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Monday, December 09, 2019

Tag: melania trump

Greene Says Trump Promised 'Over And Over Again' To Pardon January 6 Rioters

Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) revealed that former President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump are both "just sick" because some January 6 defendants are still behind bars.

During an interview with right-wing podcaster Steve Bannon on Saturday, Greene explained that she had posted a thread of messages defending the former president on Twitter. Greene said that she was trying to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday when she saw Twitter users angry at Trump for failing to pardon the January 6 defendants.

"I thought, this is ridiculous; they're lying about him," the lawmaker recalled. "People are lying about him. The very idea that he could have pardoned all the January 6 defendants before he left the White House on January 20 is impossible because the high majority of those people weren't even arrested until after he left office!"

"And he didn't even know them!" she continued. "He had no idea who they are. He doesn't know who they are still. He had nothing to do with what they did on January 6, um, so it would have been impossible for him to magically know how to find these people and pardon them."

Greene said that she gave a report about the January 6 defendants to Trump and the former first lady.

"President Trump and Melania were both just sick over what they learned," she revealed. "And he said over and over that he will — he will pardon the January 6 defendants."

"This is real political persecution," Greene added. "And it shouldn't be happening in America and so the criticism on President Trump is ridiculous!"

Watch the video below from Real America's Voice or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Former FBI Agents: Mar-a-Lago Raid Is ‘A National Security Issue’

Two former FBI agents are weighing in on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s execution of a search warrant Monday at the Florida residence of Donald Trump, the former President, which he called a “raid.”

“This is a nat sec/CI issue,” tweeted Asha Rangappa Tuesday morning, meaning national security and counterintelligence. Rangappa is an attorney, former FBI special agent, senior lecturer at Yale, and CNN commentator.

She was pointing to a tweet by another former FBI special agent, James Harris.

Harris has an extensive bio, highlights of which include his role at FBI HQ Cyber Division as a Program Manager and then Unit Chief (Acting), FBI Senior Liaison Officer to DHS Cybersecurity and Communications, and FBI Assistant Section Chief of the Counterterrorism Internet Operations Section. Earlier in his FBI career he says he “built up the largest Federal Cybercrime Task Force in the US.”

Harris points to this section of a CNN article published Tuesday morning, written by seven CNN reporters:

“In early June, a handful of investigators made a rare visit to the property seeking more information about potentially classified material from Trump’s time in the White House that had been taken to Florida. The four investigators, including Jay Bratt, the chief of the counterintelligence and export control section at the Justice Department, sat down with two of Trump’s attorneys, [Christina Bobb] and Evan Corcoran, according to a source present for the meeting.”

Harris on Twitter highlights this sentence: “The four investigators, including Jay Bratt, the chief of the counterintelligence and export control section at the Justice Department…”

He tweets: “All you ‘outraged’ GOPers better cool your jets. You might be walking your rhetoric back really fast when you figure out what this seems to be. The devil is in the details.”

In January the National Archives was forced to transport from Mar-a-Lago 15 cartons of documents and other items that, according to the Presidential Records Act and the National Archives, should have been turned over to the Archives.

The FBI’s execution of the search warrant and reports that they left with a large quantity of documents suggests Trump might not have turned over everything taken from the White House.

Rangappa earlier Tuesday tweeted: “Ask yourself: What kind of info makes its way to the WH, and specifically to the president? —> HIGH LEVEL SECRETS. PDB stuff. Defense info. These aren’t low-level diplomatic cables or overclassified State Dept. correspondence. Just saying.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

'Save America' PAC Doled Out $60,000 To Melania Trump's Stylist

The Save America political action committee, a fund created by former President Trump to push his debunked claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential elections, paid $60,000 to a fashion designer known for styling former First Lady Melania Trump, according USA Today.

The payments, which the committee said were for “strategy consulting,” were doled out to Hervé Pierre Braillard in four installments, with $6,000 paid on April 7 and $18,000 on May 4, June 3, and June 24, USA Today’s Erin Manfield reported, citing Federal Elections Commission (FEC) filings.

Braillard, a French-American designer based in New York, has styled other first ladies, including Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, and Hillary Clinton. Braillard’s work with Melania Trump earned him feature coverage in Vogue and the New York Times while Trump was still in office.

“Mr. Pierre serves as a senior adviser to Save America, involved in event management and special projects,” Taylor Budowich, a senior official with Save America, told news media outlets, making no mention of what the payments were actually made for.

