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Trump To Remain Executive Producer Of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ After Becoming President

Donald Trump

Donald Trump will continue to be credited as a co-Executive Producer of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ even after becoming President:

President-elect Donald J. Trump may have leapt from reality-show success to the highest echelons of political power.

But that does not mean he is ready to give up the reality-show part just yet.

Although Mr. Trump is not starring in NBC’s coming season of “The New Celebrity Apprentice,” the president-elect is still involved: Mr. Trump will be credited as one of the show’s executive producers, a spokeswoman for Mark Burnett, the creator of the “Apprentice” franchise, said on Thursday.

MGM, Mr. Burnett’s studio, declined to comment on what the president-elect would be paid for his participation in the new season, which will feature Arnold Schwarzenegger as the show’s power-wielding businessman. But in the past, Mr. Trump has held as much as a 50 percent stake in “The Apprentice,” and received payments from the show’s international editions and a short-lived version that starred Martha Stewart.

“Mr. Trump has a big stake in the show and conceived of it with Mark Burnett,” Hope Hicks, the president-elect’s spokeswoman, said on Thursday. Ms. Hicks confirmed that she was referring to a financial stake.

For an incoming president whose business holdings have already drawn ethical scrutiny, Mr. Trump’s continuing involvement with “The Apprentice” could spawn a new round of questions about conflicts of interest.

For NBC, which nurtured Mr. Trump’s celebrity until he left the show in 2015 to pursue a presidential bid, the fact that the president-elect stands to profit from the program could raise concerns about how a politically polarized audience may react to one of its biggest prime-time shows.

Mr. Schwarzenegger’s first episode airs on Jan. 2, and major companies, including Trident gum, Welch’s, and Carnival Cruise Line, have signed on as sponsors. NBC declined to comment on Mr. Trump’s producing credit, which was first reported by Variety.

Mr. Trump, for months, has shown a keen interest in how Mr. Schwarzenegger, a former governor of California, bodybuilder and actor, might perform as host, asking friends and even campaign crowds, “How do you think Arnold’s going to do?” During an interview in May about his history with “The Apprentice,” Mr. Trump made clear that he remained invested in the program, emotionally and otherwise.

“You know I have a big chunk of that show, going forever,” Mr. Trump said. “Mark and I did it together. We were 50-50 partners.”4

From other reports, it seems clear that Trump’s role as co-Executive Producer does not include performing any actual duties in connection with the show, nor does he appear to have had any role in the production or promotion of the show’s new season, which is set to begin after the New Year. Instead, as is common in Hollywood, he was given the credit in exchange for his role in creating the series with Mark Burnett, something which Burnett and others involved in the actual production of the show from the beginning. Additionally, this likely means that he is contractually entitled to receive some portion of the royalties and revenue from the show notwithstanding the fact that he is no longer the host. In some sense, then, this arrangement is no different than a candidate for President who wrote a book and continues to receive royalties from the sale of that book even after becoming President. This was the case for President Obama, for example, who has continued to report income from sales of the two books he wrote before becoming President every year that he’s been in office, and several Trump supporters have made analogy since this story became news late yesterday. Obviously, if Trump intends on taking some sort of active role in the show while simultaneously serving as President, then that raises questions of when exactly he’d find the time to do so. Of course, given the fact that Trump has said he intends to maintain his business holdings even after becoming President, that question is one that will hang over the Trump Administration regardless of what he does or does not do in connection with ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’

If that’s where the this ended, then this wouldn’t really cause has problems either for Trump or for anyone involved in production and broadcast of the show. However, there are several differences between this situation and the book analogy that raise conflict of interest for Trump, and for NBC/Universal, that just add to the myriad of conflicts that Trump will face once he takes office.

The primary conflict, of course, is the fact that Trump and NBC will have a financial relationship of some kind at the same time that Trump is at the the top of a government that includes agencies that could potentially be called on to investigate or regulate NBC/Universal. At the top of the list, of course, is the fact that NBC is a broadcast network and thus falls within the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission, an Executive Branch agency that Trump has the power to appoint Commissioners for. There aren’t likely to be any Trump appointees on the FCC in the first season of the new version of “Celebrity Apprentice.’ However, it’s probable that he will be appointing at least one member, and possibly as many as three, during that first year. The prospect of Trump having a financial relationship with one of the entities over which the FCC had raises some rather obvious conflicts of interest. This same situation applies to the Securities And Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice since NBC/Universal is a publicly traded company. Additionally, these potential conflicts exist not just for Trump but also for NBC/Universal since it raises the question of whether or not there might be a motivation hold back on negative reporting or commentary about the incoming Administration given the financial relationship between Trump and the parent company. At the very least, it would seem that this arrangement would require NBC News to issue a disclaimer regarding the relationship in connection with every news report or commentary on Trump Administration policy.

As Allahpundit notes, the relationship between Trump and ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ also raises questions on the international front:

A foreign media organization or a foreign government with its own state media that’s seeking Trump’s favor could try to butter him up by making a deal to bring “Celebrity Apprentice” to their home country, knowing that the president would appreciate the interest — and the extra revenue — in his pet project. They could do something similar with Obama by buying up copies of his books, but as far as I’m aware, book royalties are far less lucrative than TV syndication deals. Then again, given the Trump family’s web of global real-estate interests, there’ll be so many other ways to impress Trump by throwing money at his businesses that it’d be silly to do something as visible as picking up an NBC show for international broadcast.

Of course, given the fact that conflicts of interest and ethical rules are far less of a concern in many other parts of the world, the fact that picking up ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ for international syndication or creation of domestic version of the show in another country, which would also result in the payment of royalties of some type to Burnett and Trump, would be a visible way of currying favor with Trump may not be seen any as  problem.

The ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ issue is, of course, only one of unprecedented plethora of conflicts of interest that Trump will face when he enters office, and he still has not made clear exactly how he intends to deal with these issues. Last week, he announced that he would ‘leave his business‘ but he has failed to provide any details beyond that, instead promising to provide details about his plans at press conference schedule for some time next week.  For moment, though, it appears that Trump intends to keep his ownership and other interests in The Trump Organization and other business entities and let his children manage them. As I’ve noted, that does nothing to remove the conflicts of interest that would arise from him having ownership interests in the business even while serving as President of the United States. Unfortunately, it seems likely that Republicans on Capitol Hill are going to largely ignore these conflicts in favor of exploiting the power that having control of both of the elected branches of government will give them starting on January 20, 2017.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Argon says:

    I remember this meme. Considering the next four years, I’d have to admit that I do. Shit.

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  2. Pch101 says:

    Fuhgeddaboudit. We have email servers to worry about!

    There is more than a tad bit of irony here. The candidate who was relentlessly accused of corruption without any evidence will be denied the presidency while a guy who is obviously corrupt and who came in second place will be getting the job instead.

    And you wonder why I have zero faith in Republicans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. C. Clavin says:

    He’s not going to do anything, and still get paid for it?
    Hmmm…just like the Republicans in Congress.

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  4. C. Clavin says:

    Trump has nominated McMorris-Rogers as Interior Sec.
    This is a woman who wants to sell off Public Lands, not protect them.
    I bet they will get good money for the National Mall.
    LET’S GET READY TO CRUMBLE!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. reid says:

    All manner of reprehensible behavior is okay if you’re a Republican.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Senyordave says:

    Unfortunately, it seems likely that Republicans on Capitol Hill are going to largely ignore these conflicts in favor of exploiting the power that having control of both of the elected branches of government will give them starting on January 20, 2017.

    Largely? When a Democrat or the rare media person calls the GOP on this fact, this is the quote I will think of as their proxy response:

    Oh man shut your anorexic malnutrition tapeworm-having overdose on Dick Gregory Bahamian diet-drinking ass up. Leave me alone! (from White Men Can’t Jump).

    Because that response would make more sense than any the GOP could possibly come up with.

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  7. Scott says:

    Just wait for all the lawsuits whether they be valid or not. He is a target now. Trump will regret not disentangling himself from his businesses.

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  8. CSK says:

    For what it’s worth, the chunk of change Trump will receive as executive producer will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $50,000–$100,000 per week.

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  9. Slugger says:

    I just want to say that this is my favorite television program that I never miss. I also dress only in the Ivanka line of clothes. I think newspapers should be sued for libel whenever they say otherwise.

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  10. al-Alameda says:

    Look at the bright side, maybe he’ll use his “Celebrity Apprentice” forum to find the answer to the question:
    ….. “Where are Biggie and Tupac?”

    I think it’s the least we should expect for the $50,000–$100,000 per week he’ll pull down as Executive Producer.

    Once again, it’s time to give holiday blessings and thanks to our Electoral College system of determining our president.

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  11. Gustopher says:

    I want “Celebrity Apprentice: EPA Division”. I would settle for “Celebrity Apprentice: HUD Division”.

    We have thousands of celebrities in America, just brimming with ideas for how to improve our world — why are we letting all this raw talent sit there untapped? Is there a minor Kardashian who can renovate nuclear safety? Could Gary Busey have a plan to leverage the strength of our bustling hipster white cities to fix the failing cities filled with black people?

    With the ability to make real change, we can attract a better class of celebrities.

    What would William Shatner do with NASA? Can we afford William Shatner? Can we afford not to have William Shatner?

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  12. CSK says:

    @Slugger:

    And you only stay in Trump hotels, and you only drink Trump vodka, and you only eat Trump steaks.

    @Gustopher:

    Is Ivanka Trump going to be de facto Secretary of State?

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  13. C. Clavin says:

    @Slugger:

    I also dress only in the Ivanka line of clothes.

    A guy named Slugger in Ivanka’s clothes…hot…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. CSK says:

    Oh, whoopsie. Breitbart News, aka the Trump Propaganda Network, is not happy with the choice of Andy Puzder as Labor Secretary. Puzder favors foreign labor.

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  15. Matt says:

    These are not the actions of a man that is worth +$10 billion as he claims. These are the actions of a man who is barely keeping his operation afloat. I’m convinced at this point he cannot divest because if he did he’d end up heavily in the negatives.

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  16. michael reynolds says:

    @Matt:
    Billionaires also don’t need to steal money from their so-called ‘charity’ or charge taxpayers for Secret Service offices in Trump Tower or rip off students with a phony university or pimp steaks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    And they don’t buy the wildly successful Eastern Airlines shuttle for $10 million, put it out of business in three years, and lose $100 million in the process.

    I’m still annoyed about that.

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  18. wr says:

    I’m sure that Baby Jenos will be along momentarily to inform us that Hillary Clinton would have stayed on as executive producer of The Real Housewives of Atlanta had she been elected.

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  19. dxq says:

    i’m sure trump’s personal fortune is already turning in the positive direction.

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  20. Jc says:

    I have this feeling his business announcement will coincide with his Secretary of State nominee selection, as that would likely take attention away from what will likely be an insufficient business divestiture.

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  21. Mikey says:

    @CSK:

    Breitbart News, aka the Trump Propaganda Network, is not happy with the choice of Andy Puzder as Labor Secretary. Puzder favors foreign labor.

    Could this be the beginning of the realization they’ve been conned?

    I mean, so far Trump’s cabinet is a Who’s Who of “billionaires who have screwed over the little guy.”

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  22. michael reynolds says:

    Speaking to Goldman Sachs = Evil.

    Turning the government over to Goldman Sachs = Good.

    The truly fascinating thing to me is watching to see just how long it takes the suckers to open their eyes. Somewhere between watching grass grow and the mid-season episodes of Westworld in terms of slowness, but we get to spend the wait rubbing their snouts in the sh!t they dropped on the living room floor.

    The sweet thing for me as a guy who came late in life to morality is the gift of indifference. As a liberal I’m required to care about unemployed miners and such, but they themselves have liberated me from concern.

    It’s like you’ve been standing on the deck of a ship throwing one life preserver after another to a sinking man. He keeps missing, and he’s either too stupid or too lazy to reach out and grab salvation. And then, out of nowhere he tells you to fwck off. And you think. . . should I keep trying to save the ungrateful twat or should I order an Irish Coffee and a blanket and sit on my deck chair and bet on how long it takes him to drown? There are some more committed to a charitable view than I, but I’m going to get me a hot beverage and watch the show. And I will laugh without shame or remorse as the nasty little trolls realize they’ve screwed themselves.

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  23. Guarneri says:

    Everything alright in the critics section?

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  24. Facebones says:

    If we had a rational political system, maybe Mitch McConnell or Paul Ryan or someone would sit this idiot down and explain to him all the responsibilities he has to attend to. That President is not a part time job. That he can’t sleep in his New York penthouse every night. That he needs to avoid blatant conflicts of interest.

    But no. The only reason anyone in the Republican party wanted to stop him was because they thought he’d lose. Now they’ll try and ram the wish list through before the midterms.

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  25. Scott says:

    @michael reynolds: Unfortunately, I’m in between wealth and income levels.. Well off enough and old enough to be protected right now and able to live quire nicely but not at the level where I can protect my children and ensure their future. I worry about them more than me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The truly fascinating thing to me is watching to see just how long it takes the suckers to open their eyes.

    They won’t. Just as they believe the Bush Contraction happened on Obama’s watch, and that Bush kept us safe for 8 years; Trump will never do wrong in their blindered eyes.

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  27. grumpy realist says:

    @Mikey: Talking about being conned…..

    Snicker. How’s that voting for Trump protecting you, West Virginia coal miners?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Speaking to Goldman Sachs = Evil.

    Turning the government over to Goldman Sachs = Good.

    People who wanted Clinton imprisoned for less-than-perfect e-mail procedures are fine with Trump considering for SecState a man actually convicted of passing Top Secret information to an unauthorized person, with whom he was also cheating on his wife, and then lying to the FBI about it.

    People who wanted Clinton imprisoned because of some nebulous, unsupported garbage regarding the Clinton Foundation are fine with Trump giving a Cabinet post to a woman who donated $5 million to the Trump Foundation (Linda McMahon).

    Yeah, I’m starting to think your life preserver analogy is entirely apt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. Mikey says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Snicker. How’s that voting for Trump protecting you, West Virginia coal miners?

    Conned, indeed.

    And…has Trump said one word yet about the GOP stripping the “Buy American Steel” provision out of the Water Resources Development Act?

    He’ll tweet smears at a union boss, but has nothing to say when his party kills something he went on and on about during the campaign?

    He got what he needed out of them: their votes. And now they’re no longer useful, so we’ll now have government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.

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  30. dxq says:

    Republicans are always saying government should be run like a business. Well, in the business world, a CEO can bankrupt his company and walk away with millions (Dick Fuld, James Kayne…) so it makes sense that Trump’s going to use his position as America’s CEO to profit in the millions or billions. And since republicans tend to be people with bad values, only a few RINOs like Graham will complain.

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  31. charon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    And I will laugh without shame or remorse as the nasty little trolls realize they’ve screwed themselves.

    I doubt more than a fraction will ever figure it out. But I will also enjoy watching them get theirs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @CSK:

    Is Ivanka Trump going to be de facto Secretary of State?

    I don’t see why that’s not a possibility. She’d still be better than Guiliani or Gingrich.

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  33. CSK says:

    @Mikey:

    I don’t know. Breitbart is so far in the tank for Trump (who may have subsidized them) that they may try to come up with some sort of rationalization for whatever Trump does. It’s very embarrassing to admit that you’ve been royally suckered, isn’t it?

    From what I’ve gleaned from reading at the sites where Trumpkins gather, there are two major rationalizations that have been put in play. The first is that the “lamestream media” or the “enemedia” (which includes Fox, The National Review, and every other conservative publication) lies about everything Trump does or says, so you can’t believe them if they quote Trump, because they probably fabricated the quote.

    The second rationalization is that Trump is a genius, and he’s playing eight-dimensional chess, and no one can keep up with his moves, because no one is smart enough to interpret them. For example, when he appoints three Goldman Sachs guys to his cabinet, that means he’s keeping his enemies closer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. CSK says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    It will make the alt-right very unhappy were Ivanka to be appointed SOS. The alt-right loves Trump, but they hate Jews worse than they hate anyone of African ancestry, and Ivanka and her husband are Jews.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. grumpy realist says:

    @dxq: Yes, the main problem with that is that businesses are very straightforward: you don’t have the money, you don’t get the product. You try to create demand for your product, and if people can’t buy it, well, that’s not really a problem as long as you are selling to sufficient people who can afford it.

    Which is why a business mentality is just about the LAST type you want to stuff into government. Because government has to provide services to EVERYBODY. Because if you ignore the poor for too long, quite often they pick up the pitchforks and cause a revolution, which usually ends up not so nice for everyone concerned.

    Which is why I wonder what the Republicans are smoking. Do they think that they can really skim off the goodies into the hands of the billionaires and treat the middle and lower class worse and worse and Nothing Will Happen?

    Idiots.

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  36. dxq says:

    Which is why I wonder what the Republicans are smoking. Do they think that they can really skim off the goodies into the hands of the billionaires and treat the middle and lower class worse and worse and Nothing Will Happen?

    The history of capitalism is a history of hurting people til they nearly kill you, at which point you give a little. This cycle that began in 1980 is nothing new. At some point enough young people will be hurt and demoralized to the point that violence starts to happen, and the rich will give a little, to keep the system afloat.

