Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un Meet Again: Read Transcript

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met for a one-on-one meeting on Wednesday at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi in Vietnam. Trump and Kim will also meet Thursday beginning at 9 a.m. local time.

Here is a transcript of the Trump-Kim summit as interpreted:

CHAIRMAN KIM: (As interpreted.) So it’s exactly 261 days since we met last time in Singapore, in June, last year.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes.

CHAIRMAN KIM: (As interpreted.) And I truly believe that this successful and great meeting that we are having today is thanks to the courageous decision — political decision that your team, Mr. President, reached.

So, during that 261 days since we last met, there have been some misunderstandings. There have been all these eyes from the world who are misunderstanding the situation. But — and there was some hostility that still remains from the very, very past period that — from the outside.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right.

CHAIRMAN KIM: (As interpreted.) But, however, we have been able to overcome all the obstacles, and here we are today after 261 days, in Hanoi.

I actually believe that those 261 days were the days which were — and during which a lot of painstaking efforts were necessary and also a lot of patience were needed.

But here we are today, sitting next to each other, and that gives us a hope that we will be successful with time. And I will really try to make that happen.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. That’s really nice.

Well, I want to just say it’s an honor to be with Chairman Kim. It’s an honor to be together in, really, a country, Vietnam, where they’ve really rolled out the red carpet and they’ve — they’re very honored to have us. And it’s great to be with you.

We had a very successful first summit. I felt it was very successful, and some people would like to see it go quicker. I’m satisfied; you’re satisfied. We want to be happy with what we’re doing. But I thought the first summit was a great success. And I think this one, hopefully, will be equal or greater than the first. And we made a lot progress, and I think the biggest progress was our relationship is really a good one.

And as I’ve said many times — and I say it to the press, I say it to anybody that wants to listen: I think that your country has tremendous economic potential. Unbelievable. Unlimited. And I think that you will have a tremendous future with your country — a great leader. And I look forward to watching it happen and helping it to happen. And we will help it to happen.

Thank you all very much. We appreciate it. And we’re going to go have dinner, and then we have some big meetings scheduled for tomorrow. And we’ll see you, I guess, at a news conference at some point during the day. Thank you very much.

Question: Mr. President, do you have any reaction to Michael Cohen and his testimony?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: (Shakes head.)

 

Best Buy Stock Jumps 17% After Strong Holiday Season

In its latest master class of how a brick-and-mortar retailer can thrive in the Amazon.com era, Best Buy


bby



reported a blockbuster holiday season quarter on Wednesday, sending shares up 16%.

The electronics retailer said comparable sales, which include store-generated and online revenue, rose 3% in the quarter ended February 2, their eighth straight quarter of growth, showing Best Buy has found the way to carve a big place for itself with today’s shoppers. Best Buy did get an assist from the popular “Fortnite” videogame, which led to a surge in headphones and accessories sales.

But the company has been helping itself for several years now, reinventing its stores as service centers, opening more shop-in-shops with key brands, diving into the smart home market, and matching prices. That has included more technical support and offering in-home advisors for technically challenging installations, all making it less reliant on new product releases, many of which customers can get on Amazon anyway.

What’s more, Best Buy has worked hard to retool stores so they can help ship online orders (digital is now 22% of company sales) or serve as pick-up centers, services for which it is seen as a leader among physical chains.

Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly also teased some upcoming, deeper moves by the chain into digital health, with more details expected at the company’s investor day later this year, and said he expects a boost from 5G down the road.

“All of our channels are growing,” Joly told reporters on a media call. “We continue to see a favorable consumer environment.” Indeed: for the current fiscal year, Best Buy expects comparable sales to rise 0.5% to 2.5%.

Michael Cohen Accuses Trump of Misdeeds in Contentious House Hearing

Michael Cohen laid out a litany of damning allegations against his former boss Donald Trump, staying emphatic and calm as Republicans on a congressional committee assailed him as a convicted liar out to gain publicity and hurt the president.

“Everybody’s job at the Trump Organization is to protect Mr. Trump,” Cohen, the president’s former lawyer and fixer, told the the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday. “Every day, most of us knew we were coming in and we were going to lie for him on something. And that became the norm, and that’s exactly what’s happening right now in this country.”

The nationally televised hearing was the most dramatic public inquiry into Trump’s personal and business affairs since Democrats won control of the House in the November election. Republicans on the panel used every opportunity to denounce it as a forum for a criminal who has pleaded to nine felonies — including lying to Congress previously behind closed doors — and is due to report to prison on May 6.

