President Trump commutes Roger Stone’s sentence

FILE – In this Feb. 20, 2020, file photo, Roger Stone arrives for his sentencing at federal court in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

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UPDATED 7:00 PM PT —Friday, July 10, 2020

President Trump has commuted the sentence of his former political adviser Roger Stone. Friday’s announcement came just days before he was set to report to prison.

The White House confirmed the news in a press release.

“Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive grant of clemency commuting the unjust sentence of Roger Stone, Jr.,” Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany wrote. “Roger Stone is a victim of the Russia hoax that the left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in an attempt to undermine the Trump presidency.”

One America’s Jack Posobiec also confirmed the news and said Stone is planning to “continue to fight his case in the appeals court, and also do whatever he can to support the full exoneration of General Flynn.”

The president hinted at a possible lifeline for Stone in a series of interviews over the past 24 hours.

Stone was originally convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering in connection with Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

The president’s allies have repeatedly urged him to pardon or grant clemency for Stone since the end of his trial, citing his risk of contracting coronavirus while behind bars.

RELATED: President Trump: Roger Stone’s Prayers May Have Been Answered

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The price for publicly supporting President Trump is much more expensive than a can of Goya beans

Will B corporations save capitalism? Also, Goya’s CEO fails to read the room, and the Fed’s Beige Book is a little too beige. Oh, and guess who’s not coming for dinner? Americans.

But first, here’s your commemorative week in review in Haiku.

Take a moment for
Ola Mae Spinks, who made sure
we knew all our true

stories, which had been
left in boxes and baskets,
unattended to.

“I went to school one
day in my life,” said William
Jackson, once enslaved.

Her grandfather was
fed from a pig trough. She saved
that story, too. Now

for her homegoing:
#SayTheirNames and bear witness,
like she did for us

Have an organized and righteous weekend.

Ellen McGirt

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Brand suicide or savvy PR move? CEO of Hispanic food giant Goya praises Trump, inciting Twitter riots — RT USA News

After the CEO of Hispanic food megabrand Goya spoke at the White House, demands to “cancel” the popular brand on social media have arisen – met by equally furious pushback from the corporation’s defenders.

Goya CEO Robert Unanue praised President Donald Trump as “an incredible builder” in a speech at the White House on Thursday, calling on the audience to “pray for our country, that we will continue to prosper and to grow.

Unanue was speaking as a nominee to the President’s Advisory Committee on Hispanic Prosperity, a new body of a dozen Hispanic businesspeople and community leaders chaired by New Mexico Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez – presumably intended to shore up Trump’s support among that demographic ahead of November’s election.

But that wasn’t cool with Igor Volsky, director of anti-gun nonprofit Guns Down America, who advised his followers to “make your shopping decisions accordingly” after informing them the Goya CEO had stated Americans were “blessed to have a leader” like Trump.

Many users jumped on board the bandwagon, demanding Goya pay the price for aligning itself with Trump.

Calls to #boycottGoya rang out across social media.

Not everyone was on the same page, of course. One user noted that Goya had donated some 200,000 pounds of food and 20,000 face masks during the pandemic that saw millions of Americans lose their jobs and many more endure reduced hours or pay cuts, suggesting maybe canceling the brand over Unanue’s White House appearance was not the best idea – and several came out to back that point of view.

Others attested to strong support for Trump within the demographic in question, questioning why a “white guy named Igor” was telling the Hispanic community what to do.

And several people declared they’d start buying Goya specifically because of the “boycott,” declaring they were making a stand against “cancel culture.

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TikTok teens target the Trump campaign, again

The TikTok-tivists are at it again.

Thousands of users of the popular video app flocked to the Apple App Store in the last few days to flood President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign app with negative reviews. On Wednesday alone 700 negative reviews were left on the Official Trump 2020 app and 26 positive ones, according to tracking firm Sensor Tower.

TikTok fans are retaliating for Trump’s threats of banning the app, which is owned by China’s Bytedance Ltd. and is hugely popular in the U.S., especially among teens. The thought of taking away a key social and entertainment hub in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic has led to outrage.

