This is not a good look
January 12, 2018

As President Trump wades through the fallout from his reported comments that Haiti and several African states are "shithole countries," a story published Friday by NBC News claims that on two separate instances, Trump made prejudiced assumptions about White House visitors because of their ethnicity.

In a meeting last fall, the president apparently said that a female intelligence expert should be assisting the U.S. in its negotiations with North Korea purely because of her Korean heritage, NBC News reported. The unnamed woman was briefing the president about a hostage situation in Pakistan, NBC News explained, when the president asked her, "Where are you from?" Despite her response of "Manhattan," the president apparently kept digging and inquired about the origins of "[her] people" until she told mentioned that her parents were from Korea.

Trump then asked aloud why "the pretty Korean lady" wasn't working on the North Korean nuclear crisis, NBC News reported, citing "two officials with direct knowledge of the exchange."

In the second instance, NBC News detailed how Trump was reportedly surprised to learn in a meeting last March that several black members of Congress were not in fact personally acquainted with Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development and the only black member of Trump's Cabinet:

Trump asked the elected officials if they knew just one member of his incoming cabinet — Ben Carson — according to two people in the room.

None of the lawmakers knew Carson, and Trump found that surprising, the attendees said.

During that same meeting, a member relayed to Trump that potential welfare cuts would harm her constituents, "not all of whom are black." The president replied, "Really? Then what are they?" [NBC News]

Read the full story at NBC News. Kelly O'Meara Morales

December 27, 2017

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election will churn on, Yahoo News reported Wednesday, as Mueller has apparently taken an interest in the online advertising operation built by the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee last year.

The investigation will reportedly seek to determine whether the Trump campaign and the RNC worked in conjunction with Russian-backed social media accounts that posted false or inflammatory political content. Business Insider's Natasha Bertrand pointed out that Russian hackers reportedly stole private voter records from several state and local election boards throughout the United States during the 2016 election. Curious minds in Congress have wanted to know about the fate of those stolen records since June.

Now, Mueller is reportedly considering the possibility that the Trump campaign and the RNC coordinated their voter outreach in swing states using Russian-acquired information. "Investigators have been looking into whether Russia provided the campaign with voter information stolen by Russian hackers," Bertrand explained, "and whether the Trump campaign helped Russia target its political ads to specific demographics and voting precincts."

Brad Parscale, the head of the Trump campaign's digital team, has said that the idea of coordination with Russia is "a joke," but Bertrand notes that Parscale did not exactly deny having interactions with a "foreign government or foreign actor" in a response to a letter he received earlier this month from congressional investigators.

President Trump reportedly expects Mueller's investigation to end imminently, but a source told Yahoo News that the president's thinking was "fanciful." Kelly O'Meara Morales

February 20, 2017

Uber has launched an "urgent investigation" into claims of sexual harassment, discrimination, and seemingly incompetent HR policies after a former employee published a stunning confessional about her time with the company. Susan Fowler, a former site reliability engineer who joined Uber in 2015, published a long blog post on her website outlining her time with the ride-hailing company, and why she left. In the post, she paints a damning picture of a company where women are targeted and undermined by managers and HR representatives alike.

Fowler claims her manager made sexual advances toward her via online chat. She said she took screenshots of the messages and showed them to human resources, but was told that her boss was a "high performer" and senior managers didn't want to punish him for something they saw as an "innocent mistake." She later discovered other women in the company experienced similar abuse, and received equally insufficient responses from the HR department.

After a series of meetings with HR, things came to a head:

The HR rep began the meeting by asking me if I had noticed that *I* was the common theme in all of the reports I had been making, and that if I had ever considered that I might be the problem ... Less than a week after this absurd meeting, my manager scheduled a 1:1 with me, and told me we needed to have a difficult conversation. He told me I was on very thin ice for reporting his manager to HR. [Susan Fowler]

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said the behavior Fowler described was "abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in." Jessica Hullinger

See More Speed Reads