MSNBC co-host Mika Brzezinski abruptly cut off an interview with Michael Wolff on Morning Joe Thursday morning, after the “Fire and Fury” author said he never suggested that U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley had an affair with President Donald Trump. To that denial, Brzezinski replied, “You might be having a fun time playing a little game dancing around this, but you’re slurring a woman. It’s disgraceful.” The exchange comes after Wolff recently appeared on Real Time With Bill Maher, where he said he was “absolutely sure” the president was having an affair with someone, and alluded to who that person was in one paragraph of his White House tell-all—that person being Haley. The former South Carolina governor has vehemently denied any relationship with Trump. Minutes after Wolff was kicked off, he tweeted: “the President is right about Mika,” followed by: “The last time I was on Morning Joe off camera Joe and Mika eager to gossip about who Trump might be sleeping with.”
*Official: Robert Wagner ‘Person of Interest’ in Natalie Woods’ Death
Nearly 40 years after Hollywood starlet Natalie Wood died an unexplained death by drowning, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s investigators say actor Robert Wagner, her widower, is a person of interest in the case. “As we’ve investigated the case over the last six years, I think he’s more of a person of interest now,” said Lt. John Corina. “I mean, we know now that he was the last person to be with Natalie before she disappeared.” Wood drowned in November 1981 after she disappeared from her family’s yacht off the coast of Catalina Island, California. The investigation was reopened six years ago, but Wagner has refused to speak with officials.
*LBN-INTEL FOR INFLUENCERS:
*CRACKDOWN – ICE Issues Directive for Deportation Arrests in Courthouses
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has formalized a policy allowing deportation agents to make arrests at federal, state, and local courthouses, a move that has been widely panned by advocacy groups. In a two-page directive issued Wednesday, the agency said courthouse arrests will target only specific threats, including convicted criminals, gang members, public safety threats, and immigrants who’ve previously been deported. The directive says family and friends accompanying “the target alien” for courthouse appearances will not face arrest unless “special circumstances” arise. Judges and advocacy groups have warned that courthouse arrests in deportation cases instill fear among crime victims and witnesses, but ICE on Wednesday appeared to blame sanctuary cities for the new policy. The directive, signed by acting ICE director Thomas Homan, said the “increasing unwillingness of some jurisdictions to cooperate with ICE in the safe and orderly transfer of targeted aliens inside their prisons and jails has necessitated additional at-large arrests.”
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*Jim Carrey wrongful death lawsuit dismissed
Jim Carrey won’t face a trial in connection with the apparent suicide of his former girlfriend Cathriona White in 2015, according to a report. A rep for Carrey confirmed the matter was dismissed Thursday, but wouldn’t comment beyond telling The Hollywood Reporter that the actor is looking forward to moving on with his life. The comedian was sued by White’s husband, Mark Burton, and her mother, Brigid Sweetman, who blamed him for her death by a drug overdose. In a September countersuit, Carrey claimed the lawsuits were an attempt to exploit a famous actor. He also claimed White had extorted him by threatening to go to the media with fake allegations that he had given her sexually transmitted diseases.
*LBN-HEALTH WATCH: ***Amazon and two other American titans are trying to shake up health care by experimenting with their own employees’ coverage. By Chinese standards, they’re behind the curve. Technology companies like Alibaba and Tencent have made health care a priority for years, and are using China as their laboratory. After testing online medical advice and drug tracking systems, they are now focused on a more advanced tool: artificial intelligence. Their aggressive push underscores the differences between the health care systems in China and the United States. ***Emergency departments across the U.S. have been slammed in recent weeks by an onslaught of flu visits, forcing hospitals to devise new spaces to house patients, to restrict visitors and to postpone elective surgeries. Visits to hospital emergency departments, urgent care centers and other outpatient clinics by people with flu symptoms have been skyrocketing for several weeks. As of mid-January, such visits had surpassed every flu season except 2009-10, when a new flu strain caused a global pandemic. The dominant strain this season, H3N2, is particularly virulent, and the vaccine isn’t very effective against it.
*WHO READS LBN? Philanthropist and famed entrepreneur Lynda Resnick
*LBN-INVESTIGATES: In the 17th and 18th centuries, many men in Europe and America would not let their wives breastfeed, especially if their wives had just given birth to a girl, since breastfeeding might have inhibited the conception of their next child.
*LBN-MEDIA INSIDER: ***Savannah Guthrie pulled a “power grab” to install an ally as the executive producer of the “Today” show, sources say. We’re told that after former co-host Matt Lauer was canned in November, Guthrie pushed out Lauer pal and executive producer Don Nash and had him replaced by veteran senior producer Libby Leist. A source said that insiders “were shocked” when Nash — who started as an NBC page and has been there for 30 years — was replaced by Leist. ***The number of people in the U.S. and Canada who check Facebook every day dropped between the third and fourth quarter of 2017, the first such quarterly drop in company history. Facebook usage in North America has been largely flat for the last several years, leaving international growth to pick up the slack. But the drop suggests that Facebook usage has reached a saturation point in its first and most lucrative market, and could foretell similar usage drops around the world.
*LBN-SITE OF THE DAY:
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*LBN-VIDEO LINK – Van Morrison – Keep Me Singing — https://youtu.be/oz1NhMMdaig
*LBN-R.I.P.: ***Oscar Gamble, a power hitter for nearly two decades in the major leagues who was instantly recognizable in the 1970s by his impressive Afro, which bulged like giant earmuffs from beneath his cap, died on Wednesday in Birmingham, Ala. He was 68. His wife, Lovell Woods Gamble, said the cause was ameloblastic carcinoma, a rare tumor in the jaw. Gamble, who died in a hospital, lived in Montgomery, Ala.
*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Bill Burr Perfectly Describes Liberals — https://youtu.be/A9L9mdl-cX0
*LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY by Eleanor Hamilton: A compliment is a gift, not to be thrown away carelessly, unless you want to hurt the giver.
*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Sen. Bernie Sanders on how Democrats see the state of the Union under Trump — https://youtu.be/yM5P-39sNbg
*LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:…
*LBN-OVERHEARD: ***Famed gossip columnist Liz Smith never wanted a big memorial service, but she’s getting one on Friday. The late gossip columnist will be eulogized at the Majestic Theatre by the likes of Bruce Willis, Renée Zellweger, Barry Diller and Holland Taylor, with musical tributes by Tommy Tune and Betty Buckley. “Liz didn’t want a funeral or a memorial. She wanted absolutely nothing,” her literary agent Joni Evans said shortly after Liz died in November at the age of 94. “Now that she’s gone, we can do a great memorial behind her back.” The event was organized by NBC News correspondent Cynthia McFadden, who shared a country house with Smith in Essex, Conn., and is the executor of Smith’s estate.
LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord