Author: Matthew Boyle

Republican Ralph Abraham Rips Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards for Medicaid Expansion Failure

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA) on Thursday ripped Democrat incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards for failing the state with his Medicaid expansion push, something Abraham detailed in a vicious press conference outside the state’s Department of Health.
Abraham–himself a doctor before his election to the U.S. Congress–leveled the governor and his state Secretary of Health, Dr. Rebekah Gee, by detailing how widespread waste, fraud, and abuse has been in Edwards’ health program–and how it has hurt people who need access to Medicaid.

“We’re here today to draw attention to John Bel’s Department of Health, one of the most ineffective and poorly run government agencies in Louisiana—which is saying something,” Abraham said at the press conference, video of which was later sent to Breitbart News.
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Before I begin, let me be clear that our problem is not with the workers within the Department. They can do only what they are instructed to do. Our problem is with the people in charge: the governor, the division of administration, and the secretary of health, Dr. Gee. Let’s walk through a timeline of the biggest debacle in the Department right now, Medicaid expansion—what our governor calls his greatest accomplishment. The government made the decision to take one of the worst versions of Medicaid expansion available, and rushed it to the market knowing full well that they did not have the tools to administer it or ensure that the people who were enrolled in it were even eligible. This led to hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on individuals who are not eligible for Medicaid. They got caught. And instead of stopping, acknowledging the problem and fixing it, they rushed again to cover up their failures and ended up kicking people off who were actually eligible to be on the rolls. Then they got caught doing that, and instead of stopping, acknowledging and fixing the problem, they made more excuses and ended up canceling the largest MCO contract in the state for what I will add was clearly political retribution.
Nearly half a billion dollars has gone missing under Edwards, Abraham charged, and hundreds of wealthier individuals who should not be on Medicaid given they make six-figure salaries have ended up the state’s Medicaid rolls:

Let’s quickly talk about the massive waste, fraud, and abuse within the Department. The Department of Health has wasted nearly $500 million of taxpayer money. To put that into context, that’s equal to the half-cent sales tax that John Bel passed. The governor and the Department of Health have enrolled more than 1,600 on Medicaid who make six-figure incomes. Think about that for a minute. While this is going on, John Bel has killed every attempt to fix the problem. He won’t use accurate data like state income tax to verify income and has killed every measure to reform the Department. The governor’s goal is to get as many people on state-sponsored healthcare as possible. You know who this hurts more than the taxpayers? It hurts the people who actually need the services.

Abraham also ripped Edwards for skyrocketing Department of Health spending–an extra billion dollars per yearfor every year Edwards has been governor–with no plan to pay for it all:

Let’s talk about the unsustainable pace of spending. The Louisiana Department of Health’s budget has grown more than a billion dollars every year of this administration—a billion. That’s a faster rate than any other state in America, and it is completely unsustainable. The Louisiana Department of Health’s budget now makes up nearly half—half—of our state’s total budget. Right now, the total state budget including federal is $34.7 billion. $14.8 billion of that goes to the Department of Health. This will only get worse in 2020 when the federal match rate goes down. Additionally, John Bel refuses to give the legislature or the public any real answers as to how much state general fund money this massive program is going to cost our state. We have yet to hear a plan from John Bel on how he intends to pay for that. I’ll tell you what his plan is—it’s his plan for everything: raise your taxes.

Abraham and Edwards will face off, along with several other candidates, in an Oct. 12 jungle primary. If neither–nor any of the other candidates–reaches 50 percent, which is the likeliest outcome, the race will head to a Nov. 16 runoff in the state. Abraham is the leading GOP candidate in the jungle primary and most likely to face Edwards in the runoff.

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Exclusive – #IAmTheNRA: NRA's Wayne LaPierre Releases Video Responding to San Francisco's Declaration of Group as ‘Terrorist Organization’

National Rifle Association (NRA) CEO Wayne LaPierre is responding to the declaration by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voting to unanimously declare the group a terrorist organization with the release of a new video showing members of the NRA to be many hardworking Americans with a variety of backgrounds.
The video, provided exclusively to Breitbart News ahead of its public release, shows LaPierre speaking at the NRA’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis to a crowd of thousands of NRA members who are ordinary hardworking Americans.

The less-than-two-minute video opens with a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors bashing the NRA as a “domestic terror organization,” which the city officials voted on Tuesday to do.
“I shake my head and I go ‘what the heck is going wrong in our country?’” LaPierre says in the speech shown in the video.
LaPierre continues, “Let’s give them a real clear view on who we all are: How many police officers do we have here today? Please stand up. Anyone who works in health care in any way, anyone who works in education, if you work in manufacturing, construction, if you work in a trade–maybe a plumber–and how about stay-at-home moms? If you own your own business? Firefighters out there, if you’re in the military or a vet, if you obey the law, stand up and be recognized as Americans. I want all the media to look around this room right now and see us for the American people that we truly are. We are law-abiding Americans who believe liberty is a blessing. We love our country. I promise you we’re never going to stop fighting for your right and folks just like you all over America that have the right to defend themselves. So, we’re not going to give up or apologize that in a dangerous world, the Second Amendment is often all we have. Every one of these Americans are what we’re about.”
WATCH: NRA CEO WAYNE LAPIERRE’S VIDEO RESPONSE TO SAN FRANCISCO:
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The NRA has fiercely criticized the San Francisco decision, tweeting out videos and statements ripping the leftist California city for its extreme measures:

This stunt is an effort to distract from the problems facing #SanFrancisco, such as rampant homelessness, drug abuse and petty crime, to name a few. Their wasting taxpayer dollars to declare 5M law-abiding Americans domestic terrorists, and it’s shameful.https://t.co/Wn6JccpO2H
— NRA (@NRA) September 4, 2019

The NRA is including a hashtag, #IAmTheNRA, in several of them too:

.@realAnnaPaulina is a veteran, a wife, and an @NRA member. She is upset with the San Fran elitists who declared NRA a “terrorist org.”
Start focusing on real issues. “Like the homelessness, the drug problem, and the human feces that you have infecting your streets.” #IAmTheNRA pic.twitter.com/Rw0DP2ZusX
— NRA (@NRA) September 4, 2019

As Breitbart News reported earlier on Wednesday, the resolution as passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors reads in part:

