political notebook

ESPN distances itself from anchor Jemele Hill’s tweets on Trump

Jemele Hill was on Tuesday evening’s ‘‘SportsCenter’’ broadcast as usual, despite controversy over her tweets.
Jemele Hill was on Tuesday evening’s ‘‘SportsCenter’’ broadcast as usual, despite controversy over her tweets.(AP Images for Hashtag Sports)

BRISTOL, Conn. — ESPN has distanced itself from anchor Jemele Hill’s tweets after she called President Trump ‘‘a white supremacist’’ and ‘‘a bigot.’’

‘‘The comments on Twitter from Jemele Hill regarding the president do not represent the position of ESPN,’’ the network tweeted. ‘‘We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate.’’

On Monday night, in exchanges with other Twitter users, Hill said, ‘‘Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.’’

Hill, an African-American cohost of the 6 p.m. broadcast of ‘‘SportsCenter,’’ added that ‘‘Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period.’’


In another tweet, she said, ‘‘Donald Trump is a bigot’’ and criticized his supporters, adding, ‘‘The height of white privilege is being able to ignore his white supremacy, because it’s of no threat to you. Well, it’s a threat to me.’’

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Wednesday that she was unsure whether the president was aware of Hill’s comments.

‘‘But I think that’s one of the more outrageous comments that anyone could make, and certainly something that I think is a fire-able offense by ESPN,’’ Sanders said.

New England Patriots player Johnson Bademosi, recently acquired from the Lions, supported Hill on Twitter. “Thanks for your words @jemelehill Nothing but truth,” he tweeted.

Disney-owned ESPN did not elaborate on any possible punishment for Hill, and she was on Tuesday evening’s ‘‘SportsCenter’’ broadcast as usual.

Many Twitter users called for Hill to be fired, but unemployed NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick expressed his support, tweeting, ‘‘We are with you @jemelehill.’’

Kaepernick, unsigned after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers, got plenty of criticism — and support — after kneeling during the national anthem last season to protest police brutality.


Three weeks ago, ESPN said it had pulled broadcaster Robert Lee, who is Asian-American, from the Virginia football season opener because of violence in Charlottesville, Va. The violence erupted at a rally to protest the decision to remove a statue of the Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

Associated Press

Dinner date: Democrats Schumer, Pelosi to join Trump

WASHINGTON — President Trump planned to dine at the White House on Wednesday night with Congress’s two top Democrats, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, pursuing a bipartisan patina as he heads into the fall legislative season with little to show for his first year in office.

Schumer, Senate minority leader, and Pelosi, House minority leader, have never dined with the president before and are the only congressional leaders who will attend, said two people briefed on the event.

Also on hand will be Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, Marc Short, Trump’s legislative director, and John F. Kelly, White House chief of staff.

The meeting was described as a follow-up to one that Schumer and Pelosi held in the Oval Office last week with Speaker Paul Ryan and the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, at which Trump astonished — and undercut — his own advisers by leaping at a deal offered by Democrats to attach a stopgap spending bill and debt-ceiling increase to a package of recovery aid for the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.

On the agenda for Schumer and Pelosi is protecting so-called dreamers, the undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States when they were young, as well as shoring up the insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act, according to two other people who were briefed on their plans.


Trump recently began to wind down the program known as DACA, which provided protection from deportation for roughly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants. But he has been torn about it, and he has made clear that he would like a legislative fix.

New York Times

President’s pick for FEMA’s number two drops out

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s nominee to serve as the number two official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency withdrew from consideration Wednesday following questions about a 2011 federal investigation.

Daniel A. Craig dropped out after being asked by NBC News about an inspector general’s probe that concluded he had falsified travel and timekeeping records while serving at FEMA during the Bush administration. Craig denied any wrongdoing, telling NBC the audit was incorrect and the result of poor investigating.

Craig did not respond to phone messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Asked about the issue on Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to directly answer whether the president knew about the past investigation when he nominated Craig for the post.

‘‘We’re not going to get into the back-and-forth,’’ Sanders said, adding that the White House was ‘‘not going to go down rabbit holes on personnel’’ while FEMA is still focusing on recovery efforts after back-to-back hurricanes.

Associated Press