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December 13, 2018

President Trump "is still searching for a new chief of staff," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. "Like any job working for Trump it comes with dental, paid sick leave, and free government housing for five to 10 years." The White House said Tuesday that current Chief of Staff John Kelly will stay on through "at least Jan. 2" to ensure "a very peaceful and pragmatic transition." Colbert translated: "So they fired Kelly, can't find anybody else, make him stay to train his successor. It's like saying to your girlfriend, 'Hey, I'm breaking up with you, but I'm going to need you to stay on until at least prom to ensure a peaceful and pragmatic transition to Becky over there.'"

The president keeps getting turned down, like "a reverse Apprentice," but "Trump says he's flooded with résumés for the chief of staff job" and is considering 10-12 contenders, Colbert noted. One reason filling the job is so hard is that the candidate apparently has to meet the approval of Jared and Ivanka, "so congratulations to new Chief of Staff Mohammed bin Salman," he deadpanned. Trump told Reuters his chief of staff criteria, and Colbert suggested "he's really looking for his soul mate, him." He tried to decipher a cryptic quote from Trump about Hillary Clinton and money.

Trump also told Reuters that he's not worried about impeachment because "I think the people would revolt if that happened." Colbert found that plausible. "Yes, it's true: The people would take to the streets, vandalizing champagne bottles, grinning with rage, blocking traffic with their protest dancing. It would be absolute pandemonium." He demonstrated. Watch below. Peter Weber

11:51 a.m.

Alec Baldwin will spend an entire day in an anger management class after pleading guilty to harassing a man over a parking dispute, the Associated Press reports.

Baldwin, whose net worth is reportedly $65 million, will also pay a $120 fine for the second-degree harassment violation.

This is not the first time Baldwin's temper has led him to trouble. The actor, well-known for starring in 30 Rock and for his impersonation of President Trump on Saturday Night Live, was arrested in 2014 for disorderly conduct after riding his bicycle the wrong direction in New York City. In 1995, Baldwin was placed under citizen's arrest after allegedly punching a cameraman for photographing the homecoming of his newborn daughter, per the Los Angeles Times.

Baldwin's temper was also called into question in 2007 when a voicemail of him calling his then-11-year-old daughter a "rude, thoughtless little pig" was publicized, again in 2011 when he refused to stop playing a "Words with Friends" game on an American Airlines flight and was subsequently kicked off the plane, and then in 2013 when he was caught on-tape yelling a homophobic slur at a photographer. Marianne Dodson

11:19 a.m.

Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer has been accused of sexual abuse by four more men in a massive new exposé.

The Atlantic published an investigation Wednesday on Singer's history of alleged misconduct that took 12 months to produce and included interviews with more than 50 people. The first of several new accusers is Victor Valdovinos, who says he was 13 when Singer, who was in his 30s, approached him in his school's bathroom while he was there filming the movie Apt Pupil. He says he was asked to be an extra and that on set, Singer molested him.

Another accuser, referred to under the pseudonym Andy, says he and Singer had sex when he was 15 and Singer was 31. Andy says Singer brought actor Brad Renfro into the bedroom. Renfro was 15 at the time, and two sources say Singer sometimes referred to him as his boyfriend. A third man, referred to as Eric, says he had sex with Singer beginning when he was 17 and Singer was 31.

Singer reportedly hosted parties that were frequently attended by underage boys, and one man, referred to as Ben, says that he and Singer had oral sex at one of the parties when Ben was 17 or 18, the latter of which is the age of consent in California. Singer "would stick his hands down your pants without your consent" at these parties, said Ben.

Singer has previously faced misconduct allegations, including a lawsuit from a man accusing him of rape, but he has continuously denied accusations of sex with underage boys and has not been charged with a crime. The Atlantic writes that 20th Century Fox had concerns about hiring him to direct Bohemian Rhapsody, but did so because members of Queen supported the decision. The studio ultimately fired Singer over reported erratic behavior on set, but he's still the credited director on the film, which was just nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Brendan Morrow

10:16 a.m.

Mother Goose's 2019 edition has arrived.

On Wednesday, President Trump unveiled what he's calling "the new theme" for his continued fight for border wall funding, and it sounds suspiciously like an unfinished nursery rhyme. "BUILD A WALL & CRIME WILL FALL!," Trump wrote in two back-to-back tweets, hinting at what's sure to become a cumbersome new chant at an upcoming rally and ominously telling readers to "use it and pray."

But a poem can't be left at one line, and both fans and detractors fired off extensions of Trump's new mantra. Unfortunately for Trump, detractors seemed to be in the majority in the online poetry slam, and national security lawyer Bradley Moss took the cake with his full-length, Russia-referencing modification. Kathryn Krawczyk

9:40 a.m.

