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  • Royal Feud Explodes Into Public View Again as Palace Mulls Exile of Harry and Meghan

    Chris Jackson / GettyHow would you feel if you found out your brother was planning to exile you to Africa because you were more popular than him?The relationship between Prince Harry and Prince William looked decidedly frosty as they walked separately into an Easter service at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on Sunday. It came after the bombshell revelation that there are plots afoot to send Harry and Meghan overseas for two or three years in 2020, partly to stop the glamorous newlyweds from overshadowing William and Kate.Fresh palace spin Monday sought to suggest that Harry and Meghan “like the idea” (which is fortunate, isn’t it?), but it was hard to avoid the conclusion from observing the brothers on Sunday that an unseasonal chill had descended over the young royals.Amid rumored fears by palace staff that Meghan and Harry could be “bigger than Diana,” the brothers, who were once inseparable, appeared to be doing everything they could to keep out of each other’s way as they shuffled awkwardly into church for an Easter service.Harry was alone (Meghan, expecting her baby any day now, did not attend) but, instead of forming a trio with William and Kate, he chose to tag along with cousin Zara and her husband, Mike Tindall.At the entrance to the church, Harry held back so he did not have to go in with his brother, or sit next to him inside. Their decision to not walk into church together was no mere accident of logistics.The royals know that these big set piece church arrivals are laden with symbolism and, in previous years, it would have been unimaginable for a solo Harry not to stroll in with William and Kate to provide a clear symbol of unity among the younger generation of the Crown.But such is the distance opening up between the brothers that Harry kept away-he looked tense and preoccupied and clearly avoided making eye contact with William.What is particularly interesting about this falling out is that there no longer appears to be any attempt to hide it. In times gone by, a quintessentially British stiff upper lip would have been deployed and the two princes would have walked into church together with a game smile on their faces. Recriminations would have taken place safely behind palace walls.But for a surly Harry to stare at his shoes in public in the company of his brother is a bizarre new development, and perhaps gives credence to recent reports that Harry is becoming more outspoken in his defiance of the mores of his role. Notably, the palace is clearly not seeking to deny The Sunday Times story.Another ill-advised glug of petrol was poured on the fire by William and Kate when they posted a 93rd-birthday greeting to their grandmother on the Kensington Palace account, which appeared to deliberately exclude Meghan.William and Kate’s message on their Kensington Royal Instagram account read: “Wishing a very happy 93rd birthday to Her Majesty The Queen!"However, the picture used was from the 2016 Trooping of the Color event. It showed the Queen, Prince Philip, William, Harry, Kate, George, and Charlotte. There are plenty of pictures from last year that included Meghan that would have worked just as well.The Queen seems unlikely to have spent yesterday checking her grandchildren’s Instagrams for birthday messages. Meghan, on the other hand, tucked quietly away in Frogmore Cottage, could well have been. One can’t help wondering, therefore, who the picture was really meant for.Read more at The Daily Beast.

