Trump attacks special counsel Robert Mueller’s credibility, and disparages his former attorney general, former FBI director and others in two-hour speech

President Donald Trump attacked special counsel Robert Mueller’s credibility Saturday, disparaging former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former FBI Director James Comey as Washington waits for Mueller’s report in the coming weeks.


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Robert Kraft Caught on Video Getting Handjob and Paying $100, Florida Authorities Say

Reuters

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged on Monday with soliciting prostitution in Florida after hidden cameras allegedly showed him paying for sex inside a massage parlor.

Kraft is one of 25 people charged with misdemeanors, State’s Attorney for Palm Beach County Dave Aronberg said at a press conference. Kraft, 77, is charged with two counts of of soliciting a person to commit prostitution and was issued a summons to appear in court in April. A low-level arrest warrant was also issued for Kraft, who does not reside in Florida. (A spokesperson for Kraft previously denied he committed any “illegal activity.”)

Police witnessed Kraft inside the “Orchids of Asia” massage parlor in Jupiter, Florida on two separate occasions, thanks to a “sneak and peek” warrant that allowed them to plant recording devices. In one instance, cameras recorded a woman hugging Kraft before he took off all his clothing and “laid face up on the massage table,” according to a probable cause affidavit.  

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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft charged with soliciting prostitution

The 77-year-old billionaire is among more than two dozen people accused in a police sting as part of a human trafficking probe, authorities say.
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Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Is Being Charged With Soliciting Prostitution as Part of Florida Sex Trafficking Crackdown

(JUPITER, Fla.) — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft faces misdemeanor charges of soliciting a prostitute after he was twice videotaped in a sex act at a Florida massage parlor, police said Friday in a case that could get him in trouble with the NFL.

The 77-year-old Kraft denied any wrongdoing.

He was not immediately arrested. Jupiter police said a warrant will be issued and his attorneys will be notified. They said details about the charges against the owner of the Super Bowl champion team will not be released until next week.

The charge comes amid a crackdown on sex trafficking from Palm Beach to Orlando in which police planted cameras in massage parlors.

Hundreds of arrest warrants have been issued in recent days as a result of a six-month investigation, and more are expected. Ten spas have been closed, and several people have been taken into custody on sex trafficking charges.

Jupiter police Chief Daniel Kerr said he was shocked to learn that Kraft, who is worth $ 6 billion, was paying for sex inside a shopping-center massage parlor, the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. “We are as equally stunned as everyone else,” Kerr said.

Most people charged for the first time with soliciting a prostitute in Florida are allowed to enter a diversion program, said attorney David Weinstein, a former prosecutor. Kraft would probably have to perform 100 hours of community service and attend a course on the harmful effects of prostitution and sex trafficking, he said.

The NFL did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. Under league policy, players, owners, coaches and other employees can be punished for “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in” the NFL.

“Ownership and club or league management have traditionally been held to a higher standard and will be subject to more significant discipline,” the policy says.

The Patriots won the Super Bowl this month over the Los Angeles Rams for their sixth NFL championship in the past 18 seasons, making them the most successful team in pro sports during that span. Before the Super Bowl, several retired NFL players appeared in a public service announcement decrying sexual exploitation and human trafficking in Atlanta, the host city.

Kraft lives in Massachusetts and has a home in the Palm Beach area. Though he is a Democrat, he is friendly with President Donald Trump and a frequent guest at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. Kraft’s wife, Myra Hiatt Kraft, died in 2011. He has been dating 39-year-old actress Ricki Noel Lander since 2012.

“Well it’s very sad. I was very surprised to see it. He’s proclaimed his innocence, totally,” Trump said at the White House on Friday. “But I’m very surprised to see it.”

In a statement, Kraft’s representatives said they “categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity.”

The spa Kraft allegedly visited is in a busy, upper-middle-class shopping center with neighbors that include a dentist, a real estate office, surf and bike shops and a Publix supermarket.

