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Late update: Michael Avenatti will appear on “Fox News @ Night” with Shannon Bream during the 11 p.m. ET hour on Tuesday, a Fox spokesperson told TPM Tuesday afternoon.

Original story:

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, told MSNBC on Monday night that he has not received an interview request from Fox News.

“What is shocking to me is, I haven’t received a single request, not one, from Fox News,” Avenatti said on MSNBC’s “The Beat” after noting that he’s done interviews with a slew of news outlets. “They’ve reached out to me for copies of documents and things of that nature, and I’ve cooperated with them, just like I have with other networks, and I’ve been prompt in attending to their requests. But I haven’t received a single interview request, not one, from Fox News.”

Avenatti has regularly appeared on several cable news networks to discuss his client, the porn actress Stormy Daniels who allegedly had a sexual relationship with Trump.

Last week, Avenatti sat down for an interview with “The Josh Marshall Podcast.”

Fox News did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment on Avenatti’s claims.

Watch Avenatti’s Monday night interview on MSNBC:

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MOSCOW (AP) — Nearly two dozen Russian diplomats headed home Tuesday after Britain’s prime minister ordered them to leave because of a nerve agent attack on U.K. soil.

Several dozen people, including children, emerged from the Russian Embassy in west London with suitcases, bags and pet carriers. Some hugged before they boarded vehicles, including a white minibus, and were driven away. They were expected to arrive in Moscow on Tuesday evening.

On March 14, Prime Minister Theresa May gave the 23 diplomats — whom she said were undeclared intelligence agents — a week to leave Britain. That prompted Russia to retaliate with its own expulsion of 23 British diplomats, who are expected to leave in the coming days.

Tensions between the two countries have risen since the March 4 poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the English city of Salisbury. They remain in critical condition.

Britain says they were poisoned with a Soviet-developed form of nerve agent known as Novichok. Western powers see the attack as a sign of increasingly aggressive Russian meddling abroad.

Russia denied involvement, and President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, insisted Tuesday that “Russia has no stocks of chemical weapons of any kind.”

Asked why Russia isn’t showing proof of its innocence, he said, “Let’s stay sober-minded and first of all wait for proof from Britain” that Russia was to blame.

Britain’s National Security Council was meeting Tuesday to consider possible further measures against Russia. May and other European Union leaders are due to discuss the poisoning at a summit Thursday. The EU on Monday condemned the poisoning and called on Russia to “address urgently” British questions about the Novichok nerve agent program.

The Russian Foreign Ministry accused Britain and other EU member states of developing similar nerve agents, and said Britain’s government is stirring up “media hysteria” around the case to distract attention from troubles in negotiating the country’s exit from the EU.

Russia insists it gave up all its chemical weapons under international oversight.

The British military and police are continuing to search for clues around Salisbury into what happened. International chemical weapons experts are due to take samples of the nerve agent.

British police investigators say it may take months to complete the widening inquiry. The focus is on the movement of the Skripals in the hours before they were found unconscious on a bench in the city 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of London. A police officer who came to their assistance is in serious condition.

“This is going to be frustrating for people,” said Neil Basu, head of counterterrorism at the Metropolitan Police. “It is going to take weeks, possibly months to do this.”

Despite the diplomatic tensions, the Russian Interior Ministry said it will continue cooperating with British authorities on security issues.

Deputy Interior Minister Igor Zubov told Interfax that the Skripal case “won’t change anything for us at all.”

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Melania Trump is hosting executives from major online and social media companies to discuss cyberbullying and internet safety, more than a year after saying that would be her issue as first lady.

The meeting Tuesday marks her first public event on the topic, a choice some observers have questioned given that her husband often berates people on Twitter.

Amazon, Snap, Facebook, Google and Twitter are among the companies that are expected to attend the meeting. The Internet Association said it will also be represented.

All the major technology companies have strict policies prohibiting harassment and other bullying behavior on their services, but primarily rely on users to report abuses and weed them out. They try to clearly spell out the kinds of remarks and other posts that won’t be tolerated in special sections such as one Facebook, the largest online social network, has set up. Instagram, a popular service among kids and young adults for sharing photos and videos, provides links to the U.S. government’s anti-bullying site and tips from a cyberbullying research center on one of its help pages.

But the efforts so far have fallen short, leading to rampant abuses that even some of the companies acknowledge have driven away or tormented portions of their audience.

It got so bad on Twitter, which has 68 million U.S. users, that the San Francisco company vowed last fall to crack down on hateful tweets. Among other things, Twitter adopted new policies aimed at protecting women who unknowingly or unwillingly had nude pictures of themselves distributed online — a common bullying tactic.

Yik Yak, another messaging app once popular among high school and college students, shut down last year partly because schools banned it following complaints about bullying and harassment.

Online bullying takes many shapes, but some of the most common tactics include posting embarrassing or salacious photos, making demeaning or cruel remarks under a photo or in a general post about someone, and sharing screenshots of what at least one person thought was a private text.

Harassment is widespread and extends beyond teenagers. A Pew Research Center poll last year found 41 percent of U.S. adults believed they had been harassed online.

The popularity of and volume of content on major social media sites presents a huge challenge in policing what is being shared. Facebook, for instance, has 2.1 billion worldwide users who collectively share billions of posts on their pages daily. More than 300 hours of video is uploaded to Google’s YouTube site every minute.

The companies are also constantly struggling to balance the desire to prevent harassment and other abuses and maintain a commitment to freedom of expression.

In some cases, they see harassment and still look the other way. For instance, some of President Trump’s more vitriolic tweets have openly mocked and denigrated people, prompting calls for Twitter to shut down his account and ban him from its service. But Twitter has declined, maintaining the news value of the president’s tweets eclipse complaints about him being a bully.

There is no federal law that applies to bullying. State laws vary, ranging from requiring public schools to have a bullying policy to requiring anonymous reporting systems, said Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and professor of criminology at Florida Atlantic University. The federal government can best help by giving schools more tools and money to provide programs, Hinduja said.

Mrs. Trump announced in a speech near the end of the 2016 presidential campaign that her priority as first lady would be to fight cyberbullying. A native of Slovenia, she at the time lamented a U.S. culture that she said had grown “too mean and too rough.” It was a curious speech for a woman whose husband uses Twitter to dismiss people as losers and taunt them with unflattering nicknames.

The mother of a 12-year-old son, the first lady has made child well-being her focus in the White House, including an unexpected interest in how the opioid crisis is affecting youngsters.

She has visited hospitals and care centers to see the effects first hand, and has embraced parents whose children died from drug overdoses. She accompanied the president to New Hampshire on Monday as he discussed a three-pronged effort to combat drug addiction, including applying the death penalty against those caught trafficking highly addictive substances.

Mrs. Trump recently asked the spouses of U.S. governors to help promote values such as encouragement, kindness, compassion and respect in children. She has also spoken about limiting the amount of time children spend online, and helping them understand the content they are exposed to.

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NEW YORK (AP) — The Weinstein Co. filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday with a buyout offer in hand from a private equity firm, the latest twist in its efforts to survive the sexual misconduct scandal that brought down co-founder Harvey Weinstein, shook Hollywood and triggered a movement that spread out to convulse other industries.

The company also announced it was releasing any victims of or witnesses to Weinstein’s alleged misconduct from non-disclosure agreements preventing them from speaking out. That step had long been sought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who filed a lawsuit against the company last month on behalf of its employees.

“Since October, it has been reported that Harvey Weinstein used non-disclosure agreements as a secret weapon to silence his accusers. Effective immediately, those ‘agreements’ end,” the company said in a statement. “No one should be afraid to speak out or coerced to stay quiet.”

In a statement, Schneiderman praised the decision as “a watershed moment for efforts to address the corrosive effects of sexual misconduct in the workplace.”

The movie and TV studio becomes the first high-profile company to be forced into bankruptcy in the nationwide outcry over workplace sexual misconduct. Dozens of prominent men in entertainment, media, finance, politics and other realms have seen their careers derailed, but no other company has seen its very survival as tightly intertwined with the fate of one man as the Weinstein Co.

Some 80 women, including prominent actresses, have accused Harvey Weinstein of misconduct ranging from rape to harassment. Weinstein, who was fired as his company’s CEO in October, has denied any allegations of non-consensual sex.

The Weinstein Co. said it has entered into a “stalking horse” agreement with an affiliate of Dallas-based Lantern Capital Partners, meaning the equity firm has agreed to buy the company, subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

Lantern was among a group of investors that had been in talks for months to buy the company outside of bankruptcy. That deal was complicated when Schneiderman filed his lawsuit, citing concerns that the sale would benefit executives accused of enabling Weinstein’s alleged misconduct and provide insufficient guarantees of compensation for his accusers. Talks to revive the sale finally fell apart two weeks ago when the group of buyers said they had discovered undisclosed liabilities.

The Weinstein Co. said it chose Lantern as a potential buyer because the firm was committed to keeping on the studio’s employees as a going concern.

“While we had hoped to reach a sale out of court, the Board is pleased to have a plan for maximizing the value of its assets, preserving as many jobs as possible and pursuing justice for any victims,” said Bob Weinstein, who co-founded the company with his brother Harvey in 2005 and remains chairman of the board of directors.

Lantern co-founders Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic said they were committed to “following through on our promise to reposition the business as a pre-eminent content provider, while cultivating a positive presence in the industry.”

Under bankruptcy protection, civil lawsuits filed by Weinstein’s accusers will be halted and no new legal claims can be brought against the company. Secured creditors will get priority for payment over the women suing the company.

Schneiderman’s lawsuit will not be halted by the bankruptcy filing because it was filed by a law enforcement agency. Schneiderman said his investigation would continue and that his office would engage with the Weinstein Co. and Lantern to ensure “that victims are compensated, employees are protected moving forward, and perpetrators and enablers of abuse are not unjustly enriched.”

Other bidders also could emerge during the bankruptcy process, particularly those interested in the company’s lucrative 277-film library, which includes award-winning films from big-name directors like Quentin Tarantino and horror releases from its Dimension label. Free of liabilities, the company’s assets could increase in value in a bankruptcy.

In more fallout over the scandal, New York’s governor directed the state attorney general to review a decision by the Manhattan district attorney’s office not to prosecute a 2015 case involving an Italian model who said Weinstein groped her.

The bankruptcy process will bring the company’s finances into public view, including the extent of its debt. The buyers who pulled out of the sale earlier this month said they discovered up to $64 million in undisclosed liabilities, including $27 million in residuals and profit participation. Those liabilities came on top of $225 million in debt, which the buyers had said they would be prepared to take on as part of a $500 million acquisition deal.

The Weinstein Co. already had been struggling financially before the scandal erupted in October with a news stories in The New York Times and The New Yorker. Harvey and Bob Weinstein started the company after leaving Miramax, the company they founded in 1979 and which became a powerhouse in ’90s indie film with hits like “Pulp Fiction.” After finding success with Oscar winners “The Artist” and “The King’s Speech,” the Weinstein Co.’s output and relevance diminished in recent years. The company let go 50 employees in 2016 and continuously shuffled release dates while short of cash.

Last year, the studio sold distribution rights for the movie “Paddington 2” to Warner Bros. for more than $30 million.

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LONDON (AP) — Britain’s information commissioner says she is using all her legal powers to investigate the handling of millions of people’s personal Facebook data by the social media giant and by political campaign consultants Cambridge Analytica.

Commissioner Elizabeth Denham is pursuing a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica’s servers. The company allegedly used data mined from Facebook to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election.

She told BBC on Tuesday she is also investigating Facebook and has asked the company not to pursue its own audit of Cambridge Analytica’s data use. She says Facebook has agreed.

“Our advice to Facebook is to back away and let us go in and do our work,” she said.

Denham said the prime allegation against Cambridge Analytica is that it acquired personal data in an unauthorized way, adding that the data provisions act requires platforms like Facebook to have strong safeguards against misuse of data.

Chris Wylie, who once worked for Cambridge Analytica, was quoted as saying the company used the data to build psychological profiles so voters could be targeted with ads and stories.

Denham launched her investigation after weekend reports that Cambridge Analytica improperly used information from more than 50 million Facebook accounts. Facebook has suspended the company from the social network.

Britain’s Channel 4 used an undercover investigation to record Cambridge Analytica’s chief executive, Alexander Nix, saying that the company could use unorthodox methods to wage successful political campaigns for clients.

He said the company could “send some girls” around to a rival candidate’s house, suggesting that girls from Ukraine are beautiful and effective in this role.

He also said the company could “offer a large amount of money” to a rival candidate and have the whole exchange recorded so it could be posted on the internet to show that the candidate was corrupt.

Nix says in a statement on the company’s website that he deeply regrets his role in the meeting and has apologized to staff.

“I am aware how this looks, but it is simply not the case,” he said. “I must emphatically state that Cambridge Analytica does not condone or engage in entrapment, bribes or so-called ‘honeytraps’, and nor does it use untrue material for any purposed.”

The data harvesting used by Cambridge Analytica has also triggered calls for further investigation from the European Union, as well as federal and state officials in the United States.

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Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) is preparing to subpoena documents related to the Justice Department Inspector General’s review of how the FBI handled its 2016 investigation of Hillary Clinton, Politico reported Monday evening.

Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) and another GOP committee source told Politico that Goodlatte’s subpoena is “imminent” and comes as part of Republicans’ frustration with the Department of Justice’s pattern of slow rolling the release of documents related to the review.

Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’ investigation into the handling of the Clinton probe has already led to the firing of former Deputy Director of the bureau Andrew McCabe Friday, just days before he was scheduled to retire.

Over the weekend, Goodlatte hinted that he might make moves to obtain the documents associated with the review, telling Fox News on Sunday that he wanted to “have those documents” and “actions are going to have to take a new level here very soon.” 

Read the Politico report here. 

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A male student who reportedly entered Great Mills High School in Maryland on Tuesday morning and shot two other students with a handgun has died from his injuries, St. Mary’s Country Sheriff Tim Cameron told reporters Tuesday.

The alleged shooter struck a male and a female student and both were transported to a local hospital, according to Cameron. The male victim is in stable condition and the female’s condition is critical, he said. While it is unclear how the alleged shooter died, a school resource officer opened fire to attempt to halt the attack, Cameron said.

The shooting occurred just before classes started at Great Mills on Tuesday. The school resource officer and student witnesses are currently being questioned at the high school. The rest of the building has been evacuated, the sheriff said.

Local police told parents to avoid coming to the high school and instructed them to go instead to Leonardtown High School to reunite with Great Mills students there, according to the AP.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan both tweeted that they were monitoring the situation and said their “prayers” are with the students.

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Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on Monday said that the committee would hold a hearing on the Justice Department inspector general’s investigation into fired deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe after the inspector general releases the report.

“Both Democrats and Republicans asked the non-partisan, independent Inspector General appointed by President Obama to look into a whole range go issues involving the FBI’s involvement in controversial cases related to the 2016 presidential campaign,” Grassley wrote in a letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). “We are all eager to see the results of that review, and you can be certain that this Committee will hold hearings on that report’s findings once they become available.”

“As many on both sides of the aisle have said in the wake of the removal of the former Deputy Director, we need to see what the evidence shows before making any final judgments,” Grassley continued, adding that he’ll request documents on the decision to fire McCabe.

Grassley wrote the letter in response to a January letter from Leahy released on Saturday urging Grassley to hold hearings on the politicization of the FBI. Leahy asked for Grassley to bring in McCabe and current FBI director Christopher Wray.

“I believe the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as an institution – and as our nation’s premier law enforcement agency – is under attack,” Leahy wrote in his letter. “During my four decades in the Senate, I have never before seen career, apolitical law enforcement officials so relentlessly and publicly maligned by our own government.”

In his response, Grassley wrote that he is also “deeply concerned about politicization of the FBI,” but he focused on actions taken by the FBI before the 2016 election. The Judiciary chairman mentioned the Democratic campaign of McCabe’s wife, the text messages between two FBI officials during the 2016 election, and Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department officials whose wife worked for the firm that funded the so-called Trump dossier, Fusion GPS.

Read Grassley’s letter:

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President Donald Trump discussed with Gary Cohn, his former top economic adviser, the possibility of Cohn taking over CIA director, only to quickly change his mind, Politico reported Monday, citing three people close to Trump.

Trump “informally offered” Cohn the position and Cohn had agreed to take it, but the President later decided to nominate deputy CIA director Gina Haspel instead, according to Politico. Cohn resigned as Trump’s top economic adviser earlier in March but told associates that he would return to the Trump administration for “the right big job,” per Politico.

Cohn and Trump discussed other positions for Cohn when Cohn first told Trump that he planned to resign, and the two continued discussions after the White House announced Cohn’ departure, Politico reported.

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Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asked Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) this week to hold a hearing and request documents from voter-profiling firm Cambridge Analytica following reports that the company exploited information from millions of Facebook users without their permission.   

According to reports from The New York Times and Observer of London who spoke with a company whistleblower, Cambridge Analytica not only took and misused data from more than 50 million Facebook users, it reportedly used that information to influence users in favor of President Donald Trump’s campaign.

In a letter to Grassley, Feinstein called the reports “egregious” and “extremely troubling.”

 “I believe the Judiciary Committee needs to look into exactly what happened,” Feinstein said. “That’s why I call on Chairman Grassley to join me in seeking testimony from Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix, whistleblower Christopher Wylie and Professor Aleksandr Kogan, who reportedly harvested the data from Facebook. I am also hopeful he will support document requests to Cambridge Analytica and Trump campaign officials.”

She said the company’s alleged actions could be violations of campaign finance laws and could be seen as part of a larger conspiracy to “defraud the United States.”

These reports raise serious allegations, and the American people need to know how this happened, who knew about it, why steps were not taken sooner to bring it to an end, and what can be done to protect their privacy and the integrity of our elections going forward,” Feinstein said in a letter to Grassley Sunday. “I urge the Committee to get to the bottom of these questions by holding hearings on these matters, compelling the production of documents as well as the attendance of relevant witnesses.”

Read the letter to Grassley below:


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