Day: June 17, 2017

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NEW GETAWAY Trump visits 'rustic' Camp David for the first time


President Trump leaves the White House on Saturday for his first visit to presidential retreat Camp David, a rustic departure from Trump’s usual weekend getaways to his resort country clubs.

The government-owned retreat is in Maryland’ Catoctin Mountains, just a short helicopter ride from Washington.

Trump, a New York real estate mogul whose permanent residence is a guiled penthouse inside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, is not expected to make Camp David a regular getaway.  He told foreign newspapers earlier this year that the retreat was “very rustic” and “you know how long you’d like it? For about 30 minutes.”

Presidents have been going from the White House to Camp David for seven decades — for pleasure and some historic diplomatic negotiations.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt met British Prime Minister Winston Churchill there in 1943, reviewing plans for the invasion of Normandy. Jimmy Carter used it for peace talks between Egypt and Israel. George H.W. Bush’s daughter Dorothy, or “Doro,” got married there.

President Barack Obama unofficially visited the retreat 39 times, but only hosted world leaders twice, the G8 Summit in 2012 and a 2015 meeting with Persian Gulf leaders about the Iran nuclear deal.

“Everything that a president needs in the White House is built in there,” says Anita McBride, who was first lady Laura Bush’s chief of staff. “You have military support. You have a place to house your staff if you chose to use it. It is immediately available. … Within 20 minutes you can be there.”

Camp David covers more than 125 acres, with a cabin for the president and about a dozen cabins for guests. Guests can use tennis courts, a heated swimming pool, a bowling alley and a movie theater. For the golf-loving Trump, there is a single golf hole with multiple tees.

Protected by the Marines as part of the Navy budget, Camp David has been utilized more by some presidents than others. By this point in their presidencies, Obama had visited four times, George W. Bush 11 times and Bill Clinton twice, according to CBS News’ Mark Knoller, who tracks presidential travel.

Locals haven’t seemed too concerned about when Trump might show up. As lifelong resident Donna Bollinger, 63, put it, the town of Thurmont often barely knows when presidents are nearby, given the secluded nature of the retreat.

Now the manager of the Bollinger Family Restaurant, she recalls as a child seeing presidents come to the town’s Episcopal Church. “I remember Mr. Eisenhower. I remember Mr. Johnson being there, and Mr. Nixon,” she said.

So far, Trump has preferred his own properties. He regularly headed to his private club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, during the early days of his administration, embracing it as the “winter White House” and using it to host the leaders of Japan and China. More recently he has favored his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he has a home.

Going to his properties incurs additional security expenses, unlike a trip to Camp David, which is protected year-round as a military installation.

The first president to use the retreat was Roosevelt in 1942. He was looking for an escape from Washington’s summer heat, while still remaining nearby during World War II. He dubbed the site Shangri-La, but Dwight Eisenhower, a regular visitor, later renamed it after his grandson.

John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson were infrequent visitors, though they did use the camp to meet with advisers from time to time. Richard Nixon was a fan of getting away there as was Ronald Reagan.

McBride said George W. Bush loved to ride his bike around the trails, while wife Laura liked to go hiking. “It was a place that really refreshed them,” she said.

If Trump doesn’t make it to Camp David much, Bollinger said she’d love to go in his place.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Seven US soldiers wounded after Afghan fighter opens fire in base: military officials – Gen. Keane: 10,000 to 20,000 additional troops needed in Afghanistan


Seven American soldiers were wounded when an Afghan army solider opened fire at a military base in northern Afghanistan, US military officials said Saturday.

A spokesman for Resolute Support in Afghanistan said in a statement that all seven soldiers were medically evacuated and “are being cared for.”

The attack occurred at Camp Shaheen in Mazar-e Sharif around 2 p.m. local time.

Abdul Qahar Araam, spokesman for the 209th Army corps, said soldiers returned fired killing the attacker. One other Afghan soldier was wounded.

There were no U.S. fatalities.

A Taliban spokesman praised the attack, but did not claim responsibility.

Saturday’s incident is the second insider attack in just one week.

On June 10, three U.S. soldiers were killed and one wounded when an Afghan army soldier opened fire in the Achin district in eastern Afghanistan. In that case the Taliban claimed responsibility, saying that a loyalist had infiltrated the Afghan army “just to attack foreign forces.”

Such insider attacks seem to be becoming more common in Afghanistan. In March, another Afghan soldier was killed after he opened fire on foreign forces at a base in Helmand province, wounding three U.S. soldiers.

Saturday’s attack comes just days after reports surfaced that the White House will be sending an additional 4,000 soldiers to Afghanistan. Roughly 8,400 American soldiers are in Afghanistan now – most of them helping to train the Afghan security forces fighting the Taliban.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.



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Judicial Watch seeking documents ‘unlawfully removed’ by Comey


Conservative watchdog Judicial Watch is calling on Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to recover and release federal records and memos it claims were “unlawfully” removed by former Director James Comey, threatening the FBI with a lawsuit should the bureau not comply.

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, penned a letter to McCabe on June 14 warning of a potential violation of the Federal Records Act, which is the basis for the federal government’s policies regarding the “creating, maintaining, and disposing” of federal records.

“As you may be aware, the Federal Records Act imposes a direct responsibility on you to take steps to recover any records unlawfully removed from the FBI,” Fitton wrote in the letter, claiming Comey unlawfully removed memos that could contain contents regarding the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. “Upon learning that records have been unlawfully removed from the FBI, you then are required to initiate action through the Attorney General for the recovery of records.”

The FBI told Fox News that they have no comment on the letter from Fitton. 

“We’re looking to get action on the records that Comey unlawfully took from the FBI, and we know initially there are memos, but depending on what the nature of the documents are, there could be liabilities for Mr. Comey,” Fitton told Fox News. 

The “memos” in question were written by Comey himself, leaving unclear how the FBI or the courts would view them; Judicial Watch insists they are official records. 

Earlier this month, Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that he gave one of his memos regarding a meeting with President Trump to a friend, Columbia University Professor Daniel Richman, who then leaked the contents of the memo to the New York Times.

“I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter—I thought that might prompt the appointment of special counsel,” Comey said in his testimony.

Fitton said that the case of Comey removing documents from the FBI is “the Hillary Clinton email scandal all over again.”

But retired FBI special agent and former national FBI spokesman, John Iannarelli, told Fox News that he didn’t see “the case.”

“The things Comey allegedly took are not classified,” Iannarelli said. “The issue is not him taking documents, but the matter of how he released them—classified or not, there is a procedure in doing that which he did not follow.”

But Fitton insisted Comey’s memos and other related documents he may have were federal records which the Justice Department and FBI are “obligated” to get back.

“The former FBI director isn’t above the law and current leadership of the FBI should stop protecting him and take action,” he said. 

The letter said that if McCabe and the FBI do not respond by June 26, Judicial Watch will file a lawsuit in federal district court “seeking that you be compelled to comply with the law.” 

Brooke Singman is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.



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UK police: 58 dead and presumed dead in London blaze – Almost $4 million raised for London fire victims


Fifty-eight people who were in Grenfell Tower are still missing and are presumed to be dead, London police announced Saturday, raising the death toll in the horrific inferno that turned the public housing block into a charred hulk.

Public anger is mounting as residents and neighbors demand answers for how the blaze early Wednesday spread so quickly and trapped so many of the tower’s 600-odd residents. British media have reported that contractors installed a cheaper, less flame-resistant type of exterior paneling on the 24-story tower in a renovation that was completed just last year.

Police Commander Stuart Cundy said the number of 58, which was based on reports from the public, may rise and includes the 30 deaths that have already been confirmed. He says it will take weeks or longer to recover and identify all the dead at the charred building.

“Sadly, at this time there are 58 people who we have been told were in the Grenfell Tower on the night that are missing, and therefore sadly, I have to assume that they are dead,” he said.

Cundy said there may have been other people in the tower that police are not aware of, which would add to the final death toll. He asked anyone who was in the tower and survived to contact police immediately.

Police say the harrowing search for remains had been paused Friday because of safety concerns at the blacked tower but has resumed. Cundy said emergency workers have now reached the top of the tower.

Cundy said police will investigate the tower’s refurbishment project, which experts believe may have left the building more vulnerable to a catastrophic blaze.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, facing criticism for the government’s handling of the disaster, met Saturday with a small group of fire survivors invited to her official residence at 10 Downing Street. The meeting is unlikely to quell complaints that May has been slow to reach out to victims, despite her announcement of a $6.4 million emergency fund to help the displaced families.

The identification of the victims is proving very difficult — which experts attribute to the extreme heat of the fire. British health authorities say that 19 fire survivors are still being treated at London hospitals, and 10 of them remain in critical condition.

A solemn Queen Elizabeth II marked a minute of silence for victims of the London high-rise inferno at the start of a procession Saturday to mark her official birthday. She said Britain remains “resolute in the face of adversity” after the horrendous fire and recent extremist attacks in London and Manchester.

The 91-year-old monarch said it is “difficult to escape a very somber mood” on what is normally a day of celebration.

The queen and her husband, Prince Philip, stood silently on the steps of Buckingham Palace before the start of the Trooping the Color ceremony that each year marks the queen’s official birthday, which is traditionally celebrated in June when the weather is warm.

There is simmering anger in the multi-ethnic north Kensington area hit by the blaze, and public fury has been directed at senior government figures, including May, who was jeered Friday after she visited the fire community. Hundreds have been left homeless by the blaze, putting more pressure on officials in a city plagued by a chronic housing shortage.

Scuffles broke out near the Kensington and Chelsea town hall offices Friday as demonstrators chanting “We want justice!” surged toward the doors.

The government has promised a full public inquiry, but that has done little to a sense of frustration at the lack of information about how the fire moved so quickly to engulf the building.

Engineering experts and fire safety specialists believe the building’s exterior cladding may have quickly fueled the blaze, overwhelming fire protection devices. British officials have ordered a review of other buildings that have had similar renovations.

The tragedy has provoked a huge response from nearby communities. More than 3 million pounds ($3.8 million) have been raised for the victims. Many of the displaced are living in churches and community centers. There is ample food and water, but very little privacy or proper bedding, and with the tower destroyed, no one knows where they will be relocated or for how long.

Two nearby Underground lines were partially shut down Saturday in the fire area to make sure that debris did not land on the tracks.

Some Grenfell residents had warned months ago fire safety issues at the tower meant that it was at risk of a “catastrophic” event. They say their complaints were ignored — and fear it was because the tower was full of poor people in a hugely wealthy neighborhood.



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Megyn Kelly's interview with Alex Jones scrapped by Connecticut NBC affiliate


Connecticut’s NBC affiliate said Friday it will not air Megyn Kelly’s report on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, the radio host who has alleged the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was a hoax. It says “the wounds are understandably still so raw” in the state.

In an internal memo obtained Friday by The Associated Press, NBC Connecticut staff members were told station executives made the decision after listening to concerns from employees, Sandy Hook families and viewers. The memo says the executives “considered the deep emotions from the wounds of that day that have yet to heal.”

The head of NBC News said Tuesday that the network would move forward with plans to air Megyn Kelly’s interview with conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones, despite a backlash that has cost the show advertisers.

It was not immediately clear how many companies had pulled ads from this week’s edition of “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly.” The only advertiser to publicly say it was doing so has been the financial firm JPMorganChase.

“That comes with the territory,” NBC News Chairman Andy Lack told the Associated Press when asked about the commercial response. “It’s not unusual. We kind of know when we’re doing controversial stories, that’s going to happen. It doesn’t stop us from doing controversial stories.”

The network has been taken aback by the response to booking Jones, the “Infowars” host who has questioned whether the massacre of 26 people, including 20 children, in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was a hoax. Lack said the story will be edited with the sensitivity of its critics in mind.

“It’s important to get it right,” Lack said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report



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Dennis Rodman wraps up low-key North Korea visit, vows to return


Former NBA star Dennis Rodman, vowing to come back again soon, on Saturday wrapped up a low-key and incident-free visit to the North Korean capital.

On his way to the airport, Rodman vowed to return and said his “thoughts and prayers” are with the family of Otto Warmbier, an American student who was arrested and imprisoned in the North for 17 months, then released just hours before Rodman’s arrival.

Warmbier suffered severe brain damage while in custody. Doctors in Ohio described him as being in a state of “unresponsive wakefulness” but declined to discuss his outlook for improvement, saying such information would be kept confidential.

U.S. and North Korean officials said Rodman played no role in freeing Warmbier and the timing of the release and Rodman’s arrival was a coincidence.

Three more American citizens remain in North Korean custody.

During his visit, Rodman played basketball with men’s and women’s teams, visited the city zoo, met Olympic athletes and presented the country’s sports minister with a copy of President Donald Trump’s book, “The Art of the Deal.” The unsigned book, and a “Where’s Waldo” travel edition, were to be passed on to leader Kim Jong Un, who Rodman had met on previous visits in 2013 band 2014.

Rodman was on two seasons of Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” reality TV show.

Rodman created a stir by arriving in the country with his small entourage all wearing clothing and hats featuring the name of a company specializing in a cybercurrency used to buy and sell marijuana.

Marijuana is illegal in North Korea.

His earlier trips generated a storm of publicity, especially when he regaled leader Kim with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” at an exhibition game he had arranged that included some other former NBA players. On the same trip, he suggested an American missionary was at fault for his own imprisonment in North Korea, remarks for which he later apologized.

Although U.S. citizens are not banned from visiting North Korea, the U.S. State Department strongly advises against it.

Rodman, who arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday, was scheduled to fly to Beijing before returning to the United States.



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Family: Suspect in 4 slayings talked about killing for fun


A man accused of killing his stepfather, brother and two strangers in a shooting rampage spanning nearly 200 miles across New Mexico had made troubling statements to family members about his intentions to kill or hurt people for fun, court documents said Friday.

An argument between Damian Herrera, 21, and his stepfather over using a pickup truck likely led to the shootings outside the family’s home in a rural community not far from some of the state’s popular tourist draws, according to a criminal complaint. Herrera shot his mother as she pleaded for her life, witnesses say.

After Herrera gunned down his family, police say, he carjacked and killed a driver before shooting another man hours later at a general store in a tiny town that artist Georgia O’Keeffe called home. That’s where the final victim, a regular at the store and security guard at O’Keeffe’s home, died.

Herrera was arrested Thursday and initially accused of five counts of murder. But prosecutors later said Herrera’s mother was in critical condition. She had been taken off life support, leading authorities to believe she had died, District Attorney Marco Serna said.

It was not immediately clear if Herrera had a lawyer to speak on his behalf.

His sister and others were at the family home in La Madera when they heard gunshots ring out Thursday.

Witnesses told police that Herrera shot his stepfather first while the two were outside. Hearing his calls, Herrera’s brother and mother went outdoors. The brother was shot in the neck during a struggle, and Herrera then shot his mother in the head as she begged for mercy, according to the complaint.

Family members told police that Herrera was calm and had a blank stare as he opened fire, “as if he knew exactly what he was doing,” the complaint said.

“None of these victims had a chance, none of them,” State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said during a news conference.

Police found the lifeless bodies of Max Trujillo Sr., 55, and Brendon Herrera, 20, when they arrived. The mother, Maria “Brenda” Gallegos, 49, was bleeding and gasping for air and was taken to the hospital.

Damian Herrera then headed north toward the community of Tres Piedras, where he’s accused of killing Michael Kyte, 61, and stealing his truck. Kyte had picked up Herrera after he ran out of gas, offering to help, police say.

One Taos County commissioner offered her condolences on social media, saying Kyte had recently retired from the Tres Piedras Ranger District, where he worked for years as an archaeologist.

Herrera drove into Colorado before finding his way back south into New Mexico, winding through a rural area dotted by just a few close-knit communities and scenic mountain ranges.

About five hours after the first 911 call came in about the family’s slaying, Manuel Serrano, 59, was killed at the general store in Abiquiu, a traditional Hispanic enclave where O’Keeffe lived.

Community members were shaken.

Jonathan Naranjo, 35, of nearby Espanola, said his parents and uncle live along the road that leads past the store. They saw a stream of emergency vehicles just before sundown.

“My uncle was locked and loaded. Everybody was pulling out their rifles, because you know how it is around here. It’s mostly ranchers,” Naranjo said.

Herrera was caught after sheriff’s deputies spotted the stolen pickup and chased it.

He was speeding through a curve when the truck veered into oncoming traffic, overcorrected and crashed into a tree, police said.

Herrera got out and ran toward deputies. He tried to grab one of their guns and it fired, authorities said. A second deputy used a stun gun on Herrera, and he was taken into custody.

An officer hurt his elbow but there were no other injuries, police said.

Kyle Frettem, who took classes at the University of New Mexico with Herrera and would go hiking with him, said he had not talked to Herrera in about a year but described him as someone who was into inner peace.

“He was the kind of guy who would go out into the mountains and meditate,” Frettem said. “People can change pretty drastically in a year, but someone like this, it’s like no way.”

Court records show Herrera had no criminal record, just two traffic citations in the past two years.

 



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BREAKING NEWS Mistrial declared in Bill Cosby sexual assault case after jury in deadlock


Bill Cosby’s trial on sexual assault charges ended in a mistrial Saturday after jurors failed to break a deadlock after more than 52 hours of deliberations over six days.

Cosby showed no immediate reaction. After the mistrial was declared, he stood up and seemed to be distressed as he spoke to his spokesman. He then sat back down.

He left the courthouse without speaking to reporters.

The jury confirmed to Judge Steven O’Neill that they could not reach a unanimous decision on whether “The Cosby Show” star drugged and molested Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

Prosecutors said they would retry Cosby.

The 79-year-old star was accused of three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault. He faced up to five to 10 years in prison, if convicted.

During the six-day trial, the jury heard Constand describe a 2004 sexual encounter with Cosby at his Philadelphia home.

Constand testified on June 6th that she shot down the actor’s casual advances twice before she found herself paralyzed and unable to fight him off the night she took pills that he convinced her were safe herbal supplements.

“In my head, I was trying to get my hands to move or my legs to move, but I was frozen,” Constand, a former employee of the basketball program at Temple University, Cosby’s alma mater, said during their courtroom confrontation. “I wasn’t able to fight in any way. I wanted it to stop.”

Defense attorney Brian McMonagle told the jury during his closing statements that Cosby and Constand were lovers who had enjoyed secret “romantic interludes,” insisting the 2004 encounter was consensual. McMonagle said that while the comedian had been unfaithful to his wife, he didn’t commit a crime.

The judge hailed the jury for its service at the end of deliberations Wednesday.

“This is an incredible jury that has just acted with incredible dignity and fidelity,” O’Neill said. “I don’t have any higher praise. You have taken your task so seriously.”

On Thursday, the judge told jurors it was “too early” for them to determine they were deadlocked and asked them to give it another go.

For now, Cosby’s fate remains unclear. The judge could decide to retry the comedian or Cosby could walk away a free man.

The comedian, who starred as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show” from 1984 to 1992, earned a reputation as “America’s Dad.”

That reputation was slowly torn to pieces as dozens of women came forward, beginning in 2014, and accused him of drugging them, assaulting them or both. Their stories were all eerily similar and eventually led to the star being ostracized by Hollywood.

Before his downfall, Cosby was long-known as for his success as a comedian and actor. He won five Grammy Awards after breaking into the standup scene in ‘60s.

He then paralleled that success on TV, winning three consecutive Emmy Awards from 1966 to 1968 for his role on “I Spy.” The show elevated him to a new level of stardom and led to the eventual creation of his titular sitcom, “The Cosby Show.” In the 1998, he became known to a new generation as the host of “Kids Say the Darndest Things.”

He was also once praised as a philanthropist, and received more than 50 honorary degrees from universities across the country.

Cosby’s legacy of giving was topped by a $20 million gift to Spelman College in 1988 and including, among many other donations, $3 million to the Morehouse School of Medicine and $1 million in 2004 to the U.S. National Slavery Museum in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Those degrees were revoked one-by-one as more women spoke out against him.

Cosby said in an interview ahead of the trial that he was looking forward to being found innocent and he wanted to be “remembered as being the guy that they give back all the things that they rescinded.”

Cosby’s wife, Camille, has stood by him, appearing in court on day six of his trial. His children have also supported him, with daughters Ensa and Erinn speaking out about the allegations against their dad.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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How 'Mummy' flop impacts Tom


After more than a third of a century as one of Hollywood’s shining stars, wouldn’t you think Tom Cruise would know a flop when the script lands in his lap?

Evidently, he wouldn’t. Just ask the critics who have reviewed his latest, “The Mummy”:

A Forbes critic wrote, “This may be Tom Cruise’s worst starring vehicle ever…” And Indiewire called “The Mummy” “Obviously the worst movie that Tom Cruise has ever made.”

“[T]he slightly discombobulated look on Cruise’s face … didn’t really strike me as an aspect of his performance,” wrote Variety’s Chief Film Critic Owen Gleiberman. “It seemed more like Cruise himself thinking, deep down, ‘Where am I?’”

Cruise isn’t the first movie superstar to make a dreadful film. From Audrey Hepburn and Meryl Streep to Robert De Niro, many major stars have known the pain of a clunker.

But “The Mummy” has been so widely panned that some are starting to ask out loud: Is Tom toast?

At the very least, he’s a franchise addict, says Variety’s Gleiberman.

“For the last 10 years,” Gleiberman wrote, “Tom Cruise has been doing a version of what he’s always done — making ‘Mission: Impossible’ thrillers, and also big-scale flashy-concept sci-fi movies (like ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Edge of Tomorrow’) and introducing new franchises, like ‘Jack Reacher’ and, now, the Dark Universe films. He’s become a bit of a franchise addict.”

But toast? Hold the jam, says Hollywood PR guru Howard Bragman.

“Tom’s been a buddy for a long time,” Bragman told Fox News. “Anyone who would bet against him is a fool. He’s talented, smart and driven.”

And if his star is dimming in the U.S., he’s still a must-see supernova in the rest of the world.

“The Mummy” may well turn out to be the flop of the year in the U.S. — it grossed only $32.2 million through Sunday, far short of “Wonder Woman’s” $57.2 million — but it’s box office gold overseas, where it’s taken $141.8 million.

In other words, reports of Cruise’s demise are greatly exaggerated, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore.

“The irony in all this is that ‘The Mummy’ gave Tom Cruise his best global debut ever, and that is why you can’t ever count this guy out,” he said.

“Robert Downey Jr., Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt and others have all had massive hits followed by crushing failures in a never-ending roller coaster ride of box office. It proves the point that an individual actor’s star power is only as strong as the movie in which they appear.”

Besides, it isn’t like Cruise hasn’t been knocked down before.

In 2006, he had a falling out with Paramount, which had been with him for 14 years.

“We don’t think that someone who effectuates creative suicide and costs the company revenue should be on the lot,” Sumner Redstone, chairman of Paramount’s parent company, Viacom, said after he fired Cruise. “His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount.” 

But even that wasn’t the kiss of death for Cruise’s career. Just six years later, Redstone proclaimed that he and Cruise were “best friends.”

“Originally, I actually fired Tom. His behavior was terrible,” Redstone said. “He was jumping on the couch on the Oprah show. Women hated him. A lot of people said they would never come back and see Tom Cruise.

“Actually, he was getting $10 million, on the lot, for doing nothing. That’s why I fired him, and a lot of the studios complimented me.” 

Lindsay Miller, news and culture director of Popsugar, said Cruise’s “star has waned a bit in the United States.”

“That’s certainly due largely to his highly publicized, controversial connection to the Scientology and some of his odd public behaviors — remember his tense TV standoff with Matt Lauer? The strange Oprah couch-jumping appearance?”  

But don’t start writing any career obits, Miller said.  

“I wouldn’t count Tom Cruise out, given the ho-hum stateside box office reaction to ‘The Mummy.’ True, his star has waned a bit in the United States, especially in the last 10 or 15 years.” 

But if a mummy can rise from the dead, how can a comeback be a mission impossible?

You can follow Blanche Johnson on Twitter @blancheFOXLA.



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Putin slams new sanctions, says they will 'complicate' Russia-US ties


Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that new U.S. sanctions on Russia will damage ties between the two countries.

Putin said Saturday that “it will of course complicate the Russian-American relationship,” according to an interview reported Saturday by the TASS news agency. The Russian leader said it was too early to speak about a possible response.

The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve sanctions against Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 election. The bill, which passed 98-2, targets Russian individuals accused of corruption and key sectors of the Russian economy.

Putin said that Russia would be forced to make changes because of the sanctions, but they wouldn’t lead to a “collapse.”

The penalties have been criticized by Austria and Germany for promoting U.S. economic interests.



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