Posts tagged with "The Daily Beast"

Meghan blabs: Tells friends she found royal life ‘toxic’ and ‘soul-crushing’

January 20, 2020

Life with the Windsors was simply a royal pain, as Meghan Markie is telling friends now—and it was “a matter of life or death” to escape the UK with Harry and baby Archie, The Daily Beast reported at the end of last week.

A friend told DailyMail on January 16 that Meghan felt that living within the royal confines was “soul crushing” and that she didn’t want Archie growing up within such a “toxic environment ….”

According to both newspaper reports, the Duchess of Sussex told her friends that “her soul was being crushed and that the decision to leave was a matter of life or death. Meaning the death of her spirit. She felt she couldn’t be the best mother to Archie if she wasn’t being her true, authentic self. She didn’t want Archie picking up on her stress and anxiety. She felt like it was a toxic environment for him because there was too much tension.”

The Mail also reported that staff at their Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage, are being let go from those positions and reassigned to other jobs within the royal household. Palace sources told the Mail that Meghan will never return to live in Britain in “a meaningful way.”

However, The Daily Beast said, cracks are now appearing in the couple’s delicate plans to move to Canada, amid signs that the royals might have overestimated the willingness of the Canadians to have an unemployed prince and his wife on their hands.

Indeed, The Globe and Mail, billed as Canada’s national newspaper, has spoken out against the Duke and Duchess settling in Canada if they remain tied to the Royal Family professionally. The publisher claimed Canada was not a “halfway house” for the Royals while they “work out their own personal issues”.

In an article posted online, the publisher said: “The Canadian monarchy is virtual; it neither rules nor resides. Our roys don’t live here. They reign from a distance. Close to our hearts, far from our hearths.”

What’s more, findings of a poll conducted on behalf of the nonprofit Angus Reid Institute found that a stunning 73% of respondents said they would prefer Canada not to pitch in as much as a red cent to the cost of keeping the Sussexes safe.

Michael Behiels, an emeritus professor of political and constitutional history at the University of Ottawa and fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, said the Sussexes’ decision to move could end up in the Supreme Court of Canada.

He told The Times of London: “They can visit Canada on behalf of the Queen but they can’t take on any other royal family responsibilities or live in Canada permanently or part-time. I hope that [the] Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet fully respect the nature and scope of Canada’s Constitution Acts of 1867 and 1982.”

Trudeau tweeted before Christmas that Harry, Meghan, and eight-month-old Archie “were among friends, and always welcome here,” but he may live to regret the open invitation.

Research contact: @dailybeast

Behar: It’s ‘good news’ that white nationalists are bashing Trump over Soleimani assassination

January 9, 2020

On January 8, Joy Behar of ABC-TV’s talkfest, The View, celebrated noxious white supremacist Richard Spencer’s disavowal of President Donald Trump over escalating tensions with Iran— calling Spencer’s slam of Trump “some good news, The Daily Beast reported.

Following Iran’s missile attacks on two Iraqi military bases at which American troops were deployed on Tuesday evening, Spencer—who helped organize the toxic and savage Neo-Nazi Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville—took to Twitter to declare: “I deeply regret voting for and promoting Donald Trump in 2016.”

Moments before Trump told the nation that Americans should be “extremely grateful” that Iran “appears to be standing down, the hosts of  The View  discussed public reactions to Iran’s air strikes, which that nation said were in retaliation for the assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

“There’s one small thing,” Behar said, adding that it was “some good news,” according to The Daily Beast.

“This is a tiny thing that I noticed,” she continued. “Do you remember Richard Spencer? He’s basically the organizer of Unite the Right, the white-nationalist group that was marching in Charlottesville and [he] was all-in for Trump. Not anymore!”

“Wow!” Behar exclaimed after reading Spencer’s Trump-bashing tweet, prompting the crowd to applaud. “That’s interesting!”

Asked why she thought Spencer was splitting from Trump, the fervent Trump critic replied: “It’s like I said yesterday, Trump ran on not invading and being a warmonger. These people, they’re the ones who are going to go.”

Co-host Sunny Hostin, meanwhile, noted that racists like Spencer were dropping their support for the president “because they’re nationalists.”

Of course, The Daily Beast noted, what Behar seemed to miss is that even if Spencer et. al. stop supporting Trump, they will still be avowed disciples of a dangerous white-nationalist ideology.

Research contact: @thedailybeast

Team Trump interrogated EU aides to find out who ‘liked’ a Chelsea Clinton tweet

January 1, 2020

On the evening of July 10, 2017, staffers at the U.S. embassy in Brussels—the official office of the ambassador to the European Union—received an odd call from the seventh floor of the State Department back in Washington, D.C., The Daily Beast reports.

The office of then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was irate. Someone in Brussels with access to the mission’s Twitter account had liked the wrong tweet. It had set off alarm bells inside the Beltway.

And it wasn’t just any tweet. It was one written by Chelsea Clinton and sent to @realDonaldTrump in a public spat that soon trended on the Internet.

That week, Trump had drawn criticism for his decision to let his daughter, Ivanka, fill his seat at the G-20 meeting of top economic powers in Hamburg, Germany, The Daily Beast notes.

After days of the pile-on, Trump took to Twitter on the morning of July 10 to claim his decision to have Ivanka represent the United States at the G-20 was “very standard” and that Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany agreed.

However—no more than 15 minutes later—he switched his tone, and began attacking Clinton, as well as the press. Clinton shot back: “It would never have occurred to my mother or my father to ask me. Were you giving our country away? Hoping not.”

Her tweet garnered more than half a million likes—including one from the account for the U.S. mission to the European Union, The Daily Beast reports.

And according to an exclusive report by the news outlet, that single “like” from within the administration kickstarted a weeks-long investigation, prompted by the secretary’s office, into exactly whom at the Brussels mission had access to the Twitter account and had hit “like” on Clinton’s tweet.

At least ten people were interviewed about whether they, as administrators of the account, had mistakenly or deliberately pressed the “like” button. All of them denied it, sources told The Daily Beast.

One individual familiar with the exchanges said the secretary of state’s top managers in Washington “wanted blood” and called Brussels numerous times demanding the name of the culprit.

U.S. officials in Belgium were never able to give Tillerson’s office a name and soon after, the embassy restructured the Twitter account and limited access to just two individuals.

The concern from the secretary’s office over social-media messaging continued after Tillerson and into the era of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two U.S. officials at American embassies overseas told the news outlet.

The micromanaging is still causing headaches for staffers and officials at top American outposts who are trying to navigate the task of pleasing both the State Department and the White House simultaneously—a mission that at times requires two completely different strategies, those sources said.

It is unclear if Trump—who is famously thin-skinned about criticism or even mean tweets from prominent critics—himself was aware of this intra-administration kerfuffle over the Clinton tweet, but some of his lieutenants certainly were.

One former aide commented, “[The Chelsea Clinton incident] was another little thing that fueled suspicions  [within the administration] and reminded…officials in the White House that there were a lot of people … who clearly hated Donald Trump.”

However, amid all the paranoia that surface after the exchange, one inescapable truth surfaced: It would hardly be the only time—and it certainly will not be the last—when the State Department bends itself out of shape over anti-Trump activity on Twitter.

Research contact: @thedailybeast

Rudy to the rescue? Giuliani’s current Ukraine jaunt freaks out Trump’s team—and he doesn’t care

December 9, 2019

Forget Carmen Sandiego. Where in the world is Rudy Giuliani?  The president’s personal attorney’s decision to travel to multiple European countries last week—during the height of an impeachment probe involving his client—was so out of left field that senior administration officials and national security brass began tracking his movements in an effort to get a read on his objectives abroad, The Daily Beast reports.

Indeed, officials in the West Wing and numerous Trump associates learned about Giuliani’s latest foreign escapade, which included a stop in Ukraine, by reading the news, the news outlet said.

Many of them expressed exasperation at the thought of Giuliani—himself reportedly in the crosshairs of federal investigators—continuing to cause headaches for the White House. Others feared he would cause tangible damage to U.S. foreign policy.

 “I do not see why [any] lawyer would see this as serving the best interests of their client,” a senior White House official told The Daily Beast. “Especially now.”

Senior U.S. officials in the State Department and on the national security team were concerned that Giuliani was speaking with politicians in both Budapest and Kiev who have interests in domestic American politics.

According to five Daily Beast sources with knowledge of the situation, there is renewed fear that the president’s lawyer is still shopping for dirt about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter as well as speaking with foreign officials who, against all evidence, have promoted the idea that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 presidential election. In fact, there are rumors that he is taping a documentary.

The concerns about Giuliani’s trip to Kiev were so pronounced that they reached officials close to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, who were advised by Americans and politicians in Ukraine not to meet with Giuliani when he was in town, according to an individual familiar with those conversations.

The president’s attorney, who has been defiant in the face of criticism for his prior efforts to target the Bidens, was similarly unmoved by the idea that his current expedition was both unseemly and unwise, the news outlet said.

“I would hope they have more important things to do than intrude on the work being done by a lawyer defending his client against another set of false and contrived charges,” Giuliani told The Daily Beast last Wednesday, while still overseas.

Research contact: @thedailybeast

Is your Canada Goose parka keeping you single?

December 4, 2019

When it comes to potential partners, Lily Primamore, 28, considers herself pretty “non-judgmental.”

“I love everyone,” Primamore, who works at a gallery in New York City’s Soho, told The Daily Beast. Well, except. . .

“If you came to me and said, ‘Hey Lily, I’m going to set you up on a blind date,’” Primamore suggested, “And I went and saw someone sitting across from me in a Canada Goose coat, I would have to ask: ‘How would you feel if Freddy Krueger was sitting at [your] table?’ I’m going to have to go the other way, no thank you.”

Primamore, who has been vegan for about a year, loathes the trending Canadian label’s use of coyote fur trim and goose down lining, The Daily Beast reports.

What’s more, the knee-length padded parka—complete with the label’s insignia patch stamped over the right shoulder—costs over $1,000. Originally created in the 1950s as rugged outdoor gear for Canadian Rangers and other open-air workers, the parka gained instant “it” status when it was spotted on Rihanna and given away as Sundance Festival swag, the news outlet says.

But with its rise in prominence came overexposure. The perhaps inevitable backlash manifested in blogs like the now-dormant Canada Douche tumblr, which existed to publicly shame college students wearing the label. This month, the Chicago Tribune published a list of “Canada Goose alternatives: 10 ultra-warm winter coats that won’t set you back $1,000.” Animal

While at dinner a few weeks ago, a friend of The Daily Beast’s style writer Alaina Demopoulos posed the question, “What if you met someone in the summer who was perfect, but then it got cold and you realized they had a Canada Goose jacket?”

Afterward, she says she conducted “a very unscientific poll on my Instagram stories”—learning that 75% of those who answered would consider the offense a deal-breaker.

The reasons? “Animals rights [represented] the top concern, along with the coat being a major wealth flex and, to some, just plain boring.”

As Primamore asked, “What are you trying to symbolize [by wearing that brand of coat] other than being ridiculously expensive?”

“Everybody has those jackets,” Berto Calkins, 30, told The Daily Beast. “It’s kind of corny to be following that trend just because it’s expensive. You could get a different brand. Go to Zara and get a warm jacket—or worse-case scenario, layer!”

The personal trainer and nutritionist is currently coupled up, but if he were still dating, he’d pass on Canada Goose clones. “Some people buy the coat because it’s warm or whatever, but at the end of the day you’re buying it because of the branding.”

But Tedi Sarah, 32, who has been vegan for six years, takes a more measured approach, she said in an interview with the news outlet. “I’m all about living a cruelty-free lifestyle and making kinder choices for animals, people, and the planet, but there was a time when I didn’t know about these issues either,” she said. “As long as the person I’m dating is interested in learning more and open to making kinder choices, that works for me. It’s all about progress, not perfection.”

Canada Goose’s trapping methods have been meticulously documented by animal-welfare groups like PETA, which regularly stage protests outside stores, complete with fake blood strewn over cuddly coyote costumes.

This increased awareness, spurred by watchdog groups, does not seem to deter customers. Canada Goose revealed last month that its revenue increased over 27% from last year, bringing in a total of CA$249 million.

The brand has responded on its website, writing in a statement that “We do not condone any willful mistreatment, neglect, or acts that maliciously cause animals undue suffering. Our standards for sourcing and use of fur, down, and wool reflect our commitment that materials are sourced from animals that are not subject to willful mistreatment or undue harm.”

But maybe leave the parka at home on your next date. There are other ways to flaunt your six-figure salary. Or as Primamore put it, “It’s a black jacket with f**ing fur on it. You can find that from Chanel and Gucci, too.”

Research contact: @thedailybeast

John Oliver: Lindsey Graham’s defense of Trump is he’s a ‘dumb baby’

November 12, 2019

This has not been a good week so far for “Baby Trump”—either the balloon or the POTUS, The Daily Beast reported on November 11.

On November 9, as the balloon version of Baby Trump floated over throngs of college football fans in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, it was attacked, slashed, and brought to ground. (The perpetrator has since been arrested.)

Then, comedian John Oliver opened his Sunday night, November 10, broadcast of HBO’s Last Week Tonight by taking aim at South Carolina GOP Senator Lindsey Graham’s latest defense of President Donald Trump in the impeachment inquiry—which, The Daily Beast said, Oliver likened to Graham calling Trump an “idiot.”

Describing the Ukraine scandal at the heart of impeachment as “Stupid Watergate II: The Scandal That’s Like Getting a Rubber Chicken Stuck in Your Ass,” Oliver first joked about the president seemingly discovering who’s really to blame for everything by playing a clip of Trump during a recent White House lawn press gaggle.

“It’s called the swamp,” Trump yelled. “And you know what happened? And you know what I did? A big favor. I caught the swamp. I caught them all. Let’s see what happens. Nobody else could have done that but me.”

Laughing, the HBO host said this could actually be “Donald Trump at his Donald Trump-iest” as it showed the president shouting something nonsensical before bragging about how great he was at doing it.

“Nothing there made sense,” Oliver declared. “And yet you just know in two days his website will be sold out of ‘I Caught the Swamp’ hats ’cause that’s the f**king world we live in right now.”

“But that wasn’t even the most desperate defense of the president employed this week,” he added. “That honor must go to Lindsey Graham—a man whose very face looks like a nana who just found out what ‘throuples’ are.”

Graham, as Oliver noted, recently insisted that the president was “incapable of forming a quid pro quo” when it came to dangling military aid in return for Ukraine investigating his political rivals, claiming it was because the Trump policy toward Ukraine was “incoherent.”

“So wait, to be clear here, Graham’s defense has gone from ‘there was no quid pro quo’ to ‘Trump is too dumb to do one?’” Oliver wondered aloud.

The comedian quipped that the South Carolina senator is essentially saying “the president’s an idiot” before explaining why Graham’s argument was “terrifying.”

“He’s like a baby, stumbling around aimlessly in a diaper full of his own boom-boom,” Oliver concluded. “And that is why he must stay in office and retain access to the nuclear codes!”

Research contact: @thedailybeast

From Russia with love: Putin’s state media unmask whistleblower in response to Rand Paul’s request

November 7, 2019

Russia, are you listening? Standing in solidarity with Donald Trump at a rally in Kentucky on November 4, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) demanded that the media “unmask” the whistleblower whose report about the president’s alleged extortion of Ukraine had set off impeachment investigations in the U.S. House of Representatives.

While American news organizations were loath to identify the patriot who had spoken out in the interest of national security, Kremlin-controlled state media promptly jumped on Paul’s request, The Daily Beast reported on November 6.

Very quickly after Senator Paul tweeted out an article that speculated in considerable detail about the identity of the whistleblower—with a photograph, a name, and details about the purported political history of a CIA professional—Russian state media followed suit, the news outlet said.

As if on cue, Putin’s state news organizations—TASS, RT, Rossiya-1—disseminated the same information. But unlike Rand Paul, one of the Russian state media outlets didn’t seem to find the source—Real Clear Investigations—to be particularly impressive, and claimed falsely that the material was published originally by The Washington Post.

This was the most egregious—but certainly not the only example—of Kremlin-funded media cheerleading for Trump’s fight against impeachment as proceedings against him continue to unfold with growing speed, The Daily Beast reported. Immediately, the talking heads on Fox News picked up on Trump’s talking points—and they also have been echoed across the pond, albeit with a tinge of irony.

“Have you lost your minds that you want to remove our Donald Ivanovych?” asked Russian TV journalist Vladimir Soloviev, the host of the show Evening with Vladimir Soloviev.

“They say Trump is making Russia great. That’s basically accurate,” pointed out Karen Shakhnazarov, CEO of Mosfilm Studio and a prominent fixture on Russian state television. “The chaos brought by Trump into the American system of government is weakening the United States. America is getting weaker and now Russia is taking its place in the Middle East. Suddenly, Russia is starting to seriously penetrate Africa… So when they say that Trump is weakening the United States—yes, he is. And that’s why we love him… The more problems they have, the better it is for us.”

For his part, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a Russian client whose regime teetered on the brink of collapse only to be saved definitively by Trump’s chaotic approach to the Middle East, recently said that “President Trump is the best type of president for a foe.”

Research contact: @thedailybeast

The face is familiar: When you have a doppelgänger

October 29, 2019

We’ve all experienced it in some way before—either as the person who learns that he or she has a “double” somewhere in the same city; or as the one who mistakes a stranger on the street for a friend or family member. “OMG! I saw your doppelgänger today.” Or, “You look exactly like this friend of mine.”

It is intriguing to think that we may not be unique. After all, how much could someone you’ve never met really resemble you, right?!

You’d be surprised, according to a report by the The Daily Beast.

Canadian photographer François Brunelle, who has been compared by his friends to comedic actor Rowan Atkinson—most famously known as Mr. Bean—spent 12 years tracking down real-life doppelgängers—individuals who are not related, but could pass for identical twins—and photographing them. His project is called the I’m Not a Look-Alike series.

A student of the human face since his early days as a photographer in 1968, Brunelle’s work reflects his fascination with “the resemblance between look-alikes” and his “ongoing effort to capture the elusive human soul.”

 The project began with people that he knew, the news outlet says. Friends first made suggestions of people who looked eerily alike, and then word spread, leading to people he didn’t know reaching out. Eventually, Brunelle set up a website which, after it was featured in the media, resulted in thousands upon thousands of submissions pouring into the artist’s inbox from people who claim to know two people who could pass as doppelgängers.

“I received a letter from a guy who met [his] look-alike one day on the beach,” Brunelle told The Daily Beast of one of his submissions. “They became friends, but the other person lives on the other side of the world.”

Setting the stage for the shoots is quite simple. Brunelle gives his subjects few instructions other than to come dressed in plain, solid-colored clothing void of graphics and labels. His goal is to have as little a hand as possible in conveying their resemblance.

The original goal was 200 pairs of doppelgängers, a number that he already has exceeded, the news outlet reports. His results are extraordinary—but what is even more astonishing is the parallel lives that many of them lead.

The Daily Beast relates the story of how, in 2004, Brunelle was introduced to two women through a mutual friend. Nina Singh and Anna Rubin were born in separate cities and raised by completely different biological parents hours apart from each other. The birthday that they share, just hours apart, is only the beginning in a long string of similarities—both of the women moved to Montreal to study dance, they have similar tattoos from the same tattoo parlor, and they unknowingly lived in the same apartment complex.

In another instance of eerie similarity, two Canadian men—one who works in advertising, the other as a popular television sports anchor—were brought together after years of being mistaken for each other. “The advertising guy would go out to restaurants and would be asked for his autograph all the time,” Brunelle says. “But he would have to explain that he wasn’t who they thought he was. People still didn’t believe him!”

When the two men finally met face-to-face, their baldness and fondness for facial hair wasn’t the only thing they had in common. Turns out, both men are married to women named Francine and have sons of similar ages.

Through Brunelle’s project, they were finally able to meet each other, and have since become close pals, The Daily Beast reports. “These people, they became friends and now they go out together with their wives and have a good time. They are like family now,” Brunelle says.

When presented with Brunelle’s photos, it’s shocking how identical the pairs seem to be. It is only upon closer inspection that the eye stops comparing the similarities between the two, and starts to decipher the differences, which Brunelle finds the most fascinating.

“I realized what’s interesting about the photos,” he said, “is not that they look exactly alike, it’s the fact that they don’t.” The mind starts to pick up on subtle differences. The nose, mouth, eyes, and ears, something is always different, but there is still a bizarre similarity. “If they looked completely identical, that would just be boring.”

Research contact: @thedailybeast

Times of London: Trump personally called Boris Johnson in effort to discredit Mueller report

October 3, 2019

Say what? Just days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson took office last July, President Donald Trump telephoned his ‘mini-me” to ask for help in discrediting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, The Times of London reported on October 2.

Trump is said to have called Johnson on July 26—two days after the prime minister assumed residency at 10 Downing Street—and to have asked the British PM for help in gathering evidence to undermine the investigation into his campaign’s links to Russia.

The Daily Beast noted on Wednesday the call was placed just one day after Trump spoke to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in the phone call that sparked the impeachment proceedings against him.

Trump also contacted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison for help with an investigation into the origins of the Mueller inquiry. The Times  said.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr arrived in London days after Trump’s call with Johnson to attend a meeting of the so-called Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance. Barr allegedly informed British officials that he suspected the source of the information that led to the Mueller investigation was British intelligence agencies.

Research contact: @thetimes

Out of sight, top of mind: Whistleblower complaint squelched by Trump or an associate, Schiff says

September 23, 2019

It’s an open secret inside the Beltway that President Donald Trump is intent on blocking every point of access to the “credible and urgent” whistleblower report received by Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire earlier this month.

And while the House Intelligence Committee refuses to be deterred, a closed-door meeting on September 19 with the intelligence community’s Inspector General, Michael Atkinson—who received the report in August and intended to act upon it—yielded little to nothing.

Indeed, according to a report by The Daily Beast members of Congress told reporters that they learned no substantive details about the whistleblower’s complaint during their hearing with Atkinson.

The only facts divulged to date are that the president made a “promise” during a phone call to an unknown foreign leader—and that the subject of the complaint “relates to one of the most significant and important of the DNI’s responsibilities to the American people.”

Only minutes after the conclusion of the closed-door session,  The New York Times reported that the IG told members of the House Intelligence Committee that the complaint related to “multiple acts”—far exceeding the scope of a single alleged conversation with a foreign leader.

But specifics of the complaint—and even public confirmation that it concerns actions by the president—are still being withheld from Congress, committee members said.

Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-California) told reporters after the briefing that he believes the details of the complaint—which would normally be shared with Congress—are being suppressed, either by President Trump himself, or by someone “close” to him and “above the pay grade” of Maguire.

“I don’t think this is a problem of the law,” Schiff said, according to The Daily Beast, adding, “The problem lies elsewhere. And we’re determined to do everything we can to determine what this urgent concern is, to make sure that the national security is protected and to make sure that this whistle-blower is protected.”

Fellow House Intelligence member Representative Jackie Speier (D-California) told reporters that “we’ve got a very grave situation on our hands. The standard that has to be met by the IG… urgent, is talking about fire, as he referred to it.”

“This whistleblower has done everything according to the book,” Speier said. “And the potential for reprisals for this whistleblower are great”

In the five weeks preceding the complaint’s filing, The Daily Beast said, Trump had conversations with at least five foreign leaders, including President Vladimir Putin of Russia, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the emir of Qatar.

Legally, such a complaint must involve mismanagement, waste, abuse, or a danger to intelligence operations or public safety, or relate to an intelligence activity that violates U.S. law.

Research contact: @thedailybeast