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  37. dxq says:

    if you’re the right type of Walton, you’re born a billionaire, and those quarterly distributions into your trust come on the backs of a million or so people making $9/hr. That’s only going to last for so long.

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  38. Pch101 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Do they think that they can really skim off the goodies into the hands of the billionaires and treat the middle and lower class worse and worse and Nothing Will Happen?

    Americans won’t rebel. Some Americans talk a lot about it, but then they calm themselves down by cradling their guns and reading Breitbart.

    Europeans worry more about actual bloodshed. The social welfare systems were developed in part because of alternatives that involve guillotines or the Freikorps. The Europeans don’t maintain the kind of Horatio Alger fantasies that Americans have to keep them going.

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  39. Fredw says:

    Introducing Businessman and part time President of the United States, Donald Trump!

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  40. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @CSK: I can’t help that. She’d still be a better choice than either of the two early front runners. The alt-right isn’t 100% correct about everything, maybe not even about anything.

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  41. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    So Trump’s gonna keep getting royalties for something he helped create. ZOMG, someone get me the fainting couch.

    I’m trying to decide what the purpose behind all this pants-pissing.

    1) Anti-Trump nutjobs are practicing for when Trump actually becomes president.

    2) Anti-Trump nutjobs are trying to get this all out of their system before Trump becomes president.

    3) Anti-Trump nutjobs are doing Trump supporters a favor by showing their cards before Trump becomes president.

    4) Anti-Trump nutjobs are in some secret competition for who can sound TEH MOST OUTRAGED!!!!!

    5) Anti-Trump nutjobs were so invested in seeing President Lying Corrupt Brain Damaged Rape Enabler that when she lost, they too lost — their already-frail grasp on reality, and now are just screaming their OUTRAGE!!!!! because they really have no clue what else they might do.

    The fun thing here is, none of these are mutually exclusive. And none of them exclude other theories that might develop.

    I voted for Trump reluctantly, and my greatest hope was that he would at least be entertaining — I’d already accepted the likelihood that his presidency would be a YUUUUGE disaster. But had I known that his mere election would make the leftists around here so totally lose their shit in such spectacularly entertaining fashion, I might have even voted for him in the primary.

    So, please, keep up the hysteria. Now that we’re in the winter rerun season, I need the entertainment.

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  42. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    I voted for Trump reluctantly, and my greatest hope was that he would at least be entertaining — I’d already accepted the likelihood that his presidency would be a YUUUUGE disaster.

    OMG, Jenos is trying to distance himself from Trumputin even before the inauguration. The rest of you Trumpistas ought to take notice: he’s maneuvering to throw you under the bus when things get bad enough – and he knows they’re going to get bad.

    So far Jenos has had to pretend to believe there are 2 million – sorry, 2 1/2 million now – illegal votes. He knows it’s a lie, but he can’t stay in the cult if he disavows every lie. I forget whether he’s still pretending the coal mines are coming back? (Hey, Jenos, can make us a list of which reeking turds you’re going to gag down?)

    He’s trying to keep one foot in the cult and one in reality, hoping to garner lots of spite fun and yet not so identify with the orange buffoon that we all demote him all the way down to @Jack status.

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  43. Mikey says:

    So in news that should surprise no one, the CIA has concluded the Russian government engaged in hacking operations specifically intended to boost Trump’s chances of winning the election.

    Can’t easily link on mobile, but WaPo has the story.

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  44. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @michael reynolds: No wonder you’re such a successful author. As I read your lies about my previous positions, I was almost half convinced myself.

    I’ve always said that I saw Hillary and Trump as both likely disasters. I just saw Hillary as four years of whining about how it wasn’t her fault, it was the fault of me and people like me. With Trump, there was a good chance of entertainment.

    I never said that there was a single illegal vote cast, only that I found the possibility of them going into seven figures plausible. I also never said that they definitely affected the outcome; if they were centered in places like California, Illinois, and New York, they just padded Hillary’s totals there with zero effect on the outcome.

    And I note that you have never made a single argument for Hillary. That would ruin your grand strategy of always attacking, never defending. Because you believe that defense is for losers.

    You’re so good at crafting your storylines. In this one, I’m the Trumpette/Trumpista/whatever who will brook no insult to My Messiah. I’m the shallow bad guy that you stuff into the straw man that you can soundly beat and look properly heroic.

