In case you haven’t heard, Trump’s Lawyer Apparently Used A Private Company and Pseudonyms to Pay Porn Star ‘Stormy Daniels’ $130,000 in return for her agreeing to not publicly discuss an alleged sexual encounter with the president. That’s according to Joe Palazzolo at the Wall Street Journal. On Twitter, Palazzolo named names: “President Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, used a Delaware LLC called Essential Consultants to pay Stormy Daniels for her silence.”
Then Dan Friedman at Mother Jones found out that Stormy Daniels Once Claimed She Spanked Donald Trump With a Forbes Magazine.
And since we’re doing some digging, In Touch Weekly went into its archives to find Stormy Daniels' Full Interview: Inside Her Affair With Donald Trump. Saeed Jones announced it with great fanfare: “WHOOP, THERE IT IS.” While Olivia Messer admitted: “Ok I need to know more about Trump’s obsession with sharks.”
Trump’s other scandals
One year after Trump's inauguration, no one will say how they spent the extra money, Fredreka Schouten reminds us at USA Today. Jason Leopold explained, “Nearly a year after President Trump’s inauguration, the committee that raised a record $106.7 million for the event has not disclosed how much surplus money it still has or provided a final accounting of its finances.”
Top White House staffers have not been granted final approval of their financial reports, McClatchy’s Anita Kumar and Ben Wieder write. Kristin Roberts pointed out: After a year, top Trump staffers still working without certified financial disclosures.
McClatchy also reports that the FBI investigating whether Russia funneled cash to the NRA to aid Trump's campaign. Peter Stone and Greg Gordon are on that story.
Meanwhile, Hayes Brown at BuzzFeed says Hungarian Police Have A Warrant Out For Former Trump Advisor Sebastian Gorka.
Omarosa may have taped confidential White House discussions, according to Flo Anthony and Denis Slattery at the New York Daily News. Harry Siegel tweeted this quote from the story: “Everyone”-including Mueller-“knows Omarosa loves to record people and meetings.” But Courtney Henley had a much more heated take: “Idiot @OMAROSA is soooo desperate to be relevant and get attention that she is now claiming she is scared she may be called to testify in front of Mueller in an attempt to get Chump's attention again! How pathetic.”
A Trump appointee resigns as the public face of the agency that runs AmeriCorps after KFile review of racist, sexist, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT comments on the radio, CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski reports.
According to a new poll: More than half of Americans strongly disapprove of Trump, Mark Murray writes at NBC News. Frank Macek tweeted: “According to the latest national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, fifty-seven percent disapprove of Trump’s job, including a majority of respondents — 51 percent — who now say they strongly disapprove.”
Trump’s 1-year party
Regardless of what else is going on in his administration, Trump fans flock to a Mar-a-Lago celebration, according to David Fahrenthold at The Washington Post. “These are our true friends,” Fahrenthold’s headline reads.
Jennifer Jacobs writes in Bloomberg about Trump Marking His One-Year Anniversary With a Gala Benefit at Mar-a-Lago. Kyle Griffin put it into some monetary perspective: “...with tickets starting at $100,000 a pair, Bloomberg reports. That amount will pay for dinner and a photo. For $250,000, a couple can take part in a roundtable.”
Media companies in hot water
The Los Angeles Times’ publisher is under investigation by the parent company over alleged misconduct, Meg James reports in the LA Times.
If you need more information, David Folkenflik at NPR has Accusations of 'Frat House' Behavior Trail 'LA Times' Publisher's Career. He added on Twitter: “My exclusive: LA Times publisher and CEO Ross Levinsohn was a defendant in two sexual harassment cases settled by employers and female colleagues repeatedly accused him of misconduct throughout his career.”
On the other side of the country, Newsweek Was Raided by The Manhattan DA in a Long-Running Probe. Josh Saul and Celeste Katz wrote that story for Newsweek. Saul explained further on Twitter: “Today my newsroom offices were raided by the Manhattan DA and I wrote a story about it w/ @celestekatznyc.”
Snap Threatens Jail Time for Leakers on Cheddar, according to Cheddar’s Alex Heath. The threat comes one week after The Daily Beast got its hands on some confidential user metrics. James Cook added names to his tweet, “Evan Spiegel sent an internal memo threatening Snapchat employees with jail time for leaking information.”
Somebody must have told the New York Times about its stodgy status because they are now looking for young writers to join The Edit, according to a post by Tim Lahan there. Lindsey Underwood urged, “Are you in college or early in your career? Write for The Edit!” Andrea Ross added, “And it’s paid! Cool opportunity.” Sopan Deb also weighed in with: “I'm biased, but I'm really glad the Times is doing this.”
Jim Waterson prefaced our next piece with this tweet, “Here's something new on Tory MP Ben Bradley. It's... quite a headline.” And here it is, from Alex Spence at BuzzFeed: The Tory MP Who Backed Vasectomies For The Jobless Wanted Police To Play ‘Splat The Chav’ With Water Cannon.
In other news
Henry Goldman tweeted that “The Port Authority blocked Chris Christie from a VIP entrance at Newark's airport, a source says.” Elise Young’s article in Bloomberg calls the whole issue Mortal Again.
The Charlotte Hornets are open to trading Kemba Walker, Adrian Wojnarowski writes at ESPN.
Craft Beer Is the Strangest, Happiest Economic Story in America, is a piece you’ll definitely be talking about this weekend. It was written by Derek Thompson, James Fallows, and Joe Pinsker at The Atlantic so thank them for the brunch convo. Thompson then added this nugget on Twitter: “American beer is 200+-year-old industry. It's somehow tripled its employment and sextupled its establishments in the last decade. How?”
Former FBI director James B. Comey is going to teach a course on ethical leadership for The College of William & Mary, is a headline from Nick Anderson at the Washington Post but also the biggest LOL of the day, if we’re being honest.
Jason Del Rey really rains on everyone’s parade this morning by reporting that Amazon is raising the price of Prime monthly memberships by nearly 20 percent for Re/Code. Felix Salmon digs a little deeper: “Amazon Prime now $99/year or $12.99/mo (which works out to $155.88/yr). A very thinly-disguised way of saying ‘this product is not for anybody who can’t afford an up-front $99.’”