July 8, 2020

In Mary Trump's forthcoming book on her famous family, Too Much and Never Enough, she describes her involvement in helping The New York Times obtain tax documents uncovering decades of financial malfeasance and tax dodging by President Trump, his company, and his siblings.

That "has always struck me as one of the great overlooked jaw-droppers of the scandal-ridden Trump era," Rachel Maddow said on MSNBC Tuesday night. "His older sister, federal Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, really did have to give up her lifetime seat on the federal bench in order to avoid a judicial ethics inquiry into a massive, multi-million-dollar alleged years-long tax fraud scheme that she reportedly engaged in with her family, including with her brother, who is the sitting president. I mean, we don't even think of that as one of the Trump scandals, but, like, that's bigger than any other presidential scandal of my lifetime." Trump Barry denied any willing part in the scheme, Mary Trump writes in her book.

Mary Trump also says her Aunt Maryanne called Donald Trump "a clown" in 2015 and expressed astonishment evangelicals Christians would support her brother, saying, "The only time Donald went to church was when the cameras were there. ... He has no principles. None," CNN's Erin Burnett reported. Trump biographer David Kay Johnston explained why Trump paying someone else to take his SATs is so plausible.

Vanity Fair's Emily Jane Fox told MSNBC's Brian Williams she thinks Trump will be most upset by his niece's clinical analysis of Trump's relationship with his father, Fred Trump, though overall the book "hits at the specific fleshy part of Trump: the part that is very concerned with the branding of the Trump family and the myth-making surrounding them" and the part that "hates leakers and people who are disloyal to him." Each of those "really irks this president," she said. "Combining the two of them feels potentially explosive to him as he heads into an election year."

Mary Trump definitely provides "a psychological analysis of the president and his father and how he became the type of person that he is," Maddow said, but her "every anecdote" about Donald Trump also highlights "just how easily he lies" and how it appears to brings him pleasure — a quality Maddow found "unsettling" in a president during a global pandemic.

Fox News didn't have much to say about Mary Trump's book Tuesday night. Peter Weber

8:06 a.m.

The CEO of MyPillow will no longer be able to use his Twitter.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has been permanently banned from Twitter for "repeated violations of our Civic Integrity Policy," the company told CNN.

While Twitter didn't specify what tweet prompted Lindell's final suspension, he has in recent weeks been pushing false claims about widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Twitter's Civic Integrity Policy states that users may not use the platform "for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes," including by posting "false or misleading information about the procedures or circumstances around participation in" elections. Under this policy, five or more strikes will lead to a permanent suspension.

Lindell, who visited former President Donald Trump at the White House earlier this month and was seen with notes referencing "martial law," also could soon be hit with a potential defamation lawsuit for his election claims. Dominion Voting Systems has threatened to sue the MyPillow boss over his promotion of a false conspiracy theory that the company's machines were used to change the outcome of the presidential race. Dominion on Monday sued Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who also promoted the false claims. Lindell told The New York Times he would "welcome" a lawsuit from Dominion.

Twitter's suspension of Lindell comes after the company earlier this month permanently banned Trump due to the "risk of further incitement of violence" following the deadly Capitol riot. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has defended the decision, while at the same time saying that "a ban is a failure of ours ultimately to promote healthy conversation." Brendan Morrow

7:58 a.m.

Researchers reported Monday in the journal Science that a drug developed to fight multiple myeloma has proved 27.5 times more effective at treating COVID-19 than remdesivir in laboratory studies with infected human lung and kidney cells. The drug, Aplidin or Plitidepsin, was also effective at fighting COVID-19 in lab mice. Aplidin was developed in Spain from a tubular, plantlike marine animal called a sea squirt. It has gone through a Phase II trial against COVID-19 and is awaiting a Phase III trial.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, started exploring Aplidin's use as a treatment for COVID19 in March. Instead of looking through databases of existing drugs to find one that targeted the virus, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, the UC San Francisco team sought out drugs that would protect key human proteins from being hijacked by the coronavirus. Experts not involved in the study said the research was promising but needed confirmation in human trials.

Effective treatments will be crucial for keeping down the death toll as new, more contagious variants of the coronavirus emerge and spread. The approved COVID-19 vaccines appear slightly less effective against the new strains, and scientists have yet to show that vaccinated people stop transmitting the coronavirus. A second study, not yet published or peer-reviewed, suggests that Aplidin is equally effective against one of the new strains that had spread throughout Britain.

"Work on treatments has been ongoing since the outbreak began and we have seen the benefits," Chris Beyrer, professor of public health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told the Journal Sentinel. "Survival is actually better than it was in March, April, May." Peter Weber

6:43 a.m.

Leon Black, the chairman and chief executive of private equity giant Apollo Global Management, told investors Monday he will step down as CEO "on or before my 70th birthday in July," after an independent review revealed that he paid disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein $158 million over a five-year period ending in 2017. The amount Black paid Epstein, who killed himself in jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on child sex-trafficking charges, was larger than expected. Black will stay on as chairman.

Apollo's board had ordered the inquiry at Black's request in October, after The New York Times reported he paid Epstein at least $75 million, bringing unwelcome scrutiny to the company. The review, conducted by the law firm Dechert LLP, found no evidence that Black had participated in any of Epstein's criminal activities or been introduced by Epstein to any underage girls. Black viewed Epstein as a "confirmed bachelor with eclectic tastes," the report found, and believed he deserved a second chance and had "served his time" after pleading guilty to a prostitution charge with a teenage girl in 2008.

The review also found that Epstein had provided "legitimate advice" to Black that resulted in tax savings of between $1 billion and $2 billion. Black's personal fortune is estimated at more than $8 billion, the Times reports. Monday's report said Black plans to donate $200 million to charities that fight sex trafficking and support women's causes.

Black confounded Apollo with two younger partners, Marc Rowan and Joshua Harris, in the early 1990s from the ashes of notorious junk bond financier Michael Milken's investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert. In an unexpected move, the semi-retired Rowan will take over as CEO when Black steps down. Harris had urged Black to resign immediately in a series of meetings Sunday, arguing that his poor judgment in consorting with Epstein and funding his depraved lifestyle posed an urgent risk to Apollo's reputation, the Times reports. Peter Weber

5:08 a.m.

"It is so exciting that we can finally stop spending all our time talking about Donald Trump's presidency," Trevor Noah said on Monday's Daily Show. "Yes, instead we get to talk about cleaning up the mess from Donald Trump's presidency," starting with his looming second impeachment trial. He made fun of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) "erection" gaffe — "I knew the Democrats were horny for Trump's impeachment, but that was ridiculous" — and mocked Senate Republicans for trying to avoid voting in Trump's trial by glomming on to a possible technicality.

Yes, "more and more Republican senators seem to be rallying the defense that conviction is unnecessary since Trump is already out of office," James Corden said at The Late Late Show. "I mean, sure, his supporters were looking for some of you with torches and pitchforks, but come on, that was like three weeks ago! Republican senators are the reason why there've been nine Nightmare on Elm Street movies."

Not everyone is getting off as easy as Trump, he added. "The company that makes Dominion voting machines is suing Rudy Giuliani over all of the false election claims that he made, and they're asking for $1.3 billion. ... Rudy's lies on behalf of Donald Trump could cost him more than $1 billion. But hey, at least he'll always have his dignity."

Yes, "the folks at Dominion are now suing Rudy for $1.3 billion — billion," Jimmy Kimmel said at Kimmel Live. "They are suing his pants off — although to be fair, Borat's daughter already had them halfway there."

"It's funny, if you sue someone for a billion dollars, it sounds like a joke — but when you sue them for $1.3 billion, you start to think, 'Oh, they might have some evidence,'" Seth Meyers joked at Late Night. "And $1.3 billion from Rudy? Good thing vampires are immortal, because he'll have to work the rest of his life to pay that off."

Stephen Colbert had some other suggestions for Giuliani at The Late Show, and he was underwhelmed with the GOP's new anti-impeachment argument. "So you just want to let him get off scot free for insurrection because he's no longer in power? That's like acquitting Jeffrey Dahmer because he's full." He explained the new evidence from the Justice Department that makes Trump's conviction more urgent, and he noted Dr. Anthony Fauci's liberation.

The Late Show also explored the depths of Fauci's new freedom. Peter Weber

2:14 a.m.

The new Biden administration has yet not disclosed the secrets of Area 51 or explained what the Air Force really knows about UFOs, but it did clarify, at least, the mystery of the vanished "Diet Coke button" former President Donald Trump would use to summon refreshments in the Oval Office. The usher button, as it is formally known, is not gone, even if it is no longer used to summon Diet Cokes, a White House official tells Politico.

The White House official "unfortunately wouldn't say what Biden will use the button for," Politico's Daniel Lippman writes, suggesting Biden might summon Orange Gatorade and not the obvious answer, ice cream — or, let's get real, coffee. What's more, there are evidently two usher buttons in the Oval Office, one at the Resolute Desk and the other next to the chair by the fireplace, a former White House official told Politico, adding that Trump didn't actually use the Diet Coke button all that much because "he would usually just verbally ask the valets, who were around all day, for what he needed."

In any case, it is not the placement of the button that matters, of course, but how you use it. And Biden will presumably know better than to order ice cream treats during a top-secret national security briefing. Peter Weber

2:03 a.m.

At 6 p.m. on the dot, they start to appear on their front lawns, ready to belt out everything from "God Bless America" to "Baby Shark."

In this Minneapolis neighborhood, residents have been participating in nightly singalongs since the beginning of the pandemic. Each family is a safe distance apart, as no one leaves their yard. They have a 200-song repertoire, and neighbor David O'Fallon told the Star Tribune they gather "rain, shine, or meteor shower."

About 20 people — ranging in age from 2 to 80-something — usually join the chorus. Over the last 300 or so nights, they have become closer, despite the physical distance. "We know each other better now," O'Fallon said. "We are stronger as a small community. We lift each other's spirit." Catherine Garcia

1:34 a.m.

For the third night in a row, riots broke out in the Netherlands on Monday as people angry over a new COVID-19 curfew clashed with police.

For the first time since World War II, the Netherlands has a curfew in place, from 9 p.m.to 4:30 a.m.; violators face a $115 fine. In The Hague on Monday night, groups of men threw rocks and fireworks at police officers, with some also setting fires, BBC News reports. In Rotterdam, after the crowd did not disperse, law enforcement fired warning shots and tear gas. More than 150 people were arrested across the country in connection with the riots.

The situation was worse on Sunday, when more than 250 people were arrested; Dutch police said they witnessed the worst unrest they've seen in 40 years. Prime Minister Mark Rutte condemned the rioting, saying it is "unacceptable. All normal people will regard this with horror. What motivated these people has nothing to do with protesting, it's criminal violence and we will treat it as such."

To try to combat the coronavirus pandemic, bars and restaurants have been shuttered in the Netherlands since October, and non-essential stores and schools closed in December. The country has reported almost 1 million COVID-19 cases and more than 13,500 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus database. Catherine Garcia

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