“You have a history of lying over and over and over again,” Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the Oversight panel’s top Republican, told Cohen. He suggested Cohen had grown bitter because Trump didn’t give him a White House job after the election, an assertion Cohen denied. Other Republicans suggested he was angling for book and movie deals.

Cohen’s testimony touched on numerous potential legal threads that could concern the president, from hush money paid to a porn star before the election to allegations of overstating his net worth for loans, insurance and tax purposes. But it’s unclear how much added legal jeopardy the president may find himself as a result of Cohen’s testimony.

The ex-fixer produced documents to back up some of his claims — an alleged hush-money check signed by Trump and a financial statement that Cohen said was fraudulent. He suggested Trump committed loan fraud by submitting inflated financial statements, including to Deutsche Bank to get a loan when he was trying to buy the Buffalo Bills football team. He said Trump was aware that his company also submitted phony valuations to insurance companies to reduce premiums.

He claimed he was an eyewitness to other events, including a phone call where longtime adviser Roger Stone informed Trump about the coming release of stolen Democratic emails by WikiLeaks. U.S. intelligence agencies have found the hack was executed by Russia as part of an effort to hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton and ultimately help Trump win the presidency.

“He is a racist. He is a con man. He is a cheat,” Cohen said of Trump.

Collusion ‘Suspicions’

But he acknowledged he had no direct evidence of Trump colluding with Russia, a central question in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian election interference. He said only that “I have my suspicions.”

In June 2016, Cohen said, Donald Trump Jr., “leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice,” said “the meeting is all set.” That was the month Trump Jr. and others met with Russians dangling the prospect of dirt on Clinton.

Cohen gave the committee a copy of a check that he said Trump signed after he became president as reimbursement for hush money paid to silence Stephanie Clifford, the porn star also known as Stormy Daniels, who alleged she had an affair with Trump. Cohen has pleaded guilty to charges of illegal campaign contributions related to the payments.

Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about a proposed Trump tower in Moscow, saying the Trump Organization stopped pursuing the deal early in 2016 when the efforts actually continued well into that election year. Cohen said Trump “knew of and directed” negotiations for the project in Moscow “throughout the campaign and lied about it.”

He also said that Trump committed illegal acts that won’t be discussed in the hearing because they’re being looked at by federal prosecutors in New York.

‘Greatest Infomercial’

Trump wasn’t expecting to win the presidency, seeing the campaign as a brand-building opportunity, Cohen said.

He “ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great. He had no desire or intention to lead this nation — only to market himself and to build his wealth and power. Mr. Trump would often say, this campaign was going to be the ‘greatest infomercial in political history.'”

On race, Cohen testified that Trump “once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a ‘shithole.’ This was when Barack Obama was president.” He claims Trump also said “black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid.”

Cohen testified behind closed doors before the Senate Intelligence Committee for hours on Tuesday and will do the same on Thursday before the House Intelligence panel. Questions in the closed sessions are focusing in part on Mueller’s investigation.

‘Laughable’ Testimony

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement on Tuesday that “it’s laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like Cohen at his word, and pathetic to see him given yet another opportunity to spread his lies.”

The hearing provided something of a split-screen moment for Americans, interspersed with coverage of Trump’s visit to Vietnam for his second summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Before he was to sit down to dinner with Kim, Trump blasted Cohen in a tweet.

“He is lying in order to reduce his prison time,” Trump said.

HOA Fines Honda Owner After Snow Dusting Leaves Suggestive Shape in Parking Lot

A lot of people aren’t fans of home owner associations. And who can blame them? But a Tennessee resident might hold claim to the most ridiculous HOA violation of the year, possibly the decade.

A reddit user named Kathryn took to the social network earlier this week to tell the story of how her HOA attempted to levy a $100 fine on her after they said her Honda Insight left a phallic shape in the snow while it was parked.

Yep. We’ll pause while you reread that to take it in.

The car was parked in Tennessee, which got a light dusting of snow this week. When Kathryn and her husband got in the car to drive to work, they didn’t really think twice about it. A few days later, though, they got a note from their HOA saying they were being fined.

The note wasn’t overly specific as to the reasoning and it took a few exchanges for them to explain the problem. We’ll let Kathryn’s post tell the story from here.

Finally after a few back and forth emails, they simply send us a picture “describing the problem.”

Y’all.

Y’all.”

That picture? Well, see for yourself. We’ll wait.

The HOA, in follow-up notes supplied to Jalopnik, acknowledged that the shape in question was a result of the car’s shape and Mother Nature and was out of the owner’s control. But said they had still received complaints about it, adding “one of our residents took the photo and reported it to us out of concern for our younger residents.”

The HOA eventually backed down after Kathryn informed them she had no intention of paying the fine and hinted about hiring an attorney, saying, “We will not be pursuing this further, in good faith pursuant to the wording of the by-laws.”.

Two British Broadcasters to Launch a Streaming Service as Netflix Rival

The BBC and ITV are joining forces and setting their sights on Netflix in the United Kingdom–with the launch of their own streaming service.

The two broadcasters, responsible for hits such as Doctor Who and Bodyguard, are in the “concluding phase of talks” to launch Britbox in the U.K. in the second half of the year.

Britbox already exists in the United States and Canada. For a monthly $7 fee, the service provides North American viewers access to a range of vintage British TV series such as Absolutely Fabulous. Despite relying on existing series, the service has been fairly successful, currently with more than 500,000 subscribers.

The British version is similarly expected to rely predominantly on BBC and ITV’s library content, including more recent shows, although reportedly there will be shows commissioned specifically for Britbox. Some reports suggest the service will cost ?5, or $6.66 a month.

While the broadcasters have not said which shows specifically will be available on Britbox, The Independent reports other British networks, such as Channel 4 and Channel 5, are expected to join the service. This would put the majority of British releases in one place, potentially allowing the networks to better compete against rivals such as Netflix. Nevertheless, it is unclear whether BBC- and ITV-produced shows would in turn leave other streaming services.

Merriam-Webster Seems to Troll the President With Its Word of the Day (Again)

President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen is testifying to Congress on Capitol Hill about some of the president’s alleged illicit financial dealings–and Merriam-Webster’s word of the day managed to convey some timely significance.

The dictionary revealed “grift,” defined as the act of obtaining “(money) illicitly,” as its word of the day on Twitter.

In his opening remarks Wednesday, Cohen described the word in the context of working with Trump as his former personal attorney and fixer.

Cohen accused the president of engaging in criminal activities while in the White House, including using personal checks to reimburse Cohen for hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels. “The President of the United States thus wrote a personal check for the payment of hush money as part of a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws,” Cohen said.

When reached for comment, Lisa Schneider, the chief digital officer and publisher at Merriam-Webster told Fortune: “Today’s word was scheduled before the close of 2018! We wish we had a crystal ball to associate words chosen ahead of time with events that haven’t happened yet, but that is one technology we have yet to crack.”

Schneider added, however, that the “intense focus on politics in the news” is driving what words are trending as people search for words that often come from political stories, and are used by public figures.

Sure enough, the dictionary’s account eventually tweeted that the term “con man” was spiking in trends, thanks to Cohen’s testimony:

In a political moment where language is politicized and often misused, Schneider told Fortune that people’s curiosity to search for the meaning of words shows that they “care about how language is used. It means that words matter.”

It’s not the first time the dictionary has managed to troll the president–intentionally or not. Merriam-Webster has taken to social media and subtweeted the Trump administration on a number of occasions. It has also offered remarks on the political climate.

One day before the 2016 presidential election, Merriam-Webster changed its Twitter banner to the German term “G?tterd?mmerung,” meaning, “a collapse (as of a society or regime) marked by catastrophic violence and disorder.”

In 2017, the online dictionary made its word of the year “feminism,” followed by “justice” in 2018.

“The concept of justice was at the center of many of our national debates in the past year: racial justice, social justice, criminal justice, economic justice,” Merriam-Webster wrote in a statement last year.

Here’s a Ranking of 2019’s Best Frequent Flyer Programs

If you fly with any sort of regularity, it’s worth your time to join a frequent flyer program. But they’re not all created equal.

WalletHub has released its ranking of the top five loyalty programs, based on a survey of the 10 largest domestic carriers.

For the fourth year in a row, Delta Air Lines tops the list.

The study looks at 23 metrics, including how quickly (if at all) frequent flyer miles expire, blackout dates, and how easy it is to achieve elite status. Those totals are calculated for light, average, and frequent flyers.

Several carriers worked with WalletHub to confirm the data’s accuracy upon which the rankings were based. The carriers that didn’t participate were Spirit, Alaska, United, Southwest, and Sun Country Airlines.

Delta’s SkyMiles program topped the list as one of two carriers with miles that don’t expire. (The other is Southwest.) Spirit Airlines was the lowest ranked of the 10 carriers. (Delta also ranked high with J.D. Power’s list of the top carrier loyalty programs last year.)

The WalletHub ranking varies slightly depending on how often you fly. JetBlue, for instance, is ranked third overall, but second for frequent flyers.