“For Gen Z and Millennials, TikTok is our clubhouse and Trump threatened it,” said Yori Blacc, a 19-year-old TikTok user in California who joined in the app protest. “If you’re going to mess with us, we will mess with you.”

Blacc said the movement gained steam Wednesday when a popular TikTok user, DeJuan Booker, called on his 750,000 followers to seek revenge. He posted a step-by-step primer on how to degrade the app’s rating, notching 5.6 million views. “Gen Z don’t go down without a fight,” said Booker, who goes by @unusualbeing on TikTok. “Let’s go to war.”

The efforts to push the app low enough so that Apple will remove it from the app store may be misguided. Apple doesn’t delete apps based on their popularity. The App Store may review those that violate its guidelines or are outdated, but not if their ratings sink. A similar tactic was tried in April to protest Google Classroom by kids frustrated with quarantine home-schooling.

But young people are looking for ways to make their voices heard, even if some of them can’t yet vote. Last month, many young people organized through TikTok to sign up to attend Trump’s first post-shutdown campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but then didn’t show up. The Trump campaign denied the online organizing effort contributed to lower-than-expected attendance.

The Trump campaign and Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. TikTok was experiencing connectivity issues on Thursday, according to Downdector, which measures web traffic.

Trump’s re-election smartphone app is a big part of the president’s unrivaled digital operation and was meant to circumvent tech companies like Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. and give the campaign a direct line to supporters. The app has helped the campaign engage Trump’s die-hard supporters, especially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, by feeding them his latest tweets and promoting virtual events. Supporters can donate to the president’s campaign or earn rewards for recruiting friends like VIP seats to rallies or photos with the president.

The Official Trump 2020 app has been downloaded more than 500,000 times on Google’s Android store as of June 15. Apple doesn’t publish information on downloads.

Reviews with titles such as “Terrible App” or “Do Not Download!” have been flooding the App Store since late June. Official Trump 2020 now has more than 103,000 one-star reviews for an overall rating of 1.2.

But the uptick of activity has also caused the app to rise in rankings. Users have to download the app to review it, vaulting it to second place on the Apple store from No. 486 on Tuesday, according to Sensor Tower.

“Do I think that this is going to fundamentally change the election? No,” said Tim Lim, a veteran Democratic digital strategist. “But it goes to show that they are just as susceptible to these mass actions as anyone else. Trump is starting to see what it feels like to have a massive online army committed to defeating him.”

Trump earlier this week said his administration is considering banning TikTok as one way to retaliate against China over its handling of the coronavirus. Trump’s comments came after Secretary of State Michael Pompeo told Americans not to download the app unless they want to see their private information fall into “the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.” Bytedance is also facing a U.S. national security review for its acquisition of startup It has denied allegations that it poses a threat to U.S. national security.

Trump didn’t offer specifics about a potential decision and Pompeo seemed to walk back the idea of a ban in a later statement, saying that the U.S. efforts to protect American consumers’ data don’t relate to any one particular company.

Many TikTok users say they care less about potential Chinese snooping and more about Trump taking away their digital hangout. In the U.S., TikTok has been downloaded more than 165 million times, according to Sensor Tower.

“I don’t believe Trump is trying to take TikTok away because of national security, but more to retaliate against activism on the app and all the videos about him that drag him through the mud,” said Darius Jackson, an 18-year-old TikTok user in Champagne, Illinois, who asked his followers Wednesday to give Trump’s app a one-star rating.

“This is the first year I’ll be able to vote and I think activism on TikTok is going to make a big difference,” Jackson said.

More must-read tech coverage from Fortune:

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Trump Administration Signals Formal Withdrawal From W.H.O.

Experts acknowledged that the W.H.O. has made some missteps during the pandemic, but said it has largely done well given the constraints under which it operates. The agency is coordinating clinical trials of treatments, as well as efforts to manufacture and equitably distribute the vaccine.

“I think it’s an extraordinarily bad decision that will both harm global public health and harm the health of the American people,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. “It’s unclear to me how the American people benefit by not being at the table and not being able to shape those policies.”

For the Trump administration to blame the W.H.O. for not investigating the outbreak in China is “deeply disingenuous,” Dr. Jha added. “W.H.O. can’t push its way into China, any more than it can investigate why our outbreak is so bad in Arizona or why we’re botching the response as badly as we are.”

And Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, underlined the organization’s accomplishments. “Without W.H.O., the world would not have eradicated smallpox, multidrug resistant tuberculosis would have spread much more widely, and we would have much weaker systems to track influenza and other deadly infections.”

The administration’s move also drew criticism from Democratic lawmakers, including from Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who wrote on Twitter that Congress had just received notification of the withdrawal. “This won’t protect American lives or interests — it leaves Americans sick & America alone,” Mr. Menendez wrote.

But Republicans on Tuesday supported the idea of leaving the organization.

“Withdrawing the United States from the World Health Organization was the right decision,” Representative James R. Comer of Kentucky, a ranking member of the House oversight committee, said on Twitter. “Until the WHO undergoes some serious reforms, it doesn’t deserve our money or our membership.”

The United States played a central role in creating the W.H.O. in 1948, and has since been one of its largest sources of financial support. The biennial budget for the W.H.O. is about $6 billion, which comes from member countries around the world. In 2019, the last year for which figures were available, the United States contributed about $553 million.

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Trump aides weighed proposals to undermine Hong Kong’s dollar peg: Bloomberg

FILE PHOTO: Hong Kong 100 dollar banknotes are displayed during an exhibition at HSBC headquarters in Hong Kong, China January 20, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

July 8, 2020

(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s top advisers weighed proposals to undermine the Hong Kong currency’s peg to the U.S. dollar, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter, although the idea did not appear to gain traction.

The proposal to strike against the Hong Kong dollar peg, possibly by limiting the ability of Hong Kong banks to buy U.S. dollars, was raised as part of broader discussions among advisers to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, it added.

Other administration members pushed back against the proposal, worrying that such a move would only hurt Hong Kong banks and the United States, not China, sources told Bloomberg.

The idea wasn’t elevated to White House’s senior levels, the report said, suggesting that it hasn’t gained serious traction yet.

A top priority for the administration has been to find ways to punish banks based in Hong Kong, particularly HSBC Holdings Plc, according to the report.

U.S. Treasury, State Department and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Last month, Hong Kong Finance Secretary Paul Chan said that Hong Kong had no plans to change its currency’s peg to the U.S. dollar.

(Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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Donald Trump requests apology from NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace over noose found in garage

US President Donald Trump has wrongly accused NASCAR’s only entire-time black driver of perpetrating “a hoax” when a crew member identified a noose in the staff garage stall.

Mr Trump advised Bubba Wallace should really apologise following the sport rallied all over him soon after the noose was found in his stall at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama very last month.

Wallace under no circumstances individually saw the noose but was revealed a photograph of it in his assigned stall and was advised by NASCAR officials he was the victim of a hate crime.

NASCAR and the FBI have exclusively referred to the rope — which was utilized to pull the garage door shut — as a noose.

But US federal authorities ruled the noose had been hanging given that Oct final calendar year and was not element of a despise crime aimed at Wallace, who employed the stall past thirty day period.

The rope was the only garage doorway pull out of 1,684 stalls at 29 inspected NASCAR tracks to be fashioned as a noose.

Mr Trump tweeted that Wallace must apologise.

“Has Bubba Wallace apologised to all of those fantastic NASCAR motorists & officers who arrived to his help, stood by his side, & had been ready to sacrifice every little thing for him, only to locate out that the complete point was just an additional HOAX?” he wrote.

Mr Trump also strike out at the organisation’s selection to ban the Confederate flag from its tracks.

“That & Flag final decision has triggered cheapest ratings At any time!”

NASCAR and the FBI have referred to the rope as a noose.(Nascar by way of AP)

‘Keep your head held high’


Wallace responded on Twitter with a take note to “the subsequent technology and minor kinds pursuing my footsteps” in which he urged folks to use their platform and not be detracted by “detest staying thrown at you”.

“Really like need to occur obviously as folks are TAUGHT to hate,” Wallace tweeted. “Even when it is Hate from the POTUS … love wins.”

