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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...

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 294091

Reported Deaths: 6669
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19626230
Hinds18745386
Harrison16618278
Rankin12662264
Jackson12509224
Lee9679160
Madison9432199
Jones7928146
Forrest7184136
Lauderdale6813226
Lowndes6017137
Lamar586880
Lafayette5721113
Washington5205130
Bolivar4604122
Oktibbeha440693
Panola428893
Pearl River4144129
Warren4124113
Pontotoc408469
Marshall401892
Monroe3982126
Union394974
Neshoba3782168
Lincoln3508100
Hancock343874
Leflore3367118
Sunflower317686
Tate301774
Pike299795
Scott293170
Alcorn291261
Itawamba289374
Yazoo287962
Coahoma277367
Tippah276765
Copiah276357
Simpson273878
Prentiss269558
Leake252271
Wayne252241
Marion251978
Covington248478
Grenada246677
Adams233877
George231245
Newton227552
Winston221475
Jasper212945
Tishomingo211965
Attala206269
Chickasaw200951
Holmes181770
Clay178550
Stone171929
Tallahatchie170439
Clarke169171
Calhoun157528
Smith152531
Yalobusha143737
Greene127433
Walthall123640
Noxubee122829
Montgomery121838
Perry121534
Lawrence119621
Carroll118124
Amite111232
Webster110230
Jefferson Davis101531
Tunica98923
Claiborne98129
Benton93324
Humphreys92527
Kemper89723
Quitman77114
Franklin75919
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62326
Jefferson62027
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 492683

Reported Deaths: 9930
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson709061374
Mobile36044725
Madison32355455
Tuscaloosa24093410
Montgomery22536501
Shelby21892215
Baldwin19714283
Lee14950153
Morgan13641251
Calhoun13232286
Etowah13163319
Marshall11250209
Houston10073261
Elmore9371185
Limestone9353134
Cullman8891181
St. Clair8813223
Lauderdale8594211
DeKalb8441175
Talladega7511163
Walker6514255
Jackson6487102
Autauga624891
Blount6095127
Colbert6000118
Coffee5238102
Dale4637107
Russell403930
Franklin398977
Covington3953106
Chilton3868100
Escambia377272
Tallapoosa3581142
Clarke343650
Chambers3406110
Dallas3401141
Pike293272
Lawrence282684
Marion281695
Winston246567
Bibb244960
Geneva239070
Marengo235355
Pickens224454
Barbour211351
Hale209468
Fayette200256
Butler195666
Henry182241
Cherokee176838
Monroe166139
Randolph163640
Washington156435
Crenshaw144354
Clay143854
Macon141743
Cleburne137339
Lamar132533
Lowndes130851
Wilcox121625
Bullock116736
Conecuh106724
Perry105527
Sumter98331
Coosa88823
Greene87532
Choctaw55023
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