Trump’s lawyer insists nothing ‘nefarious’ in Trump Jr. Russia meeting – Washington Post

By ,

A senior member of President Trump’s personal legal team said Sunday that there was nothing improper in the meeting that Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son, took with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton.

“Well, I wonder why the Secret Service, if this was nefarious, why the Secret Service allowed these people in,” Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for the president, said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” “The president had Secret Service protection at that point, and that raised a question with me.”

It’s highly unlikely that the Secret Service, which is charged with protecting the president, his aides and his family from physical harm, would have any influence over who the president or his children chose to meet during a presidential campaign.

A Secret Service spokeswoman cast doubt on Sekulow’s claims.

“Donald Trump Jr. was not under Secret Service protection in June 2016,” said Cathy Milhoan, the director of communications for the protective agency.

The president, meanwhile, took to Twitter, where he once again portrayed the Russia investigations as a media fabrication and turned his fire on his old Democratic rival.

“Hillary Clinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?” Trump tweeted Sunday morning.

The president’s tweets, however, did not address his son’s missteps and obfuscations regarding the Russia meeting, which have only served to feed suspicions.

Initially, Trump Jr. said the meeting focused on Russia’s moves to halt adoptions by American families, but he changed his story after new details emerged. Emails released last week show that Trump Jr. believed he was meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with possible ties to the Kremlin, who would provide damaging information about Clinton as part of a Russian broader effort to assist his father’s presidential campaign. He was joined at the meeting by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law; Paul Manafort, then a top campaign aide; and Rinat Akhmetshin, a lobbyist and possible intelligence agent in the former Soviet Union.

Trump Jr. has said that nothing came of the discussion.

Sekulow reiterated that he has seen no indication that the president is under investigation by either special counsel Robert S. Mueller III or by the House or Senate intelligence committees. Sekulow is part of a legal team headed by New York attorney Marc E. Kasowitz, and the White House said last week that Trump was adding veteran Washington lawyer Ty Cobb to handle the White House response to Russia-related investigations.

“We have had no notification,” Sekulow said on CBS’s “Face the Nation. “Nothing has changed since James Comey said three times that he wasn’t under investigation.”

Sekulow put the responsibility for the initial incomplete response regarding last summer’s meeting squarely on the shoulders of the president’s son.

“The president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement. It came from Donald Trump Jr.,” Sekulow said of the initial statement to the New York Times.

Sekulow also said that there was nothing illegal in the meeting with Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin.

“Here is the reality: The meeting in and of itself, of course, as I’ve said before, is not a violation of the law,” Sekulow said on “This Week.” He added that “the president was not aware of the meeting and did not participate in it.”

The lawyer’s response was relatively muted compared with that of the president, who said that the media’s obsession with the Russia story was interfering with his ability to govern.

“With all of its phony unnamed sources & highly slanted & even fraudulent reporting, #Fake News is DISTORTING DEMOCRACY in our country!” Trump tweeted Sunday morning.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Photos from Disney’s Live-Action Panel at the D23 Expo – ComingSoon.net

Photos from Disney's Live-Action Panel at the D23 Expo

Photos from Disney’s live-action panel at the D23 Expo

Disney, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm presented their live-action film slates this morning at the D23 Expo 2017 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. Met with enthusiasm from the excited, fan-filled audience, the live-action panel revealed exclusive news and details about upcoming live-action films and showcased surprise live and video appearances from stars and filmmakers. Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn hosted the highly anticipated biennial event.

“At The Walt Disney Studios, we could not do what we do without the support of the many Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars fans around the world,” said Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios.  “We feel like our fans are a part of the family, and the D23 Expo is our chance to give a little something extra back to them.”

After welcoming the crowd to D23 Expo 2017, Horn introduced Sean Bailey, President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, to present overviews of the Disney live-action slate. Later Horn returned to the stage to introduce writer/director Rian Johnson for a look at Lucasfilm’s upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi and ended by introducing Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, for a rousing presentation to close the event.

You can view photos from the live-action panel in the gallery below. To read our archived live blog of the event, click here. For many more updates from the D23 Expo, visit our D23 Expo Hub.

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)ALAN HORN (CHAIRMAN, THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS)

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)OPRAH WINFREY, MINDY KALING, REESE WITHERSPOON, CHRIS PINE, STORM REID, AVA DUVERNAY

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)OPRAH WINFREY, MINDY KALING, REESE WITHERSPOON, CHRIS PINE, STORM REID, AVA DUVERNAY, SEAN BAILEY (PRESIDENT, WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION)

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)OPRAH WINFREY, MINDY KALING, REESE WITHERSPOON, CHRIS PINE, STORM REID, AVA DUVERNAY

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)OPRAH WINFREY, MINDY KALING, REESE WITHERSPOON, CHRIS PINE, STORM REID, AVA DUVERNAY

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)OPRAH WINFREY, MINDY KALING, REESE WITHERSPOON, CHRIS PINE, STORM REID, AVA DUVERNAY, SEAN BAILEY (PRESIDENT, WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION)

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)CHARLES “LIL BUCK” RILEY

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)MARC SHAIMAN WITH ORCHESTRA

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)SEAN BAILEY (PRESIDENT, WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION)

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)EMILY BLUNT, ROB MARSHALL

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)SEAN BAILEY (PRESIDENT, WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION)

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)DUMBO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)DUMBO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)JON FAVREAU

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, RIAN JOHNSON

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, MARK HAMILL, RIAN JOHNSON, KELLY MARIE TRAN, LAURA DERN, BENICIO DEL TORO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, MARK HAMILL, RIAN JOHNSON, KELLY MARIE TRAN, LAURA DERN, BENICIO DEL TORO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, RIAN JOHNSON, KELLY MARIE TRAN, LAURA DERN, BENICIO DEL TORO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, RIAN JOHNSON, KELLY MARIE TRAN, LAURA DERN, BENICIO DEL TORO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, RIAN JOHNSON, KELLY MARIE TRAN, LAURA DERN, BENICIO DEL TORO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, RIAN JOHNSON, KELLY MARIE TRAN, LAURA DERN, BENICIO DEL TORO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, RIAN JOHNSON, KELLY MARIE TRAN, LAURA DERN, BENICIO DEL TORO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)MARK HAMILL

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)MARK HAMILL

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, MARK HAMILL, RIAN JOHNSON, KELLY MARIE TRAN, LAURA DERN, BENICIO DEL TORO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, MARK HAMILL, RIAN JOHNSON, KELLY MARIE TRAN, LAURA DERN, BENICIO DEL TORO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)BENICIO DEL TORO, GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, DAISY RIDLEY, LAURA DERN, JOHN BOYEGA, MARK HAMILL, RIAN JOHNSON

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, DAISY RIDLEY

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)ALAN HORN (CHAIRMAN, THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS)

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)KEVIN FEIGE (PRESIDENT OF MARVEL STUDIOS)

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)DAVE BAUTISTA, KEVIN FEIGE (PRESIDENT OF MARVEL STUDIOS)

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)SEBASTIAN STAN, DAVE BAUTISTA, KAREN GILLAN, POM KLEMENTIEFF, BENEDICT CUMBERCATCH, JOSH BROLIN, KEVIN FEIGE (PRESIDENT, MARVEL STUDIOS), ELIZABETH OLSEN, PAUL BETTANY, DON CHEADLE, ANTHONY MACKIE

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)SEBASTIAN STAN, DAVE BAUTISTA, KAREN GILLAN, POM KLEMENTIEFF, BENEDICT CUMBERCATCH, CHADWICK BOSEMAN, CHRIS HEMSWORTH, JOSH BROLIN, KEVIN FEIGE (PRESIDENT OF MARVEL STUDIOS), ROBERT DOWNEY JR., MARK RUFFALO, TOM HOLLAND, ELIZABETH OLSEN, PAUL BETTANY, DON CHEADLE, ANTHONY MACKIE

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)SEBASTIAN STAN, DAVE BAUTISTA, KAREN GILLAN, POM KLEMENTIEFF, BENEDICT CUMBERCATCH, CHADWICK BOSEMAN, CHRIS HEMSWORTH, JOSH BROLIN, KEVIN FEIGE (PRESIDENT OF MARVEL STUDIOS), ROBERT DOWNEY JR., MARK RUFFALO, TOM HOLLAND, ELIZABETH OLSEN, PAUL BETTANY, DON CHEADLE, ANTHONY MACKIE

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)ANTHONY MACKIE, CHADWICK BOSEMAN, MARK RUFFALO, SEBASTIAN STAN, TOM HOLLAND, ELIZABETH OLSEN, KEVIN FEIGE (PRESIDENT OF MARVEL STUDIOS), ROBERT DOWNEY JR., DON CHEADLE, BENEDICT CUMBERCATCH

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)ALAN HORN (CHAIRMAN, THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS)

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)OPRAH WINFREY, MINDY KALING, REESE WITHERSPOON, CHRIS PINE, STORM REID, AVA DUVERNAY

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)OPRAH WINFREY, MINDY KALING, REESE WITHERSPOON, CHRIS PINE, STORM REID, AVA DUVERNAY, SEAN BAILEY (PRESIDENT, WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION)

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)OPRAH WINFREY, MINDY KALING, REESE WITHERSPOON, CHRIS PINE, STORM REID, AVA DUVERNAY

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)OPRAH WINFREY, MINDY KALING, REESE WITHERSPOON, CHRIS PINE, STORM REID, AVA DUVERNAY

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)OPRAH WINFREY, MINDY KALING, REESE WITHERSPOON, CHRIS PINE, STORM REID, AVA DUVERNAY, SEAN BAILEY (PRESIDENT, WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION)

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)CHARLES “LIL BUCK” RILEY

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)MARC SHAIMAN WITH ORCHESTRA

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)SEAN BAILEY (PRESIDENT, WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION)

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)EMILY BLUNT, ROB MARSHALL

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)SEAN BAILEY (PRESIDENT, WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION)

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)DUMBO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)DUMBO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)JON FAVREAU

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, RIAN JOHNSON

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, MARK HAMILL, RIAN JOHNSON, KELLY MARIE TRAN, LAURA DERN, BENICIO DEL TORO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, MARK HAMILL, RIAN JOHNSON, KELLY MARIE TRAN, LAURA DERN, BENICIO DEL TORO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, RIAN JOHNSON, KELLY MARIE TRAN, LAURA DERN, BENICIO DEL TORO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, RIAN JOHNSON, KELLY MARIE TRAN, LAURA DERN, BENICIO DEL TORO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, RIAN JOHNSON, KELLY MARIE TRAN, LAURA DERN, BENICIO DEL TORO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, RIAN JOHNSON, KELLY MARIE TRAN, LAURA DERN, BENICIO DEL TORO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, RIAN JOHNSON, KELLY MARIE TRAN, LAURA DERN, BENICIO DEL TORO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)MARK HAMILL

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)MARK HAMILL

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, MARK HAMILL, RIAN JOHNSON, KELLY MARIE TRAN, LAURA DERN, BENICIO DEL TORO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, JOHN BOYEGA, DAISY RIDLEY, MARK HAMILL, RIAN JOHNSON, KELLY MARIE TRAN, LAURA DERN, BENICIO DEL TORO

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)BENICIO DEL TORO, GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, DAISY RIDLEY, LAURA DERN, JOHN BOYEGA, MARK HAMILL, RIAN JOHNSON

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, DAISY RIDLEY

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)ALAN HORN (CHAIRMAN, THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS)

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)KEVIN FEIGE (PRESIDENT OF MARVEL STUDIOS)

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)DAVE BAUTISTA, KEVIN FEIGE (PRESIDENT OF MARVEL STUDIOS)

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)SEBASTIAN STAN, DAVE BAUTISTA, KAREN GILLAN, POM KLEMENTIEFF, BENEDICT CUMBERCATCH, JOSH BROLIN, KEVIN FEIGE (PRESIDENT, MARVEL STUDIOS), ELIZABETH OLSEN, PAUL BETTANY, DON CHEADLE, ANTHONY MACKIE

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)SEBASTIAN STAN, DAVE BAUTISTA, KAREN GILLAN, POM KLEMENTIEFF, BENEDICT CUMBERCATCH, CHADWICK BOSEMAN, CHRIS HEMSWORTH, JOSH BROLIN, KEVIN FEIGE (PRESIDENT OF MARVEL STUDIOS), ROBERT DOWNEY JR., MARK RUFFALO, TOM HOLLAND, ELIZABETH OLSEN, PAUL BETTANY, DON CHEADLE, ANTHONY MACKIE

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)SEBASTIAN STAN, DAVE BAUTISTA, KAREN GILLAN, POM KLEMENTIEFF, BENEDICT CUMBERCATCH, CHADWICK BOSEMAN, CHRIS HEMSWORTH, JOSH BROLIN, KEVIN FEIGE (PRESIDENT OF MARVEL STUDIOS), ROBERT DOWNEY JR., MARK RUFFALO, TOM HOLLAND, ELIZABETH OLSEN, PAUL BETTANY, DON CHEADLE, ANTHONY MACKIE

D23 Expo 2017 Live-Action Films Panel

D23 EXPO 2017 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Disney/Image Group LA)ANTHONY MACKIE, CHADWICK BOSEMAN, MARK RUFFALO, SEBASTIAN STAN, TOM HOLLAND, ELIZABETH OLSEN, KEVIN FEIGE (PRESIDENT OF MARVEL STUDIOS), ROBERT DOWNEY JR., DON CHEADLE, BENEDICT CUMBERCATCH

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Trump’s Approval Stands at 50 Percent in the Counties That Fueled His Win – NBCNews.com

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s job approval rating in the American counties that fueled his 2016 victory stands at 50 percent, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of these “Trump counties.”

Fifty percent of adults in these counties — consisting of Republicans, Democrats and independents — approve of the president’s job performance (including 29 percent who strongly approve), while 46 percent disapprove (including 35 percent who do so strongly).

By comparison, last month’s national NBC/WSJ poll had Trump’s overall approval rating at 40 percent.

The poll’s sample was taken from 439 counties in 16 states — Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin — that either flipped from Barack Obama to Trump, or where Trump greatly outpaced Mitt Romney’s performance in 2012.

But there’s a significant difference in Trump’s approval rating in the these two kinds of Trump counties.

In the Trump “surge counties” (for example: Carbon, Pa., where Trump won 65 percent to 31 percent, versus Romney’s 53-45 percent margin) — 56 percent of residents approve of the president’s job performance.

Trump beat Hillary Clinton in these “surge” areas nationwide by a combined 65 percent-to-29 percent margin in 2016.

But in the “flip counties” (for example: Luzerne, Pa., where Obama won 52 percent to 47 percent, compared to Trump’s 58-39 margin), Trump’s job rating stands at just 44 percent.

Trump won these “flip” areas overall in 2016, 51 percent to 43 percent.

The rest of this NBC/WSJ poll — which was conducted July 8-12 of 600 adults in these counties, and has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 4.0 percentage points — will be released later in the week.

In “Flip” counties, 342 interviews were conducted, which has a margin of error of plus-minus 5.3 percentage points. And in “Surge” counties, 258 interviews were conducted, and the margin of error there is plus-minus 6.1 percentage points.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

McConnell delays action on health care after McCain surgery – Fox News

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Saturday that he will delay consideration of health care legislation in light of Sen. John McCain’s absence from recent surgery.

McConnell, R-Ky., released a statement on Saturday night saying that he would defer action on the measure while McCain recovers at his home in Arizona.

“While John is recovering, the Senate will continue our work on legislative items and nominations, and will defer consideration of the Better Care Act,” McConnell said.

Surgeons in Phoenix removed a blood clot from above McCain’s left eye on Friday. The 80-year-old Senate veteran was advised by doctors to remain in Arizona next week, his office said.

A procedural vote expected in the coming days had been cast as a showdown over the measure designed to replace ObamaCare once and for all.

MAJOR INSURANCE GROUPS CALL PART OF HEALTH BILL ‘UNWORKABLE’

With a 52-48 majority, Republicans can afford to lose only two votes. Vice President Pence would break a tie for final passage.

Two Republicans, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine, have already said they’ll vote against the measure.

Last month, McConnell had to cancel a vote on a previous version of the legislation amid lack of support among GOP senators.

Related Image

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to the media about plans to repeal and replace Obamacare on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 27, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein - RTS18VLAExpand / Collapse

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to the media about plans to repeal and replace Obamacare on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 27, 2017.

 (REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein)

The Senate bill, like legislation passed earlier by the House, repeals mandates requiring individuals to carry insurance and businesses to offer it, and unravels an expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor and disabled enacted under President Barack Obama’s law.

Analyses of the earlier version of the Senate bill found it would results in more than 20 million additional uninsured Americans over a decade, compared to the 2010 ObamaCare law.

OBAMACARE REPEAL: MODERATE GOP SENATORS, KEY TO HEALTH BILL VOTE, ASK FOR MEDICAID CHANGES

The newest version attempts to attract conservative support by allowing insurers to offer bare-bone plans alongside more robust ones, but also reaches out to moderates by adding billions in help for the opioid crisis and to defray high costs for consumers.

With the vote set for the coming week now indefinitely postponed, GOP success in its long-promised ObamaCare repeal grows all the more uncertain, despite heavy lobbying in recent days by Trump administration officials.

Related Image

FILE - In this July 11, 2017 file photo, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, during the committee's confirmation hearing for Nay Secretary nominee Richard Spencer. Surgeons in Phoenix said they removed a blood clot from above the left eye of McCain. Mayo Clinic Hospital doctors said Saturday, July 15 that McCain underwent a Expand / Collapse

In this July 11, 2017 file photo, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, during the committee’s confirmation hearing for Nay Secretary nominee Richard Spencer.

 (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Democrats are unanimously opposed as are the nation’s major medical groups and insurers.

In Phoenix, Mayo Clinic Hospital doctors said McCain underwent a “minimally invasive” procedure to remove the nearly 2-inch (5-centimeter) clot and that the surgery went “very well.”

 McCain was reported to be resting comfortably at his home in Arizona.

Pathology reports on the clot were expected in the next several days.

McCain, is a three-time survivor of melanoma. Records of his medical exams released in 2008 when he was the GOP candidate for president showed that he has had precancerous skin lesions removed and had an early-stage, squamous cell carcinoma, an easily cured skin cancer, removed.

He was reelected in November to a sixth Senate term.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

McConnell defers vote on Senate health-care bill after McCain surgery – Washington Post


Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) talked to reporters at the Capitol on Wednesday about the Senate Republicans’ latest health-care bill. McCain is back in Arizona recovering from surgery to remove a blood clot from above his eye. (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) put off plans late Saturday to vote on a bill to overhaul the nation’s health-care system next week, after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced he would be at home recovering from surgery, leaving Republicans short of the votes they needed to advance the legislation.

McCain underwent surgery in Phoenix on Friday to remove a blood clot from above his left eye. “On the advice of his doctors, Senator McCain will be recovering in Arizona next week,” said McCain spokeswoman Julie Tarallo. A statement from the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix said the senator is resting at home “in good condition” and that “the surgery went very well.”

In a statement Saturday night, McConnell said that “while John is recovering, the Senate will continue our work on legislative items and nominations, and will defer consideration of the Better Care Act,”

Unless at least one of two Republican senators dropped their opposition to moving ahead on the bill, or a vote was postponed until McCain returned, the bill would not have had the support to proceed.

Two Republican senators — Rand Paul (Ky.) and Susan Collins (Maine) — have said they will not vote yes to even proceed to the bill. Along with all 48 senators in the Democratic Caucus — and without McCain — their opposition would be enough to block the bill from proceeding to debate. There are 52 Republican senators.

Paul spokesman Sergio Gor said he still planned to vote against proceeding to the bill. A Collins spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Who is Rob Goldstone, whose email to Trump Jr. on Russia caused a sensation? – Washington Post

By Shawn Boburg and Jack Gillum ,

The email to Donald Trump Jr. described an intricate back channel between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign that could provide incriminating information about Hillary Clinton — and its emergence in the past week has cast a spotlight on its writer, the publicist who portrayed himself as the emissary in this sensitive task. 

Publicist Rob Goldstone is a colorful figure, friends and former associates said, a bon vivant who posts self-deprecating videos on social media, hobnobs with New York socialites and sometimes uses bluster and hyperbole to open doors. The boutique PR firm he has run for 20 years with a partner has relied on a small roster of clients and piecework, setting up shop for several years in rent-free office space and neglecting to pay taxes some years in the 2000s, according to interviews and records.

Goldstone’s fortunes appear to have brightened in 2012, when associates say he took on his most high-profile client, Russian pop singer Emin Agalarov, whose Kremlin-connected family has done business with Donald Trump in the past. Goldstone, 57, appears to have since made at least 18 trips to Russia, one of them just days before he emailed Trump Jr. to arrange a meeting, an analysis of his Facebook profile shows.

On May 30, 2016, Goldstone posted on Facebook that he was at Crocus City Hall, a Moscow entertainment venue that is owned by the Agalarov family. Agalarov’s Instagram feed suggests he was in the same area that day. 

Four days later, Goldstone sent the email to Trump Jr. alerting him to “very high level” information that “is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

“Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting,” Goldstone wrote. “The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.”

Donald Trump Jr., who has said he has had a “casual relationship” with Goldstone since meeting him in 2014 at a Trump golf course in Florida, wrote back welcoming Goldstone’s offer. But after the messages were made public in the past week, he and another attendee, Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, denied collusion between Russia and the campaign and said that other topics were discussed.

Trump Jr. said Veselnitskaya had “no meaningful” information about Clinton, and both he and Veselnitskaya said the conversation focused on her opposition to the Magnitsky Act, which penalizes Russian officials accused of participating in the detention and subsequent death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who unearthed an apparent $230 million fraud committed by Russian officials. He was arrested by some of the very Russian officials he said had committed fraud and died in a Russian jail under mysterious circumstances. 

Veselnitskaya has also denied that she was working for the Russian government.

An attorney for Emin Agalarov and his father, Aras Agalarov, told the Russian outlet RT that the only accurate item in Goldstone’s email was that Emin had asked that the meeting be arranged.

Goldstone, who attended the June meeting, meanwhile has said little to explain the varying accounts presented in his email and in recent statements by some of the meeting’s participants. 

“As you know on attorney advice I am not commenting on any aspect of the story yet,” Goldstone wrote in an email to The Post on Friday. In response to a separate email asking about who attended the June meeting, however, Goldstone wrote on Friday that he “paid no attention to any of them or their names.” 

Goldstone’s lawyer, Bob Gage, also declined to comment Friday. 

In an interview last Sunday, before the email came to light, Goldstone told The Post that Veselnitskaya wanted to discuss ways that Trump, if elected president, could help with the Russian government’s ban on Americans’ adopting Russian children.

Goldstone was born in Manchester, England, and worked as a tabloid journalist in his 20s, according to his firm’s website

Jonathan Perry said he met Goldstone in the early 1980s when both worked for the broadcaster LBC, where Perry found Goldstone to have a “natural exuberance.” Perry said he kept in contact with Goldstone, reunited with him in 2013 and “was pleased to see that Rob was still the same as he’d been 25 years previously.”  

“Some of the media portrays Rob as a clown, an idiot who has a penchant for silly hats, an exhibitionist,” Perry said. “Those of us who know him well realize that is just a small part of his rich, warm and humorous personality and generous nature.”

Goldstone began working for retail music giant HMV in the early 1990s and moved to New York as its international marketing director, his website says. In 1997, he launched his own company, Oui 2 Entertainment.

Joel Simon, chief executive of a JSM Music, a production company in New York, said he met Goldstone socially in the early 2000s. He agreed to allow Goldstone to base his two-person firm in spare space in Simon’s Manhattan office in exchange for Goldstone’s writing free news releases from time to time. That arrangement ended in 2009, when Simon asked Goldstone to start paying $2,500-a-month for the office space that Oui 2 Entertainment had occupied rent-free for years. 

Goldstone demurred.

“Looks like the rent will be out of our reach,” he wrote in a July 22, 2009, email to Simon, who said in an interview that Goldstone’s firm seemed to be having “some major financial problems” at the time.

Simon described Goldstone as “an eccentric” who had connections with a handful of powerful executives in the music business. Goldstone often tried to get Simon to work on projects, including the Miss Universe pageant that Goldstone helped plan in Moscow in 2013. Simon agreed to do a few projects with Goldstone — he produced a song for an actress on the cable show “The Real Housewives of New York” — but cut ties after tiring of what he said was Goldstone’s tendency to embellish.

He said that Goldstone portrayed the “Real Housewives” project as a big opportunity but that it turned out to be “a disaster.”

“Everything was always presented as extravagant and elaborate,” he said. “But how it was presented to me was never how it really was.”

Simon said Goldstone’s firm was small and relied on a small number of wealthy clients. “Rob would always follow the money,” Simon said.

The firm was hit with liens for more than $40,000 in federal taxes from 2001 through 2004, records show. In 2006, the firm paid the balances and the liens were released. Around the same time, Goldstone and his business partner, David Wilson, bought a $413,000 condominium unit in Hoboken, New Jersey, property records show.

Reached on Saturday, Wilson declined to comment on Oui 2’s tax liens or other claims about the firm’s finances, and Goldstone and his attorney did not respond to an email.

Goldstone’s work over the past decade has varied from issuing news releases for start-ups to planning a champagne-soaked “flower power” party at a castle in the Hamptons for one of his clients, a wealthy producer of electronic dance music. Oui 2 Entertainment has helped plan events featuring A-list celebrities, including a Friar’s Club Roast of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, a birthday bash for singer Tony Bennett and a gala honoring film director Martin Scorsese, according to its website. 

In recent years, Goldstone has focused on managing Emin, the son of a billionaire construction magnate, as Emin tried to break into the European and U.S. markets, Simon said. “That’s where [Goldstone] gets his bread buttered,” Simon said.

Goldstone regularly announces his whereabouts on Facebook, checking in at various locations more than 600 times over more than four years, including more than a dozen first-class airport lounges and other spots in 30 countries. Those check-ins revealed the May 2016 trip to Russia — a country where he has checked in nearly 90 times since January 2013 — with stops in St. Petersburg and Moscow. 

