Steve Bannon believed Trump had dementia and plotted to remove him as president, according to new book | Investigation of Donald Trump and Trumpism – trumpinvestigation.net: What role did the retired FBI agents play in Capitol riot? | In new defense, dozens of Capitol rioters say law enforcement ‘let us in’ to building

Steve Bannon believed Trump had dementia and plotted to remove him as president, according to new book

Donald Trump and Steve Bannon US President Donald Trump congratulates Senior Counselor to the President Stephen Bannon during the swearing in of senior staff in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on January 22, 2017.
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Donald Trump and Steve Bannon US President Donald Trump congratulates Senior Counselor to the President Stephen Bannon during the swearing in of senior staff in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on January 22, 2017.

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Steve Bannon said he thought Donald Trump had dementia and launched a covert plan to remove him as president through the 25th Amendment, according to a new book by the veteran TV producer Isa Rosen.

Rosen shared the revelation while discussing his new memoir based on his work on CBS' iconic news show 60 Minutes called Ticking Clock: Behind the Scenes at 60 Minutes,' on Skullduggery, a Yahoo News podcast.

In the memoir, released this week, he wrote that Bannon believed Trump "was suffering from early-stage dementia and that there was a real possibility he would be removed from office by the 25th Amendment."

The 25th Amendment exists for when the president is incapable of carrying out his duties.

Bannon, a former Executive Chairman of the hard-right Breitbart News, was Chief Executive Officer of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. He served as White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to the President until Trump fired him in 2017, less than seven months after the inauguration.

Rosen told podcast hosts Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman that Trump "turned on Bannon" after he appeared on a Time magazine cover in February 2017, weeks after the president was sworn in.

Calling it a"conspiracy" in his book, the award-winning TV producer added: "Bannon realized that Trump was repeating the same stories over and over again and Bannon kept saying this and he wanted to do something about it."

 Bannon even visited Republican super donor Robert Mercer's home and tried to recruit him to the plot, said Rosen.

"Now, the secret was that Bannon crazily thought that he could be president," said Rosen."He would have been very happy to see Trump disappear from the scenes, either through the 25th Amendment, resigning for whatever reason, and he would step in and fill the gulf and carry the mantle of the Trump followers. But he was delusional about it."

Rosen also includes a text that Bannon sent him in his book, which reads: "You need to do the 25th Amendment piece... BTW brother I never steer u wrong."

Rosen told Skullduggery that Bannon was a "big talker" and a gossip. He would often drop in for casual chats at the White House and said he had a "therapist" role with Bannon. He described, "loitering in the chief of staff's office, drinking Diet Cokes … and he would kind of download to me on stories."

Bannon's tenure came to an abrupt end following reports of power struggles with Jared Kushner, Trump's senior advisor and son-in-law, as well as various other high-level White House staffers.

Trump had also become tired of him constantly taking credit for winning the election and their relationship fractured. 

Bannon responded to Rosen's claims himself during his own 'War Room' podcast. He said: "This is another reporter trying to be a grifter and... complete, total fantasy."

He did hint of White Hosue whispers about invoking the 25th Amendment, implicating other former senior members of the Trump administration. 

"If you want to find out whoever said about the 25th Amendment go and talk to "anonymous" and talk about John Kelly (the White House chief of staff from 2017-2019) and talk to Jim Mattis (the secretary of defense 2017-2018) and talk to the cabinet members," said Bannon.

Bannon and Trump have since patched up their differences. The former President pardoned Bannon just days before leaving office after he was charged with defrauding Trump's political supporters amid a private effort to build a Mexican border wall.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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New York Attorney General Letitia James on Feb. 12 announced an $800,000 grant to the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the Center for New York City Neighborhoods as part of an anti-displacement program aimed at increasing awareness of scams and deed theft in vulnerable neighborhoods.

The program uses settlement funds obtained by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and includes a Homeowner Help Desk and a grassroots “support your neighbor” outreach campaign.

The OAG’s expansion of its “Protect Our Homes” initiative is a part of the New York State Anti-Displacement Learning Network, a $10 million program from Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. (Enterprise) that works to preserve community stabilization and allows residents to remain in their homes in 10 municipalities and counties across the state.

