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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 10)

Donald Trump Jr. responds to attacks from Hunter Biden

Westlake Legal Group TrumpJr-Hannity Donald Trump Jr. responds to attacks from Hunter Biden fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 4b4c04b4-2766-5080-8a11-c32bda74c30b

Donald Trump Jr. responded to criticisms from Hunter Biden who held an interview with ABC News earlier this week.

Biden benefitted from his own father’s political positions as early as the 1990s when he was employed by one of Delaware’s largest employers at the time, Trump claimed Wednesday on “Hannity.”

“Right out of school, he gets a high paying job from MBNA — the biggest bank and the largest employer in the state of Delaware — where [his father] is conveniently a senator,” he said.

More than a decade ago, Charlotte-based Bank of America acquired the Wilmington, Del., company. Biden, now 49, previously had been an executive at MBNA beginning in 1996.

HUNTER BIDEN’S PAST BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS COME UNDER SCRUTINY

During the interview, Trump also ripped Biden taking a position on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company as well as a Chinese private equity firm.

“They want to question my family,” he remarked.

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“If Donald Trump Jr. took one-point-five dollars from China — not $1.5 billion, Sean — just one-point-five dollars, we’d solve the fake news media problem because their heads would explode and there would be none of them left,” he said.

“It would be over if I did that for a ‘no-show’ job for $83,000 a month in Ukraine,” he claimed.

JOE, HUNTER BIDEN SEEN GOLFING WITH UKRAINE GAS COMPANY EXEC IN 2014, PHOTO SHOWS

In the ABC News interview, the younger Biden rejected concerns about President Trump’s two eldest sons, saying that Trump Jr. is “not somebody that I really care about” and rejecting a remark Eric Trump made at a recent rally for his father in Minneapolis about altering the “lock her up” chant to “lock him up” — referencing the 49-year-old.

“I’ve been through some real, real stuff,” Biden said in the interview. “This isn’t real stuff… ‘Barnum & Bailey’ — ‘say anything,’ ‘do anything you want’.”

On “Hannity,” Trump Jr. dismissed comparisons between the Biden children and the Trump children, saying his own family made its money in international business before the current president was elected.

“And, we gave up doing all new deals going forward,” he added.

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“The double standard is despicable,” Trump continued.

“Hunter Biden’s 50. I wasn’t off-limits when it started at 38 [years old] — Hunter Biden shouldn’t be off-limits now.”

Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group TrumpJr-Hannity Donald Trump Jr. responds to attacks from Hunter Biden fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 4b4c04b4-2766-5080-8a11-c32bda74c30b   Westlake Legal Group TrumpJr-Hannity Donald Trump Jr. responds to attacks from Hunter Biden fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 4b4c04b4-2766-5080-8a11-c32bda74c30b

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Rick Perry reportedly called Rudy Giuliani to address Trump’s concerns about Ukraine.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry reportedly called President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani earlier this year to address the president’s concerns about alleged corruption in Ukraine. 

Perry told The Wall Street Journal, in an interview published Wednesday, that Trump directed him this spring to seek out Giuliani, who pushed debunked conspiracy theories about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election instead of acknowledging that there had been Russian interference.

Perry said he contacted Giuliani as a way to set the stage for a meeting between Trump and newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to the Journal. The energy secretary’s meeting adds to a growing picture of Giuliani working with Cabinet officials to push Ukraine to launch investigations.

The former Texas governor became publicly linked to the Trump-Ukraine scandal earlier this month after sources familiar with the situation told Axios that Perry arranged Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky and that the president said so in a recent conference call with House Republicans.

“The only reason I made the call was because Rick asked me to,” Trump reportedly said, according to Axios. “Something about an LNG [liquefied natural gas] plant.” 

Westlake Legal Group 5da7d5352100004c13ad3071 Rick Perry reportedly called Rudy Giuliani to address Trump’s concerns about Ukraine.

Mykola Lazarenko/Presidential Press Service Pool Photo via ASSOCIATED PRESS Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, left, and U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry at their May 20 meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine.

In the call with Zelensky, which is at the center of the House impeachment inquiry, Trump asked the Ukrainian president to interfere in the 2020 election by investigating political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Trump also alleged that Ukraine has Hillary Clinton’s email server, asking Zelensky to look into cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike, which was hired to investigate the hack of the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

Perry’s phone call with Giuliani reportedly came after a White House meeting in May after Zelensky’s inauguration, according to the Journal. Officials at the meeting, including Perry and then-U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, encouraged Trump to meet the new president, but Trump said that they needed to work with Giuliani to resolve the lawyer’s concerns about Ukraine. Perry reportedly understood those concerns to be related to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. 

Giuliani has been specifically pushing the conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine and not Russia that interfered in the 2016 election. Former special counsel Robert Mueller and the U.S. intelligence community investigated and found that Russia had interfered in the election to help Trump win.

Perry told the Journal that some of the conspiracy theories that Giuliani related in their call included that Ukraine was responsible for a dossier on Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, that Ukraine had Clinton’s email server and that the country’s government made up false evidence to send former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to jail. 

“I don’t know whether that was crap or what,” Perry told the newspaper. “I’m just saying there were three things that he said. That’s the reason the president doesn’t trust these [Ukrainian] guys.”

The three House committees in charge of leading the impeachment inquiry subpoenaed Perry last week, demanding that the energy secretary turn over documents related to the Trump administration’s communications with Ukraine.

“Recently, public reports have raised questions about any role you may have played in conveying or reinforcing the President’s stark message to the Ukrainian President,” the chairmen of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform committees wrote Oct. 10.

The letter also said the reports bring up questions “about your efforts to press Ukrainian officials to change the management structure at a Ukrainian state-owned energy company to benefit individuals involved with Rudy Giuliani’s push to get Ukrainian officials to interfere in our 2020 election.”

Perry has to respond to House subpoenas by Friday. The energy secretary also has denied reports that he is expected to resign by the end of the year.

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Another Iwo Jima flag-raiser was mis-ID’d, Marine Corps confirms: report

It’s one of the most iconic images from World War II: a group of U.S. Marines raising the American flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima.

And now the U.S. Marine Corps admits it has long misidentified one of the service members who took part in the flag-raising – three years after admitting a similar error.

MARINE CORPORAL, 23, HIT AND KILLED AFTER STOPPING TO HELP SOMEONE IN CAR CRASH IN SC, OFFICIALS SAY

According to NBC News, a team of historians recently determined that one of the Marines in the photo was Cpl. Harold “Pie” Keller, not Pfc. Rene Gagnon, as had long been believed.

Westlake Legal Group 15f69adc-Iwo-Jima4 Another Iwo Jima flag-raiser was mis-ID’d, Marine Corps confirms: report fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/marines fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/entertainment/genres/then-and-now fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio cf02c249-f6b8-5420-b150-31d7e011a50f article

U.S. Marines of the 28th Regiment, 5th Division, raise the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, on Feb. 23, 1945. (Joe Rosenthal/Associated Press)

The correction comes three years after a previous inquiry found that another of the flag-raisers was Pfc. Harold Schultz, not Navy hospital corpsman John Bradley, NBC reported.

The image of the Marines raising the flag was captured in 1945 by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal, who won a Pulitzer Prize for the shot. It was later the inspiration for the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial statue in Arlington County, Va., which was dedicated in 1954.

According to NBC, the latest correction to the list of flag-raising Marines resulted from a review by historians Stephen Foley, Dustin Spence and Brent Westmeyer, whose work was validated by investigators from the Marine Corps and the FBI.

MARINE WALKS MORE THAN 800 MILES AROUND LAKE MICHIGAN IN 42 DAYS TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR VETERAN SUICIDE

“Without the initiative and contributions of both private historians devoted to preservation of our history and the FBI’s Digital Evidence Laboratory, the Marine Corps would not have this opportunity to expand on the historical record of the second flag raising on Mount Suribachi,” the Marine Corps said in a statement, according to NBC.

With the recent correction, the list of six Marines in the iconic photo now includes Ira Hayes, Harold Schultz, Michael Strank, Harold “Pie” Keller and Harlen Block, according to NBC.

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But the Marine Corps added that, in a sense, it doesn’t matter which Marines were in the photo, because the image represents the hard work, determination and sacrifice of all who served.

“Regardless of who was in the photograph, each and every Marine who set foot on Iwo Jima, or supported the effort from the sea and air around the island is, and always will be, a part of our Corps’ cherished history,” the Marines’ statement read. “In the words of General David H. Berger, Commandant of the Marine Corps, ‘they are all heroes.’”

Click here for more from NBC News.

Westlake Legal Group fec5aeef-Iwo-Jima4 Another Iwo Jima flag-raiser was mis-ID’d, Marine Corps confirms: report fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/marines fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/entertainment/genres/then-and-now fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio cf02c249-f6b8-5420-b150-31d7e011a50f article   Westlake Legal Group fec5aeef-Iwo-Jima4 Another Iwo Jima flag-raiser was mis-ID’d, Marine Corps confirms: report fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/marines fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/entertainment/genres/then-and-now fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio cf02c249-f6b8-5420-b150-31d7e011a50f article

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Missouri sanitation worker caught on camera helping 88-year-old woman with dementia

Westlake Legal Group good-samaritan Missouri sanitation worker caught on camera helping 88-year-old woman with dementia Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc article 64159424-28bb-59f0-929c-2a32a3d2cbe2

A sanitation worker in Missouri was caught on camera going out of his way to help an 88-year-old woman with dementia on Tuesday.

Colette Kingston of Kansas City told Fox News on Wednesday that she had a Ring security camera installed on her mother’s home in nearby Independence, Mo., so she could check on her mother, Opal Zucca, who has dementia.

“I get a notification on my phone when there is movement in her driveway,” Kingston said.

When she got an alert Tuesday afternoon, Kingston looked at the video and saw a sanitation worker holding her mother’s hand, walking with her up the driveway.

SHERIFF’S OFFICER SURPRISES BOY, 6, WITH NEW HALLOWEEN COSTUME AFTER FAMILY LOSES HOME IN FIRE

“He was bringing up her trash can and just helping her walk up the driveway,” Kingston said. “It made me teary-eyed to see that someone would be so compassionate and caring.”

The sanitation worker, identified as Billy Shelby with Waste Management, was heard laughing with Zucca in the video.

“It’s good to see you,” Shelby told Zucca.

“It’s good seeing you too,” she responded. “God bless you as always, darling.”

He added, “Looking good. I like that hair. I got to work on mine.”

The gesture was “sweet and emotional,” Kingston said, and she appreciated it — especially because her mother tripped and hit her head while trying to retrieve the trash can in January.

Kingston said she had seen Shelby before on the camera helping her mother with the garbage.

“I’ve noticed him a few times on the camera returning the trash can, but not to this personal extent,” she said. “It’s like his own grandmother that he’s helping, like one of his family members.”

SOUTH CAROLINA DEPUTY SAVES CHOKING 12-DAY-OLD INFANT AFTER STOPPING SPEEDING VEHICLE

Kingston said her mother looked forward to seeing Shelby every week and even would say a prayer for him when he came by.

“Just thanking God that he’s there doing his part to help her,” Kingston said.

She was able to identify the kind sanitation worker through the help of Facebook, Kingston pointed out.

“My niece posted it in several groups saying, ‘Does anybody know who this is?’ And then, one of her friends who works for Waste Management said she would help us, and then one of his close friends actually reached out to me,” Kingston explained.

Shelby came to Zucca’s house on Wednesday night, and Kingston got the opportunity to thank him in person.

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Kingston said Shelby and her family will attend a Kansas City Chiefs football game together next month. She’s coordinating with the team, which donated the tickets, to ensure he has a memorable experience.

“Knowing that somebody else would care for a stranger like they would their own family member, it reminds me that there are lots of good people still around,” Kingston said, adding that she thought Shelby and her mother will have a lasting friendship.

Westlake Legal Group good-samaritan Missouri sanitation worker caught on camera helping 88-year-old woman with dementia Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc article 64159424-28bb-59f0-929c-2a32a3d2cbe2   Westlake Legal Group good-samaritan Missouri sanitation worker caught on camera helping 88-year-old woman with dementia Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc article 64159424-28bb-59f0-929c-2a32a3d2cbe2

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Gordon Sondland Elbowed His Way Into Ukraine Policy. It Could Cost Him.

WASHINGTON — To foreign policy experts, it is no mystery why President Trump’s national security adviser tried in May to block Gordon D. Sondland from becoming a player in United States diplomacy with Ukraine.

As the American envoy to the European Union, Mr. Sondland managed a portfolio unrelated to Ukrainian issues. And beyond that, he was so inexperienced as a diplomat — a wealthy Republican donor rewarded with an ambassadorship — that one top White House foreign policy adviser complained he was a national security risk.

But Mr. Sondland wedged his way into Ukraine policymaking anyway, attending the new president’s inauguration in Kiev in May and briefing Mr. Trump afterward, all over the objections of the national security adviser at the time, John R. Bolton. And now Mr. Sondland’s gambit appears to have placed him at the center of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

In testimony scheduled for Thursday, Mr. Sondland was expected to say that during a meeting in May, Mr. Trump gave him and two other officials the impression that they should coordinate on Ukraine issues with his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani. That command effectively created a foreign policy back channel that cut the State Department and National Security Council out of deliberations involving a pivotal ally against Russia.

Mr. Sondland was also expected to testify that he realized by midsummer that Mr. Trump had a condition for agreeing to an Oval Office meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky, the new president of Ukraine: an announcement by Ukrainian prosecutors that could benefit Mr. Trump’s political fortunes.

Initially hopeful that Mr. Sondland’s account would help Mr. Trump, congressional Republicans now fear it will add momentum to Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. His decision to testify is itself a sign of fissures in the support for Mr. Trump, evidence that even some defenders have balked at shouldering the legal and reputational costs of thwarting the impeachment inquiry.