  • AP FACT CHECK: Trump, AG spread untruths on Mueller report

    WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump is still distorting the truth about the Russia investigation , claiming exoneration from a special counsel's report that he is also assailing as hopelessly biased.Confronted with unflattering details in the report about his monthslong effort to undermine federal investigators, Trump over the weekend blasted special counsel Robert Mueller's appointment as "highly conflicted." In fact, the Justice Department's ethics experts cleared Mueller to run the two-year investigation and Trump's own aides previously dismissed the president's complaints as "ridiculous" and unfounded.Trump is also claiming full vindication by the report. But while clearing Trump of criminal conspiracy, Mueller all but boldfaced this other finding in the 400-plus page report: No exoneration for Trump on obstruction of justice.The statements were among many misrepresentations spread over the past week by the president's team, including Attorney General William Barr, who declared Trump innocent and suggested, inaccurately, that Congress had no role in deciding the matter.A review:RUSSIA INVESTIGATIONTRUMP: "The Mueller Report ... was written as nastily as possible by 13 (18) Angry Democrats who were true Trump Haters, including highly conflicted Bob Mueller himself." - tweet Saturday.THE FACTS: Trump repeats a baseless charge that Mueller is a "highly conflicted" prosecutor, something that Trump's own aides have debunked.Trump has previously tweeted and complained to aides that Mueller would not be objective, saying Mueller had interviewed for the FBI director position shortly before being named as special counsel and that Mueller had disputed some fees relating to his membership at a Trump golf course.But the president's aides, including then-White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, then-White House counsel Don McGahn and Reince Priebus, the chief of staff at the time, rejected those complaints as not representing "true conflicts," according to the special counsel's report. Bannon also called the claims "ridiculous." Bannon indicated that while the White House had invited Mueller to speak to the president about the FBI and thought about asking him to become director, Mueller did not come in looking for a job.Mueller, a longtime Republican, was cleared by the Justice Department to lead the Russia investigation. The department said in May 2017 that its ethics experts "determined that Mr. Mueller's participation in the matters assigned to him is appropriate." The issue had come up because of his former position at the WilmerHale law firm, which represented some key players in the probe.Mueller was appointed as special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a Trump appointee.___TRUMP: "The Mueller Report should not have been authorized in the first place." - tweet Saturday.THE FACTS: Trump is entitled to that opinion. The grounds he has given, though, are at odds with some facts.He claimed as recently as last month that the probe was hatched by Democrats after losing the 2016 election. As evidence, Trump often points to a dossier of anti-Trump research financed by the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's campaign. The research that was ultimately compiled into the dossier was initially financed by anti-Trump conservatives, and later by the Democrats.But the Mueller report makes clear that the FBI's investigation actually began months before it received the dossier.The report notes the investigation was initiated after the FBI received information related to Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, not the dossier. Last year, the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee made the same finding.In late July 2016, days after WikiLeaks released thousands of internal Democratic National Committee documents that proved embarrassing to Clinton, the FBI became aware of a meeting two months prior between Papadopoulos and a representative of a foreign government, according to Mueller's report. Papadopoulos claimed the Trump campaign had received "indications" from Moscow that it could assist the campaign by anonymously releasing political dirt on Clinton."Within a week of the (WikiLeaks) release, a foreign government informed the FBI about its May 2016 interaction with Papadopoulos," the report stated. "On July 31, 2016, based on the foreign government reporting, the FBI opened an investigation into potential co-ordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign."___TRUMP: "The end result of the greatest Witch Hunt in U.S. political history is No Collusion with Russia (and No Obstruction). Pretty Amazing!" - tweet Saturday.VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: "Today's release of the Special Counsel's report confirms what the President and I have said since day one: there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and there was no obstruction of justice." - statement Thursday.KELLYANNE CONWAY, White House counsellor: "What matters is what the Department of Justice and special counsel concluded here, which is no collusion, no obstruction, and complete exoneration, as the president says." - remarks Thursday to reporters.THE FACTS: The special counsel's report specifically does not exonerate Trump, leaving open the question of whether the president obstructed justice."If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state," Mueller wrote. "Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment."The report identifies 10 instances of possible obstruction by Trump and said he might have "had a motive" to impede the investigation because of what it could find on a variety of personal matters, such as his proposal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow."The evidence does indicate that a thorough FBI investigation would uncover facts about the campaign and the President personally that the President could have understood to be crimes or that would give rise to personal and political concerns," the report states.In explaining its decision, Mueller's team said reaching a conclusion on whether Trump committed crimes would be inappropriate because of a Justice Department legal opinion indicating that a sitting president should not be prosecuted. It nevertheless left open at least the theoretical possibility that Trump could be charged after he leaves office, noting that its factual investigation was conducted "in order to preserve the evidence when memories were fresh and documentary material were available.""Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him," the report states.___SARAH SANDERS, White House press secretary, on her statements from 2017 that many people in the FBI wanted James Comey, the director, fired: "The sentiment is 100% accurate." - "CBS This Morning," Friday.THE FACTS: Her answer on this subject was far different when she gave it under oath.After Trump fired Comey, she told reporters on May 10, 2017, that "the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director" and "accordingly" the president removed him. When a reporter said most FBI agents supported Comey, Sanders said, "Look, we've heard from countless members of the FBI that say very different things."But when Mueller's team interviewed her under oath, she backed off that story. According to the Mueller report, she said it was a "slip of the tongue" to say that countless FBI people wanted Comey out, that her statement about the rank and file losing confidence in him was offered "in the heat of the moment" and that, in the report's words, it "was not founded on anything."Now she's back to suggesting that Comey was in fact unpopular in the FBI. "I said that it was in the heat of the moment, meaning it wasn't a scripted thing," she said Friday. "But the big takeaway here is that the sentiment is 100% accurate."The Mueller report says there is "no evidence" that Trump heard complaints about Comey's leadership from FBI employees before firing him.Mueller evaluated nearly a dozen episodes for possible obstruction of justice and said he could not conclusively determine that Trump had committed criminal obstruction. Among those episodes was his manner of firing Comey. Mueller found "substantial evidence" corroborating Comey's account of a dinner at which he said Trump pressed him for his loyalty.Although Sanders attributed her remark about Comey's unpopularity to "heat of the moment," Trump has voiced the same sentiment. As recently as January, he tweeted: "The rank and file of the FBI are great people who are disgusted with what they are learning about Lyin' James Comey and the so-called 'leaders' of the FBI."__ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR, asked if Mueller intended for Congress, not the attorney general, to decide whether Trump obstructed justice: "Well, special counsel Mueller did not indicate that his purpose was to leave the decision to Congress. I hope that was not his view. ... I didn't talk to him directly about the fact that we were making the decision, but I am told that his reaction to that was that it was my prerogative as attorney general to make that decision."THE FACTS: Mueller's report actually does indicate that Congress could make that determination.The report states that no person is above the law, including the president, and that the Constitution "does not categorically and permanently immunize a President for obstructing justice."In his four-page memo last month, Barr said while Mueller left open the question of whether Trump broke the law by obstructing the investigation, Barr was ultimately deciding as attorney general that the evidence developed by Mueller was "not sufficient" to establish, for the purposes of prosecution, that Trump obstructed justice.But the special counsel's report specifies that Congress can also render a judgment on that question.It says: "The conclusion that Congress may apply obstruction laws to the President's corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law."___BARR: "These reports are not supposed to be made public." - remarks Thursday at the Justice Department.THE FACTS: The attorney general is not going out on a limb for public disclosure.Justice Department regulations give Barr wide authority to release a special counsel's report in situations it "would be in the public interest." Barr had made clear during his Senate confirmation hearing in January that he believed in transparency with the report on Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference during the 2016 campaign, "consistent with regulations and the law."___BARR, saying it was "consistent with long-standing practice" for him to share a copy of the redacted report with the White House and president's attorneys before its release: "Earlier this week, the president's personal counsel requested and were given the opportunity to read a final version of the redacted report before it was publicly released. That request was consistent with the practice followed under the Ethics in Government Act, which permitted individuals named in a report prepared by an independent counsel the opportunity to read the report before publication." - remarks Thursday.THE FACTS: Barr's decision, citing the Ethics in Government Act, is inconsistent with independent counsel Ken Starr's handling of his report into whether President Bill Clinton obstructed and lied in Starr's probe.On Sept. 7, 1998, Clinton's attorney David Kendall requested that Starr provide him an opportunity to review the report before it was sent to Congress. Starr quickly turned him down."As a matter of legal interpretation, I respectfully disagree with your analysis," Starr wrote to Kendall two days later. Starr called Kendall "mistaken" regarding the rights of the president's attorneys to "review a 'report' before it is transmitted to Congress."Starr's report was governed by the ethics act cited by Barr as his justification for showing the report to the president's team. It has since expired. Current regulations governing Mueller's work don't specify how confidential information should be shared with the White House.Starr's report led to the impeachment trial of Clinton in 1999.___ECONOMYTRUMP: "I have never been happier or more content because your Country is doing so well, with an Economy that is the talk of the World and may be stronger than it has ever been before." - tweet Sunday.TRUMP: "I believe it will be Crazy Bernie Sanders vs. Sleepy Joe Biden as the two finalists to run against maybe the best Economy in the history of our Country." - tweet Tuesday.TRUMP: "We may have the best economy we've ever had." - remarks on April 15 in Burnsville, Minnesota.THE FACTS: The economy is healthy but not one of the best in history. Also, there are signs it is weakening after a spurt of growth last year.The economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.9 per cent last year, a solid pace. But it was just the fastest in four years. In the late 1990s, growth topped 4 per cent for four straight years, a level it has not yet reached under Trump. And growth even reached 7.2 per cent in 1984.Independent economists widely expect slower growth this year as the effects of the Trump administration's tax cuts fade, trade tensions and slower global growth hold back exports, and higher interest rates make it more expensive to borrow to buy cars and homes.___TRUMP: "We cut your taxes. Biggest tax cut in history."- Minnesota remarks.THE FACTS: His tax cuts are nowhere close to the biggest in U.S. history.It's a $1.5 trillion tax cut over 10 years. As a share of the total economy, a tax cut of that size ranks 12th, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. President Ronald Reagan's 1981 cut is the biggest followed by the 1945 rollback of taxes that financed World War II.Post-Reagan tax cuts also stand among the historically significant: President George W. Bush's cuts in the early 2000s and President Barack Obama's renewal of them a decade later.___Associated Press writers Eric Tucker, Josh Boak and Darlene Superville contributed to this report.___Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bdFollow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheckEDITOR'S NOTE _ A look at the veracity of claims by political figuresHope Yen And Calvin Woodward, The Associated Press

