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TikTok is getting all the attention, but more teens spend time on YouTube, survey says

Thu, 08/11/2022 - 2:45pm
A survey showed that nearly one in five teens reported using YouTube "almost constantly."
  • YouTube, not TikTok, is the most popular social media platform among teens, new data by Pew Research says. 
  • Nearly one in five teens say they use YouTube "almost constantly," more than TikTok, Instagram, or Snapchat. 
  • The survey challenges the narrative that TikTok is the biggest competition for older social media companies like Meta. 

YouTube — not TikTok — reigns supreme among teen users in the US, according to new survey data. 

The survey of 1,316 US teens found that significantly more young users — 95% — reported using YouTube than other social media platform, including TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat. The Pew Research Center conducted the survey earlier this year.

Pew found that these users are loyal: Nearly one in five teens ages 13 to 17 report using YouTube "almost constantly," compared to 16% for TikTok and 10% for Instagram. 

TikTok, which has only existed in its current form since 2018, is one of the fastest growing social media apps of all time, reaching 1 billion users quicker than Facebook or Instagram, and many see it as threatening to upend the social media hierarchy.

In fact, Instagram owner Meta recently tested TikTok-like changes to its interface to try to stem slowing growth. 

However, the Pew survey data may challenge the narrative that TikTok is the biggest competition for older social media companies like Facebook and Instagram owner Meta. Alphabet-owned YouTube, which has existed since 2005, still seems to most successfully attract teens' attention.

Still, TikTok does come in second place among social apps, with 67% of the survey's respondents saying they use the popular short-form video app. And because it's so new, its trend line isn't yet clear when it comes to how fast it could catch up with — and potentially dethrone — YouTube.

Social Media PlatformsPercent of teens who say they ever use themYouTube95%TikTok67%Instagram62%Snapchat59%Facebook32%Twitter23%Twitch20%WhatsApp17%Reddit14%Tumblr5%

Already, TikTok is eclipsing Instagram, owned by Meta. "TikTok is a dangerous competitor because of its massive adoption and unique ability to penetrate teens and tweens that goes at the core of Instagram's base," said Dan Ives, technology analyst at Wedbush Securities. 

Notably, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch, a video game-streaming platform owned by Amazon, don't appear to be as popular among young users. Less than half of the survey respondents say they use those platforms at all.

That could signify waning interest in Facebook, which once counted 71% of teens as users when Pew conducted a similar survey in 2014 through 2015. 

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'No pronouns necessary:' Kayleigh McEnany's sister is promoting a right-wing dating app created by former Trump White House staffers

Thu, 08/11/2022 - 2:44pm
Ryann McEnany in late 2020 watching her sister, Kayleigh, speak as then-White House press secretary under Trump.
  • Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany's sister is promoting right-wing dating app "The Right Stuff."
  • In a new video, Ryann McEnany announces a September debut, "no pronouns" policy, and other features.
  • News surfaced this year that billionaire Peter Thiel was reportedly pouring $1.5 million into the app.

Former Trump White House staffers have been developing a dating app for conservatives, with some monetary help from billionaire investor Peter Thiel, and now we know a bit more based on a new promotion for it.

Ryann McEnany, the sister of Trump's former White House press secretary and now-Fox News host Kayleigh McEnany, starred in a video announcing the September release of the app.

The app, called The Right Stuff, is meant to be a conservative, anti-"woke" alternative to current dating platforms like Tinder and Hinge. It's invite-only and is "all about getting into the right dating pool with people who share the same values and beliefs as you," McEnany said.

"We're sorry that you've had to endure years of bad dates and wasted time with people that don't see the world our way: the right way," she says in the video.

McEnany said it's free to use, and for its premium access, it's free for women as long as they invite two other friends. Men have to pay for that add-on.

She also said there are "no pronouns necessary" while setting up your profile on the app, although there are only two genders to choose: Ladies and Gentleman. 

The video follows McEnany setting up her own profile on the app, including adding a photo of her with Trump on what appears to be a golf course and selecting a prompt called "Alexa, change the...," referencing Amazon's signature tagline for its Alexa smart assistant. McEnany types out "President."

"If you're single and not on this app, you ain't conservative!" reads the website.

News surfaced in February that billionaire investor and outspoken Trump supporter Peter Thiel was reportedly pouring $1.5 million into the app, which is in part run by Trump's former political aide John McEntee. 

It's one of many online platforms, including Trump's Truth Social, that conservatives have launched in response to what they claim is Big Tech's censorship of right-wing voices. Critics have countered that claim, saying that conservatives' social posts are moderated because they contain politically motivated misinformation.

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Trump took such sensitive documents from the White House that the DOJ felt it had no choice but to raid Mar-a-Lago: report

Thu, 08/11/2022 - 2:25pm
Former US President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Hilton Anatole on August 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas.
  • Federal investigators feared that Trump had highly classified documents stored at Mar-a-Lago.
  • They ultimately felt that they had no choice but to pursue a search warrant, NYT reported.
  • AG Merrick Garland announced Thursday that the DOJ had moved to unseal parts of the warrant.

Former President Donald Trump reportedly kept classified documents that contained such sensitive information that federal officials felt they had no other option but to raid Mar-a-Lago to get them back, The New York Times reported.

According to The Times, which cited "two people briefed on the classified documents," the Justice Department made the unprecedented decision to authorize the raid of a former president's private residence based on fears that the documents were improperly stored at the property.

The Justice Department didn't take the decision lightly; The Times said that a grand jury subpoenaed Trump for the materials this past spring, two months before the feds executed the search warrant.

It first surfaced earlier this year that Trump had moved official government records from the White House to Mar-a-Lago upon leaving office. The National Archives and Records Administration managed to get 15 boxes of them back in January but asked the Justice Department the next month to investigate if Trump had violated the law when he initially moved the documents.

Christina Bobb, a lawyer for the former president, told The Washington Post this week that federal agents removed 12 more boxes from a basement storage area at Mar-a-Lago when they raided the compound on Monday. The paper also reported late Thursday that the feds were searching for classified nuclear documents among the items they seized from the property.

Under the Presidential Records Act, Trump and his staff were required to relinquish records and documents to the National Archives before leaving office. And according to The Times, the archives tried for months to negotiate with Trump and his attorneys to get the documents before taking more drastic steps.

After Trump announced that the FBI had searched his property on Monday, many of his Republican allies began issuing calls for the Justice Department to publicize the search warrant and other underlying documentation. On Thursday afternoon, Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a news conference that the department had moved to do just that, asking a court to unseal portions of the warrant.

Magistrate judge Bruce Reinhart ordered the DOJ shortly after to confer with Trump's attorneys and let the court know if the former president's team agrees with or objects to the DOJ's motion by Friday afternoon.

According to The New York Times, Trump's team is still debating over the best course of action but is considering challenging the release of documents connected to the search.

The classification level of the materials Trump had at Mar-a-Lago wasn't immediately clear, and as president, Trump had the power to roughly classify or declassify anything at will. 

Trump's handling of classified material generated immense scrutiny when he was in office. In 2017, The Post reported that he discussed codeword-level classified material with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during an Oval Office meeting.

At the time, multiple Trump White House officials disputed The Post's report about Trump's alleged disclosure of classified information.

Two years later, in August 2019, Trump took to Twitter to release sensitive US military information that he had received during a classified intelligence briefing earlier that day.

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How to edit videos on your iPhone or iPad using the Photos app or iMovie

Thu, 08/11/2022 - 2:10pm
There are a few easy ways to edit videos on an iPhone.
  • You can edit videos on your iPhone or iPad by trimming their start or end, cropping them, adding filters, and more.
  • To edit a video on your iPhone or iPad, open it in the Photos app and tap "Edit" in the top-right.
  • If you want more advanced video editing tools, consider downloading the iMovie app.
  • Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

Nearly every iPhone around today can shoot high-resolution, high quality video. So it makes sense that the phone also comes with some basic video editing tools right out of the box.

The Photos app on your iPhone or iPad lets you crop the video, rotate it, trim its runtime, add filters, change the color balance, and more. And if you install the free iMovie app, you can make other changes to your video as well.

Here's how to edit videos on your iPhone or iPad.

How to edit a video in your iPhone or iPad's Photos app

The Photos app is where all your photos and videos are saved by default.

1. Open the Photos app and find the video you want to edit. If you're having trouble finding it in a sea of photos, tap Albums and then tap Videos to see a list of just the videos on your phone.

2. After opening the video, tap Edit in the top-right corner.

3. Here, you have a few options. The first menu, which should open by default, will let you trim the start and end of your video. Using the slider at the bottom of the screen, drag the left-facing arrow to the right to trim the start of the video; drag the right-facing arrow left to trim the end.

You can't split the clip in the middle, but you can edit the start and end points.

4. Next, if you tap the icon that looks like a volume wheel, you can edit the color balance and more. Swipe through the options below the video clip to see the tools, tap one to select it, and then use the slider below that (or on the side of the screen if you're on an iPad) to change the levels. Your changes will appear in the video preview immediately.

You can edit your video's brightness, saturation, and more.

5. If you tap the icon that looks like three overlapping circles, you can add filters. Each of these filters also comes with a slider, which you can use to change the strength of the filter.

The Photos app's filters don't make massive changes, but they're great for small edits.

6. Finally, tap the square cropping icon to rotate, crop, or skew the video. If you've accidentally filmed a video in the wrong direction, this is the menu for you.

There are different rotation and cropping tools in this menu.

7. When you're finished editing, tap Done in the bottom-right corner. You'll have the choice to overwrite the original video, or save your changes as a new clip.

Quick tip: If you overwrite the original video and later want to undo the changes, don't panic. Just edit the video again and tap Revert in the bottom-right corner (or top-right on iPad) to get the original video back.

Editing videos with the iMovie app

You'll have a lot more video editing options if you install the app iMovie.

Along with all of the features mentioned above, you can use iMovie to select multiple videos and photos to combine into a single movie. You can choose from among a half-dozen types of transitions (like dissolves, slides, and wipes) and insert them between these clips as well. iMovie also lets you add music and voice recordings to your video. 

It's not a world-class video editor by any means, but it's great for quick movie making right from your iPhone or iPad.

Dave Johnson contributed to a previous version of this article.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump pleaded the Fifth more than 400 times during his deposition in New York, only answering a question about what his name is, according to a report from NBC News

Thu, 08/11/2022 - 1:21am
A file photo of Donald Trump.
  • A source told NBC News Trump pleaded the Fifth more than 440 times during his Wednesday deposition.
  • Trump attorney Ron Fischetti said Trump only answered one question about what his name was.
  • Trump in 2018 railed against pleading the Fifth, saying only "the mob" did that.

Former President Donald Trump, during his deposition in New York on Wednesday, ended up pleading the Fifth more than 440 times, per NBC News.

This was according to a source with knowledge of the deposition, who told NBC News how Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment rights hundreds of times. 

Additionally, Trump's lawyer Ron Fischetti told NBC News the only question Trump answered was one where he was asked what his name was. 

A spokesperson for the New York Attorney General's office confirmed to NBC News that Trump had invoked the Fifth, but did not elaborate on how many times he did so. 

Trump declined to answer questions during a Wednesday deposition at the office of New York attorney general Tish James. James is investigating whether Trump's company, the Trump Organization, violated banking, insurance, and tax laws and if it engaged in financial fraud.

The New York Times also spoke to Fischetti, who said that the deposition, which lasted around four hours with breaks in between, involved Trump saying "same answer" over and over again and reiterating his Fifth Amendment plea. 

"They asked a lot of questions about valuations and golf clubs and all that stuff," Fischetti told The Times. 

Fischetti also told The Times that Trump had to be talked out of answering questions from the New York Attorney General's office. 

"He absolutely wanted to testify, and it took some very strong persuasion by me and some others to convince him," Fischetti said. 

Trump released a lengthy statement on Wednesday slamming James. 

"I once asked, 'If you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?'" he said in the statement.

"Now I know the answer to that question," he continued in the statement. "When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the Fake News Media, you have no choice."

After the deposition, Trump made a post on Truth Social, declaring that he was leaving the Attorney General's office.

"A very professional meeting. Have a fantastic company with great assets, very little debt, and lots of CASH. Only in America!" Trump wrote.

Trump famously declared in the past that only members of "the mob" would take the Fifth

 

"You see the mob takes the Fifth," he said in April 2018. "If you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?" 

Fischetti did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The FBI was tipped off by an informer close to Trump who guided them to where documents were kept, according to reports

Thu, 08/11/2022 - 12:38am
A file photo of Donald Trump.
  • An informant tipped off the authorities about possible documents Mar-a-Lago, per reports.
  • Sources told Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal an informant told investigators where the documents were.
  • The informant also pinpointed where the documents were located on Trump's property.

An informant tipped off the authorities about possible documents at Mar-a-Lago and where they could find them, per reports from Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal.

On Monday, the FBI executed a search warrant at former President Donald Trump's home at Mar-a-Lago. And while the FBI and Department of Justice have stayed mum on the reason for the raid, numerous media outlets and the former president's son, Eric Trump, in a Fox News interview have suggested that it was because of material that Trump took from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, which could be in violation of the Presidential Records Act.

In February, the National Archives took 15 boxes of documents from Mar-a-Lago and also asked the Department of Justice to probe whether Trump broke the law in the handling of these documents. 

Newsweek spoke to two anonymous senior government officials with knowledge of the FBI's raid of Mar-a-Lago. These officials told Newsweek that an individual revealed to law enforcement what documents Trump still had in his possession and where they were.

According to Newsweek's sources, the raid had been timed for when Trump was away, to avoid giving the former president a photo-op, and to keep the process under wraps for as long as possible. One of the senior Justice Department officials Newsweek spoke to said this was a "spectacular backfire" because of the backlash the raid got.

The report from Newsweek was corroborated by reporting from The Journal.

The Journal spoke to anonymous sources familiar with the matter, who said that an individual who knew where the papers were stored had been in touch with investigators. According to The Journal, this individual told investigators there were more classified documents at Mar-a-Lago that were not among the 15 boxes that the National Archives retrieved from Trump's residence back in February. 

The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The idea that investigators could have been tipped off sent Trumpworld into a tailspin. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, for one, raged during a live stream on Wednesday about an "FBI informant at Mar-a-Lago."

Axios reported that Trump allies believe someone may have "flipped" and given information on Trump to the FBIRolling Stone also reported, citing anonymous sources close to Trump, that the former president and his advisers are desperately trying to root out this informant, amid Trump's paranoia that people close to him might be wearing wires

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Trump has become deeply suspicious of being surveilled and that those close to him could be wearing wires: report

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 11:11pm
A file photo of Donald Trump.
  • According to a new Rolling Stone report, Trump has become paranoid about being wiretapped.
  • Sources close to Trump told Rolling Stone he has asked if the phones are being tapped "by Biden."
  • Trump also got suspicious of Republicans visiting him at his clubs, and if they were wearing wires.

Even before the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on Monday, former President Donald Trump was getting paranoid about the possibility that he might be monitored by the authorities or that the people close to him are wearing wires, per a new Rolling Stone report. 

Rolling Stone spoke to four sources familiar with Trump's behavior. The sources say the former president has asked close aides if they thought he could be under surveillance by the authorities.

"He has asked me and others, 'Do you think our phones are tapped?'" said one source to Rolling Stone. "Given the sheer volume of investigations going on into the (former) president, I do not think he's assuming anything is outside the realm of possibility."

According to the source, Trump brought the idea of being wiretapped up as a serious consideration but has also joked that people close to him should "be careful" about what they say on the phone. 

Two sources close to Trump also told Rolling Stone that the former president has also grown suspicious of the Republican figures coming to see him at his clubs, wondering if they could be "wearing a wire." These sources also told Rolling Stone that Trump and his advisers are in search of a "mole" or a "rat," who might be working with law enforcement against Trump. 

Speaking to Rolling Stone, another Trump adviser said that members of the MAGA flank have been trying to get to Trump and warn him against trusting certain people close to him: "To be honest, a lot of it feels like people trying to screw over the ones they don't like."

For his part, Trump has railed against the search, highlighting how agents "broke into" his safe.

The FBI has not given a reason for the raid. But numerous media outlets, as well as Eric Trump in a Fox News interview, suggested it was over material that the former president brought to Mar-a-Lago after leaving the White House.

In February, the National Archives retrieved 15 boxes of documents from Mar-a-Lago. It also asked the Department of Justice to investigate if Trump broke the law by bringing official documents to his Florida residence. The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek also reported this week that an informant close to Trump may have tipped off investigators, and pinpointed where they could find documents that the Archives didn't get in February.

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Biden quietly met with a group of historians who warned him about threats to democracy and compared the current moment to the pre-Civil War era, report says

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 10:18pm
President Joe Biden speaks to reporters in the Oval Office of the White House on May 9, 2022.
  • President Joe Biden met with historians at the White House last week, The Washington Post reported.
  • People familiar with the conversation said they warned Biden about the rise of totalitarianism around the world.
  • They also made comparisons to before the Civil War and pro-fascism sentiments around World War II.

President Joe Biden privately met with a group of historians at the White House last week who warned him about ongoing threats to democracy, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Sources familiar with the August 4 meeting, which lasted nearly two hours, told the outlet the experts described the current moment as among the most dangerous to Democracy in modern history.

The people in the meeting included Princeton University history professor Sean Wilentz, University of Virginia historian Allida Black, journalist Anne Applebaum, and presidential historian Michael Beschloss. Also in the meeting was speechwriters for Biden, including Vinay Reddy and Jon Meacham, and White House senior adviser Anita Dunn.

The small group almost exclusively discussed totalitarianism around the world and threats to American democracy, according to The Post.

The outlet reported the scholars compared the current state of affairs to the era that preceded the Civil War, as well as fascist movements that emerged ahead of World War II. They specifically noted Abraham Lincoln's 1860 election and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1940 election.

Some of the experts said to have been in the meeting have spoken publicly about threats to democracy. For instance Applebaum, a staff writer at The Atlantic, published a book in 2020 called "Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism" about the rise of right-wing populism and democratic decline.

The White House did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

The meeting was in step with Biden's habit of seeking outside experts to provide guidance on domestic and foreign policy issues. He also met with former President Bill Clinton in May to discuss inflation and the midterms, and with a group of foreign-policy experts in January ahead of an anticipated Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The meetings also continue a tradition of US presidents seeking big picture context from historians that started with President Ronald Reagan but stalled under former President Donald Trump, according to The Post.

Historians have publicly been sounding the alarm on threat to democracy in recent years, especially after the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat told Insider's Charles R. Davis in June that the Capitol attack, which she described as an attempted coup, still poses a threat to US democracy. Ken Hughes, another historian and expert on Watergate, told Insider's Erin Snodgrass in July that democracy is in a "dangerous" position as the systems that usually protect against a presidential abuse of power are no longer functioning.

Read the original article on Business Insider

FBI subpoenaed several GOP Pennsylvania lawmakers for information on Rep. Scott Perry, who is a key figure in the DOJ's probe into efforts to overturn the 2020 election: report

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 9:59pm
Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania has been a key figure of interest in the Justice Department's investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
  • Several Republican Pennslyvania lawmakers were subpoenaed by the FBI on Wednesday, per PennLive.
  • It's unclear who was subpoenaed, but the FBI was seeking information regarding Rep. Scott Perry.
  • Perry's phone was seized Tuesday, as the DOJ's probe into efforts to overturn the 2020 election escalates.

The FBI subpoenaed or paid visits to several Republican Pennsylvania lawmakers on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to PennLive, which cited at least six anonymous sources.

It's unclear which lawmakers were approached and how many, but sources told the news outlet that the subpoenas or visits mainly centered on gathering information about Rep. Scott Perry.

Perry, who is one of the key figures of interest in the Justice Department's probe into efforts to overturn the 2020 election, had his phone seized on Tuesday by federal investigators.

Official spokespersons for members of the Pennsylvania Capitol told PennLive that they could not confirm if anyone received a subpoena.

"I am unaware of any FBI presence in the Capitol or Leader Benninghoff's office yesterday," Jason Gottesman, a spokesman for House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff and the chamber's Republican caucus, told PennLive. "To the extent House members or staff may have been contacted by the FBI, we would not comment on a potential or ongoing investigation."

Perry was one of former President Donald Trump's vehement supporters and backed efforts to overturn the election results, according to the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

In text messages to Trump's former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, which were obtained by the panel, Perry said to "immediately seize" Dominion voting machines because he believed the British government and the CIA were conspiring to change the election results.

Witnesses in the January hearings also testified that Perry pushed to appoint Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official, as the acting attorney general. Clark was another Trump ally who supported efforts to overturn the election and may have been involved in a plot to use fake electors to reverse President Joe Biden's victory.

The January 6 panel outlined how Clark helped draft a letter to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, which suggested sending a "separate slate of electors supporting Donald J. Trump." The letter was never sent.

Perry's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

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Biden had a private lunch with Bill Clinton during which the former president urged him to take credit if inflation decreases, report says

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 9:03pm
Former president Bill Clinton laughs as Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally at the Covelli Centre, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in Youngstown, Ohio.
  • President Joe Biden had a private lunch with former president Bill Clinton in May.
  • The two men discussed Ukraine, inflation, and the midterms, The Washington Post reported.
  • Clinton told Biden to talk more about what he was doing to address inflation, sources told The Post.

President Joe Biden met with Bill Clinton in May, during which the former president advised him on a range of topics and urged him to take credit if inflation decreases, according to a report published by The Washington Post on Wednesday.

The meeting occurred on May 2 and was confirmed by the White House at the time after The Post first reported it was happening, citing people familiar with the situation. Details on what the two Democrats discussed had not previously been reported.

Biden and Clinton discussed inflation, Ukraine, and the midterm elections, people briefed on the conversation told The Post. Clinton praised Biden for building support around Ukraine, as the US provided extensive aide to the Eastern European country since Russia invaded in February.

Clinton also told Biden to talk more about what the White House was doing to address skyrocketing inflation in an effort to set himself up to take credit if inflation decreases later this year, The Post reported.

Inflation rates continued to rise in the wake of the the meeting, but have since appeared to start cooling off. Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress struck a deal on a massive tax, healthcare, and climate bill named the Inflation Reduction Act.

But it's unclear how much of an effect the bill, which passed the Senate on Sunday, will have on inflation. Analysts have given varied assessments on when, or how much, the bill will actually impact prices.

Biden's meeting with Clinton was on par with his habit of enlisting outside experts to seek guidance on various issues. The Post also reported that Biden met with a group of historians last week to discuss threats to democracy, and in January he met with foreign policy experts ahead of an anticipated Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The White House did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Donald Trump did himself a favor announcing the FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago home, allowing him to energize his base and reclaim the spotlight, experts on political and media framing said

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 7:45pm
Trump supporter holds a "Trump won" flag outside of Mar-a-Lago.
  • On Monday, the FBI executed a search warrant on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.
  • Most of the nation, including the White House, learned of the raid from a statement by Trump.
  • Experts say Trump did himself a favor by announcing the raid, despite possible legal trouble.

Earlier this week, the FBI executed an unprecedented search warrant on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida.

But the way that most of the nation, including the Biden White House, found out about the raid was from the former president himself.

On Monday evening, Trump said in a statement that "a large group" of FBI agents was searching his Mar-a-Lago home, accusing the bureau of prosecutorial misconduct and suggesting the raid was politically motivated to prevent him from running for president in 2024.

"Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries," the former president said in his statement. "Sadly, America has now become one of those Countries, corrupt at a level not seen before. They even broke into my safe!"

The search warrant comes as the National Archives asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Trump broke the law when he took classified government records with him to Mar-a-Lago.

Though the investigation could land Trump in hot water pending the FBI's findings, experts on political and media framing said they believe the former president did himself a favor by announcing the raid himself before the FBI released details of the probe or even any potential charges in relation to the search warrant.

"Trump, with his statement, sought to flip the script — to change the story from being 'He's under a cloud of suspicion and he's in trouble with law enforcement' to 'He's the victim,'" Evan Nierman, CEO of the global crisis PR firm Red Banyan, told Insider. "And I'd say the Republican political establishment has quickly fallen into line echoing Trump's side of things."

In the hours following Trump's announcement of the FBI search warrant, Republicans and right-wing groups leaped on the opportunity to use the raid as a fundraising point, with some GOP players throwing their support behind the former president. Trump supporters also swarmed the Mar-a-Lago resort to protest the execution of the search warrant.

"Trump is a master of manipulation when it comes to the media," Nierman said. "And I think in this case, he acted swiftly and decisively to shape the narrative here, especially at a time when law enforcement wasn't gonna be in a hurry to say something publicly."

It's still not immediately clear what the FBI was trying to find at Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, as the Justice Department is under strict guidance not to discuss ongoing investigations with the public.

But Trump and his legal team should have received a copy of the search warrant, despite the former president being in New York at the time of the raid, and he is free to release those documents, which outline the reason for the warrant and an inventory of items that were seized, if any.

Nonetheless, the lengths that the bureau would have to go to secure such a warrant include showing to a judge a probable cause of a crime, and that the evidence of it could be found at the Florida resort.

"I do think it's textbook Trump in terms of him being very aggressive, about racing to put out his version of the events, to frame the narrative, to try to shape, at least for his followers and his devoted supporters, what happened," Nierman said. "And I think it's actually, he's been quite effective because, not only by releasing such a public statement and doing it so quickly, he's kind of forced the media to also report on how he characterized it."

A short-term win for Trump

While the unprecedented raid almost certainly portends further legal troubles for Trump down the line, Trump's quick instinct to take control of the narrative and frame the raid as a partisan attack signals that the former president sees the FBI's search less as a bonafide legal problem, and more as an opportunity to re-energize and solidify his base ahead of a possible 2024 presidential campaign, said Chris Haynes, a politics professor at the University of New Haven and an expert on political framing.

"Trump supporters need talking points, they need a storyline, they need a call to action in a sense," Haynes told Insider. "This is what it is."

Trump's mastery of command this week was certainly helped by the Republican leaders who were ready with talking points to support the embattled former president, Haynes said. The search has forced GOP lawmakers to openly acknowledge that Trump is likely to run for president again — a prospect that most Republicans had previously been trying to avoid discussing in such certain terms. 

"In a lot of ways, this is great news for Trump, politically or salience-wise," Haynes said. "That's what he cares about, being in the spotlight. It's exactly what he wants."

But while the media frenzy around the raid might be a win for Trump, Haynes suggested it could end up hurting the Republican Party come November. 

"Could it energize the [GOP] base and convince them to turn out? Maybe," Haynes said. "But it could also really really energize the Democratic base."

Regardless of which party ultimately takes Congress in November, Trump's Monday statement makes one thing clear, according to Haynes: The former president is gearing up for a battle. 

"Raided, occupied, under siege, weaponization of the justice system," Haynes said, reciting some of the word choices Trump used in his initial statement. "These are war-type analogies."

 

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Bill Browder, the financier Vladimir Putin wants dead, says he now gets regular calls from US and British officials seeking his advice

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 7:01pm
Investor and political activist Bill Browder (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (right)
  • Bill Browder says he gets regular calls from US and British officials since Russia's invasion.
  • The financier was speaking in a new episode of the "One Decision" podcast.
  • He said there is now more interest in Russia because Putin is killing civilians in Ukraine.

