In tweets posted Tuesday morning, President Trump said “possible progress” was being made in talks about North Korea’s nuclear weapons— and claimed that there is “no chaos, only great energy” in the White House. Reports emerged early Tuesday that Kim Jong Un told South Korean leaders that North Korea was willing to “disband efforts to build its nuclear arsenal if military threats against their country were resolved.” The president tweeted, “For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned. The World is watching and waiting! May be false hope, but the U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction!” The president also claimed that White House chaos was a “Fake News narrative,” tweeting that “People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision. I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection).” This comes after recent and possible future White House shake-ups, from the resignation of Hope Hicks to reports of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster preparing to leave in the coming months.
*North Korea Is Willing to Denuclearize, South Korea Says
North Korea is willing to begin negotiations on abandoning its nuclear weapons and will suspend all nuclear and missile tests while talks are ongoing, South Korean officials said in a statement Tuesday, following two days of unprecedented meetings between senior South Korean officials and the North’s ruler, Kim Jong Un. “The North Korean side clearly stated its willingness to denuclearize,” the statement said. “It made it clear that it would have no reason to keep nuclear weapons if the military threat to the North was eliminated and its security guaranteed.” South Korea’s intelligence chief, Suh Hoon, and the country’s top national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, last night attended a four-hour long dinner with Kim, which, according to the North, “proceeded in a warm atmosphere overflowing with compatriotic feelings.” The thaw in relations between the two Koreas was accelerated by the North’s participation in the Winter Olympics in South Korea last month.
*Docs: Omar Mateen Decided on Pulse on the Night of Mass Shooting
Omar Mateen did not select Orlando’s Pulse nightclub as his target until the evening of his June 2016 mass shooting that left 49 people dead and 58 wounded, according to court documents filed by his wife’s attorneys. Lawyers for Noor Salman filed a motion late Monday that argues Mateen visited “Epcot, Disney Springs, and a downtown Orlando nightclub” before shooting up Pulse, a gay nightclub. Evidence reportedly shows that Mateen visited Disney Springs, Epcot, and looked up directions to EVE Orlando on Google in the hours before he opened fire at Pulse. Salman’s lawyers believe Mateen’s premeditation within that small time frame indicates her innocence; she is on trial for allegedly helping her husband plan the shooting. She faces charges of supporting a foreign terror organization and obstruction of justice. Testimony is expected to start midweek.
*WHO READS LBN? Rocker Chris Robinson
*Oregon First State to Enact Gun-Control Laws After Parkland
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a regulation into law Monday that bars “intimate partners” who have a history of domestic abuse or are convicted stalkers from owning and keeping guns—making the state the first to enact stricter gun rules since the Parkland school shooting. Previously, the Oregon law only applied to married partners, allowing unmarried couples to circumvent the law. The bill to close the “boyfriend loophole” was introduced in January. “I’m proud to sign this bill, making Oregon the first state to take action to prevent senseless gun violence since the tragedy in Parkland, Florida,” Brown said in a statement. “Today marks an important milestone, but we know we have more to do. It’s long past time we hold the White House and Congress accountable. Now’s the time to enact real change and federal gun-safety legislation.” This comes as other states, like Florida, have voted to keep AR-15s legal, and as retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods have pledged to no longer sell assault-style guns.
‘What The F*ck?’ Former Trump Aide Sam Nunberg’s Mueller Meltdown Leaves Friends Petrified :
Sam Nunberg, an early political adviser to Donald Trump, had a very public meltdown on Monday afternoon, repeatedly daring special counsel Robert Mueller to greenlight his arrest and insinuating that his old boss, the president, did indeed do “something” wrong during the campaign. “You know [Trump] knew about it,” Nunberg said at one point during an interview with CNN, of the infamous Trump Tower meeting between campaign officials and a Russian lawyer. “He was talking about it a week before…I don’t know why he went around trying to hide it.” Rarely, if ever, has a political operative acted so brazenly when facing the very real prospect of being tossed in jail. Nunberg seemed not to care about how the chips would fall. But several of his friends told The Daily Beast they were concerned that he was putting himself in severe legal jeopardy by going on multiple live cable-news programs Monday afternoon. They also said that they were worried Nunberg had been drinking prior to dialing in to MSNBC and CNN.
*Red Alert – U.K. Restaurant Is Focus of Mystery Russian Spy ‘Poisoning’
An Italian restaurant has become the focus of the investigation into the possible poisoning of a turncoat Russian spy and a woman said to be his daughter in the provincial British town of Salisbury. Zizzi restaurant, part of a chain of Italian eateries across the U.K., has been closed down by the authorities after Sergei Skripal, 66, and a woman in her thirties, reportedly his daughter, Yulya, who was visiting the U.K., were found unconscious on a bench at a shopping center on Sunday afternoon, a two-minute walk from the cafe. Both are now in critical condition at a local hospital. Authorities said they were being treated for the suspected exposure to an unknown substance. The inclusion of a restaurant in the investigation has prompted comparisons to the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, another former Russian spy who had fallen out of favor with the Kremlin, who was killed when a pot of tea he was served in a London hotel was spiked with radioactive polonium-210 by Russian agents. Litvinenko’s widow, Marina, told BBC Radio 4’s World Tonight: “It’s like deja vu, like what happened to me 11 years ago.” Wiltshire Police said there was “no known risk to the public’s health.”