Here’s the top five overall:

  1. Delta SkyMiles
  2. United Airlines – Mileage Plan
  3. JetBlue Airways – TrueBlue
  4. Southwest Airlines – Rapid Rewards
  5. Hawaiian Airlines – HawaiianMiles

Beyond ranking the programs, WalletHub also looked at trends among frequent flyer programs, noting three of the 10 carriers are offering more rewards this year than in 2018. And, while it might be tempting, buying miles is a pretty poor investment as they cost 61% more than they’re worth when earned.

Why Democratic Party Leaders Are Calling for 2020 Candidates to Sign a Non-Aggression Pact

Leaders of the Democratic Party want to avoid the disinformation campaigns that characterized the 2016 presidential election in 2020 as much as possible–so they’re taking it into their own hands.

According to a report from Politico, Democratic Party chairs in New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina, and Nevada–all early primary states–are hoping they can convince all of the 2020 candidates to “avoid waging social media disinformation warfare against each other.”

The chairs reportedly sent a letter this week to Democratic Party chairs in states across the country proposing the creation of a non-aggression pact. Per Politico‘s report, part of the letter explicitly calls on the states to “work towards developing a collaborative approach to battling disinformation, illicit campaign tactics, bots, trollfarms, fake accounts, altered text, audio, and video, any and all inauthentic speech in our Presidential Primary process.”

The goal is to formalize a set of rules–that all the candidates agree to–to avoid using the aforementioned tactics that were used against Democrats in 2016.

Of course, such an agreement does not eclipse the possibility that other entities will target the candidates. In fact, Politico reported as recently as last week that such a disinformation campaign is already underway. However, an agreement among the Democratic candidates will make it much easier to determine who is behind such attacks.

Simon Rosenberg, who was responsible for running the campaign to counter disinformation at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2018 midterms, explained to Politico precisely that. “If we know the campaigns aren’t doing it, it’s going to be much easier to find it and make it go away,” he said.

He went on to call on Democrats to “make a clear stand, understanding that if we don’t set clear norms and rules soon, we could see a proliferation of this illicit tactics that could do permanent and lasting harm to our democracy and other democracies throughout the world.”

FedEx Plans to Deliver Your Goods With This Autonomous SameDay Bot

FedEx announced Wednesday its plans to take a step into autonomous delivery services with its new SameDay Bot.

The bot essentially looks like a small FedEx box on wheels. Equipped with a camera, the zero-emission bot features pedestrian-safe technology as it travels on sidewalks and along the road to make its last-mile, same-day deliveries to customers. The bots were developed in collaboration with DEKA Development & Research Corp., whose founder also developed Segway.

FedEx plans to start testing the autonomous delivery bots this summer in several cities, including Memphis, Tenn., with the trial initially offering delivery services between FedEx offices.

In its early stages, FedEx will collaborate with AutoZone, Lowe’s, Pizza Hut, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart in an effort to assess retailers’ autonomous delivery needs–particularly what works and what doesn’t for different companies.

FedEx is the latest company to dabble in autonomous delivery. Postmates last year was in talks to develop an autonomous Rover that would travel along Los Angeles sidewalks to deliver items to its shoppers. Amazon has also been developing its autonomous delivery service, with plans to use drones to deliver packages, dropping them off on your doorstep with a parachute.

Other companies have been working to develop driverless car delivery services. Ford announced plans last year to partner with Walmart and Postmates to use self-driving cars to deliver groceries. It also collaborated with Dominos in 2017 to use self-driving cars to deliver pizzas.

Oprah Winfrey Sheds Tens of Millions of Dollars as Weight Watchers’ Stock Plunges

Oprah Winfrey could find herself about $50 million lighter by the end of the day.

Shares of WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) Wednesday are tanking. As the largest individual company stockholder, Winfrey’s feeling the pinch.

The stock had plunged 33%, or $9.89 per share, as of 11:00 am ET. Winfrey reportedly owns more than 5 million shares of the company.

Disappointing fourth-quarter earnings are behind the drop, as the company struggles to attract more members. Additionally, WW issued weak guidance for the year.

Despite the significant slide in her investment’s value, Winfrey likely is still quite happy with her financial interest in the company. She first bought into Weight Watchers in 2015 at just $6.79 per share. (She sold some of that stake last March.)

She has been a central figure of the company’s advertising since her initial investment, and the company said she will continue to do so, in an attempt to calm investors.

Even with the substantial dip in WW’s stock, Oprah’s fortune is in no danger. Bloomberg’s billionaire index estimates her net worth to be in the neighborhood of $3.5 billion.

Beyond her work with Weight Watchers, she also co-owns the Oprah Winfrey Network and recently struck a multi-year content deal with Apple.