Dominion sues MyPillow for $1.3 billion, accusing the company of lying to sell pillows to Trump supporters

Following similar defamation lawsuits in federal court against former Trump attorneys Rudy Guiliani and Sidney Powell (both also sued for $1.3b) for claiming election fraud to enrich themselves, this lawsuit has a twist in that it alleges MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell used conspiracy claims against the voting systems company “because the lie sells pillows,” according to the suit.

Citing numerous recurring untruthful statements by Lindell on TV interviews, a 2-hour YouTube video, and social media posts that got him and MyPillow’s corporate account banned from Twitter for “spreading misinformation,” the lawsuit charges, “MyPillow’s defamatory marketing campaign  —  with promo codes like “FightforTrump,” “45,” “Proof,” and “QAnon” —  has increased MyPillow sales by 30–40% and continues duping people into redirecting their election-lie outrage into pillow purchases.”

By Milan Sime Martinić

Trump Bans Major News from White House Press Briefing, Says All News Sources Should Be Named

Trump

President Donald Trump today continued his battle against American media.

“They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name,” said Trump at CPAC, and several mainstream news organizations, including the New York Times, the LA Times, and CNN, were banned from a press briefing Friday.

Trump advisor Steve Bannon yesterday also spoke aggressively with regard to the media, saying, ““It’s going to get worse because [Trump is] going to continue to press his agenda, and as economic conditions get better and jobs get better, they’re going to fight. If you think they’re going to give the country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken. Every day, every day is going to be a fight.”

The Associated Press and Time Magazine boycotted the press briefing in solidarity. Sally Buzbee of the Associated Press later told PBS NewsHour, “We felt today was different” from any other time in the past decades of their fight for access to the White House. “When there are news organizations that are being deliberately excluded, I think that’s different.”

She said that it was “really a struggle to get information about what the government is doing,” but that the AP would “do what they always do, which is … fight like mad to find out what is going on in terms of facts and … report that to the public. And we are going to do that every single day and we are not going to stop.

She told Judy Woodruff at PBS that they used unnamed sources when they knew the information was fact, not spin, and the person was in a position of authority to speak on the subject, and the information could not be printed otherwise, although they always tried to get sources to agree to use their names as a “gold standard.”

The move by Trump caused some to raise the issue of Americans’ constitutionally protected right to a free press.

Donald Trump Biography

Infographic (c)TheSpeaker | Artwork by: The Speaker staff

Donald Trump biography infographic (c)TheSpeaker

1946 – Donald John Trump was born on June 14 in Queens to New York City real estate developer and builder Fred Trump and his wife Mary, the fourth of five siblings.

1959 – Sent to New York Military Academy because he needed discipline he wasn’t getting at regular school. Trump did well there socially, academically and athletically, and graduated in 1964.

“My father said, ‘You know, you need a little discipline. You’re sort of tough to handle.’ And they sent me up to a military academy. New York Military Academy, where we had some really tough people working up there, and you know, I was supposed to be a very smart person but I was on the aggressive side, and they were terrific. … It was a good place and it was a tough place and I ended up graduating at the highest rank, so I acclimated. … By the time I was there five years, I learned a lot about leadership and I learned a lot about a lot of things.”

Trump excelled as an athlete in this period.

“I always was somebody that loved sports, And I always did well at sports, and I loved baseball in particular [he was captain of the team]. I was on the football team, and I was on the wrestling team — not a great wrestler, Not a great basketball player, I had bad jumping ability. I just was not able to get up there. But I was a very good baseball player.”

1964 – Attends Fordham University

At this time, Trump had an idea of going into film as a career.

“I actually applied to USC, where they had a great school of cinema — they said that was like ‘the Wharton School of Cinema.’ And I applied, and what happened was … there was a man who was having troubles in real estate, and he came to me — smart guy — and he said to me, ‘Could you help me?’ and I was only 19 years old, and I gave him a lot of advice, and this guy was a top Broadway producer, and I said to him, ‘You know, I’d love to go to USC,’ and all this stuff. I kept talking about movies. And he said, ‘I tell you what. You just saved my life. You really know real estate. You gotta be crazy to go into show business.’ And it really affected me. And I went in with my father.”

1966 – Trump transfers from Fordham to the Wharton School of Finance at University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1968 with a degree in economics. He was deferred for military service in Vietnam, first for education, then on 1-Y* after graduation.

“I majored in finance, and I liked finance, but I did well, and I loved the Wharton School of Finance and I always thought it was a great school.”

Trump joined his father in real estate development at Elizabeth Trump & Son. He convinced his father to be more liberal with loans based on Trump apartment complexes and they expanded their holdings. He was not satisfied with relatively small profit margins to be had in the competitive middle-income apartment market, which the company built using federal subsidies (the 236 Program, Section 8, etc.).

“My father had a real estate business in Brooklyn — mostly in Brooklyn, New York, as a real estate developer, and ultimately I did that for a lot of the right reasons. And it became a lot of fun. I wanted to make it more exciting, and I always loved show business, and I loved other things, but I think we put some show business into the real estate business.”

1971 – Trump was given control of company (later renamed Trump Organization), and of his own initiative he struck out in a new direction: Manhattan. Trump moved there and began making important social connections.

“Being in Brooklyn and Queens, and we’d look across the East River, and I’d see those big tall buildings. I’d say, ‘Pop, that’s what I wanna do. I wanna build those buildings. I wanna be there. I love it. I gotta be there.’ And he sorta said, ‘That’s not our territory.’ You know, like a lot of fathers would say. He said, ‘You don’t know anything about that. That’s not our territory. Let’s stay in Brooklyn.’”

1973 – The federal government filed a complaint against Trump’d company, alleging they discriminated against tenants based on race, which was settled two years later with an agreement in which Trump would train employees about fair housing practices. Trump won the local lawsuits that were leveled against him making the same claim.

1974 – Trump obtained an option on an unprofitable but well-located hotel which later became the Grand Hyatt Manhattan.

1977 – Trump married Ivana and had three children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. The couple lasted until 1992, ending over an extra-marital affair that resulted in a child with actress Marla Maples.

1978 – A Trump property, bought when it entered bankruptcy and undeveloped because of the poor prospects of making money from it, was promoted by Trump as a city convention center location and it eventually beat out two other contenders for selection.

1980 – Trump opened the instantly-popular Grand Hyatt Manhattan, which made him New York’s best-known developer, after working out deals with the hotel corporation and the city, financing, and complete renovation.

“I started with the Grand Hyatt Hotel. … I put in almost no money. … It was owned by the Penn Central Railroad, and it was run by some very good people. … I made deals with [the people there] and took options to the building. I then went to the city, because the city was really in deep trouble. I was about 28 years old. And I said, ‘Look, you’re going to have to give me tax abatement, otherwise this thing’s never going to happen. Then I want to Hyatt, I said, ‘You guys put up all the money and I’ll try and get the approvals,’ and I got all the approvals, and Hyatt put up the money, and we built the hotel. We were 50-50 partners. And it became very successful. Then I did the Convention Center and lots of other jobs.”

1982 – Trump opened Trump Tower, a luxurious $200 million apartment-retail complex which attracted celebrity retailers and tenants, which also received positive reviews for its architectural design. The building was leased in 1979, and it brought Trump further national attention when it opened. Trump lived in the top three floors until he moved into the White House in 2017.

“It was a public company, and they were fighting like cats and dogs … and I was reading about it … and I saw the trouble that they were having, and I knew they owned Bonwit Teller department store. So I called the head of Genesco and I went to Nashville, Tennessee. I took an option to buy the site, and what happened was as soon as that option was announced, every developer in the world went there trying to buy it, because even then it was the best site. You know, 57th and 5th next to Tiffany is the best site. But it was too late because I already had it signed.”

“I never thought at a young age, like 30, I would have the best piece of land in the world — it never changes — that piece of land was the best then, and it’s the best now.”

At this time, Trump also began to make money in air rights.

“I dealt with a great man named Walter Hoving, who was the head of Tiffany. He took Tiffany from trouble to great levels. And I bought the air rights over Tiffany and I bought the air rights over another place, and a few more air rights, and I ended up with a 68-story building that turned out to be a tremendous success right from the beginning, called Trump Tower.”

1985 – Trump bought Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, for about $8 million, which is today worth in excess of $100 million, and turned it into the Mar-a-Lago Resort. He first bought the beach in front of the estate from a sick friend.

“I overpaid for the beach. I payed $2 million for it. But that was the whole beach in front of Mar-a-Lago.” And then I announced I was going to build the ugliest building. It was just going to be a long … it was just going to take all the views, because I didn’t want anyone to buy Mar-a-Lago. It was embarrassing. I put this thing with no windows, no nothing, just a wall so you couldn’t see the ocean. … And then people — Ross Perot, Al Taldman, many, many people — wanted to buy Mar-a-Lago, but they said, ‘We have to have the beach.’ So people came and they offered me a fortune for the beach and I said, ‘No, no, no.’ And then I forgot about it. And then a couple of years later I got a call, and they said, ‘We’d like to sell you Mar-a-Lago.’ And I said, ‘What’s your price?’ And they said, ‘We want 8 million dollars.’ They wanted in the 30’s, and now they wanted 8. … I didn’t negotiate. I said, ‘I’ll take it.’ And I turned it into a club. And it’s an amazing club.”

1987 – “The Art of the Deal” was published with Random House (authored by Donald Trump and Tony Schwartz), the first of several books that bear his name.

1988 – Trump made his first appearance at Wrestlemania IV. Trump participated in the wrestling world occasionally over next two decades.

He hosted heavyweight championship bout “Mike Tyson VS Michael Spinks” at the Atlantic City Convention Hall after bidding a record site fee of $11 million.

Trump turned down an opportunity to buy the New England Patriots, a team now worth $2 billion.

1990 – The real estate market began to decline, reducing the value of Trump’s income and holdings.

“I call it the depression, because for a lot of people it’s been very bad.”

Trump Organization requireed large loans to keep from collapsing. After a low point of an almost $900 million deficit, Trump Organization returned to a large surplus of between $500 million and $2 billion.

“I’ve been through great, great times, but I’ve also had to fight like crazy to keep everything going.”

Trump won the Razzie Award for worst supporting actor for his role in “Ghosts Can’t Do It,” in which he played himself.

1991 – The company filed for bankruptcy for one of his Atlantic City hotel casinos, of which he has bought and developed many over the past decade. In total, six bankruptcies over the next 30 years would be filed after debt accruals for various properties, although three of these bankruptcies were for the same building,

“The crazy thing about Atlantic City: I was there during the boom time, when it was a monopoly, and did phenomenally in Atlantic City, but then Atlantic City changed. A lot of bad decisions. They built a convention center in the wrong location. I fought like Hell that they wouldn’t do this. They didn’t do the airport properly. The politicians took over Atlantic City and absolutely destroyed it. But Atlantic City for me has been a great experience. And I got out seven years ago [said in 2014]. And made a lot of money, but I do play the bankruptcy laws. Not individually, but corporately. And other people do to. … I use it as a business tool.”

1992 – Eastern Air Lines Shuttle, purchased in 1989 and renamed Trump Shuttle, didn’t see profits and Trump defaulted on loans, with the enterprise ending after a merger.

“The market had totally crashed. But the banks came to me and people came to me, and I made a great deal where it was a great deal to sell the shuttle, even in bad times.”

1993 – Trump had his fourth child, Tiffany, with Marla Maples, who he married. The marriage lasted until 1997.

