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Ukraine Media

President Donald Trump suggested a “fireside chat” reading of his Ukraine call memo and he got it. But it wasn’t him doing the reading… it was MSNBC contributor Jonathan Capehart.

Capehart introduced a segment on Sunday’s “AM Joy” showing quick cuts of the POTUS repeatedly calling his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “perfect.” When it cut back to the studio, Capehart was seen sitting comfortably in front of a roaring fire holding a binder.

“The phone call with the Ukrainian president, according to Trump was so perfect that he told the Washington Examiner that he wants to read it – that is, the edited notes of the call – in a live televised fireside chat like [Franklin D. Roosevelt] did in the ’30s and ’40s… minus the live television and minus the allegations of using his presidential powers to force a foreign country to interfere in American elections,” Capehart said.

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He continued: “Trump’s version of the fireside chat might go something like this.”

Capehart went on to read a copy of the memorandum verbatim. “President Zelensky begins, ‘we are almost ready to buy more javelins from the United States for the defense purposes.’ Trump replies, ‘I would like you to do us a favor though,'” he began.

Upon completion — and after a couple of “dot dot dot” inclusions — Capehart closed the book.

“Truly, a perfect call,” he said, looking into the camera.

Watch the entire segment above.

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Welcome to the live blog for WrapWomen’s Power Women Summit, located at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica from Oct. 24-25. The summit brings together thousands of the industry’s most influential women for conversations, workshops and networking — and features appearances by Eva Longoria, Gigi Gorgeous, Nicole Richie and Sophia Bush.

If you missed the summit’s featured conversations with the actress Chrissy Metz and the congressional candidate Cori Bush yesterday, catch up on our coverage here.


Doc Filmmakers on Sharing Real Women’s Stories Through Short Films

Thursday’s programming also closed out with a screening of short films that are finalists in WrapWomen and Starz’s Telling Our Stories film contest. The films focused on topics like the societal expectations surrounding breasts, how female graffiti artists are creating art in a male-dominated field, the connection made between a nail technician and a client at a nail salon in New York, and the story of a female firefighter working in San Francisco.

Following the screenings, filmmakers from four of the six films — Ellie Wen, Jana Otte, Crystal Kayiza, and Alexandra Henry — spoke with Karen Bailey, Starz’s senior vice president of original programming, about the inspiration behind their respective works and their decision to work within a short film format.

Kayiza, the director behind “See You Next Time,” said that she scoured Brooklyn’s nail salons to find the subjects for her short film on the relationship between an East Asian nail technician, Judy, and a black client, Ariana. She said she wanted to depict the connection between two women of color that weren’t dependent on their identities being placed in opposition to white women — relationships she felt she rarely saw on screen.

“There’s a lot of shaming particularly with black women, on self-care,” Kayiza said.

Henry, who directed “Street Heroines,” said she first became inspired to show the lives of female graffiti artists when she visited Sao Paulo several years ago. She came across the work of a Brazilian street artist, and the two of them eventually struck up a friendship as Henry began working on her film.

“The women she puts on the street is a complete counter to the women portrayed in Brazilian media,” Henry said of the artist’s work. The short film, she said, is just part of a longer version that she’s in post-production for.

For her film about a female firefighter, “25 Hours,” Wen said she looking to portray a woman in a more multi-dimensional way — a hero who put out fighters but also came home and took care of her family.

The grand prize winner of the contest, which will be chosen by a group of jurors and announced later on Friday, will receive distribution for their film on Starz and a prize of $10,000. – J. Clara Chan


Award-Winning Journalists on Reporting in Countries With ‘Dangerous’ and ‘Corrupt’ Governments

A group of award-winning female journalists from around the globe spoke about the struggles they face reporting in countries with “dangerous” and “corrupt” governments.

TheWrap founder and editor in chief Sharon Waxman moderated a panel presented by the International Women’s Media Foundation, which recently honored journalists Anna Nimiriano, Anna Babinets, Nastya Stanko, Liz Sly and Lucinda Pineda for their work.

“I’m doing this because, if anything happened in the newspaper, I’m responsible,” said Anna Nimiriano, the founder and editor in chief of the Juba Monitor, a leading daily newspaper in South Sudan. “And in the process of doing all this work, I’m being threatened, I’m being harassed almost every day because the country is not free to a point where journalists cannot do their work.”

Nimiriano said that sometimes, the government’s “security” is deployed to go through her newspaper’s work before it is published — resulting in officials warning them: “No, don’t publish this. If you publish this, you will face the consequences.”

Anna Babinets, the editor in chief and co-founder of the independent investigative journalism agency Slidstvo.Info, based in Kyiv, Ukraine, said on the advice she gives her reporters on the dangers they may face on the job: “It’s part of our work. If you get it, we will work [together]. If not, I’m sorry.” –Jennifer Maas


Hollywood Producers, Agents on How to Ensure Inclusion 

Top Hollywood agents, producers and TV showrunners on Friday shared their ideas on how to ensure inclusion in all areas of the industry and how there has been a slow and steady change for minorities. 

“You just have to be vocal and loud enough to be inclusive,” VP of Creative Development & Production at Columbia Pictures Bryan Smiley said during the “Championing Change in Hollywood” breakout session at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit in Santa Monica. “Don’t be shy about it, don’t sugarcoat it — sometimes you don’t have the ally, but if you don’t, taking a stand for what you believe is necessary, or else change will never happen.”

Fellow panelists Homegrown Pictures founder Stephanie Allain, ICM literary agent Ava Greenfield, showrunner and writer Gloria Calderón and disability lifestyle influencer and actress Lolo Spencer agreed that it’s OK to admit when you don’t know something, as long as we are constantly willing to learn and educate ourselves about inclusion.

“White people aren’t the only ones who have biases — we all do,” Allain said. “Educate yourselves, understand that bias is real and that we all have it and then you’re in a place to start.”

“We’re all ignorant about something but opening yourself to learning… I learn something new every day,” Calderón said. “We’re going to make mistakes along the way. Ignorance is OK as long as we are trying to learn. I think it’s OK for us to educate one another as well.”

And everyone agreed change is happening, although Calderón said the situation for Latinos in Hollywood was “still dire.”

“With regard to disability, I’m starting to see [change] but would love for it to continue to happen on greater and bigger scales,” Spencer, who uses a wheelchair, said.

Greenfield added: “There are eight female black agents at ICM Partners — that is gigantic. I have been the only one in the room many times and i can’t get over the fact that there are eight of us at one company, that’s a huge change. That sense of community helps us extend that hand to young assistants and find those folks to replenish us.”

Melissa Silverstein, founder of Women and Hollywood, moderated the panel. –Beatrice Verhoeven


She the People President Calls for Intersectional Feminist Activism Before 2020 Election

Aimee Allison, the founder and president of the political advocacy group She the People, had a “bitter pill” to share with the audience at the “Women Who Lead” breakout session at WrapWomen’s Power Women Summit on Friday.

“We have to recognize how powerful women of color are in our electorate, and we have to belay this phrase which is called the ‘women’s movement.’ The women’s movement does not exist,” Allison said. “Race is the biggest determinant in how people vote.”

“White women who have defined what’s been considered the women’s movement have to understand that women of color — black women, Asian American women, Latinas, Muslims, indigenous women — have a set of politics that’s based on justice that is racial, economic, and gender justice,” she continued. “And the reason I explain that is if we understand the complexity of the women’s movement, we can actually organize differently and have different goals that makes everyone visible, seen, and heard. This is going to be critical for 2020.”

“Orange Is the New Black” actress Alysia Reiner, who was also a featured speaker at the session, addressed the power of inclusion in entertainment as a way to empower younger generations to enter and thrive in leadership positions. “Every time we see women leading in our stories, it lets the next generation know it can lead too, and every time we see women of color leading in our stories, it lets the next generation know they can do that too,” Reiner said. “Having that imagination is everything in this moment.” –J. Clara Chan


How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome in the Tech Industry

Sarah Bond, the head of global gaming partnerships and business development at Xbox and Microsoft, has a “simple mind trick” for helping her overcome imposter syndrome within the predominantly white and male-dominated tech industry.

Speaking at the “STEM & Storytelling” breakout session at the Power Women Summit on Friday, Bond recalled hearing on NPR how black women earned 60% of what their peers did for the exact same work.

“I remember feeling really angry,” Bond said. “Then I realized that I can flip it. You know what? If I am doing the same job as my peer, it must also mathematically be true that I must be that much better. I had to fight through so much more to get to that place. This isn’t imposter syndrome — you’ve way, way, way over-earned that position where you are.”

“It’s just math,” Bond added to audience laughter.

Knatokie Ford, a former senior policy adviser in the Obama administration and a biomedical scientist, said she also believed it was important to be more “honest about the process” and talk about the struggles that go alongside pursuing careers in STEM.

“Many times, kids get to these spaces and it might be hard at first. They feel this intimidation and they see that as an automatic cue that, oh, this must mean this is not for me,” Ford said. “In reality, everyone has to work at it to be good or to become an expert level at some point.”

Pursuing a career in science “involves a lot of failure,” Ford noted. “I had to get out of the habit of comparing myself to other people [and instead] only look at myself and my own personal progress as a way of measuring my own success. And then to just be kind to myself to say that you’re in school to learn. You don’t have to know everything, but there’s nothing that you cannot learn at the same time.”


Top Showtime Executives Talk Gender Equality and Mentorship – Including Learning What ‘You’re Not Gonna Do’

Four of Showtime’s most senior female executives gathered for a conversation with TheWrap’s Jennifer Maas touting the cable network as a rare example of a workplace where everyone’s opinions are valued equally — and what their mentorship experiences were like when they first got started in the industry. Jana Winograde, who shares the title co-president of entertainment with Gary Levine, spoke about gender equality at Showtime.

“I would say that we’re probably the best example, and I don’t think it’s always about equality in a tit-for-tat way. It’s, ‘Are like people treated like?’ My experience has been that that’s a yes,” Winograde said. “It’s not very hierarchical, so everybody’s opinion is heard in a very similar way, which is rare. If you’re in a creative meeting, everybody’s opinion is asked for whether they’re on that project or not, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman or SVP or EVP or the president or the director. Everybody’s opinion is welcome.”

The executives also discussed the mentors who helped them early on in their careers. Amy Britt, senior vice president of talent and casting at Showtime, credited Jane Jenkins and Janet Herschinsen, “who were huge casting directors in the ’80s and ’90s, and I kind of willed them to be my mentors, so much that I lived on the East Coast and I moved to L.A. ’cause I read an article on them and was like, ‘I’m gonna work for them.’ And when I got here and picked up the yellow pages and called them, they agreed to meet with me and give a job. They also, beyond being extraordinarily talented and iconic, they were incredible people and I’m so grateful for them.”

Amy Israel, Showtime’s executive vice president of scripted programming, recalled how at age 26 she ran acquisitions (with now-producer Jason Blum) for Harvey Weinstein at Miramax. “A lot of my mentors, it comes from looking up and figuring out what you’re gonna emulate and what you’re not gonna do. I would say that a lot of my mentors, I’ve always surrounded myself with incredible colleague,” she said. “I have a fierce family, I’m still friends with assistants that I was with 25 years ago.”

Johanna Fuentes, executive vice president of communications at Showtime, noted, “What I’ve discovered over the course of my career is having managers that supported me doing my whole self, especially in the comms team, being somebody who is loud and has an opinion, who disagrees. Having a relationship at work where you can be your whole self and not shut down — I’ve been very fortunate to have managers who are very supportive of what you have to say.”  –Margeaux Sippell


Check back here for updates on all the panels happening at this year’s Power Women Summit.

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In an op-ed for the New York Times, Rudy Giuliani’s former press secretary offered some scathing notes on the attorney’s behavior with, well, the press.

In a Monday piece called “What Happened to Rudy Giuliani?” Ken Frydman, who defended the former mayor as recently as last year in an op-ed for the New York Daily News, said, “The man I worked for in 1993 is not the man who now lies for Donald Trump.”

According to Frydman, Giuliani went from “America’s Mayor” to “President Trump’s bumbling personal lawyer and henchman, his apologist and defender of the indefensible,” with his recent appearances on television news to defend Trump in the Ukraine scandal solidifying the new title.

According to Frydman, former campaign workers stay in touch and he’s not alone in his unease about their former boss.

“‘If Rudy doesn’t get a lawyer, he’s crazier than I thought,’ a 1993 campaign colleague and high-ranking Giuliani administration official said when the Ukraine scandal broke. A former senior adviser called him ‘crazy.’ Those closest to him beg him to stop talking,” he wrote.

“Watching and reading Rudy’s ferocious lying for Mr. Trump, whether on Fox or CNN, forced me to re-examine his last 25 years, especially the profiteering from Sept. 11,” he concluded. In his piece, Frydman said that Giuliani charged $100,000 for self-aggrandizing speeches about his heroic leadership after Sept. 11. and became a multimillionaire. “But Ukraine was the coup de grâce. We who admired him for so long expected much more from Rudy Giuliani and his legacy.”

Giuliani’s camp did not immediately return a request for comment.

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You can count Hillary Clinton among those who don’t think Rudy Giuliani has provided much evidence that he should be involved in U.S. foreign policy.

Clinton’s comments came as part of appearance Monday alongside Chelsea Clinton on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” while discussing the news earlier in the day that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was listening in on the Ukraine call that has been at the center of a whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump. Colbert asked her about Giuliani, the former New York City mayor now serving as Trump’s personal lawyer, in light of news that Trump told the president of Ukraine to speak to Giuliani.

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“As secretary of state, how would you feel if the president was sending Rudy Giuliani out to actually handle foreign policy?” Colbert asked.

“Yeah, that would be a big problem,” Clinton responded. “Presidents often use, as do secretaries of states, they might use an envoy or a special adviser to deliver a message. But again, it is supposed to be carefully thought through. And from what we’ve seen on television, carefully thinking through is not one of Rudy’s strong points.” Zing!

Watch the clip above and tune in to the full interview on Monday night at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

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Filmmaker Oliver Stone got up close and personal while interviewing Russian president Vladimir Putin, with the two discussing the country’s ban on “homosexual propaganda,” the “behaviours and the thinking of the new generation”… and the possibility of Putin becoming godfather to Stone’s 22-year-old daughter.

Stone — who interviewed the Russian president in June shortly before the July 4 premiere in Italy of his documentary “Revealing Ukraine” — had mentioned pro-Russian Ukrainian politician and Putin ally Viktor Medvedchuk, when Putin said that Medvedchuk asked him to “take part in the christening of his daughter.”

“According to Russian Orthodox tradition, you can’t refuse such a request,” Putin said.

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“Oh, you cannot refuse it?” Oliver responded. “Otherwise I would ask you to be the godfather for my daughter.”

“Does she want to become an Orthodox Christian?” Putin asked.

“Ok, we’ll make her that,” Stone responded, according to a transcript released by the Kremlin.

Stone went on to complain about “young people in America,” saying, “they are spoiled to some degree in the western world” and that he is “shocked by some of the behaviours and the thinking of the new generation.”

“And so much of the argument, so much of the thinking, so much of the newspaper, television commentaries about gender, people identify themselves, and social media, this and that, I’m male, I’m female, I’m transgender, I’m cisgender,” Stone said. “It goes on forever, and there is a big fight about who is who.”

Also Read: Elton John Accuses Vladimir Putin of 'Hypocrisy' on LGBT Rights Following 'Rocketman' Censorship

In 2013, Russia put a law into effect banning “homosexual propaganda” among minors, which LBGTQ groups have said has caused an upsurge in homophobic vigilantism in the country. Stone said of their new legislation, “It seems like maybe that’s a sensible law.”

“Revealing Ukraine” premiered in Russia Friday and has been touted by Russian state media. Although it was supposed to air on a Ukraine TV channel, the broadcast was cancelled because of protests.

You can read the entire transcript of the interview here, including what prompted Stone to tell Putin, “You are a peacemaker” and “I am very worried about you.”

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