LONDON - JUNE 21: Chairman of News Corporation Rupert Murdoch listens during The Times CEO summit at the Savoy Hotel on June 21, 2011 in London, England. The summit included News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch, chief executives of Goldman Sachs, Santander and Vodafone and Labour Leader Ed Miliband. (Photo by Ben Gurr - WPA Pool/ Getty Images)
Pay no mind to the media mogul just moving around some money: The embattled, but still rich and impossibly powerful, News Corp. CEO sold 3.6 million of his A shares for “financial planning” reasons, but don’t get too excited — B shares, of which the Murdoch family owns 40 percent, are the ones that come with boardroom votingprivileges.
Zuckerberg implied that little is likely to change at the very top of the company anytime soon. When asked if he would consider stepping down as Facebook’s chairman, Zuckerberg said, “that’s not the plan.” He also threw his support behind his No. 2, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, despite criticism of her role in handling Facebook’s recent crises.
“Sheryl is a really important part of this company and is leading a lot of the efforts for a lot of the biggest issues that we have,” Zuckerberg told CNN Business. “She’s been an important partner to me for ten years. I’m really proud of the work that we’ve done together and I hope that we work together for decades more to come.”
Dems’ national lead in raw House votes - now 8.8 million - just broke the record for largest for either party in the history of midterm elections (previous record was 8.7 million set by Dems in 1974). https://t.co/0pm7oW1pFE
Cindy Hyde-Smith’s non-apology for her “public hanging” remark
“My comments [did not] mean I would enjoy any type of capital punishment sitting there witnessing this. You know, for anyone that was offended by my comments, I certainly apologize. There was no ill will, no intent whatsoever in my statements,” she said. But Hyde-Smith added, “This comment was twisted and it was turned into a weapon to be used against me. A political weapon used for nothing but personal and political gain by my opponent,” Hyde-Smith said.
[Democrat Mike] Espy, who is African-American, said the episode has been an embarrassment to Mississippi, reinforcing stereotypes and giving “our state another black eye that we don’t need.”
“No one twisted your comments because your comments were live, it came out of your mouth,” Espy said. “I don’t know what’s in your heart, but we all know came out of your mouth.”
Financial disclosure raises questions about Acting AG Matthew Whitaker’s potential conflicts
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker was paid more than $900,000 by a conservative non-profit in the 21 months before joining the Justice Department, according to his financial disclosure form released Tuesday.
The documents make clear that Whitaker’s main income in the years immediately before Trump’s election came from his role as the executive director of a nonprofit called the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, or FACT, which he joined in 2014.
Financed by a conservative megafund whose donors are undisclosed, FACT hired right-leaning firms for publicity and legal services. At the group, Whitaker oversaw attacks on several of Trump’s favorite targets, including Democrats Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris.
The company that sells a third of all American wedding dresses just filed for bankruptcy protection
The nation’s biggest bridal retailer, which has been in turmoil for years, said in a statement that the restructuring deal will shave $400 million off its $750 million debt and allow it to continue operating its 300 or so U.S. stores, promising that “orders will arrive on time and bridal appointments will not be impacted.”
In the three years after he arrived in Washington in 2014, Matthew G. Whitaker received more than $1.2 million as the leader of a charity that reported having no other employees, some of the best pay of his career.
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust described itself as a new watchdog nonprofit dedicated to exposing unethical conduct by public officials. For Whitaker, it became a lucrative steppingstone in a swift rise from a modest law practice in Iowa to the nation’s top law enforcement job. As FACT’s president, he regularly appeared on radio and television, often to skewer liberals.
But FACT’s origins and the source of funding used to pay Whitaker — now the acting attorney general — remain obscured. An examination of state and federal records, and interviews with those involved, show that the group is part of a national network of nonprofits that often work in concert to amplify conservative messages.
Another (scary) instance of Trump’s advisers restraining his lawlessness
President Trump told the White House counsel in the spring that he wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute two of his political adversaries: his 2016 challenger, Hillary Clinton, and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to two people familiar with the conversation.
The lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, rebuffed the president, saying that he had no authority to order a prosecution. Mr. McGahn said that while he could request an investigation, that too could prompt accusations of abuse of power. To underscore his point, Mr. McGahn had White House lawyers write a memo for Mr. Trump warning that if he asked law enforcement to investigate his rivals, he could face a range of consequences, including possible impeachment.
President Trump submitted his answers to Robert Mueller’s questions today, according to his lawyers. “The questions presented dealt with issues regarding the Russia-related topics of the inquiry,” Jay Sekulow said.
Mississippi Republican Senate candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith posted a photo of herself wearing a Confederate hat in 2014
Photo: Cindy Hyde-Smith via Facebook
Pelosi rolls out the big guns
Barack Obama throws his weight behind Pelosi, telling @davidaxelrod in a taping for his podcast: “I think Nancy Pelosi, when the history is written, will go down as one of the most effective legislative leaders that this country’s ever seen.”
