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Donald Trump Jr. Grew A Vacation Beard, Asks Instagram …

Donald Trump Jr. wants to know whether he should keep or ditch his vacation scruff.

Donald Trump Jr. recently unplugged from all things internet and electronic and took a week-long vacation to the mountains with a bunch of friends. He posted a picture on Instagram on the August 9 of himself and some of his companions, announcing that it was mountain time. Trump Jr. clarified that he wouldnt have access to his cell phone or anything else for that matter during his outdoor excursion.

Yesterday, Trump Jr. posted another Instagram picture indirectly announcing his return from the mountains. He revealed he wasnt sure how he felt about having access to WiFi again after being unplugged during his week in the mountains. He also noted that he had an amazing time with some really great friends during his vacation.

Trump Jr. informed fans that he brought a bit of the mountain back with him in the form of a little scruff on this face. Using the hashtag mountainman, he asked his 1.3 million Instagram followers whether he should keep or ditch the vacation beard. LMK your thoughts, he said as he reached out for the opinions of his followers.

In just 24 hours, the picture had accumulated more than 3,000 comments giving their opinions on whether Trump Jr. should keep his vacation beard. He shared two different selfies with one featuring one with a serious facial expression and one with a smile, so his followers could see a few different instances of what the beard looked like on his face.

Unfortunately for the presidents son, his followers on Instagram are not proving to be very helpful in the decision to keep or ditch the mountain man scruff as the comments are pretty evenly split between loving and hating it.

You are one of those men who are more handsome with a beard- KEEP IT, one user exclaimed as they encouraged Trump Jr. to keep the beard. Keep it, itll keep your face warm if your back in the mountains again in the winter. Plus you cant go wrong with a beard. Merica US, a second user agreed.

A third user, however, thought Trump Jr. looked better when he was free of all facial hair, Nah. Youre too handsome without it. A fourth user chimed in also disapproving of the beard, You are too handsome to hide your face.

A few of his followers did comment that whether Trump Jr. keeps the beard or not is something he should wait to decide after he sees how his wife Vanessa feels about it.

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Donald Trump Jr. Grew A Vacation Beard, Asks Instagram …

Elon Musk and Donald Trump: What happens when a charismatic …

But theres another respect in which Tesla CEO Musk and President Trump resemble each other, and its one that carries extreme risks for the enterprises they leadin Musks case, Tesla Inc., and in Trumps case, his administration. Theyre both charismatic leaders with strong cores of followers who have, thus far, forced people outside their base to believe in their leadership skills. The question is, however, what will happen when confidence in their skills begins to crack?

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Elon Musk and Donald Trump: What happens when a charismatic …

It’s Donald Trump’s GOP, but Rep. Mark Walker wants to …

Rep. Mark Walker, chair of the Republican Study Committee, is looking beyond Trump and building a GOP on the 2012 “autopsy report” recommendations. USA TODAY

President Donald Trump listens as Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C. speaks during a meeting with the Republican Study Committee, Friday, March 17, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.(Photo: AP)

WASHINGTON At an elite gathering of Republicans in the resort town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this month, Rep. Mark Walker gave a speech urgingthe party to do more to reach out to African-Americans, Hispanics and other people of color.

At the forum attended by influential conservatives such as House Speaker Paul Ryan andformer presidentialadviser Karl Rove, Walker elaborated on a message he has delivered inother private conversations with Republicans. Walker’s message resonated enough with the audience that after the event, Rove reached out to talk further.

But the next morning, Walker’s party wasdealing with fallout from adifferent message on race, when President Donald Trump called his former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, a black woman, adog.

“That would not be my terminology, Walker said of Trump’s comment during a telephone interview late last week with USA TODAY.

The uproar over Trumps comment highlighted a central challenge for Walker, who leads the Republican Study Committee,the largest group of conservatives in the House. Hesaid he is intent on building bridges between the party and African-Americans. But many of Trump’s remarkscould help to energize black voters to go to the polls to vote against the GOP in this year’s midterm elections.

Walker, an affable former pastor, represents a North Carolina district that is one-fifth African-American. He is championing criminal justice reform andadequate funding for historically black colleges and universities, issues that are high priorities for many African-American voters.

