NewsMax America

Longtime radio host Howard Stern this week stuck by his theory that President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign began as a publicity stunt to promote his NBC reality show, “The Apprentice.”

Trump was a frequent guest on Stern’s show for many years. During a recent interview to promote his new book, Stern claimed to have “inside information” that told him Trump’s campaign was an attempt to boost ratings for his show, increase his own profile and secure a new deal from NBC.

“This is a publicity stunt,” Stern told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday. “I have no doubt because I have some inside information.”

Stern said that the scheme was a “PR guy’s idea.” Back in 1987, when Trump released his first book. 

“He said, ‘Donald, what you need to do is we’ll … make sort of a rumor that you’re running for president’” to increase sales of his books, “The Art of the Deal,” and “The Art of the Comeback.”

“So all of a sudden he was being interviewed. The book goes right to No. 1,” Stern said.

He added that, “In the last election, ‘The Apprentice’ ratings were not what they were; NBC was not going to give him a raise, and what’s a better way to get NBC’s interest? ‘I’ll run for president, get lots of press,’ and I think that’s what happened.”

Source: NewsMax America

President Donald Trump is questioning when Twitter will restore accounts to popular conservative voices.

Trump tweeted Thursday night: “When is Twitter going to allow the very popular Conservative Voices that it has so viciously shut down, back into the OPEN? IT IS TIME!”

He did not specifically mention which accounts he was referring to.

Earlier this month, Trump had criticized social media companies after Facebook banned a number of extremist figures, declaring that he was “monitoring and watching, closely.”

He had previously claimed that social media companies exhibit bias against conservatives, something the companies have rejected as untrue.

Source: NewsMax America

The Democratic head of the House Judiciary Committee said Thursday that special counsel Robert Mueller, who has completed his investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 election, “wants to testify in private” to lawmakers.

In an interview on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. , who chairs the panel, said “There are a lot of people who should come in and testify who the administration is saying they will not permit to testify.

“They’re blanket stonewalling . . . Congress and the American people,” he said of the Trump administration. “The president was foolish enough to admit that he was engaged in stonewalling including [former White House counsel Donald] McGahn and a lot of other people.”

“Mueller, I think I can say at this point, that he wants to testify in private,” Nadler declared.

“He’s willing to make an opening statement but he wants to testify in private,” he added. “We’re saying he ought to – we think it’s important for the American people to hear from him and to hear his answers to questions about the report.”

Though Mueller wants his testimony private, there would be a transcript of it, Nadler said.

“He envisions himself correctly as a man of great rectitude and apolitical and he doesn’t want to participate in anything that he might regard as a political spectacle, especially if Republicans on the committee start asking him questions about the beginning of the investigation.

“I’m speculating really. But he doesn’t want to be public in what some people will regard as a political spectacle, I think,” he said.

He added he believes the committee “probably” hear from Mueller’s investigators as well.

“I think we’ll probably hear from them and a lot of other people,” Nadler said. “Our intention is to open all of this up to the American people, to have everybody relevant testify so people understand what was in the Mueller report, what wasn’t in the Mueller report, to understand what was going on.”

Source: NewsMax America

President Donald Trump boasted Thursday about being featured as Japan’s guest of honor during his upcoming trip to Tokyo, The Washington Post reports.

Trump will become the first foreign leader Monday to meet Japan’s newly enthroned Emperor Naruhito, who was named monarch after his father, Akihito, became the first Japanese emperor to abdicate in more than 200 years.

“It’s a very big thing going on with the emperor,” Trump said. “It’s something that hasn’t happened in over 200 years. I am the guest, meaning the United States is the guest, but Prime Minister [Shinzō] Abe said to me very specifically, ‘You are the guest of honor. There’s only one guest of honor. You are the guest of honor.'”

Trump will also attend a banquet at the imperial palace and take ringside seats at the first sumo tournament of the imperial era. There, he will present a specially made “Trump Cup” to the winner.

“With all the countries of the world, I am the guest of honor at the biggest event that they’ve had in over 200 years,” he added. “So, it’s a great thing. And we get along very well with Japan. I get along very well with the prime minister, so we’re going to be spending two days over there.”

Trump told reporters he agreed to visit because Prime Minister Abe told him the imperial succession is “about 100 times bigger” for people in Japan than the Super Bowl is for Americans.

Source: NewsMax America

A video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., with the audio slowed to make her speech sound drunkenly slurred, made the rounds on social media Thursday.

The video is from Pelosi’s Wednesday speech at the Center for American Progress — but the altered version was posted on multiple social media platforms, including Facebook’s Politics WatchDog page, where it was viewed more than 2 million times, with more than 43,000 shares.

“Good Lord lady . . . How many drinks did you have today,” one commenter wrote, according to Talking Points Memo.

“Omg is she drunk or having a stroke??? Bet that makes the Dems so proud of their Leader, LMAO,” another said. “How can you have a meaningful meeting with a drunken Speaker of the House?” said another.

And The Washington Post explained both verified and altered versions.

The video of Pelosi “shows that there is a larger threat of misinformation campaigns — too many of us are willing to believe the worst in people that we disagree with,” Hany Farid, a computer science professor and digital-forensics expert at the University of California, Berkeley, told The Washington Post.

“It is striking that such a simple manipulation can be so effective and believable to some.”

The video was linked by multiple YouTube and Twitter accounts, as well as comments sections for local news outlets, The Hill reported.

A spokesperson for YouTube told the news outlet the video had been removed from the platform for company policy violations.

“YouTube has clear policies that outline what content is not acceptable to post and we remove videos violating these policies when flagged to us,” the YouTube spokesperson said. “These videos violated our policies and have been removed.”

Source: NewsMax America

A video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., with the audio slowed to make her speech sound drunkenly slurred, made the rounds on social media Thursday.

The video is from Pelosi’s Wednesday speech at the Center for American Progress — but the altered version was posted on multiple social media platforms, including Facebook’s Politics WatchDog page, where it was viewed more than 2 million times, with more than 43,000 shares.

“Good Lord lady . . . How many drinks did you have today,” one commenter wrote, according to Talking Points Memo.

“Omg is she drunk or having a stroke??? Bet that makes the Dems so proud of their Leader, LMAO,” another said. “How can you have a meaningful meeting with a drunken Speaker of the House?” said another.

And The Washington Post explained both verified and altered versions.

The video of Pelosi “shows that there is a larger threat of misinformation campaigns — too many of us are willing to believe the worst in people that we disagree with,” Hany Farid, a computer science professor and digital-forensics expert at the University of California, Berkeley, told The Washington Post.

“It is striking that such a simple manipulation can be so effective and believable to some.”

The video was linked by multiple YouTube and Twitter accounts, as well as comments sections for local news outlets, The Hill reported.

A spokesperson for YouTube told the news outlet the video had been removed from the platform for company policy violations.

“YouTube has clear policies that outline what content is not acceptable to post and we remove videos violating these policies when flagged to us,” the YouTube spokesperson said. “These videos violated our policies and have been removed.”

Source: NewsMax America

President Donald Trump issued an order Thursday allowing Attorney General William Barr to declassify any information Barr sees fit during his review of the events that prompted the FBI to open an investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The order also directed leaders of the U.S. intelligence community and other departments and agencies to cooperate with Barr during his review.

The memorandum to the heads of agencies to cooperate with Barr’s inquiry included the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Department, State Department, and Energy Department.

“Today, at the request and recommendation of the Attorney General of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement, per the Washington Examiner.

“The Attorney General has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information,” she added. “Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.”

Trump has promised the action for nearly a year. In a Sept. 17, 2018, statement, the White House said Trump had ordered the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice to prove certain portions of the June 2017 application to the FISA court concerning Carter Page, FBI reports of interviews with Bruce G. Ohr prepared in connection with the Russia investigation, and FBI reports of interviews prepared related to the Page FISA applications.

He also ordered the public release of “all text messages relating to the Russia investigation, without redaction, of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.” 

But within days he backed down, the Examiner noted.

“I met with the DOJ concerning the declassification of various UNREDACTED documents,” Trump tweeted. “They agreed to release them but stated that so doing may have a perceived negative impact on the Russia probe. Also, key Allies’ called to ask not to release.