Strong words from the paper that employed Khashoggi
Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan’s statement: “President Trump’s response to the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is a betrayal of long-established American values of respect for human rights and the expectation of trust and honesty in our strategic relationships.”
Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are planning to look into Ivanka Trump’s use of a personal email account to determine whether she violated federal law.
A Democratic aide told The Hill on Tuesday that the committee is planning “to continue our investigation of the presidential records act and federal records act, and we want to know if Ivanka complied with the law.”
If you thought Megyn Kelly’s embarrassing, expensive failure at NBC meant the end of her TV career, think again
Sources say NBC owner Comcast will pay Kelly around $30 million. She signed a $69 million deal when she joined the network after leaving Fox News in 2017.
A source familiar with the negotiations said nothing will happen until next week at the earliest, admitting: “It’s taking slightly longer than expected, the paperwork is going back and forth.”
Another confirmed: “Everyone wants this to be over — both Megyn and NBC — and Comcast has the money to pay off Megyn. We thought this would be a done deal a few weeks ago.”
One senior TV source added: “NBC decided rather than fight and face a lawsuit from her, they — and more importantly, Comcast with all its money — decided to draw a line under the entire debacle and pay Megyn the full amount owed in her contract to go away.
“But this is far from the end of her TV career — in the Trump era, there are few broadcasters like her. Megyn would likely take a short break from TV and return to cable news ahead of the 2020 election.”
Making sense of Trump’s strange, disturbing defense of Saudi Arabia
everyone pretty much knew that president trump, with his affinity for autocrats and saudi arabia in particular, was not eager to blame prince mohammed bin salman for the killing of jamal khashoggi, even though the CIA concluded that he personally ordered it. but today, the president came out with a bombastic, exclamation point-strewn statement that defended MBS by going on about how Iran is the true evil in the region, came pretty close to blaming the journalist for his own death by musing that saudi arabia had labeled him an “enemy of the people,” and much more. what was the point of this bizarre message?
I think his point was that he doesn’t think he knows if the Saudi government ordered the Khashoggi assassination, and even if he did, he wouldn’t do anything about it
if you’re asking why he released a statement as opposed to doing nothing, I don’t know what the answer to that question is – other than that I don’t think they’d released a statement about it
it was just so aggressive and conspiratorial, which I know is his modus operandi…but this one actually felt like it was written by him personally.
yeah, it reads as if it was written by him and then lightly edited by someone else
it felt kind of personal, didn’t it?
like maybe he felt he had to reassure MBS, or felt as though he needed to respond from pressure in his own administration
he is going against his own intelligence agencies, which is not unheard of for him, but yeah, there could be other pressure points, too
a white house official behind saudi sanctions recently resigned: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/17/us/politics/trump-khashoggi-saudi-arabia.html
Eric Trump said something along the same lines as his father about a month ago: https://www.newsweek.com/eric-trump-says-saudis-are-friends-after-jamal-khashoggi-killing-youre-going-1179290
as a lot of people like to point out, it’s not like other american presidents have taken a consistently punitive attitude toward saudi arabia despite past human-rights infractions, and the obama administration helped in the early days of the country’s disastrous war in yemen. is this statement, the trumpian bizarreness of it aside, really so different from what we’re used to?
hard to set aside the trumpian bizarreness! in some ways that’s the entire content of the statement
but, yeah, i think it’s good to keep in mind that the close KSA-US alliance is not a trump invention
that being said, we’re in deep enough weird territory here that i’m not sure how to construct a counter-history
i’d like to think that a democratic president wouldn’t have stood by MBS so glibly in the wake of a khashoggi killing
yeah, I don’t think they would have. but tough to say exactly what they would have done.
(i’d like to think that a democratic president wouldn’t have stood by MBS at all, from the very start, and would have reconsidered the KSA alliance to begin with)
but i also don’t think MBS would have felt empowered to kill khashoggi if any other president, or president’s son-in-law, was in the oval office!
and now every other autocrat knows that killing journalists is fine
a democratic president probably wouldn’t have thrown away the alliance, but it seems to me that he might have used this bit of leverage to ask for something
“we can let this go if you implement such and such reforms and do x y z”
shouldn’t understate the extent to which he used the statement to absolve saudi arabia from responsibility for the war and related humanitarian disaster in yemen
yep, they’re completely off the hook. everything bad in the middle east can be pinned on iran.
what a surprise! it’d make you think there was a longtime aggressive iran hawk or two in his administration
if you didn’t know any better, of course
it’s just so strange to have a president lead with the whataboutism. only deepens the impression of him as a twitter troll.
my final thought is that it’s funny that trump is leaning on this $450 billion and $110 billion dollars in saudi purchases. nobody knows where either of those numbers come from.
accuracy isn’t really the president’s calling card.