Posts tagged with "Mar-a-Lago"

NY Times: 28 women were recruited to ‘party’ with just Trump and Epstein in 1992 at Mar-a-Lago Club

July 11, 2019

Before Donald Trump purchased Mar-a-Lago in 1985—and converted the 20-acre property in Palm Beach into a posh, private club that opened in 1995—he held a very hush-hush, exclusive party at the estate in 1992, according to a July 9 report by The New York Times.

The event was attended by just Trump and his then-friend New York financier Jeffrey Epstein—as well as 28 beautiful women, flown in just for the occasion.

Florida businessman George Houraney told the Times that he was the one who fulfilled Trump’s request for a “calendar girl competition.”

“I arranged to have some contestants fly in,” Houraney told the Times in an interview. “At the very first party, I said, ‘Who’s coming tonight? I have 28 girls coming.’ It was him and Epstein.”

Houraney, who previously had partnered with Trump to host events at his casinos, said he was surprised. “I said, ‘Donald, this is supposed to be a party with V.I.P.s. You’re telling me it’s you and Epstein?’”

The businessman recalls, “I said, ‘Look, Donald, I know Jeff really well, I can’t have him going after younger girls.’ ”

Houraney told Trump that he had “pretty much had to ban Jeff from my events” but said “Trump didn’t care about that.” 

What happened at that party can only be the subject of conjecture; however, since then, Epstein has been registered as a sex offender; has spent some nights in jail in Florida after cutting a deal with then-U.S. Attorney (and now Secretary of Labor) Alex Acosta; and has this past weekend been indicted on sex trafficking charges by the Southern District of New York.

While the Times said that Trump had not responded to a request for comment earlier this week, the president talked to the media from his desk in the Oval Office—distancing himself Epstein. Back in the 1990s, the president said that he “knew [Epstein] like everybody in Palm Beach knew him.”

But Trump added: “I had a falling out with him. I haven’t spoken to him in 15 years. I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you.”

However, the Times pointed out, while the president has dismissed the relationship, Epstein has played it up since the election—claiming that he was the one who introduced Trump to his third wife, Melania.

Since the indictment , the news outlet reported, decades’ worth of rich and powerful friends of Epstein—including former President Bill Clinton—“have been running for the hills.”

Former President Bill Clinton released a statement on his relationship with the disgraced financier.

Epstein has been accused of trafficking dozens, maybe hundreds, of young teenage girls over the years—sending them across state lines for sex with him and his clients. His main accuser says she was 14 and wearing braces at the time she was approached by Epstein.

Research contact: @nytimes

Trump ‘cleans house’ at DHS; goes for harder line on immigration

April 9, 2019

President Donald Trump is clearing the decks at the Department of Homeland Securityexecuting a purge of the nation’s immigration and security leadership, The New York Times reported on April 8.

After extracting a resignation from DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on April 7, and immediately elevating White House Adviser Stephen Miller—known to be a hard-liner—to direct the nation’s immigration policy; the president now is signaling that he means to remove the next level of agency management.

Inside the Beltway, it is rumored that Nielsen got the boot because she resisted reinstating a policy that separated migrant parents from their children—infuriating the president at a time when he still is struggling to get funding for his southern wall and has not been able to stem the flow of South American immigration to the U.S. border.

Also expected to leave soon: L. Francis Cissna, the head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Randolph D. Alles, the Secret Service director; and John Mitnik, the agency’s general counsel.

The White House confirmed the departure of Alles in a statement but made no immediate comment on the other pending moves, the news outlet said. The White House statement said that the president has selected James M. Murray, a career Secret Service official, to take over as director in May.

 Alles “has done a great job at the agency over the last two years and the president is thankful for his over 40 years of service to the country,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said in the statement.

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Nielsen confirmed her resignation on Sunday and Ron D. Vitiello, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Services, was told on Friday to step aside. Trump said on April 5 that Vitiello would be replaced with someone who would move ICE in a “tougher” direction.

All were viewed as allies of John F. Kelly, the president’s former chief of staff and his President Trump.

Alles received instructions ten days ago to come up with an exit plan and was expected to leave on his own timeline, according to officials familiar with the internal discussions. The Times reported that the president had sought Alles’s resignation, in part because of the recent arrest of a Chinese woman who was carrying a malware-laced device on the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort property in Florida, exposing holes in the security of the private club.

Research contact: @nytimes

Trump parries with press on CIA report that MBS ordered Khashoggi murder

November 26, 2018

On Thanksgiving, President Donald Trump took time out from thanking himself for doing a wonderful job to say that the CIA did not reach a conclusion about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s involvement in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi—adding during a teleconference with U.S. military troops that Salman “regretted the death more than I do,” Politico reported.

The president previously had declined to listen to Turkey’s tape of the actual murder—or to confirm or deny reports that the CIA had concluded that the crown prince ordered Khashoggi’s assassination.

When asked who should be blamed instead, Trump said on the conference call from his residence and private club Mar-a-Lago, “maybe the world” because it’s a “vicious, vicious place,” and referenced oil prices as a reason not to punish Saudi Arabia further, according to pool reports.

Asked by a reporter if the CIA had a recording implicating Salman, Politico noted that the president responded: “I don’t want to talk about it. You’ll have to ask them.”

Later, he answered a question on the crown prince’s possible involvement by saying: “Whether he did or whether he didn’t, he denies it vehemently. His father denies, the king, vehemently. The CIA doesn’t say they did it. They do point out certain things, and in pointing out those things, you can conclude that maybe he did or maybe he didn’t.”

Comments from both the press and the public were, on the whole, critical of Trump’s refusal to denounce the Saudis during the holiday and the preceding week.

“He’s actually publicly lying about whether or not the US government and its intelligence agencies have concluded … that Khashoggi was murdered and by whom, MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow tweeted on 1 p.m. on November 23.

According to a November 23 report by The Hill, Turkey’s top ranking diplomat scorched President Trump on Friday, accusing him of turning a ‘blind eye’ to the killing of Washington Post journalist and Saudi national Jamal Khashoggi.

“Trump’s statements amount to him saying ‘I’ll turn a blind eye no matter what,'” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Turkey’s foreign minister, said in an interview.

“Money isn’t everything. We must not move away from human values,” Çavuşoğlu added.

David Axelrod, director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, tweeted, “For all his bravado @real Donald Trump has proven himself pathetically weak in the eyes of the world, heeling like a Chihuahua on the end of a gilded Saudi leash,” at 8:42 a.m. on November 22.

Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia), vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, commented, “The president’s failure to hold Saudi Arabia responsible in any meaningful way for the death of Jamal Khashoggi is just one more example of this White Houe’s retreat from American leadership on issues like human rights and protecting the free press.”

Finally, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) tweeted, “ … [It] is not in our national security interests to look the other way when it comes to the brutal murder of Mr. Jamal #Khashoggi.”

A poll conducted at the end of October by Axios/SurveyMonkey found that most Americans think President Trump hasn’t been tough enough on Saudi Arabia in response to the  Khashoggi by Saudi agents—with just one-third saying his response had been “about right” and only 5% thinking he had been too tough.

Research contact: @LilyStephens13

Melania Trump ditches Davos meeting

January 25, 2018

Just as President John F. Kennedy quipped, ”I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris,” during the couple’s trip abroad in 1961, current President Donald Trump might have commented about FLOTUS Melania Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week. However, the First Lady—who is more popular than her husband, according to findings of a poll released on January 20 by CNN—will not be at the conference, her office says, because of “a last-minute change of plans.”

Melania Trump enjoys a 47% favorable rating, while the POTUS’s approval number stands at 40%, according to the CNN poll conducted by SSRS.

Although her office offered her regrets, the First Lady has kept an extremely low profile this month, since news surfaced that her husband’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, made a $130,000 payment to ensure the silence of adult actor Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 electionwho nonetheless took the opportunity to talk about several hook-ups with Trump.

According to a story by the UK’s Independent newspaper, “After the story broke, [Melania Trump] accompanied the president to his Mar-a-Lago golf resort in [Palm Beach] Florida, but she did not attend two dinners he hosted—one [for] former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and and another with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.”

On  January 20, the first anniversary of her husband’s inauguration, she shared an image of herself with a military escort before the swearing-in ceremony. The FLOTUS said the past year had been filled with “many wonderful moments” but did not mention President Trump.

Research contact: @KateBennett_DC