Walker spokesman Jack Minor saidthe lawmaker is working on legislation that would allow student athletes many of whom are black to be compensated for their publicity rights. Walker also has hosted two Washington summits with HBCU leaders, meetings that helped pave the way for year-round Pell grants for HBCU students. He teamed up with North Carolina Democratic Rep. Alma Adams to establish an internship program for students from HBCUs.

Walkeralso was the first Republican in years to give a keynote address at the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus Foundation dinner in June. All of the group’s members are Democrats.

But Walkers quest is an uphill battle given the antipathy toward Trump among black voters and the fact that they overwhelming identify as Democrats.

According to Pew Research data, African-American voters are overwhelmingly Democratic, with 84% identifying or leaningleft. Only 8% of black voters identify with the Republican Party.

Were in a place where we are kind of in a hole digging out when it comes to how we deliver our message, Walker told USA TODAY, acknowledging the challenges for his party. While Walkers district has a larger proportion of African-Americans than those of many other GOP lawmakers, he said thats not the only reason he cares about the outreach.

This is much larger than my district.Im trying to lead by example, he said. Walker won his last election by 18 percentage points and is heavily favored to winre-election in November.

Walker is not the first senior Republican to call for reaching out to minority communities, which are a growing share of the population. Following Mitt Romneys defeat in the 2012 election, the national party commissioned the Republican National Committees Growth and Opportunity Project, also known as the autopsy report.” Its findings showed the GOP needed to diversifyto survive.

Walker took the findings to heart during his first run for Congress in 2014, when he sought the support of a local Democraticleader, theRev.Odell Cleveland. It took three meetings for Walker to win over the pastor, includinga chat in Cleveland’soffice, coffee together atMcDonald’s and a small group lunch they attended together.

Im a lifelong Democrat and proud of it, but I just believe we have to find common ground, Cleveland said. He added he still vehemently disagrees with some of Walkers votes, like one to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but he likes him.

The Rev. Odell Cleveland, left, and Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C.(Photo: Handout photo from Odell Cleveland)

Trump won big among white working-class voters in the 2016 presidential election. But even before his campaign began, he had angered many people of color with his effortto prove President Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Then during his campaign he made racially charged comments, such as suggesting that Mexican immigrants were rapists.

Since taking office, the president has further fanned racial flames by questioning why the U.S. would let in people from shithole countries,referring to Haiti and African countries, and said that “many sides” were to blame after a white supremacist rally turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year.

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake a frequent Trump critic who is retiring was the only Republican to immediately speak out about Trump’s dog remark about Manigault Newman on Tuesday.

Television personality and former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman listens during an interview with The Associated Press, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, in New York. The president called Manigault Newman “a dog” on Aug. 14.(Photo: AP)

Walker weighed in later in the week during the USA TODAY interview but said he didnt think it was the responsibility of Republican lawmakers to criticize every comment the president makes.

I think on a lot of racial things, a lot of us have pushed back, but is it a member of Congressresponsibility to re-correct and address every statement the president makes? Walker said. I dont know if thats part of our responsibility, especially when there are enough things that have come out of the White House.

Some African-Americans say that unless Republican lawmakers strongly disavow Trumps comments about minorities, their efforts to reach out will go nowhere.

We have a commander in chief that is clearly racist, said Avis Jones-DeWeever, a Democratic consultant who works on minority outreach. Were not seeing Republicans in Congress through very critical moments like these stand up and say anything.”

Jones-DeWeever said Walkers biggest problem is that his party has a lack of credibility on whether it truly wants to do what it takes to attract black voters.

Ari Fleischer, who co-wrote the 2012 GOP “autopsy” report and served as President George W. Bushs press secretary, told USA TODAY he was heartened to hear about Walkers work. Fleischer said “it is vital that the party grow its base to include blacks, Hispanics and other minorities.

Right now, he said the party isnt doing a great job. Trumps election expanded Republican voters, Fleischer said, but it was in a different direction. The president brought in whiteblue-collar voters, but that boost doesnt negate the need to also bring in minorities.