Bill Browder, the financier who has been one of Vladimir Putin's most vocal critics, said he now gets regular calls from US and British government ministers and officials seeking his advice since Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year. 

Before Putin's invasion, he told the "One Decision" podcast he was not able to arrange meeting with UK politicians, but now the "doors are swinging wide open in a lot of different places with people wanting to talk to me".

"All of sudden, I'm getting calls from cabinet ministers, asking for advice – and not just the British government," Browder said.

He was also being contacted by both the US and Canadian governments: "There's certainly a lot more interest because everyone can watch on their television as innocent people are being destroyed, and children killed."

"Everyone understands that this comes from Putin's criminal activities, and a big part of his criminal activity is stealing money and a big part of that stolen money finds his way into our economies in the West," Browder added.

Browder founded Hermitage Capital Management in 1996, which quickly became one of the world's best-performing funds. He has spent much of the past two decades in the crosshairs of the Russian president for his efforts to expose corruption in post-Soviet Russia among oligarchs and their companies, creating a long list of enemies, including Putin.

Browder, who was declared a national security threat to Russia in 2005 and banned from entering the country, was named by Putin at a joint press conference with then president Donald Trump after their summit in Helsinki in July 2018.

The Russian president claimed Browder's business associates had never paid any tax in either Russia or the US on more than $1.5 billion earned in Russia, according to the Atlantic Council.

Browder's lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, died in 2009 in a Russian jail under mysterious circumstances.

In the podcast episode, Browder also said he was added eight times to Interpol's list of Red Notices, which are issued for fugitives wanted either for prosecution or to serve a jail sentence.

He said of the system: "I think we're coming to the point where there needs to be sort of a new Interpol set up with just rule-of-law countries."

Browder said that Putin has wanted him dead for some time. "The main way he wanted to kill me was not by putting novichok on my doorknob – or maybe he did want to do that, but decided not to," Browder said. "But the main way he wanted to kill me was to get me back to Russia via international legal means, and then kill me in a Russian prison."

He concluded: "That's that was his objective. And the way he went about that was by issuing Interpol arrest warrants."

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A string of mishaps shows how tricky it can be to keep the aircraft on aircraft carriers

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 6:17pm
An F-35C launches from USS Abraham Lincoln in the Philippine Sea, February 22, 2022.
  • Over the past year, three US and British jets have gone overboard off of aircraft carriers.
  • Two jets had mishaps during flight operations and another jet went overboard in rough seas.
  • The incidents illustrate the complexity of naval aviation and how it can go wrong.

The past year has been hard on the carrier aviation community.

Since November, three fighter jets — two of them highly advanced stealth aircraft — worth some $300 million have gone overboard due to accidents aboard aircraft carriers.

The string of mishaps shows how tricky it can be to operate an aircraft aboard an aircraft carrier.

Costly oversightsAn F-35B launches from HMS Queen Elizabeth, June 18, 2021.

The incidents began in the Mediterranean Sea in mid-November. The Royal Navy flagship, the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, was returning to the UK after its maiden operational deployment, during which it sailed to the Pacific and back.

During what was supposed to be a routine training flight under sunny Mediterranean skies, an F-35B Lighting II stealth fighter jet crashed, going into the water after it left the carrier's deck.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth is a short takeoff, barrier arrested recovery carrier that has a ramp to help aircraft take off. A leaked video of the mishap shows the jet decelerating as it approaches the ramp — the worst possible time for that to happen.

Thankfully, the pilot managed to eject seconds before the F-35B hit the water.

HMS Queen Elizabeth at sea on May 19, 2021.

An investigation found that the crew had forgotten to remove an engine blank — essentially a cover — which is meant to protect the engine from weather and debris when it isn't operating.

With an estimated cost of roughly $100 million for each F-35B, this turned out to be an expensive engine blank.

"There are multiple people that are supposed to look the jet over before takeoff. To not catch the engine blank in the intake is just purely an oversight that shouldn't ever happen," said Tony Rich, a former US Marine sergeant who served as a mechanic on the AV-8B Harrier II, the predecessor to the F-35B.

"Like so many things, 999 times out of 1,000, you get away with it because someone had your back or someone saw it in time, but the 1,000th time" it will get you, Rich, now a news editor at Sandboxx News, told Insider.

Multiple screwupsAn F-35C launches from USS Carl Vinson in the Philippine Sea, January 9, 2021.

The next mishap took place in the South China Sea in January. The pilot of a US Navy F-35C Lighting II stealth fighter jet appeared to misjudge his approach and hit the edge of the flight deck on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

The F-35C was recovered after a deep-salvage operation right under the nose of the Chinese Navy — but using a Chinese-built ship to lift the jet from 12,400 feet below the surface.

The deployment aboard the Vinson was a first for the F-35C, which costs roughly $100 million each, making it an expensive loss for the Pentagon.

As if in a good novel, the last in this string of mishaps took place back in the Mediterranean. On July 8, an F/A-18E Super Hornet aboard USS Harry S. Truman was blown off the ship after an unexpected storm caused heavy, rolling seas.

According to the Navy, one sailor was injured but is expected to recover fully.

Sailors man a phone-and-distance line aboard USS Harry S. Truman during a replenishment-at-sea on June 10, 2022.

The jet was recovered this month, but the incident is still under investigation. At the time of the mishap, the carrier was conducting an underway replenishment, a tricky operation in which a supply ship sails alongside a warship and pallets of supplies are sent across on cables.

"I'm sure things weren't done perfectly," Rich said of the F/A-18 mishap, noting that it was always possible that the jet had just returned to the deck or was being towed into position.

Some of the chains used to tie down jets on carrier decks "are ancient," Rich added. "They break. It happens. Plus if it was blown but rolled on its wheels overboard (as opposed to rolled wing over wing), that would mean someone screwed up in terms of not building the brake pressure, which, honestly, happens all the time."

Rich said that the mishap is similar to the British F-35B accident in the sense that it probably took "multiple people screwing up."

'If it doesn't grow, it goes'Sailors aboard USS Harry S. Truman conduct a foreign object debris walk on June 8, 2022.

Like on any runway, debris of any kind is a big no-go on an aircraft carrier's flight deck.

"A pebble or a tiny washer or nut is enough to bring down an entire aircraft," Rich said, adding that the crew does a foreign object discovery walk, or FOD Walk, at the beginning and end of every shift.

Crews also monitor their work areas for any foreign objects and have to account for all tools, regardless of size, before and after each task and at the beginning and end of each shift. A missing wrench can ground an entire squadron for safety reasons.

Foreign objects don't appear to have been involved in the recent mishaps, but there are other complicating factors that make life for naval aviators and crews that much harder. One of the most prominent in recent years has been heightened operational tempos.

An F-35B aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth, October 13, 2019.