Westlake Legal Group volker-ukraine-impeachment-document-promo-1570197638674-articleLarge Gordon Sondland Elbowed His Way Into Ukraine Policy. It Could Cost Him. Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Sondland, Gordon D (1957- ) Hill, Fiona (1965- ) European Union Europe Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Bolton, John R

Read the Text Messages Between U.S. and Ukrainian Officials

The messages reveal new details about President Trump’s efforts to use American foreign policy to benefit himself.

In a matter of weeks, Mr. Sondland has evolved from a neophyte diplomat known for his ambition and subservience to the president into a witness, however unwilling, in a proceeding against Mr. Trump.

In the process, Mr. Sondland’s own reputation took a hit. Fiona Hill, the former senior director for European and Russian affairs at the White House, described him to congressional investigators this week as a well-meaning but inexperienced liability.

He used his personal cellphone for official business and assured foreign officials they were welcome at the White House whenever they liked, she testified. On one occasion, she said, Romanian officials showed up at the White House gates with no appointment, citing Mr. Sondland.

As experts see it, his story is an object lesson in the pitfalls of handing influential foreign posts to diplomatic naïfs, while stripping oversight from the career officials at the State Department and the National Security Council.

“I told the Europeans, maybe this is the best you can expect” from the Trump administration, said Daniel Fried, a former longtime diplomat now with the Atlantic Council. No one imagined, he said, that Mr. Sondland would become a pivotal player “in this bottomless pit” of scandal.

Mr. Sondland, 62, tall and bald, is far from a typical diplomat. Foul-mouthed and unafraid to bruise egos, he craves the limelight, not policy papers and the politics of quiet persuasion that are the staples of diplomacy.

He nonetheless fits a certain mold of ambassadors: The founder of a boutique hotel chain, he landed his post after decades of work bankrolling Republican presidential candidates, including John McCain, Mitt Romney and George W. Bush and his brother Jeb Bush. In Bush family circles, he was particularly well liked.

“There aren’t many people who do it as well as he does,” David Nierenberg, an investment manager in Washington State who worked on Mr. Romney’s campaigns, said of Mr. Sondland’s fund-raising prowess. “He knew how to deliver.”

Friends said he loved the trappings of politics: ferrying presidential candidates around the northwest in his Lear jet and hosting their events at his 8,300-square-foot estate in Portland, Ore.

He had hoped to be rewarded, he told Mr. Nierenberg, with an ambassadorship in a German-speaking country. That would bring his life full circle, he explained: His parents fled Nazi Germany as teenagers in 1939.

But he was a latecomer to supporting Mr. Trump, first backing Jeb Bush, then Marco Rubio. During the 2016 campaign, after Mr. Trump disparaged the Muslim parents of an American soldier killed in Iraq, Mr. Sondland and his business partner backed out of a fund-raiser, saying they did not share Mr. Trump’s values.

Those reservations apparently vanished once Mr. Trump was elected. Mr. Sondland donated $1 million to his inaugural committee, joining a crush of once-reluctant donors anxious to make up for their previous lack of support. In spring 2017, he joined the Republican National Committee’s finance committee as a regional vice chairman.

Reince Priebus, Mr. Trump’s first chief of staff, was unwilling to grant Mr. Sondland an administration job. But after Mr. Priebus was fired, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who knew Mr. Sondland from the campaign, put forward his name for ambassador, according to people familiar with the situation. He was appointed in May 2018.

By then, the post had gone unfilled for more than a year. Some European officials suspected it was a deliberate sign of neglect of Western allies that Mr. Trump has accused of unfair trade practices.

European officials were struck Mr. Sondland’s self-confidence, bordering on arrogance. He quickly posted an introductory video on Twitter. Set to snappy string music, it described him as the son of immigrants and showed him brewing espresso, showing off his fine art collection and climbing into a private jet that he pilots.

His message to his European hosts was less friendly. At one dinner party, Mr. Sondland said his job was “to destroy the European Union,’’ one senior European official said.

He repeatedly told European officials that their countries had long taken advantage of the United States through trade, according to one person who heard him complain. And he seemed unaware of protocol, inviting the leaders of European countries to dinner without understanding that they do not typically dine with ambassadors.

A June 28 dinner in Brussels was a case study in his unapologetic style. The German Marshall Fund originally organized it for 18 former and current diplomats and academics to discuss trans-Atlantic relations. Once Mr. Sondland heard about it, two participants said, he insisted on hosting.

As the plates were cleared in a small ornate room in the American Embassy, he delivered what one guest described as “a first-year master’s student’s” account of the Marshall Plan, the United States’ multibillion-dollar effort to rebuild Europe after World War II.