Fleischer said despite record unemployment for African-Americans and Hispanics, the presidents rhetoric has not been helpful. (Part of the reason for the drop in the unemployment rate is thatsome people have stopped looking for jobs.)

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele makes his remarks during the group’s meeting in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on Jan. 14, 2011.(Photo: AP)

Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee and an African-American, said he admires what Walker is doing, but he still doesn’t have much hope his party will improve relationships with minorities.

Since Trump stepped all over that document in 2016, you havent heard boo-hiss about it, Steele said about the GOP autopsy” report.

You have guys like Mark and others who take it uponthemselves to try to exemplify those values and back them up with action … but thats not something that is a concerted push by the party as a whole, and it wont be in this particular era at this particular time, Steele said.

Walker and other Republicans may find an opening with African-Americans who feel the Democratic Party is taking their vote for granted and parachuting in at the last minute to get their support.Sabrina Singh, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, said the party learned in 2016 that itneeds to startorganizing in minority communities earlier and has been since.

For her part, Anita Estell, head of CELIE, a nonprofit focused on civic engagement, said she didnt think the focus on Trump should prevent people from listening to Walker. Estell said shed be happy to engage with Walker on diversity.

I come from an era where Democrats and Republicans worked together, Estell said. If Mark Walker is trying to be a public servant for all of the residents of North Carolina, God bless him.

Contributing: Deborah Barfield Berry

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It’s Donald Trump’s GOP, but Rep. Mark Walker wants to …

Joe Scarborough Accuses Donald Trump Of Declaring War On …

MSNBCs Joe Scarborough accused President Donald Trump of declaring war on facts and Americas intelligence community Monday on Morning Joe.

The intel community has proven itself time and time again to put America first, Scarborough said.You look, what Donald Trumps own appointees are saying, what Dan Coats is saying, the director of national intelligence but also what people like Bob Gates have been saying. What people like General Hayden have been saying.(RELATED: Scarborough Scolds Trump Supporters For Not Fact Checking POTUS With Google)

Scarboroughsaid Trump is attacking the intelligence community along with academia and journalists because theyre disrupting his political narratives and must be put down.

WATCH:

Its not a coincidence that Donald Trump is attacking the intel community, that hes attacking journalists, that hes attacking people in academia, that hes attacking science. He attacks fact-based operations, Scarborough continued.

He then accused Trump of being driven crazy by facts and claimed the president is lashing out with his own war against the truth.

People who make their living and who live to gather facts and to put together the reality and of course the intel community has facts about not only the last campaign, but about Vladimir Putin that drive Donald Trump absolutely crazy,Scarboroughconcluded. So, he has his war on facts and he has his war on the intel community.

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Joe Scarborough Accuses Donald Trump Of Declaring War On …

Donald Trump says ‘nothing to hide’ from Special Counsel …

US President Donald Trump said on Sunday he had “nothing to hide” from the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US election, and denied that his top lawyer had turned on him by cooperating with the probe.

Trump, in a series of tweets, denounced the New York Times for a Saturday story saying White House Counsel Don McGahn has cooperated extensively with the special counsel, Robert Mueller. The Times said McGahn had shared detailed accounts about the episodes at the heart of the inquiry into whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice.

“I allowed him and all others to testify – I didn’t have to,” Trump said in a tweet. Trump said the newspaper made it seem like McGahn had turned on the president – as White House counsel John Dean had in the Watergate investigation of former president Richard Nixon – “when in fact it is just the opposite.”

Citing a dozen current and former White House officials and others briefed on the matter, the Times said Saturday that McGahn had shared information, some of which the investigators would not have known about.

On Saturday evening, McGahn’s lawyer confirmed the White House counsel had cooperated with Mueller’s team. “Mr. McGahn answered the Special Counsel team’s questions fulsomely and honestly,” William Burck said, explaining the president did not ask McGahn to refrain from discussing any matters.

Trump’s outside legal counsel, Rudy Giuliani, said McGahn’s cooperation would help bolster Trump’s claims that he did nothing wrong.

