Lawyers representing President Donald Trump’s transition on Saturday accused special counsel Robert Mueller of improperly obtaining emails and documents as part of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to several reports.
Fox News first reported that Kory Langhofer, the attorney for the President’s Trump for America transition team, sent a letter to the Senate Homeland Security Committee and House Oversight Committee accusing staff at the General Services Administration (GSA) of “unlawful conduct” for giving Mueller the documents.
He claimed that Mueller’s office asked the GSA for “copies of the emails, laptops, cell phones, and other materials” of 13 members of Trump’s transition, four of whom Langhofer claimed were senior members.
Langhofer also accused GSA officials of giving Mueller “tens of thousands of emails” without giving the transition “any notice.” He claimed some of the documents Mueller obtained were “susceptible to privilege claims.”
According to Langhofer, Richard Beckler, the late general counsel of the GSA, “assured” the Trump transition’s legal counsel that “any requests” for materials from the transition would “be routed” to them. Beckler died in September.
Langhofer claimed that Lenny Loewentritt, deputy counsel for the GSA, was present for Beckler’s conversations with the Trump transition’s legal representation, and accused Loewentritt of “working with” the GSA staffers who gave Mueller the materials.
Both Mueller’s team and Loewentritt pushed back on Langhofer’s accusations.
In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Loewentritt said Beckler “never made that commitment” to Trump’s transition and said members of the transition were informed that if they used GSA devices or materials, those “would not be held back” in the event of law enforcement action.
“Therefore, no expectation of privacy can be assumed,” Loewentritt said.
“When we have obtained emails in the course of our ongoing criminal investigation, we have secured either the account owner’s consent or appropriate criminal process,” a spokeperson for the special counsel told CNN and Fox News.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday said there are “a lot of different protocols” that explain why Omarosa Manigault Newman is still getting paid by President Donald Trump’s administration despite her resignation.
“Why are the taxpayers continuing to pay her salary for another month if she’s no longer here at the White House?” CNN’s Jeff Zeleny asked Sanders during her daily briefing.
“I’m not going to weigh in any further, as we often do,” Sanders said. “The President likes Omarosa, thanked her for her service, and again she’ll be here later this afternoon, so she’s resigned from her position, but there’s really nothing else to add on that front.”
“If she’s resigned, though, why is she on the payroll for another month? Is that normal?” Zeleny pressed.
“Look, there is a lot of different protocols that take place in the government. That’s part of the process. If you want to reach out to HR, they might be able to walk you through that in a more detailed way,” Sanders said. “Thankfully I haven’t been through the process myself so I can’t speak to it from firsthand knowledge.”
The White House on Wednesday announced that Manigault Newman resigned “to pursue other opportunities” and said her departure “will not be effective until January 20, 2018.”
American Urban Radio Networks’ April Ryan reported later Wednesday that Manigault Newman, a former contestant on “The Apprentice,” spoke with White House chief of staff John Kelly about her departure and subsequently “tried to go into the residence.”
“And mind you, Gen. Kelly has cut off her walk-in access to go into the Oval Office and things of that nature,” Ryan said. “She was escorted off the property.”
Ryan in February said that Manigault Newman “physically intimidated” her at one point and claimed the White House had “dossiers” of negative information on journalists, including Ryan.
Sanders ended her briefing with a quip that appeared to reference Ryan’s reporting on Manigault Newman’s departure and their previous animosity.
“April, I’m looking forward to having some pie with you here momentarily,” she said, to laughter, before leaving the room.
Trump offered his own summary of Manigault Newman’s tenure during a photo opportunity Thursday afternoon: “I like Omarosa. Omarosa is a good person.”
Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., who has been the publisher of the New York Times since 1992, on Thursday announced that his son will take over the job in the new year.
The New York Times reported that Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, referred to by his father as “A.G.” in a note announcing his succession, will take over his father’s job 14 months after he was named deputy publisher of the newspaper. The company also announced Sulzberger Jr.’s retirement in a statement.
“This isn’t a goodbye,” Sulzberger Jr., who will stay on as chairman of the company, said in a note to New York Times staff on Thursday. “But, beginning in the new year, the grand ship that is The Times will be A. G.’s to steer.”
According to the New York Times, the younger Sulzberger will be the sixth member of his family to serve as publisher of the newspaper.
President Donald Trump’s election made its own set of waves in the media, and little has changed a month before the first anniversary of Trump’s inauguration. Trump has spent much of his first year in office attacking the media as “fake news” while praising his favorite news sources.
It's hard to read the Failing New York Times or the Amazon Washington Post because every story/opinion, even if should be positive, is bad!
Wow, more than 90% of Fake News Media coverage of me is negative, with numerous forced retractions of untrue stories. Hence my use of Social Media, the only way to get the truth out. Much of Mainstream Meadia has become a joke! @foxandfriends
The Secret Service on Wednesday said it was not involved in Omarosa Manigault Newman’s departure from the White House.
“Reporting regarding Secret Service personnel physically removing Omarosa Manigault Newman from the @WhiteHouse complex is inaccurate,” the agency tweeted.
The Secret Service said it “was not involved in the termination process of Ms Manigault Newman or the escort off of the complex.”
“Our only involvement in this matter was to deactivate the individual’s pass which grants access to the complex,” the agency said.
The Secret Service was not involved in the termination process of Ms Manigault Newman or the escort off of the complex. Our only involvement in this matter was to deactivate the individual's pass which grants access to the complex.
American Urban Radio Networks’ April Ryan reported earlier Wednesday, citing unnamed sources, that the Secret Service “escorted” Manigault Newman “off the property” after she “tried to go into the residence” to see President Donald Trump.
“And mind you, Gen. Kelly has cut off her walk-in access to go into the Oval Office and things of that nature,” Ryan said on CNN, referring to White House chief of staff John Kelly. “Security alerted Gen. Kelly, he came back down, told the Secret Service to take her out of there.”
The White House on Wednesday said that Manigault Newman “resigned yesterday to pursue other opportunities.”
“Her departure will not be effective until January 20, 2018,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “We wish her the best in future endeavors and are grateful for her service.”
Sen.-elect Doug Jones (D-AL) on Wednesday said he received a “very gracious” call from President Donald Trump congratulating him on his upset victory, but he has not spoken with Republican opponent Roy Moore, who has not conceded yet.
“It was a very gracious call. I very much appreciated it,” Jones said at a press conference of his call with Trump. “He congratulated me on the race that we won. He congratulated me and my staff on the way and the manner in which we handled this campaign and went forward.”
Jones said he and Trump “talked about finding common ground to work together.”
“He invited me over to the White House to visit as soon as I get up there,” Jones said. “So it was a very nice phone call, a very pleasant phone call, and I appreciated him very much reaching out to me.”
Earlier in the press conference, a reporter asked Jones if he had spoken with Moore, who has not conceded and who has suggested he may demand a recount.
“I have not,” Jones said.
“Do you think that he should concede?” a reporter asked.
“I’m going to leave that to him,” Jones said. “I’m going to reach out.”
Brett J. Talley, a lawyer unanimously rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Association, will not move forward in the nomination process for a lifetime federal district judgeship, TPM confirmed on Wednesday.
Talley has no trial experience and was only the fourth nominee since 1989 to be rated “not qualified” by the ABA. President Donald Trump nevertheless nominated Talley in September as his pick for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.
The New York Times reported in November that Talley did not disclose his marriage to Ann Donaldson, top White House lawyer Don McGahn’s chief of staff, during his nomination process before the Senate.
BuzzFeed News reported, also in November, that Talley also failed to disclose thousands of posts he appeared to have written for TideFans.com, a University of Alabama sports fan website, on political subjects including immigration and gun control.
Talley appeared to go by the username “BamainBoston,” and identified himself in 2014 in a post titled “Washington Post Did A Feature On Me” with a link to a report that dubbed him “the ghost hunter and horror novelist who writes Sen. Rob Portman’s speeches.” (Talley did disclose to the Senate that he was part of The Tuscaloosa Paranormal Research Group in 2009–10.)
In one post about gun control in December 2012, titled “Aftermath of Connecticut Shooting” and written three days after a gunman killed 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Talley said, “My solution would be to stop being a society of pansies and man up.”
In another post on the same fan website, surfaced by Slate, Talley appeared to defend “the first KKK” which he incorrectly claimed “was entirely different than the KKK of the early 19th Century.”
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) on Wednesday congratulated Sen.-elect Doug Jones (D) on his upset victory over Republican candidate Roy Moore, who Shelby harshly criticized days before the state’s special election.
“The people of Alabama have spoken,” Shelby said in a statement. “Congratulations to Doug Jones.”
Shelby said he “spoke” with Jones on Wednesday morning.
“I look forward to working together to do what’s best for the great state of Alabama,” he said.
The people of Alabama have spoken. Congratulations to Doug Jones. I spoke with him this morning, and I look forward to working together to do what’s best for the great state of Alabama.
On Sunday, Shelby harshly criticized Moore, who numerous women accused of sexual misconduct, during a rare television interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“The state of Alabama deserves better,” Shelby said. “The allegations are significantly stronger than the denial.”
Jones was the first Democrat to win a Senate race in Alabama since the late Sen. Howell Heflin won a third term in 1990. Shelby was elected to office in 1986 as a Democrat, but switched affiliation to the Republican Party in 1994, two years into his second term.
Omarosa Manigault Newman’s resignation from President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday unfolded more like an anecdote from her days as a reality show contestant than the amicable departure the White House described, according to several reports.
“Omarosa Manigault Newman resigned yesterday to pursue other opportunities,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement to pool reporters. “Her departure will not be effective until January 20, 2018. We wish her the best in future endeavors and are grateful for her service.”