*Florida Senate Passes Gun-Control Legislation
Florida’s Republican-controlled Senate has passed, by a narrow 20-18 vote, legislation that will ban people under age 21 from buying guns, three weeks after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting. The bill will also require a three-day waiting period for most gun purchases, and would ban the sale or possession of bump-stock devices. The bill, which must now be approved by the state’s House of Representatives, includes a $67 million, voluntary opt-in “school marshal” program that would let school districts allow some staff members to carry concealed weapons on campus. Sen. Lauren Book, who represents a district that includes the Parkland campus, said that while the bill did not go far enough, it was “an opportunity to get something done that inches us closer to the place I believe we should be as a state.” Meanwhile, student survivor Anthony Borges, who was shot five times in the attack, has become the first person to formally notify the county of his intent to sue.
*Michael Flynn Selling His Home to Pay Legal Fees
Michael Flynn, the former Trump administration national security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his Russian contacts, has put his three-bedroom townhouse outside Washington, D.C. up for sale to pay mounting legal fees, ABC News reports. The house is on the market for $895,000 and his brother Joe said Flynn will use the money to pay lawyers. The retired three-star general has admitted he misled agents during a White House meeting early in 2017. “It has been a crucible and it’s not over,” his brother said.
*The sick way producers manipulate ‘Bachelor’ contestants:
Producers on “The Bachelor” are so focused on getting emotional sound bites, they track the contestants’ periods. According to Amy Kaufman’s new tell-all “Bachelor Nation,” producers “have been known to keep track of when the women in the house are menstruating,” so they can interview the love-sick contestants on camera during that time of the month. “When women cycled together in the house, it created a completely different vibe,” Ben Hatta, a former “Bachelor” producer, told Kaufman. “So a girl’s now crying mid-interview about nothing, or being reactionary to things that are super small. It helped the producers, because now you’ve got someone who is emotional — and all you want is emotion.” He continued, “If a girl’s feeling the butterflies for a guy already, when she gets into that state, her feelings just become more powerful, so she’s probably more willing to tell that guy she loves him. And maybe one of the producers knew she was in that emotional state and was like, ‘You know what? Now’s a better time than ever. You should do it, you should do it, you should do it!’”
*LBN-HOLLYWOOD INSIDER: ***Veteran Hollywood film and TV producer Barry Josephson discussed the dismal TV ratings of the recent Academy Awards broadcast last night as the guest-of-honor at “City Talk” on the terrace of the chic Baltaire restaurant in Brentwood. On hand to see Josephson was his old boss Jim Morey and power entertainment attorney Lindsay Conner along with KNX radio anchor Bob Brill and rock radio host and comedian Frazier Smith. Adding to the conversation was actress Priscilla Presley, acclaimed Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Srini Pillay and author Carole Liberman.
*LBN-INVESTIGATES: About 42 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for when they retire, according to a study by GoBankingRates released Tuesday.
*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER: ***A 2015 Migos concert in Albany ended in a riot, and now the venue wants the rappers to pay.On Monday, Albany Basketball & Sports Corporation, owners of the Washington Avenue Armory, filed suit against the rap trio accusing them of inciting a violent riot, according to court docs. The suit alleges that during the early hours of March 7, 2015, the group — which consists of Quavo, Takeoff and Offset — “caused a riot” at the venue that “caused patrons to be stabbed, robbed, beaten, severely harmed and injured as the defendants continued to incite a select group of individuals to continue the onslaught of attacks, assaults and destruction of the premises.”
*A SIMPLY AND DIRECT QUESTION! Do you have the GUTS to forward LBN to your friends, family and associates? Do you? Do you? P.S. Every day, tens of thousands of LBN readers in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries forward LBN to tens of thousands of others.
*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Literally So Busy: I’m Not In Love With My Cousin — https://youtu.be/MKodmvE3GBU
*LBN-SITE OF THE DAY:
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*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Hillary Clinton: Time to abolish the Electoral College — https://youtu.be/0s8a-lxXu68
*LBN-R.I.P.: ***Russ Solomon, who pioneered the superstore hangout for music lovers by founding Tower Records and expanded it worldwide before internet pirates and crushing debts rendered the chain obsolete and bankrupt, died on Sunday night at his home in Sacramento. He was 92. His son Michael confirmed the death.
*LBN-COMMENTARY by David Brooks: What happens to American politics after Donald Trump? Do we snap back to normal or do things spin ever more widely out of control? The best indicator we have so far is the example of Italy since the reign of Silvio Berlusconi. And the main lesson there is that once the norms of acceptable behavior are violated and once the institutions of government are weakened, it is very hard to re-establish them. Instead, you get this cycle of ever more extreme behavior, as politicians compete to be the most radical outsider. The political center collapses, the normal left/right political categories cease to apply and you see the rise of strange new political groups that are crazier than anything you could have imagined before. If America follows the Italian example, by 2025 we’ll look back at Trump nostalgically as some sort of beacon of relative normalcy. And by the way, if America follows the Italian example, Trump will never go away. Silvio Berlusconi first came to power for the same reasons Trump and other populists have been coming to power around the world: Voters were disgusted by a governing elite that seemed corrupt and out of touch. They felt swamped by waves of immigrants, frustrated by economic stagnation and disgusted by the cultural values of the cosmopolitan urbanites.
*LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:….
*LBN-OVERHEARD: ***Kendall Jenner was hospitalized not long before she stunned at the Vanity Fair Oscar party. Jenner, 22, was using a vitamin drip in preparation for the Oscars celebrations when she suffered a bad reaction to the mixture, The Blast reported. The model checked into Cedars-Sinai in Beverly Hills, where she was quickly treated for the reaction and released. ***Tommy Lee has blasted ex-wife Pamela Anderson after she opened up about their abusive relationship in a Piers Morgan interview. The Mötley Crüe rocker took to Twitter in the early hours of this morning to tweet the British journalist over his “Life Stories” chat with the “Baywatch” star which aired on Saturday night. Tommy, 55, wrote: “@piersmorgan ur interviews w/Donald Trump & my ex-wife are pathetic!”
LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord