Author: Callum Borchers

Michael Avenatti, now representing separated migrant families, denies he’s chasing the limelight–Even if he is, so what?

Attorney Michael Avenatti (Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images) Stormy Daniels has slipped from national headlines in recent days, as Trump administration breakups of migrant families dominate press coverage, but the porn star’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, has remained in the spotlight. That’s because Avenatti has some new clients — about 60 of the parents whose separations from their children are the No. 1 news story in America. Breitbart News, among the media’s most Trump-friendly outlets, has portrayed Avenatti’s expanding caseload as a ploy to stay relevant. The New York Post suggested the same, albeit more subtly, reporting that Avenatti has “inserted himself” into...

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The ‘deep state’ is in Trump’s own White House

President Trump complains about a “deep state” of government officials who work in his administration yet are supposedly undermining him in secret. To the extent such shadowy figures exist, they are not all career employees of federal agencies; many are on Trump’s team in the White House. Leaks to the media have plagued Trump’s presidency since day one, and a new report on leakers’ motives opens a window into the extent of the subterfuge. “To be honest, it probably falls into a couple of categories,” one White House official told Axios’s Jonathan Swan. “The first is personal vendettas. And two is...

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Why Sean Hannity’s fans will keep on loving him, even if he is a ‘welfare queen’

Sean Hannity is a “welfare queen,” according to fellow conservative Bret Stephens of the New York Times. The Reagan-themed insult refers to Hannity’s use of a federal, guaranteed-loan program to fund real estate purchases and is meant to suggest that the Fox News host who often decries government handouts is a wealthy hypocrite. But Hannity’s target audience comprises the same people who voted for President Trump, an even wealthier figure who complained that immigrants are taking American jobs yet employed foreign workers. Walking the talk is not necessarily required, if the talk is appealing enough. Hannity’s talk was on-point Monday night....

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James Comey’s coldblooded take on Andrew McCabe’s criminal referral

Former FBI director James B. Comey said Thursday that he feels “conflicted” about news of a criminal referral against his onetime deputy, Andrew McCabe. “I like him very much, as a person,” Comey said of McCabe during an interview on CNN, “but sometimes even good people do things that they shouldn’t do.” The Justice Department inspector general concluded in a February report that McCabe repeatedly misled investigators who were examining a leak to the press. The Washington Post and other news outlets reported Thursday that the finding has been referred to the top federal prosecutor in Washington. “What’s gone on so...

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A risk for James Comey: Validating the ‘showboat’ label Trump gave him

President Trump called former FBI director James B. Comey an “untruthful slime ball” on Friday, but counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway harked back to an earlier insult. “When the president fired Jim Comey, he gave an interview to a different network, where he did note that the man is a ‘showboat’ and a ‘grandstander,’” Conway said on “Fox & Friends.” “I’ll add sanctimonious. I think people are seeing that.” Conway was reacting to excerpts from Comey’s forthcoming memoir, which were published by The Washington Post and other news outlets that obtained copies before next week’s release. Comey has lined...

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The implied threats in Trump’s tweets about CNN and Sinclair

CNN President Jeff Zucker (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) President Trump’s Tuesday tweet that CNN President Jeff Zucker’s “job is in jeopardy” is more than mere gossip. It carries an implied threat because Trump could influence Zucker’s employment status. In keeping with a Trump campaign promise, the Justice Department is suing to block AT&T’s $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner, CNN’s parent company. As a candidate, Trump said his administration would not grant regulatory approval to the deal “because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few,” yet Trump supports Disney’s $52.4 billion purchase of most of 21st Century...

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Sean Hannity isn’t just attacking Shepard Smith. He’s attacking the very nature of news.

Sean Hannity didn’t appreciate what Fox News colleague Shepard Smith said in a Time magazine interview published on Thursday, the day the network announced a contract extension for Smith. That’s understandable. Though Smith did not call out Hannity by name, he did say “some of our opinion programming is there strictly to be entertaining” and that “they don’t really have rules on the opinion side. They can say whatever they want.” In firing back, however, Hannity attacked not only Smith and his comments but also the very nature of news. While Shep is a friend with political views I...

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Even ‘Fox & Friends’ can’t abide Kellyanne Conway’s latest media attack

Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway. (Carolyn Kaster/AP) Few in the media are more accepting of pro-Trump spin than the hosts of “Fox & Friends.” Earlier this week, for example, Brian Kilmeade asserted that the Stormy Daniels episode — which involves an alleged affair and a possibly-illegal payoff before Election Day — is “just not a story.” But counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway made an argument on Thursday’s show that even “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy found too outlandish to leave unchallenged. Doocy began an interview with Conway by asking about administration shake-ups, which led to this...

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