Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.
Hillary Clinton condemned the Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinstein after reports emerged about his years of sexual predation and intimidation, but Lena Dunham and Tina Brown say they tried warning her team about his role as a prominent fundraiser for her as far back as 2008.
Dunham, who campaigned for Clinton, told The New York Times on Wednesday night that in 2016, she voiced her concerns about Weinstein hosting fundraisers and appearing at campaign events.
“I just want you to let you know that Harvey’s a rapist and this is going to come out at some point,” Dunham said she told Kristina Schake, the campaign’s deputy communications director. She recalled also saying, “I think it’s a really bad idea for him to host fundraisers and be involved because it’s an open secret in Hollywood that he has a problem with sexual assault.”
Brown, who worked closely with Weinstein when he bankrolled her short-lived magazine Talk, also said she warned the Clinton camp back during her 2008 run that she’d been hearing stories about Weinstein’s “sleaziness with women” for years. She also called Clinton’s decision “to be so closely associated with him” in two national campaigns an “unwise” move.
Schake, the campaign communications staffer, denied through a Clinton spokesperson that Dunham mentioned rape, and Clinton’s communications director Nick Merrill said that a warning was “something staff wouldn’t forget,” implying that no warning had come.
Read the full Times story here.
- Time’s Person (or People?) of the Year is “the silence breakers” who spoke out against sexual abusers and sparked a mass movement. Most surreal, though, is the fact that the story mentions Donald Trump multiple times, both as the subject of his own misconduct allegations and as a driving force that encouraged women to speak out. He’s also the magazine’s runner-up.
- The bad Republican tax bill? It’s full of “glitches,” according to Politico, which sound a lot more like features than bugs:
Republicans’ tax-rewrite plans are riddled with bugs, loopholes and other potential problems that could plague lawmakers long after their legislation is signed into law.
Some of the provisions could be easily gamed, tax lawyers say. Their plans to cut taxes on “pass-through” businesses in particular could open broad avenues for tax avoidance.
- President Trump is expected to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital today, a move that everyone from allied Arab nations to Pope Francis have warned could trigger violence in the region. That announcement is scheduled for 1 p.m.
- A reminder: the government shuts down without a funding bill on Friday and neither chamber of Congress is taking up any such bill today.
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