Reliable Sources: Omarosa's book launch; Tribune's decision day; Twitter CEO speaks

A version of this article first appeared in the Reliable Sources newsletter. ...

Posted: Aug 9, 2018 11:11 AM
Updated: Aug 9, 2018 11:11 AM

A version of this article first appeared in the Reliable Sources newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

Who's "Unhinged?"

Is former "Apprentice" star Omarosa Manigault-Newman a reliable source of info about the Trump White House? Buckle up for debates about that in the coming week. Because she's about to betray Trump in a new tell-all book.

Omarosa's recap of her time in the administration, "Unhinged," comes out next week... And on Wednesday we found out what the press rollout will look like. Her first interview will be on "Meet the Press" this Sunday. Then she'll be on "Today" Monday morning.

The Daily Beast reported on Wednesday that she "secretly recorded conversations with the president..." And she "leveraged" the tapes while shopping the book.

A source who has read "Unhinged" confirmed to me that "she has tapes documenting what she details in the book." So, I asked, is Omarosa planning on sharing the tapes during her NBC interviews? The source said no...

Here's my theory about the tapes

The Beast said the tapes are just "anodyne, everyday chatter" between Manigault-Newman and Trump. Nothing dramatic. But the tapes may prop up her tenuous credibility.

Think about it: The W.H. has already criticized her... Saying "she had limited contact with the president while here..." So if Trumpworld attacks her when the book comes out... perhaps by downplaying her relationship with Trump... she'll be able to point to the tapes as proof that she WAS in the room with him...

>> REALITY CHECK: Above and beyond the NBC rollout, this book is going to get tons of attention from entertainment media outlets...

Tribune's decision day

Is the Sinclair-Tribune deal about to die? It sure looks that way. As Hadas Gold and I reported here, the deal between the two companies allows either side to break up, as of 12:01am ET on Thursday. With Sinclair stuck in regulatory limbo, sources at both companies believe Tribune is likely to walk away.

Tribune has scheduled a conference call for 8am ET Thursday, so we'll know more then...

Remember the context for this...

Until recently, it seemed like the FCC, chaired by Trump appointee Ajit Pai, was clearing the way for the merger. In fact, Democratic lawmakers and other critics had assailed Pai for making changes to FCC rules that benefited Sinclair. It looked, to them, like back-scratching: Sinclair had boosted the Trump admin and the admin returned the favor.

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But then the FCC's inspector general got involved. The NYT reported in February that the IG was examining whether Pai and his aides "had improperly pushed for the rule changes and whether they had timed them to benefit Sinclair." We don't know what the IG has found. But last month Pai surprised many observers by saying that he had "serious concerns" about how Sinclair planned to sell off certain stations to comply with regulations. Pai said the company may have shown a "lack of candor" in their dealings with the FCC, essentially dooming the deal to a lengthy hearing process. So Tribune is poised to find another buyer...

Tribune, of course, spun off its papers in 2014... The publishing division became known as Tronc...

Who's bidding for Tronc?

There was something poignant about the Chicago Tribune breaking this story on Wednesday. The Tribune's parent company, Tronc, is "weighing an offer to sell" all of its newspapers "to a private equity firm, sources close to the company said Wednesday."

The Trib's Robert Channick had the sources. "A bid of between $19 and $20 per share is on the table," he wrote... "That represents about a one-third premium to the stock's $14.77 per share closing price Tuesday, and a total offer that could be upward of $700 million for the entire company..."

SO: Which private equity firm is it?

FLASHBACK: Politico reported on a similar bid last month...

THURSDAY: Tronc will report Q2 earnings after the bell...

Downloading Alex Jones

"Just days after Google, Facebook and Apple purged videos and podcasts from the right-wing conspiracy site Infowars from their sites, the Infowars app has become one of the hottest in the country," the NYT's Jack Nicas reports. "On Wednesday, Infowars was the No. 1 overall 'trending' app on the Google Play store, a metric that reflects its sudden momentum... And the app stood at No. 66 overall on Google, excluding game apps, while on Apple it reached No. 49, above popular apps like LinkedIn, Google Docs and eBay."

Just a temporary blip, or something more? Read on...

Jack Dorsey speaks

"Facing mounting scrutiny for allowing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to remain on the platform, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gave an exclusive radio interview to Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday, explaining how such decisions are made," Time's Katie Reilly writes.