“COVID-19 has exposed and expanded the economic pressures New Yorkers were already under, and homeowners in gentrified areas throughout New York City continue to be targeted in schemes designed to steal their homes,” James said.

“Deed theft is a crime that threatens to rip away homeownership and perpetuates a terrible cycle of displacement,” she added. “This initiative is critical to helping New Yorkers stay in their homes, and my office will continue to work alongside our government and community partners to combat these predatory and heartless crimes.”

James said the anti-displacement network grant is a dual-track program aimed at protecting homeowners at risk of financial distress, foreclosure, and displacement in South/Central Brooklyn, Southeast Queens and the Northeastern Bronx.

Using data analysis, the attorney general said the program will identify individual owners at higher risk of becoming the target of scammers and provide targeted outreach to these homeowners.

Further, she said the anti-displacement network grant will support the expansion of the Homeowner Help Desk, which will be staffed by nonprofit housing experts.

In addition to individual outreach, the program includes a comprehensive outreach campaign to provide communities with the information and resources needed to protect themselves and their neighbors against scams, James said.

She said the Homeowner Help Desk will tailor its outreach and services to the most at-risk communities of color, focusing on the specific need to disrupt patterns of fraud, speculation and displacement, as well as protect home equity built over decades.

“New York City takes the threat of deed theft and scams seriously, and we want to make sure struggling homeowners get the help they need to keep their homes, maintain safe, quality housing, and build equity that can be passed on to the next generation,” said HPD Commissioner, Louise Carroll. “Especially in light of the economic effects of COVID-19, we are glad to have the support of Attorney General Letitia James as we work with the Center and so many others to actively reach out to vulnerable homeowners.”

“We are thrilled to work in partnership with the OAG, HPD, and Enterprise to deploy our Homeowner Help Desk so that New Yorkers can protect their homes, assets, and hard-earned equity from scams and displacement,” said Christie Peale, chief executive officer/executive director of Center for NYC Neighborhoods. “The Help Desk is an especially critical tool for supporting and stabilizing communities of color, reducing the racial wealth gap, and empowering homeowners and their neighbors.”

Elizabeth Zeldin, director of Enterprise Community Partners, said “Enterprise is pleased to fund this important strategy to ensure that homeowners have the assistance and resources to stay in their homes.

“The ‘Protect our Homes’ expansion is a critical strategy to prevent deed theft and scams and to promote stable homeownership in key NYC neighborhoods,” she said.

James said teed theft has become a common tool of career criminals and unscrupulous real estate developers to illegally obtain real estate, so they can sell it at a huge profit in high-demand housing markets, like Brooklyn.

“This illegal scheme especially affects people of color, the elderly and other vulnerable homeowners who are scammed into signing over the deeds to their homes to con artists,” she said.

“Deed theft usually happens when scammers forge deeds to look like they purchased the home, or when homeowners are tricked into signing their homes over to a scammer without knowing what they are doing,” she added. “Scammers then seek to evict the homeowner and sell the house to a third party at a significant profit.”

In January 2020, Attorney General James launched the office’s “Protect Our Homes” initiative, a program that uses prevention and enforcement actions to combat deed theft in New York City.

The OAG also formed an interagency deed theft taskforce with members including the district attorneys from all five boroughs in New York City and the Office of the Sheriff of the City of New York.

The anti-displacement program builds off these efforts by focusing on the neighborhoods most at-risk of deed fraud, enlisting community members to talk about deed theft with their neighbors and educating community members about how to spot deed fraud scams.

Those who believe they have experienced deed theft are encouraged to contact the OAG by calling the help line at 1-800-771-7755, emailing deedtheft@ag.ny.gov, or filling out the online complaint form.

“Protecting homeowners from deed fraud, theft, and other tactics used to displace long-time is a priority for our office,” said State Sen. Zellnor Myrie, who represents the 20th Senate District in Brooklyn.

“I’m grateful to the Attorney General, HPD, the Center for NYC Neighborhoods and Enterprise Community Partners for supporting this critical work, and for building on our efforts to stabilize communities in Central Brooklyn,” added Myrie whose grand-mother hailed from Jamaica.

Assemblymember Diana Richardson, who represents the 43rd Assembly District, encompassing Crown Heights in Brooklyn, said “homeownership creates stability, security, and generational wealth for individuals and their families throughout our great state.

“I proudly support these programs being implemented by the Attorney General to keep families in their homes by further protecting them from the many bad actors seeking to displace them for the sole reason of turning a profit,” said the daughter of Aruban and St. Martin immigrants.

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The city’s Campaign Finance Board announced on Tuesday that Khari Edwards’ campaign for Brooklyn Borough President received $491,182 in public matching funds.

The amount Edwards received was greater than the amount received by Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon ($481,224) and Councilmember Antonio Reynoso ($462,880).

Edwards said he was the only non-elected official in the race to qualify for matching funds.

Over 800 contributions totaling $144,942 were reported by the campaign.

“I am proud of the unprecedented level of grassroots support our campaign has built across Brooklyn, and I know that our momentum, which easily rivals that of the politicians in this race, will only continue to grow stronger,” said Edwards.

His recent endorsements include: Assemblymember Nick Perry; Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel; former Brookdale Hospital president and chief executive officer Mark Toney; famed educator Dr. Nadia Lopez; and Sheepshead Bay Houses Tenant Association president Barbara McFadden.

Edwards is an experienced leader in healthcare and government, most recently serving for eight years as the vice president of external affairs at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center. Edwards made history as the hospital’s first vice president of color.

During his tenure, Edwards said he “crafted and executed” a strategic plan to build community trust with the 1.3 million Brooklynites who live in neighborhoods serviced by the hospital.

Edwards said he also credited with spearheading a new initiative to increase census engagement in Central and North Brooklyn; creating the “It Starts Here” program, which connected over 2200 students with victims of gun violence; and organizing 250 union members, healthcare professionals, elected officials, and community stakeholders to address health, housing and employment disparities in East Brooklyn.

Edwards said he has worked for several elected officials, non-profit organizations and city agencies focusing on strengthening communities and connecting Brooklynites to vital social services.

During his time with the State Legislature, Edwards said he worked with every hospital in Brooklyn to address healthcare inequities and potential hospital closures.

As the Brooklyn Council president for Make-A-Wish New York, Edwards said he led a two-year campaign to enlist volunteers to enroll over 400 wish granters for children in Brooklyn.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Edwards is the son of immigrant parents from Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.

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Kansas City-area Proud Boy charged in Capitol riot released from custody after ... 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. ... worker from Olathe, had blamed former President Donald Trump for the riot, ... 6 attack on the Capitol, the judge said.
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U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Department of Justice

By ALEXANDER MALLIN, ALEX HOSENBALL and OLIVIA RUBIN, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — As authorities continue to pursue individuals who participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol, a growing number of those charged are employing a new defense: blaming the police for letting them in.

At least 29 people arrested for their role in the Jan. 6 events have claimed they thought they were free to enter the Capitol because law enforcement authorities either didn’t stop them from coming in or never told them they were not allowed to be there, according to affidavits and court filings reviewed by ABC News.

“He was not at the front of the lines, he didn’t see barricades being knocked down, he didn’t see officers getting assaulted, he didn’t see anything other than large crowds at the Capitol,” Thomas Mayr, the lawyer for Christopher Grider, one of the people accused of participating in the riot, told ABC News. “He went through an open door.”

Grider, of Texas, is one of dozens of suspected rioters who claimed to be unaware they were not allowed inside — some of whom argued that they were actually ushered in by officers. He now faces multiple charges including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Jacob Lewis of California told investigators he was never told that he could not enter the Capitol, and that he was “escorted” by police into the building. When reached by ABC News, Lewis said he would be releasing video footage to “back up his story.” He declined to share the video with ABC News. Lewis was indicted on four misdemeanor charges, including disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building.