“The president encouraged him to testify, is happy that he did, is quite secure that there is nothing in the testimony that will hurt the president,” Giuliani said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Dean, who has criticized Trump in recent years, voiced support for McGahn. “McGahn is doing right!” he wrote on Twitter.

According to the New York Times, McGahn in at least three voluntary interviews with investigators that totaled 30 hours over the past nine months, described Trump’s furor toward the Russia investigation and the ways in which the president urged McGahn to respond to it.

Trump denies his campaign colluded with Russia and has repeatedly attacked the probe as illegitimate.

On Sunday, he compared Mueller with 1950s-era US Senator Joseph McCarthy, whose anti-Communist crusade eventually led to his censure by the Senate.

“Study the late Joseph McCarthy, because we are now in a period with Mueller and his gang that make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby! Rigged Witch Hunt!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

The newspaper reported McGahn’s motivation to speak with the special counsel as an unusual move that was in response to a decision by Trump’s first team of lawyers to cooperate fully. But it said another motivation was McGahn’s fear he could be placed in legal jeopardy because of decisions made in the White House that could be construed as obstruction of justice.

The newspaper said McGahn was also centrally involved in Trump’s attempts to fire the special counsel, which investigators might not have discovered without him.

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Donald Trump says ‘nothing to hide’ from Special Counsel …

Omarosa Claims Donald Trump Would Deport Melania If She …

The author of “Unhinged” also said today that she believed Donald Trump wanted to start a race war.

Omarosa Manigault-Newman has been under fire over the course of recent weeks as more details about her time spent at the White House and her ignominious firing from her post there emerge. According to The Independent, one of the stiffest claims being brought to light as posited in Omarosas newest book, entitled Unhinged: An Insiders Account of the Trump White House, is that Donald Trump would likely deport Melania should she decide for whatever reason to divorce him.

The tell-all tract has exploded in the news media for its rather grandiose claims, according to the Inquisitr, including that Donald Trump had used the so-called n-word multiple times in private conversation but also that he had insulted his campaign managers husband, calling Kellyanne Conways spouse George Conway a f**ing goo-goo.

This latest allegation rooted out in the pages of Unhinged is substantiated only by Manigault-Newmans own opinion and estimation of Trumps character, coinciding with the fact that the first lady reportedly acquired her green card via the colloquially named Einstein visa, or EB-1. This visa is offered specifically to those applications for an entry that demonstrates extraordinary ability. Melania Trump would enter, and proceed to become a United States citizen in 2006.

If Melania were to try to pull the ultimate humiliation and leave him while hes in office, he would find a way to punish her, Omarosa wrote. This is a man who has said he could pardon himself from the Mueller investigation. Why not pardon himself over an alleged visa payoff?

She continues, Since Donald is fully aware of however she acquired her permanent citizenship, he could, if there were anything fishy around it, expose the methods and somehow invalidate it.

According to Newsweek, Omarosa has compounded these claims by saying that for her part Melania cant wait to divorce Donald Trump. Manigault-Newman elaborates to say that Melanias striking and often controversial fashion choices are a key piece of evidence to support this line of thinking.

The White House response has been predictably dismissive, with Melania Trumps spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham getting out in front of the story with her own version of affairs.

Its disappointing to her that she is lashing out and retaliating in such a self-serving way, especially after all the opportunities given to her by the president.

Grisham also pointed out that Omarosa and Melania Trump rarely, if ever, interacted.

Donald Trump hasnt been quiet about his distaste for Omarosas recent press spree, taking to Twitter to lambaste his former aide with extreme prejudice.

Omarosa isnt done fanning the flames just yet, either. She took to MSNBCs Face the Nation earlier today to state that she believes President Trump wants to instigate a race war, according to The Hill.

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Omarosa Claims Donald Trump Would Deport Melania If She …

Economists Warn Donald Trump’s Tariffs Wars will Harm US

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AFP

The Trump administration on Thursday is due to impose its latest round of punitive tariffs on China, putting 25 percent duties on another $16 billion in imports, with Beijing poised to retaliate dollar-for-dollar.

Washington, Ottawa and Mexico City began talks a year ago to revise the 24-year-old trade pact, which Trump has threatened to scrap should negotiators fail to reach an acceptable deal. Officials have become more optimistic in recent days that they could finalize a NAFTA rewrite by the end of the year.

Some companies across the United States have blamed the tariffs for layoffs, squeezed profit margins and possible bankruptcies. Lawmakers in Trump’s own Republican party have expressed outrage about the multi-front trade conflicts and warned of long-term damage to the economy.

But White House officials say the American economy is more than robust enough to endure the conflict, which they believe will ultimately result in more equitable trade that reduces the US trade deficit.

A majority of those surveyed by NABE approved of December’s corporate tax reductions but only a small share favored the changes for individuals, which Democrats have criticized as unduly favorable to the wealthy.

More than 80 percent believed current fiscal policy would expand the budget deficit as a share of GDP, and agreed Congress should work to reduce it.

Large majorities also favored fighting climate change and combating income inequality but were split on how to achieve the latter goal, according to the report.

According to the latest NABE survey, 60 percent of respondents believed economic policy should do more to combat climate change.

In addition, 74 percent said economic policy should do more to combat income inequality but respondents were divided on the best means of doing this: 47 percent supported more education to improve worker productivity, while 33 percent favored more progressive taxation.

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Economists Warn Donald Trump’s Tariffs Wars will Harm US

Congressman Alcee Hastings says something is tragically …

Congressman Alcee Hastings, an outspoken South Florida Democrat, zeroed in one of his favorite topics on Sunday: President Donald Trump.

Hastings has frequently lambasted the president, and he had an appreciate audience at a Stronger Together rally in Sunrise sponsored by 16 of Browards Democratic clubs.

There is no question that something is tragically wrong with the president of the United States in his mind, said Hastings, who emceed the event that attracted four of the five Democratic candidates for governor and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who is seeking re-election.

Hastings saved that comment for the end, when he was firing up several hundred Democrats and sending them out the door of the Sunrise Civic Center Theater for the Aug. 28 primary and November general election. Nelson and the gubernatorial candidates who aimed milder, but pointed jabs at the president had left.

Hastings, who represents parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties, is known for saying whats on his mind. First elected in 1992, hes the regions most senior member of Congress.

On Sunday, he aimed some pointed humor at the president, both at the beginning of the two-hour rally and at the end.

He began the afternoon by explaining the difference between a crisis and a catastrophe.

A crisis, he said, is if the Trump falls into the Potomac River in the nations capital.

A catastrophe, Hastings said, would be if anybody saves his ass.

At the end of the afternoon, he said hes had to modify one of his regular lines. He used to say that if Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating the president, doesnt bring down Trump, Stormy Daniels will. Shes the pornographic film actress who says she was paid hush money to keep quiet about past sexual involvement with Trump.

Now, he said, if Mueller doesnt cause Trumps downfall, Omarosa will.

Thats a reference to Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former reality TV show contestant Trump brought into the White House as an aide. Promoting her new book about her time in the White House, Manigault Newman has released covert recordings she made of her firing and of Trumps daughter-in-law offering her $15,000 a month to keep quiet about Trump.

Hastings views about Trump arent new. The month before the 2016 election, he told a group of Broward Democrats that the Republican nominee was “sentient pile of excrement.”

In January 2017, he boycotted Trumps inauguration.

Hastings also made a pitch for Democrats to turn out for the 2018 midterm elections to avoid what he said were continued assaults on voting rights, equal rights and womens rights.

Weve seen a degradation in our society, a turning back of the clock in a way that none of us ever imagined would occur, Hastings said.

aman@sunsentinel.com, 954-356-4550 or Twitter @browardpolitics

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Congressman Alcee Hastings says something is tragically …

Once again, Donald Trump is having a hissyfit on Twitter

Ah yes, the raging incompetent’s favorite lie: What My Invisible Friends Are Saying. The odds that reporters have been calling Biff here to apologize for writing stories about his crimez is approximately zero. The odds that Donald spends hours of each day imagining this happening, however, are considerably higher.

Donald Trump has in his hand a list of reporters who are very ashamed that they are writing stories about him, and if you don’t believe him you’re like Joe McCarthy.

For the record, the New York Times piece that Donald has worked himself up into a multi-hour tantrum over reported that White House counsel Don McGahn has been cooperating with the Mueller probe investigating possible White House obstruction of justice and that Donald, being Donald, may not have fully understood that it was not Don McGahn’s job to lie for him.

While the story does suggest Donald may perhaps be confused about some things, that by itself doesn’t seem worthy of a full-on Twitter meltdown. Perhaps there is something else going on here?

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Once again, Donald Trump is having a hissyfit on Twitter

Michael Hayden dares Donald Trump to revoke his security …

Count former CIA and NSA boss Michael V. Hayden among those top former U.S. intelligence officials whod be happy to have President Trump revoke their security clearances, too.

Mr. Hayden made the remarks Sunday on CNN when asked by host Jake Tapper whether he agreed with a column written late last week by retired Adm. William McRaven blasting Mr. Trump for revoking the security clearance of former CIA Director John O. Brennan.

Adm. McRaven said he would consider it an honor to lose his clearance alongside Mr. Brennan so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.

Mr. Tapper asked Mr. Hayden on Sundays State of the Union program whether he would be similarly honored to have his status ended.

Well, to be included in that group? Sure, he said, going on to name an even more specific reason that Mr. Trump ought to revoke his clearance.

Frankly, if his not revoking my clearance gave the impression that I somehow moved my commentary in a direction more acceptable to the White House, I would find that very disappointing and frankly unacceptable, said Mr. Hayden, who has frequently been critical of Mr. Trump on CNN and other networks.

Mr. Hayden was director of the National Security Agency under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and served as CIA director under both Mr. Bush and President Barack Obama.

Mr. Hayden was among more than a dozen former intelligence officials who released a joint statement Thursday night calling Mr. Trumps revocation of Mr. Brennans security clearance ill-considered and merely a reflection of political differences.

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Michael Hayden dares Donald Trump to revoke his security …

Trump Says Conserving Oil No Longer A Concern As US Becomes …

The Trump administration says the U.S. no longer considers conserving oil economically important as President Donald Trump seeks to weaponize the countrys energy sector against Russia.

The Department of Energy announced the policy shift in a memo in August, The Associated Press reported Sunday. The memo comes after the administration rolled back Obama-era fuel mileage standards the statement also notes the shale boom poised to make the U.S. a top global oil producer.

Booming shale production gives the country more flexibility to use our oil resources with less concern for supply or price shocks, according to DOEs statement. The government still believes in the need to treat energy wisely, the memo adds without clarifying what that entails.

The U.S. is expected to overtake Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world leader in oil and gas production in 2019.

International Energy Agency chief Fatih Birol, for one, recognized the U.S. in January as the undisputed oil and gas producer in the world over the next several decades because of the strong predictions of success of the U.S. oil and gas sector over time.(RELATED: US Quickly Becoming The Undisputed Global Oil And Gas Leader, Says IEA Head)

Europe moving toward American natural gas exports could have implications for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who currentlybenefitsfrom Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to the EU. Natural gas accounts for over one-third of Russias federal budget revenues, with over 75 percent of its natural gas exports going to Europe in 2016, according to the Energy Information Administration.

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Michael Shannon Explains Why He’d Never Play ‘That F**king …

Actor Michael Shannon frequently plays a villain on the big screen, but theres one role the two-time Oscar nominee wont take.

Shannon told Playboy magazine hell never portray that fucking guy President Donald Trump.

Andrew Kelly / ReutersIn case you were wondering, actor Michael Shannon absolutely, positively would not play Donald Trump in a movie.

Just to get inside his head? interviewer Eric Spitznagel prodded. You talked about being fascinated with bad men who are suffering.

But Shannon, who played Zod in Man of Steel,Nelson Van Alden in HBOs Boardwalk Empire and Col.Richard Strickland in The Shape of Water, said Trump wasnt suffering.

Hes having a blast! Shannon said. Are you fucking kidding me? That guy is having so much fun.

In fact, Shannon said, Trump was having the time of his fucking life.

He doesnt even have to work. All the hard work that most people have to do to get to be president of the United States, he just skipped all that. The fucking guy doesnt even know whats in the Constitution. He doesnt have any grasp of history or politics or law or anything. Hes just blindfolded, throwing darts at the side of a bus.

Shannon said Trump wasnt capable of deep reflection in any form.

It doesnt happen, he said. Fuck that guy. When hes alone with his thoughts, hes not capable of anything more complex than I want some pussy and a cheeseburger. Maybe my wife will blow me if I tell her shes pretty.

After joking that he would play National Security Adviser John Bolton in a Trump movie because of his mustache, Shannon said he hoped no such film was ever made not even one critical of the administration.

My preference would be that it just fade into nonexistence, Shannon said. I wouldnt want to memorialize it or celebrate it in any way.

Shannon, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for 2009s Revolutionary Road and 2016s Nocturnal Animals, was similarly dismissive when asked about Trump voters.

Somebody who thinks Trump is doing a good job, theres no conversation to have with that person, he said. I know they say you should reach across the aisle and all that crap, but to me it feels like putting your hand in a fan.

Shannon has shared even harsher comments about Trump voters in the past. Shortly after the 2016 election, he noted that many of the presidents supporters were older.

No offense to the seniors out there. My moms a senior citizen, Shannon told Metro News. But if youre voting for Trump, its time for the urn.

When the interviewer said he was struggling to talk to his own parents who voted for Trump, Shannon offered some pretty blunt advice.

Fuck em, he said. Youre an orphan now. Dont go home. Dont go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Dont talk to them at all. Silence speaks volumes.

Shannons latest remarks in the September/October edition of Playboy have not yet been published online, but excerpts posted on Twitter received almost as much praise as his acting:

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Michael Shannon Explains Why He’d Never Play ‘That F**king …

When ‘Truth Isn’t Truth’ — Mr. Orwell, Meet Donald Trump’s …

The president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani: “Truth isn’t truth.” (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

They’ve been flirting with it for a while, but they’ve finally crossed the Rubicon and moved firmly into 1984 territory.

I’m referring of course to the dark classic novel by George Orwell, which was written in 1949 and describes “Big Brother” and a future dystopian state characterized by, as Wikipedia accurately describes it, “official deception…brazenly misleading terminology, and manipulation of recorded history.” Yep, sound familiar? ‘Fraid it does.

What pushed me (and our administration) over the line, I’m sorry to say, and into truly Orwellian territory, was this little exchange today between Rudy Giuliani and NBC’s Chuck Todd, as reported by CNN, on Meet The Press.

“When you tell me that, you know, he [Mr. Trump] should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well, that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth…”

“Truth is truth,” Todd said in response.

“No, no, it isn’t truth,” Giuliani said. “Truth isn’t truth. The president of the United States says, ‘I didn’t…'”

“Truth isn’t truth,” Todd interjected. “Mr. Mayor, do you realize, what… I think this is going to become a bad meme.”

Got that right. A really bad meme.

The lure of alternative reality

In a way, though, Mr. Giuliani’s verbal truth-stretching isn’t surprising. No, not surprising at all. Anyone who’s watched our president push the boundaries of veracity for the last couple of years has seen an Administration that regards facts mostly as inconvenient data points to be molded as the mood suits.

There’s the ever-convenient whipping boy fake news (loosely defined as any news coverage the president dislikes).

There’s Kellyanne Conway’s now-classic reference to alternative facts.

There’s the Washington’s Post’s ongoing meticulous documentation of the president’s “false or misleading claims” (4,229 as of August 1).

There’s the president’s own recent seriously Orwellian quote, “Stick with us,” he told the crowd at a speech in Kansas City, “Don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news… What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”

Think about it. What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening. Sound anything like 1984’s”official deception, brazenly misleading terminology, and manipulation of recorded history”?

I could go on and on about this craziness but too much alternative reality makes my head start to hurt. Which I guess is sort of the point. Doublespeak disturbs people. It confuses them. If you’re not paying too close attention (which is my problem and why my head is hurting), it wears you down.

4,229 lies (call them what they are) by the Washington Post’s careful count, and that was 18 days ago. I usually write about management and I can say with 100% certainty that no CEO of a public company could lie 4,229 times to his or her shareholders and remain in the role. No way, no how, not even close.

But at the end of the day the fact that our president lies frequently doesn’t even any longer surprise me, nor does the fact thatMr. Giuliani clownishly enables his client by muddying the waters and publicly confusing these lies. No, what’smore disturbing is that in the face of all this Orwellian doublespeak so many normally decent Republicans in Congress who surely know better remain silent as amoebas and slugs.

Oh well, guess I shouldn’t be too surprised by such silence. After all, amoebas and slugs don’t have any backbone, they lack a spine.

Read the original:

When ‘Truth Isn’t Truth’ — Mr. Orwell, Meet Donald Trump’s …

John Brennan threatens to sue Trump over stripped security …

The former CIA director John Brennan is threatening legal action against Donald Trump, after he was summarily stripped of his security clearance in an unprecedented display of presidential pique.

Brennan took to the airways on Sunday on NBCs Meet the Press and made clear that he had no intention of being cowered by Trumps bombshell action to deprive him of access to classified information. The unparalleled move has triggered an equally unparalleled blowback from 13 of the most revered national security figures in the country, who penned a joint letter decrying the move as ill-considered and unprecedented.

The man at the center of the billowing dispute has now substantially upped the ante by stating that he is considering legal action. Brennan said he had been contacted by a number of lawyers and was actively weighing his options.

He told NBC that in his opinion the revoking of his security clearance was Trumps way of trying to scare other existing and former government officials.

I am going to do whatever I can to try and prevent these abuses occurring in the future

It was a clear signal that if you cross him he will use whatever tools he might have at his disposal to punish you, he said.

Brennan called the move an example of Trumps egregious approach to power. He said: I am going to do whatever I can to try and prevent these abuses occurring in the future and if that means going to court I will do that.

While the former CIA director has been busily doubling down on his criticism of Trump, the White House and its supporters in Congress have also been energetically mounting a campaign of character assassination against him.

Richard Burr, the Republican chair of the Senate intelligence committee, began the outpouring last week when he suggested that any comment by Brennan accusing Trump of possible collusion with Russia that had been based on classified information gathered since he left the CIA would constitute an intelligence breach.

When he was CIA director I was very troubled by what I thought was his politicization of the intelligence community

On Sunday, national security adviser John Bolton echoed the claim when he told ABCs This Week: A number of people have commented that [Brennan] couldnt be in the position hes in of criticizing President Trump and his so-called collusion with Russia unless he did use classified information.

Bolton was forced to admit he could point to no specific examples of any such breach. Instead, he further cast aspersions on Brennan by questioning his actions while in office as Barack Obamas final CIA director.

When he was CIA director I was very troubled by his conduct, by statements he made in public and by what I thought was his politicization of the intelligence community, Bolton said, again without offering specifics.

Brennan denied any intelligence breach, saying his criticisms of Trump had been fully based on the reports of a free and open press. He also said: I dont believe Im being political at all Im not a Republican or a Democrat.

The White House appears to be trying to turn the blazing controversy over security clearances away from Trumps unprecedented action and on to Brennans character. To some degree, Brennan has offered Trump a helping hand by seeming to rein back on his most serious charge: that during his joint press conference with the Russian president Vladimir Putin in July, the president acted in a way that was nothing short of treasonous.

On Friday, Brennan said he hadnt intended to say that Trump actually committed treason. He told MSNBCs Rachel Maddow that sometimes my Irish comes out and in my tweets.

On the back of such remarks, Brennan has come under some criticism from even his allies. Former director of national intelligence James Clapper, who was one of the 13 senior figures who signed the letter opposing the removal of Brennans clearance, told CNNs State of the Union his rhetoric have become an issue in and of itself.

He added: John is sort of like a freight train, and hes going to say whats on his mind.

Read the original post:

John Brennan threatens to sue Trump over stripped security …

Trump rewrites history as Russia probe pressure mounts …

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Trump rewrites history as Russia probe pressure mounts …


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