don't look at me
November 26, 2019

For those who theorized Daisy Ridley was to blame for a real Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker script winding up on eBay, every word of what you just said was wrong.

Ridley appeared on Good Morning America Tuesday after director J.J. Abrams revealed that the film's actual script got out and was briefly put up for sale on eBay, blaming an unnamed actor who left it under their bed for someone cleaning their house to find; the studio intervened before the screenplay could actually be sold. While Abrams didn't name the actor responsible, fans immediately speculated it could have been Ridley or potentially Adam Driver.

But Ridley denied responsibility Tuesday, telling GMA, "It wasn't me."

The mystery of who it was may already be solved, as Ridley without naming names suggested her co-star John Boyega, who is set to appear on GMA Wednesday, is the suspect we're looking for.

"Now, I'm not going to throw the person under the bus who it is,” Ridley said. “But there is someone else potentially coming on the show this week who can answer the question as to who that was."

Abrams, presumably, had only one thing to say when he heard who was responsible: "traitor!" Brendan Morrow

April 16, 2019

White House officials are bracing for the fallout of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report, anxious they could be revealed as the source of damaging information, NBC News reports.

Attorney General William Barr previously released his summary of the report's main conclusions, saying Mueller did not establish that President Trump's campaign conspired with Russia and did not make a determination about whether the president obstructed justice. But the redacted report, which the Department of Justice says will be released on Thursday, may contain information that could be politically damaging, some of which would have come from current and former White House officials who cooperated.

Some of these officials are experiencing "breakdown-level anxiety" ahead of the report's release, a person close to the White House told NBC, while a former White House official added, "they got asked questions and told the truth and now they're worried the wrath will follow."

It's not clear whether these names would be redacted; Barr has said he would redact information to protect the privacy of "peripheral third parties." But even if they were, a former White House official explained that there are instances where it would be easy to identify the source of information that "applies to just one person." Some of these officials have had their lawyers ask the Justice Department to explain whether they'll be identifiable in the report, but they haven't gotten an answer.

One of those officials who cooperated with Mueller is Don McGahn, the former White House counsel, and ABC's Jonathan Karl reports that what McGahn may have said is "what worries [the White House] most." Brendan Morrow

October 22, 2018

President Trump has repeatedly said the upcoming midterm elections are about him. But it seems that rule only applies if Republicans stack up a bunch of wins.

In private, Trump has reportedly been saying that the midterms are not a referendum on him at all, Politico reports. Though Trump is optimistic about a "red wave," Politico reports that in the case of Republican losses, he thinks Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would be to blame. The president has reportedly been saying that "if they screw it up, it's not my fault." Never mind that he recently told supporters that "this [election] is also a referendum about me," per The Washington Post.

One aide told Politico that Trump would likely blame an unfavorable outcome partially on Ryan for sticking around as a lame duck speaker of the House. Another source said Trump would chalk losses up to the fact that candidates didn't adhere closely enough to his message, and so his own supporters didn't turn out.

Either way, it seems Trump has his fall guys picked out if things don't go as planned for the GOP next month. Brendan Morrow

March 30, 2018

President Trump has been cleaning house of late, and no one in Washington is safe. Two Cabinet secretaries have been dismissed via Twitter, while the ones who remain in their posts have been directed to reassign dozens of career government officials for nebulous reasons. Meanwhile, public perception of Trump's performance in office remains sour.

It's no wonder, then, that many federal workers are just trying to lay low. So low, in fact, that in a lengthy exploration of life in Washington under Trump published Friday, Politico revealed that some employees are actually trying to avoid being promoted:

The HHS employee, and others interviewed by Politico, said they were hesitant to seek promotions because they didn't want to work closely with Trump appointees they view as unqualified and deeply partisan.

After [Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke] said he would reassign up to 50 senior executive staff members, employees further down the chain realized that seeking a promotion could put them in the crosshairs for reassignments that seemed to them based more on politics and less on their skill sets or job requirements.

"With those jobs, there was always a possibility that you would have to relocate," an Interior Department staffer said. "But the idea that you'll be arbitrarily relocated because the administration thinks you can't be trusted, that's unheard of. So it's really stagnated, the number of people who apply for those jobs." [Politico]

Longtime federal employees said they were "keeping their heads down," Politico wrote, and "ignoring possible avenues for promotions because they have little interest in being subjected to the political infighting that has taken hold in many agencies." Others have struggled with marital strife, increased drinking, or social alienation as a result of working under Trump. Read more at Politico. Kimberly Alters

November 4, 2016

After a jury on Friday found his two former allies guilty on all charges in the Bridgegate trial, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) released a statement maintaining he had "no knowledge" of the 2013 lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. "I had no knowledge prior to or during these lane realignments, and had no role in authorizing them," Christie wrote in the statement. "No believable evidence was presented to contradict that fact."

The lane closures have been interpreted as an act of political retaliation after the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, where the bridge access lanes are located, refused to endorse Christie in the governor's re-election race that year. Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie's former deputy chief of staff, and Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, each faced seven counts and could face up to 20 years in prison after Friday's verdict.

Christie, a former federal prosecutor, vowed to "set the record straight in the coming days regarding the lies that were told by the media and in the courtroom." During his testimony, former Port Authority official David Wildstein — serving as the prosecution's key witness — said the governor "laughed" when he found out about the closures.

Christie said he is "saddened by this case" and "about the choices made by" Wildstein, who had previously admitted to masterminding the plot, as well as Kelly and Baroni. You can read Christie's entire statement below. Becca Stanek

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