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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 228)

CNN’s Chris Cuomo fails to ask former FBI’s McCabe, Baker about network’s own FISA bombshell report

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo made a stunning omission on Thursday night and failed to ask former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former FBI General Counsel James Baker about the network’s own report regarding an unnamed FBI official being under criminal investigation by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

CNN first reported that Horowitz had been investigating an FBI official who allegedly altered a document used to obtain a FISA warrant in order to surveil a former Trump campaign adviser during the 2016 election. Horowitz reportedly turned the evidence over to U.S. Attorney John Durham, who has launched a criminal probe in the origins of the Russia investigation.

The Washington Post also verified the reporting.

CNN’S CHRIS CUOMO MOCKED AFTER ATTEMPT TO DISPROVE TRUMP’S PHONE THEORY WITH CALL TO MOM FAILS

However, despite his network breaking the news hours earlier, Cuomo did not mention the report during his entire show Thursday night, most notably, during his sit-down with McCabe and Baker, who are now CNN contributors.

Instead, the “Cuomo Prime Time” anchor spent the entire hour covering the ongoing impeachment hearing into President Trump and spoke with McCabe and Baker on how Thursday’s testimony of former National Security Council aide Dr. Fiona Hill “shattered GOP conspiracy theories.”

McCabe and Baker were still high-ranking officials at the FBI when the FISA application into Page was drafted. Horowitz is set to reveal his findings on the alleged DOJ abuses on December 9.

TRUMP MOCKS CNN’S CHRIS CUOMO OVER VIRAL VIDEO: ‘I THOUGHT CHRIS WAS FREDO ALSO

Westlake Legal Group Cuomo-McCabe-Baker-AP-R-Street CNN's Chris Cuomo fails to ask former FBI's McCabe, Baker about network's own FISA bombshell report Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 2d3a6796-5971-5f40-8049-ae41740b24a2

Cuomo had a rough day during Thursday’s impeachment hearing. He was brutally mocked after his attempt to disprove Trump’s theory about how phones work backfired on live television.

David Holmes, the political counsel at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, testified during Thursday’s impeachment hearing that he overheard a would-be damning phone call between Trump and European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland. Holmes said he “could hear the president’s voice through the earpiece of the phone,” which was not on speakerphone.

Trump, in real-time, tweeted his skepticism.

“I have been watching people making phone calls my entire life. My hearing is, and has been, great. Never have I been watching a person making a call, which was not on speakerphone, and been able to hear or understand a conversation. I’ve even tried, but to no avail,” Trump tweeted. “Try it live!”

CNN’s Cuomo took the president up on the challenge and called his mother during coverage of the impeachment hearing.

“Let’s just play with that for a second. Mom can you hear me?” Cuomo asked, without receiving a response from his mother.

“I’m with Dana Bash… can you just say hello? Mom? She probably can’t hear me,” Cuomo said as he struggled to hear whether or not his mother could hear him.

Cuomo then put the device on speakerphone.

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“Mom, can you hear me?” he asked again.

“I hear you, when you talk to me I hear you,” his mother responded.

The “Cuomo Prime Time” namesake then turned off speakerphone and could no longer hear his mother — just as Trump explained is typically the case.

A frustrated Cuomo then hung up the phone and critics quickly lampooned the moment.

Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group Cuomo-McCabe-Baker-AP-R-Street CNN's Chris Cuomo fails to ask former FBI's McCabe, Baker about network's own FISA bombshell report Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 2d3a6796-5971-5f40-8049-ae41740b24a2   Westlake Legal Group Cuomo-McCabe-Baker-AP-R-Street CNN's Chris Cuomo fails to ask former FBI's McCabe, Baker about network's own FISA bombshell report Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 2d3a6796-5971-5f40-8049-ae41740b24a2

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After Two Weeks Of Impeachment Hearings, Here’s What To Take Away

Westlake Legal Group 5dd7640e210000787e34db54 After Two Weeks Of Impeachment Hearings, Here’s What To Take Away

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump asked a foreign country to investigate a political rival as he enters his re-election campaign. That has been established almost beyond doubt. But Republicans and Democrats agree on little else as they embarked on only the fourth impeachment inquiry in the nation’s history.

One witness explicitly acknowledged a quid pro quo and another spoke of figurative hand grenades and drug deals. A third was the target of disparaging tweets by the president while her testimony was underway.

Here are key takeaways from two weeks of hearings.

THIS FOR THAT

In the most anticipated testimony, Gordon Sondland, the European Union ambassador, repeatedly described the administration’s dealings with Ukraine as a quid pro quo — one thing in return for another.

“I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a `quid pro quo?’ As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes,” Sondland said.

The deal, he said, involved arranging a White House visit for Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in return for Zelenskiy’s announcing investigations of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, and a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine had interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Democrat Joe Biden’s son Hunter was a Burisma board member.

That proposed arrangement was pushed by Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, who conveyed Trump’s wishes to multiple administration officials.

But in testimony that Republicans sought to exploit, Sondland said no one ever told him military aid to Ukraine was contingent on the country announcing investigations — though he said he came to presume that was the case.

‘EVERYONE WAS IN THE LOOP’

Sondland was central to Trump’s efforts to secure investigations by Ukraine.

But he insisted that this was no rogue effort, and he would not be a fall guy. He testified how officials across the government were aware of Trump’s demand that Ukraine commit to the investigations.

Those officials, he said, included Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the White House’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney.

“Everyone,” Sondland said repeatedly, “was in the loop. It was no secret.” That also included Vice President Mike Pence, he said.

Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff, disputed that account and said that Pence never spoke with Sondland “about investigating the Bidens, Burisma, or the conditional release of financial aid to Ukraine based upon potential investigations.”

In Brussels, Pompeo dismissed Sondland’s testimony, but didn’t comment on specifics.

‘DOMESTIC POLITICAL ERRAND’

Fiona Hill, a former White House adviser and Russia expert, recounted a tense relationship with Sondland. If other people were supportive of the ambassador’s efforts, Hill very certainly was not among them.

Her testimony vividly outlined the diverging objectives of Trump’s official staff and parallel effort led by Giuliani that also involved Sondland.

“He was being involved in a domestic political errand,” Hill said of Sondland, “and we were being involved in national security foreign policy.”

In one June blowup, when confronted Sondland over his assertion that he was in charge of Ukraine policy, he replied that Trump had given him authority. She was angry and irritated over the lack of coordinated and warned him that “this is all going to blow up.”

“And,” she pointedly added, “here we are.”

WHAT DID UKRAINE KNOW, AND WHEN DID IT KNOW IT?

Sondland’s appearance dominated the day, but a Defense Department official named Laura Cooper provided her own subtly tantalizing testimony.

She revealed that Ukrainian Embassy officials had asked about military aid on July 25, earlier than previously known. That could undercut a Republican argument that there couldn’t have been a quid pro quo involving military aid because the Ukrainians didn’t know that the aid was being held up

She said she also has been recently informed that a Ukrainian Embassy contact had asked a member of her staff that same day “what was going on” with the aid.

The July 25 date is significant: it’s the same day Trump spoke by phone with Zelenskiy and pressed for an investigation of Joe Biden.

Cooper told lawmakers she “cannot say for certain” that Ukraine knew the money was being withheld, but she said “it’s the recollection of my staff that they likely knew.”

‘IT’S LIEUTENANT COLONEL VINDMAN, PLEASE’

With those words, Alexander Vindman, an Army officer and Purple Heart recipient, sought to shut down Republican attacks on his credibility.

Republicans went after him, nonetheless.

Republican Rep. Chris Stewart called Vindman’s uniform a good reminder of his military service but also questioned why Vindman felt it necessary to wear it rather than a suit.

He wanted to know, too, if Vindman always insisted on being referred to by military rank rather than “Mr.” as he did in an exchange earlier with Rep. Devin Nunes, the committee’s top Republican. In that moment, he corrected Nunes and asked to be called “Lt. Col. Vindman, please.”

The committee attacks mirrored the combative approach of the White House, which used its official Twitter account to retweet attacks on Vindman, who continues to work at the White House.

Some Republican attacks struggled to land. After Rep. Jim Jordan suggested that Vindman’s peers questioned his judgment, Vindman read from a glowing performance review that called him “brilliant” and “unflappable.”

Other attacks, including from the White House’s director of social media, sought to imply that Vindman, a naturalized American citizen who was a toddler when his family fled Ukraine, may have dual loyalties.

Under questioning from GOP impeachment counsel Steve Castor, Vindman revealed that he was offered three times the post of Ukraine’s defense minister while attending Zelenskiy’s inauguration, but “immediately dismissed these offers.” He says he notified his chain of command and counterintelligence officials upon returning to the U.S.

Castor questioned whether that created the impression of a conflict, to which Vindman replied, “It’s more important what my American chain of command thinks.”

‘VERY INTIMIDATING’

The testimony of Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who last spring was abruptly recalled from Kyiv and directed to return home on the next possible flight, was barely underway when Trump ridiculed her on Twitter, saying without evidence that things “turned bad” wherever she went during her decades-long career.

Yovanovitch left no doubt that she interpreted some of the Trump’s cryptic comments about her — “she’s going to go through some things,” he told Ukraine’s president in the July phone call — in the most chilling way.

“It didn’t sound good,” she said. “It sounded like a threat.”

She said the effect of the president’s comments “is very intimidating” not just for her but for others who might be similarly inclined root out corruption.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House intelligence committee, read Trump’s tweet to Yovanovitch and suggested it was part of a campaign of “witness intimidation.”

“Well, I want to let you know, Ambassador, that some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously.”

Trump, asked about it later, said, “I have the right to speak. I have freedom of speech.”

‘THE BIG STUFF’

The July 26 lunch on an outdoor terrace in a Kyiv restaurant started out social enough. There was a bottle of wine and affable chatter about marketing strategies for Sondland’s hotel business.

Then, according to David Holmes, a counselor at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv, Sondland said he was going to call Trump to give him an update. The conversation Holmes overheard was loud — and memorable.

At one point, Holmes said, he heard Sondland tell Trump that Zelenskiy “loves your ass.”

“I then heard President Trump ask, ‘So, he’s gonna do the investigation?’ Ambassador Sondland replied that ‘he’s gonna do it.’” He said Sondland told Trump that Zelenskiy will do “anything you ask him to.”

When the call ended, Holmes said he asked Sondland if it was true that Trump did not “give a s―t about Ukraine.” Sondland said that it was indeed the case.

“I noted that there was ‘big stuff’ going on in Ukraine, like a war with Russia, and Ambassador Sondland replied that he meant ‘big stuff’ that benefits the president, like the ‘Biden investigation’ that Mr. Giuliani was pushing.”

‘FICTIONAL NARRATIVE’

The British-born Hill is a Russia expert who’s written extensively on the Kremlin, and she made that clear from the outset when she scolded Republican lawmakers for propagating what she said was a “fictional narrative” — that somehow Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Those discredited theories have been advanced by Trump himself, who in a July 25 phone call at the center of the impeachment inquiry asked Ukraine’s leader to investigate the possibility.

Hill said the unwillingness by some to accept Russia’s role has profound consequences at a time when Russia’s security services have “geared up to repeat their interference in the 2020 election.” Putin, she said, deploys millions of dollars to “weaponize our own political opposition research and false narratives.”

“When we are consumed by partisan rancor, we cannot combat these external forces as they seek to divide us against each another, degrade our institutions, and destroy the faith of the American people in our democracy,” Hill said.

At another point, she implored impeachment investigators — and the country at large — to stop advancing fictions that she said distract from the attention needed to fight Russian interference.

“In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests,” Hill said.

‘IT WAS CRAZY’

On the first day of hearings, Democrats called on Bill Taylor, a West Point graduate, Vietnam veteran and career diplomat who was recruited out of retirement to serve as a top diplomat in Ukraine.

Taylor was unsparing, and colorful, in his characterization of making military aid to Ukraine contingent on the country announcing investigations into the 2016 U.S. election.

He was presented with oversized images of a September text message exchange with two other envoys in which he said it would be “crazy” to withhold military assistance to Ukraine in exchange for that nation investigating Trump’s political rival.

Those text messages were the among the first documentary pieces of evidence to become public as part of the House impeachment inquiry, and established not only the possible contours of a quid pro quo but also laid bare diplomatic concerns about the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine.

“It was counterproductive to all of what we had been trying to do, Taylor said. “It was illogical, it could not be explained, it was crazy.”

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Mike Huckabee blasts MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s debate performance: ‘She pretends to be a journalist’

Westlake Legal Group ENC3_132188684066200000 Mike Huckabee blasts MSNBC host Rachel Maddow's debate performance: 'She pretends to be a journalist' fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-debate fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 88c19343-7167-5046-bad2-94de492ba791

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Thursday that he found something lacking in MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s performance as a moderator during Wednesday’s MSNBC-Washington Post Democratic presidential debate.

The Republican described Maddow as being overtly opinionated and said she showed a clear anti-Trump bias in some of her questioning.

“Rachel Maddow, first of all, is about as objective as I am,” Huckabee said during an appearance on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”

MARK LEVIN: ADAM SCHIFF IS THE ‘ADMIRAL YAMAMOTO’ OF TRUMP IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS

During the debate, Maddow asked Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., how central President Trump’s alleged “conduct uncovered by this impeachment inquiry” should be to the Democratic presidential contenders’ campaigns.

She also asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., if she would try to convince Senate Republicans to convict Trump, if he is impeached by the House, and remove him from office, a sentiment Maddow said Warren has previously espoused.

The “Rachel Maddow Show” host also asked former Vice President Joe Biden about a “potential criminal investigation” against Trump after he leaves the White House.

More from Media

“I don’t pretend to be a journalist — I don’t play one on TV,” Huckabee said. “I know I have a point of view [and] she does too but she pretends to be a journalist.”

He added that if the federal government under a Democratic president decides Trump should be prosecuted, they will have to wait five years to do so.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“By then, a lot of them are going to be so utterly discredited nobody will pay attention,” he claimed.

Host Laura Ingraham added that Democratic candidate Andrew Yang, a New York businessman, claimed the impeachment narrative is not working to advance the Democratic platform in regard to the presidential race.

Huckabee agreed, responding that Democrats appear to hate constitutional principles more than they hold disdain for Trump.

Westlake Legal Group ENC3_132188684066200000 Mike Huckabee blasts MSNBC host Rachel Maddow's debate performance: 'She pretends to be a journalist' fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-debate fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 88c19343-7167-5046-bad2-94de492ba791   Westlake Legal Group ENC3_132188684066200000 Mike Huckabee blasts MSNBC host Rachel Maddow's debate performance: 'She pretends to be a journalist' fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-debate fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 88c19343-7167-5046-bad2-94de492ba791

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Trump Jr. thanked the ‘Deplorables’ for making him a bestseller. The RNC bought his book in bulk.

Westlake Legal Group U_VRkgwYco8c-WmFJyvfJTbx6dR3uw2q2hM-z1nQLo4 Trump Jr. thanked the ‘Deplorables’ for making him a bestseller. The RNC bought his book in bulk. r/politics

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Twitter rewrites history with hilarious pop culture meme ‘gonna tell my kids’

Twitter users are hilariously rewriting the history books with the Internet’s latest trending topic, “Gonna tell my kids.”

The funny meme works sort of like a white lie parents tell their kids — but it involves taking a historic or popular figure and replacing the person with a random image of a pop star or cultural event.

Part of the magic is to pick the perfect doppelganger or image that best captures the desired feeling.

MSNBC ‘JEFFREY EPSTEIN DIDN’T KILL HIMSELF’ MEME POPS UP ON MSNBC

One viral tweet, for example, showed a frog sitting on top of a toy horse with a cowboy hat Photoshopped on its head. The caption read: “im gonna tell my kids this was lil nas x.”

Another photo of singer Lana Del Rey and rapper A$AP Rocky was paired with the tweet “gonna tell my kids this was jfk and Jacqueline Kennedy.”

One of the funnier posts was a video of Cardi B. “Gonna tell my kids this was Audrey Hepburn,” one Twitter user posted.

“I’m gonna tell my kids this is the royal family,” one person tweeted with an image of the Lindsay Lohan-led cast of “The Parent Trap.”

Of course, there were some pretty great political tweets. On one, next to an image of Betty White, a Twitter user wrote, “Gonna tell my kids this was Joe Biden.”

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In another post of an image of Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie in a top hat, one person said vowed to tell their future kids it was actually Abraham Lincoln.

For the win, another meme genius reimagined the infamous cast of MTV’s “Jersey Shore.”

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“I’m gonna tell my kids these were the Found Fathers the day they signed the Declaration of Independence.”

One can only hope such funny misinformation doesn’t actually catch on with future generations.

Westlake Legal Group declaration-of-independence Twitter rewrites history with hilarious pop culture meme 'gonna tell my kids' Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/lifestyle/parenting fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 070067f9-b10c-5407-afcc-aaa792d872ad   Westlake Legal Group declaration-of-independence Twitter rewrites history with hilarious pop culture meme 'gonna tell my kids' Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/lifestyle/parenting fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 070067f9-b10c-5407-afcc-aaa792d872ad

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Chrissy Teigen Is So Unimpressed With Being Married To The ‘Sexiest Man Alive’

Westlake Legal Group 5dd747561f00000a14def249 Chrissy Teigen Is So Unimpressed With Being Married To The ‘Sexiest Man Alive’

The model and cookbook author has so far not been the biggest fan of her husband John Legend’s new title ― People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive.”

On Thursday, she took her mockery to a new level, tweeting a video of her husband, dressed as what appears to be some kind of sexy Christmas elf, with the caption: “sexiest man title has been a curse upon my family.”

As Legend ― complete with jingly vest, shimmery red pants and gold chain ― gyrates for the camera, his wife can be seen looking 0% impressed in the background of the shot.

Teigen has ruthlessly roasted Legend ever since he claimed the title last week, tweeting about the “honor” of having “boned the sexiest man alive.” She also bragged about the sexiest man alive making her a ham sandwich and showed their kids’ underwhelmed reactions to their dad’s new title.

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Tim Tebow honors ‘Bronco’ after beloved dog’s death

Westlake Legal Group Tebow-dog Tim Tebow honors 'Bronco' after beloved dog's death Frank Miles fox-news/person/tim-tebow fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/sports fnc article 216375e4-e827-523f-83f4-4658227c80e3

Football and baseball star Tim Tebow gave a teary-eyed goodbye to his beloved dog this week.

“One of the toughest goodbyes. Wanted to make a special tribute to the sweetest boy ever – thank you for all the joy you brought and all the memories,” the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner posted on his social media Wednesday night.

He shared touching pictures and melancholy videos.

He said he had to put down Bronco, his Rhodesian Ridgeback, on Wednesday night.

Tebow got the dog from his brother Robby, and he said the dog was his favorite birthday gift ever, as Sporting News reported.

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The dog was named after the Denver Broncos, the team that selected Tebow in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

On Thursday, Tebow posted online a photo of him kneeling in front of Bronco’s grave: “Im so thankful and humbled by everyone’s support, prayers and love. I was able to lay Bronco to rest in a really special place. Thank you all for so much encouragement. I love you Bronco, thanks for being the sweetest boy.”

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Tebow has spent three full seasons in the New York Mets organization. The last two seasons had been derailed by injuries, but his inability to make the team’s major league roster appeared to have put the organization’s experiment with the two-sport athlete in question.

Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said he expects Tebow to start spring training on time in 2020.

Westlake Legal Group Tebow-dog Tim Tebow honors 'Bronco' after beloved dog's death Frank Miles fox-news/person/tim-tebow fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/sports fnc article 216375e4-e827-523f-83f4-4658227c80e3   Westlake Legal Group Tebow-dog Tim Tebow honors 'Bronco' after beloved dog's death Frank Miles fox-news/person/tim-tebow fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/sports fnc article 216375e4-e827-523f-83f4-4658227c80e3

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Kathie Lee Gifford reveals heartbreaking reason for move to Nashville

Kathie Lee Gifford closed a chapter in her life when she decided to up and leave her home in Greenwich, Conn., for Nashville.

The former “Today” co-host, 66, opened up about her decision to move to Franklin, just on the outskirts of Nashville, earlier this year after leaving the morning show – calling the relocation a vital part of her well-being.

“I moved here because I was dying of loneliness,” Gifford said in an interview with The Tennessean on Tuesday.

KATHIE LEE GIFFORD SAYS SHE WENT ON HER FIRST DATE IN 33 YEARS

Gifford lived in Greenwich for more than a decade where she raised her two children, Cody, 29, and Cassidy, 26, and remained by the side of her husband of nearly 30 years, NFL legend Frank Gifford, until he died in August 2015 at age 84.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-ff6206ecb49341c5be9946dd014a7609 Kathie Lee Gifford reveals heartbreaking reason for move to Nashville Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8eaf32a2-82ba-5c5b-968b-3497649e438e

This image released by NBC shows “Today” show hosts Hoda Kotb, left, and Kathie Lee Gifford on the set in New York, Friday, April 5, 2019, on Gifford’s last day as co-host. (Nathan Congleton/NBC via AP)

However, the venerable Gifford said things changed after her children left home and she lost her husband. She said her home no longer felt like a safe haven for her and all she was left with was an empty house.

“That huge, beautiful memory-filled home was like a morgue to me,” she said. “Here’s the bad news — I’m a widow, an orphan, and an empty nester. The good news is, I have the freedom of a widow, an orphan and an empty nester.”

KATHIE LEE GIFFORD SPOTTED KISSING NEW MAN IN NASHVILLE

While looking the brighter side of things, Gifford said she’s excited to shift her focus to producing faith-based films and music, adding that she’s “got all the time to spend my days writing.”

“I’m having the life I could’ve only ever dreamed of,” she maintained.

While visiting her longtime “Today” show family of Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, Gifford admitted that she loves the laid-back nature of the south and their penchant for providing a hospitable environment.

“There’s a different culture down there. It’s a culture of kindness in Nashville,” Gifford described. “They are authentically kind. They are joyful, they have so much fun.”

KATHIE LEE GIFFORD ON FAITH BEING ‘CENTRAL’ TO WHO SHE IS: ‘IT’S NOT A RELIGION TO ME, IT’S A RELATIONSHIP’

“I wake up and there are church bells ringing all around me,” she added. “It’s just a different attitude.”

Gifford packed up and moved down south earlier this year after stepping away from her co-hosting duties on “Today” after more than a decade.

Westlake Legal Group Kathie20Lee20Gifford20Getty Kathie Lee Gifford reveals heartbreaking reason for move to Nashville Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8eaf32a2-82ba-5c5b-968b-3497649e438e

Kathie Lee Gifford  (Getty Images)

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“The work that I want to do isn’t in [New York City] anymore,” she told People ahead of her “Today” show exit. “I am an artist, I’m an actress, I’m a writer, I’m a songwriter, a director now. That’s the stuff that feeds my soul and I know that I’m running out of time to do those things.”

Westlake Legal Group Kathie-Lee-Gifford-NBC Kathie Lee Gifford reveals heartbreaking reason for move to Nashville Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8eaf32a2-82ba-5c5b-968b-3497649e438e   Westlake Legal Group Kathie-Lee-Gifford-NBC Kathie Lee Gifford reveals heartbreaking reason for move to Nashville Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8eaf32a2-82ba-5c5b-968b-3497649e438e

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Houston Texans’ JJ Watt reveals his phone number, asks fans to text him

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, out for the season on the injured list, found something to do with his free time.

He gave out his phone number on the Internet so his fans across the country can text him.

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“I was talking to one of my buddies the other day,” Watt said in a video on his Instagram page Wednesday. “We were talking about social media, how it’s used, how to connect with fans, some of the negativity, things like that… and he said, ‘Have you seen the new thing people are doing?’ I said ‘What is it?’ And he said, ‘Texting directly with the fans.'”

The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has been in recovery since a season-ending torn pectoral in October.

Westlake Legal Group JJ-Watt-Reuters Houston Texans' JJ Watt reveals his phone number, asks fans to text him Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/sports/nfl/houston-texans fox-news/person/j-j-watt fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8cfef4cb-8c36-5581-a47d-32ebb739560f

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, has been in recovery since a season-ending torn pectoral in October. (Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sports, File)

“I thought it was interesting, so I figure I’m going to try it,” Watt said in the video. “I’ve never done it before, I have no experience with it. So you’re going to have to bear with me. I’m not sure if it’s going to be awesome. I’m not sure if I’m not going to get to anybody. So I’m going to give it a shot.”

“It’s just a way for me to connect more directly with you,” Watt added.

And yes, he actually texted some of his fans back.

He later tweeted: “Responded to a couple hundred texts already, but the inbox is currently sitting at 25,000+ 😂😂😂 I’m gonna continue to try it out to see how it goes and see if you guys like it as a more direct way to interact. One thing I can say is I truly appreciate all the kind words. 🙏🏼”

He even gave a show of support to students in Ohio who called him a “great guy and great leader.”

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The student said the class would get the highest mark if his classmates got a text back.

Watt tweeted in response: “This kid better get 100% on that final.”

Westlake Legal Group JJ-Watt-Reuters Houston Texans' JJ Watt reveals his phone number, asks fans to text him Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/sports/nfl/houston-texans fox-news/person/j-j-watt fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8cfef4cb-8c36-5581-a47d-32ebb739560f   Westlake Legal Group JJ-Watt-Reuters Houston Texans' JJ Watt reveals his phone number, asks fans to text him Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/sports/nfl/houston-texans fox-news/person/j-j-watt fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8cfef4cb-8c36-5581-a47d-32ebb739560f

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Pennsylvania governor nixes Down syndrome abortion bill

Pennsylvania‘s Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a bill Thursday that would have banned abortions in the state in cases where a fetus is diagnosed with Down syndrome, calling it a restriction that interferes with a decision made between women and medical professionals.

Wolf’s action came a day after the state’s Republican-led Legislature passed the measure amid a wave of abortion restriction bills advancing in several conservative states.

“Physicians and their patients must be able to make choices about medical procedures based on best practices and standards of care,” Wolf, an abortion rights supporter, wrote in an online statement.

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Westlake Legal Group AP19325807401795 Pennsylvania governor nixes Down syndrome abortion bill Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/politics/judiciary/abortion fox news fnc/us fnc c358a403-c679-57fa-8c20-e9a17ece4c0a article

The dome of the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Pennsylvania allows abortions at up to the 24th week of pregnancy for any reason except to select a gender. Had it passed, the new measure would have prohibited abortions if a fetus is diagnosed with Down syndrome, except in cases of rape, incest or medical emergencies.

Around 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome annually, according to the National Down Syndrome Society.

“There is no evidence that this bill is needed in Pennsylvania,” Wolf said. “I have significant concerns that enforcement of this legislation would upend the doctor-patient relationship and impede on patient confidentiality.”

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Supporters of the bill argued it would have protected a vulnerable population. Opponents said it would have violated women’s right to make their own decisions about abortion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP19325807401795 Pennsylvania governor nixes Down syndrome abortion bill Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/politics/judiciary/abortion fox news fnc/us fnc c358a403-c679-57fa-8c20-e9a17ece4c0a article   Westlake Legal Group AP19325807401795 Pennsylvania governor nixes Down syndrome abortion bill Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/politics/judiciary/abortion fox news fnc/us fnc c358a403-c679-57fa-8c20-e9a17ece4c0a article

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