“We paid all this money, but every room I go to in Europe, I get told no,” he told his stunned guests, according to two participants. “Why?”

“It felt like a shakedown,” said one of the guests.

European officials said that Mr. Sondland often bragged about his good relationship with Mr. Trump, and some said it was clear that he was looking for a higher-level administration post.

How he inserted himself into American relations with Ukraine, which is not part of the European Union, is not entirely clear. Ms. Hill has said he told her that Mr. Trump had put him in charge.

In a July interview with a Ukrainian television station, Mr. Sondland presented himself as an authority, dismissing the notion that Ukraine is torn between Europe and Russia. “It’s not a tug of war. They’re Western, and they’re going to stay Western,” he proclaimed.

With Mr. Trump’s blessing, he traveled to Kiev in May for Mr. Zelensky’s inauguration. Others in the delegation included the energy secretary, Rick Perry, and Kurt D. Volker, the American special envoy to Ukraine. They labeled themselves “the three amigos.”

Mr. Sondland’s subsequent White House meetings are a key focus of questioning for congressional investigators.

When he and his colleagues briefed Mr. Trump on May 23, the president complained that the Ukrainians were “all corrupt” and had tried to keep him from winning the White House. He left them with the impression that they were to talk to Mr. Giuliani in dealing with Ukraine.

By mid-July, Mr. Sondland was expected to testify, he had realized that Mr. Zelensky would be granted an Oval Office audience only if Ukraine publicly announced it would investigate Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company that had placed Hunter Biden, the younger son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., on its board. According to a person familiar with his account, Mr. Sondland did not then understand the relationship between Burisma and the Bidens.

In a July 10 White House meeting with Mr. Bolton, Ms. Hill and two top Ukrainian officials, Mr. Sondland cited an agreement with the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, that inviting Mr. Zelensky to the Oval Office depended on Ukraine opening criminal investigations, according to Ms. Hill’s testimony. She told congressional investigators that she subsequently heard Mr. Sondland mention Burisma to the Ukrainians.

Mr. Sondland was expected to testify that he has no firm recollection of that conversation. But the next month, he and Mr. Volker prepared a draft statement for the Ukrainians to issue, announcing an investigation of Burisma and any interference in the 2016 American presidential election. And in a subsequent text message, he wrote: “POTUS really wants the deliverable.”

Mr. Sondland now fears that he will be blamed for the scandal, while more powerful players will be protected, one person close to him said. He has expressed concern that he could end up, the person said, as “collateral damage.”

Reporting was contributed by Nicholas Fandos, Adam Goldman and Kenneth P. Vogel from Washington; Steven Erlanger from Brussels; and Maggie Haberman from New York. Kitty Bennett contributed research.

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Peter Navarro Invented an Expert for His Books, Based on Himself

Westlake Legal Group 16DC-RONVARA-01-facebookJumbo Peter Navarro Invented an Expert for His Books, Based on Himself Navarro, Peter International Trade and World Market China

Peter Navarro, a top White House trade adviser, has developed a reputation in Washington as a Rasputin-like China hawk who whispers anti-China musings in President Trump’s ear.

This week, Washington learned about the mysterious anti-China voice that has long whispered in Mr. Navarro’s ear: Ron Vara.

Ron Vara has appeared as a cryptic voice of economic wisdom more than a dozen times in five of Mr. Navarro’s 13 books, dispensing musings like “You’ve got to be nuts to eat Chinese food” and “Only the Chinese can turn a leather sofa into an acid bath, a baby crib into a lethal weapon and a cellphone battery into heart-piercing shrapnel.”

But Ron Vara, it turns out, does not exist. At least not in corporeal form. He is apparently a figment of Mr. Navarro’s imagination — an anagram of Mr. Navarro’s surname that the trade adviser created as a Hitchcockian writing device and stuck with as something of an inside joke with himself.

Mr. Navarro’s imaginary source surfaced this week when The Chronicle of Higher Education published some of the findings of Tessa Morris-Suzuki, an emeritus professor at Australian National University.

Ms. Morris-Suzuki, concerned about Mr. Navarro’s statements on China, started digging into his earlier work. She unearthed about a dozen instances when Mr. Navarro, previously a business school professor at the University of California, Irvine, had invoked Ron Vara. Curious why she could find no record of such a person, she soon discovered he was not real.

“I think it’s a very strange thing for an academic to do in books that he is presenting as factual,” Ms. Morris-Suzuki said in an email. “It might be different if a writer — even a university-based one — were writing something that was obviously lighthearted and comical and in a nonacademic context.”

Mr. Navarro holds a doctorate in economics from Harvard University. His interests shifted from utility regulation to investment strategy before he latched on to China, becoming a notorious hawk whose anti-China screeds like his book and documentary film “Death by China” caught the eye of Mr. Trump.

Ron Vara first appeared in Mr. Navarro’s 2001 book, “If It’s Raining in Brazil, Buy Starbucks.” He was described as a gulf war reservist who, like Mr. Navarro, had studied economics at Harvard.

Some of Mr. Navarro’s insights in that book are attributed to Ron Vara in later works, Ms. Morris-Suzuki said. For instance, Mr. Navarro advised in his 2001 book, “Don’t play checkers in a chess world.” That same wisdom is attributed to Ron Vara in “The Well-Timed Strategy” (2006) and “Always a Winner” (2009).

Far from an investing oracle, Ron Vara tended to offer advice in bite-size clichés, such as “Ride the stock market cycle — or be run over,” which appeared in Mr. Navarro’s book “When the Market Moves, Will You Be Ready?”

By the time Mr. Navarro’s musings turned to China, so did, naturally, those of Ron Vara. In “The Coming China Wars,” a section about China’s “poisoned food chain” warned about toxic Chinese fish being exported to the United States. A quote from Ron Vara drove the point home: “You’ve got to be nuts to eat Chinese food.”

“Death by China,” Mr. Navarro’s seminal book, which he wrote with Greg Autry, used a Ron Vara quote to set up a section about how the American eagle had become the world’s biggest pigeon: “The Manufacturing Dragon is voracious. The Colonial Dragon is relentless. The American Eagle is asleep at the wheel.”

A White House spokesman had no comment on Mr. Navarro’s work. A spokesman for the University of California, Irvine, declined to weigh in.

“Mr. Navarro is on leave and no longer represents the university, so we do not have a comment,” said Tom Vasich, the university’s director of media relations. We appreciate your interest in U.C.I.”

In a statement to The Chronicle, Mr. Navarro likened Ron Vara to “Alfred Hitchcock appearing briefly in cameo in his movies” and said it was “refreshing” that someone finally figured out his joke.

The fact that Ron Vara was fake was lost on those who know Mr. Navarro, including some who collaborated with him on writings that attributed comments to the fake source.

Glenn Hubbard, who co-wrote “Seeds of Destruction” with him, told The New York Times that he had been unaware of the creative license that Mr. Navarro had taken.

Michael Pillsbury, a China scholar at the Hudson Institute who occasionally plays tennis with Mr. Navarro, said he hadn’t realized that Mr. Navarro had dabbled in fiction.

“I always knew Peter was creative and imaginative, but I badly misunderestimated him,” Mr. Pillsbury said.

Mr. Navarro declined to elaborate further to The Times. He did, however, invoke his alter-ego once more.

“As Ron Vara might say, ‘Lighten up and have fun reading the books,’” Mr. Navarro said in a text message.

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Jason Momoa opens up about his personal life in interview with Esquire

“Aquaman” star Jason Momoa may look like a tough action hero to some, but he has a softer side, too.

Not only is he an actor, but the “Game of Thrones” star is also a rock climber, a husband and father, an environmentalist, an entrepreneur and a filmmaker. He recently told Esquire he enjoys his Guinness ice-cold, loves dogs, and especially loves his kids and wife Lisa Bonet.

Momoa and Bonet have been together for 12 years and have two children, a 12-year-old daughter Lola and a 10-year-old son Wolf. Momoa is also a stepfather to Bonet’s daughter with her ex-husband Lenny Kravitz, 30-year-old Zoe Kravitz.

‘AQUAMAN’ STAR JASON MOMOA ON PROTECTING HIS KIDS FROM FAME: ‘I TURN INTO A BIT OF A DIFFERENT ANIMAL’

Westlake Legal Group Momoa_Benet_Getty Jason Momoa opens up about his personal life in interview with Esquire Viktoria Ristanovic fox-news/person/jason-momoa fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 163ad3aa-614f-5596-b781-c5600312f0e8

Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet at the 91st Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Momoa revealed to Esquire that his kids don’t go to him for secrets.

“I’d tell Mom right away,” he admitted.

JASON MOMOA SHAVES HIS ICONIC BEARD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SEVEN YEARS

Momoa said he wants his children to understand what their dad does all day for a living.

“They got raised on the Justice League set,” he told Esquire. “Running around with the Batmobile… wearing the tiara from Wonder Woman.”

But he also wants Lola and Wolf to understand and respect the world outside of a film set, he said.

Momoa has involved his children in protesting against climate change and fighting for environmental protection, he said.

The actor said he has gigs lined up through 2022 but tries his best to stay active in his children’s and wife’s lives.

Momoa said he installed a rock climbing wall in his house and is teaching his kids how to belay, a technique used by climbers to keep tension on a rope while another person is climbing.

JASON MOMOA WAS DEVASTATED WHEN ‘GAME OF THRONES’ CO-STAR EMILIA CLARKE SUFFERED BRAIN ANEURYSMS

He reminisced about his rise in the Hollywood scene, including his first TV role on “Baywatch: Hawaii” when he was 20.

“I fell in love with the art of acting. But no one took me seriously. Baywatch isn’t known for its […] quality of acting. I couldn’t get an agent to save my life,” Momoa said.

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Then he moved to Los Angeles and worked as a bouncer, living in a trailer until he finally got a part in a Lifetime movie, he told Esquire.

Momoa’s latest project is the Apple TV+ show called “See,” which is slated to debut Nov. 1.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-1c1989a5d46f417ab2fd4a278499ea10 Jason Momoa opens up about his personal life in interview with Esquire Viktoria Ristanovic fox-news/person/jason-momoa fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 163ad3aa-614f-5596-b781-c5600312f0e8   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-1c1989a5d46f417ab2fd4a278499ea10 Jason Momoa opens up about his personal life in interview with Esquire Viktoria Ristanovic fox-news/person/jason-momoa fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 163ad3aa-614f-5596-b781-c5600312f0e8

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Carson King controversy leads Des Moines Register-organized charity staffers to resign

Westlake Legal Group Ragbrai-Des-Moines-Register Carson King controversy leads Des Moines Register-organized charity staffers to resign Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/politics/state-and-local/controversies fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc e5a0f770-0156-5933-8ec2-761352e03e98 article

Staffers for an annual charity bike ride run by Iowa’s largest newspaper, the Des Moines Register, submitted resignations over the paper’s handling of a story about sudden philanthropist Carson King, according to an announcement Tuesday.

Last month, the Register faced major backlash over a profile of King, the 24-year-old Iowa man who ended up raising over $3 million for a children’s hospital after he became a viral sensation for holding a sign asking people to donate money to his Venmo account so he could buy beer. That profile, however, included information about offensive tweets he had written in high school. Busch Light, which had announced a fundraising partnership with King, later severed its ties to him.

The paper denied its reporting was responsible for the beer company’s decision, as critics said scouring King’s social media presence for offensive old tweets was inappropriate in this case.

In a now-deleted post on the Facebook page for the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI), then-director TJ Juskiewicz alleged that the paper “refused to offer me the opportunity to openly speak to the RAGBRAI Nation, and answer the hundreds of passionate questions asked about the future of RAGBRAI following the Des Moines Register’s handling of the Carson King story.”

He also claimed he could not reach out to riders because “it did not mesh with the company’s PR narrative to spin the Carson King embarrassment,” adding that leadership at the Register didn’t want to “issue any more public statements on this matter” and that RAGBRAI was offered “talking points” to use on the subject of the King story.

AXED DES MOINES REGISTER REPORTER BLAMES  ‘RIGHT-WING IDEALOGUES’ FOR FIRING, SUGGEST HE’S OPPRESSED

He wrote in response, “I can no longer be an effective leader when my principles are compromised by the leadership of Gannett/Des Moines Register.”

Juskiewicz vowed to lead his own event called “Iowa’s Ride,” which has been scheduled for the same time as next year’s RAGBRAI event, KTIV reported.

The Register reported Tuesday that RAGBRAI will still happen next year, specifying that “the marketing team” behind the event had resigned.

“We’ll continue RAGBRAI’s longstanding tradition in 2020 with another great bicycle ride and strong partnerships with Iowa communities to raise money for good causes. Our commitment remains to donate $50,000 to the University of Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital,” an official from the Register’s parent company, Gannett, said. “We’re proud of the good RAGBRAI has done for the state since 1973.”

DES MOINES REGISTER REPORTEDLY FACING THREATS, ADDS POLICE PRESENCE AFTER STORY BACKLASH

RAGBRAI was founded by two Register columnists and has grown to gather 10,000 riders from across the country.

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The Register did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

The controversy surrounding the King piece grew bigger after Aaron Calvin, the journalist who reported on the tweets, was blasted for his own social-media posts deemed offensive. The Register ultimately fired him.

