Beltway Insider: Trump Flipflops/Faces Lawsuit; Mueller/Manafort Arrest; NY AG Files; WH Shakeup; Elizabeth Holmes

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

President Donald Trump, and his three adult children, have been named in a lawsuit brought by New York state Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood, for what was called "persistent illegal conduct" that continued for "more than a decade." 

According to Gallup, President Trump job approval, over the past week, increased by one percentage point to 42% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President decreased by one percentage point to 54%.

Trump Flipflops on North Korea Human Rights Abuses

President Trump recently returned to the White House after the historic and surprising North Korean Singapore Summit with nothing but praise for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, whom not six months ago, he was responding to the dictator with harsh and stern warnings.

Beltway Insider: Trump Spares with G7; Singapore; Putin/G7; CA Gov Race; Anthony Bourdain; Justify Makes History

During the 2018 State of the Union address, President Trump said, "No regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea. North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland. We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from happening. Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation.  I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this dangerous position."

As he returned from the Singapore Summit his words, in such a short span of time, with no "good faith" reinforcement, no incremental disbarment, no dismantling of nuclear launch sites, no destruction of weapons or weaponry, by simple words alone, no dedicated promises to release records of torture, and any other prisoners held, and to cease and desist any Human Rights abuses, his words for the same dictator declared the nuclear threat from North Korean was over.

President Trump defended his meet and explained it as a strategic move to avoid war and to assist allies who would be the first hit should Kim Jong Un at anytime detonate a nuclear warhead. His arsenal contained Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles, (ICBM) which are built to travel great distances and his claims of an ability to hit the United States Hawaiian Islands brought a sharp rebuke and stern warning.

"Because I don't want to see a nuclear weapon destroy you and your family.  I want to have a good relationship with North Korea.  I want to have a good relationship with many other countries.  And what I've done, if you remember, when I came in, people thought we were probably going to war with North Korea.  You haven't had a missile test in seven months.  You haven't had a firing.  You haven't had a nuclear test in eight and a half months.  You haven't had missiles flying over Japan.  He gave us the remains of our great heroes.  Nobody thought that was possible," the President said.

The future, however, according to President Trump provides the opportunity to make North Korea great again.

"I can only speak to the fact that we signed an incredible agreement.  It's great.  And it's going to be great for them, too.  Because now North Korea can develop and North Korea can become a great country economically.  It can become whatever they want.  But there won't be nuclear weapons and they won't be aimed at you and your families," the President said.

On a sidebar, the parents of Otto Warmbier, the 22 year-old University of Virginia student, who was detained, and tried in a sham trial, found guilty and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for attempting to steal a poster from a employees only floor of a hotel, tortured while in custody until he had severe brain damage consistent with waterboarding will continue with their law suit against the North Koran government. Mr. Warmbier died June 2017 after, being released and returned to the United States.

Manafort Bond Revoke Eclipses North Korea Triumph

Paul Manafort, the former Campaign Chairman for President Trump who had previously been indicted, charged and posted a million dollar bond for his actions in the probe by Special Counsel Investigation led by Robert S. Mueller, III, was ordered to jail this week for witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

Trump, who appointed Mueller to investigate Russian Interference with the 2016 Presidential Election and Related Matters, apparently didn't expect the investigation to uncover the tactics or deeply hidden secrets of those allegedly working with foreign government to ensure his election.

Manafort, who had been placed on house arrest with a 24 hour GPS Surveillance anklet, was accused of using "foldering" to tamper with witnesses and obstruct justice and move information between parties without actually sending any email messages.

"Until more information is revealed, the mystery of Manafort's foldering will remain. But the prosecutors did note that Manafort's use of draft-email messaging buttressed their overall contention that he is a conniver who cannot stop committing crimes, even when out on bail and under strict government scrutiny," Mother Jones reported.

Foldering allows many people to access a single email account and read the draft messages without actually sending which stops the capture of the message.

The federal judge agreed and Manafort was ordered to jail. He is currently being held in the VIP section of Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia.

White House Shakeup

Although no formal information has been released it has been rumored the White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be leaving her post at the end of the year. After the election of Donald Trump as President Sean Spicer became the first Trump Administration Press Secretary lasting 182 days. His second Press Secretary, Sanders, who currently holds the position has been for 325 days.

Sanders spoke to White House reporters and said, when asked specifically about her departure, "In terms of personnel announcements, I don't have any to make.  I can tell you that I show up here every day, I love my job, I'm glad to work for the President.  And each and every day, I'll pray for clarity and discernment on what my future looks like.  Right now, I think the country's looks pretty good, and I'm glad to get to be a part of that process, and I'm going to continue to do my job."

Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah, the deputy to Sanders, is also expected to leave by year's end.

Marc Short, White House Legislative Affairs Director, has announced his departure "over the summer" although a specific date has not been given.

New York Attorney General Files Fraud Lawsuit

New York state Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood has stayed the course after the removal of her former boss Eric Schneiderman and filed a lawsuit against the Donald J. Trump Foundation, naming in the suit, the President and his three adult children.

