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Esme Cribb

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Esme

Former Fox News commentator Scottie Nell Hughes on Monday filed a lawsuit against the network, which she accused of retaliating against her after she accused Fox Business host Charles Payne of rape.

In the lawsuit against the network and Payne, Hughes alleged that Fox News “responded with an appalling cruelty” when she told the network that Payne “sexually assaulted and raped” her.

Hughes alleged that Payne “pressured his way” into her New York hotel room in 2013 and “forced her to engage in sexual intercourse against her will” over Hughes’ “clear” and verbal refusal.

“After the rape, Payne’s invitations to Ms. Hughes to appear on Fox shows
increased dramatically,” the lawsuit alleged. “Despite his sexual assault and rape, he managed to coerce Ms. Hughes, his subordinate, into a sexual relationship in exchange for career opportunities and benefits.”

After Hughes terminated that relationship, the lawsuit alleged, she “went from appearing on Fox programs four or five times a week to only appearing five times in total over a ten-month period” and eventually “learned that Fox had blacklisted her.”

Hughes accused Fox News of leaking a story in June about “an alleged affair” between herself and Payne to the National Enquirer.

“In July of 2013, I was raped by Charles Payne,” Hughes said in an interview on Monday with the New York Times. “In July of 2017, I was raped again by Fox News. Since then, I have been living an absolute hell.”

Fox News confirmed in September that Payne would return to the airwaves two months after he was suspended while the network conducted an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against him. Payne denied those allegations.

The network did not respond to TPM’s questions earlier in September on whether Payne had been cleared of the accusations against him, and did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment on Monday.

Allegations of sexual harassment within the network resulted in recent months in the ousters of late CEO Roger Ailes, co-president Bill Shine and star host Bill O’Reilly.

Read Hughes’ lawsuit below:

This post has been updated.

Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R), a controversial religious conservative who is running to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ old Senate seat, on Sunday said racial divisions in the United States are not limited to black and white people, but also “reds and yellows.”

The Hill first reported Moore’s remarks during a campaign speech on Sunday, citing footage provided by “a Republican monitoring the race” between Moore and appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL).

“You know that we were torn apart in the Civil War — brother against brother, North against South, party against party. What’s changed?” Moore said. “Now we’ve got blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting.”

“What’s going to unite us? What’s going to bring us back together? A president? A Congress? No,” he added. “It’s going to be God.”

Moore’s last controversial remarks made waves four days ago when CNN’s KFILE surfaced comments he made in February suggesting that the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks could have been a form of divine punishment.

The race between Moore and Strange has set up a split between President Donald Trump, who announced over the weekend that he will stump for Strange on Saturday, and his former chief strategist Steve Bannon, who backs Moore.

Fox News on Monday confirmed that conservative radio host Laura Ingraham will take over the network’s 10 p.m. slot with her own show.

The network told TPM in a statement that Ingraham will host “The Ingraham Angle” at 10 p.m., shifting star host Sean Hannity’s show to the 9 p.m. slot and displacing “The Five” to its eponymous 5 p.m. slot.

CNN first reported last week that Ingraham was set to take over Fox News’ 10 p.m. slot. A Fox News spokesperson pushed back on that report, telling TPM that the network had “no deal in place” with Ingraham at that time.

Gary Cohn, who leads the White House’s National Economic Council, on Monday reiterated that President Donald Trump intends to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord.

Cohn made the remarks at a breakfast for international officials focused on energy and climate issues before the beginning of the United Nations General Assembly, a senior White House official told reporters, per the travel pool.

The official said Cohn made it “very clear” to those at the breakfast that the U.S. will withdraw from the agreement pending future negotiations.

“Consistent with the President’s announcement in June, we are withdrawing from the Paris Agreement unless we can reengage on terms more favorable to the United States,” the official said. “This position was made very clear during the breakfast.”

The European Union’s commissioner for climate action and energy Miguel Arias Cañete on Saturday said U.S. officials said they would “review the terms on which they could be engaged” with the Paris accord, CNN reported.

The White House denied that Trump was reconsidering his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement, however, barring its renegotiation to include “terms that are more favorable to our country.”

Fox News personality Greg Gutfeld on Sunday claimed that President Donald Trump’s frequent, strident calls for a physical wall on the U.S.-Mexico border were actually just a metaphor for border security.

“Saying ‘build a wall’ is just a catchier way of saying ‘fix our borders,'” Gutfeld said.

He said Trump negotiated with Democrats to fund “the wall, which is to say border security,” and called the President’s demands for a literal, physical border “his blunt way of raising the issue.”

Gutfeld also compared Trump’s ups and downs to the fluctuation in quality of the “Star Wars” movies.

“He’s like the ‘Star Wars’ franchise,” Gutfeld said. “Sure there are movies within it that you love, but then there are ones that you don’t. But on the whole, the series of films leaves you with a pretty good feeling.”

Facebook gave special counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, records of Russian ad purchases on the website and copies of the ads, several outlets reported Sunday.

Reuters first reported that Facebook had given Mueller data on the ads last week, and the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Facebook turned over copies of the ads and details about how they were targeted and the accounts that purchased them.

CNN on Sunday confirmed, citing an unnamed source with knowledge of the matter, that Facebook gave Mueller copies of the ads and “related information.”

Both CNN and the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook did not give the same information to congressional committees also investigating Russian interference, and that Facebook’s policy states that it will only turn over the “stored contents” of an account in response to a search warrant.

In a statement to CNN, Facebook said it was giving Mueller information “including ads and related account information.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Sunday said Donald Trump Jr. will publicly testify before the panel “this fall.”

“It will be this fall. I know that for sure. Things keep changing, not by design, but by just the press of other business on the committee,” Feinstein said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

She said “people have to be patient” with the panel’s investigation.

“It may take a long time. This could take a year, a year and a half, if not more,” Feinstein said.

“Your committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee, is having trouble getting in touch with President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort,” Dana Bash asked Feinstein. “When will you and Chairman Grassley decide send him a subpoena?”

“We will likely do that,” Feinstein said, referring to herself and the panel’s chair Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), “if he refuses to come before the committee.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, on Sunday said President Donald Trump is neither conservative nor liberal, but simply “pro-Trump.”

On ABC’s “This Week,” Schiff called Trump’s discussions with Democrats “purely transactional.”

“This is a president, look, who has no ideology. He’s not conservative, he’s not liberal; the only consistent theme seems to be, he’s pro-Trump,” he said. “He’s for his own personal interests.”

Schiff also questioned Trump’s reluctance to enforce policies implemented by former President Barack Obama’s administration.

“I don’t know why it is so hard for this administration, whether it’s on climate or on Iran or on our strategy of defeating ISIS, to acknowledge that the prior administration did some things right,” he said.

Asked about National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster’s suggestion that President Donald Trump could respond to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program with military force, Schiff said the United States needs to “underscore that we are willing to sit down at the table” to negotiate.

“This is going to be hard to accomplish and we all need to be pulling in the same direction,” Schiff said. “Right now, too often, Gen. McMaster is talking about a president not that we have, but one that he wishes we had.”

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Sunday attempted to interpret what the President’s ersatz early-morning tweet about “Rocket Man” meant for his policy on North Korea.

“I assume ‘Rocket Man’ is Kim Jong Un?” George Stephanopoulos asked McMaster on ABC’s “This Week,” referring to the North Korean leader.

“Well, it’s — it appears to be so,” McMaster replied. “That is where the rockets and missiles are coming from, is North Korea.”

He said the United States has to “make sure all options are under development to ensure that this regime cannot threaten the world with a nuclear weapon.”

“If he doesn’t give up those nuclear weapons, the President will strike?” Stephanopoulos pressed.

“He’s been very clear about that,” McMaster replied. “All options are on the table.”

Two members of President Donald Trump’s administration on Sunday insisted that the President’s tweet claiming that a subway bombing in London was perpetrated by “sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard” was not criticism of the British law enforcement agency.

“What you saw was a reaction to the fact that this is terrible,” United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

She said Trump “would not want to do any harm to the investigation.”

“So if he goes out and gets emotional and passionate about the fact that he’s upset at what happened in the U.K., I mean, of course, that’s what he put out there,” Haley said. “But there was no ill intent with that. I think it was the fact that he was just very concerned and very disturbed.”

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster claimed on ABC’s “This Week” that Trump was “communicating” that “law enforcement professionals, intelligence professionals have these terrorist organizations under scrutiny.”

“But not these individuals,” George Stephanopoulos interjected. “To be clear, the President did not know from any intelligence he had that Scotland Yard had these perpetrators in their sights, did he?”

“What he’s meaning to communicate is that we look at these organizations every day,” McMaster said.

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