Russell Baker, a journalist, humorist, and TV host, died Monday at 93. He died due to complications from a fall, his family tells The Associated Press.

Baker grew up in New Jersey and Baltimore and served in the U.S. Navy before begininng his career reporting at The Baltimore Sun. He transferred to the paper's London bureau at age 27, then came back to Washington, D.C. to work as a national reporter for The New York Times. He eventually got "bored with reporting," the Sun wrote in 1999, and at 37, launched a 36-year run as a columnist at the Times.

Writing more than 5,000 Observer columns, Baker won a 1979 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. His second Pulitzer came from his 1983 memoir Growing Up, among several other awards. He retired from column-writing in 1998, but continued to host PBS' Masterpiece Theater until 2004. One of Baker's three children, his son Allen Baker, told the Sun on Tuesday he "couldn't have asked for a better father." Read more about Baker's life at The New York Times. Kathryn Krawczyk

9:22 a.m.

The Catholic high school student at the center of a viral video controversy says he wishes things had gone differently but that he didn't do anything wrong.

Nick Sandmann, the student wearing a Make America Great Again hat whose confrontation with a Native American man, Nathan Phillips, went viral over the weekend, spoke with Today. He was asked whether he has anything to apologize for. "As far as standing there, I had every right to do so," Sandmann said. "My position is that I was not disrespectful to Mr. Phillips."

Phillips says he was trying to "defuse" a confrontation between the students and a group of protesters, but Sandmann told Today he was "unsure" of what Phillips was trying to accomplish. Several times throughout the interview, Sandmann said he wishes he had walked away from the encounter, and when asked why he did not so, he said he "didn't want to be disrespectful to Mr. Phillips and walk away if he was trying to talk to me" and that he did "not want to bump into anyone."

While the video was seen by many as Sandmann and his peers gleefully mocking Phillips, Sandmann said he behaved the way he did in an attempt to prevent any aggression. As far as his smile in the video goes, Sandmann told Today that, "I see it as a smile saying, 'This is the best you're going to get out of me. You won't get any further reaction of aggression, and I'm willing to stand here as long as you want to hit this drum in my face."

Watch the full interview below. Brendan Morrow

8:46 a.m.

The majority of American voters think President Trump may have been compromised by a foreign power, a new poll suggests.

In the latest survey from Politico/Morning Consult, 57 percent of registered voters said it is either "very" or "somewhat" likely that Russia has compromising information on Trump. A plurality, 36 percent, said it's "very" likely, while another 21 percent said it's "somewhat" likely. This is compared to 31 percent who said it's either not very likely or not likely at all, and 13 percent who weren't sure.

Additionally, 43 percent of voters believe Trump's presidential campaign worked with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 race, while 38 percent said they don't think the campaign did so, and 19 percent weren't sure. Even more voters, 49 percent, said they believe Trump has tried to "impede or obstruct" the investigation into Russian interference in the election.

These findings come on a catastrophically bad polling day for Trump, whose disapproval rating in this survey has reached a new high of 57 percent. The poll also shows that 72 percent of voters oppose funding the president's proposed border wall if it's the only way to end the government shutdown. Another poll from CBS released Wednesday, in which Trump's disapproval rating is also at its all-time high, shows that 71 percent of Americans believe the border wall is not worth the shutdown fight.

The Politico/Morning Consult poll was conducted from Jan. 18-22 by speaking to 1,996 registered voters. The margin of error is 2 percentage points. Read more results at Politico. Brendan Morrow

7:44 a.m.

There have been at least 22 confirmed case of measles in Clark County, Washington, and three more suspected cases, since Jan. 1. One adult has been infected with the highly contagious airborne disease, and most of the 21 children are age 10 or younger; one has been hospitalized. Nineteen of the people infected were not immunized against the disease, which — thanks to vaccines — was eliminated from the U.S. in 2000.

Clark County, which borders Portland, Oregon, has the lowest vaccination rate in Washington, with 77.4 percent of public school students having completed their vaccinations, The Oregonian reports. "The outbreak has hit religious and private schools in Clark County especially hard." Schools and a church have been identified as possible infection spots, and infected people also visited Portland International Airport, stores and restaurants, and a Jan. 11 Portland Trail Blazers game at Portland's Moda Center. No Oregonians have yet been diagnosed with measles.

There has been a rise in children not being vaccinated, raising concerns among public health officials. Before the vaccine became widely used in the early 1960s, about 400 to 500 people died every year and tens of thousands more were hospitalized. In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, 349 people in 26 states were confirmed infected with measles. Peter Weber

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