TrumpMania Author Ties WrestleMania 4 & 5 To Gangsters

TrumpMania Author Ties WrestleMania 4 & 5 To Gangsters

Ross BermanNov 13, 2018

Lavie Magolin, author of TrumpMania: Vince McMahon, WWE and the making of America’s 45th President, was on Wrestling Inc.’s WINCLY podcast recently. During the discussion, Margolin brought up President Donald Trump’s ties to La Cosa Nostra during the time period when Trump funded WrestleManias 4 & 5. Both events took place at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, NJ. Margolin said the following about Trump’s ties to noted New Jersey crime figure Robert Libutti:

Transcription via Wrestling Inc.

“Certainly when you cross over into a world like Atlantic City, not dissimilar to Las Vegas, you enter the world of gambling and all of the characters that brings about,” Margolin said about WWE doing business in Atlantic City. “One of the most interesting points that came out later was that Donald Trump at WrestleManias 4 and 5 was right next to someone named [Robert] Libutti who is a well-known and well-affiliated gangster who actually had been fined several thousand dollars for being racist and refusing service from people that weren’t to his liking.

“Very interestingly, Libutti named his horse after Trump. Trump claimed that he had no idea who it was but they were obviously much closer connected and had a good relationship.”

Denying knowledge of an associate is a common Trump tactic, recently seen when the President said that he “didn’t know” Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, despite making claims to the contrary at an earlier time.

Margolin also commented on Vince McMahon’s willingness to have WrestleMania associated with noted crime figures Trump & Libutti:

“Vince McMahon was willing to enter that world because it was very lucrative and really the first WrestleMania paid show.”

Robert Libutti was at one point recorded referring to John Gambino as his “boss.” Libutti passed away from natural causes in 2014, at the age of 82.

White House is helping cover up Khashoggi murder: Former CIA officer

White House is helping cover up Khashoggi murder: Former CIA officer

WASHINGTON

A former CIA case officer and intelligence analyst for CNN claimed the Trump administration is helping the Saudis cover up journalist Jamal Khashoggi‘s murder, according to Business Insider.

Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper on Nov. 13, Bob Baer, who worked at a CIA case officer primarily in the Middle East, said the US has purposely muted its response to Khashoggi‘s murder.

“We’ve always turned a blind eye to what’s going on in Saudi Arabia,” he told CNN.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and US resident, was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Saudi Arabia has repeatedly shifted its version of the events that transpired that day, and it has fired five top officials and arrested 18 Saudis it says are connected to the killing.

Turkish police find hydrofluoric acid at Saudi consul’s home after Khashoggi killing: Report

<img src=”//i.hurimg.com/i/hdn/75/650×350/5be4284a7af5072140e6a2e8.jpg” alt=”Turkish police find hydrofluoric acid at Saudi consul’s home after Khashoggi killing: Report” class=”bImage” itemprop=”” />

Still, Khashoggi‘s body has not been returned, and audio recordings circulating around government agencies appear to indicate that that someone senior, possibly Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had ordered the killing.

According to The New York Times, the tape allegedly records Khashoggi‘s last moments, and catches one of his killers call his superior on the phone and tell the person to “tell your boss” that “the deed was done.”

“The way Saudi Arabia is run today, Mohammed bin Salman is an autocrat,” Baer said. “Security services, the rest of the country, he’s in control.”

While US National Security Adviser John Bolton has said that the audio does not conclusively implicate Prince Mohammed, Baer suggested it is unlikely that anyone else in the Kingdom would have the authority to order such an operation. Bolton has said he has not heard the tape himself.

Saudi intel shocked after listening to Khashoggi killing tape: Erdoğan

<img src=”//i.hurimg.com/i/hdn/75/650×350/5bea5e71c9de3d113cdcf447.jpg” alt=”Saudi intel shocked after listening to Khashoggi killing tape: Erdoğan” class=”bImage” itemprop=”” />

“The Saudis do not have rogue operations ever,” Baer said. “It’s never occured. The chances that Mohammed bin Salman ordered this, we’re hitting 100%.”

“At this point, the White House doesn’t see a way out. Saudi Arabia is a volcano and to try and push the Crown Prince out, we don’t have any players [in Saudi Arabia] on our side, so we don’t know what to do,” Baer said. “So we have a psychopath sitting in Riyadh controlling the country.”

Prince Mohammed has tightened his grip in the last year since being appointed Crown Prince last June at the age of 31. His massive purge of more than 200 influential Saudi figures, many of whom were members of the Saudi royal family, silenced dissenting voices and cemented his status as Saudi Arabia’s most powerful figure.

“No Saudi prince has ever done this ever in its history,” Baer said. “I think what worries the White House is this country could pop, and what would we do then?”

US lawmakers expect votes on steps to crack down on Saudi Arabia

<img src=”//i.hurimg.com/i/hdn/75/650×350/5bebca65c9de3d0394218371.jpg” alt=”US lawmakers expect votes on steps to crack down on Saudi Arabia” class=”bImage” itemprop=”” />

Lanza Family: Ryan’s ‘RIP’ Posts Are Fake

Lanza Family: Ryan’s ‘RIP’ Posts Are Fake

‘I am a victim,’ says older brother of shooter

Ryan Lanza, the 24-year-old brother of Sandy Hook Elementary shooter Adam Lanza, is escorted by police into a cruiser in Hoboken, NJ, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012.   (AP Photo/WCBS-TV)

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By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 23, 2012 9:14 AM CST

Updated Dec 23, 2012 3:45 PM CST

Comment

(NEWSER) – As the last Sandy Hook victims were laid to rest, the older brother of shooter Adam Lanza posted his own tribute to the tragedy, mourning the loss of two members of his family—or did he? The Lanza family claims that a Ryan Lanza Facebook page is a hoax, but the New York Post reports that Ryan wrote beneath a picture of mom Nancy Lanza: “RIP. I miss you mom. I love you so much. You will be always in my heart. -Ryan.” He was no less effusive with his brother, writing under a photo of Adam Lanza, “RIP. I will miss you bro. I will always love you as long as I live.”

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The Post notes that though Ryan Lanza also paid tribute to his brother’s victims (“You all will be truly be missed. God Bless.”), his posts stirred up some hate, with one person calling Adam Lanza “scum of the Earth.” Responded Ryan Lanza: “I am so tired of people blaming me for something my brother did. I love Adam, (he’s) my brother. … But you have no right to call my brother names when he isn’t here no more. Just let my brother rest in peace. Please. Respect that.” “I am a victim,” Ryan Lanza tells the Post, adding that he lost “my mom and brother.” (Read more Ryan Lanza stories.)

Tree of Life archive

Jeffrey and Edward Clark U.S. Department of Justice

Man Who Called Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre a ‘Dry Run’ Arrested

Thirty-year-old Jeffrey Clark reportedly appeared in federal court Tuesday

Haaretz

17:37 1 comments

Police arrested a man in Washington, D.C. with social media connections to Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect Robert Bowers, according to CBS reporting. Bowers opened fire while yelling “kill all the Jews” on Oct. 27, killing 11 people, in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Thirty-year-old Jeffrey Clark reportedly appeared in federal court Tuesday. He is facing one federal count of unlawful possession of firearms by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance, in addition to one count in the District of Columbia of possessing high-capacity magazines.

Court papers allege that Clark was “friends” with Bowers. Clark reportedly posted a picture of Bowers on Gab.com, a website popular with the so-called alt-right and white supremacists, with language attached that insinuates a continuation of violence against Jewish communities: “This was a dry run for things to come.”

Clark’s arrest came after family told investigators that Clark was having outbursts. They also alleged that Clark said the shooting victims from the Tree of Life shooting “deserved it.”

Court documents said family members also told police that Clark defended the synagogue shooting suspect, and that he and his now-deceased brother had allegedly fantasized about killing blacks and Jews.

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Clark’s brother killed himself just hours after the synagogue shooting, authorities said.

The FBI last week reported a 37 percent spike in anti-Jewish hate crimes in 2017.

Demonstrators carry confederate and Nazi flags during the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017.Emily Molli / NurPhoto

Anti-Jewish Hate Crimes in U.S. Rose by 37 Percent in 2017, FBI Says

Hate crimes rise for third year in a row, with religion-based hate crimes increasing by 23 percent

The Associated Press

13.11.2018 | 19:15

The FBI says hate crimes reports were up about 17 percent in 2017, marking a rise for the third year in a row.

An annual report released Tuesday shows there were more than 7,100 reported hate crimes last year. There were increases in attacks motivated by racial bias, religious bias and because of a victim’s sexual orientation.

The report shows there was a nearly 23 percent increase in religion-based hate crimes. There was a 37 percent spike in anti-Jewish hate crimes.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who was appointed last week following the forced resignation of Jeff Sessions, says the report is a “call to action.” He says the offenses were “despicable violations of our core values as Americans.”

The FBI says although the number of attacks has increased, so has the number of law enforcement agencies reporting hate-crime data.

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‘All Jews Must Die’: Shooter Kills 11 in Pittsburgh Synagogue Attack

The report comes two weeks after the tragic shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. The gunman, Robert Bowers, yelled “all Jews must die,” before killing 11 people. Six others, including four police officers, were wounded before the perpetrator was arrested.

Flowers and other items have been left as memorials outside the Tree of Life synagogue following last Saturday’s shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S., November 3, 2018\ ALAN FREED/ REUTERS

A Moving Shabbat Prayer in Pittsburgh – and Why It Sparked My Outrage

Tree of Life Rabbi Myers warned Trump on dangers of hate speech but didn’t seem to leave much of an impression

Chemi Shalev

04.11.2018 | 14:41 24 comments

PITTSBURGH – In many Jewish synagogues across the U.S., the main sanctuaries are in use only on special occasions. Declining attendance has turned once teeming auditoriums into monuments of glories past. On Saturday, however, sanctuaries throughout the U.S. were packed, none more so than Pittsburgh’s conservative Beth Shalom synagogue, which played host to the bereaved members of the Tree of Life and Ohr Hadash congregations, who lost 11 of their friends in Robert Bowersmurderous rampage last week. They have been exiled from their own synagogue by the Pittsburgh police, which continues to regard the Tree of Life building in Squirrel Hill as a crime scene, though they’ve promised to return it to its rightful owners by Tuesday.

The crowd streamed into Beth Shalom’s magnificent main sanctuary, with its tall stained glass windows and elaborate podium. Many of them were refreshingly young, belying, at least on this somber occasion, the well-known pattern of aging Jewish congregations. Most seemed to know each other, but there were many newcomers and first-timers as well, including non-Jews. The locals hugged each other in consolation and to give each other strength. “We’ve had a tough week,” one woman told me, in the understatement of the year.

>> Pittsburgh was never anti-Semitic. Trump and the internet changed that | Opinion ■ Israelis’ post-Pittsburgh defense of Trump isn’t just realpolitik | Opinion ■  While Trump is president, violence against Jews will keep rising. We must prepare accordingly | Opinion 

Other than the babies, who answer to no one, the crowd stayed unusually quiet and attentive throughout the unduly long five-hour service. They seemed to be following every word of prayer, as if hearing them for the first time. They responded emphatically and on cue at the appropriate moments, as if their words, which devout Jews recite on a daily basis, had acquired a whole new meaning. Their grief and sadness was mitigated by their strong sense of community and by the power of their restraint.

You didn’t have to be religious, or even Jewish for that matter, to be moved.

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Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog, who attended the prayers, thankfully refrained from emulating other official Israeli consolers, who drew false equivalencies between leftist radicals and white supremacists and were overly enthusiastic in their defense of Donald Trump.

Herzog noted the unity of prayer between Jews of varying denominations, saying that it was the only possible answer to the atrocity perpetrated by Bowers. It sent a message of love, unity, friendship and peace, Herzog said, uttering words that are lingua franca among American Jews but shunned by their Israeli counterparts as hopelessly naive.

Israel, in fact, was not mentioned at all by the other speakers, with the exception of the traditional prayer for its wellbeing, which is now a regular staple in Conservative and most Reform congregations. If only Israelis prayed for the safety and wellbeing of American Jews, I thought to myself, instead of taking them for granted.

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump stand with Rabbi Jeffrey Myers as they place stones at a makeshift memorial outside the Tree of Life synagoguein Pittsburgh, October 30, 2018 \ KEVIN LAMARQUE/ REUTERS

More problematic, perhaps, was the Prayer For Our Country, i.e., the U.S., which includes a request that God bless “our leader.” In the days of Trump, many liberal rabbis either omit this appeal or utter it under protest. Trump nonetheless played a prominent role in the sermon given by Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, which was actually more of an attempt to rebuff the criticism directed at him for agreeing to host Trump at the scene of the crime last week.

>> American Jews may never forgive Israel for its reaction to the Pittsburgh massacre | Analysis ■ U.S. synagogues wrestle with new security challenges after Pittsburgh massacre ■ From Pittsburgh to Paris, five lessons for Jews everywhere | Analysis

Myers recounted what he perceived as a genuine emotional moment, when Trump placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. He seemed to be genuinely shocked by the details of the synagogue massacre, Myers asserted.  Melania Trump, Myers said, was even more shocked by her husband’s apparently unusual show of emotion.

Myers repeatedly recounted that he had told the President that “hate speech leads to hateful action,” an admonition that Trump probably thought was directed at everyone except for him. Within a few hours of lighting 11 memorial candles at the site where the Jews were killed, he was back at it, and with a vengeance. In his campaign rallies over the past few days, in fact, Trump has doubled down on his inflammatory rhetoric on the imminent immigrant “invasion,” using the exact same words that Bowers took from him as a rationale for the mass murder of Jews in the first place.

The audience applauded Myers’ reasoning for greeting Trump, which included the biblical mitzvah of hosting strangers, the moral imperative of not answering hate with more hate and the fact that he is, after the all, the President of the United States. Not everyone was happy though. My elderly neighbor in the back row leaned over and said, “We have to do something about that man.” Before she went on to spell out exactly what she had in mind, I quickly said “First, let’s wait for Tuesday’s elections,” which seemed to satisfy her, for the time being at least.

As for myself, if you will allow me, I admit to being unusually stirred by the service. At first it was pure nostalgia, because the tunes and hymns sung by the congregation were identical to those I sang on every Shabbat during four years that I spent in Los Angeles as a child. I was also touched by the mutual solidarity and empathy shown by the Pittsburgh Jews. And I was undoubtedly impressed by the admirable conduct of the congregants, by their goodwill, by their care for each other, by their pledge, despite their anger and grief, to devote even more time and energy to promoting understanding and goodwill amongst themselves and with other minority communities, most notably Muslims.

It’s no small matter that Pittsburgh Muslims raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help refurbish the Tree of Life synagogue. To my closed Middle Eastern mind, the words of Wasi Mohamed, executive director the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, at the memorial vigil held last week to honor the slain Jews, bordered on the miraculous: “We just want to know what you need,” he told the Jews and their leaders. “If it’s more money, let us know. If it’s people outside your next service protecting you, let us know — we’ll be there….  If you just need somebody to come to the grocery store because you don’t feel safe in this city, we’ll be there and I’m sure everybody in the room would say the same thing. We’re here for the community.”

Wasi Mohamed from the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh is hugged by a rabbi during a service to honor the victims of Saturday’s mass shooting at the Tree Of Life synagogue, October 28, 2018. AFP

Which is when outrage began to consume me. I had no doubt that Mohamed’s sympathy was enabled by the Muslim recognition that the Jewish community, in Pittsburgh and elsewhere, may differ with him over Israel and the occupation, but stands shoulder to shoulder as minorities who feel threatened in the age of Donald Trump. For over a century, American Jews have been at the forefront of almost every meaningful campaign for human and civil rights – especially those of other minorities.

Their Orthodox critics, especially in Israel, claim with disdain that liberalism has replaced Judaism as the main religion of American Jews. Anyone who attended the prayers at Beth Shalom on Saturday would see how ridiculous the claim is, at least for those Jews who choose to remain affiliated with Jewish institutions. In any case, is the American Jewish dedication to safeguarding minorities really something to be ashamed of? Is it more shameful to be a Jew who cherishes Tikkun Olam than one who bases the occupation and the subjugation of Palestinians on biblical texts?

I looked around at the women and men sitting together at Beth Shalom, sharing the responsibility of conducting the complex service, and an age old question popped into my mind: Who is a Jew? And how is it that the State of Israel, my country, has willingly subjugated itself to fundamentalist Jews who live by moral codes formulated hundreds of years ago and petrified ever since? Why have secular Israelis succumbed to a movement that blindly follows rabbis whose spiritual leadership is based on being born to their fathers, that denies women any role in public life, that is obsessed with the purity of Jewish blood, that is concerned with Jews and Jews alone, but only if they follow the rules; a movement that, were it not Jewish, would comply with all the criteria of a cult.

Muslims guarding the doors at New York’s Congregation Beit Simchat Torah #ShowUpForShabbat services remembering Pittsburgh shooting attack victims, November 2, 2018. Gili Getz

And don’t get me started on the perverted fusion of religion and Jewish nationalism that drives Israeli policy today. And these retrograde Jews, who lord over marriage and divorce in Israel and who hold all Israeli coalitions in the palms of their hands – they have the chutzpah to deny recognition for American Jews who prefer to live the 21st Century rather than the 19th? Give me a break.

Those who came to Beth Shalom synagogue in Pittsburgh are no less Jewish than their Orthodox Israeli brethren who shun and mock them. To my mind, in fact, they’re even more. Which is why I am now trying to figure out whether Israelis can declare themselves American Jews as well.  If it’s possible, I plan to be the first to volunteer.

Mel Bernstein.Screen grab from YouTube.

Jewish Gun Shop Owner Offers Rabbis Free Rifles After Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

Mel Bernstein, who owns Dragon Arms near Colorado Springs, offered to give rabbis semi-automatic guns, estimated at $650 each ■ ‘Armed clergy sends the wrong message,’ ADL representative in Colorado says

JTA

03.11.2018 | 18:05

The Jewish owner of a gun shop in Colorado has offered to give rabbis semi-automatic rifles for free following the murder of 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Mel Bernstein, who owns Dragon Arms near Colorado Springs, made the offer in an item aired Wednesday on KOAA-TV’s News5.

KOAA 5

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Local gun shop owner offers rabbis free weapons

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Jewish gun shop owner offers rabbis free weapons.

“Lets say there’s a fire in a synagogue. What do you grab? You grab a fire extinguisher right?” Bernstein, who goes by the name Dragonman, said on the NBC affiliate’s program. “OK, lets say somebody comes in and starts shooting everybody. What are you going to grab? You grab your AR-15 or a rifle or a handgun.”

During the shooting Saturday, “people sitting in the synagogue, they were sitting ducks,” and “nobody’s stopping him,” Bernstein said of the shooter, who authorities say was right-wing extremist Robert Bowers. “You have to have the tool to fight back, and this is the tool, and I’m donating these to the rabbis.”

>> Guns, Trump and anti-Semitism: Pittsburgh shooting highlights vast divide between liberal U.S. Jews and Israel

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Each gun that Bernstein hopes to give the local religious leaders is valued at an estimated $650, and the store was clear that each rabbi would have to pass a background check to take possession of the weapon, the Western Journal reported.

Rabbi Jeff Ader of Temple Beit Torah in Colorado Springs told KOAA that he thought the offer was very generous and thoughtful, and that he’d have to think about it. Ader also talked to Bersntein about giving some people the concealed weapons training he offers.

Another local rabbi said he’d prefer not to comment on the offer, News5 reported.

Scott Levin of the Anti-Defamation League serving Colorado told News5 that a rabbi with a gun causes image issues and a potential disruption of the sanctity of a synagogue. Levin also said that he believes there should be panic buttons installed and that he’s fine with armed security personnel, but that armed clergy sends the wrong message.

After the shootings, U.S. President Donald Trump said, “This is a case where if they had an armed guard inside, they may have been able to stop him immediately. Maybe there would have been nobody killed, except for him maybe.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who is Jewish, rejected the idea.

“I certainly don’t agree with his suggestion that this could have been avoided or mitigated if they’d had someone armed in the synagogue. That’s not the answer,” The Guardian quoted Schiff as saying. “The broader issue is what kind of climate are we creating in the country.”

How the Beatles tried to set up a Communist empire

How the Beatles tried to set up a Communist empire

DailyMail

• Beatles headed up Apple organisation from heart of Mayfair’s tailoring district

• John, Paul, George and Ringo made an attempt at becoming business tycoons 

• Paul McCartney defined the band’s aim there as ‘a kind of Western Communism’

•  It was at here 3 Savile Road that they would effectively break up two years later 

Number 3 Savile Row is a Georgian house in the heart of Mayfair’s bespoke tailoring district.

Nowadays, it’s a trendy children’s clothing store, but 50 years ago it became one of London’s most famous buildings as the HQ of the Beatles’ Apple organisation.

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Here, John, Paul, George and Ringo made their brief, disastrous attempt to become business tycoons; here, too, they effectively broke up in 1969, although the official split didn’t come until two years later.

And while the double crisis unfolded, and those closest of friends turned to bitter boardroom opponents, I was inside the house, watching it happen.

Mobbed: Paul McCartney leaving Apple’s Saville Row headquarters, 

I sat with John and Yoko Ono — then playing her own not inconsiderable part in breaking up the Beatles — while they planned to give their next Press conference with sacks over their heads.

I talked to George as he tried on expensive Mr Fish shirts for a photo session, and was presented by Ringo with a jar of apple jam made by his then wife (and George’s future lover), Maureen.

I had breakfast with the Beatles’ terrifying new American manager, Allen Klein, as he fought to keep the band together until he could sign them to a massive new recording-contract.

The Beatle’s Saville Row HQ: Here, John, Paul, George and Ringo made their brief, disastrous attempt to become business tycoons; here, too, they effectively broke up in 1969, although the official split didn¿t come until two years later

And every day I witnessed the Beatles’ business being plundered by swarms of con artists and freeloaders like wasps around a Grade II-listed honeypot.

Apple sprang from their desire to have their own record label, rather than be tied to the elephantine EMI organisation, and take control of the many other commercial activities being carried on in their name, like music publishing, film-making and merchandising.

Fortuitously, EMI owed them £2million in back royalties (multiply by ten for today’s value) which was to be paid in a single instalment.

The only way to avoid losing almost all of it under the then Labour government’s punitive tax regime was to invest it in a business.

But they were the Beatles, so it couldn’t be just your everyday grim, grasping kind of business.

Paul McCartney defined their aim as ‘a kind of Western Communism…We’re in the happy position of not needing any more money,’ he said, ‘so for the first time the bosses aren’t in it for profit.’

Befitting the hippy era of love and peace, there was to be a strong philanthropic and what today would be called mentoring element.

‘We want to help people but without doing it as a charity. We always had to go to the big men and touch our forelocks and say: “Please can we do so and so.” If you come to me and say: “I’ve had such and such a dream,” I’ll say to you: “Go away and do it.”’

The organisation began modestly with a publishing company, Apple Music, on the upper floors of a building in Baker Street

Art connoisseur Paul came up with the name Apple and a logo inspired by the Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte’s 1966 painting Le Jeu de Mourre (The Guessing Game) of a pristine green Granny Smith with ‘Au revoir’ written across it.

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In a Lennonesque pun, the organisation’s full name was Apple Corps, pronounced ‘Core’.

Schizophrenically, as it took shape, its four bosses were in India, studying Transcendental Meditation with their guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, being taught the futility of earthly possessions at one moment and signing business contracts the next.

The organisation began modestly with a publishing company, Apple Music, on the upper floors of a building in Baker Street.

Its ground floor then became an Apple boutique, the first in a projected chain, selling hugely expensive hippy robes created by a Dutch ‘design collective’ calling themselves The Fool.

They also covered the building’s exterior with a psychedelic mural which caused such outrage among other Baker Street traders that it had to be scrubbed off, removing a potential tourist attraction to rival Sherlock Holmes.

Managed by John’s old schoolfriend, former policeman Pete Shotton, the boutique lacked any retailing expertise and quickly turned into a shoplifters’ paradise.

After a few months, the Beatles terminated it by giving away its entire stock (after themselves taking first pick.)

Late in 1968 came the move to 3 Savile Row, which had formerly belonged to the bandleader/impresario Jack Hylton and was purchased for what was even then a bargain £500,000.

Schizophrenically, as it took shape, its four bosses were in India, studying Transcendental Meditation with their guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, being taught the futility of earthly possessions at one moment and signing business contracts the next

From day one, a crowd of female fans clustered around its front steps, whatever the weather, monitoring every arrival and departure and erupting into demented screams if it happened to be a Beatle.

George, the least fan-friendly of the four, ungraciously dubbed them Apple Scruffs. But they wore the name with pride, even producing their own newsletter headed ‘Steps, 3 Savile Row’.

To begin with, the house’s vibes (a favourite Apple word) seemed all good.

Paul, a born producer and A&R man, took charge of the record company with its Apple-logo-ed label, working with Peter Asher, the brother of his then girlfriend, Jane Asher, and formerly one of the pop duo Peter and Gordon.

Apple Records put out the Beatles’ controversial but hugely successful double White Album and scored an international No.1 single with Those Were The Days by Mary Hopkin, whom Paul had spotted on the Opportunity Knocks television show.

Every week, it seemed, the media excitedly reported the opening of yet another Apple division, invariably run by some friend or protégé of this or that Beatle.

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There was Apple Tailoring, Apple Films (whose TV debut, Magical Mystery Tour, was their first-ever flop), Apple Electronics, headed by John’s assiduous courtier ‘Magic Alex’ Mardas, and Zapple, a spoken-word record label for avant-garde poets and writers.

Apple Records put out the Beatles¿ controversial but hugely successful double White Album and scored an international No.1 single with Those Were The Days by Mary Hopkin, whom Paul had spotted on the Opportunity Knocks television show. They are pictured receiving their MBEs

There was to be Apple Foundation for the Arts and an Apple school, run by Ivan Vaughan, another childhood friend of John’s, who’d first introduced him to Paul at a church fete in 1957.

The first serious bruise on that shiny green skin was John’s public affair with Yoko Ono, a Japanese-American conceptual artist, and the revelation that he’d left his wife, Cynthia, and small son, Julian, for her.

Such was his obsession with Yoko that he insisted she should be at his side every minute of the day, even in the recording studio where no Beatle wife or girlfriend had previously been allowed to set foot.

Yoko in effect replaced Paul as John’s creative soul-mate.

The first serious bruise on that shiny green skin was John¿s public affair with Yoko Ono, a Japanese-American conceptual artist, and the revelation that he¿d left his wife, Cynthia, and small son, Julian, for her

In November 1968, Apple Records reluctantly released their first album together, a melange of electronic noise recorded at John’s house while Cynthia was away in Greece. Ironically titled Two Virgins, its cover was a photograph of the couple full-frontally nude.

The public were bewildered by what had come over former cuddly mop-top Beatle John while the British Press portrayed Yoko as a witch who’d cast a spell over him.

Then John and Paul, that formerly indivisible entity, were reportedly at loggerheads over the choice of a manager to replace their visionary first one, Brian Epstein, who’d died of a drugs overdose in 1967, aged only 32, when Apple was still on the drawing board.

The need was sharpened by a letter from their accountant warning: ‘Your finances are in a mess. Apple is in a mess.’ Paul’s candidate was New York entertainment lawyer Lee Eastman whose daughter, Linda, happened to be the new girlfriend with whom he’d recently replaced Jane Asher.

John, backed by Yoko, wanted Allen Klein, a tough New Yorker of dubious reputation who’d previously managed the Rolling Stones.

John had reportedly enlisted George and Ringo’s support in Klein’s favour and Paul, marginalised and embarrassed — for Lee Eastman was soon to become his father-in-law — had walked out of Apple and gone to ground with Linda on his farm in the Scottish Highlands.

With that, the tone of Apple’s media coverage changed from indulgent amusement at the Beatles’ ‘Western Communism’ to censure of their naivety and muddle-headedness and rumours of how they were being ripped off by everyone around them.

At my own paper, the Sunday Times, Beatle coverage was jealously guarded by two older colleagues, Derek Jewell and Hunter Davies

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Amazing trove of never-before-seen pictures of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and others are unearthed after 50 years in TV firm’s vault

The Beatle’s sister who lives in poverty: George Harrison’s sister lives on welfare and a manages a Fab Four tribute band after being cut off by his widow

I was 26 and, in three years of national journalism, had not written a single word about the Beatles. All the Fleet Street papers maintained full-time Fab Four correspondents who’d followed them from the beginning and cultivated personal relationships with them.

At my own paper, the Sunday Times, Beatle coverage was jealously guarded by two older colleagues, Derek Jewell and Hunter Davies.

On such a crowded bandwagon, how could there possibly be any room for me?

Then a friend who was editing New York’s Show magazine asked me to find out what was really going on inside Apple.

‘Try to set up a picture of all four Beatles around a boardroom table,’ he said, little realising the impossibility of such a shot.

So it was that I first met the Beatles’ Press Officer, Derek Taylor, an ex-Fleet Street journalist with a toothbrush moustache who was the most pursued and courted PR man on earth.

Unconcerned by my lack of Beatle-reporting form, the quixotic Taylor granted me special access to 3 Savile Row because of my recent Sunday Times interview with the strongman Charles Atlas, whose bodybuilding course he’d followed as a boy. ‘Just come in and hang around,’ he told me.

The house’s elegant interior was the last word in late-60s style, carpeted throughout in apple-green, its white walls lined with framed gold discs.

It was that I first met the Beatles¿ Press Officer, Derek Taylor (pictured), an ex-Fleet Street journalist with a toothbrush moustache who was the most pursued and courted PR man on earth

All the senior executives had interior-designed offices with furnishings they’d been allowed to choose for themselves.

Everywhere was evidence of how freely the Beatles’ money was being spent.

The Apple top brass had acquired a taste for a certain brand of vodka available at only one London restaurant, which did not do ‘off’ sales.

Two employees therefore would be sent to the restaurant (by taxi naturally) to eat a full meal, then buy a bottle of the vodka to bring back, again by taxi.

The only security was a doorman in a dove-grey frock coat who conducted a love-hate relationship with the Apple Scruffs on the front steps.

Most of the time, the front door was left unlocked, leading to continual opportunistic thefts of typewriters, hi-fi equipment and gold discs.

At one point, it was discovered that Post Office messenger-boys who delivered telegrams — of which multitudes arrived at Apple in those pre-e-mail, pre-fax days — were systematically stealing valuable lead from the roof.

The problem was that many of the dodgiest visitors were personal friends of a Beatle and so impossible even to remonstrate with, let alone exclude.

The previous Christmas, for instance, George had invited an entire chapter of Hell’s Angels from San Francisco, on their bikes, led by two ferocious characters named Frisco Pete and Billy Tumbleweed.

After Paul¿s disappearance (so total that rumours began circulating that he was dead), John became Apple¿s most visible and available Beatle

The Angels had virtually moved into the house, drinking, hell-raising and sexually harassing secretaries, immune from all consequences as George’s guests.

They’d finally outstayed their welcome by gatecrashing a Christmas party for Apple staff’s children featuring a 42lb turkey warranted to be the largest in Britain and presided over by John and Yoko dressed as Father and Mother Christmas.

When the Angels prematurely began devouring the monster turkey, a journalist who reproved them for bad manners was felled by Frisco Pete and crashed into Father and Mother Christmas’s laps.

After Paul’s disappearance (so total that rumours began circulating that he was dead), John became Apple’s most visible and available Beatle.

In a front ground-floor office, sharing the same desk, he and Yoko launched the anti-war campaign that would culminate in their ‘bed-ins for peace’, first in Amsterdam, then Montreal, and bring worldwide ridicule down on their heads.

George and Ringo made irregular appearances, signalled by a big white limo nosing along Savile Row and sudden uproar from the Apple Scruffs.

Klein had already got to work as their manager, commuting from New York with a set of portable filing-cabinets. Though he was devoutly Jewish, the Apple Scruffs shouted ‘Mafia!’ as his portly figure hurried into the building, poring over balance-sheets.

Klein’s time was divided between attempting various company takeovers for the Beatles, renegotiating their soon-to-expire contract with their American record company, Capitol, and attempting to stem the haemorrhage of money from their business.

George and Ringo made irregular appearances, signalled by a big white limo nosing along Savile Row and sudden uproar from the Apple Scruffs

He immediately axed several Apple sub-divisions and useless executives, along with some useful ones, like Apple Records’ head, Ron Kass, who might have threatened his position.

Indeed, Klein was already wondering whether managing the Beatles, the ultimate entrepreneurial prize, might not be a poisoned chalice.

Their next album, Let It Be, was in abeyance after their inspirational producer George Martin had walked out, tired of John and Yoko’s studio canoodling and the bickering between Paul and George.

With the album there was to be a documentary of the same name, ending with their first performance together since the time of Hey Jude and Revolution.

Suggested locations ranged from a 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheatre in Tunisia at sunrise to the deck of a liner in mid-ocean.

It had ended up as a brief recital on the roof of 3 Savile Row — an impatient compromise that became one of their most iconic moments, imitated by other bands for evermore.

The centre of the house was the second-floor Press Office, where Derek Taylor held court to journalists, music industry figures and an immense variety of less relevant callers, from a wicker chair with a huge scalloped back, liberally dispensing Scotch and Coke and Benson & Hedges Gold cigarettes.

The room was kept in perpetual darkness, with the spermatozoa shapes of a psychedelic light show wriggling over the walls and ceiling.

In the 70s, all the ex-Beatles pursued solo careers while the world waited patiently for them to get over it and reunite

Every surface was littered with expensive, pointless executive toys, like a row of little plastic birds endlessly dipping their beaks into a water tray.

Once, I heard a voice on Taylor’s intercom say: ‘Derek…Jesus Christ is in reception.’

‘Oh, God, not that asshole again,’ he sighed. ‘OK, send him up.’

The Press Office reeked of pot — a major risk with Savile Row police station only a couple of hundred yards away.

Taylor’s secretary had been trained to flush the whole lot down the toilet at the slightest sign of a raid.

One afternoon when I called, Taylor was trying to arrange a visa for John to take Yoko and their Plastic Ono Band to Toronto to appear in a festival.

It was tricky as he had a conviction for possessing cannabis, or ‘a crime of moral turpitude’ as the immigration authorities termed it.

After the Toronto show, John told the London Evening Standard’s Ray Connolly he was leaving the Beatles but made Connolly agree not to run the story for the present. On the flight back to Britain, John also told Klein.

So Klein did re-sign them to Capitol Records at a munificent new royalty rate, only to have them disintegrate in his hands. In those days, it was inconceivable that a band could break up, yet still go on selling more and more records with each passing year.

But now it was to happen.

In the 70s, all the ex-Beatles pursued solo careers while the world waited patiently for them to get over it and reunite. That hope finally ended with John’s murder in 1980, after which a second wave of Beatlemania began that still shows no sign of abating.

Almost as great an asset as the Beatles’ music was their company’s name.

When Steve Jobs wanted to use it for his computer corporation, he had to make several multi-million dollar payments to Apple Corps.

Among those who passed through 3 Savile Row in the 60s was an 18-year-old with a toothy smile, seeking Beatle cash to start a national student newspaper.

Later, he was to seize on their idea of a multi-stranded corporation run in a seemingly rock ‘n’ roll way, and take it further than they’d ever dreamed.

ADVERTISEMENT

His name was Richard Branson.

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There was Apple Tailoring, Apple Films (whose TV debut, Magical Mystery Tour, was their first-ever flop), Apple Electronics, headed by John’s assiduous courtier ‘Magic Alex’ Mardas, and Zapple, a spoken-word record label for avant-garde poets and writers.

Apple Records put out the Beatles¿ controversial but hugely successful double White Album and scored an international No.1 single with Those Were The Days by Mary Hopkin, whom Paul had spotted on the Opportunity Knocks television show. They are pictured receiving their MBEs

There was to be Apple Foundation for the Arts and an Apple school, run by Ivan Vaughan, another childhood friend of John’s, who’d first introduced him to Paul at a church fete in 1957.

The first serious bruise on that shiny green skin was John’s public affair with Yoko Ono, a Japanese-American conceptual artist, and the revelation that he’d left his wife, Cynthia, and small son, Julian, for her.

Such was his obsession with Yoko that he insisted she should be at his side every minute of the day, even in the recording studio where no Beatle wife or girlfriend had previously been allowed to set foot.

Yoko in effect replaced Paul as John’s creative soul-mate.

The first serious bruise on that shiny green skin was John¿s public affair with Yoko Ono, a Japanese-American conceptual artist, and the revelation that he¿d left his wife, Cynthia, and small son, Julian, for her

In November 1968, Apple Records reluctantly released their first album together, a melange of electronic noise recorded at John’s house while Cynthia was away in Greece. Ironically titled Two Virgins, its cover was a photograph of the couple full-frontally nude.

The public were bewildered by what had come over former cuddly mop-top Beatle John while the British Press portrayed Yoko as a witch who’d cast a spell over him.

Then John and Paul, that formerly indivisible entity, were reportedly at loggerheads over the choice of a manager to replace their visionary first one, Brian Epstein, who’d died of a drugs overdose in 1967, aged only 32, when Apple was still on the drawing board.

The need was sharpened by a letter from their accountant warning: ‘Your finances are in a mess. Apple is in a mess.’ Paul’s candidate was New York entertainment lawyer Lee Eastman whose daughter, Linda, happened to be the new girlfriend with whom he’d recently replaced Jane Asher.

John, backed by Yoko, wanted Allen Klein, a tough New Yorker of dubious reputation who’d previously managed the Rolling Stones.

John had reportedly enlisted George and Ringo’s support in Klein’s favour and Paul, marginalised and embarrassed — for Lee Eastman was soon to become his father-in-law — had walked out of Apple and gone to ground with Linda on his farm in the Scottish Highlands.

With that, the tone of Apple’s media coverage changed from indulgent amusement at the Beatles’ ‘Western Communism’ to censure of their naivety and muddle-headedness and rumours of how they were being ripped off by everyone around them.

At my own paper, the Sunday Times, Beatle coverage was jealously guarded by two older colleagues, Derek Jewell and Hunter Davies

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Amazing trove of never-before-seen pictures of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and others are unearthed after 50 years in TV firm’s vault

The Beatle’s sister who lives in poverty: George Harrison’s sister lives on welfare and a manages a Fab Four tribute band after being cut off by his widow

I was 26 and, in three years of national journalism, had not written a single word about the Beatles. All the Fleet Street papers maintained full-time Fab Four correspondents who’d followed them from the beginning and cultivated personal relationships with them.

At my own paper, the Sunday Times, Beatle coverage was jealously guarded by two older colleagues, Derek Jewell and Hunter Davies.

On such a crowded bandwagon, how could there possibly be any room for me?

Then a friend who was editing New York’s Show magazine asked me to find out what was really going on inside Apple.

‘Try to set up a picture of all four Beatles around a boardroom table,’ he said, little realising the impossibility of such a shot.

So it was that I first met the Beatles’ Press Officer, Derek Taylor, an ex-Fleet Street journalist with a toothbrush moustache who was the most pursued and courted PR man on earth.

Unconcerned by my lack of Beatle-reporting form, the quixotic Taylor granted me special access to 3 Savile Row because of my recent Sunday Times interview with the strongman Charles Atlas, whose bodybuilding course he’d followed as a boy. ‘Just come in and hang around,’ he told me.

The house’s elegant interior was the last word in late-60s style, carpeted throughout in apple-green, its white walls lined with framed gold discs.

It was that I first met the Beatles¿ Press Officer, Derek Taylor (pictured), an ex-Fleet Street journalist with a toothbrush moustache who was the most pursued and courted PR man on earth

All the senior executives had interior-designed offices with furnishings they’d been allowed to choose for themselves.

Everywhere was evidence of how freely the Beatles’ money was being spent.

The Apple top brass had acquired a taste for a certain brand of vodka available at only one London restaurant, which did not do ‘off’ sales.

