Bill Maher made the case for Oprah Winfrey to run for president on his show last night.
“Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who represented porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Trump, has been sued by a paraplegic former client who accused him of siphoning away a $4 million settlement he had won,” Reuters reports.
Los Angeles Magazine asks Louise Linton, wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, why she was doing the interview after receiving so much bad press attention.
Said Linton: “I did lay low! I was deeply depressed for a while. But it sucks being perceived as a person that you’re not; it sucks being hated. Most people know me for the gloves or the plane or that awful Instagram post… Look, I made some rookie mistakes.’
She added: “I understand why people are angry about me getting off that government plane tagging fashion brands. It was a stupid thing to do. I get why everyone rolled their eyes at the opera gloves. But this caricature of me is the opposite of the girl I actually am. I run a business; I have several movies coming out. I can’t hide out for another five years.”
Michael Cohen has become a prison celebrity, CNN reports.
Inmates have been asking President Trump’s former lawyer for legal advice and asking about Stormy Daniels and what it was like to work for Trump.
Said one friend: “He’s pleasantly surprised that everyone has been very cordial and have actually been coming up offering him advice about prison life and offering him to come eat lunch with them.”
The Wrap: “Hollywood threw down the gauntlet on Thursday in lining up and threatening to pull their business out of states that have adopted severe anti-abortion laws.”
“Billions of dollars in production are at stake. States and countries alike vie for their slice of the current content boom. But apparently no one counted on political pushback from the dream machine.”
“As of Thursday, nine media companies – Netflix, Disney, WarnerMedia, Sony, AMC, NBCUniversal, STX Entertainment, CBS with its premium cable company Showtime and Viacom – have now warned that they might pull their productions out of states that pass bills banning abortion.”
Michael Avenatti told the Washington Examiner that his recent indictment is a product of political revenge by the Trump administration, alleging one Republican close to the president said it “had Trump’s fingerprints all over it.”
“Attorney Michael Avenatti has been charged with ripping off porn star Stormy Daniels, the client who made him famous,” the AP reports.
“Federal prosecutors say Avenatti took money Daniels was supposed to get from a book deal.”
Meanwhile, CNBC reports Avenatti was also indicted “on charges of trying to extort athletic shoe giant Nike out of tens of millions of dollars by threatening to go public with embarassing information about the company.”
Billionaire Mark Cuban told CNBC he hasn’t ruled out an independent run for the White House in 2020.
Said Cuban: “We’ll see what happens. It would take the perfect storm for me to do it. There’s some things that could open the door, but I’m not projecting or predicting it right now.”
He added: “I still think there’s a real opportunity for somebody who is in the middle but has some charisma, has the ability to relate to both sides but is not a politician. The reality is people don’t trust politicians.”
President Trump “tried to take credit on Monday for a sudden turnaround in the Boston Red Sox’ season, pointing out that the reigning World Series champions have gone undefeated since their fraught visit to the White House last week,” Politico reports.
Said Trump: “Has anyone noticed that all the Boston Red Sox have done is WIN since coming to the White House! Others also have done very well. The White House visit is becoming the opposite of being on the cover of Sports Illustrated!
Actress Alyssa Milano called for women to join her in a sex strike to protest strict abortion bans passed by Republican-controlled legislatures, NBC News reports.
The former star of “Charmed” and “Melrose Place” urged women in her tweet to stop having sex “until we get bodily autonomy back.”
“Ahead of the second summit in Hanoi, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un requested as part of the agreement between the countries moving forward that the U.S. send ‘famous basketball players’ to normalize relations between the two countries,” ABC News reports.
“The request was made in writing, officials said, as part of the cultural exchange between the two countries, and at one point the North Koreans insisted that it be included in the joint statement on denuclearization. The North Koreans also made a request for the exchange of orchestras between the two countries.”
Associated Press: “The Red Sox, who steamrolled to a World Series crown last October, are poised to visit the White House on Thursday. Team manager Alex Cora announced last week he would not attend, citing his frustration with the administration’s efforts to help his native Puerto Rico recover from a devastating hurricane. Nearly a dozen players, including American League MVP Mookie Betts, have said they will join him in skipping the ceremony.”
“All those bypassing the White House are players of color. Every white player on the team — as well as J.D. Martinez, who is of Cuban descent — was expected to attend.”
Meanwhile, CBS Boston notes the White House website welcomes ‘The Boston Red Socks.”
“Pete Buttigieg will headline a series of top-dollar, celebrity laden fundraisers across California this week, the latest sign that his rise in the polls has opened the doors — and the wallets — of donors who had previously dismissed the South Bend, Indiana, mayor’s once-quixotic campaign,” CNN reports.
“It sounded almost like a conspiracy theory when Jeff Bezos not-so-subtly hinted that there might be a Saudi connection to the attempt to strong-arm him with his ‘below the belt selfies,'” the Daily Beast reports.
“But there’s mounting evidence that the de facto ruler of the kingdom has been trying to punish Bezos for the fierce coverage by his newspaper, The Washington Post, of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. This effort began months prior to the aggressive approach by the National Enquirer’s parent company.”
“Michael Cohen has disavowed responsibility for some of the crimes to which he has pleaded guilty, privately contending in a recent recorded phone call that he hadn’t evaded taxes and that a criminal charge related to his home-equity line of credit was a lie,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“As he prepares to begin a three-year prison term on May 6, Mr. Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, expressed dismay during the conversation that after testifying for more than 100 hours to federal and congressional investigators about his work for Mr. Trump—including the coordination of hush-money deals with two women—he remained ‘a man all alone.’”
Said Cohen: “I lost my business… my insurance, my bank accounts, all for what? All for what? Because Trump, you know, had an affair with a porn star? That’s really what this is about.”
The call was secretly recorded by comedian Tom Arnold.
“Attorney Michael Avenatti has been charged in a 36-count federal indictment alleging he stole millions of dollars from clients, did not pay his taxes, committed bank fraud and lied in bankruptcy proceedings,”, according to the Associated Press.
“The new charges do not include the New York extortion case alleging Avenatti demanded millions to stay quiet about claims he planned to reveal about Nike paying high school players.”
Los Angeles Times: “Avenatti stole millions of dollars from five clients and used a tangled web of shell companies and bank accounts to cover up the theft, the Santa Ana grand jury alleged in an indictment that prosecutors will make public Thursday.”
Sarah Palin told Good Morning Britain that she was surprised about being excluded from Sen. John McCain’s memorial service, which was held last August.
Said Palin: “I was kind of surprised to be publicly disinvited to the funeral.”
She called it an “unnecessary step” and added that the McCain family “didn’t have to embarrass me and embarrass others.”
Avenatti also is charged in a separate federal case out of Los Angeles, where he is accused of embezzling a client’s money “in order to pay his own expense and debts,” and of “defrauding a bank in Mississippi,” prosecutors said.