News Round-Up: December 17, 2019 (You’ll Never Guess The Cover Guy)

L-R Josh Rimer and Heath Busse (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

The Gaily Grind: After hottie Josh Rimer, travel blogger and Mr. Gay Canada 2019, shared that he and his fiancé Heath Busse were turned away by the Sheraton Hotel in Puerto Vallarta for their upcoming wedding, Hilton reached out: “We’ll gladly host your wedding ceremony and feast for FREE for you and your 45 guests at Hilton Puerto Vallarta!”

Miss Manners: A ‘committed Biblical believer’ wrote to an advice columnist asking for help after a ‘presumptuous’ gay relative mentioned bringing his boo to a family holiday dinner. Miss Manners had the perfect response.

Military Times: A new survey shows some 50 percent of troops said they had an unfavorable view of him. By comparison, just a few weeks after his electoral victory in November 2016, 46 percent of troops surveyed had a positive view of the businessman-turned-politician, and 37 percent had a negative opinion.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg• The Hill: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Monday responded to Donald Trump’s suggestion that the Supreme Court could stop the impeachment process, saying “the president is not a lawyer.” The Constitution states that the U.S. House of Representatives “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment” and the Senate “shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.”

Yahoo News: Outgoing Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin commuted the sentence of a man who had been convicted of decapitating a woman and disposing of her body in a 55-gallon barrel. Since his November defeat to Democrat Andy Beshear, Bevin has issued 428 pardons, many of them controversial.

NBC News: Rick Gates, the former deputy campaign manager for Donald Trump and ex-business partner of Paul Manafort, was sentenced to three years probation and 45 days in jail on Tuesday after he cooperated extensively (more than 500 hours) with federal investigators.

Transformation: Comedic actor Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, HBO’s Silicone Valley) adds “thirst trap” to his resume.

Sharing that he never thought he’d be “one of those people” who post shirtless pics, he told his Instagram followers he found out a year ago he was going to be in Marvel’s Eternals and “decided I wanted to transform how I looked.”

He adds that he’d have never been able to achieve his new fitness on his own crediting a full year with “the best trainers and nutritionists paid for by the biggest studio in the world. I’m glad I look like this, but I also understand why I never did before. It would have been impossible without these resources and time.”

 

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I never thought I’d be one of those people who would post a thirsty shirtless, but I’ve worked way too hard for way too long so here we are. You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. I found out a year ago I was going to be in Marvel’s Eternals and decided I wanted to transform how I looked. I would not have been able to do this if I didn’t have a full year with the best trainers and nutritionists paid for by the biggest studio in the world. I’m glad I look like this, but I also understand why I never did before. It would have been impossible without these resources and time. So big thanks to @grantrobertsfit who started working with me at the beginning of the year and made me understand true physical pain for months and months. Then, once we started shooting, a massive thanks to @davidhigginslondon and his team (@ellispartridge, @thebeardypt, @tomcheesemanfitness) for training me almost every day and making me strong, limber and injury free. I can almost touch my toes now. (And thank you for forcing me to do cheat meals David.) Matthews Street Catering for their delicious and healthy meals. And finally, the biggest thanks goes to @emilyvgordon for putting up with me complaining and talking about only working out and dieting for the last year. I promise I’ll be interesting again some day. #thirstyshirtless (Photo by @markupson.) (edit: I left off one very important person: @lancecallahan who trained me for 6 years and helped me build the foundation I could use to do this. Thank you!)

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Top Trump Campaign Adviser Sought Social Media ‘Manipulation’ By Foreign Groups

Donald Trump

According to The New York Times, a top Trump campaign adviser sought help from foreign organizations to manipulate social media in Donald Trump’s favor in the 2016 election.

From The New York Times:

A top Trump campaign official requested proposals in 2016 from an Israeli company to create fake online identities, to use social media manipulation and to gather intelligence to help defeat Republican primary race opponents and Hillary Clinton, according to interviews and copies of the proposals.

The Trump campaign’s interest in the work began as Russians were escalating their effort to aid Donald J. Trump. Though the Israeli company’s pitches were narrower than Moscow’s interference campaign and appear unconnected, the documents show that a senior Trump aide saw the promise of a disruption effort to swing voters in Mr. Trump’s favor.

The campaign official, Rick Gates, sought one proposal to use bogus personas to target and sway 5,000 delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention by attacking Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Mr. Trump’s main opponent at the time.

Another proposal offered “a monthslong plan to help Mr. Trump by using social media to help expose or amplify division among rival campaigns and factions.”

Sound familiar?

Hit the link above for much more.

Trump Adviser Rick Gates To Plead Guilty And Cooperate In Mueller Investigation

Rick Gates, a top level adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, is expected to plead guilty to charges related to participating in financial conspiracy along with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Gates is also expected to admit to lying to investigators regarding a 2013 Washington meeting Manafort took part in with a member of Congress and a lobbyist.

Via The New York Times:

The adviser, Rick Gates, is a longtime political consultant who once served as Mr. Trump’s deputy campaign chairman. The plea deal could be a significant development in the investigation — a sign that Mr. Gates plans to offer incriminating information against his longtime associate and the former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, or other members of the Trump campaign in exchange for a lighter punishment.

The deal comes as the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has been raising pressure on Mr. Gates and Mr. Manafort with dozens of new charges of money laundering and bank fraud that were unsealed on Thursday in Alexandria, Va. Mr. Mueller first indicted both men in October, and both pleaded not guilty.

Gates was Donald Trump’s Deputy Campaign Chair, and stayed with the campaign and transition team even after Manafort was booted from the campaign.

Gates becomes the 5th person who has plead guilty in the Mueller probe:

• Rick Gates
• Michael Flynn
• George Papadopoulos
• Richard Pinedo
• Alex Van Der Zwann

Gates is now the 3rd member of the Trump campaign who has plead guilty.

Additionally, there have been 14 indictments to come out of the investigation looking into Russian disruption of the 2016 presidential election.

For a “witch hunt” or “hoax,” that’s a LOT of guilty pleas and indictments, don’t you think?

Watch NBC News‘ Pete Williams explain today’s developments below.

Rick Gates, Former Trump Aide, Will Plead Guilty To Fraud And Testify Against Paul Manafort

Former Trump aide Rick Gates has agreed to plead guilty to fraud-related charges and will testify against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort according to The LA Times:

The change of heart by Trump’s former deputy campaign manager, Richard W. Gates III, who had pleaded not guilty after being indicted in October on charges similar to Manafort’s, was described in interviews by people familiar with the case.

“Rick Gates is going to change his plea to guilty,” said a person with direct knowledge of the new developments, adding that the revised plea will be presented in federal court in Washington “within the next few days.”

Mueller is heading the prosecutions of Gates and Manafort as part of the wide-ranging investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether Trump or his aides committed crimes before, during or since the campaign.

The imminent change of Gates’ plea follows negotiations over the last several weeks between Green and two of Mueller’s prosecutors – senior assistant special counsels Andrew Weissmann and Greg D. Andres.

According to a person familiar with those talks, Gates, a longtime political consultant, can expect “a substantial reduction in his sentence” if he fully cooperates with the investigation. He said that Gates is apt to serve about 18 months in prison.