Vero Beach police Chief David Currey, whose agency has been involved in the sex-trafficking investigation, told reporters earlier this week that the prostitutes are victims who have been trapped into the trade.

“These girls are there all day long, into the evening. They can’t leave and they are performing sex acts,” Currey said, according to TCPalm. “Some of them may tell us they’re OK, but they’re not.”

Kraft, who made his initial fortune through a packaging company, bought the Patriots in 1994 for $ 172 million to keep the team from moving to St. Louis. He hired Bill Belichick as coach in 2000, and the team later drafted quarterback Tom Brady, launching its nearly two decades of success.

In 2007, the Patriots got in trouble for filming other teams’ signals. The NFL fined the team $ 250,000 and Belichick $ 500,000. In 2014, Brady was accused of delating game footballs to gain a better grip. He served a four-game suspension, and the Patriots were fined $ 1 million.

Kraft was not implicated in either scandal.

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Amazon leaves NYC: Good or Bad? With Anand Giridharadas and Robert Frank

Amazon pulls out of its planned NYC Headquarters. Presidential candidates float new taxes on the wealthy. From Fortune 500 CEOs to Washington lawmakers, everyone has an opinion on billionaires, inequality and what should be done to fix it.
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Cosplaying Supervillain Roger Stone Meets Robert Mueller’s Real-Life Feds

Joe Skipper/Reuters

They were two ways Roger Stone’s morning arrest could have played out.

The first scenario is the one Roger rehearsed in his mind a hundred times; his attorney would have been notified well in advance, giving America’s number one parody cartoon supervillain time to assemble some typically foppish confection: perhaps a purple morning coat, spats, hand-tooled lemur-skin calf boots, a jaunty top hat, a monocle, and an exotic cravat tied in a knot typically used only in vigorous German fesselspiele games. He would stride toward the waiting federales with a louche swagger, his bejeweled walking stick in hand. He would smile for the assembled cameras and toss off some bon mot that communicated both searing contempt and breezy insouciance.

Instead, a second, real-world scenario obtained. A frowzy, shocked Roger Stone woke to the sound of “FBI, WARRANT! OPEN THE DOOR!” in the predawn hours. The FBI may not be getting paid, by that didn’t stop them from rolling hard on Stone’s lair, arresting him, and booking him into the Broward County jail. Stern but polite FBI agents arrested Stone on seven counts of lying to Congress and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.  

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Robert Geller Collaborating With Lululemon

Lululemon has tapped designer Robert Geller for a special collection that will be unveiled during New York Fashion Week: Men next month.
Called “Take the Moment,” the 12-piece capsule “explores the life of Robert Geller over a 96-hour period, built to move seamlessly from early morning workouts to urban life and international travel in comfort and style,” according to Lululemon.
Geller laughed when read the description, but acknowledged that the collection allows him to not only stretch his design wings but speaks to him personally. Geller is an avid soccer player and also does “quite a bit of yoga” and other exercises to ensure he stays healthy. “This whole world of wellness is very interesting and important to me,” he said. “My life is taking the kids to school, exercising an hour and then going to work.”
Ben Stubbington, Lululemon’s senior vice president of men’s design, worked with Geller to create the collection, which includes short-sleeve shirts, tanks and shorts with breathability functions and a full range of motion. The capsule also includes pants, collared shirts, half-zip hoodies and jackets.
The design of the pieces features Geller’s signature unique fabrics, linear taping and tie-dye washes. They will retail from $ 68 to $ 398 and can

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As Robert Mueller writes his report, a potential battle brews over obstruction of justice

As special counsel Robert Mueller wraps up his Russia probe, investigators have focused on conflicting public statements by President Donald Trump and his team that could be seen as an effort to influence witnesses and obstruct justice, according to people familiar with the investigation.