    Well, screw that, and screw you. And screw your brain-addled, corrupt, lying, sickly rape enabler you threw everything you had into returning to the White House. You wanted to reward Hillary for her years of tolerating Bill’s serial misogyny and philandering and sexual exploitations and sexual assaults with the presidency, and you failed. She isn’t the president-elect, and never will be.

    You wanted to take a woman who swore, under oath, that she couldn’t remember basic security protocols because of a concussion. That she forgot the training and briefings that she attended and signed, under penalty of perjury, that she understood and would obey the rules. A woman who spent literally years punishing women who dared to capture her husband’s “affections,” whether they wanted them or not.

    Women don’t lie about rape and sexual assault and sexual harassment — unless they’re accusing Democrats. Then it’s “nuts and sluts,” it’s “if you drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find.”

    I didn’t want Trump to get the Republican nomination. Hillary did. Hillary and her cronies did everything they could — including several quite illegal things, thank you, Mr. Creamer — to get him the nomination. So the next time you go to kiss her pantsuited ass and apologize for not giving her what she earned, goddammit, on her back for Bill, thank her for giving us all Trump.

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  45. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Mikey: So in news that should surprise no one, the CIA has concluded the Russian government engaged in hacking operations specifically intended to boost Trump’s chances of winning the election.

    And in Georgia (the state, not the country), the Secretary of State says that Obama’s Department of Homeland Security tried to hack into the state’s voter registration database. DHS offered to “test” every state’s security, but Georgia declined. Apparently the feds chose to do so anyway.

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  46. michael reynolds says:

    You know what some clever Silicon Valley type should do, by the way? Create an ICE tracking app, similar to WAZE. People would punch in sightings of ICE agents. You’d be sure to have plenty of people near field offices who could warn of any official vehicle. With a heads-up other motorists could then track them through the streets. Most people would feel safer since they’d know they weren’t in the target area, and those in the target area could take evasive measures. And you could vector witnesses/protesters as a sort of rapid-reaction force, so that any ICE brutality would be up on YouTube.

    Come to think of it with off-the-rack technology you could create an amazingly effective intelligence network, assuming you had a reasonably large segment of the population motivated to help. Like, say, Latinos.

    At very least you’d force ICE to spend half their time on counter-intelligence.

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  47. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @michael reynolds: I think I understand your fear here, MIckey. You’ve just watched Obama spend four years weaponizing the federal government and using it to go after his enemies, and you’ve cheered that on.

    And now all those tools, those precedents, those policies, will now be in Trump’s hands.

    No wonder you’ve been wearing nothing but brown pants since the election.

    Payback’s a Hillary, ain’t it?

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  48. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    I understand from the Google that the greatest enemy of the weasel is the eagle. So watch the sky.

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  49. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @michael reynolds: Now I understand your sympathy for Hillary. You’re brain-damaged, too?

    Here, let me get an even more personal insult in:

    The only difference between you and the morons wr and cliffy is you have more money and a better vocabulary.

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  50. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @dxq:

    To be fair, between his silly tendency to hold much of his accessible net worth in Lehman stock (even after the tumble, this fool bought more) and the amount of his reported compensation which was still deferred when Lehman died, Fuld has lost about 90% of his net worth (thus far).

    He’s still facing a barrage of lawsuits and Lehman’s policy which protected senior officers and directors in the event of negative judgments has been exhausted. Further judgments against him, which are likely, will probably wipe out much of what’s left.

    It’s interesting, all things considered, that Lehman was far less exposed to derivatives, but far more exposed to actual real estate. Merrill was in a worse position, but it got saved while Lehman died. I’ll be the first to admit that Dick Fuld is (and always has been) an insufferable asshole, but his misdeeds were arguably no worse than those of Thain or Mack, and far less smelly than Schwartz, but they got taken care of while he essentially got wiped out. He’s paid for his sins – let’s leave the man in peace.

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  51. Mikey says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: Yeah, that’s not even remotely close to being the same or even similar. You voted for the guy favored by one of our major geopolitical adversaries.

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  52. Pch101 says:

    @Mikey:

    Jenos is hoping to be nominated as the Secretary of Lousy Analogies.

    I’d say that he has a good shot.