WHEREAS, Reported hate crimes have increased by double digits since 2015, and
WHEREAS, There are over 393,000,000 guns in the United States, which exceeds the country’s current total population, and
WHEREAS, Our elected representatives, including the President, have taken an oath swearing to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

WHEREAS, The United States Constitution specifically delineates that the country was founded to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, and promote the general welfare …
WHEREAS, The National Rifle Association musters its considerable wealth and organizational strength to promote gun ownership and incite gun owners to acts of violence, and …
WHEREAS, The National Rifle Association through its advocacy has armed those individuals who would and have committed acts of terrorism; and
WHEREAS, All countries have violent and hateful people, but only in America do we give them ready access to assault weapons and large-capacity magazines thanks, in large part, to the National Rifle Association’s influence; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the City and County of San Francisco intends to declare the National Rifle Association a domestic terrorist organization; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City and County of San Francisco should take every reasonable step to assess the financial and contractual relationships our vendors and contractors have with this domestic terrorist organization; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City and County of San Francisco should take every reasonable step to limit those entities who do business with the City and County of San Francisco from doing business with this domestic terrorist organization; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City and County of San Francisco should encourage all other jurisdictions, including other cities, states, and the federal government, to adopt similar positions.

The NRA responded with a pair of statements ripping San Francisco for its “ludicrous stunt.”
“This ludicrous stunt by the Board of Supervisors is an effort to distract from the real problems facing San Francisco, such as rampant homelessness, drug abuse and skyrocketing petty crime, to name a few. The NRA will continue working to protect the constitutional rights of all freedom-loving Americans,” the NRA said in one statement.
“This is a reckless assault on a law-abiding organization, its members, and the freedoms they all stand for. We remain undeterred – guided by our values and belief in those who want to find real solutions to violence,” the NRA added in another.

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American Workers to Protest Angolan Delegation’s Visits to D.C., New York over African Nation’s Targeting U.S. Companies

Some American workers are planning to protest the Angolan government’s delegation’s planned upcoming visits this month to New York City and Washington, DC, Breitbart News has learned.
With a focus on the African nation’s refusal to pay obligations owed to a variety of U.S. companies who do business in Angola, and the government’s use of armed uniformed soldiers to seize one U.S. company’s assets in the country at gunpoint, the protests are likely to draw attention to senior Angolan officials traveling to D.C. and New York for meetings with senior officials in President Donald Trump’s administration and for the United Nations General Assembly this month.

A source with knowledge said that the D.C. protest may be planned for in front of the White House, but a representative for Africa Growth Corporation (AFGC)—the company whose assets were seized at gunpoint by uniformed Angolan soldiers, as Breitbart News reported earlier this year—declined to comment on such specifics because of concern for safety of the company’s employees.
“This is America. Our employees and their families are free to exercise their First Amendment rights as they see fit,” an AFGC spokesperson said. “While we are not involved in whatever protests are planned, we certainly understand their frustration with the Angolan government’s unlawful conduct and the U.S. State Department’s refusal to protect US interests in Angola.”
The exact times and locations of the protests are unclear at this point, and organizers have not yet disclosed them for safety reasons given the Angolan government’s clear willingness to use military force and aggression even against Americans.
“We live in fear for our lives,” said one source familiar with the effort who has ongoing business operations in both Angola and here in the United States.
These protests will come as American workers are furious that the Angolan government has still not paid obligations owed to a number of U.S. companies—in the tens of millions of dollars worth—as Breitbart News reported early in July in an explosive investigation. The report uncovered how Angola, rather than paying American companies what it owes them, has instead taken millions of dollars to hire a Washington, DC, lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs to represent its interests in the U.S. This also comes as the U.S. pours tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer aid into Angola annually.
In August, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with his Angolan counterpart in Washington, DC, when the Angolan foreign minister Manuel Augusto was here in the United States.
“Secretary Michael R. Pompeo met today with Angolan Foreign Minister Manuel Augusto in Washington, D.C.,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement about the meeting. “The Secretary reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Angola strategic partnership and welcomed the bold reforms that President João Lourenço has undertaken since taking office in 2017. The two conferred on ways to increase bilateral trade and investment and strengthen democratic institutions.”
The State Department has not answered multiple follow-up requests for comment from Breitbart News on specifically whether Pompeo breached the subject of Angola still refusing to pay tens of millions of dollars in debts owed to U.S. companies, including AFGC. It is also unclear whether Pompeo and Augusto discussed whether the U.S. thinks it is acceptable for Angola to seize a U.S. company’s assets with armed uniformed military soldiers at gunpoint.
A State Department official originally told Breitbart News that the United States government is aware of the problem and has pressured Angola on the matter.
“Promoting U.S. trade and investment is one of our highest foreign policy priorities in Africa, and the United States engages robustly to advance U.S. commercial interests and to support U.S. companies by providing a range of trade and investment support services,” the State Department official said back in early July. “American companies have been present in the Angolan market for more than 50 years and are among the largest foreign investors in Angola. Angola is the third-largest trading partner of the United States in sub-Saharan Africa with bilateral goods trade valued at 3.28 billion dollars in 2018. The U.S. Government, through Embassy officials and various high-level visitors, has raised the African Growth Corporation’s case at many levels with the Government of Angola, including directly with the President on more than one occasion. U.S. companies investing in Angola seek a level playing field, predictable policies, and a dispute resolution process that follows the rule of law. We continue to encourage the Government of Angola to increase transparency and fairness in its business environment. Due to ongoing litigation, we have no further comment.”
But lack of action from the State Department on this front has drawn the ire of other parts of the Trump administration. As Breitbart News reported in August, the White House and Treasury Department are considering taking steps of their own including and up to economic sanctions against Angola to force the government there to pay its obligations.

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Exclusive — Devin Nunes: ‘Evidence Is There’ for U.S. Attorney to Bring Criminal Conspiracy Charges Against James Comey

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Sunday evening that the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) report on former FBI director James Comey, and the DOJ’s decision not to press charge, does not mean he is out of the woods.
Nunes said that Comey, who President Donald Trump fired as FBI director in the first few months of his presidency sparking the launch of the now-completed Special Counsel investigation, could still face charges on a criminal conspiracy from the U.S. Attorney in Connecticut.

Last week, the DOJ’s IG admonished Comey for preparing memos containing classified information, then leaking them to create a desired outcome—something that ended up costing the taxpayers millions of dollars with Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel probe which ultimately found no collusion between President Trump and his campaign with Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. Mueller’s probe also found no evidence of obstruction of justice by President Trump. But even though Comey’s actions were sharply criticized by the IG, the DOJ decided not to prosecute him on the leaks and IG findings. Comey gloated in response, asking publicly for an apology from those who have suggested he may have committed crimes in his actions against the president.
But that gloating from Comey may be premature. Nunes said in his exclusive interview on Breitbart News Sunday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel that despite the DOJ’s decision not to bring charges against Comey now, if the U.S. Attorney in Connecticut—who has been charged with investigating the origins of the Russia hoax investigation—follows a criminal referral made by House Intelligence Committee Republicans on the lines of a criminal conspiracy, Comey could face charges in that lane.
“I always remind people that the Inspector General does not have a lot of power because they cannot—they don’t have subpoena power,” Nunes said. “They can only interview people who work for the actual agency, unless people will voluntarily be interviewed, which is not likely. So, I think the Inspector General did us a favor here because the House Intelligence Committee Republicans—we sent over referrals to the Department of Justice based on conspiracy. So now there is no question, one thing the Inspector General made clear by all the interviews and evidence that he gathered is that Comey is definitely part of the conspiracy.”
Nunes continued by noting that Comey was not cooperative with congressional investigators digging into his leaking.
“You know, when Comey came before the Congress last year when Republicans controlled it, he refused to answer,” Nunes said. “For a guy that pontificates on Twitter and that wrote a book and goes on the news quite often, quite frequently, when it got behind closed doors and he had to tell the truth, his number one answer was, ‘Oh, I just don’t remember that’ or ‘I don’t recall.’”
Nunes then said that Comey, thanks to the IG’s findings, is “eligible for a larger conspiracy charge” and said that “we need real charges brought.” He said the place to watch for such potential charges against Comey or others to come from is the U.S. Attorney from Connecticut.
“So this is a guy who is definitely not telling the truth, and the good thing about the IG report is he’s now made himself, the IG has now made him eligible for a larger conspiracy charge—a criminal conspiracy charge—which is what we really hope the attorney general [U.S. attorney] out of Connecticut is able to do,” Nunes said. “That’s the big thing that we need. We need real charges brought. And I think a lot of people are frustrated because they feel like Comey leaked classified information. But the question is would a panel of jurors in Washington, D.C., [convict]? There would be so much ambiguity because he claims—I forget the exact numbers, but like 1, 4, and 7 contained classified information but those weren’t the memos that he gave to his professor friend that went to the media. It would be almost impossible to prove and he would probably skate. And probably the worst thing to happen would be for him to skate. So I think that in the end, the Attorney General made the right decision as long as they continue to press on the larger issue which is: How did this whole investigation begin in the first place with zero evidence, zero evidence that Trump had any involvement with Russia?”
When asked in a follow-up if this means he expects the U.S. Attorney from Connecticut to bring criminal conspiracy charges against Comey or others, Nunes said he is not sure what the U.S. Attorney will do. But he did say “the evidence is there” for criminal conspiracy charges against the former FBI director and others involved in fabricating the Russia hoax.
“I’ve been very careful,” Nunes said. “I shouldn’t be this way, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and I like to not name names until there’s been a fair process and we’ve given the U.S. Attorney time to do his work. However, with that said, the one thing that is clear is if the U.S. Attorney decides to take our complaint—I’m not saying he’s going to do exactly what we’ve asked him to do but he’s clearly looking at all this. If he looks at conspiracy, on the FISA courts and the manipulation of intelligence for political purposes, it is now impossible—there is so much evidence that puts Comey right in the middle of this—so that’s my point. If they’re going to go down that road, Comey has got to be involved in it. The evidence is there.”
LISTEN TO REP. DEVIN NUNES ON BREITBART NEWS SUNDAY:

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Exclusive — Devin Nunes Warns U.S. About ‘Tech Oligarchs’ Censorship, Bias Against Conservatives: ‘I Am Very Concerned’

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the ranking member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, told Breitbart News he is “very concerned” about the rising threat of the “tech oligarchs” at Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other tech giants censoring conservatives in an effort to stymie free speech and push a leftist agenda.
Nunes, who is suing Twitter right now in Virginia, said in an exclusive appearance on Breitbart News Sunday on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125 this weekend that that company “has been the worst” and that tech companies have gotten away with bias against conservative for years because of a special “carveout” in federal law.

