Happening Today: Stormy Daniels, Alice Marie Johnson, Medicare, Samantha Bee, CMT Awards

What to Know

  • Stormy Daniels says in a lawsuit her former lawyer betrayed her and became a 'puppet' for Trump and his lawyer while representing her
  • Medicare will run out of money sooner than expected, and Social Security's financial problems can't be ignored either, the government said
  • Comedian Samantha Bee returned to her show, apologizing again for using a crude epithet to describe Ivanka Trump, but also expressing anger

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My Old Lawyer Was Trump's “Puppet,” Stormy Daniels Suit Claims

Stormy Daniels says in a new lawsuit her former lawyer betrayed her and became a "puppet" for President Trump and his personal lawyer while representing her, NBC News reported. The filing in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges Beverly Hills lawyer Keith Davidson "hatched a plan" and "colluded" with Trump attorney Michael Cohen to get the adult film actress to go on Fox News and falsely deny she had an affair with Trump. Cohen referred to Davidson as "pal" in one text message cited in the complaint. The lawsuit against Davidson and Cohen also claims Trump was aware the two attorneys were communicating and coordinating for his benefit. A lawyer for Cohen, Brent Blakely, said in a statement to NBC that the lawsuit "has no merit." And a spokesman for Davidson said the lawsuit is "frivolous," adding, "Thankfully, the truth can now finally come out to rebut the false narrative about Attorney Davidson that Mr. Avenatti has been pushing in his more than 175 television appearances and countless other media interviews. Attorney Davidson believes the American people deserve to know the entire truth - and they soon will." An attorney for Trump did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the lawsuit. The White House has previously denied that Trump had an affair with Daniels.

Trump Commutes Sentence of Alice Marie Johnson After Kim Kardashian Visit

President Trump commuted the sentence of a woman serving a life sentence for drug offenses whose cause was championed by reality TV star Kim Kardashian West in a recent visit to the White House. "BEST NEWS EVER!!!!" was the Twitter response from Kardashian West. Alice Marie Johnson, 63, had spent more than two decades behind bars, serving life without parole for drug offenses. She was released hours after the White House announcement and ran into her family members' arms. Michael Scholl, a member of Johnson's legal team, said she was released just before 6 p.m. from federal prison in Aliceville, Alabama. Footage from local news station WVTM-13 showed Johnson running toward her family, throwing her arms wide-open and embracing them in front of a crowd of onlookers. Unlike a pardon, the commutation will not erase Johnson's conviction, only end her sentence.

Medicare Will Run Out of Money Sooner Than Expected, Trustees Forecast

Medicare will run out of money sooner than expected, and Social Security's financial problems can't be ignored either, the government said in a sobering checkup on programs vital to the middle class. The report from program trustees says Medicare will become insolvent in 2026 — three years earlier than previously forecast. Its giant trust fund for inpatient care won't be able to fully cover projected medical bills starting at that point. The report says Social Security will become insolvent in 2034 — no change from the projection last year. The warning serves as a reminder of major issues still languishing while Washington plunges deeper into partisan strife. Because of the deterioration in Medicare's finances, officials said the Trump administration will be required by law to send Congress a plan next year to address the problems after the president's budget is submitted.

Samantha Bee Is Back, Both Angry and Apologetic

Comedian Samantha Bee returned to her show, apologizing again for using a crude epithet to describe Ivanka Trump but expressing anger that the ensuing controversy distracted from more important issues. President Trump had called for her to be fired for what she said on an episode of "Full Frontal," but TBS accepted her apology. Immediately addressing the issue at the opening of her show, Bee said she hated to "contribute to the nightmare of 24-hour news cycles that we're all white-knuckling through." "I should have known that a potty-mouthed insult would be inherently more interesting ... than this juvenile immigration policy," she said. Bee had called Ivanka Trump a vulgar term in an attempt to encourage her to speak to her father about changing a policy where children of people entering the country illegally are being detained. To drive her point home, Bee finished her monologue and went directly into another segment about immigration, knowing that she would have a curious audience tuning in to see her reaction.

Andy Spade Breaks Silence After Wife Kate’s Death

Andy Spade, the husband and business partner of designer Kate Spade, who died in an apparent suicide in her New York City apartment, said she suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. She was seeking help during the last five years, "seeing a doctor on a regular basis and taking medication for both depression and anxiety," Andy Spade said in a statement released. He said there were "personal demons she was battling." The designer was found by a housekeeper hanged in the bedroom of her Park Avenue apartment. She was 55 years old and had a 13-year-old daughter. While investigators were still in the early stages of their inquiry, the NYPD's chief of detectives, Dermot Shea, said evidence including a note pointed to "a tragic suicide."

Underwood Makes History Again, Shelton Wins Top CMT Award

Carrie Underwood continued to make history as the most decorated act at the CMT Music Awards with 18 wins, while Blake Shelton walked away with the top prize. Shelton, the only person to win two awards, won video of the year for "I'll Name the Dogs" at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Underwood won female video of the year for the Ludacris-assisted song, "The Champion," also giving the rapper-actor his first CMT Award. Ludacris didn't attend the show, but others from outside of country music were in the house, from Kelly Clarkson to Backstreet Boys, who both performed at the show.

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