Dorsey's call with Hannity was actually scheduled before this Jones controversy erupted... And Dorsey will be doing more interviews soon...

There's more to come...

Normally I wouldn't talk about this until it's taped... But hey, now it's public...

Dorsey "is planning to speak with NBC's Lester Holt on Nightly News next week and CNN's Brian Stelter on Reliable Sources next Sunday," David McCabe of Axios reported Wednesday, citing "sources familiar with the sit-downs."

McCabe: "The interviews, which sources say were in the works before Hannity's show, come as Dorsey defends his status as the last CEO of a major online platform company not to take down content associated with Jones and InfoWars..."

Read more of Wednesday's Reliable Sources newsletter... And subscribe here to receive future editions in your inbox...

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 445047

Reported Deaths: 5955
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin924911470
Ramsey39703735
Dakota32788331
Anoka30811360
Washington20004225
Stearns17775185
St. Louis13546240
Scott1189996
Wright11548102
Olmsted1035775
Sherburne815765
Carver691436
Clay648478
Rice600166
Kandiyohi552871
Blue Earth538033
Crow Wing479673
Otter Tail453464
Chisago449732
Benton416785
Winona386246
Douglas372466
Nobles366746
Mower362328
Goodhue343657
Polk327756
McLeod323144
Morrison310043
Beltrami308746
Lyon299835
Itasca282643
Becker281738
Isanti281141
Carlton278143
Steele27119
Pine265113
Freeborn241320
Todd230929
Nicollet223336
Brown213734
Mille Lacs212845
Le Sueur208515
Cass206123
Meeker198533
Waseca188816
Martin169126
Wabasha16883
Roseau165316
Hubbard148338
Redwood139227
Renville136539
Houston135313
Dodge13304
Chippewa130832
Cottonwood126518
Fillmore12215
Wadena119416
Rock109512
Sibley10797
Aitkin107133
Watonwan10618
Faribault104615
Pennington97715
Kanabec97218
Pipestone93823
Yellow Medicine93314
Murray8655
Jackson85010
Swift83018
Pope7355
Marshall70115
Stevens6978
Clearwater68514
Lac qui Parle65616
Lake62915
Wilkin6229
Koochiching59010
Lincoln4821
Big Stone4543
Unassigned43468
Grant4257
Norman4228
Mahnomen4087
Kittson37019
Red Lake3164
Traverse2473
Lake of the Woods1801
Cook1130

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 303065

Reported Deaths: 4267
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk45335447
Linn17673274
Scott15356163
Black Hawk13648236
Woodbury12945175
Johnson1202149
Dubuque11300149
Pottawattamie8934112
Dallas881171
Story863434
Webster467471
Cerro Gordo462968
Sioux453356
Clinton448361
Warren437538
Marshall425561
Buena Vista391529
Muscatine386177
Des Moines380641
Plymouth348868
Wapello340898
Jasper319658
Lee313530
Marion301752
Jones269649
Henry263230
Carroll253034
Bremer242048
Crawford228122
Boone216217
Washington214231
Benton208544
Jackson190831
Mahaska190736
Tama185657
Dickinson184226
Delaware172236
Kossuth170543
Clay166019
Wright162724
Fayette159522
Buchanan158023
Hamilton157829
Winneshiek154819
Harrison154462
Hardin153929
Cedar151419
Clayton150748
Butler146424
Page143715
Cherokee138127
Floyd137936
Mills136016
Lyon133632
Poweshiek132324
Hancock128824
Allamakee126827
Iowa122822
Calhoun12209
Grundy120026
Jefferson119524
Madison11869
Winnebago118229
Mitchell115634
Louisa114130
Cass112541
Chickasaw110512
Emmet110231
Sac110215
Appanoose109638
Union108122
Humboldt104219
Guthrie102224
Shelby101326
Franklin101218
Unassigned9210
Palo Alto9019
Keokuk84325
Montgomery84022
Howard82519
Monroe80518
Clarke7817
Pocahontas77211
Ida73830
Greene6887
Davis68721
Adair68620
Lucas6468
Osceola6349
Monona63316
Worth5983
Taylor5919
Fremont5036
Van Buren49412
Decatur4784
Ringgold4269
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