"Operations and maintenance control are always battling to keep jets up so pilots can get the training they need. Quality assurance is always battling to make sure everything is done deliberately and by the book. Sometimes the pressure to maintain the flight schedule causes corners to get cut," Rich said.

Combat operations — like those conducted by Navy and Marine pilots in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria — can lead to higher operational tempos, as can strict training regimes.

Whatever the cause, higher tempos can lead to fatigue and complacency. Fatigue has been cited as a cause for fatal incidents involving US Navy ships.

The maintainers and pilots chosen for deployments are generally more experienced, Rich said, "so a lot of time I'd say it's just fatigue and complacence that can get the best of a crew, just like any other job."

Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.

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Samsung's brand-new Galaxy Z Flip 4 is essentially free with any Galaxy trade-in at AT&T — here's how to get the deal

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 5:38pm

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The new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (left) and Z Fold 4 (right) foldable smartphones.
  • AT&T is offering a major preorder deal for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Fold 4.
  • Right now, you can trade in any Galaxy smartphone to get $1,000 off one of the new folding models.
  • The deal will last until Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4 preorders close on August 25.

Now that Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Fold 4 have been announced and are available for preorder, AT&T is offering some sweet savings on the new smartphones. 

Here's the deal: trade your old Galaxy smartphone — any model in any condition worth at least $35 in trade-in value — and you get $1,000 off a Galaxy Z Flip 4 or Fold 4 preorder. To get the deal, you must preorder your new phone with an installment plan and an eligible AT&T unlimited plan. 

Typically, trade-in values vary wildly based on the age of your device and what condition it's in, which makes this an especially great chance to save big no matter what model you have. Old phones almost never get more than a $600 value, but with this $1,000 trade-in discount you can basically get the Z Flip 4 for free. 

Keep in mind, however, that the $1,000 discount isn't immediate. Instead, you pay up front and then get the deal in the form of discount credits over a 36-month installment plan. This also means you'll be cemented into a three-year payment plan for your new phone, so you won't be able to upgrade or trade it in until after it's paid off.

Preorders opened on August 10 and will last until August 25. The new smartphones will be available in stores and online starting August 26. 

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Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort says he had 'grown comfortable' in jail and was 'the best dressed inmate'

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 5:37pm
Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chair
  • Paul Manafort says he had "grown comfortable" at Northern Neck Regional Jail before he was moved to another facility.
  • He wore polo shirts the jail director bought him and was the "best dressed inmate at Northern Neck!" 
  • Manafort describes his stays in different jails in his forthcoming memoir.

Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort describes in his forthcoming memoir how he stayed fashionable, maintained a work environment and got "comfortable" during his month-long stay at Northern Neck Regional Jail before moving to another facility.

The warden allowed him to use a laptop and flash drive in his cell, using a 30-foot outdoor extension cord to get power from an outlet in the hall. 

He bought snacks and clothes from the commissary to supplement the white polo shirts, gray sweatpants and Dexter sneakers the jail director bought him, writing that he was the "best dressed inmate at Northern Neck!" 

And while he was in solitary confinement, he hired a retired FBI agent to meet him when his lawyers couldn't so that he could get out of his cell every day for legal meetings. "I had a real program working," he wrote in  "Political Prisoner: Persecuted, Prosecuted, but Not Silenced," which will be released August 16.

Manafort, who was ultimately pardoned by then-President Donald Trump in 2020 for financial fraud and conspiracy convictions, seemed to have developed a fondness for this temporary jail, which he noted was in a rural and Republican community. 

He called the staff "compassionate and professional" and said "they made me feel like I was surrounded by friends, not guards." He was upset about having to "start the whole process again" when he was moved to Alexandria, which he described as a "real" jail.

"I had been at Northern Neck for nearly a month, in which time I had come to figure things out and adjust them to meet my needs," he wrote. "In fact, I had the system working for me. TV twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week! Telephone from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.! Books. Control over my schedule…"

He describes his Alexandria experience as "almost POW-style solitary confinement" with lights on 24 hours a day and twice-weekly, 30-minute family visits. And his visits to the courthouse were "especially humbling."

But he got to see other prisoners on the walk to his cell in the courthouse. "A few of them recognized me and gave me fist bumps through the bars," he wrote.

Also, the judge allowed him to wear suits instead of jail jumpsuits if the jury was present. He quoted a US marshal's comment on his clothing after the marshal brought the suit to his cell: "'Oh by the way, those are dope clothes. I bet they cost a lot?'"

In another instance, he shared how one prisoner called him "Professor" on their way to jail, perhaps because of those clothes.

"Why, I don't know," he wrote. "Maybe it was the suit jacket I was still wearing. Either way, I took it as a sign of respect."

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Chipotle will pay workers $20 million after New York City labor dispute

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 5:29pm
  • Chipotle agreed to pay workers in NYC $20 million over labor violations.
  • The city says the chain changed workers' schedules and didn't allow them to use accrued sick leave.
  • Chipotle says the settlement shows its "commitment to providing opportunities for all of our team members."

Chipotle reached an agreement with New York City to pay local workers about $20 million in compensation for what the city says were scheduling and sick leave violations. The payout will go to 13,000 past and present Chipotle workers impacted by the violations, plus another $1 million in civil penalties, the mayor's office said in a statement.

Hourly workers at New York City Chipotle locations will receive $50 for each week worked between November 2017 and April, 2022. Workers who left their jobs before April 30 will have to file a claim to receive payment, the city said.

"We're pleased to be able to resolve these issues and believe this settlement demonstrates Chipotle's commitment to providing opportunities for all of our team members while also complying with the Fair Workweek law," Scott Boatwright, chief restaurant officer at Chipotle, said in a statement to Insider.

Chipotle's payments stem from an investigation by NYC's Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) beginning in 2018 that led to a 2019 lawsuit accusing the chain of hundreds of thousands of labor violations of the Fair Workweek Law, which mandates that workers must have 14-day advance notice of schedules or extra pay and that workers must have a certain break period between shifts or receive an extra $100.

At the time, it was the largest suit ever brought by New York City under the Fair Workweek law, claiming Chipotle owed $150 million to workers.

New York City said that its investigation found that Chipotle violated the law by not allowing workers to use sick leave that they'd accrued, failing to offer open shifts to current workers before hiring more, making workers work "clopening" shifts — closing at night and then opening the next morning — without appropriate extra payment, and more, according to the statement from the mayor's office.

"We have implemented a number of compliance initiatives, including additional management resources and adding new and improved time-keeping technology, to help our restaurants and we look forward to continuing to promote the goals of predictable scheduling and access to work hours for those who want them," Boatwright said.

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com.

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The 10 best tech deals from Best Buy's Anniversary Sale — save up to 40% on smart TVs, Apple Watches, headphones, and more

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 5:19pm

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

  • Best Buy is celebrating its 56th anniversary with a huge sale that lasts through August 14.
  • Tons of deals are available online, in stores, and through the Best Buy app.
  • Highlights from the sale include big savings on a 65-inch smart TV and an Apple Watch SE.

