President Trump finally addressed the catastrophic impact Hurricane Maria has had on Puerto Rico after mounting calls for him to shift his focus from NFL protests to the urgent matter, on Monday, September 25. And in doing so, the firebrand Commander-In-Chief insensed many by raising a reminder of the commonwealth’s debt to Wall Street bondholders.
“Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble,” Trump tweeted. “It’s old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. Food, water and medical are top priorities – and doing well.”
The tweet is being blasted as insensitive and ill-timed in light of the devastating conditions on the ground in the aftermath of the Category 5 storm. Comedian Wanda Sykes and musician Marc Anthony are among the public figures who have blasted Trump’s focus on athlete protests as Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio and other lawmakers urge cooperation with Puerto Rican governor Ricardo Rossello’s push for Congress to pass a relief package that could prove sufficient in sparing further tragedy and getting the island back up and running.
The White House encouraged ESPN to fire Jemele Hill after the anchor tweeted disparaging remarks about President Donald Trump. The network allegedly did try to pull the SportsCenter host, according to a report from ThinkProgress.
Hill was caught in the middle of a firestorm when she tweeted that Trump was a white supremacist, ignorant and unfit for the job of commander in chief. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Hill’s tweets were a “fireable offense,” and several conservative publications started a social media movement for that to happen.
ESPN issued a statement on Tuesday, reprimanding Hill for her comments but didn’t issue a suspension. According to Think Progress, they did, however, try to remove the host. The network reportedly tried to keep Hill off the air on Wednesday evening, but her co-host Michael Smith refused to do the show without her, sources said. They also said that the producers reached out to two other black ESPN hosts, Michael Eaves and Elle Duncan, to ask them to serve as fill-ins for the show, but Eaves and Duncan refused to take the place of Hill and Smith. Faced with the possibility of having to replace Hill and Smith with white co-hosts (which would’ve caused a firestorm), sources said ESPN then called Hill and asked her to come back on her show.
ESPN refutes these claims.
“Yesterday was a hard and unusual day, with a number of people interpreting the day without a full picture that happened,” Rob King, the senior vice president for news and information at SportsCenter, told ThinkProgress. “In the end, ultimately, Michael and Jemele appearing on the show last night and doing the show the way they did is the outcome we always desired.”
“We never asked any other anchors to do last night’s show. Period,” ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz emailed ThinkProgress after they published their report.
Hill did not address the controversy during the show Wednesday night, but she did release a statement on Twitter. She did not apologize for her statements, nor delete the tweets, but apologized for painting ESPN in an unfair light.
It looks like President Donald Trump will be headed out on vacation and away from the White House, yet again.
The FAA released a notice that restricts flights over Bedminster, NJ from August 4-21 due to “VIP movement.”
Axios noted that this is likely because Trump will be vacationing at his Trump National Golf Club in the town. Trump recently indicated he much prefers the golf club to the White House, which he reportedly called a “real dump.”
The FAA notice said aircraft within a certain “inner core” around Bedminster are prohibited except for “Approved law enforcement, military aircraft directly supporting the United States Secret Service (USSS) and the office of the President of the United States, approved air ambulance flights, and regularly scheduled commercial passenger and all-cargo carriers operating under one of the following TSA-Approved standard security programs/procedures.”
Axios also noted that Trump frequently complained about the length of his predecessor President Barack Obama’s vacations. August is a slow time for government officials and if the FAA notice is an indicator, Trump will be gone on vacation for as long as Obama was last year when he visited Martha’s Vineyard, Axios said.
Trump himself took to Twitter numerous times during Obama’s presidency to make his point.
Trump also complained about Obama spending time golfing or campaigning, though Trump has been golfing at least 43 times since he was inaugurated and has also held several campaign rallies for his 2020 reelection bid (though he has only been president for a little more than six months).
Donald Trump announced via Twitter on Wednesday that the United States military, in a reversal of an Obama-era policy, will no longer “accept or allow” transgender individuals.
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender [sic] in the military would entail. Thank you,” he wrote in a series of three tweets.
Superstar Nicki Minaj started Saturday night (May 7) reviewing submissions to a contest for a lucky fan to join her for the Billboard Music Awards in Vegas by the end of the night Minaj was agreeing to pay college-related bills for fans.
On Twitter Saturday, Nicki Minaj began the night mentioning she was reviewing entries for a contest in which fans made lip-sync videos to her song “Regret in Your Tears” with the prize joining Minaj at the upcoming Billboard Music Awards or chilling with her in the studio.
Then a fan tweeted Minja asking if she would pay his tuition. “Show me straight A’s that I can verify w/ur school and I’ll pay it. Who wants to join THAT contest?!?! Dead serious. Shld I set it up?” Nicki responded.
Within a few minutes, Minaj started taking requests to pay for tuition and other college expenses with the requirement that you show proof of a 4.0 GPA. After a few requests, the rap songstress did away the 4.0 requirement agreeing to pay fans outstanding college payments, from summer courses to remaining balances on student loan debt.
By the time Nicki Minja ended the contest a few hours later she agreed to pay tens of thousands to her extremely thankful fans and she’s not done yet saying that once the payments are sent out she’ll resume the Twitter contest “in a month or 2”
Camila Cabello has left Fifth Harmony, the group announced in a note on Twitter late Sunday night.
Though 5H did not cite a reason for her departure, they wrote, “After 4 and a half years of being together, we have been informed via her representative, that Camila has decided to leave Fifth Harmony. We wish her well.”
The note continued: “You Harmonizers have been there with us since the beginning, you’ve supported us, you’ve rejoiced and cried with us, you’ve grown with us, and with your love and support, we will continue on.”
They also wrote that the group will continue on as a foursome, though the current members —Ally Brooke, Dinah Jane Hansen, Lauren Jauregui, and Normani Kordei — will also work on their “solo endeavors.”
Just hours before the announcement, Cabello performed with 5H at the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour in Florida.
Fifth Harmony formed in 2012 during the second season of The X Factor USA, after all five of the members auditioned as soloists. As a quintet, they put out two albums, 2015’s Reflection and this year’s 7/27, and an EP, 2013’s Better Together.
But during their time as a group, Cabello was also putting out solo music with other artists. Last year, she and Shawn Mendes debuted “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” which went platinum, and most recently, she and rapper Machine Gun Kelly released “Bad Things,” which hit No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Fifth Harmony hit it big this year with “Work From Home,” the lead single off 7/27 (and EW’s second favorite song of the year). It was their highest-charting single yet, peaking at No. 4 on the Hot 100 in June.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump increased his attacks on a former beauty queen with a vague and unsubstantiated allegation about a sex tape in predawn Twitter posts on Friday, and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton denounced him as “unhinged.”
Trump’s refusal to drop his invective against Alicia Machado, the Miss Universe from Venezuela whom he criticized for gaining weight after she won the crown in 1996, threatened to damage his already weak standing among women and Hispanics.
With less than six weeks to go until the Nov. 8 election, Trump made reference – without giving evidence – to a sex tape involving Machado, who had publicly denounced him all week as a humiliating bully. His attacks provided critics with new fodder to question his temperament for the White House.
“Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?” Trump said in his Twitter messages in the early hours of Friday. He did not elaborate on his allegations beyond saying that the Clinton campaign was unaware of the beauty queen’s past and had been “duped” by her.
At a campaign rally in Coral Springs, Florida, Clinton said the episode was evidence that “a man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have the nuclear codes.”
“Who gets up at 3 a.m. in the morning to engage in a Twitter attack against a former Miss Universe? I mean he hurled as many insults as he could. Really, why does he do things like that?
“His latest Twitter meltdown is unhinged, even for him. It proves again he is temperamentally unfit to be President of the United States,” she said.
Later on Friday, BuzzFeed said Trump made an appearance in a Playboy softcore pornographic movie from 2000 that it said it had obtained from an online adult video store in New York state.
“Trump’s role in the porn is relatively benign and centers around him breaking a bottle of champagne on a Playboy-branded limo while several of the playmates are visiting New York City,” the online media outlet said.
“There’s been a lot of talk about sex tapes today and in a strange turn of events only one adult film has emerged today and its star is Donald Trump,” Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill told reporters after a campaign event in Florida.
Reuters could not confirm the BuzzFeed report. The Trump campaign did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Merrill earlier said Clinton called Machado on Friday to thank her for what he said was the courage she has shown.
Politico reported that Machado has starred in racy reality TV programs and posed naked for Playboy’s Mexican version, but said media outlets have found no evidence that she has starred in pornographic films.
Machado, now a U.S. citizen, dismissed the fresh attacks with a message on Instagram, calling them “cheap lies” from a man intent on defaming her.
“By way of his hate campaign, the Republican candidate insists on discrediting and demoralizing a woman, which is clearly one of his most frightening characteristics,” she wrote in her post in Spanish, next to a photo of herself draped in an American flag.
Clinton raised Trump’s treatment of Machado during their first presidential debate on Monday as an example of how he views women. Clinton said Trump, the former owner of the Miss Universe pageants, had called Machado “Miss Piggy” and also “Miss Housekeeping” because she was a Latina.
Trump attacked Machado the following day in a television interview as he sought to rebound from a debate that Clinton was widely viewed as having won. He also promised to hit Clinton harder in their next debate, on Oct. 9, suggesting he might attack Clinton on the infidelities of her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Speaking to Fox News on Tuesday, Trump said Machado had gained a “massive amount of weight” after her pageant win and that it was a “real problem.”
Critics said his offensive this week raised questions about Trump’s character. The 70-year-old former reality TV star has never run for office before and his habit of making off-the-cuff insults has alarmed many in the Republican Party establishment.
In taking the bait Clinton dangled on Monday, Trump echoed his August entanglement in a days-long public dispute with the parents of a Muslim Army captain killed in Iraq. That incident caused anguish among many Republican leaders concerned that he had nothing to gain by attacking a grieving family.
Trump’s remarks on Friday could hurt him further with women and Hispanic voters. Clinton, 68, a former U.S. senator and secretary of state, is the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party and has led Trump in opinion polls.
The latest Reuters/Ipsos national tracking poll, released on Friday, showed Clinton leading by 43 percent to Trump’s 38 percent among likely voters.
Clinton mocked Trump this week after he complained that he had a faulty microphone during Monday’s debate.
The Commission on Presidential Debates said on Friday that, “Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump’s audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall.”
The sound was not affected for the record-setting audience of 84 million people who tuned into the 90-minute exchange.
At a rally in Novi, Michigan, Trump wondered aloud whether the microphone problem was deliberate.
“It’s difficult, and when you have a situation like that and you know it’s bad and you think that 100 million people are watching, what do you do, stop the show? I wonder why it was bad,” he said.