which of you told Trump that his conduct w/Zalensky was "absolutely perfect"? Don't be shy. https://t.co/ZkIHbYdIUS
— Marty Lederman (@marty_lederman) December 3, 2019
Trump’s remarks came a day before the House Judiciary Committee is set to hold its first public impeachment hearing.
On Monday, the Judiciary Committee released the names of the four legal scholars who will testify during Wednesday’s hearing: Noah Feldman of Harvard Law School, Pamela Karlan of Standford Law School, Michael Gerhardt of the University of North Carolina School of Law, and Jonathan Turley of George Washington University Law School.
Despite his repeated claims of unfairness and lack of due process, Trump declined an invitation to participate in the hearing.
John Oliver unleashes on news sites that sent out stupid push notifications
"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver doesn't come back until Feb. 16, but he dropped a new web-exclusive video Sunday complaining to news agencies that they should stop sending out stupid push notifications on their apps.
Oliver told his audience that there are two major criteria when considering a push notification: 1. Is there something I should be doing differently?; and 2. Is this something I need to know now?
Things like declarations of war, earthquakes or acts of terrorism are all perfect examples of things news agencies should inform readers about quickly. But when CNN sent out a push notification about a 115,000 Neanderthal child that was only found "half-eaten" by a bird, Oliver was understandably frustrated.
Billionaires are now richer than 60 percent of the world’s population: report
The world's billionaires have doubled in the past decade and are richer than 60 percent of the global population, the charity Oxfam said Monday.
It said poor women and girls were at the bottom of the scale, putting in "12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day," estimated to be worth at least $10.8 trillion a year.
"Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist," Oxfam's India head Amitabh Behar said.
"The gap between rich and poor can't be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies," Behar said ahead of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where he will represent Oxfam.
Alcohol-infused gummy bears infuriating candy giant Haribo
Ander Mendez and his friends were hoping they'd struck it rich when they came up with the idea of selling alcohol-infused gummy bears -- until they found themselves in the sights of sweet giant Haribo.
Now, these three Spaniards say they're afraid of being shut down by the German confectionery king, which is famed for its vast array of jelly sweets and was founded 100 years ago in the western city of Bonn.
In a not-so-sweetly worded legal letter, Haribo has accused their startup of infringing its trademarked little bear.
But these graduates from the northern Spanish port city of Bilbao insist they will carry on producing their "drunken gummy bears" -- "because people like them."