Former Apprentice producer accuses Trump of using racial slur – live

Gun Rights

A former producer on The Apprentice, the reality show Donald Trump hosted prior to going into politics, recounted that the then New York real estate mogul used a racial slur in a recorded conversation.

Trump used the word when discussing Kwame Jackson, a Black finalist on the show who at the time was working at investment bank Goldman Sachs, writes Bill Pruitt in a piece for Slate:

‘I think Kwame would be a great addition to the organization,’ Kepcher says to Trump, who winces while his head bobs around in reaction to what he is hearing and clearly resisting.

‘Why didn’t he just fire her?’ Trump asks, referring to Omarosa. It’s a reasonable question. Given that this the first time we’ve ever been in this situation, none of this is something we expected.

‘That’s not his job,’ Bienstock says to Trump. ‘That’s yours.’ Trump’s head continues to bob.

‘I don’t think he knew he had the ability to do that,’ Kepcher says. Trump winces again.

‘Yeah,’ he says to no one in particular, ‘but, I mean, would America buy a [N-word] winning?’

Kepcher’s pale skin goes bright red. I turn my gaze toward Trump. He continues to wince. He is serious, and he is adamant about not hiring Jackson.

Pruitt says he is coming forward with his story now because a non-disclosure agreement he signed when coming onto the show expired. For his part, a spokesman for Trump, Steven Cheung, told Slate, “This is a completely fabricated and bullshit story that was already peddled in 2016” and which is only coming to light now because Democrats are “desperate”.

The Biden campaign has launched a new attack against Donald Trump, accusing him of racism after a former producer on The Apprentice said he used an anti-Black racial slur on the set. Meanwhile, jury deliberations are ongoing in Trump’s business fraud trial in New York City, and a verdict could be delivered at anytime. Earlier in the day, the supreme court released a batch of new opinions, covering topics from banking regulation to free speech rights. But the conservative-dominated court did not yet weigh in on Trump’s claim of immunity from prosecution over the 2020 election, or two abortion-related cases, all of which remain pending before the justices. Another batch of opinions is expected next Thursday.

You Might Like

Here’s what else has happened today:

  • Jamie Raskin, a Democratic congressman and Trump antagonist, proposed a way to force conservative justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas to recuse themselves from January 6 cases.

  • Do swing state voters care if Trump is convicted in his New York business fraud trial? Our reporters searched for the answer.

  • Most evidence in the New York case seems to point to Trump’s guilt, but the jury could rule in any direction.

In a statement, the Biden campaign’s Black media director, Jasmine Harris, accused Donald Trump of racism after a former producer on The Apprentice accused him of using a racial slur on set:

No one is surprised that Donald Trump, who entered public life by falsely accusing Black men of murder and entered political life spreading lies about the first Black president, reportedly used the N-word to casually denigrate a successful Black man. Anyone notice a pattern? Donald Trump is exactly who Black voters know him to be: a textbook racist who disrespects and attacks the Black community every chance he gets, and the most ignorant man to ever run for president. It’s why Black voters kicked him out of the White House in 2020, and it’s why they’ll make him a loser a second time this November.

In addition to handing the National Rifle Association a lifeline in its lawsuit against New York state, the supreme court also denied resentencing to an Arizona man on death row, the Guardian’s Joanna Walters reports:

The US supreme court issued opinions on Thursday relating to free speech and the death penalty, in one case clearing the way for a National Rifle Association (NRA) lawsuit against a former New York state official.

The court gave a boost to the influential gun rights group that has accused the official of coercing banks and insurers to avoid doing business with it and, in the process, violating the NRA’s free speech rights.

The justices, in a unanimous decision from the nine-member bench, threw out a lower court’s ruling that dismissed the NRA’s 2018 lawsuit against Maria Vullo, a former superintendent of New York’s department of financial services.

The NRA, in the case NRA v Vullo, claimed that Vullo unlawfully retaliated against it following a mass shooting in which 17 people were killed at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

The NRA was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the Biden administration argued some of its claims should go forward, an unusual alliance between often opposing parties considering the NRA is a strongly Republican-aligned organization.

Meanwhile, the supreme court, in a 6-3 decision, struck down an appeals court ruling giving Danny Lee Jones a new sentencing hearing in a death penalty case in Arizona. The conservative supermajority decided that errors in Jones’s legal defense, in the case Thornell v Jones, did not justify him having a chance at resentencing.

The supreme court just scheduled its next opinion release day.

The court is expected to issue more decisions on Thursday, 6 June. Among the pending cases is Donald Trump’s claim of immunity from prosecution over trying to overturn the 2020 election, and two lawsuits related to abortion access.

If a New York jury finds Trump guilty of business fraud charges, what impact would it have on the election? Reporting from two swing states, the Guardian’s Alice Herman and George Chidi looked for the answer:

For Josh Ellis, a refrigerator technician from southern Wisconsin, Donald Trump’s trial in New York is a sideshow. He’s not convinced of the prosecution’s narrative, or the former president’s – and the verdict will not likely affect his vote in November, anyway.

“Biden’s running this country into the ground,” said Ellis, who said the economy is his main concern. At 49, Ellis has long viewed politicians as out-of-touch on economic issues; he used to vote for Democrats, but switched in 2016 to vote for Trump, who he saw as possibly offering a change.

The jurors in Trump’s New York trial are deliberating over the question of whether or not Trump unlawfully falsified business records to hide a sex scandal before the 2016 election – and it’s not clear how much of an impact their verdict will have on voters, despite the historic nature of a possible conviction.

Like Ellis, voters across the country seem ambivalent about Trump’s criminal charges.

Denise White, who helps manage a social services agency in Atlanta, wears her cynicism about the trial like armor.

“Privilege,” she said. “Patriarchy. All of that is on full display right now. And I am not confident that there will be a just outcome.”

A former producer on The Apprentice, the reality show Donald Trump hosted prior to going into politics, recounted that the then New York real estate mogul used a racial slur in a recorded conversation.

Trump used the word when discussing Kwame Jackson, a Black finalist on the show who at the time was working at investment bank Goldman Sachs, writes Bill Pruitt in a piece for Slate:

‘I think Kwame would be a great addition to the organization,’ Kepcher says to Trump, who winces while his head bobs around in reaction to what he is hearing and clearly resisting.

‘Why didn’t he just fire her?’ Trump asks, referring to Omarosa. It’s a reasonable question. Given that this the first time we’ve ever been in this situation, none of this is something we expected.

‘That’s not his job,’ Bienstock says to Trump. ‘That’s yours.’ Trump’s head continues to bob.

‘I don’t think he knew he had the ability to do that,’ Kepcher says. Trump winces again.

‘Yeah,’ he says to no one in particular, ‘but, I mean, would America buy a [N-word] winning?’

Kepcher’s pale skin goes bright red. I turn my gaze toward Trump. He continues to wince. He is serious, and he is adamant about not hiring Jackson.

Pruitt says he is coming forward with his story now because a non-disclosure agreement he signed when coming onto the show expired. For his part, a spokesman for Trump, Steven Cheung, told Slate, “This is a completely fabricated and bullshit story that was already peddled in 2016” and which is only coming to light now because Democrats are “desperate”.

The supreme court will likely announce more opinions sometime in June. Meanwhile, in New York City, jurors are on their second day of deliberations in Donald Trump’s business fraud trial. The Guardian’s Victoria Bekiempis reports on two notes sent by the jury to the court, that may offer hints at how their discussions are going:

Donald Trump’s criminal hush-money case in New York enters its second day of jury deliberations on Thursday with panelists weighing whether a payment to the adult film star Stormy Daniels was part of a plot to sway the 2016 election.

The jurors deliberated for approximately four and a half hours on Wednesday after beginning their discussions at about 11.30am.

Outside of the courtroom on Wednesday, Trump ranted about the proceedings and likened himself to a saint, claiming in the hallway: “Mother Teresa could not beat these charges. The charges are rigged. The whole thing is rigged.”

Earlier in the day, the jury sent two notes to the court in the afternoon. One missive was a request to hear some trial testimony from two key witnesses. The second message was a request to re-hear Judge Juan Merchan’s instructions to them.

After receiving more information from jurors about which instructions they wanted re-read, Merchan went through the requested directives: they wanted guidance about how to interpret evidence and draw inferences from facts.

The jurors seemed attentive during Merchan’s re-reading. Some scribbled on notepads. Others eyed Merchan intently as he read through the instructions. One sometimes handled a pen in a way that seemingly hearkened back to the purpose of a fidget spinner; using the writing implement as passive physical activity while paying attention to Merchan and jotting notes.

In a unanimous opinion, the supreme court allowed a lawsuit brought against the New York state government by the National Rifle Association to proceed on free speech grounds.

Here’s more from the Associated Press on the court’s decision in National Rifle Association of America v Vullo:

The Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the way for a National Rifle Association lawsuit against a former New York state official over claims she violated its free-speech rights.

The unanimous opinion reverses a lower-court decision tossing out the gun rights group’s lawsuit against ex-New York state Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo. It does not, however, shield the NRA and other advocacy groups from regulation, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said.

“Ultimately, the critical takeaway is that the First Amendment prohibits government officials from wielding their power selectively to punish or suppress speech, directly or (as alleged here) through private intermediaries,” she wrote.

The NRA said Vullo pressured banks and insurance companies to blacklist it after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead in 2018. The group was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Biden administration argued some of its claims should go forward.

The supreme court has finished releasing opinions for the day, without weighing in on Donald Trump’s immunity claim, or the two abortion-related cases pending before the justices.

The court issued two unanimous decisions, one dealing with banking regulations, and the other regarding a free speech claim made in a lawsuit between the National Rifle Association and the New York department of financial services.

Its third decision was a 6-3 split between the conservative supermajority and the liberal minority, and reversed an appeals court decision in a death penalty case.

The supreme court has issued two opinions so far, both on less politically charged matters before the court.

Further decisions are expected, and we will let you know what they are.

It’s nearly 10am in Washington DC, which means the supreme court will begin releasing opinions or, at least, an opinion, shortly.

We only find out which cases they have decided when the opinions come out. While the conservative-dominated court could issue its much-awaited decisions on Donald Trump’s immunity claim, emergency abortions or the abortion pill mifepristone, it could also issue opinions on other less anticipated – but still important – cases.

We’ll know for sure in a few minutes.

Meanwhile, in New York City, jurors will continue deliberating over whether Donald Trump is guilty of falsifying business records to conceal hush-money payments ahead of the 2016 election. The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell reports that prosecutors have presented a mass of evidence pointing to his guilt – but whether jurors will agree is, as always, an open question:

As the jury began deliberations on Wednesday, Donald Trump appeared to have little room to extricate himself from the mass of evidence presented in the weeks-long case.

A recording of Trump directing hush money to be paid in cash. Handwritten notes by Trump’s ex-chief financial officer about how to reimburse Cohen. A parade of witnesses who testified the Trump campaign was desperate to suppress the story of his affair with the adult film star Stormy Daniels.

That evidence fitted in to the Manhattan district attorney’s case that Trump caused false entries to be made in the Trump Organization’s business records and that the falsifications were done as part of a plot to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of felony falsification of business records. And the jury will now have to decide whether prosecutors proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt, or whether the Trump’s defense lawyers poked enough holes in the prosecution’s case.

Clarence Thomas’s wife called for the 2020 election to be overturned. Samuel Alito had rightwing flags flying at two of his properties. Yet both conservative justices are set to rule on Donald Trump’s claim of immunity from prosecution for his election meddling, despite calls from Democrats that they step back from that and other cases because they are conflicted.

In an opinion essay published in the New York Times, Democratic congressman Jamie Raskin, a prominent Trump antagonist in the House of Representatives, proposed a novel way to force the two justices off the case:

The US Department of Justice – including the US attorney for the District of Columbia, an appointed US special counsel and the solicitor general, all of whom were involved in different ways in the criminal prosecutions underlying these cases and are opposing Mr Trump’s constitutional and statutory claims – can petition the other seven justices to require Justices Alito and Thomas to recuse themselves not as a matter of grace but as a matter of law.

The Justice Department and Attorney General Merrick Garland can invoke two powerful textual authorities for this motion: the Constitution of the United States, specifically the due process clause, and the federal statute mandating judicial disqualification for questionable impartiality, 28 USC Section 455. The Constitution has come into play in several recent Supreme Court decisions striking down rulings by stubborn judges in lower courts whose political impartiality has been reasonably questioned but who threw caution to the wind to hear a case anyway. This statute requires potentially biased judges throughout the federal system to recuse themselves at the start of the process to avoid judicial unfairness and embarrassing controversies and reversals.

We’ll have to see if the justice department takes him up on this strategy. Meanwhile, the Trump immunity case could be among those released at 10am ET, when the supreme court issues decisions.

Good morning, US politics blog readers. Right off the bat this morning, at 10am ET, the supreme court will issue opinions, potentially on some of the closely watched cases the justices have yet to rule on. Among these is Donald Trump’s petition for immunity from the federal charges brought against him for trying to overturn the 2020 election, as well as a pair of cases dealing with abortion access. One concerns whether the Biden administration can require hospitals in states with strict bans on the procedure to perform the procedure in emergencies, and the other deals with a conservative effort to roll back the availability of abortion pill mifepristone. With six conservative justices and three liberal justices, the court has a pronounced rightwing tilt, but plenty of uncertainty remains, and, as alway, we do not know in advance which cases they will rule on, or how many opinions they will issue.

A ruling in the Trump case would present an interesting split-screen with the scene in New York, where jurors are beginning their second day of deliberations in his business fraud trial. There’s no telling when they will reach a verdict, but however they find the former president will undoubtedly send shockwaves through the 2024 election campaign.

Here’s what else is happening today:

  • A group of Senate Democrats are demanding the justice department investigate oil companies and executives after the Federal Trade Commission accused a former petroleum executive of colluding to raise gas prices.

  • Joe Biden is spending the day in his home state of Delaware, after yesterday making a push to rally Black voters by holding a rare joint rally with Kamala Harris in Philadelphia.

  • Jamie Raskin, a Democratic congressman, argued in the New York Times that there is a way to force conservative supreme court justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas to recuse themselves from cases dealing with the 2020 election, amid reports of their connections to rightwing causes.

You Might Like

Articles You May Like

New York: Legislature Wraps Up 2024 Regular Session
Five faces to watch Tuesday in Georgia, Oklahoma and Virginia
Everything you need to know about the Supreme Court’s upcoming decisions
Biden’s achievements undermined by growing perception gaps
Supreme court votes 6-3 to strike down federal ‘bump stocks’ ban – live

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *