Trump team paid porn star $130K to keep quiet about extramarital affair | New York Post

A lawyer for Donald Trump arranged to fork over $130,000 in hush money to an ex-porn star a month before the 2016 election to keep her quiet about an alleged hookup she had with the future president, a new report said Friday.

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Michael Cohen, a longtime lawyer for the Trump Organization, set up the payment to Stephanie Clifford — whose nom de smut was Stormy Daniels — after her lawyer negotiated a nondisclosure agreement, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Clifford alleged that the hookup with Trump took place in July 2006 after the pair met at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe — a year after Trump married his third wife, Melania.

The White House minimized the salacious revelation — one of many alleged incidents of inappropriate behavior with women the president has faced and denied.

“These are old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election,” a White House official told the paper.

The official wouldn’t answer questions about the reported deal with Clifford — who performed in about 150 porn films, including “Dirty Deeds,” “Nymphos” and “Good Will Humping,” an XXX-rated spoof of the flick “Good Will Hunting.”

Cohen wouldn’t talk about the $130,000 payment but said in a statement that “President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels.”

The president has repeatedly said that all of the more than a dozen women who’ve accused him of sexual misconduct or assault are liars.

“This is now the second time that you are raising outlandish allegations against my client. You have attempted to perpetuate this false narrative for over a year; a narrative that has been consistently denied by all parties since at least 2011,” Cohen added in his statement to the Journal.

The paper had previously reported that Clifford, 38, had huddled with ABC’s “Good Morning America” in the fall of 2016 about an appearance to discuss Trump, citing people familiar with the matter.

Cohen also sent a brief statement “TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN” and signed by “Stormy Daniels” denying that she had a “sexual and/or romantic affair” with Trump.

“Rumors that I have received hush money from Donald Trump are completely false,” the statement said.

The payment was made through Clifford’s lawyer, Keith Davidson, with the money sent to Davidson’s client-trust account at City National Bank in Los Angeles, sources told the paper.

“I previously represented Ms. Daniels,” Davidson said. “Attorney-client privilege prohibits me from commenting on my clients’ legal matters.”

The same month the deal was cut, the Washington Post published the infamous “Access Hollywood” video, in which Trump boasts about groping women, saying he could “grab them by the p—y.”

Trump dismissed the comments as “locker room talk.”

Clifford was a top star in the porn world when she met Trump at the American Century Championship in 2006, held at Edgewood Tahoe golf course in Nevada.

Another adult-film star, Jessica Drake, alleged in an October 2016 news conference that Trump kissed her and two other women without permission after the same 2006 golf event.

She said in a statement that she never sought or received any hush money from Trump or his people.

UNDERCOVER VIDEO: Twitter Engineers To “Ban a Way of Talking” Through “Shadow Banning,” Algorithms to Censor Opposing Political Opinions – Project Veritas


(San Francisco) In the latest undercover Project Veritas video investigation, current and former Twitter employees are on camera explaining steps the social media giant is taking to censor political content that they don’t like.

This video release follows the first undercover Twitter exposé Project Veritas released on January 10th which showed Twitter Senior Network Security Engineer Clay Haynes saying that Twitter is “more than happy to help the Department of Justice with their little [President Donald Trump] investigation.” Twitter responded to the video with a statement shortly after that release, stating “the individual depicted in this video was speaking in a personal capacity and does not represent of speak for Twitter.” The video released by Project Veritas today features eight employees, and a Project Veritas spokesman said there are more videos featuring additional employees coming.

On January 3rd 2018 at a San Francisco restaurant, Abhinov Vadrevu, a former Twitter Software Engineer explains a strategy, called “shadow banning,” that to his knowledge, Twitter has employed:

“One strategy is to shadow ban so you have ultimate control. The idea of a shadow ban is that you ban someone but they don’t know they’ve been banned, because they keep posting and no one sees their content. So they just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it.”
Twitter is in the process of automating censorship and banning, says Twitter Software Engineer Steven Pierre on December 8th of 2017:

“Every single conversation is going to be rated by a machine and the machine is going to say whether or not it’s a positive thing or a negative thing. And whether it’s positive or negative doesn’t (inaudible), it’s more like if somebody’s being aggressive or not. Right? Somebody’s just cursing at somebody, whatever, whatever. They may have point, but it will just vanish… It’s not going to ban the mindset, it’s going to ban, like, a way of talking.”
Olinda Hassan, a Policy Manager for Twitter’s Trust and Safety team explains on December 15th, 2017 at a Twitter holiday party that the development of a system of “down ranking” “shitty people” is in the works:

“Yeah. That’s something we’re working on. It’s something we’re working on. We’re trying to get the shitty people to not show up. It’s a product thing we’re working on right now.”
Former Twitter Engineer Conrado Miranda confirms on December 1st, 2017 that tools are already in place to censor pro-Trump or conservative content on the platform. When asked whether or not these capabilities exist, Miranda says, “that’s a thing.”

In a conversation with former Twitter Content Review Agent Mo Norai on May 16th, 2017, we learned that in the past Twitter would manually ban or censor Pro-Trump or conservative content. When asked about the process of banning accounts, Norai said, “On stuff like that it was more discretion on your view point, I guess how you felt about a particular matter…”

When asked to clarify if that process was automated Norai confirmed that it was not:

“Yeah, if they said this is: ‘Pro-Trump’ I don’t want it because it offends me, this, that. And I say I banned this whole thing, and it goes over here and they are like, ‘Oh you know what? I don’t like it too. You know what? Mo’s right, let’s go, let’s carry on, what’s next?’”
Norai also revealed that more left-leaning content would go through their selection process with less political scrutiny, “It would come through checked and then I would be like ‘Oh you know what? This is okay. Let it go.’”

Norai explains that this selection process wasn’t exactly Twitter policy, but rather they were following unwritten rules from the top:

“A lot of unwritten rules, and being that we’re in San Francisco, we’re in California, very liberal, a very blue state. You had to be… I mean as a company you can’t really say it because it would make you look bad, but behind closed doors are lots of rules.”

“There was, I would say… Twitter was probably about 90% Anti-Trump, maybe 99% Anti-Trump.”
At a San Francisco bar on January 5th, Pranay Singh details how the shadow-banning algorithms targeting right-leaning are engineered:

“Yeah you look for Trump, or America, and you have like five thousand keywords to describe a redneck. Then you look and parse all the messages, all the pictures, and then you look for stuff that matches that stuff.”

When asked if the majority of the algorithms are targeted against conservative or liberal users of Twitter, Singh said, “I would say majority of it are for Republicans.”

Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe believes the power over speech Silicon Valley tech giants has is unprecedented and dangerous:

“What kind of world do we live in where computer engineers are the gatekeepers of the ‘way people talk?’ This investigation brings forth information of profound public importance that educates people about how free they really are to express their views online.”
Project Veritas plans to release more undercover video from within Twitter in the coming days.

Mr. O’Keefe has just completed a book about this series entitled “AMERICAN PRAVDA: My fight for Truth in the Era of Fake News.” The book will be released by St. Martin’s Press on January 16, 2018.

Pre-order James O’Keefe’s new book – a treatise on modern media, a true crime spy thriller, and a rollicking adventure story. Follow James and his undercover journalists as they expose mainstream media outlets like CNN and the New York Times and reveal dirty political tricks during the 2016 national elections.

NEW VIDEO: Twitter Senior Engineer “more than happy” to Release Private Trump Messages to DOJ – Project Veritas

A Project Veritas undercover investigation has revealed a senior network security engineer at Twitter suggesting that his company turns over the private communications and deleted tweets of President Donald Trump to the Department of Justice. If true, it is yet unknown whether Twitter is voluntarily disclosing this sensitive information or acting under a court order. Twitter is currently in the midst of defending itself from left-leaning criticism that President Trump hasn’t been removed from the enormous m

Source: NEW VIDEO: Twitter Senior Engineer “more than happy” to Release Private Trump Messages to DOJ – Project Veritas

Oprah’s Home Affected By Southern California Mudslides « CBS Los Angeles


(CNN) — Two days after the Golden Globes and a speech that had everyone talking, Oprah Winfrey’s thoughts are not on her presidential prospects but with her neighbors in Santa Barbara, California, where heavy rains have caused dangerous mudslides and led to fatalities.At least 13 people have died and officials in Santa Barbara County say that number could rise.A number of homes have been destroyed and first responders have rescued at least 50 people.“Praying for our community again in Santa Barbara,” Winfrey wrote late Tuesday, sharing photos of her mud-soaked backyard and helicopters making rescues in the area.

Source: Oprah’s Home Affected By Southern California Mudslides « CBS Los Angeles

The mudslides and floodwaters have most affected areas in close proximity to wildfires that raged recently in Southern California, including the Thomas Fire, which has burned 281,893 acres to date.

Vegetation destroyed by the fires had acted as a sort of flood protection for certain residential areas, leaving them vulnerable to mudslides and floods.

In the video Winfrey posted, she shows herself walking in knee-deep mud and giving a view of the scene.

“The house in the back is gone,” she said.

The rainfall in the Los Angeles area was expected to clear by late Tuesday.

Since Sunday and the subsequent reports that Winfrey is “actively thinking” about running for president in 2020, Winfrey has not officially commented on the speculation.

On Tuesday, Winfrey’s close friend and “CBS This Morning” co-host, Gayle King, said Winfrey is “intrigued by the idea.”

— Sandra Gonzalezhttps://www.instagram.com/p/Bdv_QbqghTE/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=8&wp=840#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A5155.025000000001%7Dhttps://www.instagram.com/p/Bdv_QbqghTE/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=8&wp=840#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A5155.025000000001%7D

French star Deneuve defends men’s ‘right’ to chat up women | AFP.com

France’s most revered actress Catherine Deneuve hit out Tuesday at a new “puritanism” sparked by sexual harassment scandals, declaring that men should be “free to hit on” women.

She was one of around 100 French women writers, performers and academics who wrote an open letter deploring the wave of “denunciations” that has followed claims that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein raped and sexually assaulted women over decades.

They claimed that the “witch-hunt” that has followed threatens sexual freedom.

“Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not — nor is men being gentlemanly a macho attack,” said the letter published in the daily Le Monde.

“Men have been punished summarily, forced out of their jobs when all they did was touch someone’s knee or try to steal a kiss,” said the letter, which was also signed by Catherine Millet, author of the hugely explicit 2002 bestseller “The Sexual Life of Catherine M.”.

Men had been dragged through the mud, they argued, for “talking about intimate subjects during professional dinners or for sending sexually-charged messages to women who did not return their attentions.”

The letter attacked feminist social media campaigns like #MeToo and its French equivalent #Balancetonporc (Call out your pig) for unleashing this “puritanical… wave of purification”.

– ‘Witch-hunt’ –

It claimed that “legitimate protest against the sexual violence that women are subject to, particularly in their professional lives”, had turned into a witch-hunt.

“What began as freeing women up to speak has today turned into the opposite — we intimidate people into speaking ‘correctly’, shout down those who don’t fall into line, and those women who refused to bend” to the new realities “are regarded as complicit and traitors.”

The signatories — which included a porn star-turned-agony aunt — claimed they were defending sexual freedom, for which “the liberty to seduce and importune was essential”.

Oscar-nominated Deneuve, 74, is best known internationally for playing a bored housewife who spends her afternoons as a prostitute in Luis Bunuel classic 1967 film, “Belle du Jour”.

Deneuve has made no secret of her annoyance at social media campaigns to shame men accused of harassing women.

“I don’t think it is the right method to change things, it is excessive,” she said last year, referring to the #MeToo hashtag. “After ‘Calling our your pig’ what are we going to have, ‘Call our your whore?'” she said.

“Instead of helping women, this frenzy to send these (male chauvinist) ‘pigs’ to the abattoir actually helps the enemies of sexual liberty — religious extremists and the worst sort of reactionaries,” the collective of women who signed the letter said.

“As women we do not recognise ourselves in this feminism, which beyond denouncing the abuse of power, takes on a hatred of men and of sexuality.”

They insisted that women were “sufficiently aware that the sexual urge is by its nature wild and aggressive. But we are also clear-eyed enough not to confuse an awkward attempt to pick someone up with a sexual attack.”

Oprah’s Golden Globes speech sparks presidential run rumors | Page Six


Oprah Winfrey is “actively thinking” about running for president in 2020 after her stirring Golden Globes speech that addressed race and the #MeToo movement brought the crowd to its feet and raised speculation the media mogul would launch a White House bid, CNN reported on Monday.

The cable network said close friends of the billionaire businesswoman said her confidants are urging her to run and that discussions have been ongoing for months but Winfrey has not made up her mind yet.

Her longtime partner, St​e​dman Graham, said she’s game.

“It’s up to the people,” Graham, 66, told the Los Angeles Times after the speech. “She would absolutely do it.”

Her best friend, CBS anchor Gayle King, said the speech was “incredible. I got goosebumps.”

​Winfrey, 63, quickly got the endorsement of multiple Oscar winner Meryl Streep.