Former AG Eric Schneiderman conducted a lengthy investigation into the Trump Foundation during which he discovered what appeared to be shuffling of funds. Essentially the money collected before February 1, 2016.

"The attorney general's office released an email dated Jan. 29, 2016 from former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, which requested that the foundation '"make some disbursements this week while in Iowa,"' as reported in Fox News.

The lawsuit also alleges the President used the Foundation to gain unfair advantage by "illegally provided extensive support to his 2016 presidential campaign by using the Trump Foundation's name and funds it raised from the public to promote his campaign for presidency."

The president took to twitter defending the foundation, himself and his family and explained he will not settle.

Op/Ed: The REAL Fake News

"The Foundation raised $18 million while giving $19 million to charity while virtually having zero expenses.  The previous New York AG, who was forced to retire in disgrace, made its stated mission to use this matter to advance his own political gain.  And the current acting New York AG has stated that battling the White House is the most important job she's ever done.  That sounds outrageously biased and certainly problematic, and very concerning," said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

The Deconstruction of Elizabeth Holmes: Theranos Queen Indicted on Wire Fraud

For Elizabeth Holmes, the architect behind the blood testing cutting edge technology fraud, after years of riding high on Silicon Valley's shocking valuations, misleading investors, media, government and abusing the trust of medical professionals, retailors, and esteemed hospitals boards and enjoying the spoils pouring into the wunderkind's Theranos, the stunning scam has collapsed around her.

"In March of this year, Holmes settled with the US Securities and Exchange Commission over charges that she defrauded investors; the settlement required her to pay $500,000 and forfeit 19 million Theranos shares. She is also prohibited from holding a leadership role at a public company for 10 years. It's a dramatic fall from grace for a woman once compared to Steve Jobs," said Kira Bindrim in the online magazine Quartz at Work.

Holmes, who presented astounding claims of a revolutionary blood testing procedures that essentially reduced the amount of blood needed to pin drops, almost identical to DNA requirements, for positive testing, is facing an uncertain future that will certainly include prison.

At 34, it seems difficult to understand how she could have lived a lavish lifestyle, fooled prestigious investigative news television programs such as CBS's 60minutes, who interviewed her in April 2015 lauding her amazing success.

The CBS News Magazine show has recently completed a retrospective essentially defending the original interview of Holmes and her company Theranos and explaining how she could have fooled everyone as well as presenting an hypothesis on why she was able to capture the public and more importantly some of the most brilliant minds currently in circulation in Silicon Valley. And they weren't the only major media outlet to buy the prepacked, albeit well meaning, fraud.

The answers to "how" and "why" are two-fold. How did she escape scrutiny even while having every major outlet in the world promoting her and her company? Without removing any of the fault or blame, as she was perpetrating fraud, whomever she employed as her publicity team worked the media like masters. Keeping the stories of her brilliance, of Theranos' breakthrough technology front and center was enough to draw in the big money. Undoubtedly she was provided a stylist to create the image. Her look was even styled after Steve Jobs and was as she was often compared to the master director of Apple.

After the PR machine took over and she was named one of TIME Magazine's 100 of the Most Influential People List three years ago, every major global investor came on board. Mexico's Carlos Slim, who once bailed out the New York Times, joined forces with Holmes to revolutionize blood testing in Mexico.

Her Wikipedia profile indicates the San Francisco Business Times, in an article authored by Ron Leuty said, she assembled "the most illustrious board in U.S. corporate history."

Her board, throughout the years, included former Secretary of State George Schultz, Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Donald Lucas, Riley Bectel, for Bechtel Group CEO, David Boies, a founder and the chairman of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, William Foege, former director CDC, Richard Kovacevich, former Wells Fargo CEO and chairman, James Mattis, later US Secretary of Defense, Fabrizio Bonanni, former executive vice president of Amgen and Daniel Warmenhoven, former NetApp CEO.

Gender representation was also a major factor. In a field, not only the start-up industry but also revolutionary medical procedures predominately led by men, without a Medical degree she was able to take the world by storm and win. Granted her educational background is renowned and her research projects, throughout her time at Stanford, prove her brilliance and dedication to the field.

And of course, it is not only female, it is the package. Smart, attractive, blonde, blue-eyes, dedication to humanity, concern for the social condition, a perceived humility. She was the female version of Steve Jobs.

Elizabeth Holmes, who will more than likely spend decades in prison, is essentially a product of her own marketing. She presented to the Silicon Valley world the female future. A start-up, the typical dorm room Ivy League startup, Holmes withdrew from Stanford and never graduated, with a belief that like DNA she could take a nano sample of blood, and perform the standard testing, that most understand take 30ML.

Her former president Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, an Indian tech executive that she had been romantically linked, has also been indicted. He was fired in 2017.

"Holmes may be a disgraced former startup CEO who cost her investors some $600 million (paywall). But her settlement with the SEC required no admission of wrongdoing. Ten years from now, she'll only be 44. And next year, she'll be played by Jennifer Lawrence in a Bad Blood movie adaptation directed by Adam McKay. The Theranos saga may be a loss for the future of blood testing. For the future of female super-villains, it's a damn good start," said Bindrim.

It's doubtful with the idea present and flushed out, the global need and interest, the high profiled and equally high powered team of CEO's who were at one time involved, and of course the best VC's from Silicon Valley, that this idea will die a quick lightening strike death. At some point it will be picked up, reworked, retested, scaled back avoiding the pitfalls of the over-achieving Holmes and at some point in the future introduced under a new name, new brand, new and improved, and male led, idea.

For more information on President Donald Trump:


Haute Tease

  • I.T. Review - A Shocking, High Tech, Thriller

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    I.T. from Voltage Pictures, RLJ Entertainment, brings to the screen a contemporary high tech thrill ride highlighting the dangers of smart technology advancements and the just waiting to happen destruction especially for the technologically dependent.

  • UPDATED:Three Dead, Nine Injured in Louisiana Theater Shooting

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Three are dead and at least nine injured, including the shooter, as a lone white man opened fire in a crowded Lafayette, Louisiana, Theater about twenty minutes into the screening of the Amy Schumer comedy TrainWreck.

  • A Private War Review - Dramatic, Poignant, Heartfelt, Raw

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Private War, from Aviron Pictures, presents the true story of Marie Colvin, a celebrated war correspondent, who spent a decade reporting every major conflict never allowing fear to stop her from securing the truth.

  • Valentine’s Day Gifts Ideas for Gem and Jewel Aficionados

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    According to the National Retail Federation, among the estimated $19.6 billion Valentine's Day consumer spending last year alone (courtesy of more than half of United States adults celebrating the occasion), $4.7 billion of that is earmarked specifically for the jewelry category.  

  • Victim in South Carolina Police Shooting Owed Child Support

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A South Carolina police officer shot and killed an unarmed black man after a routine traffic stop in which the victim ran as he could not produce insurance or registration papers for the vehicle pulled over for a faulty tail light.

  • Me and Earl and The Dying Girl Review – An Outstanding Teen Drama Worth Seeing

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Me and Earl and The Dying Girl, from FOX Searchlight Pictures and Indian Paintbrush, presents a teen angst drama that provides an emotional roller coaster in triplicate as two friends become a trio over senior year fighting the known, unknown and unimaginable twists of fate.

  • Effervescence, a Los Angeles Champagne and Sparkling Wine Festival , Announces Complete Lineup

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Effervescence, America’s leading epicurean event centered solely around Champagne and sparkling wines, will return to Los Angeles May 3-5, 2019. The three-day festival will kick off on May 3rd with a once-in-a-lifetime dinner hosted by Krug.

  • Sex and the Serial Killer Review - Unsubstantiated Account Makes for an Interesting Read

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Sex and the Serial Killer, an unsubstantiated autobiographical account of William Steel's, life and times with Robert Durst, who is currently awaiting trial for the murder of Beverly Hills writer Susan Berman and has admitted to murdering others.

  • Tomb Raider Review - Alicia Vikander Reboot Explodes With Intense, Fast Action, Suspense

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Tomb Raider, from Warner Bros and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, presents the story of adventurer Lord Richard Croft, and his only child, a kick-ass, take no prisoners, dare devil, who sets off to find the truth about his disappearance.

  • Taiwan Earthquake: 14 Confirmed Dead, Dozens Injured, Scores Missing

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    It has been 24 hours since the 6.4 magnitude killer earthquake struck Tainan, a southern city on the island of Taiwan in the South China Sea, leaving 14 confirmed dead, dozens injured, scores missing and massive structural damage.

  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Review: Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows All the Time

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", the animated version of the classic children's book previewed recently for select media and followed with a press junket at the world famous Dylan's Candy Store on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

  • Homicide Ruling in Staten Island Choke Victim Case

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The death of Eric Garner, 43, the Staten Island father of two choked to death by New York Police Officers after being detained on a city street, has been ruled a homicide by the New York City Medical Examiner.

  • Beltway Insider: Trump/Mueller, ISIS Defeat, Brexit, NZ Unites, 2020 Election, Census

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Stopping short of total exoneration, Robert S. Mueller, Special Counsel Investigating the possibility of collusion between President Donald Trump and the Russians to secure a victory in the 2016 Presidential election, indicated the evidence was insufficient.

  • Food on the Brain - Top Brain Boosters to Add and Brain Drainers to Drop From Your Shopping List

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The foods in your pantry and fridge are affecting your brain. Dr. Christopher Calapai DO, a NYC Osteopathic Physician board certified in family and anti-aging medicine, explains the foods we choose have everything to do with how sharp, attentive, alert, focused and happy we feel after consumption.

  • Making The Perfect Christmas Treats And Decors With Olivia Culpo (Recipe Included)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    American actress and model Olivia Culpo joined Executive Pastry Chef Chris Ford and floral design company Square Root Designs at the Four Seasons Hotel Beverly Wilshire to learn the secrets behind making the perfect Christmas treats and decors.