Sam's Top 5 Things to Know for Thursday

1. CNN sacks Kathy Griffin over Trump video as backlash builds

Associated Press: Kathy Griffin has lost a decade-long gig ringing in the new year for CNN as a backlash builds over her video displaying a likeness of President Donald Trump's severed head.

CNN, which had called the images "disgusting and offensive" after Griffin posted the video on Tuesday, announced Wednesday it would not invite her back this year for the Times Square live New Year's Eve special she had co-hosted annually since 2007 with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

A New Mexico casino has also canceled a performance by Griffin, who was scheduled to perform at Route 66 Casino, operated by Laguna Pueblo, on July 22.

And a commercial endorsement deal was canceled just weeks after she landed it. Squatty Potty, a Utah-based company whose products include toilet stools and other bathroom accessories, said it was suspending an ad campaign that featured Griffin.

2. A man arrested at Trump's Washington hotel after guns found in car

Reuters: A Pennsylvania man was arrested at President Donald Trump's Washington hotel yesterday after police found a rifle, pistol and ammunition in his car, a discovery they said may have prevented a disaster.

Bryan Moles, 43, was taken into custody shortly after checking in to the Trump International Hotel a few blocks from the White House. A tipster had told the Pennsylvania State Police that Moles was traveling to Washington with weapons, and the information was passed on to the Secret Service and Washington police.

The police chief for the area said Moles was arrested without incident.

Edinboro Police Chief Jeff Craft said by telephone that Moles had no criminal record in the western Pennsylvania town and was not known to police.

3. Sean Spicer offers cryptic explanation for Trump 'covfefe' tweet

The Hill: White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Wednesday offered a cryptic explanation for President Trump’s incomplete, misspelled tweet that went viral overnight.

“The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant,” Spicer told reporters.

The spokesman's refusal to admit Trump made a mistake prompted laughter from members of the media at the White House. Spicer said he wasn’t concerned about the president posting confusing tweets late at night.

Shortly after midnight, Trump tweeted, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.” Trump deleted the tweet shortly before 6 a.m., and posted a new message that read, "Who can figure out the true meaning of 'covfefe' ???"

4. Minnesota adds two new measles cases; total rises to 70

Pioneer press: The Minnesota Department of Health reported yesterday that the total number of measles cases in the state had risen from 68 to 70, after nearly two weeks of no new positive tests.

The updated total counts 61 measles cases in Hennepin County, three in Ramsey, four in Crow Wing, and two in Le Sueur. Only four of the patients are known to have received one or both doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

On Tuesday, health officials at the Health Department and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics had cautious hope the outbreak could be nearing its end, as the rate of new cases had slowed. The state has to go two full incubation periods, or 42 days, with no positive tests to be declared measles-free.

5. PETA Pushes Dairy Free

Kstp: The animal rights group PETA is pushing for people to keep their coffee dairy free on Thursday. The group plans to set up shop in front of a Minneapolis Starbucks to hand out coffee sleeves that read "My coffee's decalf. I chose soy, almond or coconut milk." The organization says they are hosting the event to shed light on the dairy industry.

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