“She launched a rocket tonight. I want her to run for president,” Streep told the Washington Post. “I don’t think she had any intention [of declaring]. But now she doesn’t have a choice.”

Winfrey began her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement by remembering how her life changed when she watched Sidney Poitier receive the best actor Oscar in 1964.

​”​Up to the stage came the most elegant man I had ever seen. I remember his tie was white, and of course his skin was black, and I had never seen a black man being celebrated like that​,” said Winfrey.

She went on to tell “the girls watching here now to know that a new day is on the horizon.”

She defended the “under siege” press, emphasized the need for “uncovering the absolute truth” and praised the women who have come forward to “share their personal stories.”

​The ​address then moved into the realm of a political stump speech, offering a personal message of comfort, inspiration and empathy.

“In my career, what I’ve always tried my best to do, whether on television or through film, is to say something about how men and women really behave,” she said. “To say how we experience shame, how we love and how we rage, how we fail, how we retreat, persevere and how we overcome.”

The speech was hailed as presidential and Winfrey was urged to run against President Donald Trump.

It also generated an Oprah 2020 hastag on Twitter.

“She’s running. A new day is on the way​,” “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. posted on Twitter.

Attorney Lisa Bloom, Gloria Allred’s Daughter, Offered to Pay Woman $750K to Accuse Trump

Lisa Bloom, a California lawyer and daughter of Gloria Allred, who also represents Trump accusers, arranged payments for women to publicly accuse Donald Trump of sexual misconduct before the election. Bloom’s efforts included offering to sell the story to TV outlets in return for a commission for herself, arranging a donor to pay off the accuser’s mortgage, and attempting to secure as much as $750,000 to another woman who ultimately declined. The unidentified woman had an email from Bloom indicating that a Clinton Super PAC would help finance her legal costs if she agreed to do it. Earlier this year, Bloom was shamed into dropping Harvey Weinstein, asexual predator and alleged rapist, as a client. -GEG

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Trump disses Gloria Allred: ‘Any time you see her, you know something’s going wrong’

President Trump mocked women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred after her client, Beverly Young Nelson, admitted Friday she added “notes” to what she says is Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore’s signature in her yearbook in 1977.

“So, did you see what happened today? Do you know the yearbook? Did you see that? There was a little mistake made. She started writing things in the yearbook,” Trump continued. “Oh, what are we going to do? Gloria Allred, any time you see her, you know something’s going wrong.”

Original

Gloria Allred blocked Judge Roy Moore from Jeff Sessions open Senate Seat. Now it will be harder for Trump to move an agenda.

Will The Trump Administration Impact The Legal Marijuana Movement

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…California began allowing the sale of recreational marijuana on Monday, joining Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Nevada. Massachusetts and possibly Maine are expected to begin sales this year.

…“It puts the industry on notice in these states who thought they had cover from the states and the feds,” he said. “All these people are going to wake up today with a bit of a heartache because they thought were scot-free, when in reality, they’re not.”

‘Medical-grade marijuana’ won’t get you high, cannabis amendment supporters say

We rate the statement Mostly False.

Read below:

The level of THC in a plant varies based on the strain, the part of the plant used, and how it is processed for consumption.

Also present is a substance called cannabidiol, known as CBD, which is an antioxidant and has properties that are thought to protect the brain. It’s also not psychoactive like THC.

Florida’s 2014 law approved low-THC cannabis oil or vapor products containing CBD for patients with muscle spasms, cancer, epilepsy and terminal illnesses. Fifteen other states have similar laws. Even the National Institute on Drug Abuse says CBD may prove useful in treating epilepsy as well as inflammation and mental illnesses or addictions.

Products like cannabis oil are made from strains of marijuana already bred to be high in CBD and low in THC, although THC still is a part of the equation. Research shows that compound is what brings CBD into the brain.

Now for how this applies to McCray’s statement.

While there are non-euphoric strains of cannabis that are already being used as treatments for some conditions, it’s not accurate to say that no form of medical marijuana will get you high. High-THC medical cannabis will still produce the same intoxicating effects as the street form of the drug will.

We rate the statement Mostly False.

ORIGIONAL

Canopy Growth: Best Way To Play The Cannabis Industry – Canopy Growth Corporation (OTCMKTS:TWMJF) | Seeking Alpha

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Source: Canopy Growth: Best Way To Play The Cannabis Industry – Canopy Growth Corporation (OTCMKTS:TWMJF) | Seeking Alpha

Why are French police committing suicide in record numbers?

