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    Tonight at the Republican National Convention, potential first lady Melania Trump delivered the night’s headlining speech in what was her most important moment in the public eye since she married Donald Trump 11 years ago. The speech was praised by hacks on both sides of the aisle (and the middle), though there might unintentionally be a reason for that: As first pointed out by journalist Jarrett Hill, Melania—or more likely her speechwriters—appears to have lifted at least one crucial section of her speech from the one Michelle Obama gave at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

    You can see Trump’s words presented side-by-side with Obama’s in the video above. Some phrases—such as “that your word is your bond” and “your willingness to work hard for them”—were lifted nearly word-for-word or exactly so, with the rest of the section seemingly specifically tailored to avoid detection. Here are transcripts of the parts in question:

    Obama: Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values...

    Trump: My parents impressed on me the values...

    Obama: you work hard for what you want in life...

    Trump: ...that you work hard for what you want in life.

    Obama: ...that your word is your bond, that you do what you say you’re gonna do...

    Trump: ...that your word is your bond, and you do what you say...

    Obama: ...that you treat people with dignity and respect...

    Trump: ...that you treat people with respect...

    Obama: ...because we want our children and all children in this nation to know...

    Trump: ...because we want our children in this nation to know...

    Obama: ...the only limits on the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams...

    Trump: ...that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams...

    Obama: ...and your willingness to work hard for them.

    Trump: ...and your willingness to work for them.

    In an interview with Matt Lauer, Trump said that she wrote the speech. Here is the Trump campaign’s vague statement, which doesn’t admit to any plagiarism as much as it describes the process of speechwriting:

    Video by Tim Burke

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    On Monday, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani spoke at the Republican National Convention, allegedly covering such topics as national security and terrorism but mostly losing his goddamn MIND about the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.


    I don’t know Rudy, maybe you freaked it out?

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    Code Pink Protesters Infiltrate RNC, Wave 'Refugees Welcome' Banner

    Code Pink, the women-led anti-war grassroots organization, has descended upon the Republican National Convention, staging protests and voicing their opposition to the militaristic and anti-refugee rhetoric so pervasive amongst the GOP.

    “We’re here to say we don’t like the language coming out of the RNC presumptive nominee’s campaign with regards to the anti-Muslim rhetoric and the anti-immigration rhetoric,” Code Pink demonstrator Toni Rozsahegyi told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, July 17. The Times reported that many anti-Trump protests began during the weekend, preceding the convention’s kickoff.

    Dressed as Lady Liberty to honor the labor of immigrants and refugees, Rozsahegyi explained, “our country was made on [their] backs, and we love refugees. They’re welcome here. And if we want to stop having refugees, we need to end war.”

    On Monday, Code Pink carried their message inside the Quickens Loan Arena, disrupting speeches throughout the day. Alli McCracken, the organization’s co-director, initiated the effort. She stood with a banner that reads “Yes We Can End War!” during Senator Jeff Session’s speech, counteracting the rhetoric of the convention with Code Pink’s message.

    “Trump’s hate makes us unsafe!” she yelled. “Stop Trump’s Islamophobia! Stop Mike Pence’s war on women!” She resisted those attempting to wrestle away her banner — the man seated in front of her gave the cloth an especially violent tug.

    Code Pink later posted a celebratory shot of McCracken to their Cleveland account.

    A second activist sat amongst the audience with a banner reading “Refugees Welcome.”

    Of course, the organization’s efforts have been obstructed along the way.

    Both McCracken and the second protestor were removed by security. The Hill reports that as the latter left with her “Refugees Welcome” banner, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani—at the podium during her protest—said, “It means we are getting to them.”

    Images via C-SPAN, Twitter.

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    Trump Campaign Says Melania Wrote All the Words She Plagiarized From Michelle Obama
    Photo: AP

    The Trump campaign today issued an incredible denial over Melania Trump’s clearly plagiarized speech so demented there’s no way it came from anyone but themselves.…

    Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort this morning praised Melania’s convention speech, which contained several passages directly lifted from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech, before blaming the whole thing on Hillary Clinton.

    “I thought Melania Trump hit it out of the park when she talked about her love of family, the feeling of an immigrant that comes to this country and succeeds,” Manafort said this morning in an interview with CNN. “And I thought that the feeling she has towards her husband and her depiction of the real Donald Trump came through loud and clear.”

    Which is, unintentionally, true: Melania’s plagiarism was perhaps the most pure depiction of “the real Donald Trump” so far this campaign. But the best part of Manafort’s denial was yet to come.

    “There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech. These are common words and values that she cares about her family, things like that,” he said. “I mean, she was speaking in front of 35 million people last night. She knew that. To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy. This is once again an example of when a women threatens Hillary Clinton, how she seeks out to demean her and take her down. It’s not going to work.”

    Pretty crazy...

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  • 07/19/16--05:45: 111 Days and a Wake Up
  • 111 Days and a Wake Up
    Donald Trump takes the stage at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo: Getty Images

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    In 2014, a year before Donald Trump was even a twinkle in Chris Christie’s eye, the Republican National Committee announced that its 2016 convention would be held in the fair city of Cleveland, OH. Last night, Donald Trump insisted it was his doing.

    The impetus for this particular bizarre lie was apparently the fact that Ohio governor John Kasich declined to kiss the ring, opting instead to skip the convention entirely.

    “If I were him and got beaten that badly, I probably wouldn’t show up either. He has a problem though, he signed a pledge,” Trump told Bill O’Reilly in a phone interview just a few hours before his wife delivered a clearly plagiarized speech. “I wanted it to be here. And we had lots of choices. I wanted it to be in Ohio. I recommended Ohio.”

    In fact, there’s absolutely no way that could be true: The site was selected unanimously by the voting members of the Republican National Committee, a group which did not at any time include Donald Trump. It’s almost like he’ll say anything just to make himself look good?

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    Our Trump Twitter Bot Filters Out Donald Trump's New Handlers

    Like his wife, Donald Trump has never written all of his own material, but with his recent “professional” hires, it’s been harder than ever to tell which tweets actually come from the Donald himself. So we decided to make it easier. Meet @RealRealDonaldTrump—your only source for pure, unfiltered Trump tweets just the way god intended.

    Thanks to an unhealthy degree of intense observation and Tweetedeck’s ability to display the device a tweet comes from, we’ve deduced that Donald Trump most likely tweets from an Android phone only. He’s told us before that he uses both iPhone and Android phones to tweet, but that was before Apple decided to let to the terrorists win.

    And according to The New York Times, Donald Trump’s Samsung Galaxy is his main phone. What’s more, Trump’s Android-sent tweets just sound like Trump. Which is why Gawker’s Editorial Labs Director Adam Pash put together a Twitter bot that gives you Trump’s Android tweets and only Trump’s Android tweets. Should you choose to follow our raw and dirty Donald Trump, you’ll get such gems as:


    And even:

    Because we may not know who’s writing Melania’s speeches, but at least we can know when Donald Trump gets tweetin’.

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    Chris Christie Helpfully Points Out Melania Only Plagiarized Like Seven Percent of Her Speech

    Chris Christie, a glutton for punishment, among other things, has come to Melania Trump’s defense by helpfully pointing out that something like “93 percent” of her speech wasn’t plagiarized.

    Christie has taken a hard stance on plagiarism before—in 2014, upon learning then-Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke had plagiarized campaign materials.

    “I don’t think they were teaching plagiarism at Harvard Business School. I don’t think they were teaching you to cut and paste other peoples’ work and call it your own,” he said. “If you can’t trust her honesty and her integrity when she tells you that this is her plan, why would you trust her honesty and integrity on anything else she tells you about what she’ll do for Wisconsin or about Scott’s record? You shouldn’t trust any of it.”

    But time spent fetching McDonalds for the Trump campaign does something to a man. This morning, Matt Lauer asked him of Melania Trump’s clearly plagiarized speech, “You’re a former prosecutor, could you make the case for plagiarism?”

    Here is what he said: “Nah. Not when 93 percent of the speech is completely different than Michelle Obama’s speech.”

    He’s going to make a great Attorney General.

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    New York City's Mayor Got a Super Wack Gym Routine
    Photo: Getty

    Shock-em in Gotham: Bill “De” Blasio, the current mayor of this great metropolis, is the kind of guy who goes to the gym in cargo shorts. Is this what we need, in a leader?

    An explosive New York Times expose today of the mayor’s daily gym habits contains a devastating litany of our so-called leader’s failures that grows more odious with each passing sentence.

    In one week in late June, the mayor emerged on that Monday into the gym’s stretching area in a T-shirt, running shoes, and khaki cargo shorts with pockets.

    Hey guy—where you going in those cargo shorts? The Old Navy? Are you listening to me? Hey—how are those stretches going, Big Cargo?

    After 15 minutes of stretching and Blackberry multitasking, he moved to the weight room. By 9:24 a.m. he was wearing headphones on a stationary bicycle, pedaling at a gentle pace while watching CNN.

    Hey, what are you, a spring? Stop stretching so much. What are you—a Slinky? Hey, not to disturb your gentle stationary bicycle pedaling, but just wanted to tell you, your Blackberry just fell out of your cargo shorts. Yeah. You hear me man?

    At 10:23 a.m., Mr. de Blasio exited the gym wearing a suit and got into a waiting car.

    Hey—how was that workout big guy? Seems like you managed to kill well over an hour in the gym—you must be wore out? Right? You feeling pumped? My man? You feeling super gassed from that workout? In the stretching area? And pedaling slowly on the bike? On your Blackberry? Hey, way to ride in a car to a faraway gym to pedal on a bike to nowhere. My man. Nice one. Hey—how’s that suit? Fresh, I bet? Not too much sweat? Right? You gonna beat all your rivals? With the power that you got from that workout? Bill?

    You didn’t even get any sweat on those cargo shorts—did you? Bill. Did you?

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    Justice Department Tweet Calls CNN 'Biggest Troll of Them All'
    Image: Getty

    Last night, Melania Trump, wife of The Donald, delivered a speech during the first night of the Republican National Convention. But soon after, some people began questioning whether Melania or her speechwriters had in fact copied part of Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic National Convention speech. CNN reported on the controversy this morning, and the Justice Department had some thoughts:

    The tweet—which likely came from a Justice Department staffer who forgot to check which account they were using—was promptly deleted:

    But the internet never forgets. Thanks for tuning in for today’s episode of “Never Tweet: RNC Edition.”

    We’ve reached out to the Justice Department for comment on this little mishap, and we’ll update if we hear back.

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    Are you currently at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland? Are you suffering from symptoms of norovirus? Shoot me an email here—I’d love to chat. But please don’t touch me.

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    Veterans Reject "Singularly Shameful" Donald Trump
    Photo: Gawker

    CLEVELAND — It is a great American tradition, especially during presidential campaigns, for political candidates to deploy military veterans and active service members as evidence of both their robust patriotism and their qualifications to be commander-in-chief. Donald Trump, of course, is neither a patriot nor qualified to be commander-in-chief, and on Tuesday morning a group of veterans gathered in the public square here to make that very point.

    Perry O’Brien, an organizer with Vets vs. Hate, accused Trump of “singularly shameful treatment of veterans” over the years, noting not just the presumptive Republican nominee’s recent obfuscation of his contributions to veteran’s charities but his attempts to stop disabled vets working as vendors from hawking their wares on Fifth Avenue.…

    “While disabled veterans should be given every opportunity to earn a living, is it fair to do so to the detriment of the city as a whole or its tax paying citizens and businesses?” Trump wrote in a letter to New York state government officials in 1991. “Do we allow Fifth Ave., one of the world’s finest and most luxurious shopping districts, to be turned into an outdoor flea market, clogging and seriously downgrading the area?” In a 2004 letter to then-mayor Michael Bloomberg, Trump accused some of the vendors working around Trump Tower of fraudulently posing as veterans.

    O’Brien disputed claims that Trump enjoys any significant support from the military. “Trump’s base of support is older white men—who are just statistically more likely to be veterans,” he told Gawker. “He doesn’t actually have any more veterans supporting him than anyone else. Other than the people who go on stage and on TV for him, nobody I know” (mostly veterans of Afghanistan and the second war in Iraq) “supports him.”

    “This is a guy who, by all accounts, has only ever acted in his own interest, for his own gain. He’s never served anyone but himself,” O’Brien added. “And he’s trying to obscure that, using people who committed themselves to serving something other than themselves.” In a book published late last year, Trump claimed that he “always felt that I was in the military” because he spent five years at a military boarding school.

    Last night’s convention speeches, on the topic of making America safe again, constituted nothing more than “fear-mongering,” one vet, Matt Howard, said. “They’ve just instrumentalized the tension people feel—and for what? To get votes.”

    At the rally on Tuesday, a female veteran who was sexually assaulted by fellow American troops spoke out against both Trump and his pick for the vice presidential nomination, Indiana governor Mike Pence, who has aggressively pursued an anti-woman agenda. “The problem of sexual assault in the military is not going to be solved by a president and a vice president who engage in misogynistic rhetoric, or don’t think women should serve at all,” she said.

    (In a 1999 op-ed, Pence cited the Disney movie Mulan as evidence that women should not be allowed in the military. “Despite her delicate features and voice, Disney expects us to believe that Mulan’s ingenuity and courage were enough to carry her to military success on an equal basis with her cloddish cohorts,” he wrote. “Obviously, this is Walt Disney’s attempt to add childhood expectation to the cultural debate over the role of women in the military.”)

    Raymond Curtis, a gay man who joined up as he was running away from a repressive evangelical upbringing, spoke about how he was accepted by his fellow soldiers in Iraq, referring to them as his family. “Donald Trump doesn’t care about the LGBTQ community,” Curtis said from the podium, his voice turning hard. This was made clear for all to see, he said, when Trump crowed about being right in the immediate aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, “with bodies still bleeding on the floor.”…

    Veterans Reject "Singularly Shameful" Donald Trump

    Even more offensive to Curtis was Trump’s choice of Pence, who opposes the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The Indiana governor “has no respect for my service,” he spat.

    Several veterans condemned Trump’s rhetoric towards Muslim Americans. “Donald Trump can’t be held accountable for individual actions,” an organizer with the group, Alexander McCoy said, referring to the vandalization of a mosque in his home state of Rhode Island. “But he can be held accountable for contributing to the climate that has normalized and encouraged the most hateful instincts in our society.”

    The members of Vets vs. Hate come from a plethora of ideological, ethnic, and religious backgrounds—some are anti-war altogether, some are not. “We don’t all agree on who should be president,” O’Brien told Gawker, “but we do agree on who shouldn’t.”

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    Learning How to Get to Heaven at the RNC

    CLEVELAND — “Art creates conversation,” Julian Raven, a painter from upstate New York tells me. Raven, an alternate delegate and true Donald Trump believer, drove the print of the original 8' x 16' painting from his Elmira studio which apparently has a 25-foot Trump banner hanging outside of it. He’s standing on a Civil War memorial in the middle of Cleveland’s Public Square on Tuesday afternoon among a handful of protesters, dozens of cops, and Univision’s Jorge Ramos interviewing a white supremacist.

    This isn’t the painting’s (titled Unafraid and Unashamed) first trip into campaigning. Raven says he “drove all over Iowa during the caucuses with a twenty-foot truck,” and did the same at Politicon. He’s passionate about painting, politics, and Jesus and says that Unafraid and Unashamed is a marriage of the three. “It’s a prophetic painting,” he said, adding that the six hundred hours he spent on the painting, “changed my life.”

    “When I finished, I began campaigning as a grassroots campaigner for Trump.” Though usually an abstract painter, Raven has been inspired by politics. Before painting Trump he painted a portrait of Alan Henning, the British cab driver turned humanitarian who was killed by ISIS in 2014.

    But Raven sees the painting as a chance to talk about Jesus Christ and tells me that he’s been a follower for 20 years. When I asked him about Trump and Christianity he acknowledges that Trump “isn’t a great Christian,” but adds that Trump has “Christian values.” He offers an interesting analogy from the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament.

    “Think of Isaiah,” Raven says referring to the story of Cyrus the Great, the king of Persia and deliverer of the Jews. “It’s a story about how God chooses somebody of the stature of Donald J. Trump.”

    “Even though [Cyrus] doesn’t even acknowledge [God], twice, he anointed [Cyrus] and called him Christ. If God can call this man and anoint him and call him Christ, the only other place in scripture where [someone is called that] other than Jesus.”

    Learning How to Get to Heaven at the RNC

    For Raven, then, Trump doesn’t need to be religious; like Cyrus, he’s a shepherd of God’s will. There’s a bit of irony in the analogy, as Cyrus was noted for his enlightened approach to civil rights.

    Raven was part of the spectacle of religion at Public Square. During the interview, a woman was standing on the speaker’s platform lecturing anyone in earshot about whores and fallen men and the redemption of Christ. Another man was carrying a large homemade wooden cross, and a handful of children, roughly five or six-years-old, gave me a “gift bag.” Inside were the New Testament books of John and Romans bound in a book titled How to Get to Heaven From the RNC. Another pamphlet reiterated the Christian roots of the Founding Fathers: “Nations rise and nations fall, and great is their destruction. The truth is also illustrated in the Holy Bible.”

    Public Square in the middle of the Republican National Convention seems like an odd place to win souls or converts; that everlasting life might reside somewhere between the guys selling Trump whoopie cushions, television cameras, and a bro with a “Socialism Sucks” sign. But maybe it’s as good of a place as any.

    Learning How to Get to Heaven at the RNC

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    A Theory: Donald Trump's Ex-Campaign Manager Deliberately Sabotaged Melania Trump
    Image: Jim Cooke/Getty

    Who ultimately inserted Michelle Obama’s words into Melania Trump’s convention speech? At the root, there can only be two options:

    1. Melania herself.
    2. A speechwriter.…

    The first would be more understandable. If Melania had asked to write the speech herself—as she said she did—you could see how she might have looked over past speeches given by potential first ladies at conventions and decided to slip a part of Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech into her own. It would have been a naive decision, but the logic follows itself easily.

    A professional speechwriter having done so makes for a far more tangled ball of yarn. That person would have been risking his or her career to cut corners on a speech that you have to assume would be fairly easy to write, in that it required no comments on policy or anything else substantive, falling back instead on vague platitudes derived from Melania’s easily gussied-up life story.

    But that reading assumes that the speechwriter meant well—that he or she wanted Melania Trump to deliver winning remarks, and hoped the plagiarism went by undetected. That could be true, but it still doesn’t really make sense. Why would a professional speechwriter write an entire speech except for three or four sentences, which were instead pulled from an analogous Michelle Obama speech, the transcripts and video of which could be found in the span of seconds by anyone with internet access?

    In this line of thought, we are left with one likely explanation: Sabotage.

    But orchestrated by who? Unlike the question of who literally wrote Michelle Obama’s words into Melania Trump’s speech, this one has far more possibilities—as many as the brain can imagine. Maybe the RNC asked one of its foot soldiers to be the hero America needs. Maybe the DNC paid off a speechwriter deep in gambling debt. Maybe Donald Trump himself placed the offending phrases into the speech as a means of divorcing Melania and moving on to an even younger fourth wife.

    The options are endless, but one towers above the rest: That Corey Lewandowski, the ex-Trump campaign manager who was unceremoniously fired amidst a power struggle, got one of his loyalist lackeys to put the plagiarized words into the speech as a means of ousting current campaign manager Paul Manafort, setting the stage for him to return to power just in time to save the campaign from its most vulnerable position yet.

    There is no indication that Lewandowski was actually behind Melania’s slip-up, but...

    The motive

    Lewandowski has reason to get back at Manafort, who successfully leveraged the press to paint the Lewandowski-led faction of the campaign as disorganized and irresponsible. Back in June, Manafort led his own thinly veiled coup attempt through the media, so it would make sense for Lewandowski—who now has a plum perch at CNN—to do the same.

    But it doesn’t stop at Manafort. Perhaps Lewandowski has an even more sinister motive: to exact revenge on Trump’s family himself. When Trump unceremoniously fired Lewandowski back on June 20, reports quickly emerged that his ouster was driven by Trump’s children, who offed Lewandowski with the swiftness of a mob hit. Via New York’s Gabriel Sherman:

    According to two sources briefed on the events, the meeting was a setup. Shortly after it began, the children peppered Lewandowski with questions, asking him to explain the campaign’s lack of infrastructure. “They went through the punch list. ‘Where are we with staffing? Where are we with getting the infrastructure built?’” one source explained. Their father grew visibly upset as he heard the list of failures. Finally, he turned to Lewandowski and said, “What’s your plan here?”

    Lewandowski responded that he wanted to leak Trump’s vice-president pick.

    And with that, Lewandowski was out. Trump has long viewed announcing his running mate at the GOP convention next month as a valuable card to play. He was shocked that Lewandowski didn’t have any other ideas. Shortly after the meeting, Lewandowski was escorted out of the building by Trump security.

    Lewandowski has continued to support Trump publicly, but you could understand how he still might hold a grudge against the man’s children. What better way to get back at them then by humiliating their family, while also making Manafort look like the disorganized and incompetent one in a single fell swoop?

    The evidence

    This morning, CNN had Lewandowski on air to talk about the plagiarism fiasco in his unique capacity as Trump’s one-time campaign manager. The first thing he did was to go out of his way to flatter Melania Trump, calling her an “extremely articulate, smart, successful woman.”

    You notice here that Lewandowski goes off-script. The question posed to him was: “How is this speechwriting process supposed to work?” But instead of answering that he lavishes over-the-top praise on Melania, which has a dual function. It is exactly what you imagine Donald Trump would want to hear, while also implicitly placing the blame elsewhere inside the campaign.

    Later in the discussion, Lewandowski was asked directly about Manafort. Here is that back-and-forth:

    The first thing to take note of is that CNN specifically teed up Manafort. “It could go all the way to the top,” the anchor says. “All the way to the top would be Paul Manafort.” This is, of course, patently false: The top of the Trump campaign is Donald Trump. “Do you think the buck stops with Paul Manafort on this?” Lewandowski is asked. He responds:

    Well I can tell you when I was the campaign manager, the buck stopped with me and I’m sitting here with CNN now. The buck stops somewhere at the top, and what I think is at the end of the day, when you’re the convention manager you’re in charge of the convention. And so there is no detail too small, particularly when you are looking at scrutinizing the GOP nominee’s wife to give the largest speech in front of 35 million people, there is no detail you should overlook.

    You can see here his obvious reluctance to suggest that Donald Trump could bear any responsibility for his wife’s plagiarism. Further, Lewandowski relies on the notion that no detail is too small, but that’s intuitively untrue—there is no way a convention could ever come to be if a campaign manager had to personally vet and approve every small detail. Lewandowski is essentially arguing that Manafort should have personally Googled every line in Melania’s speech to make sure none of it had been plagiarized, which sounds nice but is patently unrealistic.

    A follow-up question is asked: “Paul Manafort, you’re saying bears some responsibility?” Lewandowski replies, “I think someone at the staff level does and I think Paul is at the top of that.”

    The fixation on Manafort as a proxy for Trump feels unusual—you rarely, if ever, hear Hillary Clinton’s campaign manger, Robby Mook, mentioned on TV, let alone discussed ad nauseam—but it could not have been set up any better for Lewandowski, who in the ultimate role reversal gets to play the measured, sober political insider looking down on the chaotic Trump campaign, and, oh, couldn’t they just use some accountability.

    The Rickroll

    Also in her speech, Melania Trump literally quoted Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up,” saying of her husband: “He will never, ever give you up. And most importantly, he will never, ever let you down.”

    She got fucking Rickrolled at the Republican National Convention! Of course it was sabotage.

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    Bret Baier on Roger Ailes Ouster Report: "Ugh"
    Photo: Ashley’s phone

    CLEVELAND — Earlier this afternoon, Ashley and I stumbled upon Fox News’s Bret Baier and Chris Wallace livestreaming a discussion from a Facebook booth adjacent to the convention center, where most of the campaign press work when not in the arena.

    This was an unexpected treat. While most other prominent media personalities roam freely around the convention site, major Fox News people have stayed mostly cloistered and hidden. This may be because their boss, Roger Ailes, is reportedly being forced out at the network after multiple current and former Fox employees—including, reportedly, current Fox host Megyn Kelly—have accused him of sexual harassment. Kelly herself seems to be in an undisclosed location when she’s not on-air. (Though I hear Greta Van Susteren was seen at the CNN Grill last night, talking to Erin Burnett. I can’t confirm because CNN won’t let me into the CNN Grill, even after I DM’d Jake Tapper and sent a really sniveling email to one of their flacks.)

    But here were Baier and Wallace. Once they finished their Facebook Live (I’m not a monster), I introduced myself to Baier, shook his hand, and asked him what he thought about the Roger Ailes reports. Baier’s polite smile never left his face: “Ugh. I have no comment, zero, nothing to say.”

    As I spoke to Baier, handlers and flacks formed a human shield around Wallace and escorted him away.

    Another media reporter, lured by Ashley’s livestream, walked over. “You get anything?”

    If you’re in Cleveland and you see a Fox News personality, please alert your local media reporter.

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    New Explanation For Melania Trump's Plagiarism: Twilight Sparkle Said It First

    RNC Chief Strategist Sean Spicer has revealed his newest strategy for defending against plagiarism accusations directed towards Melania Trump’s speech on Monday, a speech that was very easily shown to rip off Michelle Obama’s speech from 2008. It involves a flying unicorn.

    In a desperate interview in which Spicer seems to be speaking as quickly as possible so that he can’t hear himself, he shares a number of quotes from Melania’s speech, then compares them to other famous orators like John Legend and Kid Rock and a very special mini-horse. Did you know My Little Pony’s Twilight Sparkle once said, “This is your dream, anything you can do in your dreams you can do now,” just like Michelle Obama did? Um, yeah, yer busted, Michelle:

    Spicer goes on to say that he would never suggest that Michelle Obama plagiarized a magic cartoon horse. She definitely didn’t, if you were wondering, as Twilight Sparkle’s television debut was in 2010 and not widely circulated in political arenas.

    It is true that certain platitudes about dreams, love, and family are reused and recycled in speeches, but part of a speechwriter’s job is repackaging those sentiments into something that won’t make the person mouthing them look like a thieving boob. Oh well. As Twilight Sparkle would say, “Happy Nightmare Night, Applejack!”

    Image via Discovery Family.

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    CLEVELAND — Earlier this week, Infowars radio host Alex Jones slammed Karl Rove for refusing to answer a few simple questions. Except now, Alex Jones is using the same shameful evasive maneuvers that so sickened him before. Alex—why are you so scared of Gawker’s questions about Pokémon Go?

    I found Jones and a few of his cohorts earlier today as they prepared for a protest march that apparently went awry rather quickly. Considering Jones’ contempt for the government’s many attempts to hijack our free will, I assumed he’d have nothing to hide regarding the well-known Pokémon Go surveillance psyop conspiracy.

    I assumed wrong.

    Upon telling him where I work, Jones immediately growled, “I don’t talk to Gawker.” I then asked him if he believed that Pokémon Go was a government conspiracy (it is). Alex Jones, a supposed man of “truth,” refused to answer this simple question. I asked again only to be intercepted by Jones’ security guard.

    Now, Alex Jones and I have not always gotten along in the past (he has previously referred to me as a “turd”), but a man who isn’t involved in the government’s establishment of a pocket monster-based panopticon has no reason to hide behind his goons.

    Alex Jones, what is it you’re hiding?

    Is it a Drowzee?

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    Is Roger Ailes Leaving Fox News Or Not?
    Photo: Getty Images

    Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who is currently facing numerous accusations of sexual harassment by a growing number of current and former employees, is reportedly—reportedly!—departing the channel, which he founded in October 1996 and has helmed for the past 19 years. This morning, Gabriel Sherman of New York magazine reported that Fox News’ star anchor, Megyn Kelly, had told investigators hired by 21st Century Fox that her boss had sexually harassed her approximately ten years ago, when she still worked at Fox. In the same piece, Sherman claimed that attorneys for 21st Century Fox had given Ailes an ultimatum: “Resign or face being fired for cause” by August 1 of this year.…

    This afternoon, Internet aggregator and reclusive conservative operative Matt Drudge announced that Ailes was apparently on the outs, on his website:

    Is Roger Ailes Leaving Fox News Or Not?

    On Twitter, Drudge simultaneously published what appears to be the first page of Ailes’ separation agreement with Fox News and 21st Century Fox:

    Is Roger Ailes Leaving Fox News Or Not?

    The language in the document indicates that Ailes would receive a $6.25 million over the next year, plus $40.76 million in various bonuses. The document, whose authenticity has not yet been verified, also shows that, until mid-2017, the person to whom the document refers “will provide advice and services as requested by KRM, Executive Chairman of 21CF, and continue to act in the Company’s best interests.” The initials “KRM” refer to Rupert Murdoch, whose given name is Keith Rupert Murdoch.

    Shortly after publishing the document, NPR’s media reporter, David Folkenflik, appeared to corroborate (without necessarily confirming) Drudge’s scoop:

    The Daily Beast, meanwhile, appeared to obtain official confirmation from 21st Century Fox. But then the company suddenly revoked it, writing: “Fox initially confirmed Drudge’s report to The Daily Beast, and subsequently walked back that confirmation.” The site also noted that, sometime between Drudge’s initial report and tweet and Fox’s change of mind, Drudge revised his homepage:

    Is Roger Ailes Leaving Fox News Or Not?

    The smaller text reads, “STATEMENT: ‘Roger Ailes has never sexually harassed Megyn Kelly. In fact, he has spent the last decade promoting and helping her to achieve the stardom she earned, for which she has repeatedly and publicly thanked him.’” CNN reporter Dylan Byers later clarified that the statement came from Ailes’s personal attorney, Susan Estrich.

    Around the same time Fox “walked back” their confirmation of Ailes’ departure, Drudge deleted the tweet containing Roger Ailes’ apparent separation agreement. The only tweet remaining on his account is one depicting Megyn Kelly (which we’re embedding below as a screenshot in the likely event that he deletes it, too):

    Is Roger Ailes Leaving Fox News Or Not?

    A few minutes later, 21st Century Fox published a statement that appeared to address Drudge’s headline:

    Which probably means: Ailes is still at Fox News, but he might not be soon. Around the same time as 21st Century Fox’s statement, the New York Times published a longer article claiming that, “Roger Ailes and 21st Century Fox are in the advanced stages of discussions that would lead to the departure of Mr. Ailes as chairman of Fox News Channel.” The paper cited “a person briefed on the discussions.”

    Sherman’s post came slightly over a week after former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes in a New Jersey court. In the original complaint, Carlson alleged that Ailes had repeatedly asked for sexual favors and physically humiliated her in front of other Fox employees. The litigation drew condemnation from many of Carlson’s former colleagues, who defended their boss, but also moved several other women—including Megyn Kelly—to publicly discuss their own interactions with Ailes. Attorneys for Ailes have argued that Carlson must submit to private arbitration, according to the terms of her contract.

    As for Drudgeland, none of this is entirely without precedent.

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    Ebay Is a Waking Nightmare of Amateur Trump Art

    Have you ever wondered what Trump might look like as a baby doll? Wonder no longer. Because you can pick up just such a monstrosity on eBay. In fact, you can pick up a lot of Trump-themed art on eBay. And it’s just as horrifying as you’d expect.

    Let’s go take a peek at some of the weirder examples to pop up on eBay of late.

    Ebay Is a Waking Nightmare of Amateur Trump Art

    19" DONALD TRUMP Look-alike Newborn Baby Doll


    If you squint your eyes really hard this baby doll almost looks like Donald Trump. No? What if I put this little blond wig on it? Still nothing? Okay, what if I put this Trump Plaza bar of soap next to it? Squint harder! Do you see it? See, I told you it was Trump! Anyway, this exquisite piece of art will set you back $20,000.

    Ebay Is a Waking Nightmare of Amateur Trump Art

    Donald Trump clown dress


    You know who’s a clown? Donald Trump. Get it? He’s a clown. Literally! LOL. JK guys JK. But seriously, give this guy $25,000.

    Ebay Is a Waking Nightmare of Amateur Trump Art

    Vintage Giant Paper Mache Donald Trump Statue


    This gigantic Trump statue seems to predate our modern Trumpsession in American politics. But that doesn’t make it any less valuable. You been Trump’d.

    Ebay Is a Waking Nightmare of Amateur Trump Art

    Original Oil Painting by Gary Hartenhoff American Artist. Donald Trump President


    This painting is for the dedicated Trump fan. Or pepe enthusiast. Or maybe it’s more like that monkey Jesus painting. I can’t quite put my finger on what it reminds me of. All I know is that I can’t stop staring. I feel like he’s looking directly into where my soul should be—the big black empty spot that died when the 2016 election cycle started.

    Ebay Is a Waking Nightmare of Amateur Trump Art

    Donald Trump LEGO Mosaic - Custom Build 20" x 20" (NEW)


    Is there any medium that is worthy of capturing the perfection that is Donald Trump? Probably not. But people will continue to try with any variety of modern tools. Like this artist who used Lego. Impressive indeed. But there are certainly other artists and architects who have done it better.

    Ebay Is a Waking Nightmare of Amateur Trump Art

    lawn stake yard art Snoopy Donald Trump sign american presadential election


    Someone made a DIY campaign sign for the “presadential” election in support of Trump. As the person who’s advertising it on eBay explains “Every one stops to look at it,” so they’re offering it for sale. Snoopy was unavailable for comment.

    Ebay Is a Waking Nightmare of Amateur Trump Art

    Donald Trump Art Collage


    This piece of art is a bit confusing. At first glance it actually appears to be a collage supporting Trump. It has Donald in front of the White House with troops saluting and people wearing Make America Great Again t-shirts. But if you look closer, there are Klan members on top of the White House and dollar bills behind him. A more profound person probably has something to say about how this provokes a discussion about

    Ebay Is a Waking Nightmare of Amateur Trump Art

    NEW Hand Made, Pro Silicone Mask “Donald Trump” High Quality, Unique


    Do you worry that maybe your kids have been sleeping too well at night? Maybe your partner finds you too sexually attractive. Well, have I got just the thing for you. For the low, low price of just $900 you can have a lifelike mask of Donald Trump. Use it at parties, use it at home, use it in the bedroom. Use it anytime you want people to be physically and mentally repelled by your very existence.

    Ebay Is a Waking Nightmare of Amateur Trump Art

    Original Art from Artist Jackass Trump 10" x 10" Acrylic


    Not all of the Trump-themed art on eBay is favorable, of course. Much like the clown painting, this one seems to be trying to tell us something. If only we could figure out what...

    Ebay Is a Waking Nightmare of Amateur Trump Art



    Trump vs Zombie Hillary with Donald sporting a gun and giving rock-on devil horns is another one of those that’s a bit subtle and definitely open to interpretation. 2016 is going to be the worst Halloween ever, isn’t it?

    Ebay Is a Waking Nightmare of Amateur Trump Art

    donald trump collectiible poster towel THE BRO HUG w/ putin-new-59'x48' inches


    Yeah, I don’t even know anymore.

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    Wow, I Guess They're Really Doing This
    Photo: AP

    On Tuesday, the Republican National Convention held a roll call vote to officially nominate Donald Trump as their party’s candidate for President of the United States. Goddamn.

    As expected, Trump easily passed the simple 1,237-delegate majority needed to secure the nomination, having won 1,543 delegates during the Republican primaries, according to the Associated Press. Wow.

    Usually a mere formality, this year’s roll call vote was closely watched due to possible protests by anti-Trump delegates. However, few signs of rebellion were apparent on the convention floor Tuesday night. Jesus Christ.

    Donald Trump. Donald fucking Trump. May God have mercy on us all.

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