“Therefore, the Inspector General has been asked to review these documents on an expedited basis. I believe he will move quickly on this (and hopefully other things which he is looking at). In the end, I can always declassify if it proves necessary. Speed is very important to me — and everyone!”

Barr has asked U.S. Attorney John Durham to review the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation and has said he is working with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is expected to soon wrap up a FISA abuse investigation.

Newsmax’s Cathy Burke contributed to this report.

Source: NewsMax America

President Donald Trump issued an order Thursday allowing Attorney General William Barr to declassify any information Barr sees fit during his review of the events that prompted the FBI to open an investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The order also directed leaders of the U.S. intelligence community and other departments and agencies to cooperate with Barr during his review.

The memorandum to the heads of agencies to cooperate with Barr’s inquiry included the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Department, State Department, and Energy Department.

“Today, at the request and recommendation of the Attorney General of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement, per the Washington Examiner.

“The Attorney General has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information,” she added. “Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.”

Trump has promised the action for nearly a year. In a Sept. 17, 2018, statement, the White House said Trump had ordered the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice to prove certain portions of the June 2017 application to the FISA court concerning Carter Page, FBI reports of interviews with Bruce G. Ohr prepared in connection with the Russia investigation, and FBI reports of interviews prepared related to the Page FISA applications.

He also ordered the public release of “all text messages relating to the Russia investigation, without redaction, of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.” 

But within days he backed down, the Examiner noted.

“I met with the DOJ concerning the declassification of various UNREDACTED documents,” Trump tweeted. “They agreed to release them but stated that so doing may have a perceived negative impact on the Russia probe. Also, key Allies’ called to ask not to release.

“Therefore, the Inspector General has been asked to review these documents on an expedited basis. I believe he will move quickly on this (and hopefully other things which he is looking at). In the end, I can always declassify if it proves necessary. Speed is very important to me — and everyone!”

Barr has asked U.S. Attorney John Durham to review the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation and has said he is working with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is expected to soon wrap up a FISA abuse investigation.

Newsmax’s Cathy Burke contributed to this report.

Source: NewsMax America

Iran continues to pose a “credible” threat to the United States and the White House is still evaluating the risks when determining the course of action to take, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday.

“The exact force posture, the president is looking at every day,” Pompeo told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” “You can be sure that President [Donald] Trump will ensure that we have all the resources necessary to respond in the event that the Islamic Republic of Iran should decide to attack Americans or American interests.”

The Pentagon plans to present the White House with a plan Thursday to send up to 10,000 more troops to the Middle East, according to Associated Press sources.

Sanctions have had their “intended effect” in Iran, and have put constraints on its leadership’s ability to foment terror, Pompeo said. The Obama administration, however, took a different path by “giving them hundreds of billions of dollars and the ability to put the terror team in place that we’re seeing today,” he added.

Also appearing on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday, Pompeo said the administration has taken steps to keep oil prices from growing while pushing to bring down Iran’s exports of crude oil to zero.

“We are confident that we’ve done the hard work to make sure that the market is well supplied,” Pompeo said, noting the difference will be made up by Saudi Arabia and other allies.

He also pointed out Brent crude oil prices, at $69 a barrel, are lower than a year ago.

Source: NewsMax America

Alabama lawmakers abruptly adjourned after one lawmaker called for the censure of another over comments that included calling the president’s son “evidently retarded.”

Republican Rep. Arnold Mooney of Shelby County on Wednesday went to the House microphone to read a letter seeking censure of Rep. John Rogers, a Democrat.

Mooney said Rogers brought “shame” on Alabama with comments he made after debate on a proposed abortion ban. Rogers used the slur to describe Donald Trump Jr. and also suggested he should have been aborted.

House Speaker Mac McCutcheon gaveled down Mooney, saying he could submit the letter but there was “no call for this.”

Democrats accused Mooney of grandstanding after announcing his campaign for U.S. Senate.

Mooney read the letter after Rogers had threatened to filibuster bills that evening. Lawmakers then adjourned.

Source: NewsMax America


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