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  53. Mikey says:

    @Pch101: Well, you have to give him some credit, at least he’s doing the best with the shitty political hand he’s been dealt. It can’t be easy to defend someone like Trump, who was both objectively and subjectively the worst candidate ever, and who only won because America’s outmoded Electoral College system can produce a winner who actually lost the election by nearly three million votes.

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  54. Pch101 says:

    @Mikey:

    It can’t be easy to defend someone like Trump…

    Au contraire. This stuff comes easily to stupid people.

    I could defend Trump, too, if I abandoned all common sense, human decency and basic factchecking skills. As it turns out, there are a fair number of Americans who never had any of those to lose, and you’ll even find some of them here in the comments section.

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  55. Anjin-san says:

    @C. Clavin:

    All things being equal, our country was much better off with republicans in congress doing nothing…

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  56. Gustopher says:

    @Mikey: And, the Republicans in congress knew, but didn’t want The administration to say anything before the election.

    “Celebrity Apprentice: Moscow Edition”? if Trump doesn’t do a good enough job, will Putin fire him?

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  57. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    People, people, people! Trump is going to be president for four years, and those four years don’t even start for another five weeks!

    You’ve got to pace yourself with your mindless Trump hatred, folks! This is a marathon, not a sprint! You’re going to burn yourselves out!

    Here’s a little change of pace from 2012 to give yourselves a breather.

    Our greatest foe is the United States. Those S.O.B.’s have been hurting us for decades.

    As for Russia, we have an insecure person’s habit of seeing every potential opponent as ten feet tall. We are the world’s only superpower. Russia isn’t even close. Russia’s economy is the size of Canada’s. Unlike Canada, Russia has pretty much every problem-child nation in the world on their borders.

    We’re holding a full house, they’ve got a pair of deuces…

    A Kewpie Doll (virtual, of course) to whoever can identify that oracle…

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  58. dxq says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I know I was being glib. Cayne lost over 90% of his wealth too. But the risk/reward scenarios are so different for the rich that they’re living on a different planet from the rest of us.

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  59. Moosebreath says:

    @Gustopher:

    “if Trump doesn’t do a good enough job, will Putin fire him?”

    And Trump not merely knows better than the generals how to beat ISIS, he knows better than the CIA whether Russia acted in support of him during the election:

    “Trump has repeatedly said there is no evidence to suggest that President Vladimir Putin’s Russia, with which he has vowed to improve relations, played a nefarious role in the US election.

    “I don’t believe it. I don’t believe they interfered,” Trump said in an interview for the latest issue of Time magazine, adding that he thought intelligence community accusations about Russian interventions in the election were politically motivated.”

    I guess Trump must have inside information on Russia’s activities.

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  60. dxq says:

    I’m trying to put together $500 to get a painful broken tooth removed and I’ve wrecked Zero billion-dollar companies.

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  61. dxq says:

    But I also didn’t oversee the creation of thousands of bullshit securities with multiple-tranche-blended fake AAA ratings from companies I bribed, so I don’t suppose I deserve health care. Cayne and Fuld deserve the best society has to offer.

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  62. Moosebreath says:

    @Mikey:

    Here’s the story you mentioned:

    ““It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators. “That’s the consensus view.””

    So Putin and Jenos are on the same team. Of course, Putin is the manager, and Jenos is the assistant waterboy (since he’s so good at carrying it), but…

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  63. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Moosebreath: Four years ago, anyone expressing concern about Russia was dismissed as a hysterical fear-monger, not to be taken seriously. Obama himself told us that.

    WTF happened since then?

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  64. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    “Four years ago, anyone expressing concern about Russia was dismissed as a hysterical fear-monger, not to be taken seriously. Obama himself told us that.”

    So you believe only foreign countries which are military threats to us should be allowed to intervene in our elections? Good to know.

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  65. Mikey says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    WTF happened since then?

    Gee, I don’t know, perhaps you’ve heard of this place called Ukraine?

    And then of course there’s their direct action to influence our Presidential election. That might be significant, ya think?

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  66. Ben Wolf says:

    @Mikey: We don’t have evidence of Russian interference in the election; copying the right’s Infowars mentality is not a good idea.

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  67. Mikey says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    I’m not suggesting, as some have, the possibility of vote machine hacking or vote rigging or whatever. That does stray into “Infowars” territory. But interference doesn’t have to rise to that level to have an effect, and in my view IT hacking operations conducted with the specific objective of helping Trump get elected certainly qualify as interference.

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  68. Ben Wolf says:

    @Mikey: I understand what you’re saying, but we still don’t have concrete evidence of anything beyond the usual foreign interference. To my knowledge we only know that whoever was involved with the email hacks used Russian names and Russian accounts from a Russian IP. I’m hesitant to accept Putin’s government could accomplish such a masterstroke while ineptly leaving evidence overtly pointing to themselves.

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  69. Barry says:

    @Scott: “Just wait for all the lawsuits whether they be valid or not. He is a target now. Trump will regret not disentangling himself from his businesses.”

    I will lay money that (a) the courts will now be oh-so-solicitous of the time of the (GOP) President and/or (b) suits will be settled quickly, with the plaintiffs having gone into hiding.

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  70. Barry says:

    @CSK: “Oh, whoopsie. Breitbart News, aka the Trump Propaganda Network, is not happy with the choice of Andy Puzder as Labor Secretary. Puzder favors foreign labor.”

    It’d be funny if some of the people at Breitbart actually believed in their sh*t.

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  71. Pch101 says:

    @Mikey:

    Gee, I don’t know, perhaps you’ve heard of this place called Ukraine?

    Jenos remembers U-Kraine as the place where he rented a moving van after his roommates evicted him.

    In any case, Russia has obviously been a regional threat, but it has not been a global player since the fall of the Soviet Union; the US has had bigger fish to fry during the last couple of decades.

    Then again, that may be changing, given that Trump appears to be determined to Make Russia Great Again. (American right-wing populists are suckers for petty despots.)

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  72. WheresMyWall says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: “I never said that there was a single illegal vote cast, only that I found the possibility of them going into seven figures plausible.”

    Wow! That’s quite the pretzel you twisted yourself into!

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  73. wr says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: “Four years ago, anyone expressing concern about Russia was dismissed as a hysterical fear-monger, not to be taken seriously. Obama himself told us that.”

    Hey stupid,

    Can you get through a single sentence without lying? Four years ago, one person — presidential candidate Mitt Romney — was mocked for saying that Russia was the single greatest geo-political threat to the US, something that no sane person is claiming even today.

    So your premise is a lie, your implied conclusion is a lie, and you are still as dim as a dying 10-watt bulb. Oh, and stomping your little feet and screaming “No, you’re stupid you big fat stupidface” will not, contrary to your fondest beliefs, make you smart.

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  74. stonetools says:

    Remember when the MSM followed Judicial Watch and right wing PACS and devoted all their resources into investigating nonexistent scandals like Hillary’s emails and Clinton Foundation clouds, only to discover that Trump had problematic business conflicts and Russian connections on 11.09.16?
    This whole election campaign had been an epic media failure. It’s clear that the media is just not set up to deal with a situation where one side, with foreign support, conducts a persistent, coordinated propaganda/disinformation campaign.The media can fact-check, but that’s just not sufficient.I’m not clear on what should be done, but at the very least the media should be a lot more sophisticated about being manipulated by various actors, foreign and domestic.

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  75. Terrye Cravens says:

    The very fact that no one in the Republican party seems to see that this might be a problem, is in and of itself a cause for concern. Have they all lost their minds? The POTUS is going to go ahead and produce some silly ass reality TV show and they don’t see a problem with this?

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  76. michael reynolds says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    The POTUS is going to go ahead and produce some silly ass reality TV show and they don’t see a problem with this?

    That’s what 46% of voters voted for.

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  77. Andrew says:

    So much talk about how Trump was helped by the alt-right. Bringing in Ze Nazi talk. About how Hitler this, Trump that.
    Yet, it seems even before Trump is in office, the proper Nazi analogy I have yet to hear or read is this: Hogan’s Heroes. (read: Trump’s Heroes)

    Col. Klink is the average Trump voter, and Colonel Robert E. Hogan is being played by Donald Trump.

    Anyone who has ever watched the show, I hope, can see where I am going with this.

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  78. Matt says:

    @Ben Wolf: Hiding your tracks completely in such a scenario is essentially impossible when you’re doing as much hacking as the Russian’s do.

    For those that aren’t aware Russia as a country funds and supports hacker groups. They also manipulate social media and even things such as google search returns. All of this is done under the authority of the Russian government. Then there’s the privateer Russian hackers who hide behind Russia’s legal system.

    Hell a couple weeks ago one of the online games I play occasionally was being DDOSed by Russians because they were mad at the company. Nothing will come of it because no one cares about it in Russia. This is not an uncommon thing.

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