The payments, according to Manfield, “offer a window into one of the many ways Trump, who is not a candidate for any federal office, is allowed to use money in the [Save America] PAC.”

Save America, dubbed “the primary hub of [Trump’s] ongoing political operations” by the New York Times, has received and paid out millions of dollars accumulated from Trump’s political operations.

The House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection accused Save Americ of receiving most of the $250 million Trump fleeced from his supporters for an “Official Election Defense Fund” that its investigators testified never existed.

"Most of the money raised went to this newly created PAC, not to election-related litigation," Amanda Wick, senior investigative counsel for the select committee, testified on the second day of the public hearings.

“The Federal Election Commission does not allow candidate committees, which are formed to raise money for a specific candidate, to spend money on personal items, including clothing. But Save America is not a candidate committee, it's a leadership PAC, originally designed for politicians to raise and give money to other candidates,” USA Today noted in its report. “They carry fewer restrictions and have been criticized as slush funds.”

Indeed, under law, politicians with leadership PACs have broad authority to spend the money they raise as they see fit.

In June, a non-partisan and non-profit group tracking money in U.S. politics, Open Secrets, found that the PAC had paid millions of dollars to Trump-aligned organizations. One of them is Event Strategies Inc., a Trump-affiliated firm that reportedly received millions from the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee, and other Trump PACs.

Save America gave out the maximum $5,000 donations permitted by law to Trump-endorsed election deniers contesting in Republican primaries across the country, yet “tens of millions of dollars in donor money is left over,” USA Today noted in its report.

Non-profit news source Bridge Michigan found last week found that eight of nine Trump-endorsed GOP candidates nominated in state legislative races had received donations exceeding “lawful contribution limits” from Save America. However, the candidates had yet to return the “excess contributions.”

Ann Ravel, a former member of the Federal Election Commission, expressed to USA Today her concerns about the evolution of PACs and the need for their regulation.

"For so long the whole point of leadership PACs, even when they were set up, was to kind of ingratiate yourself and help your other Congress-people or other political candidates, but that's apparently pretty much gone by the wayside," Ravel said. "It's in desperate need of regulation."

Melania Touts Return To White House -- And Grudge Over 'Vogue' Snub

Melania Trump teased a return to the White House in her first interview since Trump vacated the Oval Office for Joe Biden, echoing her husband’s repeated suggestions of a 2024 return to the political scene.

In a sit-down with Fox Nation’s Pete Hegseth, an interview that aired Sunday morning, the former first lady discussed her post-White House activities, said she believed the White House could be her home again, and lashed out at Vogue for putting Jill Biden on its cover.

“I like Washington, D.C. I know it operates completely different[ly] than any other city. To be the First Lady of the United States was my greatest honor, and I think we achieved a lot in the four years of the Trump administration,” she said, responding to Hegseth’s question about the possibility of her becoming the First Lady again.

“Never say never,” Trump added.

The former first lady said she enjoyed her time in the White House despite the wave of criticism she faced, especially in one instance in 2018 when she visited immigrant kids at a border detention center with a jacket emblazoned with the words “I really don't care, do u?”

Trump also discussed at length her NFT projects, which have been subject to controversy since their inception last year. Trump’s items can only be purchased with cryptocurrency, and nothing in her first lot of items, which was put up for sale earlier this year, met the $250,000 opening bid threshold, according to CNN.

In January, Trump held an auction for her “Head of State Collection, 2022,” with a minimum opening bid of $250,000 on the Solana blockchain. A portion of the proceeds, according to her website, would go towards securing “educational opportunities and scholarships” in the foster care system.

Things quickly went south when Vice, soon followed by other news outlets, reviewed the blockchain records and reported that the auction winner received funds for their winning bid from the auction’s creators themselves. “The winner of Melania Trump’s first NFT auction appears to be the former first lady herself,” according to Fortune.

Trump denied the allegations in a statement. “The nature of Blockchain protocol is entirely transparent. Accordingly, the public can view each transaction on the blockchain. The transaction was facilitated on behalf of a third-party buyer."

However, Trump declined to say who bought the NFT or why the NFT creator gave the auction winner crypto for the winning bid and seemingly got the funds back, per Vice. The former first lady has also refused to elaborate on what portion of her NFT proceeds has gone to charities, nor did she say which charities received the donations. “They need our resources, support, [and] empowerment to achieve that American dream,” Trump told Fox Nation, referring to purported contributions.

Trump also attacked Vogue for not featuring her on its cover during her husband’s tenure as president of the United States, a grudge she’s held onto tightly, despite exiting the White House over a year and a half ago.

“They’re biased and they have likes and dislikes, and it’s so obvious,” Trump said. “And I think American people, and everyone sees it.”

“I have much more important things to do—and I did in the White House—than being on the cover of Vogue,” she added, feigning indifference over the apparent snub.

However, in a tell-all book, Trump’s former senior adviser and BFF, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, detailed how Trump rejected a Vogue shoot shortly after her husband took office because the magazine couldn’t guarantee her a spot on the cover.

All I Want For Christmas Is Melania’s Non-Fungible Token: A One-Act Play

Melania Trump is speaking on her cell phone from her bedroom at Mar-a-Lago.

MELANIA: I love it, Marc-Antoine. Love is the only word. You are the master, the artist. Your work, your oeuvre, should have its own room at the Louvre. Your Elizabeth Taylor, your Ava Gardner, and this—perfection!

MARC-ANTOINE COULON: Ma chère. Melania, but one has only to paint a few strokes—suddenly, it is your cobalt blue eyes, your eyelashes, your mascara, your eyebrows. It is only you. What do they say? The eyes are the windows to the soul. C’est vrai, ma chère Melania.

MELANIA: What are we charging? One SOL, one Solana blockchain for the non-fungible token, which comes to $182.54.

MARC-ANTOINE: I am honored to collaborate with you in this operation, ma chère Melania. You are—what is the word?—a philanthropist!

MELANIA: For the foster children, to train them in the computers when the fostering is finished. My Be Best initiative. Think of all the people who will contribute and be on my list.

MARC-ANTOINE: It is your vision.

MELANIA: You were so brilliant to add the audio to the NFT.

MARC-ANTOINE: It is the vision complete. Your beautiful words in your own beautiful voice.

MELANIA: “My vision is…look forward with inspiration, strength, and courage.”

MARC-ANTOINE: Ideal words. The pause is ideal. Then the inspiration.

MELANIA: My vision is… And on the website, “an amulet to inspire.”

MARC-ANTOINE: You evoke Cleopatra. And now we will paint the next. Like Cleopatra. We have made the eyes famous. Now le nez, your nose, in profile, like an Egyptian queen. Immortelle!

MELANIA: One SOL or two?

MARC-ANTOINE: Let us see how we do on the eyes.

MELANIA: I would love to see you do your watercolor of Ivanka’s nose. Two watercolors. Before and after.

MARC-ANTOINE: For that we could charge four SOLs.

MELANIA: And the breasts, before and after?

MARC-ANTOINE: Je pense, cinq SOLs. So naughty, ma chère.

MELANIA: Have you been watching the new series of Sex in the City?

MARC-ANTOINE: Je sais il est votre favori.

MELANIA: So sad. The husband, he is “Big,” he dies.

MARC-ANTOINE: Quelle surprise!

MELANIA: This Carrie goes to a party instead of to the Hamptons with her husband. This “Big” stays home. He rides a Peloton. She returns home, he is lying on the floor, holding his chest. Il est mort. He is dead from the bicycle.MARC-ANTOINE: Quel dommage! Tragique!

MELANIA: That is not the tragedy. His will leaves one million dollars to his first wife. She did not know.

MARC-ANTOINE: Impossible!

MELANIA: No prenup.

MARC-ANTOINE: Incroyable!

MELANIA: Can you imagine that? And this “Big,” the actor who plays this “Big,” he is now accused of the sexual harassments. Can you imagine that?

MARC-ANTOINE: Scandale!

Donald Trump enters the room.

TRUMP: Can you get off the phone with your girlfriend? We have an event to do.

MELANIA: Another?

TRUMP: We’ve brought in $463,000 already for just nine of these. Republican candidates lined up around the block, can’t wait to give us their money hand over fist. Sliding scale. More for the personal appearance, more for the photo-op. And more for you, sweetheart. So, get off, put on those stilettos and do a runway walk for us.

MELANIA: Who is it tonight?

TRUMP: Can’t remember. Mo Brooks, Marco Rubio, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

MELANIA: I’ll be right there, Donald.

TRUMP: I’m going out to mingle and I’ll give you a big hand when you come in like a million dollars and you give us the big smile.

Trump exits.

MELANIA: I must go, Marc-Antoine, to another of the so dull fundraisers. I will be thinking the whole time of your next portrait of me.

MARC-ANTOINE: Le profil, pour la reine. Notre queen! Je t’aime. Au revoir.