Best Buy is holding a huge sale with some major savings available on smart home gear, headphones, TVs, and much more.

The retailer offers deals throughout the year, but this special 56th anniversary sale is full of especially solid discounts and exclusive promotions, like free subscription services with select purchases.

Below, we've highlighted some of the best deals in the sale, including savings on the Apple Watch SE and Sony LinkBuds S. Many of these discounts are also being matched on Amazon.  

10 best tech deals available now during Best Buy's Anniversary SaleBest Buy Anniversary Sale FAQsWhen is Best Buy's Anniversary Sale?

Best Buy's 56th Anniversary Sale is running now through August 14. New deals are being unveiled every day on the Best Buy website.

Is the Best Buy Anniversary Sale running in stores or online only?

You can take advantage of Best Buy Anniversary Sale deals online, in-store, and via the Best Buy app.

What is Best Buy's return policy?

For most products, Best Buy accepts returns within 15 days of purchase; activatable devices (like smartphones, tablets, and hotspots) only have a 14-day return period, and may incur a $45 fee. 

Best Buy Totaltech members get an extended 60-day return period for most items (excluding activatable ones). 

What is Best Buy's price matching policy?

For products to be eligible for price matching at Best Buy, they must be:

  • Identical to the competitor's product (including brand, model number, and color)
  • Immediately available at the qualifying online retailer or local competitor
  • Not shown on the exclusion list 

You can price match online via Best Buy chat or in stores by showing an employee the qualifying ad or website.

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Trump's attorney says she was 'not allowed' to observe the FBI Mar-a-Lago search

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 5:18pm
Former President Donald Trump's Palm Beach estate, Mar-A-Lago was searched by the FBI Monday evening.
  • The FBI searched Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago home Monday evening.
  • Despite being present at the scene, Trump's attorney says she was barred from observing the search.
  • According to FBI protocol, agents can decide whether or not attorneys can observe searches.

Donald Trump's attorney, Christina Bobb, said she was "not allowed" to observe FBI agents as they searched the former president's Palm Beach estate, Mar-A-Lago. She made the comments to Real America's Voice, a conservative news network, Tuesday. The FBI, however, is not under any obligation to allow attorneys to oversee a search, a retired FBI agent told Insider.

FBI protocol requires agents to show a copy of the search warrant — as well as provide an itemized list of what was taken after it is finished — but it has discretion on whether to allow the attorney to be present while the search is conducted. 

Bobby Chacon, another retired FBI agent and former attorney, told Insider that the agency can "keep them out."

"In a nutshell, no, they don't have a right to be there," Chacon said. "If we want to keep them out, we can keep what we want out while we conduct the search."

—David Edwards (@DavidEdwards) August 9, 2022

 

Depending on the circumstance, the agents can have the attorney in the room as long as they don't interfere. Chacon said this includes talking to the agents, questioning them, or telling them they can't look in certain places.

"The warrants allow us to seize the place to be searched and to have total control over it. And that's mainly for our own safety," Chacon said. "There is zero tolerance for allowance for interference in the search."

The search has sparked a baseless conspiracy theory that agents may have planted evidence at the scene. However, Trump's own attorney, Christina Bobb, cast doubt on these claims, even while claiming without evidence that FBI agents "just make stuff up."

Chacon said this is a "fallacy" defense attorneys often use to get access to overseeing the agents while they search a property.

"It's a common ploy of defense attorneys to say stuff like that," Chacon said. 

This was not the FBI's first time at Mar-A-Lago, but the first time the resort had been "raided" according to Bobb, saying they were previously "cooperative" with agents. 

She called the FBI's actions on Monday a "weird flex," and suggested the raid was an attempt to "prevent" Trump from running for president again.

Trump himself suggested on Truth Social that he may believe the evidence-planting conspiracy theory and questioned why the search was closed off from people watching.

"Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be left alone, without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or, hopefully not, 'planting,'" he wrote. "Why did they STRONGLY insist on having nobody watching them, everybody out?"

Chacon said if Trump were to be prosecuted for this, "we wouldn't have to plant evidence" because the FBI already found 15 boxes of evidence earlier this year.

"When you can't attack the facts, you attack the integrity of the investigation," Chacon said.

The FBI has yet to release all of the details that led to the search warrant, but it has been widely reported that the National Archives requested the FBI look for classified documents the former president may have taken from the White House before he left office.

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Jan. 6 defendants fan the flames after Trump's Mar-a-Lago raid: 'This is war, this is absolute war'

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 5:07pm
Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.
  • The FBI raid on Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago compound has set off a firestorm of Republican fury.
  • Among those invigorated are some of Trump's most dedicated fans: Capitol riot defendants.
  • At least two offenders still awaiting sentencing likened the raid to "war."

Multiple Capitol riot defendants took to the internet with incendiary messages in the aftermath of the Monday FBI raid at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago compound — even as some of those offenders await sentencing for their role in the January 6 attack.

The FBI earlier this week conducted a search at the former president's South Florida resort as part of its investigation into his handling of classified and sensitive documents, according to several reports. A lawyer for Trump told media outlets on Tuesday that agents took about 12 boxes of records during the search.

The unprecedented move by the Justice Department set off a firestorm of Republican fury as the former president and several GOP lawmakers flung accusations of misconduct and partisan politicking at the agency. 

"For a large section of Trump's base, this probably energized them to some extent," Chris Haynes, a politics professor at the University of New Haven told Insider.

Among those seemingly invigorated by Monday's raid are some of Trump's most fervent supporters — those devotees who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in an effort to stop the certification of President Joe Biden's win. 

But even though federal prosecutors have frequently cited rioters' own pre-siege social media posts in charging documents against them, some Jan. 6 defendants couldn't resist weighing in on the most recent Trumpian drama.

"This is war, this is absolute war."

The YouTuber known as Baked Alaska waded into the controversy this week during a livestream. Baked Alaska, whose real name is Anthime Gionet, pleaded guilty last month to a misdemeanor charge related to his role in the insurrection, during which he livestreamed himself for nearly 30 minutes as he urged other rioters to enter the Capitol, prosecutors have said.

"We need to win the midterms or literally die," Gionet said during a Tuesday livestream where he discussed the Mar-a-Lago raid.

Gionet, who is set to be sentenced in January 2023, faces a possible maximum sentence of six months in prison.

Throughout the livestream, Gionet was careful to couch his language, repeating several times that he wasn't condoning violence or encouraging law-breaking. But the influencer couldn't completely avoid inflammatory language throughout the hours-long stream.

"This is war, this is absolute war," he said. "It's insane what they're doing to Donald Trump. If they can do it to him, they can do it to anyone. You've seen them do it to me."

Gionet encouraged his listeners to pray for the former president and vote for Republicans in the upcoming midterms.

"Imagine [Trump] wins and we take power and never give it up, ever, ever," he said.

