Donald Trump's campaign reportedly requires its volunteers to sign a contract forbidding them from saying anything bad about Trump, his family, his businesses, or his campaign — for life. The Daily Dot reports that while many legal experts agree the contract's non-disparagement clause would have no chance of standing up in an actual court case, the zipped-lips rule is both revealing of Trump's own possible insecurities as well as yet another non-traditional step taken by the Republican frontrunner.
"He's apparently so afraid that people would say something bad about him after spending some time on his campaign that they have to sign some sort of agreement. I don't see how this stands up. I don't see how a court enforces this," employment lawyer Davida Perry told The Daily Dot.
Additionally, because volunteers aren't paid, they are essentially forfeiting their rights for nothing in return, which makes the contract even more unenforceable — and puts the campaign at risk of a lawsuit, according to employment lawyer Jeanne Christensen. Still, even some prospective volunteers or volunteers working in call centers are required to sign the form. By doing so, volunteers are also agreeing not to spread any sensitive information, although what qualifies as "sensitive" is at Trump's discretion according to the contract's terms. Likewise, volunteers are forbidden from working with another campaign until Trump ceases running for president; if he's elected, the terms could extend through his reelection in 2020.
"I guess he doesn't know about the First Amendment. This is really shocking," Perry said. Jeva Lange
Nearly three years after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, the underwater search for the missing plane has been suspended.
The plane vanished over the Indian Ocean on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board. "Despite every effort using the best science available, cutting edge technology, as well as modeling and advice from highly skilled professionals who are the best in their field, unfortunately, the search has not been able to locate the aircraft," Chinese, Australian, and Malaysian officials said in a statement. "The decision to suspend the underwater search has not been taken lightly nor without sadness." Last July, it was decided by Australia, China, and Malaysia that if the aircraft was not found by the time 46,000 square miles had been covered, the search would be suspended. Some wreckage has been found, including three pieces off the coast of Africa.
In a statement, Voice370, a support group for relatives of those aboard the flight, said commercial airplanes "cannot just be allowed to disappear without a trace. Stopping at this stage is nothing short of irresponsible, and betrays a shocking lack of faith in the data, tools, and recommendations of an array of official experts assembled by the authorities themselves." Catherine Garcia
Rob Schneider, star of The Hot Chick and that one Saturday Night Live sketch, thought it would be a good idea on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to explain to civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) how King conducted himself during the movement.
Rep. Lewis. You are a great person. But Dr. King didn't give in to his anger or his hurt. That is how he accomplished & won Civil Rights.
— Rob Schneider (@RobSchneider) January 16, 2017
"Rep. Lewis," Schneider tweeted. "You are a great person. But Dr. King didn't give in to his anger or his hurt. That is how he accomplished & won Civil Rights." Lewis told NBC News last week that because of the evidence that Russia interfered with the presidential election to boost Donald Trump, "I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president." Trump went on to claim that Lewis' district — home to the headquarters of Delta Air Lines and the Coca-Cola Company, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Emory University — is "crime infested," and he is "all talk, talk, talk — no action or results."
Not long after Schneider decided it was important he tell someone who worked alongside King how King acted, the pile-on began:
— Sonar Jose (@SonarJose) January 16, 2017
"At this time, id like to bring my close personal friend and confidant to the stage, Rob Schneider" pic.twitter.com/akbkHkGdzj
— Trill Withers (@TylerIAm) January 16, 2017
Everyone is giving Rob Schneider a hard time for his tweet to Rep. Lewis, but look at all he's done for Asian, Latino, and Women's Rights. pic.twitter.com/xoATCTjiT8
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) January 16, 2017
Rob Schneider criticizing John Lewis on Martin Luther King Day is only slightly less embarrassing than his career.
— Michael Blackman (@ParaComedian09) January 17, 2017
imagine trying to explain to John Lewis who Rob Schneider is
— good ol shrill (@theshrillest) January 16, 2017
Don't feel bad for Schneider — the teasing should stop soon.
As Netflix’s “Real Rob” taught us, it’s entirely possible to just ignore Rob Schneider.
— Daniel Fienberg (@TheFienPrint) January 16, 2017
As liberal America works its way through the seven stages of grief regarding President-elect Donald Trump, CNN host Van Jones has a head start on shock, he told Conan O'Brien on Monday's Conan. The first reason he suspected Trump might beat Hillary Clinton, Jones said, is because he is not like "these people — I just call them now 'data dummies,' who all they can look at in politics and talk about is the data and the polls and the numbers and that sort of stuff." He did not mention Nate Silver or Nate Cohn John King or any other data-driven political analyst, but said that his own "life is a focus group."
And it was during his visits to college campuses — "I sing for my supper" — and his interaction with people on TV and Twitter that he had his second insight, Jones said: People weren't all that into Clinton. "If you get on stage, even now, and you say 'Barack Obama,' people go nuts," he said, and "people go nuts, usually the other way," when you say "Donald Trump." "But I would say Hillary Clinton's name and it would be crickets," Jones said. It was partly that Democrats were lulled into complacency by the data showing Clinton with a 95 percent chance of winning, he added, shaking his damn head: "It's a 5 percent chance of an asteroid destroying the Earth! You might want to get busy!" He saw Democrats work harder to defeat John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, Jones said, which he still thinks is crazy: "Why would you work so hard to stop a John McCain and then do nothing to stop Trump except to say, 'Oh, Trump is terrible'?" Watch below. Peter Weber
Donald Trump was adamant at his first press conference in months last week that "the only one that cares about my tax returns are the reporters," but a new ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 74 percent of respondents think he should release his tax records.
Of the people who said his tax returns should be made public, 40 percent are his own supporters, while 94 percent backed Hillary Clinton and 93 percent supported someone else during the election or had no preference. Overall, 41 percent say they "care a lot" about the returns being released. When it comes to ethics, 43 percent said they think Trump, his family, and advisers are complying with federal ethics laws, while 44 percent think they aren't. Overall, 52 percent say his plan to continue owning his businesses while placing them in a trust managed by his eldest sons is sufficient, and 42 percent say he should sell his businesses.
The poll was produced by Langer Research Associates, and the full results will be released Tuesday morning. It was conducted by landline and cellphone Jan. 12 to 15 among a random sampling of 1,005 adults. The results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, with partisan divisions of 31-23-37 percent Democrats, Republicans, independents. Catherine Garcia
President-elect Donald Trump had tapped two fellow New York-area real estate developers and partners, Richard LeFrak and Steve Roth, to lead a council of 15 to 20 builders and engineers that would oversee his $1 trillion infrastructure proposal, Trump tells The Wall Street Journal. Trump and his transportation secretary nominee, Elaine Chao, propose that most of the improvements to America's roads, bridges, and other infrastructure be privately financed, encouraged through tax breaks of up to 82 percent for participating investors. Trump said that the council would throw out some proposed projects, and "some of the projects they'll expand. But all of the projects, they'll make sure we get a tremendous bang for the buck."
LeFrak (pictured), like Trump the wealthy scion of a New York real estate dynasty, has known Trump for decades and the two men socialize together. Roth, The Journal reports, is chairman and CEO of Vornado Realty Trust, which controls two of Trump's most valuable assets — the president-elect earned some $22.7 million pretax last year from the two projects, office buildings at 1290 Sixth Ave. in New York City and 555 California Street in San Francisco. Trump told The Wall Street Journal that he had just met with LeFrak and Roth, and "they've already agreed to do it." Neither man responded to The Journal's request for comment. Peter Weber
Not wanting to tick off The Boss, a Bruce Springsteen cover band says it won't play the Garden State Presidential Inaugural Gala on Thursday.
Since 1980, the B-Street Band has played 200 shows a year, and in 2013, after performing during President Obama's inauguration, signed a contract to play four years later. They obviously didn't know who would be president at the time, but once Donald Trump was elected, "the complexity of the situation became real immense and intense," Will Forte, keyboardist, manager, agent, and publicist for the band, told Rolling Stone. The group received "thousands of emails from both sides" when it was announced they would be playing the gala, Forte said, and they had to "get out of the storm."
Springsteen is a vocal critic of Trump, and after Forte started seeing headlines declaring that the band was personally hired by the president-elect, he knew it was time to call it quits. "We felt that we had to make it known that we didn't want to seem disrespectful, in any way, shape, or form, to Bruce and his music and his band," he told Rolling Stone. "I don't want to upset them. We owe everything to him, and our gratitude and respect to the band is imperative above all else." Forte said he doesn't think there will "ever be a cover band of our size in the history of music that has gotten the attention of something this big," and "whatever the consequences are for breaking a contract, I'm willing to take because this is much more important." Catherine Garcia
For someone so intimately familiar with Twitter, Donald Trump made a major faux pas on Monday night when instead of tagging his daughter, @IvankaTrump, in a post, he tagged @Ivanka, an English woman whose mentions are about to get very interesting.
In his first message of the night, Trump, who hates CNN so much he watches it every day and knows what programs the network is airing, tweeted that CNN was doing a "special report on my daughter, Ivanka. Considering it is CNN, can't imagine it will be great!" He followed it with a modified retweet from a Twitter user named @drgoodspine, who had tagged Trump and his non-daughter, @Ivanka.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2017
In his original tweet, @drgoodspine said "@Ivanka Trump is Great a woman with real character and class." Trump changed one of two errors in this message — the king of the caps lock made the "G" in "great" lowercase — but kept @Ivanka as is. As Trump himself once said: "I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of the computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what's going on." Catherine Garcia