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Posted by Catherine Trautwein

Anthony Scaramucci, President Donald Trump’s pick to become his new communications director, once called Trump a “hack politician” and said his rhetoric was “anti-American.”

“I’ll tell you who he’s going to be President of, you can tell Donald I said this, the Queens County Bullies Association,” Scaramucci said on Fox Business Channel in August of 2015 in response to Trump’s comments about “hedge fund guys paying nothing” in taxes.

Scaramucci said other politicians shied away from attacking Trump for fear he would call them out in the media. But he told Trump to “bring it,” adding that “I’m not a politician.”

“You’re an inherited-money dude from Queens County,” Scaramucci said of Trump.

Scaramucci later went on to become one of the Trump campaign’s economic advisers.

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Posted by Ashley Hoffman

Even Sean Spicer’s resignation became a meme.

As the White House press secretary announced he was leaving Friday, his resignation quickly became a flash point for online fun, but it was far from the first time he’d lit up the internet.

During his six months in the Trump Administration, Spicer’s combative press conferences, goofy fumbles and brash assertions of questionable truth became fodder for jokes, including a memorable parody on “Saturday Night Live” by actress Melissa McCarthy.

Here are 10 memorable Sean Spicer memes.

When he unforgettably defended the crowd size at Trump’s inauguration, social media users had him on that one with all the jokes.

From his statement, his definitive closer “period” was particularly useful for the internet to joke about untrue statements.

His morning tweet that looked like it could have been a password sparked a ton of interest from social media users who had a field day with the gaffe. It ended up not being all that official, according to Newsweek, and the situation was quickly rectified.

Someone discovered his Venmo account and everyone started pumping him for money on the platform and posting their best trolling efforts.

Just for having his upside down pin, a universal symbol of distress, people wondered if the rotated accessory signaled he wanted out in a stealth way, or perhaps it was just a nod to the dark Netflix political drama House of Cards.

The BBC dad’s interview rocked the internet thanks to his cute kids bursting in. But the Daily Show knew what it needed: a dash of Spice.

Wearing a kelly green tie for St. Patrick’s Day may have been a traditional move, but with it he gave the internet the perfect canvas for its favorite grand tradition: projecting everything it wanted to see.

Amid the online fallout resulting from the trio of blunders — Pepsi’s tone-deaf Kendall Jenner ad, United Airlines’ overbooking crisis and Sean Spicer’s incorrect Hitler comments — comedian Chris Melberger created a meme that perfectly encapsulated the trifecta of missteps.

As soon as New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski popped into his domain with an offer to tap in a kind of fight: the daily face-off with the fourth estate, Spicer’s legitimate surprise at the entrance took off.

This time, the Press Secretary became a meme without uttering a single word. Spicer made headlines after a disputed report that Spicer “hid in” — correction — huddled among a clump of bushes with his staff, after President Donald fired FBI Director James Comey. The internet was quick to come through with all the shrubbery-themed comedy.

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Posted by Cady Lang

Most people associate Will Smith with his eponymous character on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air; however, thanks to a recent photo of the Bright actor bungee jumping, fans now think that he bears a striking resemblance to a character on the show, Uncle Phil.

Smith isn’t oblivious to the viral photo and in fact, sees his trending status as a new way to bond with fans in the Instagram era.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Smith waxed eloquent about being compared to Uncle Phil and his photo going viral.

“It is such a new world,” he said. “I released my first record in ’86, so I’m over 30 years in the business. My first album there were no CDs, so it wasn’t until my second album, and they came like these hot new things called CDs. Seeing that transition, essentially the fans being more and more involved in the creative process. In terms of movie stars, it’s a huge difference. It’s like you almost can’t make new movies stars anymore.”

Smith elaborated on this change in celebrity culture by pointing to the difference the Internet has made when it comes to reaching fans.

“It’s like there’s a certain amount of privacy and there was a certain amount of distance that you had from the audience, and only on July 4th did you have access. So that amount of access created this bigger-than-life kind of thing. But in the shift into this new world, it’s almost like a friendship with the fans. The relationship is less like the time of Madonna, Michael Jackson, when you could make the Tom Cruise these gigantic figures, because you can’t create that anymore. The shift is to ‘we’re best friends,’ and that’s like with the comments and with those pictures and all that. I love trying to make that shift and make that transition into the new demands of the fans in this business.”

See the photo that sparked the fan frenzy below.

[syndicated profile] cnn_feed
President Donald Trump has sent some pretty strong signals that his next target is special counsel Robert Mueller. During his recent New York Times interview, the President suggested that there are conflict-of-interest problems in Mueller's office. Both The New York Times and The Washington Post reported Thursday evening that Trump's revamped legal team is exploring ways to undercut Mueller by pursuing these allegations of conflicts of interest and exploring how the President could use his pardoning powers.


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Special counsel Robert Mueller has asked the White House to preserve all documents relating to the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort had with a Russian lawyer and others, according to a source who has seen the letter.


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Posted by filthy light thief

Aphex Twin recently launched a countdown on his website. It began on the same day he performed at Field Day festival in London, where he sold a mysterious 12" and, for the first time in his career, live-streamed his set. And then he dropped the biggest bomb: an expanded collection of the Richard D. James releases since 1991, even pulling from some of his alternate alias side projects (AFX, Polygon Window, The Tuss, etc). You can buy FLAC or MP3s, or use the embedded streaming audio player with unlimited access to the entire catalog, and there's still more to come...


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Posted by Katie Reilly

New York hedge fund executive Anthony Scaramucci has been named White House communications director. The decision, controversial among White House staffers, caused White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer to resign from his post Friday morning.

Here’s what to know about Scaramucci as he steps into his new role:

He comes from Wall Street

Scaramucci studied economics at Tufts University and graduated from Harvard Law School, before going on to work for Goldman Sachs, where he became a vice president in private wealth management. He later worked at Lehman Brothers and left in 2005 to launch SkyBridge Capital, a hedge fund investment firm.

In January, he sold his stake in the company to RON Transatlantic and Chinese billionaire Chen Feng’s HNA Group — a decision that raised questions about potential conflicts of interest as he was considered for White House posts.

He was a fundraiser and surrogate for the Trump campaign

Scaramucci, who served on Trump’s presidential transition team, has been one of Trump’s biggest defenders, appearing frequently as a surrogate on cable TV shows both during and after the campaign.

He said he was offered a White House job in January and sold his company, SkyBridge Capital, to work in the Trump administration, but “the job didn’t materialize.”

He has since been vocal about his continued willingness to work for the White House. “I am ready to serve,” Scaramucci said in remarks at the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference in Las Vegas in May, according to Bloomberg. “And so to the extent the President needs me, I will be available to him.”

His selection divided White House staffers

Spicer had been acting as both press secretary and communications director at the White House since Mike Dubke resigned from the communications role in May. Sacaramucci was serving as senior vice president and chief strategy officer at the U.S. Export-Import Bank, when he was selected to take over the vacant communications director role.

Spicer resigned on Friday morning in objection to Trump’s decision to hire Scaramucci as communications director. The appointment was also opposed by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon. Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, supported the choice of Scaramucci, the New York Times reported.

“It’s been an honor & a privilege to serve @POTUS @realDonaldTrump & this amazing country. I will continue my service through August,” Spicer said in a tweet Friday afternoon.

A President Trump Staff Shake-Up

Jul. 21st, 2017 05:37 pm
[syndicated profile] timemagazine_feed

Posted by Zeke J Miller

Another day, two White House shake-ups.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer abruptly resigned Friday morning after President Trump made clear his intent to hire former hedge fund executive Anthony Scaramucci as his next communications director. Spicer, who felt he was being layered-over by someone unqualified for the job, announced he was quitting as a result. Scaramucci, a Trump defender on television and Twitter, had been considered for several other White House posts—and his hiring for this one was initially opposed by chief strategist Steve Bannon and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. While disappointed, neither is expected to follow Spicer out the door–and Priebus and Scaramucci have a long history together, going back to the former’s days as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Trump also shook-up his legal team late Thursday, demoting Marc Kasowitz from the post of his lead attorney and having the spokesman for his response to the Russia probe, Mark Corallo, resign. Corallo, a widely-respected communicator, had grown frustrated with the White House and Trump’s public statements on the investigation against the advice of counsel. The remaining legal team is now plotting how to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the President’s top aides.

Trump looks at pardons. Sessions isn’t going anywhere. And McCain says he’ll be back.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

Sean Spicer Resigns as White House Press Secretary
Over Anthony Scaramucci hire [TIME]

Trump Team Seeks to Control, Block Mueller’s Russia Investigation
Looking to undercut the investigation, exploring pardon power [Washington Post]

Trump Legal Team Looking to Investigate Mueller Aides
Evaluating potential conflicts of interest among members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team [Associated Press]

Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions
Special counsel examines dealings of Kushner, Manafort, Trump [Bloomberg]

Trump Reshuffling Legal Team
Spokesman quits, lead-lawyer demoted [CNN]

Sessions Won’t Resign for Now, But Gets Trump’s Message
The president’s decision to criticize his attorney general to the New York Times was intended to communicate his lingering fury [Politico]

Sound Off

“I think that the President — the point he’s trying to make is that the clear purpose of the Russia investigation is to review Russia’s meddling in the election, and that that should be the focus of the investigation. Nothing beyond that.” — White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders asked Thursday whether Trump would object to special counsel Robert Mueller expanding his investigation to Trump’s finances

“As the President said yesterday, he was disappointed in the Attorney General Session’s decision to recuse himself. But clearly he has confidence in him, or he would not be the Attorney General.” —Sanders on Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Bits and Bites

More Foreign Workers Requested By Trump’s Mar-A-Lago [BuzzFeed]

GOP Senators Take Sessions’ Side in Spat With Trump [Roll Call]

Is Everyone in Politics Writing a Tell-all? Yes [New York Times]

Trump and Putin May Have Met More Times Says Russia’s Sergei Lavrov [NBC]

Mueller asks WH staff to preserve all documents relating to June 2016 meeting [CNN]

Can President Trump Pardon Himself? [TIME]

GOP Leaders Want to Vote on Health Care Soon. But They’re Facing an Uphill Battle [TIME]

‘I’ll Be Back Soon.’ John McCain Thanks Well-Wishers After Cancer Diagnosis [TIME]

President Trump’s FBI Pick Just Cleared This Major Hurdle [Associated Press]

CBO: The Senate’s Latest Health Bill Would Leave 22 Million Uninsured [TIME]

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Posted by Daniel D’Addario

If former Apprentice star Donald Trump’s presidency can more or less be understood through the clichés of reality TV, Sean Spicer was the classic “goat.”

That is to say, if Spicer—who resigned his post as White House press secretary July 21—were on Survivor or Big Brother, he’d be the sort of contestant whose presence in the competition is good news for everyone else. If you’re a reality-TV contestant, you want to bring a goat as deep into the game as you can before cutting them loose. Unschooled in strategy, they’ll vote how you tell them, and they’re always an easy boot. Simple ineptitude is too quotidian for the goat. Such players seem, in part due to savvy editing, to be almost confused as to the rules of the game.

When he spoke on camera, Spicer did so live. So he can’t blame the editors. But the format—early in Trump’s presidency, a daily briefing that came to be must-watch TV for a certain type of news consumer—was certainly not his friend. As a character in the daily Trumpland drama, Spicer managed to make banality stand out. In suits that seemed to grip his body like a vise and with his flushing face, the press liaison rose to levels of dudgeon over petty offenses. As a TV figure, he radiated a sort of anti-charisma that gave watching him, for his detractors, a nasty, vicarious thrill. In contrast to the zenned-out sangfroid of administration figures like Kellyanne Conway and Ivanka Trump, Spicer seemed to pulsate off the screen. It was electric, strange, and very watchable. Precisely the things that candidate Trump had been.

But the cover act was being carried out by someone with specific job requirements, ones that seemed not to be met. Those in the briefing room with him did not seem to particularly enjoy the experience. Spicer’s very early argument with the press corps over the size of Trump’s inauguration audience didn’t just set a tone, it was a battering-ram. Other press secretaries cajole or trade favors, but this one, seemingly unprepared to bridge his past work experience at more traditional political gigs with a new boss’s very particular demands, convinced himself that brute force would win the game. When it didn’t, Spicer lacked the flexibility to find a new strategy, heightening a beleaguered rage-whine that had already failed to find a sympathetic ear in the mainstream media.

It’s easy to read Spicer’s performance, and now his departure, as another black eye for a presidency that’s lost substantial ground in public-opinion polling. (Certainly Melissa McCarthy’s bravura impression of Spicer on Saturday Night Live stuck in many viewers’ memories.) And yet his lack of acuity during the first six months of a presidency with very ambitious goals for reshaping America was addressed in varying ways—including by taking the briefings off-air entirely. That result would seem to neatly coincide with what would be the goals of a presidency dedicated to operating in secrecy.

The ultimate purpose of a reality TV goat, after all, is to advance the goals of those players who know what they’re doing.

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Posted by Aric Jenkins

The White House will hold an on-camera press briefing Friday afternoon, hours after former press secretary Sean Spicer resigned from his position.

Spicer’s deputy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, will conduct the conference. It will be the first on-camera White House briefing since June 29, a 22-day stretch.

Spicer had in recent weeks stepped back from conducting daily press briefings, with Sanders stepping up to handle most day-to-day interactions with the media. But Spicer decided to quit his position altogether Friday after President Donald Trump named New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director. Spicer and several others within the Administration opposed Trump’s decision.

Friday’s White House press briefing is scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m. ET. Watch it live above.

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