“Well, in general, I have a real concern overall about what I call the ‘tech oligarchs,’” Nunes said. “But Twitter has been the worst, especially to me. So if you look at what they’ve done, specifically to me, is they enforce their rules selectively. So I’m arguing they’ve operated their property negligibly. They’ve been negligent with the operation of their property, and they’re actually content developers. They have had it their way for a long time by having this ability to get out from lawsuits because Congress has actually carved out a special provision in law for them because they were supposed to be an open square—an open public square; they’re the Internet. So they’re not treated like someone like, say, some other kind of product would be treated like a car, for example, or a kitchen appliance. They’ve had this special carveout for 20 years.”
Especially since President Donald Trump was elected in 2016, Nunes argued, the tech giants have warped their products into pushing a certain ideology rather than being open platforms.
“Now, what has happened in the last two or three years, especially since President Trump was elected, is they now no longer are—it’s not an open square where people can just go on there and say whatever they want,” Nunes said. “They now are regulating the content, and they’re deciding how to regulate the content—and it’s clearly biased against conservatives. So we are looking at them for operating their property in a negligent way, and then we’re suing others for defamation. Look, this is not the way I want to go about it, especially for someone like me. I don’t like going to have to use the court system, but it’s really the system of last resort. And that’s where I’m at. If you go right now—don’t do it because I don’t use Google, and I don’t ask people to use Google—but if you did, you’d find hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of fake news stories about me. The only way I can clean all this up is to have multiple retractions done by the defamers and the slanderers. This often goes back to the Russia hoax investigation that I ran, and we uncovered a lot of mischief, to say it politely.”
Nunes said the solution to this problem would be “easiest” if the tech companies went back to being open platforms on their own, but he does not have any confidence they will do so.
“What’s the easiest—I’m going to tell you the easiest way that this can all be solved. However, I’m going to tell you that this is not going to happen,” Nunes said. “I’ve run out of patience. This is just not going to happen, and then we’ll go to what are the solutions out there. The easiest way, I believe, to solve this—especially for Twitter and Facebook, who have already done some of this—is just get out of the content development business. Just say, ‘Look, we’re just like it used to be. We’re an open square. The only way we’re going to come in is if there is breaking of a federal or state law,’ and police it that way, kind of like when somebody calls the police: You go in. You check it out. If there’s child pornography or foul language or something that may be against the rules there that they have, then great, then take the tweet down. As it relates to Google, just stop the bias. If Matt Boyle gets Googled 50,000 times—a story that you do on Breitbart gets Googled 50,000 times—and the Washington Post story is 20,000, then Matt Boyle’s story should be first. It’s really simple. It’s really, really simple for them to solve this problem. But I have no faith that they’re going to get out of the content development business. I think they’re in it.”
Nunes also said he believes the Democrats talk about regulating or holding tech companies accountable only as a “fake threat,” meant to intimidate them into becoming subservient to the left’s agenda.
“I think when you see the Democrats talking about going after these companies, that’s a fake threat,” Nunes said. “They’re doing that to basically warn them that you better do what we want. You better make sure that Democrats and leftists and all of our causes are put at the top. You better make sure that anything Breitbart reports or Epoch Times reports—they’re the latest one—it disappears. And that’s what’s happening.”
Given that Democrats are in the majority right now in the House of Representatives, Nunes said, there is “nothing” that Congress can do to combat the tech giants until after the 2020 election. That’s why Nunes is suing Twitter in a Virginia state court, seeking to hold the company accountable and putting himself forward to do so, given that he has been the victim of smears, lies, fake accounts, and inaccurate attacks.
“So I am very concerned. You ask what can be done. The answer right now is nothing can be done because Nancy Pelosi controls the House, and she is going to ensure that nothing happens to these companies as we sit right now,” Nunes said. “So it’s going to have to be word of mouth, through conservatives and through Republicans, and we’re just going to have to overwhelm them. Hopefully, someone will come up with a better search engine. But I think that’s going to be very difficult. So what does that leave? It leaves the court system. I’m in the best position to do it because I’m one of the ones who’s been most slandered. So hopefully, the courts will step in, right? If I can win one of these cases, it will really set these guys back. If the Covington school kids can win a case, that would set them back. So I think between defamation laws and treating these tech companies what they are, which is property, this is going to be the fastest and only way to solve it before 2020.”
LISTEN TO REP. DEVIN NUNES’S FULL INTERVIEW ON BREITBART NEWS SUNDAY:

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Report: Terminated Alleged West Wing Leaker Madeleine Westerhout Trashed Ivanka, Tiffany Trump

Terminated alleged West Wing leaker Madeleine Westerhout reportedly trashed the president’s two daughters Ivanka and Tiffany Trump to reporters during an off-the-record dinner, Politico reported on Friday.
Politico’s Daniel Lippman revealed the contents of the leak that led to her termination, which the New York Times first reported on Thursday evening, in a Friday afternoon report. Lippman wrote:

Madeleine Westerhout, who left her White House job suddenly on Thursday as President Trump’s personal assistant, was fired after bragging to reporters that she had a better relationship with Trump than his own daughters, Ivanka and Tiffany Trump, and that the president did not like being in pictures with Tiffany because he perceived her as overweigh. Given Westerhout’s sensitive role as a confidante to the president, the few details the White House shared about her abrupt firing had Washington’s political-media class in a quiet frenzy on Thursday night and Friday.

Madeleine Westerhout was fired after bragging to reporters that she had a better relationship with Trump than his own daughters and that the president did not like being in pictures with Tiffany because he perceived her as overweighthttps://t.co/ylOcEwxQxz @dlippman
— Dave Brown (@dave_brown24) August 30, 2019

🚨 SCOOP: Madeleine Westerhout, Trump’s personal assistant, was fired after bragging to reporters that she had a better relationship w/ Trump than his own daughters and POTUS did not like being in pictures w/ Tiffany because he thought she was overweight. https://t.co/Hpyhh7I1b4
— Daniel Lippman (@dlippman) August 30, 2019

Lippman’s report continues with details of Westerhout’s comments and the setting and to whom they were made:

The critical comments happened at an off-the-record dinner, according to two people familiar with the matter, that Westerhout and deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley held earlier this month with reporters who were covering Trump’s vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Westerhout also jokingly told the journalists that Trump couldn’t pick Tiffany out of a crowd, said one of the people. “She had a couple drinks and in an uncharacteristically unguarded moment, she opened up to the reporters,” the person said.
At some point, Gidley left the restaurant for a television interview on Fox News. During that time — around 45 minutes to an hour — Westerhout made the comments to the reporters.
After the Aug. 17 dinner, which took place at the restaurant inside the nearby Embassy Suites hotel and included the Washington Post’s Phil Rucker, Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs, Reuters’ Steve Holland and the Wall Street Journal’s Andrew Restuccia, Westerhout rode back to a different hotel, the Marriott, with Rucker and Holland.

The New York Times reported on Westerhout’s termination due to alleged leaking on Thursday evening, and reported she was considered now a “separated employee” and told to never return to the White House. Until now, exactly what she leaked–other than it being about Oval Office operations and negative information on the first family–was unclear.
Earlier on Friday, GOP strategist Arthur Schwartz–whose leading role in a broader effort to expose establishment media bigotry, racism, antisemitism, and embarrassing comments has drawn national attention recently–revealed that Washington Post White House bureau chief Philip Rucker was the one who burned Westerhout by revealing the supposedly off-the-record comments she made to somebody else. Eventually, the White House discovered what Westerhout did, and the president promptly terminated her employment.

Hey @PhilipRucker. Sharing info that you were given off the record should end your career. Thoughts and prayers, pal.
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) August 30, 2019

I’ve heard from two reporters that @PhilipRucker is the one that burned Madeleine Westerhout. A couple of people in the WH told me the same.
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) August 30, 2019

The Washington Post provided a statement to Breitbart News from its national editor Steven Ginsberg that defends Rucker.
“Philip Rucker is one of the best and most scrupulous reporters in the news business,” Ginsberg said. “He has always acted with the utmost honor and integrity and has never violated Washington Post standards or policies.”
Most interestingly, Ginsberg’s statement does not deny what Schwartz has said–that he burned Westerhout on this off record commentary. A spokesperson for the Post has not answered follow-up comment requests asking if the newspaper denies that its White House bureau chief burned this off the record comment.
But the incident with Westerhout and Rucker offers two potentially interesting lines of followup: First, how someone with deep ties into the GOP establishment got into such a critical position in the president’s inner circle, and second a broader question on journalistic ethics and Rucker’s and the Washington Post‘s alleged serious mishandling of the situation.
On Westerhout, as Breitbart News noted in its second piece on this matter:

Westerhout was a staple in the West Wing, with a desk right outside the Oval Office and having control over much of who got in to speak with the president in person or over the phone and a lot of which papers made it to him and which did not. When it turned out she was allegedly leaking, as the Times noted, she was reportedly immediately terminated and told not to return to the White House. She was an aide to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, now a Utah U.S. senator after carpetbagging his way out West last cycle when he bowed out of running for Senate against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in Massachusetts during his 2012 presidential campaign. She also served at the Republican National Committee (RNC) and in various other roles throughout the party before joining the Trump White House in the beginning of the administration.

Politico’s Lippman in his follow-up report on Friday afternoon has several other key details, including one about how Westerhout was seen crying when Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016:

Other officials were wary of Westerhout, who did not work on the campaign and joined Trump’s team after the 2016 election. She kept largely to herself, several noted, but frequently posted pictures on Instagram of life in the White House.
POLITICO’s Tim Alberta reported in his recent book, “American Carnage,” that Westerhout was observed crying on election night because she was unhappy that Trump had won. But she found her way into a top job at the White House, having previously worked at the Republican National Committee.
During the transition period, Westerhout was known as “elevator girl” or “greeter girl” because she was often photographed escorting guests to see the then president-elect at his office at Trump Tower in Manhattan. She was previously an assistant to Katie Walsh, a top RNC official who also joined the White House, only to resign just months into her tenure as deputy chief of staff.
Westerhout, 28, was a key gatekeeper for the president, screening his official calls and controlling the access of outside advisers.

When it comes to Rucker, the newspaper’s clear refusal to deny that he burned Westerhout pushes yet another media scandal front-and-center after a tumultuous August for the media. CNN and the New York Times have both been rocked throughout the past few weeks by scandal, and now the Post has one of its own.
These repeated missteps by the media industry have jeopardized its standing heading into what is expected to be a wild 2020 presidential election, and each hard hit has taken a toll on the respective publications that have been hammered. What’s more, it opens the media up to more serious criticism, as the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) is doing things like defending Playboy’s Brian Karem amid his violent threats in the Rose Garden while ignoring these major broader scandals throughout the industry:

Where the hell is the @whca on the Amazon Washington Post / @PhilipRucker scandal? They’re busy defending a Playboy columnist’s right to behave like a buffoon at the WH instead of addressing an unprecedented credibility crisis facing their entire profession. Shameful.
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) August 30, 2019

What’s more, it could have serious repercussions for others in the administration as well as the Washington Post and Rucker himself:

So @PhilipRucker violated an off the record agreement over this? Absolutely piss poor judgment. Anyone in the admin caught talking to him should be fired immediately. https://t.co/sR1O5oZSyT
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) August 30, 2019

As Breitbart News noted earlier on Friday:

The WHCA just this week signed onto a lawsuit by Brian Karem, Playboy’s White House correspondent, to try to overturn a White House-issued temporary ban on his press credential, which came after he threatened to engage in physical violence against radio host and former White House aide Dr. Sebastian Gorka at a Rose Garden event this summer. After Karem’s threats of violence, the White House issued a temporary suspension of his press credentials–which Karem has sued to overturn, a lawsuit the WHCA signed onto.
But the WHCA remains silent on actual racism and antisemitism inside the New York Times and inside CNN. It now remains silent on what appears to be a serious breach of journalistic ethics from the Washington Post. It remains silent on threats of violence from CNN primetime weeknight anchor Chris Cuomo, who was caught on tape threatening a man who jokingly called him “Fredo.” They remain silent on CNN’s April Ryan’s bodyguard’s physical attack on a reporter this month who was trying to cover a speech she gave in New Jersey. It remains silent on CNN anchor Don Lemon being credibly accused of sexual assault in a bar in the Hamptons. It remains silent on an MSNBC anchor pushing false information about the president’s finances that he was forced to retract the next night in an embarrassing public retraction and apology. It remains silent on a Miami Heraldcolumnist publishing what has been denounced as antisemitism when he labeled a Jewish conservative a “termite.”

For now, though, this latest skirmish between Trump-world and the media has left both sides shaken.
Lippman’s Politico story noted that White House officials “were buzzing all day on Friday” and “trying to understand her sudden firing.”
“It is a good reminder that we are all staff,” one White House official told Politico. “We are all replaceable.”

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Report: Washington Post's Philip Rucker Burned 'Off-the-Record' Conversation with Trump's Secretary

The Washington Post’s White House bureau chief, Philip Rucker, has not denied allegations that he violated the terms of an off-the-record conversation with now-former White House official Madeleine Westerhout, which led to her termination as the president’s personal secretary.
As the New York Times reported late Thursday evening, Westerhout was removed from the White House after having served since the beginning of the Trump presidency when it was determined she allegedly leaked confidential information about Oval Office operations and the first family to reporters in an off-the-record dinner in Bedminster, New Jersey, while the president was staying there this month.

From the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman and Annie Karni:

President Trump’s personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, whose office sits in front of the Oval Office and who has served as the president’s gatekeeper since Day 1 of his administration, resigned on Thursday, two people familiar with her exit said. Ms. Westerhout’s abrupt and unexpected departure came after Mr. Trump learned on Thursday that she had indiscreetly shared details about his family and the Oval Office operations she was part of during a recent off-the-record dinner with reporters staying at hotels near Bedminster, N.J., during the president’s working vacation, according to one of the people, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss White House personnel issues.

“The breach of trust meant immediate action: Ms. Westerhout, one of the people familiar with her departure said, was immediately considered a ‘separated employee’ and would not be allowed to return to the White House on Friday,” Haberman and Karni added.
Westerhout was a staple in the West Wing, with a desk right outside the Oval Office and having control over much of who got in to speak with the president in person or over the phone and a lot of which papers made it to him and which did not. When it turned out she was allegedly leaking, as the Times noted, she was reportedly immediately terminated and told not to return to the White House. She was an aide to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, now a Utah U.S. senator after carpetbagging his way out West last cycle when he bowed out of running for Senate against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in Massachusetts during his 2012 presidential campaign. She also served at the Republican National Committee (RNC) and in various other roles throughout the party before joining the Trump White House in the beginning of the administration.
It is still unclear exactly what specific information that Westerhout allegedly leaked that led to her termination. But one new detail has emerged in the half-day since her departure from the West Wing that is raising eyebrows around Washington: a plausible theory as to who burned her.
Arthur Schwartz, a highly plugged-in GOP strategist, has tweeted that multiple reporters and White House officials have told him that Rucker–the Post’s White House bureau chief–is who shared the off-the-record information that Westerhout supposedly provided with someone else, before it then got back to the White House what Westerhout was allegedly doing:

I’ve heard from two reporters that @PhilipRucker is the one that burned Madeleine Westerhout. A couple of people in the WH told me the same.
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) August 30, 2019

Schwartz, about whom the New York Times just wrote regarding his role as a Trump ally in an effort to expose media figures’ histories of racism, antisemitism, bigotry, and other embarrassing comments, said it is clear from what he says about Rucker’s behavior here that “off-the-record” is now “meaningless”:

“Off the record” is now officially meaningless. https://t.co/lDHWLUqM3V
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) August 30, 2019

Schwartz also said there should be serious consequences for Rucker for his behavior on this matter:

Hey @PhilipRucker. Sharing info that you were given off the record should end your career. Thoughts and prayers, pal.
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) August 30, 2019

Rucker has not replied to multiple emailed requests for comment from Breitbart News on this matter. He also has not said if he was at the dinner with Westerhout, if Westerhout did share “off-the-record” information with him and others there, and if he then provided said information to others who then relayed back to the White House what both he and Westerhout were doing.
If true, this would be a violation of the Washington Post’s published standards regarding handling of “off-the-record” dealings with sources.
The Post’s published guidelines on “off-the-record” information are as follows:

Off the record: This is the trickiest of all, because so many people misuse the term. By the traditional definition, off-the-record information cannot be used for publication or in further reporting. But many sources, including some sophisticated officials, use the term when they really mean “not for attribution to me.” We must be very careful when dealing with sources who say they want to be “off the record.” If they mean “not for attribution to me,” we need to explain the difference, and discuss what the attribution will actually be. If they really mean off the record as the term is traditionally defined, then in most circumstances, we should avoid listening to such information at all. We do not want to be hamstrung by a source who tells us something that becomes unusable because it is provided on an off-the-record basis.
A source may be willing to give us information for our guidance or to prompt further reporting, on the understanding that we will not use his or her comments as the basis for publication.

Also if true, the Post could be latest in what seems like an endless line of establishment media outlets dealing with ethics issues–the New York Times has been hit with one of its own over the past week-plus, and CNN has had serious problems over the past month–the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) seems more distracted in helping someone from Playboy magazine who threatened violence at the White House get back his press credentials:

Where the hell is the @whca on the Amazon Washington Post / @PhilipRucker scandal? They’re busy defending a Playboy columnist’s right to behave like a buffoon at the WH instead of addressing an unprecedented credibility crisis facing their entire profession. Shameful.
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) August 30, 2019

The WHCA just this week signed onto a lawsuit by Brian Karem, Playboy’s White House correspondent, to try to overturn a White House-issued temporary ban on his press credential, which came after he threatened to engage in physical violence against radio host and former White House aide Dr. Sebastian Gorka at a Rose Garden event this summer. After Karem’s threats of violence, the White House issued a temporary suspension of his press credentials–which Karem has sued to overturn, a lawsuit the WHCA signed onto.
But the WHCA remains silent on actual racism and antisemitism inside the New York Times and inside CNN. It now remains silent on what appears to be a serious breach of journalistic ethics from the Washington Post. It remains silent on threats of violence from CNN primetime weeknight anchor Chris Cuomo, who was caught on tape threatening a man who jokingly called him “Fredo.” They remain silent on CNN’s April Ryan’s bodyguard’s physical attack on a reporter this month who was trying to cover a speech she gave in New Jersey. It remains silent on CNN anchor Don Lemon being credibly accused of sexual assault in a bar in the Hamptons. It remains silent on an MSNBC anchor pushing false information about the president’s finances that he was forced to retract the next night in an embarrassing public retraction and apology. It remains silent on a Miami Herald columnist publishing what has been denounced as antisemitism when he labeled a Jewish conservative a “termite.” But the WHCA has the time and energy to defend threats of violence from a Playboy magazine writer:

Where the hell is the @whca on the Amazon Washington Post / @PhilipRucker scandal? They’re busy defending a Playboy columnist’s right to behave like a buffoon at the WH instead of addressing an unprecedented credibility crisis facing their entire profession. Shameful.
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) August 30, 2019

CNN, Washington Post, NY Times and MSNBC have all been hit with major scandals in recent weeks — ranging from serious breaches of basic rules of journalism to overt anti-Semitism and other forms of hate & bigotry.
Number of people fired: Zero#EnemyOfThePeople
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) August 30, 2019

Source told me off the record that @PhilipRucker doesn’t know how to #BeBest.
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) August 30, 2019

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Poll: Green New Deal Lead Senate Sponsor Ed Markey Underwater in Massachusetts, Joe Kennedy Leads by 17 in Primary

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) is trailing a potential challenger inside the Democrat Party by 17 percent a year away from the election, a horrendous sign for the incumbent leftist senator and for those with whom he has been cavorting on federal policy proposals.
Markey is the lead Senate sponsor of the Green New Deal environmentalist plan hatched by socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a proposal that went down in flames on the Senate floor earlier this year. But the fact that he is polling so badly in Massachusetts, trailing Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA)–the grandson of former Attorney General Bobby Kennedy–by well into double digits, is a bad sign for the left flank of the Democrat Party.

Markey, at 25 percent, trails Kennedy’s 42 percent–with businessman Steve Pemberton at 7 percent and attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan at 5 percent–in the new Change Research survey published by Commonwealth magazine this week.

2020 Massachusetts Senate – Democratic Primary:Joe Kennedy 42% (+17)Ed Markey 25%Steve Pemberton 7%Shannon Liss-Riordan 5%@ChangePolls / Education Reform Now Advocacy 8/23-25https://t.co/Ycg03Slsax #MAsen
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) August 30, 2019

Commonwealth wrote:

When respondents were pressed to make a choice, Kennedy garnered 42 percent support compared to Markey’s 25 percent. Businessman Steve Pemberton earned 7 percent and attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan got 5 percent. Without leaners, Kennedy’s 17-point lead is slightly diminished, as 31 percent of respondents said they would back Kennedy compared to 19 percent supporting Markey.
The survey obtained by CommonWealth was conducted by Change Research, a San Francisco area firm that has worked on behalf of Democratic candidates and causes as well as the NAACP and the AFL-CIO, according to its website. The poll was commissioned by Education Reform Now Advocacy, which tacked the horse race and other political questions onto a bigger poll gauging voters’ temperature about education policy issues.
Unlike a traditional telephone poll, Change Research conducted its research online, and weighted its results based on demographics as well as the 2016 vote.
The margin of error for the Democratic primary was 3.5 percentage points, and the margin for general election questions was 3.1 percentage points, according to the pollster. Change Research is led by Mike Greenfield, who was the first data scientist at PayPal and LinkedIn, and the firm advertises affordable and accurate digital polling.
Run from August 23-25, the poll of 1,008 registered Massachusetts voters captured their feelings about the burgeoning US Senate race about a week after news broke that Kennedy might challenge Markey in the primary, but just before Kennedy publicly confirmed those news stories with a Facebook post on Monday. A total of 808 respondents weighed in on the Democratic primary.

Kennedy is the latest member of perhaps what is America’s most powerful political family to rise to a national place of prominence. His grandfather was the Attorney General of the United States when his grandfather’s brother John F. Kennedy was President of the United States. John F. Kennedy was assassinated as president, and Robert Kennedy was assassinated when he was later running for president himself. Their third brother, Ted Kennedy, was the U.S. Senator from Massachusetts for many years. Many other members of the Kennedy family have served in key positions throughout government in Congress, both the House and Senate, and in other facets of public life.
Now a third-term Congressman, Joe Kennedy III delivered the official Democrat response to President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address in 2018.
[embedded content]
He took criticism for something that appeared to be glazed on the corner of his mouth during that response speech. But Kennedy has been continually rising inside the ranks of the Democrat Party in the lead-up to this, and since then.
This new Change Research poll reported on by Commonwealth magazine also has some interesting information for Republicans in Massachusetts. GOP Gov. Charlie Baker actually leads Markey at this time according to the survey, 45 percent to 44 percent. Against Kennedy, though, Baker trails 49 percent to 41 percent–not an insurmountable hurdle for a popular GOP governor in a deep blue state. Baker has been an interesting case study as governor of the Bay State. He has been very anti-Trump as governor, and has raced to the middle to cut deals with Democrats on a number of matters. But to win the governor’s mansion the first time around, he campaigned hard against illegal immigration–telling Breitbart News in an exclusive interview in September 2014 that illegal immigration is a problem in Massachusetts.

2020 Massachusetts Senate GE:Charlie Baker (R) 45% (+1)Ed Markey (D-inc) 44%@ChangePolls / Education Reform Now Advocacy 8/23-25https://t.co/Ycg03Slsax #MAsen
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) August 30, 2019

2020 Massachusetts Senate GE:Joe Kennedy (D) 49% (+8)Charlie Baker (R) 41%@ChangePolls / Education Reform Now Advocacy 8/23-25https://t.co/Ycg03Slsax #MAsen
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) August 30, 2019

Baker said in the September 2014 interview:

Number one, the inability of the federal government to deal with illegal immigration is a policy problem in Washington, but it’s a very different and much more direct and immediate issue for state leaders and local leaders such as mayors and other local officials because they end up dealing with the consequences of not having an immigration policy at the federal level that works. During the past seven years, while state spending has gone up by billions of dollars, the state has cut local aid to cities and towns by hundreds of millions of dollars–which has made it very difficult for cities and towns to do what they need to do to ensure public safety, education, basic services and all the rest.

There is a pathway for Republicans, under the exact right circumstances, to win statewide office in Massachusetts. While the former Massachusetts GOP governor Mitt Romney bowed out of running for the Senate against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in the state in which he was previously governor last cycle to instead carpet-bag his way into a U.S. Senate seat in Utah, that seat was previously held by a Republican. Former Sen. Scott Brown, who’s now President Trump’s ambassador to New Zealand, defeated the very same Democrat Martha Coakley that Baker would later defeat in his first run for governor after the Joe Kennedy’s great uncle Ted Kennedy passed away vacating the seat. Warren later beat Brown for the seat in a hard-fought battle between the two.
In a presidential year, however, with Trump facing off against whoever win the Democrat nomination, it would be extraordinarily difficult for a Republican to pull off an upset even against the highly unpopular Markey.
Markey’s sharp dip in the polls comes after earlier this year he threw in league with Ocasio-Cortez, becoming the lead Senate sponsor of the Green New Deal. Back in March, the Senate blocked the the proposal when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the plan up for a vote. Forty-three Democrats voted present, while 57 senators in a bipartisan fashion voted down the Green New Deal.

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Report: Alleged West Wing Leaker Madeleine Westerhout Ousted

An alleged leaker from inside the West Wing whose desk sat right outside President Donald Trump’s Oval Office was reportedly ousted from her position on Thursday and told never to return to the White House.
Madeleine Westerhout, who had served as the president’s personal assistant since the first day of his administration, was according to the New York Times terminated from her position on Thursday after it was revealed that she allegedly leaked details about Oval Office operations and the first family to media in an off-record dinner in Bedminster, New Jersey, earlier this month.

The New York Times‘ Annie Karni and Maggie Haberman wrote on Thursday evening:

President Trump’s personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, whose office sits in front of the Oval Office and who has served as the president’s gatekeeper since Day 1 of his administration, resigned on Thursday, two people familiar with her exit said. Ms. Westerhout’s abrupt and unexpected departure came after Mr. Trump learned on Thursday that she had indiscreetly shared details about his family and the Oval Office operations she was part of during a recent off-the-record dinner with reporters staying at hotels near Bedminster, N.J., during the president’s working vacation, according to one of the people, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss White House personnel issues.

“The breach of trust meant immediate action: Ms. Westerhout, one of the people familiar with her departure said, was immediately considered a “separated employee” and would not be allowed to return to the White House on Friday,” Haberman and Karni added.
Leaks have plagued Trump’s administration since the beginning, with a combination of disloyal political officials and career government officials leaking damaging information against the president to the media in an effort to harm his presidency. Trump has fought back against the leaks repeatedly, and several officials from the White House and throughout government have been terminated after being exposed as leakers.
Westerhout was something of an anomaly in the Trump White House in that she had deep history with establishment Republicans before going to work for the president at the beginning of his administration. She worked for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, now a U.S. Senator from Utah – after he carpet-bagged his way into Utah to run for Senate there instead of in the state where he once served as governor, in the 2012 presidential election – and then later for the Republican National Committee.
Perhaps ironically, given that Westerhout was reportedly terminated for allegedly leaking, she bashed a leak of months-worth of the president’s personal schedule back in February:

What a disgraceful breach of trust to leak schedules. What these don’t show are the hundreds of calls and meetings @realDonaldTrump takes everyday. This POTUS is working harder for the American people than anyone in recent history. https://t.co/n1HrxmCsiB
— Madeleine Westerhout (@madwest45) February 3, 2019

The leak revealed how Trump structures his day with “executive time,” something many in media used to rip the president for, claiming he is not working as hard as he could for the country.

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President Trump Demands Retraction from MSNBC for O’Donnell’s Deutsche Bank Claims

President Donald Trump is through his attorneys officially demanding a retraction from MSNBC for claims that host Lawrence O’Donnell made that they say are false about the president.
Trump’s demand, made through his attorneys, comes after O’Donnell claimed on television on Tuesday evening that Trump had “Russian oligarchs” as co-signers on loans:

A source close to Deutsche Bank says Trump’s tax returns show he pays very little income tax and, more importantly, that his loans have Russian co-signers.
If true, that explains every kind word Trump has ever said about Russia and Putin. @TheLastWord 10pm
— Lawrence O’Donnell (@Lawrence) August 28, 2019

He cited a “single source” to make the claim. From RealClearPolitics’ report on the segment:

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell said Tuesday that a “single source close to Deutsche Bank” told him that President Donald Trump’s loans were co-signed by “Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin.”
“If true,” O’Donnell said, “that would be a significant factor in Vladimir Putin’s publicly stated preference for presidential candidate Donald Trump over presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.”
He also said “this single source close to Deutsche Bank has told me that Donald Trump’s loan documents there show that he has co-signers. That’s how he was able to obtain those loans. And that the co-signers are Russian oligarchs.”
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow acted surprised, saying: “What? Really?”
Later in the show, he added: “The source close to Deutsche Bank says that the co-signers of Donald Trump’s Deutsche Bank loans are Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin.”

The claim drew sharp criticism from several, including even NBC and MSNBC personnel who said they cannot stand by O’Donnell’s claims:

I understand why reporters often rely on anonymous sources, and so long as they have multiple sources with direct knowledge/evidence of an event, its fair game IMO.
But single sourcing “scoops” with no evidence/direct knowledge is indefensible & should be rejected by everyone. https://t.co/qBjrso3072
— Andrew Surabian (@Surabees) August 28, 2019

Deutsche Bank is declining to comment on Lawrence O’Donnell’s reporting that Russian oligarch’s co-signed Trump’s loans. The information came from a single source who has not seen the bank records. NBC has not seen those records and has not yet been able to verify the reporting.
— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) August 28, 2019

“This law firm is litigation counsel for President Donald J. Trump (‘Mr. Trump’) and The Trump Organization (‘Trump Org.’),” Charles Harder of Harder LLP law firm wrote to MSNBC executives, in a letter obtained by Breitbart News. “We write concerning the false and defamatory statements published by Lawrence O’Donnell and NBC Universal (‘NBCU’) (collectively, ‘you’ and ‘your’) about Mr. Trump and Trump Org. in an episode of the program, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, which was broadcasted on or about August 27, 2019 (the ‘Program’), and also published by Mr. O’Donnell and NBCU in a tweet posted on that same date (the ‘Tweet’). The Program and Tweet make the false and defamatory statements that ‘Russian oligarchs’ cosigned loans provided to Mr. Trump by Deutsche Bank, and described these ‘co-signers’ as ‘Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin.’”
Harder writes that the statements from O’Donnell and MSNBC are “false and defamatory.”
“These statements are false and defamatory, and extremely damaging,” the president’s lawyer wrote. “The only borrowers under these loans are Trump entities, and Mr. Trump is the only guarantor. Numerous documents for each of these loans are also recorded, publicly available and searchable online. Thus, actual malice can easily be proven based on your reckless disregard of the truth and unreasonable reliance on an alleged ‘source’ who you will not even identify in your story and likely is seeking to mislead you and the public for political reasons or other ulterior motives.”
As such, Harder wrote that Trump is demanding a retraction and apology from MSNBC and O’Donnell.
“Demand is hereby made that Mr. O’Donnell and NBCU immediately and prominently retract, correct and apologize for the aforementioned false and defamatory statements,” Harder’s letter continues.
The letter concludes by noting that MSNBC must preserve all documents in the case of litigation as a result of O’Donnell’s actions.
A failure to respond and retract the statement within 24 hours, Harder wrote, would mean the president will pursue legal action against the network.
“Failure to do so will leave my clients with no alternative but to consider their legal options which could include immediate legal proceedings against Mr. O’Donnell and NBCU,” Harder wrote. “Should that occur, my clients would pursue all available causes of action and seek all available damages and other legal remedies to the maximum extent permitted by law.”
An MSNBC spokeswoman has not immediately responded to Breitbart News’ request for comment.

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