Even as scrutiny of Capitol police continues to build, experts say it is unlikely such a defense will work in most situations.

“In general, ignorance of the law is not an excuse for criminal behavior,” said Taryn Merkl, senior counsel in the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice and a former federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York.

Many accused rioters also face multiple charges for crimes they allegedly committed once inside the building, which experts say would render their claims of legal entry meaningless.

“Whether or not people knew that it was not lawful to enter the grounds as they did, many are charged with parading, demonstrating, or picketing — and that is prohibited, and no intent is required,” Merkl said.

Brandon Fellows, for example, told investigators he did not think he was going to get in trouble because the police officers seemed to be “on our side,” but he was later seen with his feet up on the desk of Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.

“Even if the officer had permitted him in the rotunda area or somewhere that might conceivably be a public space, anybody knows that breaking into a private senatorial office is wrongful, and would obstruct the administration of government,” Merkl said.

U.C. Berkeley law professor Charles Weisselberg, a former public defender, said the defense might help those charged with crimes where intent is required.

“If someone believes that they are allowed to do something, it might negate the intent that’s otherwise required to convict,” Weisselberg told ABC News. “Whether it is successful or not depends on the facts, what they heard, saw, and believed, but I could see that being presented.”

Merkl, however, noted that the majority of the rioters are charged under specific statutes that apply to the protection of the Capitol, for which prosecutors don’t have to prove intent on the part of the accused.

Dimitry Shakhnevich, a criminal defense attorney and adjunct assistant professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, also said that defense wouldn’t work.

“If I leave my door open to my house, you can’t bolt in, even though I left the door open,” Shakhnevich said. “It’s still trespassing … and making the argument that I impliedly consented to access by leaving my door open is silly.”

Still, claims by those who say they were unaware they were committing illegal acts could sharpen the distinction between Trump supporters who may have gotten swept up in the moment and hardened extremists who went to the Capitol with plans to commit violence. An ABC News analysis of court records, military records, interviews and available news reports found that at least 19 of those arrested have associations or possible ties to extremist groups, including the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and Three Percenters. Numerous individuals associated with those groups have since been charged with conspiracy.

And while some accused rioters say they believed law enforcement allowed them to enter, others are saying they believed they were acting under direct orders from then-President Donald Trump, who told his supporters at the rally before the attack that they should “fight like hell” and that he would be joining them on their march to the Capitol.

An ABC News analysis found at least a dozen rioters have mounted such a defense, a point that was raised multiple times by Democrats as they sought last week to convict Trump on charges that he directly incited the mob.

Weisselberg said that authorities prosecuting accused rioters will likely dispute such claims by pointing directly to what the rioters observed upon arriving at the Capitol.

“You’re looking at the location where they entered, you’re looking at the time that they entered, you’re looking to see whether it would have appeared that that they were entering a restricted space,” Weisselberg said. “The prosecution might counter with other facts, arguing that for a person who came up to the building at this particular location, they actually couldn’t have believed that they were entitled to enter because they saw broken glass, damage, and other things that should have been apparent to this person entering at that particular point in time.”

The claims, whether successful or not, bring a renewed focus on the conduct of police that day. In the aftermath of the attack, officials began questioning why law enforcement was not better prepared, and numerous investigations have been opened in the weeks since.

Earlier this week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that Congress would create an outside commission to investigate the riot, including “the preparedness and response of the United States Capitol Police and other Federal, State, and local law enforcement in the National Capitol Region.”

The Senate is scheduled to hold its first hearing into the security preparations leading up to Jan. 6 next week, and has called current and former officials responsible for securing the U.S. Capitol building to testify.

Bryce Lowry Caldwell, an attorney for one of the alleged rioters, told ABC News they were “looking into” the actions of the Capitol Police as a possible defense.

“Numerous individuals have been charged for being on a piece of property when they shouldn’t be,” he told ABC News. “If someone let them on … that’s an issue.”

Caldwell’s client, Jordan Revlett, had posted on Snapchat that “a capitol police officer opened the door from inside to let us in,” according to the FBI affidavit. Revlett also told investigators he “did not see any signs that would have restricted his entry” and that “a police officer was standing behind the door he entered, who did not try to stop his entry.”

“There’s several other defendants who said the same,” Caldwell told ABC News. “I would feel safe to say that’s an issue the Department of Justice would be looking into.”

When asked for comment, a DOJ official referred ABC News to its previous statements that “any individuals who intentionally committed a crime that day will be charged.”

Investigations have since been opened into the actions of 35 Capitol Police officers, a congressional official told ABC News, and at least two officers have been suspended, according to Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio.

Other officers have been honored for their heroism in protecting the Capitol during the attack, which left five dead, including a Capitol Police officer, and injured dozens of officers.

Capitol police did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

“I certainly believe that the Capitol Police role in this should be fully investigated, whether it’s by prosecutors or by the House Oversight Committee,” said Merkl, the former federal prosecutor. “There needs to be a review of what the Capitol Police role, if any, was in facilitating this or aiding and abetting it.”

Nevertheless, Merkl said, “the actions of the government aren’t on trial in a criminal case. What’s on trial is the action of the defendant.”

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MSC Cruises' newest ship will have a robot bartender that can make any drink you want - meet Rob
MSC Starship Club rob robot bartender Rob the robot bartender.

MSC Cruises

  • MSC Cruises' new MSC Virtuosa ship will feature Rob, a robot bartender.
  • Like any human bartender, Rob can create custom drinks or one of its 16 signature cocktails.
  • The spaceship-inspired bar and its robot bartender took almost six years to create, MSC said. 
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We've seen robot smoothie makers, hamburger flippers, and salad crafters. Now, MSC Cruises has unveiled Rob, a humanoid robot bartender.

Many cruise lines may have hit the pause button on major sailings, but that's not stopping them from designing innovative features that will be showcased on trips once the industry gets back to full steam. This includes MSC Cruises, which created Rob for its newest Virtuosa ship. 

The animatronic mixologist will be stationed in the Virtuosa's MSC Starship Club and MSC Starliner One, the new ship's spaceship-inspired bar. 

Rob's conception came from the desire to use new technology to create a novel onboard space, specifically a "futuristic immersive entertainment lounge," according to the cruise line. And nothing says "futuristic" like a robot bartender working in a space decorated with holograms and digital art.

MSC Cruises has been creating Rob and the MSC Starship Club for almost six years, well before COVID-19 and the resulting emphasis on contactless amenities. MSC Virtuosa The MSC Virtuosa.

MSC Cruises

To create the unique space, the cruise line worked with people specializing in interior design, robots, automation, and "entertainment and digital experience." MSC Starship Club The MSC Starship Club.

MSC Cruises

Just like any human bartender, Rob will be in charge of creating both boozy or non-alcoholic beverages, whether it be one of its 16 signature cocktails or a personalized drink. MSC Starship Club The MSC Starship Club.

MSC Cruises

Guests interested in a Rob-made cocktail can order their drinks at a "digital cockpit." Rob will then prepare every component of the order - from pouring to garnishing - using some of its over 40 ingredients. MSC Cruises' robot bartender MSC Cruises' robot bartender.

MSC Cruises

The cocktails will be served in souvenir glasses. If you're feeling impatient, you can check the status of your order using the "ticker-tape-style" LED monitor above the bar. MSC Starship Club The MSC Starship Club.

MSC Cruises

Rob can also interact with the its patrons with its expressive face and a conversation. MSC Starship Club rob robot bartender Rob the robot bartender.

MSC Cruises

Rob can speak eight languages, allowing international patrons to order and converse with the robot in their preferred language. MSC Starship Club The MSC Starship Club.

MSC Cruises

The robot's personality also changes in response to its surroundings, according to MSC Cruises. MSC Starship Club The MSC Starship Club.

MSC Cruises

Besides Rob, the bar will also feature an interactive 12-seat table that lets patrons "explore space." All of this can be experienced on the MSC Virtuosa, which will be setting sail in April. MSC Starship Club The MSC Starship Club.

MSC Cruises

Read the original article on Business Insider
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