Posts tagged with "The Daily Beast"

Denver will get All-Star Game after MLB dumps Atlanta over voter-suppression laws

April 7, 2021

Coors Field in Denver reportedly has been chosen to host this year’s All-Star Game on July 13 after Major League Baseball decided to pull the event from Atlanta over Georgia’s new voter-suppression laws, The Daily Beast reports.

Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred issued the following statement: “”Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views. I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.

“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box. In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.”

The new, restrictive voting legislation—signed last week by Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp, imposes ID requirements for absentee ballots; and makes it illegal to approach voters to give them food and water as they wait in line to cast their ballots.

Although the move hasn’t been officially confirmed, leaders in Colorado already are buzzing with excitement that the game might be coming back to Denver for the first time since 1998, The Daily Beast notes.

Democratic Colorado Governor Jared Polis said: “I’m excited and hopeful that Major League Baseball makes the best decision and formally chooses to play the 2021 All-Star game in Denver.”

Research contact: @thedailybeast

Daily Beast: Harry and Meghan did not have a secret backyard wedding

March 25, 2021

A bizarre claim made by Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, during her March 7 interview with Oprah Winfrey—avowing that that she and Prince Harry had gotten married in their own backyard three days before the royal wedding—has been invalidated by The Daily Beast—which, through it’s royal correspondent Tom Sykes, offered a formal clarification this week.

Meghan, 39, said in the interview, “You know, three days before our wedding, we got married. No one knows that. The vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury.”

However, a spokesperson for the couple conceded Monday that “the couple [only] exchanged personal vows a few days before their official/legal wedding on May 19.”

The belated admission on the record, which follows several anonymous briefings to journalists, marks the end of a tortuous saga that began when Meghan told Oprah she and Harry tied the knot “in our backyard” three days before the $50 million public wedding on May 19, 2018.

The claim was much disputed, not least because in the United Kingdom a minimum of two witnesses are needed for a legal marriage to take place.

According to The Daily Beast, others argued Meghan was merely making the point that for them that, as a couple,it was more important to make a personal than a public commitment—and that the focus on discrepancies and inaccuracies in the interview was a deliberate strategy by Meghan’s detractors to undermine her wider credibility and the specific claim that “concerns” over her baby’s likely skin color were expressed to Harry.

The formal admission to The Daily Beast that no marriage took place in advance of the official ceremony comes after the marriage certificate document was obtained by the British newspaper the Sunthe paper paid £42 (about $58) to obtain a copy from Britain’s General Register Office.

The certificate, which gives the witnesses as Prince Charles and Meghan’s mom Doria Ragland, confirmed the couple were, indeed, married on May 19, 2018, at Windsor Castle.

Stephen Borton, former chief clerk at the Faculty Office, told the Sun, “I’m sorry, but Meghan is obviously confused and clearly misinformed. They did not marry three days earlier in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

“The Special License I helped draw up enabled them to marry at St George’s Chapel in Windsor and what happened there on 19 May 2018 and was seen by millions around the world was the official wedding as recognized by the Church of England and the law.”

The certificate lists Harry as “single” and his occupation as a “Prince of the United Kingdom” and Meghan as “divorced” and an “actor.” Her dad, Thomas Markle, is described as a “lighting director” and Charles is described as a “Prince of the United Kingdom.”

The archbishop’s office has refused to comment.

The misleading claim originally made by Meghan was the cause of some disquiet. As The Daily Beast reported last week, Mark Edwards, a priest from Newcastle, said he checked with the archbishop’s office and was told that the claim that they got married in the back garden of their home may have been the result of a misunderstanding stemming from the fact that “Meghan is an American.”

Rev. Mark Edwards has told his local paper in Newcastle that he contacted Archbishop Justin Welby’s office to “get some clarity” on the claim after the couple mentioned it in their Oprah Winfrey interview.

He said he was motivated in part to do so because he has been flooded with requests for private or outdoor weddings during lockdown that he has not been able to fulfill, because the law states that Church of England weddings must take place in “a certified place of worship” and cannot be conducted outside.

Edwards said the person he spoke to told him, “Justin had a private conversation with the couple in the garden about the wedding, but I can assure you, no wedding took place until the televised national event.”

Edwards said it was “in the public interest for the leader of the church to put the record straight.”

Now that Meghan’s people have done so, the infinitely more serious accusations of racism within the royal family can be examined with less distraction.

Research contact: @thedailybeast

Could ‘Pig Royalty’ be the new Kardashians? Inside reality TV’s wild new show

March 22, 2021

The final season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians began on March 18—but don’t despair: There’s a new reality show that viewers will go “hog-wild” over, The Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon reports.

The Kardashians spent 14 years transforming the genre—but as their swan-song season unfolds and they plan their next moves, viewers’ can easily shift their focus to a new class of possible reality-TV royalty. Specifically, Pig Royalty.

Fallon rhapsodizes about the new series: “Am I trolling by suggesting that the new Discovery+ series about competition pig showing in Texas might be the successor to one in which the only wrangling a family of millionaires in Calabasas has to do is of their glam squads?” he asks, then answers, “Of course. But that’s not to distract from the point that Pig Royaltywhich premieres March 23 on both the streaming service and the Discovery Channel—is an addictive delight, and certainly a descendant of the kind of television that the Kardashians have wrought.”

According to a description of the new show by Discover, audiences will enter the extreme world of pig show competitions and follow the rivalry between two unforgettable families: the Baleros, who have reigned supreme for years; and the Rihns, who want to take them down and become the next great pig dynasty. The two families traverse Texas, competing for the ultimate prizes: money; scholarships; big, shiny belt buckles that “crown” you the winner—and all the bragging rights that go with them. Don’t let the southern smiles and hospitality fool you: The stakes are high and family legacies are on the line.

The Daily Beast’s Fallon says the real, home-grown pig handlers will pull you in and leave you asking for more, noting, “The rivalries between the show’s two main competing families, there’s something Shakespearean… and Mean Girls-esque… and, when it comes to three catty sisters with their hair teased up to be closer to Jesus, yes, some definite Kardashian vibes, too. ”

“The smell of pig shit is one of a kind,” Jody Rihn, matriarch of the Rihn family and owner of one of the show’s two main teams, narrates in the pilot. “It’s not like cow shit. It’s not like dog shit. It’s got it’s own distinct smell that is awful. I don’t care how many times you wash it, the smell doesn’t go away. But it smells like money to us.”

There are tens of thousands of dollars at stake in each competition. One of the Rihn girls made $30,000 her senior year of high school from showing pigs, which she put toward college. McKayla Balero, of the rival Balero family, earned $65,000. Suddenly, the high stakes make sense.

And, oh yes, there are whispers of “juicing” pig feed to gain advantage. One of the Balero sisters is accused of sleeping with a judge.

But what the show really owes the Kardashians is the strength of the family bond that pulses through the series, Fallon says. “These are people who have likely been schooled on decades of reality TV, and they know how to give a good sound bite and drum up drama and scandal. But they also form a heartwarming, uniting front against the pressures of a surprisingly high-octane world. Sooie, bring on the pig drama.”

Research contact: @thedailybeast

Senate approves $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill after chaotic all-night debate

March 9, 2021

“This is the biggest thing that most of us have ever been involved in,” Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told The Daily Beast on Saturday afternoon, March 6—after a staggering 25 hours of debate and compromise ended in the passage on the Senate floor of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

The bill passed 50-49, along party lines—with Senator Dan Sullivan (Alaska-R) absent for a family funeral. Because the bill encompasses some modifications to the original legislation, it now will go back to the House on Tuesday for a final vote. It is expected to pass easily there, before reaching President Joe Biden’s desk for signature into law.

“The American Rescue Plan will go down as one of the most sweeping federal recovery efforts in history,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said shortly before final passage, adding that he wanted the American people to know “help is on the way. That their government is going to give them one final push to get us over the finish line.”

Biden praised the bill’s passage at the White House, saying “When we took office 45 days ago, I promised the American people help was on the way. Today I can say we’ve taken one more giant step forward in delivering on that promise, that help is on the way. Everything in this package is designed to relieve the suffering and to meet the most urgent needs of the nation and put us in a better position to prevail.”

The president reinforced, “Over 85% of American households will get direct payments of $1,400 per person.  For a typical middle-class family of four—husband and wife working, making $100,000 a year total, with three kids—they’ll get $5,600—I mean, with two kids —will get $5,600, and it’ll be on the way soon.”

According to a report by The Daily Beast, “The process wasn’t meant to be easy, but the bill’s journey to passage was downright shambolic, even by congressional standards. The Senate was in session for over 24 hours, voting, debating, and considering amendments to the mammoth legislation.”

The Daily Beast attributed much of the delay to pushback from one member, centrist Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), whose reservations about the bill’s unemployment benefits unexpectedly froze the floor for nearly 12 hours on Friday, as Democratic leadership and the White House frantically worked him to support the latest deal.

Manchin ultimately got on board with the party’s preferred amendment to the unemployment plan, which reduces monthly jobless benefits to $300; but extends them an additional month. However, he also supported a GOP plan to keep benefits at $400 but cut them off in June—an amendment that passed, but will be superseded by the Democratic plan, aides said.

The bill includes:

  • Stimulus checks of up to $1,400 for hundreds of millions of American adults and children;
  • Weekly jobless aid of $300 until September 6;
  • Child tax credit of up to $3,600 per child;
  • $130 billion for school reopenings.
  • $350 billion for state and local governments;
  • $30 billion in assistance for renters and landlords;
  • $50 billion for small businesses; and
  • $160 billion for vaccine development.

Democrats want Biden’s signature on the bill to be dry before March 14, when current pandemic unemployment benefits expire for millions of Americans. House progressives, who fought for a $15 wage and expansive benefits, have been inclined to back whatever the Senate sends them—but some found their limits tested by the power play from Manchin and moderates.

Commenting on the changes from the House bill, Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-New Jersey) asked on Twitter, “What are we doing here? I’m frankly disgusted with some of my colleagues and question whether I can support this bill.”

Internal Democratic bargaining wasn’t the only reason that the de facto March 14 deadline is closer than many Democrats would like. Staunch Republican opposition has slowed it down: On Thursday, Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconin) forced the Senate’s clerks to read every word of the nearly 700-page bill aloud on the floor—an exercise in raw obstructionism that delayed the chamber’s consideration of the bill by over 10 hours.

While past iterations of COVID relief have been largely bipartisan, Republicans have coalesced around opposing Biden’s first major legislative effort on the grounds it is too pricey, not targeted enough to the neediest people, and full of so-called “blue state bailouts” to local governments—although many Republican-run jurisdictions would receive relief funds, The Daily Beast notes.

Shortly before the voting spree, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) put the onus on Democrats for breaking the “bipartisan streak” of pandemic relief. “They are dead-set on ramming through an ideological spending spree packed with non-COVID-related policies,” he charged.

Democrats explained away their lack of GOP support by frequently citing public opinion polling showing that a bipartisan majority of Americans backed their plan. A Morning Consult/POLITICO poll from Wednesday, March3,  found that 77% of all voters, and over half of GOP voters, backed the plan, even when it was labeled as a Democratic proposal.

Research contact: @thedailybeast

Down, but not out: 11 House Republicans join with Democrats to boot Greene off committees

February 8, 2021

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) will remain in the U.S. Congress, but will not be seated on any committees, following a vote by the full House on Thursday night, February 4, The Daily Beast reports.

On Wednesday night, 61 Republican lawmakers—30% of the conference—voted in favor of Representative Liz Cheney’s removal as the third-ranking leader in the House GOP after she said that former President Donald Trump had incited the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. However, 145 voted for Cheney’s survival by secret ballot, in a move that she said “was [a] very resounding acknowledgement that we need to go forward together.”

Less than 24 hours later, nearly 100% of the GOP conference voted to keep Representative Greene (R-GA) on her committees after Democrats forced a vote on Thursday, prompted by a string of reports unearthing her past endorsement of outlandish conspiracy theories and threats of violence against top Democrats.

According to The Daily Beast, this “is the first time the majority party has stripped a minority member of their committee posts.”

Eleven Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the move: Reps. Adam Kinzinger (Illinois), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pennsylvania), John Katko (New York), Chris Jacobs (New York), Nicole Malliotakis (New York), Fred Upton (Michigan), Mario Diaz Balart (Florida), Carlos Gimenez (Florida), Maria Salazar (New York), Chris Smith (New Jersey), and Young Kim (California).

The resolution to remove Greene was approved 230-199, and the freshman from Georgia will no longer sit on the House Education and Labor or the House Budget Committees.

In a floor speech before the vote, Greene sought to distance herself from her past positions—clarifying she believes the 9/11 terror attacks were real and disavowing the QAnon conspiracy theory—while refusing to apologize or acknowledge a host of other comments and posts that have infuriated Democrats.

The vote effectively ends days of drama over what, if any, repercussions Greene might face for her mounting, outrageously offensive paper trail on social media. She was known to be an extreme conspiracy theorist even before her election, but scrutiny of her record grew after a CNN report last week that revealed that before taking office, she said recent school shootings like those in Parkland, Florida, and Las Vegas were staged “false flag” operations.

But Greene’s expulsion from committees—which ice her out from the main venue through which lawmakers do their work—figures to poison the well even further between the two parties, a month after the Jan. 6 attack that had already fomented distrust and resentment across the aisle.

Over the howls of Republicans who increasingly closed ranks around Greene, Democrats framed Thursday’s vote as an unfortunate but necessary step they had no choice but to take—because Republican leadership refused to address the outrageous past conduct of one of their own.

The second ranking House Democrat, Representative Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland), underscored the stakes of the vote when he appeared on the House floor during the debate on Thursday bearing a poster of a photo Greene posted to social media, in which she posed with a gun next to images of the progressive “Squad.”

 “When you take this vote, imagine your faces on this poster,” Hoyer said to his GOP colleagues seated on the floor. “Imagine it’s a Democrat with an AR-15. Imagine what your response would be.”

Research contact: @thedailybeast

GOP plan is ‘just not in the cards,’ Biden says during call with House Democrats

February 4, 2021

President Joe Biden has reassured House Democrats that he is committed to his COVID-19 relief package in its current form, and that—despite his “cordial” meeting with Senate Republicans on February 1—“the idea that we’re going to go out and compromise and go from a trillion-nine to six hundred billion is just not in the cards,” The Daily Beast reports exclusively.

Biden’s remarks, made on a call with House Democrats on Wednesday morning—a recording of which was obtained by The Daily Beast—represent the surest indication yet that he plans to push for passage of the American Rescue Planhis $1.9 trillion relief package to address the coronavirus pandemic and the damage it has done to the nation’s economy, through the budget reconciliation process. That process, which allows the Senate to pass budget-related legislation through a simple majority, would circumvent attempts by Republicans to filibuster the relief plan.

“We’ve got to be up to the moment,” Biden said on the call. “That’s what the American people, I think, are expecting of us, and frankly, that’s what they have a right to expect. And that’s why I’ve asked for the package proposed.”

Biden took particular exception to the Republican proposal on direct payments to cash-strapped Americans. Under his plan, direct payments would begin at $1,400 per person, as well as for dependents, gradually phasing out for individuals with a gross income of more than $75,000. Under the Republican plan, those payments would be cut to a $1,000 maximum, phasing out for individuals who made more than $40,000 in taxable income, with a $50,000 cap.

The president said that the GOP proposal would leave out almost the entire middle class, which he called a non-starter.

“Who are we helping is just as important as who’s being left out,” Biden said on the call. “I don’t think we need to be in the business of helping those folks making three hundred grand a year, but a family making 60, 70 grand, maybe 80, who’s barely hanging on, middle-class folks?”

“We want to make sure we get the poor,” Biden continued, “but we can’t leave out the middle class.”

The adjective “targeted” is most often used by the Republicans to describe a plan under which direct payments would be cut from $1,400 to $1,000 per person—phasing out for individuals who made more than $40,000 in taxable income in 2019 with a $50,000 cap, according to The Daily Beast.

Democrats have not yet outlined an income bracket where they’d limit check eligibility, but it’s likely to be more in line with the $75,000 threshold in the CARES Act, and the administration is aiming to expand eligibility to adult dependents. Given their belief that the last round of checks worked well, many Democrats see no problem in getting more money into the economy, especially with the relatively negligible dollar difference between a “targeted” plan and what they may propose.

The president’s private assurances that slashing a more than a trillion dollars from his COVID relief bill, particularly cuts to direct payments to Americans and assistance for schools to reopen their doors, “is just not in the cards” come as Democrats on Capitol Hill have been preparing to pass the relief plan with minimal Republican support.

Democrats—who owe their razor-thin majority in the Senate to victories in the Georgia runoff elections in which $2,000 stimulus checks played a key role—have already put the reconciliation process into motion. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) invoked the memory of the onset of the Great Recession as a moment when Congress was “too timid and constrained” in its response, a line that centrist Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) echoed on Tuesday morning.

“If it’s $1.9 trillion, so be it,” Manchin said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, stressing that while he wants the process to be bipartisan, he won’t stand in the way of passing much-needed relief. “If it’s a little smaller than that and we find a targeted need, then that’s what we’re going to be. I want it to be bipartisan.”

Research contact: @dailybeast

 

Last-minute Trump Administration law will enable restaurant owners to pull wait staffers’ tips

Dece4mber 24, 2020

One of the final pieces of legislation rolled out by the Trump Administration will reportedly allow restaurant bosses to save money by taking tips away from their serving staff to help pay “back-of-house staff” such as cooks and dishwashers, The Daily Beast reports.

According to Business Insider, the new rule was published on Tuesday, December 22, by the U.S. Department of Labor.

“This final rule provides clarity and flexibility for employers and could increase pay for back-of-the house workers, like cooks and dishwashers, who have been excluded from participating in tip pools in the past,” said Wage and Hour Administrator Cheryl Stanton in a statement released by the DoL. “Newly allowed tip sharing may incentivize the inclusion of these previously excluded workers and reduce wage disparities among all workers who contribute to customers’ experience.”

Restaurant managers and owners would not be permitted under the law to keep any portion of the tips for themselves.

The new rule won’t take effect until after President Donald Trump leaves the White House, so it’s possible that President-elect Joe Biden could work to rescind it. Tipped staffers can earn as little as $2.13 an hour in wages from their employer.

Research contact: @thedailybeast

Mike Pence backs away from the Trump election ‘fraud’ train wreck

December 4, 2020

Vice President Mike Pence has been a go-to fundraising draw for the president’s campaign. Indeed, during October and early November, he let no more than a day pass without sending out an email requesting a handout to support the Trump 2020 election fraud crusade, as well as the Trump 2024 re-election effort.

But that changed late last month. According to a report by The Daily Beast, since November 25, not a single fundraising email from the Trump campaign or its Republican National Committee fundraising account has featured Pence’s name in the “from” field.

And this week, that Republican National Committee joint fundraising committee, the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, made another subtle change: A handful of its emails swapped out the official Trump-Pence campaign logo for one featuring just the president’s name.

At first blush, The Daily Beast, says those may seem like minor tweaks to gimmicky portions of Team Trump’s fundraising strategy. A source familiar with the process said the fundraising emails do not go to Vice President Pence’s team for clearance and an RNC official said the digital team was merely testing a new logo around the end-of-the-month deadline. Indeed, some of the joint fundraising committee’s emails this week have included the original campaign logo with Pence’s name below Trump’s.

But several high-level sources say that the graphics change, along with Pence’s disappearance from the headers of President Donald Trump’s increasingly frantic and conspiratorial pleas, actually are not coincidental. According to four people with knowledge of the matter, they reflect an effort by the vice president and his team to distance Pence from some of the president’s more outlandish claims about a conspiracy to undermine the election and illegally deny him a second term in office.

“It is an open secret [in Trumpworld] that Vice President Pence absolutely does not feel the same way about the legal effort as President Trump does,” s a senior administration official told The Daily Beast. “The vice president doesn’t want to go down with this ship… and believes much of the legal work has been unhelpful.”

The Trump campaign declined to comment on this story. Devin O’Malley, a spokesperson for Pence, said Wednesday night, “As he has for the last four years, the vice president is proud to stand with the president—in this case to ensure every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is rejected. The Daily Beast’s anonymous sources have no real insight into what the vice president thinks on these matters.”

Research contact: @thedailybeast

Trump orders advisers to ‘go down fighting’

November 6, 2020

As Election Day turns into election week, Donald Trump has delivered a simple message to his closest political and legal advisers as they began charting a plan to challenge results in several key states: Give them a court fight that “they’ll never forget.”

The president’s remarks, relayed by two people familiar with them, came as election results seemed trending Joe Biden’s way. And for Team Trump, it was meant as a clarion call to use every possible legal resource and bit of political organizing to help re-tip the balance of the scale, The Daily Beast reported.

Trump told his advisers that, even if Biden were to claw the presidency away from him, he wanted them to “go down fighting” harder than they ever had before, one of the sources with direct knowledge said.

Goaded by White House messaging, his base responded:

The Michigan Republican Party did not return a request for comment from The Daily Beast.

Trump’s legal team—including George W. Bush campaign veteran Mark “Thor” Hearne—asked a court in Michigan to halt absentee ballot counts because it alleged its observers had not been granted full access to the tally, and were not permitted to watch video footage of “remote and unattended dropboxes.”

It brought a similar suit in Pennsylvania, fighting to stop the tabulation on the grounds that its overseers had not been allowed within 25 feet of the counting effort.

Further, Trump’s lawyers filed to enter an ongoing Supreme Court case, hoping to convince jurists on the highest bench to overturn a state policy that would allow counties to count votes postmarked on Election Day and received as late as Friday. Jay Sekulow, a personal attorney and confidant of Trump’s, is overseeing the Supreme Court effort.

“Lawyer city,” Joe Grogan, formerly a top domestic policy adviser to President Trump, said, describing the situation on Wednesday afternoon. “It’s going to be really ugly.”

Research contact: @thedailybeast

Vladimir veers left: Putin rejects Trump’s criticism of Biden family business

October 27, 2020

Russia, are you listening? Russian President Vladimir Putin said on October 25 that he saw nothing criminal in Hunter Biden’s past business ties with Ukraine or Russia—openly breaking with Donald Trump on one of the POTUS’s key attack lines in the U.S. presidential election.

Putin was responding to comments made by Trump during televised debates with Democratic challenger Joe Biden ahead of the November 3 election.

According to Reuters, the Russian leader made his position clear, saying: “[Hunter Biden] had at least one company, which he practically headed up, and judging from everything he made good money. I don’t see anything criminal about this, at least we don’t know anything about this.”

The unexpected statement of support for the Bidens “could be interpreted as the Russian president trying to offer an olive branch to Joe Biden days out from the election,” said The Daily Beast.

Trump, who is trailing in opinion polls, has used the debates to make accusations that Biden and his son Hunter engaged in unethical practices in Ukraine. No evidence has been verified to support the allegations, and Joe Biden has called them false and discredited.

Putin, who has praised Trump in the past for saying he wanted better ties with Moscow, has said Russia will work with any U.S. leader, while noting what he called Joe Biden’s “sharp anti-Russian rhetoric”.

However, in a clear effort to distance himself from Trump’s claims, the Russian leader added, “Yes, in Ukraine he (Hunter Biden) had or maybe still has a business, I don’t know. It doesn’t concern us. It concerns the Americans and the Ukrainians,” said Putin.

Putin also reacted with visible irritation when asked about comments Trump has made concerning Putin’s ties to the former mayor of Moscow, and to an alleged payment made to Hunter Biden by the ex-mayor’s widow. Putin said he knew nothing about the existence of any commercial relationship between Hunter and the woman. Joe Biden says the accusation about his son is not true.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to tilt the contest in Trump’s favour, an allegation Moscow has denied. Russia has also dismissed accusations by U.S. intelligence agencies of trying to interfere with this year’s election too.

Research contact: @Reuters