Two employees therefore would be sent to the restaurant (by taxi naturally) to eat a full meal, then buy a bottle of the vodka to bring back, again by taxi.

The only security was a doorman in a dove-grey frock coat who conducted a love-hate relationship with the Apple Scruffs on the front steps.

Most of the time, the front door was left unlocked, leading to continual opportunistic thefts of typewriters, hi-fi equipment and gold discs.

At one point, it was discovered that Post Office messenger-boys who delivered telegrams — of which multitudes arrived at Apple in those pre-e-mail, pre-fax days — were systematically stealing valuable lead from the roof.

The problem was that many of the dodgiest visitors were personal friends of a Beatle and so impossible even to remonstrate with, let alone exclude.

The previous Christmas, for instance, George had invited an entire chapter of Hell’s Angels from San Francisco, on their bikes, led by two ferocious characters named Frisco Pete and Billy Tumbleweed.

After Paul¿s disappearance (so total that rumours began circulating that he was dead), John became Apple¿s most visible and available Beatle

The Angels had virtually moved into the house, drinking, hell-raising and sexually harassing secretaries, immune from all consequences as George’s guests.

They’d finally outstayed their welcome by gatecrashing a Christmas party for Apple staff’s children featuring a 42lb turkey warranted to be the largest in Britain and presided over by John and Yoko dressed as Father and Mother Christmas.

When the Angels prematurely began devouring the monster turkey, a journalist who reproved them for bad manners was felled by Frisco Pete and crashed into Father and Mother Christmas’s laps.

After Paul’s disappearance (so total that rumours began circulating that he was dead), John became Apple’s most visible and available Beatle.

In a front ground-floor office, sharing the same desk, he and Yoko launched the anti-war campaign that would culminate in their ‘bed-ins for peace’, first in Amsterdam, then Montreal, and bring worldwide ridicule down on their heads.

George and Ringo made irregular appearances, signalled by a big white limo nosing along Savile Row and sudden uproar from the Apple Scruffs.

Klein had already got to work as their manager, commuting from New York with a set of portable filing-cabinets. Though he was devoutly Jewish, the Apple Scruffs shouted ‘Mafia!’ as his portly figure hurried into the building, poring over balance-sheets.

Klein’s time was divided between attempting various company takeovers for the Beatles, renegotiating their soon-to-expire contract with their American record company, Capitol, and attempting to stem the haemorrhage of money from their business.

George and Ringo made irregular appearances, signalled by a big white limo nosing along Savile Row and sudden uproar from the Apple Scruffs

He immediately axed several Apple sub-divisions and useless executives, along with some useful ones, like Apple Records’ head, Ron Kass, who might have threatened his position.

Indeed, Klein was already wondering whether managing the Beatles, the ultimate entrepreneurial prize, might not be a poisoned chalice.

Their next album, Let It Be, was in abeyance after their inspirational producer George Martin had walked out, tired of John and Yoko’s studio canoodling and the bickering between Paul and George.

With the album there was to be a documentary of the same name, ending with their first performance together since the time of Hey Jude and Revolution.

Suggested locations ranged from a 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheatre in Tunisia at sunrise to the deck of a liner in mid-ocean.

It had ended up as a brief recital on the roof of 3 Savile Row — an impatient compromise that became one of their most iconic moments, imitated by other bands for evermore.

The centre of the house was the second-floor Press Office, where Derek Taylor held court to journalists, music industry figures and an immense variety of less relevant callers, from a wicker chair with a huge scalloped back, liberally dispensing Scotch and Coke and Benson & Hedges Gold cigarettes.

The room was kept in perpetual darkness, with the spermatozoa shapes of a psychedelic light show wriggling over the walls and ceiling.

In the 70s, all the ex-Beatles pursued solo careers while the world waited patiently for them to get over it and reunite

Every surface was littered with expensive, pointless executive toys, like a row of little plastic birds endlessly dipping their beaks into a water tray.

Once, I heard a voice on Taylor’s intercom say: ‘Derek…Jesus Christ is in reception.’

‘Oh, God, not that asshole again,’ he sighed. ‘OK, send him up.’

The Press Office reeked of pot — a major risk with Savile Row police station only a couple of hundred yards away.

Taylor’s secretary had been trained to flush the whole lot down the toilet at the slightest sign of a raid.

One afternoon when I called, Taylor was trying to arrange a visa for John to take Yoko and their Plastic Ono Band to Toronto to appear in a festival.

It was tricky as he had a conviction for possessing cannabis, or ‘a crime of moral turpitude’ as the immigration authorities termed it.

After the Toronto show, John told the London Evening Standard’s Ray Connolly he was leaving the Beatles but made Connolly agree not to run the story for the present. On the flight back to Britain, John also told Klein.

So Klein did re-sign them to Capitol Records at a munificent new royalty rate, only to have them disintegrate in his hands. In those days, it was inconceivable that a band could break up, yet still go on selling more and more records with each passing year.

But now it was to happen.

In the 70s, all the ex-Beatles pursued solo careers while the world waited patiently for them to get over it and reunite. That hope finally ended with John’s murder in 1980, after which a second wave of Beatlemania began that still shows no sign of abating.

Almost as great an asset as the Beatles’ music was their company’s name.

When Steve Jobs wanted to use it for his computer corporation, he had to make several multi-million dollar payments to Apple Corps.

Among those who passed through 3 Savile Row in the 60s was an 18-year-old with a toothy smile, seeking Beatle cash to start a national student newspaper.

Later, he was to seize on their idea of a multi-stranded corporation run in a seemingly rock ‘n’ roll way, and take it further than they’d ever dreamed.

ADVERTISEMENT

His name was Richard Branson.

Trump Should Dump Pence and Run With Nikki Haley

Matt Lewis

11.13.18 4:44 AM ET

OPINION

Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast

Now that we are getting a fuller picture of the midterm elections—one that looks darker for the GOP than when polls first closed on Tuesday—it’s clear that Donald Trump has two serious problems: (1) suburban women and (2) the Rust Belt.

It’s not a surprise that white, college-educated women are fleeing the GOP, but until now, it’s been theoretical. Last Tuesday’s losses in the suburbs are hard to argue with.

Likewise, my forecast that Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania—states Trump won in 2016—would turn blue was mostly correct. The potential for losing these states is serious. As Sahil Kapur observed, “A Democrat who can hold Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin and their 46 Electoral College votes in 2020 along with the states that Clinton carried would win the presidency.”

It is impossible to know whether Democrats will seize the opportunity and nominate a presidential candidate who can exploit these vulnerabilities, but GOP supporters should be concerned that Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is contemplating a presidential run.

As such, let’s consider a more proactive question: What can Donald Trump do to head off this potential threat to his future presidential reelection hopes?

The problem here is that Trump will likely eschew any advice that a smart political strategist might provide.

He won’t pivot, and he can’t change himself. So what’s left?

The only thing left to do—the most Trumpian thing he could possibly do—would be to change running mates.

This idea resurfaced during Wednesday’s press conference when a reporter inquired about a 2020 run, and Donald Trump publicly asked Pence to be on the ticket with him. Trump’s assurances have the opposite effect on me than I’m sure he intended.

I am not saying this move would be prudent. What I am saying is that there’s a non-zero chance Trump will replace Mike Pence on the ticket in 2020. Aside from ostensibly giving a new demographic bloc a reason to turn out and vote, the move would generate much-needed excitement. Just think of how much Trump would enjoy “interviewing” potential replacements—and then rolling out his idea at the 2020 Republican National Convention (the equivalent of The Show in baseball).

Of course, just like most of Trump’s strategies, deception is vital. For this plan to work, Mike Pence would have to go along with it. (There is no reason he should want to go along with this plan, but when has he ever stood up to Trump?) Pence would need a reason to bow out, so that Trump (ever conscious of his image) doesn’t look weak or desperate. Trump wouldn’t want to imply that he needs a McCain-Palin-esque game changer to win reelection.

Again, he may not have to pursue this strategy. Trump is skilled at using the bully pulpit, and whomever the Democrats nominate will have his (or her) hands full. Let’s be honest―are Democrats really going to nominate Sherrod Brown? Sure, a Brown-Beto ticket might be unstoppable, but (after coming out of a nasty primary contest) Dems are more likely to end with a Warren-Castro ticket.

Regardless, the notion that Trump can pull off another electoral straight flush simply by doing his thing is, at best, a big gamble. One miscalculation in Pennsylvania or Michigan and it all comes crumbling down.

“In 2020, Trump will need some new excitement.”

Who should be Trump’s new apprentice?

Assuming Democrats nominate Brown, how about Ohio’s Governor-elect Mike DeWine? Brown positions Democrats to win Ohio. DeWine neuters that. Since LBJ delivered Texas to Jack Kennedy in 1960, the notion that a running mate can guarantee a state has been dubious. However, if it can be done, DeWine (a former U.S. House member, U.S. senator, lieutenant governor, and state attorney general) might be up for the job.

A better move, in my opinion, would be Nikki Haley.

A former governor of South Carolina and ambassador to the United Nations, Haley is certainly qualified. What is more, she would reassure Reagan conservatives (who would be excited to see her as the 2024 heir apparent) and could simultaneously appeal to suburban soccer moms. In this era of identity politics, Trump might relish the idea that he ultimately elevated the first woman (an Indian-American, to boot) to the vice presidency.

In light of the midterm election results, Trump should want to make some sort of strategic change.

That is not to say that the 2018 results are a harbinger of things to come. Modern history suggests that presidents have bad midterms during their first term and then go on to be re-elected. As I’ve said before, losing the House could be good for Trump.

One of the big caveats here, though, is that a midterm loss chastens most presidents. It forces them to confront their vulnerabilities. It remains to be seen whether Trump will be willing to do so. This idea would allow him to make a big change without having to do any of the messy soul-searching, introspection, or hard work that might otherwise be required.

A week later, it’s clear the midterms were worse for the GOP than we first thought. In 2020, Trump will need some new excitement. Nikki, don’t lose Trump’s number.

Edward Snowden: Saudi used Israel spyware to target Khashoggi

Edward Snowden: Saudi used Israel spyware to target Khashoggi

Edward Snowden speaks via video link to participants of the ‘MCI alumni and friends’ conference at the Congress Innsbruck on October 18, 2018 in Innsbruck, Austria. (Photo by Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images)

November 7, 2018 at 12:11 pm

US whistle-blower Edward Snowden yesterday claimed that Saudi Arabia used Israeli spyware to target murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Addressing a conference in Tel Aviv via a video link, Snowden claimed that software made by an Israeli cyber intelligence firm was used by Saudi Arabia to track and target Khashoggi in the lead up to his murder on 2 October inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Snowden told his audience: “How do they [Saudi Arabia] know what his [Khashoggi’s] plans were and that they needed to act against him? That knowledge came from the technology developed by NSO,” Israeli business daily Globes reported. Snowden accused NSO of “selling a digital burglary tool,” adding it “is not just being used for catching criminals and stopping terrorist attacks, not just for saving lives, but for making money […] such a level of recklessness […] actually starts costing lives,” according to the Jerusalem Post.

Snowden – made famous in 2013 for leaking classified National Security Agency (NSA) files and exposing the extent of US surveillance – added that “Israel is routinely at the top of the US’ classified threat list of hackers along with Russia and China […] even though it is an ally”. Snowden is wanted in the US for espionage, so could not travel to Tel Aviv to address the conference in person for fear of being handed over to the authorities.

READ: Khashoggi’s sons appeal for the return of their father’s body

The Israeli firm to which Snowden referred – NSO Group Technologies – is known for developing the “Pegasus” software which can be used to remotely infect a target’s mobile phone and then relay back data accessed by the device. Although NSO claims that its products “are licensed only to legitimate government agencies for the sole purpose of investigating and preventing crime and terror,” this is not the first time its Pegasus software has been used by Saudi Arabia to track critics.

In October it was revealed that Saudi Arabia used Pegasus software to eavesdrop on 27-year-old Saudi dissident Omar Abdulaziz, a prominent critic of the Saudi government on social media. The revelation was made by Canadian research group Citizen Lab, which found that the software had been used to hack Abdulaziz’ iPhone between June and August of this year.  Citizen Lab’s Director Ron Deibert explained that such actions by Saudi Arabia “would constitute illegal wiretapping”.

A separate report by Citizen Lab in September found a “significant expansion of Pegasus usage in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in the Middle East,” in particular the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Citizen Lab added that in August 2016, Emirati human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor was targeted with the Pegasus spyware.

READ: Report reveals Saudi detainees were subjected to torture and blackmail

Snowden’s comments come less than a week after it emerged that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the United States to stand by Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman (MBS) in the wake of the Khashoggi case. The revelation was made by the Washington Post , which cited information from US officials familiar with a series of telephone conversations made to Jared Kushner – senior advisor to President Donald Trump and Trump’s son-in-law – and National Security Adviser John Bolton regarding the Khashoggi case. The officials told the Post that:

In recent days, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have reached out to the Trump administration to express support for the crown prince, arguing that he is an important strategic partner in the region, said people familiar with the calls.

Bin Salman has come under intense scrutiny in the month since Khashoggi first disappeared, with many suspecting his involvement in ordering the brutal murder. Yet while several world leaders have shunned the crown prince, it is thought that Israel would suffer from any decline in Saudi influence in the region in light of its purportedly central role in the upcoming “Deal of the Century”.

READ: US, Israel ‘concerned’ Bin Salman may be unable to advance normalisation