News Round-Up: February 10, 2021

Funnyman Michael Henry is down because he doesn't have a boo for Valentine's Day
Funnyman Michael Henry is down because he doesn't have a boo for Valentine's Day
Michael Henry is down about Valentine’s Day (screen capture)

Some news items you might have missed:

Yahoo News: Ryan Williams, 24, was beaten until he lost consciousness by Brandon Forrester, 19, in 2019. Forrester pleaded guilty to causing bodily harm and was sentenced to a nine-month term. But due to the COVID pandemic and “previous good character,” his sentence was suspended and was allowed to walk free. “After court he started laughing at my mum’s face, he showed no remorse,” said Williams.

Instinct Magazine: The U.K. has experienced a record number of HIV tests recently and many attribute the increase to the popular new AIDS-era drama, It’s A Sin. HIV advocacy group Terrence Higgins Trust says there has been a “four-fold increase” on HIV Testing Week stats compared to earlier years.

YouTube: Funnyman Michael Henry (top image) throws a wrench into plans to shoot a ‘quarantine cruising’ clip with his buddy ‘Terry’ because he’s down about not having a boyfriend for Valentine’s Day.

Boy Culture: Matt Rettenmund remembers Larry Flynt, the controversial publisher of Hustler Magazine who championed free speech (smutty or not). Flynt died today due to heart failure at the age of 78.

The Daily Beast: During an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Wednesday Twitter’s CFO Ned Segal told viewers that Donald Trump will never be allowed on the social media platform.

The Atlantic: Soon after the November election, a business colleague of Donald Trump’s close ally Corey Lewandowski offered a whistleblower and convicted ex-banker an expensive deal: In exchange for a $300,000 fee up front—plus another $1 million if successful—the two men would push the then-president for a pardon.

HBO Max: Check out the trailer for the new HBO documentary There Is No ‘I’ In Threesome premiering on February 11. Ollie Lucks is the director of the new doc film that explores his bisexual, polyamorous identity alongside his girlfriend Zoe. Hoping to expand their sexual horizons, the couple decided to open up their relationship before getting hitched.

Lewandowski Heads Back To Media To Lie Some More

Hours after telling the House Judiciary Committee he has “no obligation to be honest with the media because they are just as dishonest as everybody else,” former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski sat down for a series of interviews with multiple news outlets.

From Vox reporter Aaron Rupar:

On Wednesday morning, hours after the former Trump campaign manager’s chaotic and hyper-partisan testimony before the House Judiciary Committee ended with him admitting, under sharp questioning from committee Democrats’ counsel, to not playing it straight with the media regarding his involvement in President Donald Trump’s efforts to curtail the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump and Russia, both Fox & Friends and CNN booked Lewandowski for interviews.

Lewandowski’s interview on Fox & Friends — a show that regularly legitimizes the Trump administration’s talking points — was predictably chummy. But Lewandowski’s appearance on CNN, a network where he once worked as a paid contributor, produced the jarring image of him being interviewed over a chyron that seemingly refuted the rationale for booking him in the first place.

Predictably, Lewandowski’s interview on CNN devolved into a pro wrestling-style confrontation in which he deflected from questions about the veracity of his congressional testimony by raising questions about Trump critics who, as he once did, work as paid contributors for the network, such as former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe.

Corey Lewandoski: My Memory Has Been ‘Refreshed’ Regarding Russia Emails From Carter Page

Former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who months ago claimed he’d never met campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page, now says his memory has been “refreshed” about knowing Page.

Via Politico:

Page, who testified last week before the House Oversight Committee as a part of their ongoing probe into Russian election meddling in 2016, told congressional investigators in testimony revealed Monday that he had asked he former Trump campaign chief and Hope Hicks, now the White House communications director, about his trip to Moscow in 2016 in which he met with Russian officials and discussed the presidential campaign.

During an appearance on Fox News Tuesday, Lewandowski maintained that he scarcely knew Page, whom he described as a “low-level volunteer” in the Trump campaign.

“To the best of my recollection, I don’t know Carter Page. To the best of my knowledge, Carter Page … had no formal role in the campaign,” Lewandowski said. The former Trump campaign manager had similarly told Fox News in March that he “never met Carter Page.”

Lewandowski, who’d previously rebuffed questions about whether he knew of Page’s planned Moscow trip, acknowledged after being challenged that he had been aware and had communicated with Page about the trip.

“My memory has been refreshed,” Lewandowski said, while noting that the exchange came just prior to him exiting the campaign and so “there were many other things on my mind.”

Lewandowski: Mueller Investigation Charges “Have Nothing To Do With The President”

With the news of impending charges approved by a grand jury in the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appeared on (where else?) Fox & Friends to assure the faithful that “this has nothing to do with the president.”

“Let me be very very clear, I am certain of this, this has nothing to do with the president. If there were players on the outside that had a periphery or a small role of some type in the campaign, my guess is these charges have nothing to do with the campaign because I was there, there was no collusion, cooperation or coordination with Russia. So, let’s see what Mueller does, but the dam is not breaking. The only thing that is breaking are the Democrats.”

Note the rising pitch in his voice.

Watch below:

Lewandowski: If Paul Manafort Or Roger Stone Colluded To Influence Election, They Should Go To Jail For Life

Corey Lewandowski

Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s first campaign manager for the 2016 presidential campaign, publicly announced Tuesday that if Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, or anyone connected to the campaign colluded to influence the 2016 election, he hopes they “go to jail for the rest of their lives.”

From the Washington Examiner:

Lewandowski was responding to reports that Manafort, who became campaign manager after Lewandowski was fired, was wiretapped as part of a federal investigation into Manafort’s dealing with Ukraine. Reports say the surveillance, obtained through a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant, was in effect at a time when Manafort was in communication with President Trump.

“I think if anybody, and I’ve said this, if Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, or Rick Gates or Carter Page, or anybody else attempted to influence the outcome of the U.S. election through any means that’s inappropriate — through collusion, coordination, or cooperation — I hope they go to jail for the rest of their lives. It’s very simple. Our election process is too serious, our democracy is too important to allow people to try and try and have influence from the outside for their own gain,” Lewandowski said during an event at George Washington University.

Lewandowski went on to defend Donald Trump saying he was by Trump’s side for 18 hours a day for the first 18 months of the campaign and he never heard Trump mention “anything to do with Russia.”

Corey Lewandowski: Comey Should Be Prosecuted For Leaking

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski tells ABC’s “Good Morning America” anchor George Stephanopoulos that former FBI Director James Comey should be prosecuted for “leaking information.”

“Look, what he admitted yesterday, George, is this guy’s the leaker. He is the deep state in Washington that is everything is wrong. He admitted under oath that he gave his contemporaneous notes to a law professor.”

“And if that’s what he has done, he continues to do this, if this is his pattern, as the FBI director he absolutely should have been fired, and if he is the chronic leaker he should be potentially prosecuted for leaking information.”

As I’m sure you’ve all read by now, Comey sharing his recollection of President Trump asking him to “drop” the Michael Flynn investigation isn’t “leaking.” As a private citizen he has the right to share his thoughts on a conversation with the president.

Every chat with a president is not “classified.” And if it’s not classified, it’s not a “leak.”

Corey really likes to say, “Here’s what we know” as if he’s stating facts. But he prefaces statements with that phrase and then goes on to talk spin.

Watch the segment below.

Media Matters To CNN: Cut Ties With Corey Lewandowski

How is it possible that former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is still receiving pay from the Trump campaign while currently on payroll at CNN as “political analyst?”

From Media Matters:

CNN hired Corey Lewandowski in late June after Donald Trump relieved him of duties as campaign manager. What looked at first like an indefensible hire has mushroomed into perhaps the worst conflict-of-interest problem in the history of cable news. It’s time to send a message to Jeff Zucker and CNN: Cut ties with Corey Lewandowski at once.

Trump Campaign Paid $35,000 To Possibly Fictional “Draper Sterling” Ad Agency

Folks are talking about Donald Trump’s most recent FEC campaign filing, and one item of note is that they paid $35,000 to an ad agency that, it seems, only exists in the world of television.

Props to ThinkProgress’ Judd Legum who noticed the detail when poring over Trump’s financial statements.

Oh dear.

As many of you may remember, “Draper Sterling” is similar to the name of the ad agency in AMC’s hit series, Mad Men. So, it would definitely seem odd that the Trump campaign would make several sizeable payments to “Draper Sterling” in April of this year for web advertising.

Even more – look, there’s an address!

Using Google Maps, intrepid folks located the “place of business” for Draper Sterling. And it’s a little surprising. Here’s a pic of the “offices” for Draper Sterling.

Now, the location is interesting not only because it’s a HOUSE, but also because it’s not far from now-former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Now, guess who would have ok’d these payments to “Draper Sterling?”

Oh – and one more little detail. Perhaps this factored into why Corey was fired yesterday?

UPDATE: ThinkProgress is now reporting that not only did the bios of two of the players involved with “Draper Sterling”disappear from the website of their medical device company early this morning, shortly thereafter the entire site was yanked offline, replaced with password-only access.

ThinkProgress reached out to a third player for “Draper Sterling,” Adam McClain, and this is the response:

When ThinkProgress called Grace’s Grantham Cafe directly on the number listed on its website, Adam McLain answered. (McLain’s super PAC filing says he lives Virginia.)

Asked about his connection to Draper Sterling and what services it provided to his super PAC, McLain said he had “no comment.” Asked whether Grace’s Grantham Cafe was a real cafe that has opened, McLain said he had “no comment.” Asked whether Paul Holzer was his brother, McLain also said he had “no comment.” McLain said he didn’t find the questions “relevant.”

Neither Adkins or Holzer immediately returned inquires from ThinkProgress. An inquiry to the Trump campaign about what services Draper Sterling provided was also not immediately returned.

Donald Trump “Parts Ways” With Campaign Manager

Corey Lewandowski

Via Huffington Post:

Falling in the polls and watching Republican delegates mount a campaign to oust him, Donald Trump has cut ties with his controversial campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

Lewandowski had been with Trump since January 2015, when most political observers believed the reality TV star was never going to actually run for president, and guided him to securing the nomination in May when his final opponents dropped out.

The New Hampshire native had no experience on national campaigns, and had jealousy protected his access and influence with Trump, arguing that letting “Trump be Trump” was the strategy that would win the White House just as it won the nomination.

For weeks Lewandowski had been competing with longtime GOP lobbyist and consultant Paul Manafort, who was originally brought in to manage the campaign’s delegate tracking operation for the nominating convention in Cleveland.

The Trump campaign issued a statement which read, in part:

“The Donald J. Trump Campaign for President, which has set a historic record in the Republican primary having received almost 14 million votes, has today announced that Corey Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign,” the campaign spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, said in a statement. “The campaign is grateful to Corey for his hard work and dedication and we wish him the best in the future.”

Upon news of the announcement, Michael Caputo, a Trump communications aide who has endured an tense relationship with Lewandowski shared this on Twitter: