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February 27, 2019

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S FORMER PERSONAL LAWYER TESTIFIES TODAY

WASHINGTON (AP) — It promises to be another day of “must-see TV” regarding President Donald Trump. Today, his former personal lawyer heads to Capitol Hill to spill the beans on a number of things related to the ongoing investigations of the president. In prepared remarks for his testimony, Michael Cohen says Trump knew ahead of time that WikiLeaks had emails that proved damaging to his rival Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. He also says Trump implicitly told him to lie about a Moscow real estate project. Cohen has already pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the project — which he says Trump knew about, since he was negotiating with Russia during the election. In his remarks, Cohen also describes Trump as a “racist,” a “conman” and a “cheat.”

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054360-w-426:96-(Sagar Meghani (SAH’-gur meh-GAH’-nee), AP Washington correspondent, with Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.)-“Sagar Meghani, Washington”-Cohen expected to claim lying, racism and cheating by Trump (26 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *054360 (02/26/19)££ 426:96 “Sagar Meghani, Washington”

CONGRESSMEN HINTS AT EXPOSING MICHAEL COHEN BEFORE FORMER TRUMP LAWYER TESTIFIES

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even as a nation awaits testimony from President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, one GOP lawmaker says he anticipates seeing Michael Cohen’s own dirty laundry aired. Florida congressman Matt Gaetz tweeted yesterday that the world is “about to learn a lot about Cohen.” And he hinted at disparaging information about the attorney’s family that could be unearthed during today’s House hearing. Gaetz — a Trump ally — offered no evidence to support his remarks. And he dismissed the idea that he was trying to threaten or intimidate Cohen. After being criticized for the post, Gaetz apologized and said it was being deleted.

EMMA THOMPSON EXPLAINS EXIT FROM “LUCK”

NEW YORK (AP) — You may have heard by now that Emma Thompson has decided to pull out of the animated film “Luck.” Now the actress is explaining why. She wrote a letter to Skydance Media, saying she quit the project because she didn’t want to work with former Pixar executive John Lasseter. He was forced out at Disney last year after acknowledging “missteps” in his dealings with female employees. In a letter to Skydance, Thompson says it was “very odd” to her that the company would do business with Lasseter. A rep for Thompson confirms the letter, published in The Los Angeles Times. A rep for Skydance declined to comment.

JENNA BUSH - “TODAY”

NEW YORK (AP) — Jenna Bush Hager has landed a gig where drinking on the job is not frowned upon — but actually encouraged. NBC has appointed her as co-host of the fourth hour of the “Today” show. She will join Hoda Kotb, and replace Kathie Lee Gifford starting in April. Kotb and Gifford made the fourth hour of the NBC morning an irreverent affair, often sipping wine as they dished on the day’s topics. Hager’s dad is former President George W. Bush. She’s been with Today for a decade, filling a variety of roles.

FORMER COLLEGE BALLERS FILE NEW FORTNITE LAWSUIT

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — The list of people suing the makers of the videogame “Fortnite” just keeps growing. The latest to head to court: two former University of Maryland basketball players who accuse Epic Games of swiping their dance steps. The suit was filed Monday. And in it, Jared Nickens and Jaylen Brantley say Epic copied their moves from the “Running Man Challenge” for the game. The ex-players say they performed the dance in social media videos and on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in 2016. Other artists, including rapper 2 Milly and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star Alfonso Ribeiro, also have sued Epic over victory dances depicted in Fortnite. In the game, the dances are called emotes — and players have to pay to incorporate them into their avatars.

BILLY PORTER SAYS HE WAS READY FOR ONLINE HATERS

NEW YORK (AP) — If you’re bold enough to be a male wearing a floor-length ball gown on the red carpet at the Oscars, you’d better be able to stand up to some online criticism. And the man who did that, Billy Porter, says he’s ready. In an interview with The Associated Press, Porter said he wanted to send a message that everyone deserves respect — across racial lines and the gender divide. The black and gay star of the FX series “Pose” says he rocked the gown Sunday because he — as he put it — “was ready to create the conversation.” As for the negative posts since Sunday’s red carpet romp, he says, “the comments are not my business.”

OPRAH WINFREY - WEIGHT WATCHERS

NEW YORK (AP) — It’s not the kind of losing Oprah Winfrey had in mind when it comes to her investment in Weight Watchers. Her stake in the company has declined in value after the company reported it hasn’t signed up as many subscribers as it hoped this winter. It says it expects its profits to suffer as a result. Weight Watchers International stock fell more than 30 percent in after-hours trading yesterday. If that carries over into regular-session trading today, it could represent a paper loss of about $50 million for Winfrey.

AT&T TAKEOVER OF TIME WARNER APPROVED

WASHINGTON (AP) — One Of the biggest corporate media marriages is about to be consummated. A federal appeals court has cleared AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner. The decision represents a blow to the Trump administration, which had claimed the $81 billion deal will harm consumers and reduce competition in the TV industry. The deal was completed in the spring — but when the Justice Department decided to challenge it, the matter had to wend its way through the courts. AT&T is a wireless carrier and a TV and home internet provider. Time Warner is the owner of CNN, HBO, the Warner Bros. movie studio, “Game of Thrones,” sports programming and other shows.

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054336-v-333:84-(Warren Levinson, AP correspondent)-“I’m Warren Levinson”-US appeals court clears AT&T’s $81B merger with Time Warner (26 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *054336 (02/26/19)££ 333:84 “I’m Warren Levinson”

054337-c-143:76-(Warren Levinson, AP correspondent)-“Hulu and YouTube”-US appeals court clears AT&T’s $81B merger with Time Warner (26 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *054337 (02/26/19)££ 143:76 “Hulu and YouTube”

CLARK GABLE’S GRANDSON DIES

DALLAS (AP) — The grandson of the late actor Clark Gable has died. Clark James Gable III was the host of the reality TV show “Cheaters.” Authorities in Dallas say Gable, who was 30, died Friday at a hospital. The medical examiner’s office didn’t immediately indicate the cause and manner of death, but it wasn’t considered suspicious. Gable had hosted “Cheaters” since 2012. The show features confrontations with people suspected of being unfaithful. His grandfather was Clark Gable, star of “Gone With the Wind” and winner of the best actor Oscar for the 1934 film, “It Happened One Night.” The elder Gable died in 1960.

by Oscar Wells Gabriel II

Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2