New White House Director of Communications Bill Shine has received an exemption from federal government ethics rules so he can continue to communicate with Fox News, where he served as co-president until being forced out last year. Shine was seen as having covered up sexual harassment at the conservative news network.
“The Administration has an interest in you interacting with Covered Organizations such as Fox News,” White House counsel Don McGahn wrote in a memo last month granting an ethics waivers to Shine, The Daily Beast reports. “[T]he need for your services outweighs the concern that a reasonable person may question the integrity of the White House Office’s programs and operations.”
Fox News is the only major TV news network seen as “friendly” to the Trump administration. Trump reportedly watches TV news, especially Fox, as much as 8 hours a day, which Trump disputes. He also has a close personal relationship with Fox’s far right wing host, Sean Hannity, who reportedly advises the president regularly and speaks with Trump sometimes several times a day.
In addition to Shine, a total of 20 other Trump administration officials have received official waviers from ethics laws, including former CNBC host Larry Kulow, who joined the Trump team as Director of the National Economic Council.
The White House last year also “issued a blanket ethics waiver allowing all senior West Wing appointees to freely communicate with the press,” including former Breitbart publisher Steve Bannon. The waiver was retroactive, and was seen as an attempt to protect Bannon.
AlterNet describes Shine’s relationship with Fox News as “sketchy.”
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Mike Pence Now All In: Defends Trump’s ‘Appropriate’ Phone Call to Ukraine
Vice President Mike Pence insisted on Thursday that President Donald Trump’s controversial call to Ukraine’s president was “appropriate.”
During an event in Arizona, Pence was asked if it was “appropriate” for Trump to ask Ukraine’s president to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Earlier on Thursday, Trump had also asked China to investigate Biden and his son.
“Is it appropriate, as the president did this morning and with a phone call to Ukraine, to ask foreign governments to investigate his political rivals? China, for example,” a reporter said to Pence.
“I am vice president of the United States, and I was elected to this job along with President Trump,” the vice president droned. “One of the major reasons we were elected was to drain the swamp. I think the American people have right to know if the vice president of the United States or his family profited from his position as vice president during the last administration. That is about looking backwards and understanding what really happened.”
According to Pence, Joe Biden and his son are “worth looking into.”
“And the president made it very clear that he believes our other nations around the world should look into it, as well,” he continued. “The simple fact is, when you hold the second highest office in the land, it comes with unique responsibilities. Not just to be above impropriety but to be above the appearance of impropriety. There are legitimate questions that ought to be an asked. We will continue to ask them because the American people have a right to know whether or not the vice president of United States or his family profited from his position.”
Pence also insisted that there “was no quid pro quo” offered when Trump called the president of Ukraine.
“I think that’s of the American people would expect and anticipate but this is going to continue, to advance what we were elected to advance,” he said. “That includes draining the swamp and demanding that our allies operate in an upright way, as well.”
“The president was raising issues that were appropriate that were of genuine interest to the American people,” Pence said of the Ukraine call.
Watch the video below from Fox News.
Trump Insanely Claims if Joe Biden Were a Republican He Would Have Been Executed ‘By Right Now’
President Donald Trump just unleashed one of – if not his most – violent and vile attacks on any political opponent to date. Suggesting Joe Biden has committed a capital offense, for which there is absolutely no evidence, the president said had the former Vice President and his son Hunter Biden been Republicans they would have already been executed.
“If a Republican ever did what Joe Biden did, if a Republican ever said what Joe Biden said, they’d be getting the electric chair by right now,” Trump claimed, after telling reporters “Joe Biden and his son are corrupt,” without any evidence.
“But the fake news doesn’t want to report it, because they’re Democrats,” Trump added.
The president, who made his remarks from the United Nations, went on to call the media “crooked as hell.”
Trump ends his bilateral media availability with the Polish president by claiming that “if a Republican ever did what Joe Biden did … they’d be getting the electric chair right now,” before calling the assembled journalists “crooked as hell.” 😳 pic.twitter.com/38q03H2SGy
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 23, 2019
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.
‘You Don’t Care About the Kids’: Top PA Lawmaker Berates Public School Teacher as a ‘Special Interest’ to Her Face
House Speaker Says He’s ‘Offended’ by Her Sign That Says “I Love Public Schools”
A top Pennsylvania Republican lawmaker took time out of his visit to a Catholic elementary school with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to berate a retired public school teacher, calling her a “special interest” who’s part of a “monopoly.”
Speaker of the House Mike Turzai on Thursday chastised the school teacher who was protesting the Republican attack on local public schools. Conservatives across the country, emboldened by Trump administration polices spearheaded by DeVos are working to bleed taxpayer funds out of public school and inject them into charter schools, private schools, and religious schools.
“You have to care about each child,” Speaker Turzai informed the retired teacher, who was standing with another woman, presumably also a teacher, “not about the monopoly, which is where I think you folks are – you’re special interest people.”
“You don’t really care about the kids,” he claimed. “What you care about is a monopoly.”
“I’m a little offended from that,” one of the teachers responded.
“Oh I’m offended by your signs,” Turzai immediately replied.
The retired teacher was holding a sign that read: “I Love Public Schools.”
The other woman’s sign said, “Public Money for Public Schools.”
“I have dedicated my life to children. I have sacrificed my time –” she said before Turzai cut her off.
“You have to understand that there’s opportunities for each and every child in a variety of different schools, and those that have won a monopoly and are only about special interests and not about the child, need to think twice – and that includes you,” Speaker Turzai said. He then walked away, falsely claiming charter schools are not “for profit.”
“Please!” he concluded, sarcastically.
PA House Speaker @RepTurzai attended a Harrisburg event with Education Sec. Betsy DeVos this morning. There, he dismissed dedicated public educators “special interest people” who don’t care about students. Excuse me? @PSEA #1u #pagov #pahouse pic.twitter.com/HQxl8epbLo
— PA Spotlight (@PA_Spotlight) September 19, 2019
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