Posts tagged with "The Apprentice"

After I lost the election’: Legal expert says new Trump recording could be ‘admissible evidence’

June 24, 2024

The former president let the mask slip during an interview in August 2021: Donald Trump got caught forgetting his own lie—that the 2020 election was stolen from him—during an interview with journalist Ramin Setoodeh for his new book, “Apprentice in Wonderland,” according to a tape Setoodeh shared on Thursday, June 20, with MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace.

According to a report by Salon, Setoodeh, the co-editor-in-chief of Variety, told Wallace that he and Trump were discussing the latter’s falling out with his once close friend, former Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera.

As the subject came up, the presumptive GOP nominee let it slip that Rivera called him after he “lost the election,” which he then quickly corrected to say, “I won the election, but when they said we lost.”

Trump went on to belittle Rivera, who he said “called me up three or four times, and finally, I had a little time. I called him back. And he went on Fox and he started talking about, ‘The president called me.’ I didn’t call him.”

As Wallace noted, Trump, “speaking casually,”actually “admitted” that he lost. At the same time, he publicly insists that he won—a lie fervently believed by supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Setoodeh said the interview took place in August 2021.

“He was very comfortable that day because we were actually watching clips of ‘The Apprentice,’ and I think part of the reason the mask slipped off was that he was remembering his life as an entertainer. He was very amused, he was excited to see himself in the boardroom,” the author said.

“This is all performance art for Donald Trump,” he added.

At least one legal expert believes Trump’s remark could be used against him.

“This statement made on tape and on the record by … Trump would be admissible in evidence against him on the issue of his corrupt intent in the four Smith indictments in DC that SCOTUS is inexcusably keeping on hold in United States v. Trump,” Laurence Tribe, a law professor at Harvard University, posted on X.

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‘Daily Beast’ exclusive: Trump boasted about sex with Stormy in Tahoe, athlete says

May 29, 2024

Donald Trump boasted about having sex with adult film star Stormy Daniels at the 2006 golf tournament where the two met, a celebrity athlete who played the tournament has said in an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast.

The athlete also told The Daily Beast that a decade later, in the run-up to the 2016 election, he received anonymous calls from strangers asking what he remembered of the weekend.

Stormy Daniels says she told confidantes at the time that she had sex with Trump  and has told her story repeatedly since. Trump has repeatedly denied having sex with Daniels.

Nonetheless, hush-money payments to Daniels around the 2016 election gave rise to the 34 felony counts of falsification of business records for which Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, is now on trial in New York.

However, Trump passed up the opportunity to deny sex with Daniels under oath. On Tuesday, May 28, lawyers for the former president and for the prosecution made closing arguments. The first former president ever criminally indicted, Trump could face jail if found guilty.

The celebrity athlete, who spoke to The Daily Beast on condition of anonymity, citing fear of harassment or retaliation, said he was close to Trump and Daniels while they socialized at the 2006 American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.

Although Trump sometimes referred to Daniels indirectly as a “porn star,” the athlete said, he emphasized that it was understood among the golfers who heard the boasts that Trump, at the time best-known as the host of reality TV show The Apprentice, was saying he had slept with Daniels.

“It was clear to me and everyone who heard him that he was talking about Stormy,” the athlete said, adding that Trump encouraged other celebs to try to have sex with Daniels—behavior the athlete described as “crass,” “gross,” and “stupid.”

“He’d say all these things like, ‘You’ve gotta bang a porn star, it’s incredible,’ and, ‘It added 20 yards to my drive today,’” the athlete told The Daily Beast.

The athlete said he has not shared his story widely, and that prosecutors never approached him. His account appears to be the first publicly reported description of Trump telling people he had sex with Daniels around the time Daniels says he did.

In the hush-money trial that is wrapping up now. while Daniels’ allegation was an important plank for Manhattan prosecutors who spent the last seven weeks building a criminal case against Trump, it wasn’t central to the charges.

District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg charged the former president for allegedly falsifying business records in service of covering up another crime—an alleged attempt to keep a lid on the $130,000 Trump’s former personal “fixer” Michael Cohen illegally paid Daniels the week before Election Day in 2016, thereby to keep the story from voters and boost Trump’s chances.

In Full Disclosure, her 2018 memoir, Daniels described her alleged liaison with Trump as “the least impressive sex I’d ever had.” In court this month, she dished out salacious testimony—saying Trump had been “blocking the way” out of the bedroom, and claiming she “blacked out” during sex; although she clarified that she had not felt “threatened verbally or physically.”

At the time, Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, was nursing their newborn son, Barron Trump.

Daniels entered a non-disclosure agreement with Trump in 2016 but had previously described the alleged sexual encounter in a 2007 radio appearance—without naming Trump—and then more fully in a 2011 interview for In Touch magazine, when Trump was considering a White House run. Six years after giving her version of events in her memoir, Daniels testified to it in court this month.

Research contact: @thedailybeast

How could Trump deduct $70,000 for his hair? Stylists say the answer is not ‘cut and dried’

September 30, 2020

A recent bombshell New York Times report revealed that President Donald Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017—but an almost equally “hair-raising” part of that report had to do with the price he paid for his signature bouffant ‘do .

The Times exclusive, which drops several huge bombshells—including the fact that Trump is in debt for $421 million—also reveals that he wrote off a whopping $70,000 on hairstyling expenses while he hosted of “The Apprentice.

On behalf of those Americans who have overdrawn their bank accounts shelling out $300 for highlights, on September 28, the Huffington  Post asked: How?

A request from HuffPost writer Jamie Feldman for answers from professionals on a beauty and style page on Facebook left her with some answers she expected: It’s possible but not probable; it could be due to a high day rate or medical procedure (like hair plugs); or perhaps some of that money goes toward NDAs that prevent stylists from disclosing details of their services. But the general consensus appeared to be that it would be pretty difficult to get to that number on salon services alone.

Joey Silvestera, founder of the Blackstones and Five Wits salons in New York City, said he believes there are one of two scenarios at play here, but only one seems to him to be in the realm of possibility.

When you do the math over a 12-month period, even if he went to a top stylist and colorist and went every four weeks, which most males do, it’s virtually impossible to hit those numbers,” he told HuffPost over the phone. “Unless there was some sort of medical treatment that year like hair plugs ― which still would be under $20,000 for one treatment—I don’t think it’s very likely.”

The less cutting and more logical explanation, Silvestera said, is that Trump had a hairstylist on retainer, working for a salary of $70,000.

“That’s a normal salary for a mid-level hairdresser in places like New York City or Los Angeles, where it’s high fashion and a hard cost of living,” he said. “If he has a hairdresser who follows him around for photos, appearances, to make sure his hair is OK …. It would include styling daily, haircutting, coloring, it sounds about right.”

Silvestera pointed to hairdressers he knows who work for morning news programs and make between $80,000 to $100,000. So while he said it’s easy to see how social media would twist it, the amount doesn’t seem too far-fetched.

However, if that’s not the case, Silvestera called the fees “the most expensive hair services I’ve ever heard of on the planet.”

Ashley Watts, a professional hair and makeup artist based in Raleigh, North Carolina, who also does commercial and editorial work, agreed that the amount is feasible. Her calculations, however, break it down in a slightly different way.

“On average for a political appearance, I make $500 to $1,500 for styling depending on the job, the person, the amount of time I need to be there, etc.,” she said. “But typically stylists who do this type of work are paid per day, on location, and most of us in the political world have to have high clearance to even be in the same room with politicians―something also common with celebrities.”

According to that logic, Watts said she would guess the stylist is being paid $1,000 minimum per appearance. Calculate that out weekly for a year and you get $52,000 for the stylist fee alone.

Watts also made an educated—but unfounded—guess that Trump may wear a hair piece, which could contribute to costs.

“I would assume Trump would only want the best hair piece, made from quality material billed back to the beautiful taxpayers,” she said. “A custom hand-woven lace-front piece made with real human hair would cost about $2,000. He probably had someone who maintains keeping the specimen along with any custom pieces in his wardrobe. So, for the sake of the article, let’s say it’s cleaned once a month and repaired as needed―that’s around $750 per month. So $9,000 for wig-keeping. Plus, let’s assume he has five pieces in rotation at $2,000 each. Would you look at that? $10,000.”

According to Watts’ guesses, $52,000 for styling, $9,000 for maintenance on hair pieces and $10,000 for “a couple of good custom pieces” total out to $71,000.

“As you can see, it’s pretty easy to come up with that total if he’s using freelance personnel for this type of service,” she said. “Actually, if this is what he’s paying, he’s probably getting a decent deal!”

We may never know for sure how Trump landed on a $70,000 hair write-off (in addition to reportedly written-off payments of close to $95,000 for “a favorite hair and makeup artist of Ivanka Trump”). These professional opinions are just that—opinions.

But it’s clear that Trump thinks that hair makes the man.

Research contact: @HuffPost

After a ‘Times’ report on Trump’s taxes, the figure $750 could stick in voters’ minds

September 29, 2020

The late hotelier Leona Helmsley famously said “Only the little people pay taxes”—a quote that is being recalled by many Americans after learning from an exclusive report by The New York Times that President Donald Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017—and absolutely nothing for ten of the preceding 15 years.

And while most Americans will be shocked, the $750 figure may well stick in the minds of blue-collar voters who earn far less than a president, and who pay far more in federal taxes.

Indeed, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Sunday, September 27, that she had paid thousands of dollars in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017— when she was still working as a New York bartender. “He contributed less to funding our communities than waitresses & undocumented immigrants,” she wrote.

The Biden campaign on Sunday night used the report to press its case that Trump is out of touch with the working Americans he says he is fighting for. The campaign quickly put out a video showing the typical income taxes paid by an elementary school teacher, a firefighter and a nurse. Each paid thousands of dollars in taxes per year.

At a Sunday evening news conference, Trump dismissed the reporting as “totally fake news” and claimed he was never contacted about the report, despite the fact that a lawyer for the Trump Organization was quoted in the article.

The Times did not disclose just how its reporters had gotten their hands on tax return data that covers more than two decades. The president has long refused to release this information, making him the first POTUS in decades to hide basic details about his finances. His refusal has made his tax returns among the most sought-after documents in recent memory.

Among the key findings of the Times’s investigation:

It is important to remember that the returns are not an unvarnished look at Trump’s business activity. They are instead his own portrayal of his companies, compiled for the I.R.S. But they do offer the most detailed picture yet available.

But it’s inevitably a story he will face questions about in the first presidential debate on Tuesday night. And with five weeks left in the race, every day that Trump is on defense is one when he isn’t able to shift the dynamics of a race that public polls show he is currently losing.

The Times also notes, “Revelations like the fact that Trump deducted $70,000 for hairstyling expenses during “The Apprentice” also risk contributing to a sense that the president views his supporters — those who serve in the military, or pay their tax bills, or attend his rallies in the middle of a pandemic — as fools.”

To wit: The tax revelations followed a report in The Atlantic this month that said the president had privately referred to American troops killed in combat as “losers” and “suckers.”

And a former official on the coronavirus task force, Olivia Troye, has gone on the record in recent weeks to recall that the president, during a meeting she attended, said there was an upside to the virus: He would no longer have to shake hands with “disgusting” people, referring to his own supporters.

Research contact: @nytimes