This is not the kind of image that an ex-politician would really want to be remembered for.
The Washington Post reports that on Friday a key photo was entered into evidence in the federal corruption trial of former Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.) for gifts that he received from donor and dietary supplement CEO Jonnie Williams Sr. The photo shows McDonnell smiling and showing off an expensive wristwatch.
Williams testified on Thursday that McDonnell sent him the photo via text message in December 2012. The watch is a rather infamous gift that Williams allegedly gave to McDonnell, with a special engraving: "Robert F. McDonnell, 71st Governor of Virginia."
The watch itself was passed around among jurors on Thursday. Williams also stated that the Rolex cost between $6,000 and $7,000 — part of the more than $165,000 in gifts from Williams that McDonnell is accused of accepting. --Eric Kleefeld
— justin jouvenal (@jjouvenal) August 1, 2014
President Trump informed the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that some countries are "going to hell." "Major portions of the world are in conflict and some in fact are going to hell," Trump said in his debut U.N. address in New York City. Reuters' Jeff Mason noted that leaders at the U.N. meeting reacted "seemingly in bafflement."
Trump tells the UN that major portions of the world are "going to hell." pic.twitter.com/SGW5cuIdiK
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) September 19, 2017
On a brighter note, Trump assured the diplomats and world leaders gathered for the annual meeting that the "powerful people in this room" can "solve many of these vicious and complex problems." In his wide-ranging speech, Trump specifically identified North Korea and Iran as among those problems, warning that North Korea's "Rocket Man" (a.k.a. Kim Jong Un) is "on a suicide mission" and deeming the Iranian government an "economically depleted rogue state" whose chief export is violence.
It was not immediately clear if these were the countries Trump believes are going to hell. Becca Stanek
In his debut address before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, President Trump doubled down on his America First outlook as he warned of the threats posed by "rogue regimes."
He declared that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who he referred to as "Rocket Man," is "on a suicide mission," and noted that the U.S. "will have no choice but to totally destroy" the country if it threatens the U.S or its allies. Vowing to "stop radical Islamic terrorism," Trump also referred to the Iranian government as an "economically depleted rogue state" whose chief export is violence.
President Trump threatened to "totally destroy North Korea" and recycled his Elton John-inspired nickname for leader Kim Jong Un in a speech before the United Nations on Tuesday. "Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime," Trump said. "The United States is ready, willing, and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. That's what the United Nations is all about. That's what the United Nations is for. Let's see how they do."
Trump had originally branded Kim as "Rocket Man" in a tweet that The Washington Post claimed "even some of Trump's critics had to admit" was clever. Others frowned at the reference being made Tuesday in such a serious setting and framed by such chilling threats:
So. "Rocket Man" will be a key takeaway. Was he ad-libbing, or did the WH staff go along with?
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) September 19, 2017
.@POTUS inserts Rocket Man reference into speech, marking first time Elton John tune has been inserted into an UNGA address.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) September 19, 2017
The reaction of the North Korean delegation speaks volumes as President Trump says the US will "totally destroy" the country if needed. pic.twitter.com/8a1hNPpqqz
— Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) September 19, 2017
Watch Trump's comments below. Jeva Lange
Trump, speaking at the United Nations, mocks the leader of North Korea as "Rocket Man" pic.twitter.com/mSolKflSoB
— David Mack (@davidmackau) September 19, 2017
The Trump administration's Department of Defense (DoD) has become increasingly inaccessible to journalists, Politico reports, citing interviews with unnamed "numerous reporters who cover the beat." As one such source summarized, "This is the worst relationship I've seen" between the Pentagon and the media in recent years, even considering the Obama administration's poor record on press freedom.
The decline in transparency Politico describes chiefly takes two forms: Secretary of Defense James Mattis offers limited press availability, and the Pentagon has cut down on the number of reporters permitted to join official trips. For example, a recent journey Mattis took excluded the correspondent from Reuters, which traditionally would have had a representative present alongside those from the other two wire services, The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse. This exclusion "breaks with decades of standing practice," Reuters said.
The shift in Pentagon-press relations is significantly attributable to Mattis' perception that "the media is trying to pit him against the president and deliberately misinterpret the things that he says," an unnamed Trump administration official told Politico. Mattis has reportedly decided less contact with journalists will make it easier to control his messaging. Bonnie Kristian
Links related to Avril Lavigne are some of the most dangerous to click online, making fans of the early-aughts superstar wonder why cybersecurty firm McAfee had to go and make things so complicated. McAfee announced Tuesday that after Lavigne, Bruno Mars is the second most likely celebrity whose name might be used to tempt users to websites that contain viruses or malware, followed by Carly Rae Jepsen, Zayn Malik, Celine Dion, Calvin Harris, Justin Bieber, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Katy Perry, and Beyoncé, The Associated Press reports.
McAfee added that there is a 14.5 percent chance of landing on a "dangerous" webpage if you search for Lavigne, and a 22 percent chance if users are looking for free, downloadable files of her music.
Can McAfee make it any more obvious? Chief consumer security evangelist Gary Davis gave it a go: "In today’s digital world, we want the latest hit albums, videos, movies, and more, immediately available on our devices," Davis said in a statement reported by The Hill. "Consumers often prioritize their convenience over security by engaging in risky behavior like clicking on suspicious links that promise the latest content from celebrities."
So hey hey, you you, "slow down and consider the risks associated with searching for downloadable content." Jeva Lange
In the summer of 2007, an Alabama man named Kharon Davis was arrested on charges of capital murder and placed in county jail to await trial. He was 22, and his only previous offense was driving without a license.
Today, as The New York Times reported Tuesday in a deep dive into Davis' case and the problem of lengthy pre-trial detention more broadly, Davis is still in that county jail, still awaiting trial. He has now served half Alabama's minimum murder sentence without any conviction.
The causes for this egregious delay are many. Davis himself has exacerbated the situation by replacing his court-appointed legal team, but he is far from holding sole responsibility. One of his defense attorneys, for example, was the father of an officer investigating his case. He filed just two motions on Davis' behalf in the four years it took for the district attorney to suggest a conflict of interest was in play.
"The court has to gain control of the case and not let it petrify," Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University, told the Times. "This is like a railroad saying, 'This is an awful train wreck.' Well, the train belongs to the railroad."
For Davis, the Times notes, there finally may be a light at the end of the tunnel: Jury selection for his trial began Monday. Bonnie Kristian
Bill O'Reilly insisted he has no regrets about his conduct while at Fox News during a tense interview with Matt Lauer on Today on Tuesday. "Over the last six months since your firing, have you done some soul searching?" Lauer pressed as O'Reilly maintained that the multiple sexual harassment allegations brought against him are completely false. "Have you done some self-reflection? And have you looked at the way you treated women that you think now, or think about differently now, than you did at the time?"
"My conscious is clear," O'Reilly pushed back, calling his ousting a "political and financial hit job."
Lauer continued to press O'Reilly, asking why multiple women would step forward to accuse the star personality of the network and why O'Reilly didn't countersue them if their allegations were so blatantly false. "Every allegation is a conviction," O'Reilly insisted.
"Were there any self-inflicted wounds here, Bill?" Lauer finally asked.
"You know, nobody's a perfect person," O'Reilly replied, "but I can go to sleep at night very well knowing that I never mistreated anyone on my watch in 42 years." Watch the full interview below and read why O'Reilly might be right that Fox News dumped him over the money here at The Week. Jeva Lange
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 19, 2017