Westlake Legal Group Ragbrai-Des-Moines-Register Carson King controversy leads Des Moines Register-organized charity staffers to resign Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/politics/state-and-local/controversies fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc e5a0f770-0156-5933-8ec2-761352e03e98 article   Westlake Legal Group Ragbrai-Des-Moines-Register Carson King controversy leads Des Moines Register-organized charity staffers to resign Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/politics/state-and-local/controversies fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc e5a0f770-0156-5933-8ec2-761352e03e98 article

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California To Unveil Earthquake Alert System Thursday

Westlake Legal Group ap_968556787012-1--c4e18b916c8faf97de2ac4c5b2ed0b430774b8cf-s1100-c15 California To Unveil Earthquake Alert System Thursday

A California Highway Patrol officer checks cars that fell when the upper deck of the San Francisco Bay Bridge collapsed onto the lower deck after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. George Nikitin/AP hide caption

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Westlake Legal Group  California To Unveil Earthquake Alert System Thursday

A California Highway Patrol officer checks cars that fell when the upper deck of the San Francisco Bay Bridge collapsed onto the lower deck after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

George Nikitin/AP

Scientists cannot yet predict when the next deadly earthquake will strike, but emergency response authorities in California plan to unveil the first statewide quake warning system Thursday, which marks the 30th anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

The warnings will be issued in two ways: a cellphone app called MyShake and the more traditional wireless notification system that sends out Amber Alerts.

“The California Earthquake Early Warning System will marry a new smartphone application with traditional alert and warning delivery methods such as Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). The system uses ground motion sensors from across the state to detect earthquakes before humans can feel them and will notify Californians so that they can “Drop, cover and hold on” in advance of an earthquake,” the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said in a press release announcing system launch on Thursday.

The California Earthquake Early Warning System is a joint project of the Office of Emergency Service, the U.S. Geological Service, UC Berkeley, CalTech, and others.

The system uses seismic monitoring sensors located throughout the state set to detect the start of a quake. That information moves through high-speed communications pathways to computers that identity the location and strength of a quake and then sends out alerts before severe shaking occurs in an area. The alerts will give people a second to tens of seconds to take potentially life-saving action.

The system was tested this week when residents of the San Francisco Bay Area and Central California were jolted by a magnitude 4.5 quake and a 4.7 quake respectively. Alerts hit phones with a median time of 2.1 seconds in the first case and 1.6 seconds in the latter, said Richard Allen, director UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory.

Authorities say the system is promising but far from perfect.

“The California Earthquake Early Warning System is based on innovative technology that will improve over time. In rare circumstances, you may receive a ShakeAlert when there was no earthquake,” the announcement of the system said.

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Kacey Musgraves admits that hallucinogens inspired two songs

Westlake Legal Group a7c6bf94-kacey-musgraves-grammys-ap Kacey Musgraves admits that hallucinogens inspired two songs Nate Day fox-news/person/kacey-musgraves fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 1f36609c-8208-5ef6-8823-a151ade4fb7d

Kacey Musgraves is sharing the inspiration behind two of the songs off of her Grammy-winning album “Golden Hour.”

While she didn’t get into too many specifics, Musgraves disclosed to W Magazine that “Slow Burn” and “Mother” were inspired by hallucinogens.

“I was sitting on the porch, having a good, easy, zen time,” Musgraves explained in the video. “I wrote it down on my phone, then I wrote the songs the next day with a sober mind.”

KACEY MUSGRAVES DENIES LIKING KID ROCK’S TAYLOR SWIFT DISS

The video — titled “Spilling the Tea-quila” — featured Musgraves answering questions, or avoiding them by taking a drink of tequila — and sometimes doing both.

Also in the video, Musgraves dished on Harry Styles (apparently, he smells “like a gentleman”), her favorite Britney Spears song (“Toxic”) and her guilt pleasure (“I buy things I’m not supposed to on Amazon”).

Musgraves also recounted her most embarrassing moment.

COUNTRY SINGER KACEY MUSGRAVES CALLS FOR GUN CONTROL FOLLOWING DAYTON, EL PASO MASS SHOOTINGS

“I was walking down the hallway on this work trip and the hallway was real quiet,” Musgraves began. “I had a couple big bags with me. Well, I shifted my bag up and we all heard, coming out of my bag, this (buzzing sound). We finally get to the end of this hall, they go to their rooms and I go to mine and I tear apart my bag looking for this ‘vibrator.’ It was my nose hair trimmer.”

As for the things she can’t live without? Weed and sex.

“Weed makes me a nicer person,” she elaborated.

Finally, Musgraves revealed that her dream collaboration would be with the late Selena. As Musgraves called it, it would be “a Texas collab of the f—ing millennium.”

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“Let’s bring her back,” Musgraves concluded.

Westlake Legal Group a7c6bf94-kacey-musgraves-grammys-ap Kacey Musgraves admits that hallucinogens inspired two songs Nate Day fox-news/person/kacey-musgraves fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 1f36609c-8208-5ef6-8823-a151ade4fb7d   Westlake Legal Group a7c6bf94-kacey-musgraves-grammys-ap Kacey Musgraves admits that hallucinogens inspired two songs Nate Day fox-news/person/kacey-musgraves fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 1f36609c-8208-5ef6-8823-a151ade4fb7d

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