MELANIA: Sarah Huckabee Sanders…

MARC-ANTOINE: What is a Huckabee Sanders?

MELANIA: Carrie should have had the prenup. Love you. Bye.

Sidney Blumenthal, former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, has published three books of a projected five-volume political life of Abraham Lincoln: A Self-Made Man, Wrestling With His Angel ,and All the Powers of Earth. His play This Town, about a scandalous White House dog, was produced in 1995 by LA TheatreWorks. This is the twelfth in his "Trump Cycle" series of one-act plays published in The National Memo, including The Pardon, Epstein's Ghost, Ivanka's Choice, Sunset Boulevard, The Exclusive, The Role Model, A Modest Proposal, The Exit Interview, The Hitler Gospel, Father Knows Best, and The Gold Medal Winner.

Will Former Flack Grisham ‘Set Fire’ To Trumpworld In Tell-All Memoir?

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

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Stephanie Grisham, who served as White House press secretary and communications director without ever holding a press briefing, will publish I'll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw in The Trump White House on October 5 under the Harper Collins banner, reported Axios.

"There isn't enough water on earth to contain the fire she could set to all of Trump world, including parts like the first lady's orbit, which not many people are in a position to illuminate," said a former West Wing colleague. "It's hard to articulate how much anxiety this is going to cause."

A source close to the publication said Grisham "has receipts" from her time in the White House because, as the press secretary, her job required her to know what was happening.

"Grisham knows where all the bodies are buried because she buried a lot of them herself," that source said.

She resigned on January 6, after four years in the White House, and is the only person who served under both Donald and Melania Trump, and one of the few who spent time in their private residence.

"When I heard this," the West Wing source said, "all I could think about was Stephanie surrounded by a lake of gasoline, striking a match with a grin on her face."

Former staffer about to 'set fire' to Trump by exposing 'surprising new scandals' in tell-all memoir www.youtube.com

Wing-Nuts Hilariously Triggered By Jill Biden’s Vogue Cover

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Dr. Jill Biden, the First Lady, appears on the cover of the new issue of VOGUE and conservatives are furious.

As First Lady, Melania Trump was never given the same honor, although she did appear on a VOGUE cover in 2005 in her $100,000 bridal gown. First Lady Michelle Obama graced VOGUE's cover three times, and as First Lady Hillary Clinton did once.

So did First Ladies Eleanor Roosevelt, Mamie Eisenhower, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, and Laura Bush.

On Christmas Day 2020 then-President Donald Trump expressed outrage that Melania Trump, as First Lady, had never been featured on the cover of any of the big four fashion magazines.

But that was, at least in part, her doing.

"To be on the cover of Vogue doesn't define Mrs. Trump," then-First Lady Melania Trump's spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, said in 2019, "she's been there, done that long before she was first lady. Her role as first lady of the United States and all that she does is much more important than some superficial photo shoot and cover."

InStyle reported that "Grisham added that Melania wouldn't be available for a second cover, even if the invitation was presented to her. Instead, she's focusing on her Be Best campaign."

Here's how some on the right are responding.

Trump And Melania Were Vaccinated At White House But Kept It Secret

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Before leaving the White House as president, Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump chose to be inoculated from the deadly coronavirus, but opted to keep it a secret. Republicans represent the largest group of Americans who say they will not or are unsure if they will get vaccinated.

As head of a very loyal group of supporters, Trump could have gone on national television, as President-elect Joe Biden did, to receive the vaccine, which would have helped convert many opposed to the life-saving shot.

On Monday, the New York Times' Maggie Haberman reported the news that Trump was vaccinated, citing an advisor to the former president.

Some may have noticed that during his Sunday speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Trump in a rare move gave lip service to getting the vaccine, although couching it in an attack against President Biden. He told supporters to "go get your shot."

"Remember, we took care of a lot of people, including, I guess on December 21st, we took care of Joe Biden, because he got his shot," Trump told the CPAC crowd in Orlando at his speech that was widely panned. "He got his vaccine. He forgot. It shows you how unpainful that vaccine shot is. So everybody go get your shot. He forgot. So it wasn't very traumatic, obviously. But he got his shot. And it's good that he got his shot."

Axios reported last week that 41 percent of Republicans say they will not get the coronavirus vaccine. That number jumps to 56 percent when including Republicans who say they are unsure. Just one-third of Republicans (33 percent) say they will get vaccinated. Compare that with 70 percent of Democrats who say they will get vaccinated.

"White Americans are now less likely than Black and Latino Americans to say they plan to get the vaccine," Axios notes.