MoJo Author Feeds: James West | Mother Jones Mother Jones logo en Seriously, It Looks Like TrumpTV Just Launched <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>There's a "news crawl," broadcast graphics, pretty decent audio, campaign ads, and a 200,000-plus audience. As the candidates prepared for a monumental political tussle on-stage in Las Vegas for the third and final presidential debate, Donald Trump posted this Facebook Live video, with the accompanying <a href="" target="_blank">comment</a>: "If you&rsquo;re tired of biased, mainstream media reporting (otherwise known as Crooked Hillary&rsquo;s super PAC), tune into my Facebook Live broadcast." Is this the start of Trump TV?</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="315" scrolling="no" src=";show_text=0&amp;width=560" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" width="560"></iframe></p></body></html> Politics Video 2016 Elections Donald Trump Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:57:36 +0000 James West 317041 at A Parliament in Australia Just Passed a Motion Declaring Trump a "Revolting Slug" <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Just after the damning <em>Access Hollywood </em>tape dropped last week, my mom called from my family home in Sydney to tell me that Donald Trump was a "sleaze." Such was the power of the tape: My polite and lovely mom never uses such strong language in referring to political figures.</p> <p>She's not alone. Along with the rest of the world, Australians are fiercely monitoring the US campaign for signs of impending global apocalypse. Every morning I awake to an antipodean surge of concern from friends and family on social media, built up over the previous night. But the outrage isn't restricted to Facebook or private conversations.</p> <p>Trump creates drama everywhere, even halfway around the world in Australia, where issues of race, immigration and the threat of terror are equally divisive and galvanizing for the electorate. Australian politicians have been forced to declare their views on Trump in media appearances. This week, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a conservative, <a href="" target="_blank">appeared to defend Trump</a>, telling a radio show that Trump's policies were "reasonable enough" and his supporters were "decent people." But the current prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull (who replaced Abbott in a dramatic intraparty leadership coup) called Trump's behavior on the <em>Access Hollywood </em>tape "loathsome."</p> <p>Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg <a href="http://Energy%20Minister%20Josh%20Frydenberg%20repeated%20his%20assessment%20of%20Mr%20Trump%20as%20%22a%20dropkick%22" target="_blank">called Trump "a dropkick."</a></p> <p>Brutal.</p> <p>But perhaps the most eloquent condemnation of Trump came from one of the houses of state parliament in New South Wales, which, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>BuzzFeed Australia</em></a>,<strong> </strong>just passed a unanimous motion to declare Donald Trump a "revolting slug." The motion&mdash;a symbolic declaration of sorts with no real legislative heft&mdash;was tendered by a member of the Greens Party:</p> <blockquote> <p>"I move that this house condemns the misogynistic, hateful comments made by&hellip;Mr Donald Trump, about women and minorities, including the remarks revealed over the weekend that clearly describe sexual assault&hellip;and agrees with those who have described Mr Trump as 'a revolting slug' unfit for public office," the motion read.</p> </blockquote> <p>Read the <a href="" target="_blank">full story over at BuzzFeed</a>. This from their Facebook page sums it up:</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Pasted%20image%20at%202016_10_14%2011_06%20AM.png" style="height: 967px; width: 630px;"></div> <p>It wasn't immediately clear <em>which</em> "revolting slug" the legislators had in mind. Australia is home to an <a href="" target="_blank">array of mollusks</a>. Perhaps I could suggest the giant bright pink slug&mdash;<em>Triboniophorus aff. graeffei&mdash;</em>found in the Mount Kaputar National Park in northern New South Wales:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"><br></iframe></p> <p>Meanwhile, in contrast to the US, both Prime Minister Turnbull and his parliamentary opponent, the opposition leader Bill Shorten, recently backed a <a href="" target="_blank">bipartisan declaration in favor of immigration</a>. "Australia is an immigration nation," Turnbull said. "Everyone sitting in this chamber and every Australian is a beneficiary of the diversity that is at the heart of our nation."</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Donald Trump Fri, 14 Oct 2016 16:43:50 +0000 James West 316591 at Melania Trump Breaks Silence About Her Husband’s Sexual Assault Boast <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Melania Trump issued a statement Saturday afternoon calling her husband's boastful comments about groping women "offensive" and "unacceptable"&mdash;though she didn't condemn the specific behavior that Donald Trump had bragged about.</p> <p>"The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me," read the statement, which was released by the campaign. "This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world."</p> <p>Her reaction comes just under 24 hours after the<em> Washington Post </em><a href="" target="_blank">published</a> previously unaired footage from 2005 of Donald Trump and TV host Billy Bush discussing how the GOP nominee hit on a married woman and how Trump believed he could "do anything" to women.</p> <p>Melania Trump's statement comes amid a deluge of criticism from Republican leaders, many of whom have begun to withdraw their endorsements for the nominee and call for him to drop out of the race. You can see the growing list of dissenters <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Melania calls Trump's remarks "unacceptable" and "offensive". Asks voters to forgive him as she has. <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; Alan Rappeport (@arappeport) <a href="">October 8, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> Politics Sat, 08 Oct 2016 19:30:37 +0000 James West 316086 at Paul Ryan Just Let Fly About Donald Trump <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement Friday night condemning Donald Trump's 2005 comments about groping women. Ryan said he was "sickened" by the video, <a href="" target="_blank">published by <em>The Washington Post</em></a> on Friday evening, and said the GOP nominee would no longer join him for an event Saturday morning:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Paul Ryan disinvited Trump from his Wisconsin event tomorrow <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; Reid J. Epstein (@reidepstein) <a href="">October 8, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p class="rteleft">Earlier, Trump dismissed the video as "locker room banter" and claimed Bill Clinton has said "far worse" things.</p> <p>Also this evening, 2012 GOP nominee&nbsp;Mitt Romney&nbsp;weighed in:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Hitting on married women? Condoning assault? Such vile degradations demean our wives and daughters and corrupt America's face to the world.</p> &mdash; Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) <a href="">October 8, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> Politics Donald Trump Sat, 08 Oct 2016 01:46:41 +0000 James West 316056 at The Republicans Just Declared Mike Pence the Winner—Over an Hour Before the Debate <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Well, this is funny. The Republican National Committee published a blog post Tuesday night declaring that their very own Gov. Mike Pence had won the vice presidential debate.</p> <p>The only problem? The debate hadn't started yet.</p> <p>"The consensus was clear after the dust settled, Mike Pence was the clear winner of the debate," the post read.</p> <p>The post&mdash;obviously&mdash;was taken down pretty quickly, but not before being spotted, and mocked mercilessly, on Twitter:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">RNC declares Mike Pence the winner and Hillary Clinton the loser of the VP <a href="">#debate</a>, which starts in 90 minutes. <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) <a href="">October 4, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Congratulations to Mike Pence on already being declared the winner by the RNC! <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) <a href="">October 4, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Wed, 05 Oct 2016 00:23:46 +0000 James West 315746 at Bombshell New York Times Report Reveals Details From Donald Trump's 1995 Tax Records <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><em>The New York Times</em> <a href=";action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;clickSource=story-heading&amp;module=a-lede-package-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news" target="_blank">dropped a bombshell of an investigation Saturday night</a> when it published fragments from Donald Trump's 1995 tax return.</p> <p>Tax experts hired by the <em>Times</em> said that the $916 million dollars in operating losses listed by Trump in the 1995 document may have allowed him to avoid paying federal taxes over a possible 18-year period.</p> <p>A lawyer for Donald Trump threatened the <em>Times</em> with "prompt initiation of appropriate legal action," declaring the publication of the GOP nominee's records illegal. Trump's campaign itself responded to the report by issuing a statement that read, in part: "Mr. Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Trump campaign statement contains a lot of words. None of them dispute anything in the NYT story. <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; Matt Viser (@mviser) <a href="">October 2, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>More detail here:</p> <blockquote> <p class="story-body-text story-content" data-para-count="638" data-total-count="1727">The $916 million loss certainly could have eliminated any federal income taxes Mr. Trump otherwise would have owed on the <a href="">$50,000 to $100,000 he was paid for each episode of "The Apprentice,"</a> or the roughly $45 million he was paid between 1995 and 2009 when he was chairman or chief executive of the publicly traded company he created to assume ownership of his troubled Atlantic City casinos. Ordinary investors in the new company, meanwhile, saw the value of their shares plunge to 17 cents from $35.50, while scores of contractors went unpaid for work on Mr. Trump's casinos and casino bondholders received pennies on the dollar.</p> <p class="story-body-text story-content" data-para-count="411" data-total-count="2138" id="story-continues-2">"He has a vast benefit from his destruction" in the early 1990s, said one of the experts, Joel Rosenfeld, an assistant professor at New York University's Schack Institute of Real Estate. Mr. Rosenfeld offered this description of what he would advise a client who came to him with a tax return like Mr. Trump's: "Do you realize you can create $916 million in income without paying a nickel in taxes?"</p> </blockquote> <p class="story-body-text story-content" data-para-count="411" data-total-count="2138">The <em>Times</em> says the documents were mailed to one of its reporters. The envelope's return address, according to the <em>Times</em>, claimed it was sent from Trump Tower. Each of the pages sent to the newspaper listed the names and social security numbers for Trump and his then-partner, Marla Maples. The <em>Times</em> then verified the documents with Jack Mitnick, who handled Trump's tax returns at the time.</p> <p class="story-body-text story-content" data-para-count="411" data-total-count="2138">Trump has continually refused to release his tax returns, and the issue came up again <a href="" target="_blank">during last Monday's presidential debate</a>. Trump regularly defends himself by saying that an IRS audit prevents him from releasing the records. (The IRS <a href="" target="_blank">says</a> Trump is free to make his documents public.)</p> <p class="story-body-text story-content" data-para-count="411" data-total-count="2138">Read the full report and see the original documents <a href=";action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;clickSource=story-heading&amp;module=a-lede-package-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news" target="_blank">over at <em>The New York Times</em></a><em>.</em></p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Donald Trump Sun, 02 Oct 2016 01:36:31 +0000 Kanyakrit Vongkiatkajorn and James West 315461 at Next Week's New Yorker Cover Goes After Trump in the Most Perfect Way Possible <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><em>The New Yorker</em> this morning gave us a sneak peak at next week's cover, and boy it's a keeper.</p> <p>A little cursory context if you don't get it: In the closing minutes of Monday's presidential debate, Hillary Clinton called out Donald Trump for his poor treatment of women. Clinton said Trump called 1996 Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado, from Venezuela and now an American citizen, "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeper." (Trump didn't deny the language he used, and in fact <a href="" target="_blank">doubled down on his attack against the former beauty queen</a> the next day by saying, "She gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem.")</p> <p>The punchline of <em>The New Yorker </em>cover, of course, is classic role reversal: a portly Trump as the pageant winner, struggling to maintain dignity while balancing a tiara and holding back tears on a runway under intense scrutiny.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">An early look at next week's cover, &ldquo;Miss Congeniality,&rdquo; by Barry Blitt: <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; The New Yorker (@NewYorker) <a href="">September 29, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> Media Donald Trump Media Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:22:31 +0000 James West 315261 at Hillary Clinton Just Eviscerated Trump Over His Tax Returns <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Hillary Clinton took her rival Donald Trump to task tonight, during the first presidential debate of the general election, for not releasing his tax returns. During a particularly spirited early exchange, Clinton targeted Trump for his claim that he could not release his returns because he was under audit&mdash;and for questions surrounding about <a href="" target="_blank">how much in federal taxes he has actually paid over the years</a>. "Maybe he&rsquo;s not as rich as he says he is," Clinton said.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Clinton: No reason to believe Trump will ever release tax returns, he must be hiding something <a href="">#debates</a> <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; CNBC (@CNBC) <a href="">September 27, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> Politics Video 2016 Elections Tue, 27 Sep 2016 02:08:50 +0000 James West 314976 at We Talked to New Yorkers on the Block That Was Bombed About Who Will Make America Safe Again <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>New Yorkers are practical. "It would have been awesome to see a dumpster go flying across the street. I would have paid to see that," Chelsea office worker Matthew Swope told me, deadpan, as we stood near to where a bomb detonated on Saturday night, injuring 29 people and triggering a manhunt across two states. "What else are you going to do?"</p> <p>Residents and workers along 23rd Street near 7th Avenue were getting on with life Monday<strong> </strong>afternoon, as police oversaw a complicated crime scene nearby. Meanwhile, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump engaged in a war of words over terrorism, and over who would make Americans feel safer. "They are looking to make this into a war against Islam, rather than a war against jihadists, violent terrorists," Clinton said about potential terrorists attacking America. "The kinds of rhetoric and language Mr. Trump has used is giving aid and comfort to our adversaries."</p> <p>Trump, on the other hand, blamed immigration: "These attacks, and many others, were made possible because of our extremely open immigration system."</p> <p>Residents and workers in Chelsea, however, completely rejected Trump's hardline immigration policy as a solution to future terrorist attacks. "Of course, Clinton&mdash;I feel that she can do a better job of protecting us," Swope said. "She has a much more level-headed personality."</p> <p>Jane Nelson, who was visiting a friend in Chelsea, was even blunter: "He knows nothing."<a href="#correction">*</a></p> <p id="correction"><em>Correction: A previous version of this post misidentified the person who said "He knows nothing."</em></p></body></html> Politics Video Donald Trump Mon, 19 Sep 2016 23:00:14 +0000 James West 314386 at Melania Trump's Photographer Just Made Her Immigration Story Even More Confusing <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Melania Trump released a letter Wednesday morning from a top immigration lawyer denying there were any problems with her immigration record. Questions about the Slovenia-born model's status have persisted ever <a href="" target="_blank">since the <em>New York Post </em>published a racy photo spread in July</a>, reportedly shot in Manhattan in 1995,<strong> </strong>raising the possibility that Trump worked without proper authorization in the United States before securing a work visa.</p> <p>Donald Trump's campaign originally promised that his wife would host a press conference to answer reporters' questions about her immigration status, but that never happened. She took to Twitter instead.</p> <p>"I am pleased to enclose a letter from my immigration attorney which states that, with 100% certainty, I correctly went through the legal process when arriving in the USA," Trump <a href="" target="_blank">wrote on Twitter</a> on Wednesday morning. She accompanied her update with a signed letter from Michael Wildes, an immigration attorney who has previously represented <a href="" target="_blank">Trump Models</a>, the mogul's New York modeling agency, and secured visas for models appearing in Trump's Miss Universe pageants.</p> <p>"Contrary to published reports, Mrs. Trump never worked in the United States in 1995 because she was never in the United States in 1995," Wildes wrote in the letter. "Mrs. Trump's first entry to the United States was on August 27, 1996."</p> <p>According to the account, Trump first arrived in the United States on a visitor's visa and then quickly qualified for an H-1B visa, which allowed her to work legally in the United States beginning on October 18, 1996. "The allegation that she participated in a photo shoot in 1995 is not only untrue, it is impossible," Wildes noted. "In reality, through an interview with Mrs. Trump, we ascertained that the photo shoot in question did not occur until after she was admitted to the United States in H-1B visa status in October 1996." Melania Trump's Twitter post was not accompanied by any further documentation.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="und"><a href=""></a></p> &mdash; MELANIA TRUMP (@MELANIATRUMP) <a href="">September 14, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>But the letter released today does not answer all the questions about Melania Trump's immigration story. For example:</p> <p><strong>1. When, exactly, was Melania Trump's <em>Max Magazine</em> Manhattan photo shoot?</strong></p> <p>Melania Trump's letter contradicts the first account of the French photographer of the photo series, Jarl Ale de Basseville, <a href=";shared=email">who told the <em>New York Post </em>in August</a> that the shoot occurred at his Manhattan apartment-studio in 1995. The nude pictures appeared in the January 1996 issue of <em>Max Magazine</em>, <a href=";shared=email">according to the <em>New York Post</em></a><em>&mdash;</em>several months before Trump officially immigrated to the United States on her work visa.</p> <p>But now the photographer says he can't remember when exactly the shoot took place. When <em>Mother Jones</em> reached de Basseville on the phone in Paris on Wednesday, he flatly denied that it had happened in 1995.</p> <p>Instead, he insisted the photos were taken in 1996 around Union Square in Manhattan, though he could not remember the month. "I've done more than 100,000 photos in my life," he explained, acknowledging, "It's complicated with me." But he was clear that the shoot occurred "in 1996 for sure." (He remembers the year because he was having a fight with his ex-wife at the time about his work and travel. "So I remember, because it's drama, you know?")</p> <p>He also said the magazine in question, <em>Max Magazine</em>, came out in "early 1997," not in January 1996, as originally reported by the <em>New York Post</em>. "I can't answer for the <em>New York Post</em>," he said. "They made a mistake."</p> <p>"There are so many lies, what are we to believe or not believe?" he said. <em>Mother Jones</em> reached out to the expos&eacute;'s author at the <em>Post</em>, Isabel Vincent, for a response, but did not hear back.</p> <p>The <em>Post </em>originally <a href="" target="_blank">reported</a> that the edition with Melania Trump's risqu&eacute; photos featured Cindy Crawford on its cover. <a href="">But that edition came out in February, 1997</a>. (Crawford was not on the <a href="">cover of the January 1996</a> magazine.)</p> <p><strong>2. Why did Melania Trump say she returned to Slovenia every "few months" to renew her visa when her lawyer says she didn't need to?</strong></p> <p>Today's letter from Wildes says that at the time, the work visa known as the H-1B was capped at one year for Slovenian citizens, requiring Trump to make yearly trips back to her home country to renew the permit. She did this, according to the letter, five times.</p> <p>Previously, Trump has said that she followed immigration rules, and that after her arrival in the United States she returned home "every few months" to renew her visa&mdash;something she would not have had to do if she'd had an annual work authorization.</p> <p>"It's a little vague," said immigration attorney Pankaj Malik, a partner at New York-based Ballon, Stoll, Bader &amp; Nadler who has worked on immigration issues for more than two decades. "If everything is accurate, why don't you just put in copies of her approval notices? Then release the documents."</p> <p>Wildes' version also contradicts earlier statements by Trump's original modeling agent in the United States, Paolo Zampolli, who told the <em>Los Angeles Times</em> in August that he hired her to come to New York from Milan&mdash;and secured work approval for three years, not one. The <em>Los Angeles Times</em> <a href="" target="_blank">reported</a> that Zampolli "helped her obtain an H1-B visa, which allowed her to stay in the U.S. for three years and do modeling work."</p> <p><strong>3. How did Melania Trump get her green card? </strong></p> <p>Not by marriage, according to Wildes.</p> <p>Wildes originally <a href="" target="_blank">told</a> <em>Univision</em> in August that Trump obtained a green card in 2001, "based on marriage," even though she married Donald four years later.</p> <p>But today's letter from Wilde now corrects his earlier statement: "Mrs. Trump self-sponsored for a green card as a model of 'extraordinary ability,' and on March 19, 2001 she was admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident."</p> <p>On the campaign trail, Donald Trump has railed against the H-1B program and those who he says abuse it. "I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program," the GOP nominee <a href="">said</a> in March. "No exceptions."</p> <p><strong>UPDATE Wednesday September 14, 2016, 6:20 p.m. EST: </strong>The <em>New York Post</em> has <a href="" target="_blank">updated</a> its original story about Melania Trump's <em>Max Magazine</em> photospread: "Photographer Al&eacute; de Basse&shy;ville later told The Post that he misspoke, and the photo session actually took place in 1996 in Manhattan, and appeared in a 1997 issue of the magazine."</p></body></html> Politics Wed, 14 Sep 2016 22:04:28 +0000 James West 313946 at