The electronic-dance-music producer, Ivan Wilzig, who goes by “Sir Ivan,” praised Goldstone as a publicist who “will try to keep a client happy.” Wilzig said Goldstone invited him to meet Emin when the Russian singer was performing in New York six weeks ago. Sir Ivan went to the show but decided against waiting to meet Emin backstage. 

He said he doubts Goldstone had much of a role in any potential collusion.

“I don’t make much of it,” he said about the email. “He might have just been parroting what a client told him.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

White House launches aggressive push to flip GOP governors opposed to Senate health bill – Washington Post

By , and ,

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The White House launched an aggressive drive Friday to persuade key Republican governors to stop criticizing a Senate proposal to overhaul the nation’s health-care system, urgently pressuring them in public and private ahead of a decisive week for the controversial legislation.

Despite the administration’s sales pitch, however, four influential governors reiterated their concerns about the bill’s impact on their states’ most vulnerable individuals — underscoring the challenge facing the White House and Senate Republicans as they seek to fulfill a seven-year GOP promise to undo the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“I’ve still got to come back to my concerns with regard to the Medicaid population,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-Nev.) on his way to a private session with Vice President Pence here at the summer meeting of the National Governors Association. Pence had earlier delivered a detailed speech to the entire group defending the bill.

Sandoval’s views, along with those of three other governors whose states expanded Medicaid under the ACA — John Kasich of Ohio, Doug Ducey of Arizona and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas — could prove decisive in determining whether the Senate passes legislation next week. Republican senators from those states are closely watching how their governors respond to the newly revamped legislation as they decide whether to support it.

Kasich, who did not attend, issued a statement calling the revised Senate plan “still unacceptable” because of its Medicaid cuts and possible impact on the private ACA insurance market.

Pence joined Tom Price, President Trump’s health and human services secretary, and Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to work governors in front of cameras and behind the scenes Friday in this waterfront city.

They offered a detailed pitch contrasting with the more general and sometimes contradictory rhetoric Trump has delivered on health care — but one that contained inaccuracies and quickly met with rebukes from health advocates. They claimed, for instance, that the bill would not throw millions off insurance and that disabled Americans have been denied care because of the expansion of Medicaid under the ACA, which is also known as Obamacare.

In his speech, Pence also said Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid put “far too many able-bodied adults” on the program.

“I know Governor Kasich isn’t with us, but I suspect that he’s very troubled to know that in Ohio alone, nearly 60,000 disabled citizens are stuck on waiting lists, leaving them without the care they need for months or even years,” said Pence.

The waiting lists Pence referred to apply to Medicaid’s home and community-based services, and have not been affected by the program’s expansion under the ACA. States have long had waiting lists for these services, and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation’s executive vice president, Diane Rowland, noted that waiting lists in non-expansion states are often longer than in expansion states, which currently receive a 95 percent federal match for their newly covered beneficiaries.

Kasich spokesman Jon Keeling said in an interview that Pence’s suggestion that 60,000 disabled Ohioans remain on waiting lists “is not accurate,” adding that to suggest Medicaid expansion hurt the state’s developmentally disabled “system is false, as it is just the opposite of what actually happened.”

“That waiting list is nothing new, and to attribute it to expansion is absurd,” said Families USA’s senior director of health policy, Eliot Fishman.

Moreover, the expansion population is not solely composed of able-bodied beneficiaries: It includes low-income parents and childless adults, some of whom have chronic illnesses.

The Senate Republican proposal would cut $772 billion from Medicaid over the next decade by phasing out the expansion population, and it make even deeper cuts starting in 2025. By 2036, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the governmentwould spend 35 percent less on Medicaid than under the current law.

Among the GOP senators who have questioned aspects of the Senate proposal, at least half a dozen hail from Medicaid-expansion states. Pence, a former governor of Indiana, expanded Medicaid in his state.

[Trump administration tells moderates to trust it on health care]

Under the Senate bill, roughly 15 million Medicaid recipients would lose coverage within a decade, according to the CBO, which is expected to provide an updated score on the revised legislation next week. But Trump officials are arguing that the administration can cushion the bill’s financial blow to the states through a combination of legislative provisions and administrative measures.

In a departure from the president, who often has seemed to have little grasp of health policy details and the effect of them on everyday people, Pence delivered a speech in which he recounted stories of individuals he has met across the country who he said have been harmed by Obamacare.

He named a Kentucky small-business owner who he said was struggling under increasing premiums, a disabled Ohio woman who he said lost her plan, and doctor and a Wisconsin grandmother who he claimed had to choose between paying for coverage and buying Christmas presents.

At least one Republican governor may have been swayed by the pitch: Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

Haslam, whose state did not enter into the expanded Medicaid program, nonetheless had some concerns about the Senate legislation’s impact on Tennessee, but he said he came away feeling better about the bill after hearing from administration officials.

“I definitely feel more positive about it,” he said. “I was generally much more favorably impressed than I expected to be. They had a lot better story to tell than I thought.”

GOP leaders have no margin for error as they seek to convince several wavering senators to embrace the Senate plan. With the vice president prepared to cast the tiebreaking vote, 50 out of 52 Republican senators would have to approve the measure for it to pass.

Two already have said they object to voting on the bill in its current form: conservative Rand Paul of Kentucky and centrist Susan Collins from Maine. A third, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), said Thursday that the proposal did not address the concerns his governor has raised and that he would seek to change it.

Ducey met with Pence and his colleagues but said he still has reservations about the Senate bill. “It needs work,” he said. “We’re communicating with Senator McCain. We’ve given him specific language that we think will dramatically improve the bill, and the ball’s in the Senate’s court.”

Until now, the White House has taken a largely hands-off approach to the Senate process, although Trump has said he would be “angry” if the bill fails and compared the effort of brokering a deal in the Senate to the quest for Mideast peace.

Sandoval, who is very popular in Nevada and whose reservations helped prompt Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) to come out against the original measure before the July Fourth recess, reiterated his dislike of the latest version of the bill as he made his way to an early meeting here Friday.

“My position has been consistent all along with regard to protecting the Medicaid expansion population,” he said. “For Nevada that means 210,000 lives. I want to ensure that their health care is protected, so they can lead healthy and happy lives.”

He said he had not spoken with Heller since Senate leaders unveiled their newest iteration of the legislation but hoped to have a conversation with him on Friday.

[Trump says he wants victories — but he isn’t selling the GOP agenda to voters]

Kasich was more scathing in the statement he released before Pence spoke, saying the measure’s “cuts to Medicaid are too deep and at the same time it fails to give states the ability to innovate to cope with those reductions.”

“It also doesn’t do enough to stabilize the insurance market, where costs are rising unsustainably and companies are simply dropping coverage,” Kasich added.

Hutchinson welcomed some of the changes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made to the bill after weeks of consultations with elected officials. He described “some very significant improvements to the bill,” including additional funds to help middle- and lower-income Americans buy private insurance.

But in an interview after Pence’s speech — and before a scheduled meeting with the vice president — he said the Senate bill remained a “deep concern” to him “in terms of the cost shift we see to the states under the reduced growth rate for Medicaid spending.”

Hutchinson said he has spoken to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) “continually” about the bill, which he said is “moving in the right direction.” But he said he was not ready to support it yet.

The latest draft of the bill adds $70 billion to a $112 billion state stabilization fund to be used over the course of a decade for several purposes, including helping consumers pay for insurance. It also changes the amount of funding each state receives under the Disproportionate Share Hospital program to be calculated off the state’s uninsured rate, rather than its Medicaid enrollment.

Hutchinson said that he had asked for both those changes, as well as one that would allow states to include their Medicaid expansion population in any calculations for future block grant funding of the program.

Sandoval said the stabilization fund — which Verma has been touting to Republicans from Medicaid-expansion states as a mechanism for minimizing the number of newly uninsured people — is an intriguing idea. But he was not sold yet.

“On its surface it sounds like it could be a good thing,” said Sandoval. “But, you know, at the end of the day, I’ve got to see what it means in 2020 all the way to 2026.”

Fishman’s group did an analysis Friday showing that even if the entire fund was used over eight years, it would not cover insurance for the 11 million individuals who stand to lose their existing coverage. “The numbers just don’t add up,” he said.

[Revised Senate health-care bill still lacks the votes to pass]

Kasich, who has been working behind the scenes with both Republican and Democratic governors, criticized Senate leaders’ decision to focus exclusively on passing a bill with only Republican support.

“These shortcomings flow from the fact that the Senate plan commits the same error as Obamacare — it’s not bipartisan,” Kasich said. “We can still fix this and repeal and replace Obamacare with ideas that will work, but it means having leaders from both sides sitting down together and working in good faith on solutions that responsibly manage Medicaid and stabilize our insurance market.”

Early Saturday morning, Price and Verma will speak at a governors-only breakfast on the future of health-care. Later, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney will speak at a legislative briefing.

Asked Friday whether he could support the measure without the changes he has proposed, Ducey said, “I think they’re deliberating. So let’s let them deliberate.”

Eilperin reported from Washington. Abby Phillip in Washington contributed to this report.

Read more at PowerPost

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

After 4 Suburban Lives Are Lost, 2 Cousins Are Charged in Pennsylvania Killings – New York Times

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. — They were linked in ways that connect many young men recently out of high school and without a sure path in college or career — by construction jobs, an interest in all-terrain vehicles and vintage sneakers — and also, it seemed, by an appetite for marijuana.

And then a fairly common journey that turned into an unfathomable one finally became clear on Friday when two 20-year-old men confessed to the murders of four young men who disappeared in the suburbs of Philadelphia last week, authorities said on Friday.

Officials claimed that the suspects lured the victims to a remote family farm in northern Bucks County with the promise of drug deals, shot them, ran one of them over with a backhoe, and burned three of the bodies in a “pig roaster.”

The initial suspect, Cosmo DiNardo, was arrested days ago on lesser charges and confessed to the killings on Thursday, according to one of his lawyers. Police complaints filed against the defendants on Friday said Mr. DiNardo told investigators that he had an accomplice, Sean M. Kratz, identified in the complaints as his cousin.

Prosecutors formally charged Mr. DiNardo, who knew the victims, with all four murders and Mr. Kratz with three of them, and both men face a host of related charges.

On Thursday, a lawyer for Mr. DiNardo said his client confessed in an agreement that would spare him the death penalty.

Officials said the murders sprang from three separate deals to sell the victims between a few ounces and four pounds of marijuana last week. But they had no explanation for the larger question of why relatively small-time drug transactions would set off a killing spree.

“I’m not really sure if we could ever answer that question,” Matthew D. Weintraub, the Bucks County district attorney, said at a news conference.

The arrest of Mr. Kratz, who has a history of burglary, theft and related arrests, widened the scope of an already sprawling case, one that has transfixed the Philadelphia region, with frequent live TV updates and helicopters hovering over the farm in affluent Solebury Township while authorities dug with cadaver-sniffing dogs.

Mr. Weintraub said that excavations on the farm, which is owned by Mr. DiNardo’s parents, had yielded four bodies positively identified as the missing men: Jimi Taro Patrick, 19; Dean Finocchiaro, 19; Thomas Meo, 21; and Mark Sturgis, 22.

Mr. DiNardo has been described by prosecutors, his own lawyers and the police as mentally ill — last summer, he was sent involuntarily to a mental hospital — and another young man who socialized with him and two of the victims said Mr. DiNardo had talked about killing people and having people killed.

Mr. DiNardo lived 30 miles south of the farm with his parents in a four-bedroom stucco house with a pool in Bensalem. The close-in Philadelphia suburb is overlaid with strip malls, and where an American-born population mixes with immigrant strivers from Asia and the Middle East.

Mr. DiNardo’s grandfather, for whom he was named, acquired numerous properties in Philadelphia and in Bucks County, including storefronts and an apartment house. Before his death, he worked with his son, Antonio DiNardo, to build homes on Wayland Circle in Bensalem, a cul-de-sac where the family still lives. A neighbor said that, as a teenager, Cosmo DiNardo would volunteer to cut lawns and shovel snow. “Cosmo has been a baby to us,” said the neighbor, a physician who asked to be identified by only his first name, Abid, to protect his privacy.

But Mr. DiNardo was no baby to Bensalem police, whose chief, Frederick Harran, said the department had 30 contacts with him since 2011.

Only one of those contacts had led to an arrest: In February, officers responding to reports of gunfire found Mr. DiNardo in a car with a 20-gauge shotgun. He had been prohibited from possessing a firearm because of his prior hospital commitment.

Mr. DiNardo graduated in 2015 from Holy Ghost Prep, a private Catholic high school in Bensalem, and attended Arcadia University in Glenside, Pa., for one semester. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Mr. DiNardo was barred from returning to the school after making disturbing remarks.

The complaints filed against the two men stated that Mr. Kratz admitted he intended to rob some of the victims, and to being present for three of the killings — but not to taking part in any of them.

Mr. DiNardo told investigators that on July 5, he agreed to sell Mr. Patrick, who was a year behind him at Holy Ghost Prep, four pounds of marijuana for $8,000. Mr. Patrick, the only one of either the victims or the accused enrolled in college, had just finished his freshman year at Loyola University in Baltimore.