Wallace, who was born in Alabama, has taken an energetic job in the press for racial equality. He has worn a shirt expressing, “I Can’t Breathe,” and raced with a Black Lives Matter paint plan in Virginia.

Wallace led the thrust for NASCAR to ban Confederate symbols at tracks.

Two months afterwards, the noose was uncovered at the initially race some followers ended up authorized to attend given that the shutdown.

On the similar working day, a aircraft pulling a banner of the Confederate flag that read through “Defund NASCAR” was circling the monitor and protesters outside the speedway displayed their flags.

White Property defends Trump’s tweets

White Home push secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended the President’s conclusion to wade into the Wallace scenario, likening it to actor Jussie Smollett’s statements he was a sufferer of a dislike crime.

Ms McEnany criticised the push in a White Home briefing, contacting Mr Trump’s tweet a “finish indictment of the media’s rush to judgement”.

Ms McEnany declined to describe why the President assumed Wallace should have to apologise provided he did not report the noose. Ms McEnany refused to say whether or not or not the President supports NASCAR’s ban on the Accomplice flag.

NASCAR did not specifically tackle Mr Trump’s tweet in a statement.

“We are happy to have Bubba Wallace in the NASCAR loved ones and we commend his braveness and management,” NASCAR mentioned.

“NASCAR continues to stand tall with Bubba, our opponents and absolutely everyone who can make our activity welcoming and inclusive for all racing enthusiasts.”

A man wearing dark glasses and a face mask stands in front of a race car with crews in background.
Other motorists and NASCAR management have backed Bubba Wallace.(Twitter: Bubba Wallace)

Andrew Murstein, co-operator of the Richard Petty Motorsports team that fields Wallace’s motor vehicle, identified as Mr Trump’s tweet “a late, misinformed, and factually incorrect assertion”.

He also reported it was unwarranted and cited the image NASCAR launched of the noose.

“A picture is worth a thousand words,” Murstein said in a assertion. “Bubba has reacted in a truthful, professional, level-headed way. The NASCAR local community and individuals in the know all stand by him.”

Two NASCAR drivers came to Wallace’s defence.

Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, at the moment sidelined with coronavirus, posted an image of Wallace’s amount 43 that experienced been employed by drivers in an before #IStandWithBubba campaign.

Rookie Tyler Reddick tweeted but later on deleted a reply to Mr Trump that browse: “We never want an apology. We did what was right and we will do just wonderful devoid of your guidance.”


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Maine Poll Shows Biden Leading Trump, GOP Senator Collins Race Close

A poll released on Monday by left-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows presumptive Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden leading President Trump by 11 points, 53 percent to 42 percent, in Maine.

Notably, that same poll shows the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, Sara Gideon with just a four-point lead over incumbent Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), 46 percent to 42 percent. Taking Collins’s Maine Senate seat out of the Republican column and putting it into the Democratic column is considered one of the lynchpins of the Democratic Party’s 2020 election efforts to retake the majority in the U.S. Senate.

Democrats supported Gideon by a 79 percent to 13 percent margin. Republicans supported Collins by a 76 percent to eight percent margin. Independents were evenly split, with 44 percent backing each candidate.

Women supported Gideon by a 49 percent to 39 percent margin. Men supported Collins by a 46 percent to 43 percent margin.

PPP has a reputation of framing the questions in polls and organizing the respondent samples to advance a narrative supporting a progressive political agenda. Given that reputation, the fact that Gideon is running 11 points behind Biden and Collins is running four points ahead of Trump in the PPP poll released on Monday suggests that Gideon will have a much tougher time unseating Collins than Democratic Party officials had hoped.

The only other poll of the Maine 2020 Senate race match up in the Real Clear Politics Average of Polls was conducted by Colby College in February. That poll gave Gideon a one-point lead over Collins, which was within that poll’s 3.2 percent margin of error.

First elected to the Senate in 1996, Collins was reelected in 2014 by a margin of 37 percentage points.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump in Maine by a margin of three points, 48 percent to 45 percent, but took only three of the state’s four electoral college votes. Maine and Nebraska are the only two states that do not award all of their electoral college votes to the overall popular vote winner in the state.