1996 – Trump bought Miss Universe Organization (which also produced Miss USA and Miss Teen USA).

1999 – Trump announced the formation of an exploratory committee for possibly entering the 2000 presidential race for the Reform Party, but withdrew his candidacy later on.

Trump Model Management agency in New York was launched, with which Melania was associated as a model before their relationship.

2004 – Trump and hit TV show “The Apprentice” garnered widespread attention and ratings for NBC, where Trump had become a joint-partner. The show later spawned “The Celebrity Apprentice.”

Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc. restructured its debt, reducing Trump’s ownership from 56 to 27 percent. The company emerged as Trump Entertainment Resorts Holdings.

2005 – Trump married Melania after a year of engagement and had a son, Barron, his fifth and youngest child.

2012 – Trump stated publicly that he was again considering running for president, but it did not carry forth.

2015 – Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency on the Republican ticket, and his political statements regarding immigration and other matters caused controversy, including NBC severing business ties with Trump, although they continued the popular TV show “The Celebrity Apprentice.” Other large organizations that withdrew from associating with Trump include the Professional Golfers Association of America and Macy’s.

Multiple lawsuits continued to pursue Trump regarding Trump University, launched in 2005.

2016 – Trump beat all other Republican candidates, including Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Ben Carson to become the official Republican candidate.

Trump was elected president over Hillary Clinton, widely winning the electoral vote, although the popular vote favored Clinton, after a campaign that included promises about immigration reform, health care reform, tax reform, “cleaning the [Washington] swamp,” a more U.S.-focused agenda, an improved economy, and more jobs for Americans.

 


* 1-Y – Registrant qualified for service only in time of war or national emergency.
Note: The 1-Y classification was abolished December 10, 1971. Local boards were subsequently instructed to reclassify all 1-Y registrants by administrative action.

Trump on Castro: “Brutal Dictator” Death Better for Cuba

President-elect Donald Trump has made a statement of his assesment of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who died yesterday at age 90 in Havana.

Trump initially tweeted a short statement with a much-noted exclamation point, then followed up with a lengthier statement, which read:

“Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades.

“Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights. While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.

“Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty. I join the many Cuban Americans who supported me so greatly in the presidential campaign, including the Brigade 2506 Veterans Association that endorsed me, with the hope of one day soon seeing a free Cuba.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKo_3__7Y98&feature=youtu.be

Trump Team – Three Top Positions Announced

Trump Team

President-elect Donald Trump announced three of his picks for his top staff today: Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser, and Mike Pompeo as CIA director,

The choices have generated applause and criticism, but regardless of opinions Trump’s team will be part of a significant change in government policy from the previous 8 years of President Barack Obama’s administration.

Jeff Sessions: 20 years in the Senate and well liked (on both sides of the isle), experienced conservative lawmaker, tough on immigration, law-and-order oriented. Sessions was the first U.S. senator to endorse Trump.

ACLU, NAAC, the largest LGBT organization, and other groups have criticized the choice of Sessions as potentially inflammatory at a time when they would prefer more racial sensitivity.

Those for and against Sessions as a pick expect Sessions will focus on disability cases, religious freedoms, and less on racial discrimination and police discrimination.

Michael Flynn: Retired Lieutenant General in the Army, top U.S. intelligence officer in Afghanistan, became Defense Intelligence Agency head but fired in 2014, made strong statements against Obama’s stance on Islamic radical violence after being fired and about Clinton during the election.

Criticisms include Flynn’s controversial comments about Islam, his temperament, and what some claim is a somewhat friendly relationship with Russia.

Mike Pompeo: Kansas congressman, West Point and Harvard Law graduate, opponent of Iran nuclear deal, bold statements against Islamic radicalization.

Criticisms include that Pompeo could be too partizan for the non-partizan role.

Image: PBS NewsHour

‘Trump Is a leader I Can Have Confidence In’ – Shinzo Abe After Meeting

Trump

In Donald Trump’s first meeting with a world leader since being elected, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that he was “convinced that Mr. Trump is a leader in whom I can have confidence.”

It is not unusual for a president elect to meet with foreign leaders before taking over the role of president — Barack Obama also did this. The meetings are not ones in which international deals are usually made. They are more meet-and-greets in preparation for later dealings.

In the past, Trump has made statements viewed by Japan both as beneficial and harmful to the island nation. On the one hand, Trump said he might remove some U.S. troops from Japan if Japan didn’t pay a bigger share of defense upkeep; on the other, Trump said it might be better if Japan had it’s own military, including nuclear weapons, since it had unfriendly military powers nearby, such as North Korea.

Abe said he wanted to “build trust” with Trump, and ensure the long-standing alliance between the two countries, which Abe said was of primary importance for Japan.

During the presidential race, Abe supported Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, and Japan is strongly in favor of the Trans Pacific Partnership.

“Some Tax Facts for Donald Trump” – Warren Buffett Responds to Trump

Responding to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s statements, businessman Warren Buffett denied the claim that Buffett had taken a “massive deduction” on his tax returns. Buffett also made points referring to several other of Trump’s recent talking points regarding taxes, tax audits, tax deductions, and the “smarts” of benefiting economically from a maximally selfish business-wise application of the country’s laws.

Buffett’s full statement:

“Answering a question last night about his $916 million income tax loss carryforward in 1995, Donald Trump stated that ‘Warren Buffett took a massive deduction.’ Mr. Trump says he knows more about taxes than any other human. He has not seen my income tax returns. But I am happy to give him the facts.

“My 2015 return shows adjusted gross income of $11,563,931. My deductions totaled $5,477,694, of which allowable charitable contributions were $3,469,179. All but $36,037 of the remainder was for state income taxes.

“The total charitable contributions I made during the year were $2,858,057,970, of which more than $2.85 billion were not taken as deductions and never will be. Tax law properly limits charitable deductions.

“My federal income tax for the year was $1,845,557. Returns for previous years are of a similar nature in respect to contributions, deductions and tax rates.

“I have paid federal income tax every year since 1944, when I was 13. (Though, being a slow starter, I owed only $7 in tax that year.) I have copies of all 72 of my returns and none uses a carryforward.

“Finally, I have been audited by the IRS multiple times and am currently being audited. I have no problem in releasing my tax information while under audit. Neither would Mr. Trump—at least he would have no legal problem.”

Kissinger and Shultz Won’t Endorse Trump

Former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz have now said they won’t endorse Trump, the nominee for their party.

“We are not making any endorsement in the current presidential election,” stated the two Republican foreign policy experts in a written statement, as reported by Time. “We are dedicated to fostering a bipartisan foreign policy, and we will devote ourselves to this effort now and after the election.”

Kissinger met with Trump recently but came out of the meeting without confidence in the nominee.

“On foreign policy, you identify many key problems,” Kissinger said at the time. “I do not generally agree with the solutions. One-shot outcomes are probably not possible.”

Trump at the time, however, said that Kissinger agreed with his foreign policy ideas.

John Oliver Is Urgently Asking America To #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain

“Our main story tonight – and I cannot believe I am saying this – is Donald Trump.” Those were the introductory words of Sunday evening Last Week Tonight host John Oliver. On last Sunday’s segment, John Oliver decided that it was time to take on billionaire Republican candidate Donald Trump.

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As Oliver pointed out, the show mostly tried to ignore Donald Trump until then. Yet as Trump has now won three states and recently received an endorsement from Chris Christie with polls that show him leading most Super Tuesday states, things are getting more serious than expected.

“At this point, Donald Trump is America’s back mole: it may have seemed harmless a year ago, but now that it’s gotten frighteningly bigger, it is no longer wise to ignore it,” said Oliver.

After running clips of Trump’s supporters describing their favourite candidate as an “independent” and “tough” man who “tells it like it is”, Oliver claims to understand why Trump’s supporters seem to like him so much through his polished image of an entertaining, truthful and successful candidate.

He decides to take a closer look at those qualities, starting with Trump’s said honesty. First noting that “PolitiFact checked 77 of his statements and rated 76 percent of them as varying degrees of false”, Oliver then specifically underlined a false statement made by Trump who claimed to have turned down an invitation to appear on Last Week Tonight “four or five times.”

“It was genuinely destabilizing to be on the receiving end of a lie that confident,” said Oliver. “I’m not even sure he knows he is lying, I think he just doesn’t care about what the truth is.”

He continued to dismantle Trump’s seeming qualities by calling into question the claim he made to Fox News that he was “self-funded” and contributed around twenty-five million dollars to his own presidential campaign.

“While it is true that he hasn’t taken corporate money, the implication that he has personally spent $20-25 million is a bit of a stretch, because what he’s actually done is loaned his own campaign $17.5 million, and has personally given just $250,000,” said Oliver before adding: “And that’s important because up until the convention, he can pay himself back for the loan with campaign funds.”

Oliver then tackles Trump’s biggest selling point – his business success and wealth. He admits that Trump is indeed very wealthy but “not only received a multi-million dollar inheritance from his father, but he’s also lost a huge amount.”

While keeping in mind Trump’s own words that says: “If I put my name on something, you know it’s gonna be good”, Oliver brings attention to Trump’s past business failures: “His name has been on some things that have arguably been very un-good, including Trump Shuttle, which no longer exists; Trump Vodka, which was discontinued; Trump Magazine, which folded; Trump World Magazine, which also folded; Trump University, over which he’s being sued; and of course, the travel-booking site GoTrump.com.”

He also points out Trump’s lack of financial instinct back in April 2006 – just before the entire housing market collapsed – when Trump told a CNBC interviewer :”I think it’s a great time to start a mortgage company” adding that “the real estate market is going to be very strong for a long time to come.”

He goes on to note Trump’s many political inconsistencies. After questioning Trump’s silence about former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke’s support for his campaign, Oliver reminds his audience of his particularly troubling declaration on killing the family members of terrorists to defeat ISIS, a rather worrying image of “the frontrunner for the Republican nomination advocating a war crime,” said Olivier.

According to Oliver, Trump may appear invincible and almost magical since he “has spent decades turning his own name into a brand synonymous with success and quality, and he’s made himself the mascot for that brand.” The mascot is supposed to symbolize wealth, power and success, but “it’s time to stop thinking of the mascot and start thinking of the man,” said Oliver.

He therefore concludes that people seem to automatically associate the name – or brand – “Trump” with wealth and success, hence the urgent need to separate the word from the man. In fact, it turns out that the name “Trump” is an alteration of what was once “Drumpf”, which is rather ironic considering Trump’s tweet mocking Jon Stewart’s Jewish family for having changed their name.

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“Fucking Drumpf!” Oliver exclaimed. “Drumpf is much less magical.” Referring to Trump’s tweet on Jon Stewart’s name, Oliver added: “He should be proud of his heritage!”

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Oliver thus asks his audience and America to make Donald Drumpf again to break the spell of his brand name. He announces the launch of the website http://donaldjdrumpf.com/ where people can purchase some #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain hats and download a Drumpfinator Chrome extension that will replace ‘Trump’ with ‘Drumpf’ wherever it appears in their browser.

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“If you are thinking of voting for Donald Trump, the charismatic guy promising to ‘Make America Great Again,’ stop and take a moment to imagine how you would feel if you just met a guy named Donald Drumpf: a litigious, serial liar with a string of broken business ventures and the support of a former Klan leader who he can’t decide whether or not to condemn,” said Oliver. “Would you think he would make a good president, or is the spell now somewhat broken?”

By Pauline Schnoebelen

Source: YouTube