American Urban Radio Networks’ April Ryan reported, citing unnamed sources, that Manigault Newman’s departure contained rather more “drama” than the White House’s account suggested.
I heard there was drama and she was escorted out of the building and off campus
Sources say General Kelly did the firing and Omarosa is alleged to have acted very vulgar and cursed a lot and said she helped elect President Trump. The word is a General Kelly had it and got rid of her.
Okay the White House still contends Omarosa signed a resignation letter. But Gen Kelly Kicked her out will high drama with the Minister offering vulgarities and curse words as she was escorted out of the building and off campus
The New York Times’ Yamiche Alcindor also reported, citing unnamed sources, that security escorted Manigault Newman out of the White House.
On Omarosa's exit: I just talked to sources who tell me Omarosa was let go yesterday and that she was escorted off of the White House grounds by security. They say she is now calling friends saying that she left voluntarily because her year anniversary was coming up.
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday afternoon, citing an unnamed White House official, that Manigault Newman was “physically dragged and escorted off the campus,” referring to White House grounds.
Ryan said in an interview on CNN later Wednesday that White House chief of staff John Kelly was “tired of all the drama” related to Manigault Newman.
She described Manigault Newman as “a mood changer” for Trump.
“She could get in his ear some kind of way, he could be happy, and then all of a sudden she points something out and his whole mood would change,” Ryan said. “He would lash out.”
Ryan said there “were concerns” about how Manigault Newman brought members of her bridal party to the White House in April for a photo shoot and tour “when she wasn’t supposed to.”
She said another of Kelly’s differences of opinion with Manigault Newman was “being Omarosa” and “not knowing what she’s doing.”
“What I’m hearing from many sources is that Gen. Kelly confronted her, she was very vulgar, she was cursing, very animated, and they worked out a negotiation for her to leave January 20th,” Ryan said. “That didn’t sit well with her.”
Ryan said Manigault Newman’s assistant was “fired,” and that Manigault Newman asked Kelly whether Trump was aware of the situation. According to Ryan, Kelly told Manigault Newman that Trump “signed off” on her departure.
“She said, ‘I wanted to call the President,’ and Gen. Kelly said, ‘This is not going to the principal’s office. It’s done,'” Ryan said.
According to Ryan, Manigault Newman then tried to enter the White House residence to visit Trump.
“A little later on, she tried to go see the President. She tried to go into the residence,” she said. “And mind you, Gen. Kelly has cut off her walk-in access to go into the Oval Office and things of that nature. Security alerted Gen. Kelly, he came back down, told the Secret Service to take her out of there. She was escorted off the property.”
Ryan said she “can’t see” Manigault Newman “filling out” the remainder of the time before her scheduled departure after Tuesday night’s events.
“It was very ugly,” she said. “It was high drama last evening, from what I’m hearing.”
Manigault Newman worked in the communications department of President Donald Trump’s administration, and previously served as a scheduler in the office of then-Vice President Al Gore.
A former contestant on “The Apprentice,” where she was repeatedly fired, Manigault Newman had an adversarial relationship with the press, and Ryan in particular, long before the White House announced her departure on Wednesday.
During Trump’s campaign, she worked on African-American outreach, and made a notable appearance in a PBS documentary where she claimed all Trump’s detractors would “have to bow down” if he won the presidency.
Ryan in February said that Manigault Newman “physically intimidated” her during one encounter and claimed the White House had “dossiers” of negative information on several journalists, including Ryan.
“She stood right in my face like she was going to hit me,” Ryan told the Washington Post. “I said, ‘You better back up.’”
A spokesman for Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore’s campaign on Tuesday appeared dumbfounded when asked whether he knew that there is no legal requirement for elected officials to be sworn in using a Christian bible.
“Judge Moore has also said that he doesn’t think a Muslim member of Congress should be allowed to be in Congress. Why? Under what provision of the Constitution?” CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Moore spokesman Ted Crockett.
Moore in 2006 said that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to Congress, should not be sworn in because Moore claimed the Quran was not compatible with the Constitution.
“Because you have to swear on the Bible,” Crockett responded. “You have to swear on a Bible to be an elected official in the United States of America. He alleges that a Muslim cannot do that ethically, swearing on the Bible.”
“You don’t actually have to swear on a Christian Bible. You can swear on anything, really. I don’t know if you knew that. You can swear on a Jewish Bible,” Tapper said. “The law is not that you have to swear on a Christian Bible.”
Crockett fell silent for several seconds.
“You don’t know that?” Tapper added.
Crockett remained silent for several more seconds, then said, “I know that Donald Trump did it, when we made him President.”
“Because he’s Christian and he picked it,” Tapper replied. “That’s what he wanted to swear in on.”
Roy Moore campaign spokesman responds with silence when asked if he knew people can be sworn in with a text other than the Christian bible pic.twitter.com/B65qIKBjlI