Maine awards two electoral college votes to the statewide popular vote winner of the presidential contest, one electoral college vote to the winner of the popular vote in the state’s First Congressional District and one electoral college vote to the winner of the popular vote in the state’s Second Congressional District. Due to its small population, Maine only has two congressional districts.

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in Maine’s First Congressional District in 2016 by 14 percentage points and received that district’s one electoral college vote, giving her three of the state’s four electoral college votes. Donald Trump won the popular vote in Maine’s Second Congressional District that year by ten percentage points and received that district’s one electoral college vote, giving him one of the state’s four electoral college votes.

PPP is the only firm in the Real Clear Politics Average of Polls that has polled the presidential matchup in Maine over the past year. The poll results released on Monday are virtually the same as two earlier PPP polls. One conducted in March 2020 gave Biden a ten-point lead over Trump, another conducted in October 2019 gave Biden a 12-point lead over Trump.

The questions in the poll released on Monday are consistent with PPP’s reputation for using polling as a way to establish a political narrative for the progressive agenda.

Among those questions and responses were the following:

When asked, “Do you think Donald Trump should have been impeached and removed from office, or not?” 51 percent of respondents said yes, while 44 percent said no.

Eighty-four percent of Democrats said yes, while 11 percent said no. Ten percent of Republicans said yes, while 88 percent said no. Among independents, 50 percent said yes while 42 percent said no.

The poll also asked a question framed negatively around Collins but included no such question about Gideon.

When asked, “Do you think Susan Collins is more an independent voice for Maine or a partisan voice for Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell?” 46 percent of respondents said she was a partisan voice for Trump and McConnell, while 42 percent said she was an independent voice for Maine.

The survey of 1,022 registered voters in Maine was conducted between July 2 and July 3 and has a 3.1 percent margin of error. Thirty-eight percent of poll respondents self-identified as Republican, 30 percent as Democrats, and 28 percent as independents.

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Donald Trump unleashes on NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace

If there’s two sports in America where Donald Trump feels like he has the balance of power it’s NASCAR and the NFL.

America’s football and stock car racing competitions are hugely popular in parts of the country where Trump enjoys the most support, so he had no second thoughts about wading into the most divisive conversations happening in both codes right now.

First NASCAR, which is still reeling from a recent controversy where the sport’s only black driver Bubba Wallace found a noose hanging in his garage stall ahead of a race.

The garage door pull-rope fashioned like a noose — widely seen as a symbol of lynchings in the American South — sparked outrage when it was discovered during a period of nationwide protests over police brutality and racism.

The FBI investigated and found it not to have been a hate crime — the rope had been hanging in the stall months before the June 23 race at Talladege Superspeedway in Alabama — but not before dozens of Wallace’s fellow drivers joined him in a walk of solidarity up the track.

Now Trump wants Wallace to apologise to his co-drivers.

“Has Bubba Wallace apologised to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX?” he tweeted on Tuesday. “That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!”

The noose discovery was made shortly after Wallace had successfully campaigned for a ban on flying the controversial Confederate flag at NASCAR, a popular sport with conservative Americans.

Wallace responded with a statement soon after, writing: “Always deal with the hate being thrown at you with LOVE! Love over hate every day. Love should come naturally as people are TAUGHT to hate. Even when it’s HATE from the POTUS.”

He received instant support from NBA superstar LeBron James. “Right HERE too with you!!” James replied. “As well as the next generation who follows in my footsteps! Kings and Queens.”

Then came the NFL, where a decision by the Washington Redskins to launch a “thorough review” of the team’s name — a term for Native Americans that is seen as a slur — is dominating discussion.

Pressure from sponsors including Nike, PepsiCo and FedEx has seen the franchise finally buckle after years of resistance from owner Dan Snyder.

Trump’s take?

“They name teams out of STRENGTH, not weakness, but now the Washington Redskins & Cleveland Indians, two fabled sports franchises, look like they are going to be changing their names in order to be politically correct. Indians, like Elizabeth Warren, must be very angry right now!”

Baseball’s Cleveland Indians have also come under fire over the years over the team name and its logo depicting a caricature of a Native American who is called Chief Wahoo.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Sunday he was in favour of the team changing its nickname, according to

— with AFP

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