Mr. DiNardo drove his former schoolmate to the farm in Bucks County, not far from the art colony and quaint tourist destination of New Hope.

There, the complaints said, Mr. Patrick admitted that he had only $800, and Mr. DiNardo offered to sell him a shotgun instead.

Instead of going through with the gun sale, Mr. DiNardo shot and killed Mr. Patrick with a .22-caliber rifle, the complaints said. He then drove a backhoe to the site, dug a hole and buried the body.

The location was so remote, the district attorney said, that if Mr. DiNardo had not told police exactly where the body was, “I don’t know if we would ever have found it.”

On July 7, two days later, both suspects told investigators, they drove to Mr. Finocchiaro’s home in Middletown, ostensibly to sell him four ounces of marijuana, but decided on the way to rob him instead. Mr. DiNardo said he had taken a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum handgun that belonged to his mother.

Each suspect claimed that, after driving him to the Solebury site, the other one shot Mr. Finocchiaro in a barn.

Mr. DiNardo wrapped the body in a blue tarp and used the backhoe to put it into a metal tank he called “the pig roaster,” which Mr. Weintraub, the district attorney, described as “an old oil tank that had been converted into a cooker.”

Both suspects said Mr. DiNardo had arranged another meeting that night to sell marijuana to Mr. Meo, who showed up with his friend, Mr. Sturgis. The young men were childhood friends who worked for a construction company owned by Mr. Sturgis’s father. They drove with Mr. DiNardo in his silver 2016 Ford pickup truck to the farm, where Mr. Kratz was waiting.

“When they turn their backs on me, I shot Tom in the back” with the Smith & Wesson, the complaints quoted Mr. DiNardo as saying. Both suspects recalled Mr. Meo falling to the ground, screaming, while Mr. Sturgis ran and Mr. DiNardo shooting him as he fled.

The complaints said that Mr. DiNardo ran out of ammunition and, to make sure Mr. Meo was dead, he drove over him with the backhoe.

Mr. DiNardo used the backhoe to put both bodies into the same tank that held Mr. Finocchiaro’s body, poured gasoline on them, and lit it.

“There was an attempt to burn the bodies, to deface them, to obliterate them, but I don’t believe it was successful,” Mr. Weintraub said.

Both suspects said that they returned to the farm the next day, according to the complaints. Mr. DiNardo used the backhoe to dig a hole and then put the three partly burned bodies into it. That day, Mr. DiNardo gave two guns, the Smith & Wesson and an Intratec 9-millimeter pistol, to Mr. Kratz, who later told investigators where to find them.

It was that same day that investigators began to focus on the farm, after detecting a signal there from Mr. Finocchiaro’s cellphone.

Before this arrest, Mr. Kratz, who lives in Ambler, in neighboring Montgomery County, faced criminal charges three times in eight months. Two of those cases, both in Philadelphia, are still pending: He was arrested in June 2016, and again this past February, and each time he was charged with burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, and related charges.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

3 dead in fire in Hawaii high-rise apartment complex with no sprinklers – CBS News

HONOLULU — At least three people died and 12 were injured Friday in a fire at a Honolulu high-rise that was not equipped with sprinklers, authorities said, and hundreds fled the giant condominium complex as smoke billowed from the upper floors.

The dead were found on the 26th floor, where the fire broke out around 2:15 p.m., said Fire Chief Manuel Neves. Neves said the Marco Polo apartment complex does not have fire sprinklers, CBS affiliate KGMB-TV reports.

The blaze spread to at least the 28th floor and several units, said Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. David Jenkins. He said the number of fatalities could change.   

Firefighters were searching the damaged areas to make sure no additional people perished. 

ap-17196139779383.jpg

Smoke billows from the upper floors of the Marco Polo apartment complex, Friday, July 14, 2017, in Honolulu.

Marco Garcia / AP

The 36-floor building near the tourist mecca of Waikiki was built in 1971, before sprinklers were required. 

“Without a doubt if there were sprinklers in this apartment, the fire would be contained to the unit of origin,” he said. 

Four of the injured, including a firefighter, were hospitalized in serious condition, officials said. 

Karen Hastings, 71, was in her 31st floor apartment when the fire broke out. She smelled smoke, ran on to her balcony and looked down to see flames below her. 

“The next thing we know the fire causes the windows to blow out, and we can see glass flying all the way down,” Hastings said. “I says, ‘my goodness, anybody who is outside is going to get clobbered with glass.'” 

2017-07-15t043649z-1062472865-rc15495c4990-rtrmadp-3-hawaii-fire.jpg

The Marco Polo apartment building after a fire broke out in it in Honolulu, Hawaii, July 14, 2017.

Hugh Gentry / Reuters

Then, she said, “the fire just blew up and went flying right out the windows. And that was like a horror movie. Except it wasn’t a horror movie, it was for real.” 

She and a neighbor ran through the haze down 14 floors until they found a safe stairwell to get some air. 

“We actually saw a person laying on a ledge and I don’t know whether he made it not,” Hastings said. 

The building is vast and wave-shaped, and has several sections. The blaze was mostly confined to a single section, and only the units immediately above it and to the side of it were evacuated, while many residents stayed inside. 

The blaze was still burning some four hours after it broke out as the sun set, but it was down to mostly embers by then, official said. 

2017-07-15t040246z-1641065254-rc1303f89220-rtrmadp-3-hawaii-fire.jpg

A police officer directs a fire truck at the Marco Polo apartment building after a fire broke out in it in Honolulu, Hawaii, July 14, 2017.

Hugh Gentry / Reuters

Most evacuations went calmly and smoothly, security guard Leonard Rosa said.

Cory La Roe, who is from Florida and stationed in Hawaii with the Air Force, works night shifts and was asleep when siren sounds woke him at about 2:15 p.m. 

“First thing, I was kind of disoriented and confused about what was going on, so I looked out my window and saw people running away from the building, looking back toward it.” 

La Roe said he didn’t hear any verbal announcements and there were no flashing fire alarm lights in the building, but “after I saw people running out and went out to the hallway, I knew it was a fire alarm.” 

He saw an elderly couple come down that looked “sooty” who were taken to the hospital. He saw other people brought out on stretchers. 

He didn’t realize that the building didn’t have a sprinkler system and was surprised that was the case. 

“That’s one thing that I wasn’t aware of prior to moving in,” La Roe said. “It was definitely shocking for me to know that there weren’t any sprinklers installed in the building.” 

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the city needs to look at passing a law requiring older buildings be retrofitted with sprinklers. 

“The biggest argument is the affordability,” Caldwell said. “Residents have to pay. It’s pretty expensive. But if it saves a life and it’s your life, it’s worth the cost.” 

No one from the building said they remembered recent fire drills, but Anna Viggiano, who lives on the 6th floor, said there were some after a 2013 fire that broke out two floors above her. She said since then she doesn’t hesitate to evacuate when she hears the alarm. 

“It was scary,” she said. “It was terrifying.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Russian-American lobbyist says he was at Trump son’s meeting – Washington Post

By Desmond Butler and Chad Day | AP,

WASHINGTON — A prominent Russian-American lobbyist and former Soviet military officer said he was at a meeting between a Russian lawyer and President Donald Trump’s son, son-in-law and campaign chairman last year, adding a new wrinkle to the Trump team’s evolving explanations about the June 2016 session.

Rinat Akhmetshin confirmed his involvement to The Associated Press in a Friday interview. He had not been previously identified as a participant in the meeting at Trump Tower in New York, which was billed as part of a Russian government effort to help the Republican’s White House campaign.

The meeting has heightened questions about whether Trump’s associates coordinated with Russia to meddle in the presidential election — to help him and thwart Hillary Clinton — and whether they’ve been forthcoming about their foreign contacts. Federal and congressional investigators are probing possible connections between the campaign and Moscow.

While Trump Jr. has confirmed that Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya was in the meeting, he has not disclosed Akhmetshin’s presence.

Akhmetshin has been reported to have ties to Russian intelligence, a characterization he dismisses as a “smear campaign.” He’s a well-known Washington presence, lobbying for Russian interests trying to undermine the allegations of a lawyer who died in a Russian prison and is the namesake of a U.S. sanctions law.

Akhmetshin told the AP he served in the Soviet military in a unit that was part of counterintelligence but he was never formally trained as a spy.

In emails posted by Donald Trump Jr. earlier this week, a music publicist said he arranged the meeting because a Russian lawyer wanted to pass on negative information about Democrat Clinton. The go-between stated that the discussion was part of a Russian government effort to help the GOP candidate.

The president’s son has publicly discounted the meeting, saying he did not receive the information he was promised.

In a statement Sunday, Trump Jr. said the attorney had said she had information that people tied to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Clinton, a description that Akhmetshin backed up in his interview with the AP.

In his first public interview about the meeting, Akhmetshin said he accompanied Veselnitskaya to Trump Tower where they met an interpreter. He said he had learned about the meeting only that day when Veselnitskaya asked him to attend. He said he showed up in jeans and a T-shirt.

Veselnitskaya brought with her a plastic folder with printed-out documents that detailed what she believed was the flow of illicit funds to the Democrats, Akhmetshin said. Veselnitskaya presented the contents of the documents to the Trump associates and suggested that making the information public could help the campaign, he said.

“This could be a good issue to expose how the DNC is accepting bad money,” Akhmetshin recalled her saying.

Trump Jr. asked the attorney if she had sufficient evidence to back up her claims, including whether she could demonstrate the flow of the money. But Veselnitskaya said the Trump campaign would need to research it more. After that, Trump Jr. lost interest, according to Akhmetshin.

“They couldn’t wait for the meeting to end,” he said.

Akhmetshin said he does not know if Veselnitskaya’s documents were provided by the Russian government. He said he thinks she left the materials with the Trump associates. It was unclear if she handed the documents to anyone in the room or simply left them behind, he said.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and current White House senior adviser, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort also attended the meeting. Akhmetshin said he recognized Kushner and Trump Jr. He also said he recognized Manafort because they worked in “adjacent political circles” but never together.

He said there were others in the room but he didn’t know them. Publicist Rob Goldstone, who brokered the meeting via email with Trump Jr., has told the AP that he was there.

Asked about Akhmetshin’s participation, Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni declined comment. Trump Jr.’s attorney did not respond to inquiries, nor did a spokesman for Kushner. Veselnitskaya has denied having any ties to the Russian government. When reached by the AP this week, she declined comment. She did not respond to additional attempts to contact her Friday.

The confirmation of Akhmetshin’s participation in the meeting drew swift reaction from the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who said he wanted Akhmetshin to appear before the committee and provide “any relevant documents and information.”

Schiff said whether Akhmetshin is connected to Russian intelligence or not “it is clear the Kremlin got the message that Donald Trump welcomed the help of the Russian government in providing dirt on Hillary Clinton.” Schiff said Trump Jr.’s omission of Akhmetshin’s role in his public account of the meeting and the president’s son’s shifting explanations “paint a portrait of consistent dissembling and deceit.”

Kushner disclosed the meeting on his security clearance paperwork, but Schiff said the Akhmetshin revelation raises questions about how much Kushner disclosed about it. He said he believes Kushner’s clearance should be reviewed, and “if he was not perfectly candid,” the clearance should be revoked.

Akhmetshin, who spoke to the AP while on vacation in France where he said he has been surfing, said the meeting was “not substantive” and he “actually expected more serious” discussion.

“I never thought this would be such a big deal, to be honest,” he said.

The Russian government has denied any involvement or knowledge of the June 2016 meeting. Asked Friday about Akhmetshin, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters: “We don’t know anything about this person.”

Akhmetshin has been identified in media reports as a former officer in Russia’s military intelligence service known as the GRU. He has denied that, saying he served in the Soviet Army from 1986 to 1988 after he was drafted but was not trained in spy tradecraft. He said his unit operated in the Baltics and was “loosely part of counterintelligence.”

Akhmetshin said he has not been contacted by the U.S. special counsel’s office or the FBI about the meeting with Trump Jr. He said he’s willing to talk with the Senate Judiciary Committee, whose chairman has pressed the Justice Department about why Akhmetshin has not registered as a foreign agent.

The chairman, Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa, said in a March letter that Akhmetshin has “reportedly admitted to being a ‘Soviet counterintelligence officer’ and has a long history of lobbying the U.S. government for pro-Russia matters.”

Akhmetshin said that the Justice Department’s Foreign Agents Registration Act unit sent him a letter in April and told him, “it has come to our attention you should have filed for FARA.” He said he didn’t believe he needed to file. He has previously registered with Congress for the lobbying work, and he plans to raise this issue before Grassley’s committee.

“I think I have a legal right to tell my story,” he said.

Separately on Friday, the data and digital director for Trump’s presidential campaign said he will speak with the House Intelligence committee later this month as part of its own Russia probe.

Brad Parscale said in a statement that he is “unaware of any Russian involvement” in the data and digital operations but will voluntarily appear before the panel.

___

Associated Press writers Eric Tucker, Stephen Braun and Julie Pace contributed to this report.

___

Submit a confidential tip to The Associated Press: https://www.ap.org/tips

___

Follow Desmond Butler and Chad Day on Twitter: https://twitter.com/desmondbutler and https://twitter.com/ChadSDay

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)