Gionet's musings previously put his plea deal in danger after he told a judge he believed he was innocent ahead of entering a guilty plea. He ultimately pleaded guilty instead of opting for a trial.

"I hope [Trump]…destroys the FBI," Gionet said on Tuesday. "In a legal way. I'm not talking about violence." 

Attorneys for Gionet did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Far right livestreamer Baked Alaska (C) is cheered on by people associated with the far-right group America First in front of Pfizer world headquarters on November 13, 2021 in New York City. A U.S. Circuit Court granted an emergency stay to temporarily stop the Biden administration's vaccine requirement for businesses with 100 or more workers as many feel it is an unlawful overreach."Are we not in a cold civil war at this point?"

Other Capitol riot defendants have also likened Monday's raid to the start of a war.

NBC News on Tuesday reported that a username belonging to defendant Tyler Welsh Slaeker posted a comment on a pro-Trump internet forum suggesting the US was "in a cold civil war at this point."

A username linked to Slaeker, "bananaguard62," added the comment under a post urging Trump supporters to "lock and load" and head to Mar-a-Lago in the hours following the raid, the outlet reported.

Slaeker has yet to be sentenced for his role in the siege after he pleaded guilty to one count of entering and remaining in a restricted building. 

"I am awaiting sentencing for trespassing into the Capitol," he wrote on the forum. "I am only being careful with my words."

Slaeker did not have an active attorney listed.

Brandon Straka, a January 6 defendant who was already sentenced to three months of home detention in January after pleading guilty to a disorderly conduct charge, has garnered a massive online following as a pro-Trump influencer known for staging political stunts.

Straka on Monday posted an ominous message on his social media platforms following the raid.

"The FBI raiding Trump will only be the beginning," he wrote. "I've been trying as hard as I can to get the right to listen. God help us all." 

But it's not just Capitol riot defendants who are stoking the fire. And the internet users not currently entangled in federal legal issues are often prone to putting it even more bluntly.

One user on Trump's preferred Truth Social warned that further action against the former president would be "the lighting of a civil war fuse," and predicted that "lead will fly," in messaging that reads eerily similar to much of the language that populated far-right forums and social media platforms ahead of the January 6 attack.

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Trump-endorsed J.R. Majewski reveals his personal finances after Insider reported he violated a federal disclosure law

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 4:45pm
Republican congressional candidate J.R. Majewski, who's running to represent Ohio's 9th Congressional District, appears with former President Donald Trump in this undated campaign photo.
  • J.R. Majewski is the GOP nominee in Ohio's 9th District congressional race — one of the nation's most competitive.
  • Majewski failed for months to disclose his personal finances as federal law requires.
  • He filed his mandatory disclosures three days after Insider reported on the matter.

Republican congressional candidate J.R. Majewski — a QAnon conspiracy theory promoter who former President Donald Trump endorsed in Ohio's ultra-competitive 9th District — disclosed two-and-a-half years worth of his personal financial activity after Insider on August 5 revealed he was violating a federal law.

The disclosures, submitted to the US House of Representatives on August 8, indicate that Majewski and his wife have up to $750,000 in personal debt, spread across home, home improvement, auto, and student loans.

That compares to $80,000 to $200,000 in reported assets, all held within savings, checking, and retirement accounts — and not including the value of Majewski's home, which he is not required to report. He holds no individual stocks, according to his disclosures. 

Majewski's disclosures, which cover activity from January 1, 2020, to the present, do not indicate that he bought, sold, or held cryptocurrency.

But Majewski tweeted in January 2021 that he "just bought 25,000 shares of $DOGE." He added: "Why not? … Download Robinhood App, deposit some money and buy the coin DOGE"

Later in the day, Majewski tweeted that he was "already up $81.00," then "$111," then "$179."

—JR Majewski (@JRMajewski) January 28, 2021

 

Federal candidates and members of Congress must by law report cryptocurrency as they do stock and cash assets, per federal disclosure rules.

Majewski also disclosed withdrawing $73,330 this year from his 401k retirement plan at Holtec International, an energy services company that specializes in nuclear power. In December, Majewski personally loaned his campaign $50,000, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Majewski reported earning $52,049 from his work at Holtec International during this year.

 

Federal law requires all congressional candidates to file a certified financial disclosure with the US House shortly after raising or spending $5,000 in campaign cash, according to House ethics guidelines and federal law.

But Majewski, who's been running for Congress since February 25, 2021, surpassed this threshold sometime before June 30, 2021, according to FEC records

A congressional candidate who "knowingly and willfully falsifies a statement or fails to file a statement" disclosing his or her personal finances may be subject to investigation by the Department of Justice.

While such investigations are rare, the maximum civil penalty for such an offense is $66,190 while the maximum criminal penalty is one year in federal prison plus a fine of up to the same amount, according to the federal Ethics in Government Act.

Representatives for Majewski did not immediately respond to questions Wednesday from Insider.

Prior to publication of Insider's article on August 5, J.R. Majewski for Congress campaign treasurer Sean Tarnowski declined to comment. Majewski's spokesperson, Melissa Pelletier, did not respond to multiple phone and email messages after saying by phone that she's "do my best" to answer a series of emailed questions.

President Joe Biden speaks with Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio as he arrives at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland, Ohio, on May 27, 2021. Kaptur is now running for re-election against Republican J.R. Majewski.Trying to unseat a 20-term incumbent

Capitalism, small government, and fiscal restraint are campaign themes for Majewski, who is challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur in one of the nation's true toss-up House races, where no clear favorite has emerged.

Majewski listed "honesty," integrity" and "the ability to communicate" among the characteristics or principles most important for an elected official, according to a Ballotpedia candidate survey.

"I want to preserve the wealth I have earned to date & the wealth of my friends & family in OH09. I 100% believe in smaller government & fiscal responsibility," he tweeted on March 10.

"Bring back fiscal conservatism," he tweeted on May 28.

Until now, Majewski has not provided a detailed, certified, public accounting of where he earned his money and whether he carried debt.

In 2020, Majewski, while responding to a question about charitable donations, told a fellow tweeter: "You have no clue what I do with the money that I earn. It's NOYB" — none of your business.

Majewski's tardy financial filing follows publication of Insider's "Conflicted Congress" project, which found that 67 members of Congress and at least 182 senior congressional aides have in recent months violated the federal Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 with late or missing financial disclosures.

The investigation also identified dozens of lawmakers whose personal stock trades are discordant with their public responsibilities, such as members who craft anti-tobacco policy but invest in tobacco giants and others who receive plaudits from environmental groups for crafting policy aimed at combating the climate crisis — yet invest in fossil fuel companies

Numerous members of Congress hold the stock of defense contractors at a time when the House and Senate are voting on hundreds of billions of dollars in military spending, including emergency aid to Ukraine in support of its war effort against Russia.

Congress is now actively debating whether to ban federal lawmakers, their spouses, and top congressional staffers from trading individual stocks at all, although no vote has yet been scheduled on a bill that would enact such a ban.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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