SUICIDE rates among police officers in France have hit record levels leading to serious concerns about the mental and emotional health of people whose duty is to serve and protect the population.

39 police officers have committed suicide since January this year and a further two deaths are suspected suicides.

The majority of those who committed suicide over the course of the past 11 months lived in the Paris region, where some 36,000 police officers are based. Out of the 10 police officers who committed suicide in the last two months, seven were based in Paris.

Radio station France Bleu, which reported on the figures, added that male police officers are more likely to take their own lives than their female counterparts: out of the 39 law enforcement officers who died this year, only three were women.

The suicide risk among police officers in France is “at least three times higher” than the national average, France Bleu said, adding that while most people committed suicide for “personal reasons,” an increasing number of deaths were being linked to work-related stress, especially among France’s police force.

Police trade unions believe that the anti-social nature of the job as well as the increased workloads and stress levels in part triggered by the wave of extremist violence in France have gnawed away at police officers’ mental wellbeing.

“Most police officers work five weekends out of six, when in fact they should be getting a weekend off every other week,” Louis-Guy Dubois, a member of Police Force Ouvrière trade union, told France Bleu.

According to Mr Dubois, the growing threat from Islamist terrorism has put French police under severe strain: “Giving officers more time off is an administrative headache, especially now that they are needed to help patrol the streets and prevent attacks. The number of officers working overtime (since the wave of attacks) has exploded. Police are under unprecedented pressure.”

Some 1,133 police officers have committed suicide in France in the last 25 years. Around 50 per cent killed themselves using their service weapon, according to France Bleu.

Original

French government forced to act after new wave of police suicides

Eight French officers including a high-profile former police chief have committed suicide in just a week sparking renewed concern among the forces of law and order and the government.
The worrying issue of the high number of suicides among French police officers is once again back on the agenda.

These latest suicides brought the number of French police officers to have taken their lives this year to 45. There have also been 16 suicides by members of France’s military police the gendarmerie nationale.

The most high profile death came on Sunday when it was revealed that France’s former police chief in charge of fighting hooliganism had been found dead in his office.

Antoine Boutonnet, whom The Local interviewed in June 2016 on the eve of Euro 2016 is believed to have used his service weapon to commit suicide.

Boutonnet’s death shocked those who knew him including the president of the French Football League Frédéric Thiriez.

“He wasn’t just a great professional but also a humanist. He became a friend,” said Thiriez.

France’s Interior Minister Gérard Collomb will meet with police unions after eight officers took their lives in a week.

He has also asked police chiefs to put together a list of recommendations aimed at cutting the number of suicides.

But French authorities seem powerless to prevent the loss of life given that in January 2015 the government had already unveiled its new plan aimed at cutting suicide numbers in the police forces.

That plan came after a black year for the forces of law and order when 55 police and 30 gendarmes took their own lives.

As part of the government’s measures seven extra psychologists were to be recruited for the police forces most in need. More psychologists were also to be recruited in police training schools.

Police officers were to get individual lockers where they can leave their weapon after work. This measure was aimed at stopping officers committing suicide using their service firearms in their own homes.

The then Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he also intended to “improve the quality of life at work” by promoting a healthier work-life balance.

He also said he would also consider changing working hours to allow more time for a private life.

Speaking to The Local at the time David-Olivier Reverdy from the police union Alliance said that there was a real crisis in the police force.

While he accepted there are always “multiple factors” behind suicides, he says the fact remains that there are fundamental problems within the French police force that is pushing many over the edge.

“Some of these suicides are clearly down to problems in their personal lives, but there is clearly a malaise among police officers,” he said.

Reverdy pointed to “archaic” management systems, working conditions, pressure from bosses, and a lack of protection from the government given the fact that “no one these days seems to be too scared to physically attack police officers”.

In recent years police officers in France have been under extra strain as they have become the targets of choice for jihadist violence.

In April last year and officer was gunned down on the Champs-Elysées and in June 2016 a police officer and his wife were stabbed to death at their home in front of their young son.

They have also been targeted by violent protesters and in May 2016 took to the streets to protest against a rise in anti-cop hatred.

“Confronted on a daily basis by human misery, violence and the worst that you can find in humans, police can no longer put up with a lack of consideration towards them, which is a factor in these tragic acts,” said the Unité-SGP-Police union.

Original