  • 'Game of Thrones': Did Bran Just Hint That the White Walkers Will Win the War?

    (Spoilers ahead for the second episode of season 8 of “Game of Thrones”)We had to wait a little bit, but about 10 minutes into the second episode of this final season of “Game of Thrones” we finally saw Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) have a one-on-one conversation. The conversation only happened because Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) spoke on Jaime’s behalf when Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) seemed intent on murdering him. Brienne’s endorsement swayed Sansa (Sophie Turner), and that in turn swayed Dany.And so we finally got the confrontation we’d been waiting on since Jaime shoved Bran out a window at the end of the very first episode of “Game of Thrones.”Also Read: 'Game of Thrones': What Was That Song Podrick Sang?It wasn’t actually much of a confrontation, though, since Bran is different now than he was back then. As the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran is divorced from his sense of self and is all about being pragmatic now. So he’s not mad at Jaime - he wants Jaime to be able to help with the war effort against the Night King and his army of the dead.Speaking of which, Bran said something pretty weird and interesting at the end of this conversation. After Bran noted that Jaime wouldn’t be able to help if Sansa or Dany had him executed, Jaime logically asked if Bran’s pragmatic view would change after this whole nightmare ends. “What about afterwards?” Jaime asked.To which Bran replied, very cryptically: “How do you know there is an afterwards?”Also Read: 'Game of Thrones' Season 8 Episode 2: 7 Biggest Questions Answered and 17 We Have LeftIf anybody else had said that, I’d interpret that comment as meaning, like, that it’s meaningless at this moment to worry about what comes after the war when the war is literally about the survival of all living things. But coming from Bran, who theoretically knows how the war against the Night King will end, that line plays very differently. It plays like he’s warning Jaime that they should expect to fail.Of course, there’s any number of reasons why Bran would nudge Jaime like that that doesn’t involved the Night King winning the Game of Thrones. As a prophet-type character, his role in the story now - assuming humanity will win somehow - would be to push people into the positions they need to be in to make that victory happen. But he can’t tell them straight up what needs to be done, because telling someone their future would then change their future.The most likely thing going on with that line, then, is that Bran is telling Jaime what he needs to hear in that moment - that he needs to put aside all his baggage because none of it will matter if they lose and everyone dies.Also Read: 'Game of Thrones': Can Any Knight Really Make Anyone Else a Knight?The next most likely scenario is that Bran is hinting only that Jaime himself will not survive the war and so the question of what the Stark family will want to do to him after the war will be moot anyway. Like there’s an unstated “for you” at the end of his question. How do you know there is an afterwards for you?But what if that’s not what that is? What if Bran is broaching the possibility that the Night King and the army of the dead are going to win the war because he knows that they will? It’s not a possibility that I have ever really taken seriously, because why would this show end that way? And if Bran knows the Night King is going to win then why is he doing what he’s doing to help the resistance efforts?For the sake of preserving the drama in this final stretch of “Game of Thrones” episodes, we have no idea what Bran knows about how the war is going to play out, so for now we’re just going to have to settle for picking apart all the possible interpretations of this cryptic eight-word sentence.Read original story ‘Game of Thrones': Did Bran Just Hint That the White Walkers Will Win the War? At TheWrap

  • Maisie Williams on How Weird It Was to Shoot Arya Stark's Sex Scene With Gendry

    "No one wants to make you feel uncomfortable which kind of makes you feel more uncomfortable."

  • Lori Loughlin's Marriage Is Experiencing Tension With Ongoing College Admissions Scandal

    This follows news that the couple is pleading not guilty in the case.

  • Justin Bieber Praises Wife Hailey's Assets in Kendall Jenner's Coachella Pic

    The 'Sorry' singer is admiring the view.