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The VICE Morning Bulletin

Trump lawyer makes Flynn saga even worse, Billy Bush confirms Trump said infamous "grab them" remark about women, Met Opera conductor suspended following abuse allegations, and more.

by VICE Staff
Dec 4 2017, 4:26pm

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Everything you need to know about the world this morning, curated by VICE.

US News

Trump Lawyer Explains the Flynn Firing, Makes Situation Even Worse
Donald Trump's lawyer John Dowd said the president was told within days of the inauguration that Michael Flynn said the same thing to the FBI and Vice President Mike Pence, falsely claiming he did not talk about sanctions with the Russian ambassador. Trump was apparently informed about Flynn's false claims a couple of weeks before he spoke to FBI director James Comey, allegedly asking him about "letting Flynn go." The fuller explanation was made necessary by Trump's tweet on Saturday about these events, which Dowd claimed he was responsible for sending out—and regretted. Experts said the whole thing (including Dowd's explanation) might just further expose the president.—The Washington Post

FBI Agents' Group Hits Back at 'False' Trump Claim
The professional group representing FBI agents responded to the president's tweet that the agency's reputation was "in tatters." Thomas O’Connor, president of the FBI Agents Association, said: "FBI Agents are dedicated to their mission; suggesting otherwise is simply false." Former director James Comey also defended the agency, tweeting his own past remark: "The FBI is, and always will be, independent."—CNN

Jared Kushner Still 'Optimistic' on Middle East Peace Deal
President Trump's son-in-law said he remains “optimistic that there is a lot of hope” for real negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. His claim came amid warnings about the possible US recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, with Trump reportedly getting close to announcing whether he backs the policy change. Jordan's foreign minister said Sunday he told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson the move might have "dangerous consequences."—The New York Times / The Hill

California Teenager Confesses to Molesting Dozens of Children
Joseph Hayden Boston, 18, was charged with "oral copulation" of two minors after telling his mother he molested an eight-year-old boy and a four-year-old boy at a motel. Upon questioning by investigating officers, Boston allegedly described molesting "upwards of 50 children" in various locations across southern California. —CBS News

International News

Home of Former Yemeni President Is Bombed
Militants have reportedly destroyed the home of Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen's authoritarian president until 2012, in a bomb attack in the capital of Sana. Saleh is believed to have died in the attack. The Houthi rebels have been fighting a Saudi-led coalition allied with Saleh and his General People's Congress party in the city, and the ex-president had recently appeared to flip his allegiance away from the insurgency.—The New York Times

US and South Korea Launch New Drills
On Monday, the allies began a series of military exercises in the Korean peninsula with stealth fighter aircraft maneuvers. Around 12,000 personnel from the US Armed Forces will join their South Korea counterparts for annual exercises this week. North Korean state news warned that the drills were "driving the tension… to the brink of a nuclear war."—VICE News

Venezuelan Leader Announces New Digital Currency
President Nicolas Maduro said his government would create a "Petro" cryptocurrency to help "overcome the financial blockade" imposed by US sanctions. Giving few details, Maduro said the Petro would be backed by oil and other assets. Opposition politician Angel Alvarado said the concept was "Maduro being a clown."—VICE News

Former Egyptian Prime Minister No Longer Missing
Ahmed Shafik has shown up safe on Egyptian TV after family members said they believed he had been kidnapped by the country's authorities upon returning to Egypt. Shafik, who had been living in exile in the United Arab Emirates before being deported Saturday, told Dream TV he was still weighing a possible run for the Egyptian presidency next year.—Al Jazeera

Everything Else

Billy Bush Says 'Of Course' Trump Made Infamous Remarks
The former Access Hollywood host said reports the president has been denying the authenticity of the infamous "grab them by the pussy" remark made in his presence "hit a raw nerve in me." Bush wrote: "He said it… Of course he said it."—The New York Times

'Coco' Grosses More Than $100 Million
The Pixar-Disney animation remained atop the North American office after taking $26.1 million during its second weekend, pushing its domestic haul to $108.7 million. Disney’s Thor: Ragnorak has now taken $816.4 million around the world.—The Hollywood Reporter

'Call Me By Your Name' Wins Critics' Awards
The Los Angeles Film Critics Association picked the coming-of-age love story as the best movie of the year. Its Italian director Luca Guadagnino shared the best director award with Guillermo del Toro, who was also selected for The Shape of Water.—Deadline

Met Opera Conductor Suspended Following Abuse Allegations
The Metropolitan Opera announced James Levine would not be conducting this season and promised multiple claims of sexual abuse would be investigated. Three men have accused Levine of sexually abusing them when they were teenagers.—Sky News

Zoë Kravitz’s Band Drops New Single
Lolawolf, Kravitz's R&B-electro-pop project with Jimmy Giannopoulos, has released new track "Baby I’m Dying" from an upcoming album. The Max Basch-directed video features Kravitz in New York City's Chinatown.— i-D

Cheese Is Good for You, Say Chinese Scientists
Researchers at Soochow University in Suzhou concluded that eating 40 grams of cheese per day can cut your chances of developing heart disease by 14 percent. The team looked at 15 cheese-focused studies from around the world.—VICE