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Robert Mueller Grand Jury Gets More Time to Consider Evidence, Issue Indictments

Robert Mueller’s grand jury in Washington, D.C., has received an extension of up to six months from the head judge of the D.C. district court to consider evidence and bring indictments. The grand jury was empaneled on July 6, 2017, and would have expired on Sunday without the extension.

Special Counsel Mueller, appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to investigate whether and how Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, has indicted 33 people and three companies since his work began. He’s secured several convictions and guilty pleas, and some parties have already been sentenced or have completed their sentences. President Donald Trump consistently downplays the investigation, labeling it a “witch hunt,” and denying any “collusion” occurred between his campaign and Russian representatives.

Mueller’s indictments, accepted pleas, and convictions include:

Although other indictments have also been issued, it’s unclear how much work remains for the grand jury to sift through. But the judge’s action indicates that it’s not yet finished.

The special assistant to Chief Judge Beryl Howell confirmed to several media outlets, including The Hill, that a grand-jury extension past the original 18-month period had been granted, but denied a CNN report that the period was six months. Six months is the longest the judge can extend the special counsel’s grand jury.

A prosecutor presents evidence and examines witnesses before a grand jury, the deliberations of which must be kept secret by the participants, though those testifying may reveal their participation. The members of the grand jury can then vote whether an indictment should be issued. A prosecutor can bring charges even if the grand jury doesn’t agree, or can choose not to pursue an indictment a grand jury agrees on.

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BroadwayRadio Special: Interview with Jason Robert Brown

James Marino and talks with Jason Robert Brown about his new album, “How We React and How We Recover” on the Ghostlight Records label. Guest: Jason Robert Brown Jason: Website | IBDB | IMDB | Twitter | Facebook Ghostlight Records Bio: JASON ROBERT BROWN is the ultimate multi-hyphenate – an equally skilled read more
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Robert De Niro, Grace Hightower Split After More Than Two Decades

Tribeca Film Festival - 'For The Love Of Cinema' Gala Dinner - Arrivals

Source: Dennis Van Tine/Future Image/WENN.com / WENN

via TV One:

It’s over for Robert De Niro and his wife Grace Hightower. The 75-year-old actor married Hightower in 1997 after dating for a decade. The pair share two children together, a 20-year-old son named Elliott and a 6-year-old daughter named Helen Grace, whom they had via surrogate.

According to PEOPLE, this isn’t the first time the couple has separated. In 1999 the “Meet The Fockers,” actor publicly engaged in a custody dispute over their son, but the two eventually worked things out and the divorce was never finalized.

2018 hasn’t been kind for a few celebrities in the love department. CNN’s Van Jones, Wendy Raquel Robinson‘s husband Marco, “Cosby Show” actor Joseph C. Phillips, Kevin Garnett‘s wife Brandi “Soul Food” star , Vanessa A. Williams, and Tisha Campbell-Martin all filed for divorce this year.

 


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WATCH: World News 11/18/18: Trump Says He Has Completed His Answers for Special Counsel Robert Mueller

The Senate race is officially over after a mandatory recount in Florida; Monica Lewinsky opening up about her affair with President Bill Clinton
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The True Story Behind Outlaw King: What to Know About Scottish Independence Hero Robert the Bruce

Warning: Contains spoilers for the movie Outlaw King

Increasing anxiety about the U.K.’s preparations for leaving the European Union has some Scots talking about how, in a world of Brexit, they might be able to actually pull off independence.

And whenever talk of Scottish independence ramps up — not infrequently; a referendum on the topic failed in 2014 — people look for lessons in the story of the legendary king who led Scotland to independence in the 14th century: Robert I, also known as Robert the Bruce (Bruce being his family name). So it’s perhaps fitting that, amid the ongoing political turmoil, a dramatization of his story is in theaters and becomes available for streaming on Netflix on Friday. Outlaw King stars Chris Pine (and, yes, all of Chris Pine) and is based on a pivotal period in Scottish history.

The film begins with the English siege of the Scots’ Stirling Castle in 1304, as a Warwolf — a huge medieval trebuchet — lobs boulders at the stronghold, in a motion similar to “an overarm pitch,” explains one of the film’s historical advisors Tony Pollard, Professor of Conflict History & Archaeology at the University of Glasgow (who also served as historical advisor to the TV series Outlander). At that time, most of Scotland’s castles were already occupied by English garrisons, and the King of England, Edward I, was flexing his power as overlord of Scotland and demanding the Scottish elites give him their fealty.

A succession crisis in Scotland had empowered Edward I. There were no heirs to the Scottish throne left after the death of the King of Scots Alexander III in 1286, so the Scottish nobility put together a committee of guardians to keep the government running. After the death of the Queen of Scots Margaret, Maid of Norway, in 1290, the guardians asked Edward I to come serve as an independent arbitrator to evaluate claims to the Scottish throne. As a result, John Balliol became King of Scotland in 1292.

But his reign didn’t last long. After Balliol sought an alliance with France, England’s enemy back then, Edward I himself came back to invade Scotland and drive out Balliol in 1296.

Now the independent kingdom of Scotland was facing direct rule by the English crown. Hard up for cash after the invasion, having “stretched his resources to a breaking point,” Edward I tried to shake down the Scots — including seizing their wool, the country’s main export at the time, according to Dauvit Broun, a professor of Scottish History at the University of Glasgow, who wasn’t involved in the film.

That’s when Robert the Bruce decided that enough was enough. He declared himself King of Scotland.

But in order to rule, Robert had to eliminate the competition. Scottish nobles who backed Balliol had been keeping a government going in his name. To be king, Robert the Bruce would have to get rid of anyone who challenged his own claim to the crown. So in February of 1306 at the church of Greyfriars in Dumfries, Robert the Bruce met with John “The Red” Comyn, one of the most powerful nobles in Scotland, who had been spearheading the effort to establish a Balliol kingship. Comyn didn’t walk away from the meeting alive.

There’s debate about whether Robert the Bruce killed Comyn himself or whether accomplices did, but he’s thought to have been in on it — and in the film, he’s depicted as murdering John “The Red” Comyn himself, which is what many people think happened. Robert the Bruce and his wife Elizabeth de Burgh were inaugurated King and Queen of Scots at Scone shortly after. Not a lot is known about de Burgh, and later in the year she was taken prisoner in England.

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But, though the murder of John Comyn secured his power in one way, it also made Robert the Bruce — who by then called himself King Robert I — a toxic figure in Scottish society. Soon enough, he was forced to flee.

“The most powerful nobles of Scotland treat him as a terrorist,” says Broun. “Not only is Robert I trying to establish an independent Scotland, but [also] he’s facing a civil war.”

In June of 1306, he struggled to keep up with the English army in the Battle of Methven, depicted in the film. “He’s basically an outlaw and the English are trying to bring him to book,” says Pollard. “[Robert the Bruce] comes close to being captured and beaten.”

His time as a fugitive is a mystery to historians.

“Nobody knows where he went when he was fugitive, but it looks like he thought hard about strategy,” says Broun. “He stayed out of a battle until he knew he’d have a better chance of winning, and that was controversial because kings were meant to be military heroes. He resolved that every castle he took he would destroy because he reckoned that, for the King of England to win, he would need to garrison Scotland, and you can’t do that unless you’ve got castles. It’s a bit like taking a bomb and destroying Buckingham Palace. But Robert I took the view that if he was going to win, it was only going to be because he had the support of the people, so he didn’t need castles.”

The film aims to depict Robert I’s military genius by highlighting the guerrilla tactics he used to overthrow the superior military force that was Edward I’s English army. One aspect of that involved creating what Pollard calls a “human porcupine” of sorts, with hundreds of men in one big group holding nearly 20-foot-long spears straight out in front of them.

The Scots also had a home turf advantage in terms of navigating the boggy, marshy battlegrounds. “Bruce deliberately picks land where the strength of the English Army can’t be brought into play,” says Pollard. “The English are knights in armor on horses, and Scots were men on foot, who didn’t have much in the way of cavalry.”

Robert’s first victory as king came in May of 1307 at the Battle of Loudoun Hill, close to his longtime family stronghold of Carrick (now part of Ayrshire).

“It’s significant because it means that he’s no longer just a fugitive,” says Broun. “But he’s still only someone who controls a small region of Scotland, his home region, which is not very different from being a noble — except he claims to be king.”

So the most famous and most important battle in Robert the Bruce’s career came even later, after the period of time covered by the film.

It was the Battle of Bannockburn, in June of 1314 that really paved the way for Scottish independence. Edward I had actually died shortly after the battle of Loudoun Hill, but at Bannockburn, Robert I defeated his successor Edward II.

“The Battle of Bannockburn is really the conclusion of the civil war,” says Broun,”[and] shows everyone who isn’t an inveterate opponent of Robert I that he’s in charge, that he can defeat the King of England. The few nobles who are still swithering say, ‘Okay, the reality is Robert I is in charge.’”

Elizabeth de Burgh is said to have been returned to Robert I after the battle as part of a prisoner exchange. Scotland’s independence from England would be official until the two nations signed the Treaty of Edinburgh in March of 1328. Robert I died the following year but Scotland would remain independent until James VI of Scotland inherited the kingdom of England after the death of Elizabeth I in 1603 and became James I of England. Oliver Cromwell conquered Scotland completely in 1650, and the Scottish and English parliaments merged in May of 1707.

And yet Robert the Bruce’s reputation as a national hero endured.

“He was reduced to being a fugitive and yet managed to restore Scotland as a fully-functioning independent kingdom. This makes his achievement even more remarkable,” Broun says. “He had to improvise constantly and had to work really hard to be king, as opposed to being born into it and not having to struggle for it.”


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Patti Smith details her wild, artsy, broke days with Robert Mapplethorpe in revised book

The myth of the starving artist is no myth.

When Patti Smith got off the bus in the Port Authority in 1967, all she had were some art supplies and a book of poems. She slept in doorways. She scrounged for food.

Eventually, she got a job at Brentano’s, where she met another desperate artist, Robert…

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‘People Must Vote!’ Robert De Niro Responds After Police Intercept Suspicious Package

Robert De Niro is thanking “security and law enforcement people” after police intercepted a suspicious package mailed to his New York City restaurant on Thursday.

“I thank God no one’s been hurt, and I thank the brave and resourceful security and law enforcement people for protecting us,” De Niro said in a statement Friday. “There’s something more powerful than bombs, and that’s your vote. People MUST vote!”

The actor was an intended recipient of one of at least 13 packages allegedly sent by Florida man Cesar Sayoc, who was arrested by federal agents on Friday afternoon. Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed at a press conference Friday that Sayoc was specifically targeting Democrats. “He appears to be a partisan,” Sessions said.

De Niro has publicly condemned President Trump multiple times, most famously saying “f**k Trump” at the Tony Awards this year.

Law enforcement officials are still investigating the packages, many of which were addressed to high-ranking Obama Administration officials, including former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

Other intended recipients have also spoken out against the attacks. One of them, James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence and frequent critic of President Donald Trump, said on CNN he believed the packages were a form of domestic terrorism.

Another intended target, former Vice President Joe Biden, said Thursday that he hoped the country would pull together after the incidents. “My hope is this recent spate of who knows what they were, pipe bombs being mailed, might wake everybody in my business up a little bit and we will begin to put this nation back together again.” he said.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, also a target, said in a statement that she is “appreciative of the law enforcement entities who intercepted the package and are investigating this matter.

“I unequivocally condemn any and all acts of violence and terror,” Waters added.


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