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Firm that won $450M iBooks pricing case against Apple files class action lawsuit over iPhone throttling

Firm that won $450M iBooks pricing case against Apple files class action lawsuit over iPhone throttling

Despite its apology and cheaper battery replacement pricing, Apple is still facing scrutiny for how it slows down older iPhones in conjunction with battery wear. Joining the growing number of cases against Apple, consumer-rights law firm Hagens Berman has filed a class action suit against Apple for “secretly” installing a “feature to intentionally slow down” the iPhone.

If that law firm sounds familiar, it’s because Hagens Berman was the firm behind the infamous $450 million iBooks price fixing case against Apple…

Spigen TEKA RA200 Airpods Earhooks Cover

Hagens Berman filed its suit yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The firm accuses Apple of attempting to “cover up” the fact that it was slowing down older iPhones and only came public due to growing press and consumer “uproar.”

Apple’s initial silent rollout of the feature, the firm claims, was an action of misreprenstation and deception, seeing that consumers did not know of or give consent to the slowdown feature:

Like every vendor, Apple has duties of truthfulness and candor to its customers. It also has the duty not to purposely degrade the performance of its customers’ phones, and certainly not without their knowledge or permission

Yet Apple has violated these duties by arrogating to itself the right to throttle the performance of millions of iPhones under at least three common conditions, such that its behavior will likely affect millions of consumers. What’s more, Apple acted by misrepresentation and deception. Consumers did not know of, or consent, to Apple’s decision to slow their devices.

Furthermore, the suit alleges that Apple’s actions leave consumers with few options and limited information about how it handled the feature. The case claims that, by not informing users of the feature when it was originally introduced last year, Apple pushed customers to upgrade to the latest iPhone model because they were “likely led to believe their iPhones were suffering performance issues.”

Apple’s actions leave consumers with limited options and information. Many were likely led to believe that their iPhones were suffering performance issues because they were essentially obsolete, and so they purchased new iPhones from Apple. And, no doubt, many owners of affected iPhones bought batteries at $79, before Apple came clean.

All in all, Hagens Berman accuses Apple of trespassing consumer property, violating Calorfonia’s unfair competition law, fraudulent misrepresentation, and “quantum merit to recover sums received by unjust enrichment.”

The class action suit is seeking damages paid to consumers and compensation to users who purchased new batteries or new iPhones in response to the slowdown.

Hagens Berman believes iPhone owners deserve compensation for Apple’s cover-up and insufficient solution. The firm seeks compensation for lack of performance, as well as compensation for those who purchased new batteries or new iPhones (often at the urging of Apple representatives) to circumvent Apple’s secretive and unauthorized slowdown of millions of iPhones.

This lawsuit, unlike some of the others, seems to focus more on how Apple silently rolled out the feature without consent rather than the actual slowdown itself. While there are still broad claims of planned obsolesce, the suit relates those claims to the lack of information consumers were given regarding why their iPhones were performing slowly.

The success of this lawsuit remains to be seen, but Hagens Berman has successfully defeated Apple in the past. Despite Apple’s continual battle, the firm successfully defeated the company the infamous ebooks price fixing case, which saw Apple pay out $450 million in damages to consumers.

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Published at Sat, 06 Jan 2018 14:18:04 +0000

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Report: Apple Music’s Jimmy Iovine to depart Apple in August

Report: Apple Music’s Jimmy Iovine to depart Apple in August

Billboard reports today that Jimmy Iovine will depart Apple sometime in August. Iovine originally joined Apple when the company acquired Beats back in 2014 and has worked closely to oversee Apple Music and Beats 1…

Spigen TEKA RA200 Airpods Earhooks Cover

The report explains that Iovine is planning his departure for August so that his shares will fully vest, making for a more lucrative move.

It’s unclear why exactly Iovine is leaving Apple and the company hasn’t commented on today’s news. Just a few months ago, Iovine remarked that the streaming music industry is “not a great business” and questioned how companies would ever turn a profit.

Furthermore, it’s not clear as to how big of a role Iovine has had at Apple. He doesn’t have an official title, though he has strong industry ties that have reportedly helped Apple reach deals with music labels and artists.

Since joining Apple, however, Iovine has largely become the public face of Apple Music. He’s given numerous, wide-ranging interviews discussing the streaming business, modern music in general, Trump, and much more. He’s known for going off script, something that his fellow Apple executives likely aren’t fans of.

Iovine has deep ties to Apple. He originally pitched a streaming music service to Steve Jobs back in 2003 and was an early proponent of the iPod and iTunes. It’s unclear what his future plans are and he remarked during an interview last year that he has “no idea” what’s next:

I’m 64 years old. I have no idea [what I’m doing next]. There’s just a problem here that needs some sort of solution, and I want to ­contribute to it.

We’ll update if Apple or Iovine confirm his departure.

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Published at Thu, 04 Jan 2018 22:45:38 +0000

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Nissan sets 2017 sales record with help from Rogue, Titan, and Armada

Nissan sets 2017 sales record with help from Rogue, Titan, and Armada

Nissan Group said its U.S. sales climbed 1.9 percent in 2017 to an all-time record of more than 1.59 million vehicles sold. Free pizza in the conference rooms in Nashville, right? But a closer look shows the company mirroring overall industry trends, with plenty of declining-popularity cars but also a few aging trucks and SUVs.

Taken together, Nissan’s trucks, SUVs and crossovers saved the day, selling an all-time high of 765,624 total units, up 15 percent from 2016. That offset a 10.9-percent drop in sales of Nissan’s cars, as volume sellers like the Altima and Versa posted steep drops. Also buoying overall results was the Infiniti division, which gained 10 percent from the previous year on the strength of models like the Q60 and QX30.

Nissan’s record year owes a lot to the Rogue, its compact crossover, which set an annual sales record with 403,465 vehicles, an increase of 22.3 percent. Sales of the Titan, Nissan’s full-size pickup, grew an impressive 141.9 percent to 52,924 units, while the Armada, a full-size three-row SUV that was all-new for 2017, also saw a huge jump in sales (154.1 percent) to 35,667.

Infiniti, meanwhile, saw overall sales climb 10.9 percent on the strength of huge gains by the Q60 Coupe, which rose 170.8 percent, and the QX30 crossover, which grew almost 524 percent. That being said, Infiniti volume is relatively low. The Q60 Coupe sold a total of 40,444 units and the QX30 14,093 for 2017, while Nissan shifted 40,172 Rogues in December alone.

On the car side, the Maxima did well, gaining 7.9 percent to finish at 67,627. Volume-wise, the Sentra dominated, nudging up 1.7 percent to 218,451. But the rest of the lineup mirrored industry trends for the car segment, with steep drops for the Altima (down 17 percent), battery-electric Leaf (-19.8 percent), Versa (-19.2 percent) and Juke (-48.1 percent).

Several truck, crossover and SUV models are also not faring so well. The aging Frontier pickup, last updated in 2005, fell 14.5 percent, the Pathfinder slipped by 0.8 percent, the Quest minivan plummeted 55.5 percent and the upscale Murano crossover fell by 11.8 percent.

Meanwhile, reinforcements are coming. Nissan has said it’s planning a new generation of the Frontier, its entry-level pickup, but hasn’t clarified when. The Juke is being replaced by the Kicks, a crossover that wildly split opinions among Autoblog staff, later this year. And Nissan is prepping the 2018 Leaf battery-electric, which has reportedly sold well in other countries, for its debut in U.S. showrooms. If those models do well, maybe Nissan’s North American employees can look forward to more free pizza in the coming years.

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Published at Thu, 04 Jan 2018 18:01:00 +0000

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Swap-apocalypse: Upcoming iOS update will swarm Apple Stores with iPhone battery replacements

Swap-apocalypse: Upcoming iOS update will swarm Apple Stores with iPhone battery replacements

Apple Stores always seem to be packed to the gills with customers waiting for tech support at the Genius Bar, and that’s doubly true now with Apple’s discounted battery replacement program for iPhones throttled by aging batteries. A promised update to iOS coming in the future will certainly increase the number of users who are aware of the need to replace batteries even more, so now is the best time to take advantage of the replacement discount.

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Have an iPhone 6 or later? Your iPhone qualifies for a $29 battery replacement with no questions asked. That’s because Apple began throttling performance of these devices with aging batteries in an iOS update last year as a solution to iPhones shutting down unexpectedly during peak performance.

The regular replacement cost is $79 for parts and labor, but Apple has discounted that cost through 2018 in response to customers unhappy with how Apple handled the situation. So any iPhone customer who suspects their iPhone may be slowed down by an older battery can take advantage of the discount, and that means a flood of customers doing just that at Apple Stores.

This is already happening according to The Washington Post’s Geoffrey Fowler who writes that about his experience using the program:

When I showed up with an appointment at my closest Apple store on Jan. 3, there were so many others also trying to replace their batteries that I had to join a weeks-long waiting list. Your local shop might have more supply, but battling hordes for repair (rather than a sexy new phone) is an unusual experience at an Apple store.

iFixit’s Kyle Wiens hypothesizes that it may not actually be possible for every iPhone customer eligible to take advantage of the program if they wanted to:

Apple reportedly has 47,000 retail employees. If they trained all of them to do iPhone battery swaps, and they did nothing but that, it would take 2.7 years to clear out the backlog. But by then, more iPhones would need new batteries.

The current iPhone battery saga certainly hasn’t gone under the radar in the headlines, but a promised update to iOS will likely increase the number of customers who decide to have their batteries replaced. That’s because Apple says it will begin making battery health more transparent for customers:

Early in 2018, we will issue an iOS software update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance.

If you’re on the fence about spending $29 and spending your afternoon waiting for a battery replacement, seeing your iPhone actually verify that your battery needs serviced to restore full performance will push even more customers to flock to the Genius Bar in search of a fresh battery.

discovered last month that replacing the battery in an older iPhone could restore seemingly lost performance. Benchmark results backed up the claim, and Apple eventually acknowledged both the practice and the reasoning behind it with an apology for the lack of transparency.

The price drop was initially supposed to begin sometime this month, but Apple flipped the switch early and warned that battery availability may be limited to start.

Analysts from Barclays expect the battery throttling issue actually affects a whopping 519 million iPhones used today, while further predicting only about 10% of those units will be serviced.

We’ll have to wait and see what effect the upcoming iOS update that makes battery health more transparent to the user has on battery replacement demand, but you’re likely better served to get in line now before that feature becomes available.

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Published at Thu, 04 Jan 2018 19:05:35 +0000

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Nissan sets 2017 sales record with help from Rogue, Titan, and Armada

Nissan sets 2017 sales record with help from Rogue, Titan, and Armada

Nissan Group said its U.S. sales climbed 1.9 percent in 2017 to an all-time record of more than 1.59 million vehicles sold. Free pizza in the conference rooms in Nashville, right? But a closer look shows the company mirroring overall industry trends, with plenty of declining-popularity cars but also a few aging trucks and SUVs.

Taken together, Nissan’s trucks, SUVs and crossovers saved the day, selling an all-time high of 765,624 total units, up 15 percent from 2016. That offset a 10.9-percent drop in sales of Nissan’s cars, as volume sellers like the Altima and Versa posted steep drops. Also buoying overall results was the Infiniti division, which gained 10 percent from the previous year on the strength of models like the Q60 and QX30.

Nissan’s record year owes a lot to the Rogue, its compact crossover, which set an annual sales record with 403,465 vehicles, an increase of 22.3 percent. Sales of the Titan, Nissan’s full-size pickup, grew an impressive 141.9 percent to 52,924 units, while the Armada, a full-size three-row SUV that was all-new for 2017, also saw a huge jump in sales (154.1 percent) to 35,667.

Infiniti, meanwhile, saw overall sales climb 10.9 percent on the strength of huge gains by the Q60 Coupe, which rose 170.8 percent, and the QX30 crossover, which grew almost 524 percent. That being said, Infiniti volume is relatively low. The Q60 Coupe sold a total of 40,444 units and the QX30 14,093 for 2017, while Nissan shifted 40,172 Rogues in December alone.

On the car side, the Maxima did well, gaining 7.9 percent to finish at 67,627. Volume-wise, the Sentra dominated, nudging up 1.7 percent to 218,451. But the rest of the lineup mirrored industry trends for the car segment, with steep drops for the Altima (down 17 percent), battery-electric Leaf (-19.8 percent), Versa (-19.2 percent) and Juke (-48.1 percent).

Several truck, crossover and SUV models are also not faring so well. The aging Frontier pickup, last updated in 2005, fell 14.5 percent, the Pathfinder slipped by 0.8 percent, the Quest minivan plummeted 55.5 percent and the upscale Murano crossover fell by 11.8 percent.

Meanwhile, reinforcements are coming. Nissan has said it’s planning a new generation of the Frontier, its entry-level pickup, but hasn’t clarified when. The Juke is being replaced by the Kicks, a crossover that wildly split opinions among Autoblog staff, later this year. And Nissan is prepping the 2018 Leaf battery-electric, which has reportedly sold well in other countries, for its debut in U.S. showrooms. If those models do well, maybe Nissan’s North American employees can look forward to more free pizza in the coming years.

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Published at Thu, 04 Jan 2018 18:01:00 +0000

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VR Industry Forum to Publish Industry Guidelines at CES

VR Industry Forum to Publish Industry Guidelines at CES

With an increasing number of companies entering the virtual reality (VR) industry, there is an ever increasing danger of market fragmentation, which could potentially have dire consequences for mass adoption of the technology. To tackle this, The Virtual Reality Industry Forum, or VRIF, will be presenting its first set of VR Industry Guidelines at CES 2018.

There is always a temptation for companies to seal its customers off inside proprietary walled gardens, but experts widely believe that this could delay the entry of VR into mainstream and even effect the growth of the industry as a whole. The VRIF will be presenting its guidelines on interoperability, security, privacy, best practices and other areas during a 2-hour masterclass at CES 2018, which will feature demonstrations from Fraunhofer and Qualcomm as well as featured speakers from Ericsson, Intel, Sky, Irdeto and others.

VRIF includes more than 40 member organisations, and was created to further the availability of high-quality VR experiences for consumers. To that end, the VRIF guidelines focuses on the delivery of 360-degree video with three degrees-of-freedom and includes:

  • Documentation of cross-industry interoperability points, based on ISO MPEG’s Omnidirectional Media Format (OMAF)

  • Best industry practices for production of VR360 content, with an emphasis on human factors such as motion sickness

  • Security considerations for VR360 streaming, including user privacy and content protection.

“VRIF is helping the video industry to create and support a thriving VR ecosystem. This technology represents an extremely promising and powerful opportunity, and it is imperative that we work together to create a powerful experience for users out of the gate,” said Christian Egeler, Director of XR (Extended Reality) Product Development at Verizon. “Beyond ensuring that the entire video ecosystem can collaborate to deliver compelling VR experiences, we must work together to effectively protect that content and enable monetization. At the VRIF, we are focused on all these various challenges and opportunities.”

“As virtual and augmented reality continue to evolve, the VRIF Guidelines serve two main purposes: first, to support end-to-end interoperability across the virtual reality ecosystem, from production to consumption, and second, to ensure a high quality user experience,” said Rob Koenen, President of the Virtual Reality Industry Forum. “As the industry moves towards standardized VR solutions, we are also cooperating closely with other industry organizations including MPEG, 3GPP, DVB, VR Society and ITU to facilitate technology integration for VRIF member companies and other related partners.”

Further news from the VR industry and the latest from CES 2018 will be right here on VRFocus.

Published at Wed, 03 Jan 2018 20:00:35 +0000

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‘Tribe VR DJ School’ Trains You to Mix Music on Real Equipment

‘Tribe VR DJ School’ Trains You to Mix Music on Real Equipment

Partnering with DJ Kyroman and music school Pyramind, Tribe VR’s DJ School aims to teach the art of live mixing with real DJ equipment modelled in VR, with the goal of allowing your virtually acquired skills and knowledge to transfer to real life mixing equipment. The app launched in Early Access on the Oculus Store in December.

San Francisco-based VR development startup Tribe VR is concentrating on immersive learning applications for virtual and augmented reality to enable users to learn real-world skills. Tribe VR DJ School is their first project, a VR application currently optimised for Oculus Rift and Touch. It was recently showcased on the official Oculus blog alongside live performance platform NOYS VR (Early Access, 2017) and interactive music video Show It 2 Me (2017) as three examples of immersive music experiences created for VR.

In its current form, the user is presented with two digital decks and a mixer based on high-end Pioneer DJ equipment, and the basics of operating the mixer, such as adjusting equalisers and crossfading is explained by a virtual ‘Mentor’. For now, the features are limited, as the single ‘lesson’ only teaches you to play around with two preloaded tracks that are already synchronised. The ‘free play’ mode allows a little more room to experiment with sounds, but the app is missing the crucial feature of being able to import your own music.

Image courtesy Tribe VR

Vinyl Reality (2017), another Early Access VR DJ app on Steam, appears to be further along the path of features, as it allows music import, but appears to be focused on simulating mixing with traditional turntables. Tribe VR DJ School, as the name implies, wants to lean heavily towards teaching, and the developer plans to implement “DJ masterclasses” and “extensive lesson content” over the coming weeks.

This is highlighted by Tribe VR’s partnership with leading San Francisco music production school Pyramind. According to the Tribe VR blog, the team is working together with Pyramind to “develop course content, music tools and services.”

“We see VR and AR as the next steps in improving the way people learn and create music,” says Gregory Gordon, Pyramind CEO and Founder. “We are excited to be working with Tribe to develop methods and approaches for people to learn immersively.”

“We are delighted to be working with Pyramind,” writes Tom Impallomeni, Co-Founder and CEO of Tribe VR. “Greg has built an amazing business and their deep knowledge of all things relating to Music Production and DJing is a massive help to us in our quest to improve the way people learn.”

DJ School is just one example of an immersive learning experience; Tribe VR seems to have ambitions for further learning-focused VR and AR projects.

Published at Wed, 03 Jan 2018 19:57:30 +0000

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New Trump book: Bannon's 'treasonous' claim, Ivanka's presidential ambitions and Melania's first-lady concerns – Washington Post

New Trump book: Bannon's 'treasonous' claim, Ivanka's presidential ambitions and Melania's first-lady concerns – Washington Post


President Trump speaks at the White House on Dec. 11. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

President Trump is a book genre unto himself. There’s “Understanding Trump,” by Newt Gingrich, whom Trump considered as a running mate; “Let Trump Be Trump,” by former Trump campaign aides Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie; “The Swamp,” by former Fox News Channel host Eric Bolling; and a forthcoming book by former White House press secretary Sean Spicer (working title: “The Briefing”).

Note that all of these authors are pro-Trump partisans. That’s why Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” out Jan. 9, is significant. Wolff, a longtime journalist who has written for Vanity Fair, the Guardian, the Hollywood Reporter and other publications, presents his new title as a major piece of reporting.

Wolff says that his book is based on 200 conversations over the past 18 months with Trump, most members of his senior staff, some of whom he talked to dozens of times, and many people with whom they had spoken. Some conversations were on the record, while others were off the record or on “deep background,” allowing him to relay a “disembodied description of events provided by an unnamed witness to them.”

He notes that many accounts he heard of the Trump White House conflicted one another. In some cases, Wolff says, he let the players offer competing versions of reality while in other cases, he said that “through a consistency in accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that “this book is filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House.”

“Fire and Fury” contains many interesting insights and claims, big and small. Some are new; others are familiar but bolstered by additional color and detail. Here are 12 that stand out:

Trump thought he would lose the election

Key excerpt: In politics somebody has to lose, but invariably everybody thinks they can win. And you probably can’t win unless you believe that you will win — except in the Trump campaign. The leitmotif for Trump about his own campaign was how crappy it was and how everybody involved in it was a loser. He was equally convinced that rival Hillary Clinton’s people were brilliant winners — “They’ve got the best and we’ve got the worst,” he frequently said. Time spent with Trump on the campaign plane was often an epic dissing experience: Everybody around him was an idiot.

Stephen K. Bannon thought Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer was ‘treasonous’

Key excerpt: “The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero,” said an astonished and derisive [Stephen K.] Bannon, not long after the meeting was revealed. “The three senior guys in the campaign,” an incredulous Bannon went on, “thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the twenty-fifth floor — with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers. Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad s–t, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”

(Washington Post reporters have found no evidence that Trump met with the Russians during this meeting at Trump Tower. The president fired back at Bannon on Wednesday, saying in a statement that “Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was. It is the only thing he does well. Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books.”)

Details are slowly coming out about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer during his father’s presidential campaign in June 2016, including a newly disclosed email from the lawyer to a music publicist who arranged the meeting. (Elyse Samuels,Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

Trump asked Roger Ailes to lead the campaign, and Ailes declined

Key excerpt: In early August [2016], less than a month after Ailes had been ousted from Fox News, Trump asked his old friend to take over the management of his calamitous campaign. Ailes, knowing Trump’s disinclination to take advice, or even listen to it, turned him down.

Trump didn’t know who John Boehner was

Key excerpt: “You need a son of a b—h as your chief of staff. And you need a son of a b—h who knows Washington,” Ailes told Trump not long after the election. “You’ll want to be your own son of a b—h, but you don’t know Washington.” Ailes had a suggestion: “Speaker Boehner.” (John Boehner had been the speaker of the House until he was forced out in a tea party putsch in 2015.) “Who’s that?” Trump asked.

Reince Priebus froze after the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape leaked

Key excerpt: So mortifying was this development that when Reince Priebus, the RNC head, was called to New York from Washington for an emergency meeting at Trump Tower, he couldn’t bring himself to leave Penn Station. It took two hours for the Trump team to coax him across town. “Bro,” said a desperate Bannon, cajoling Priebus on the phone, “I may never see you again after today, but you gotta come to this building and you gotta walk through the front door.”

In this video from 2005, Donald Trump prepares for an appearance on “Days of Our Lives” with actress Arianne Zucker. He is accompanied to the set by “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush. The Post has edited this video for length. (Obtained by The Washington Post)

Melania Trump dreaded becoming first lady

Key excerpt: The New York Post got its hands on outtakes from a nude photo shoot that Melania had done early in her modeling career — a leak that everybody other than Melania assumed could be traced back to Trump himself. Inconsolable, she confronted her husband. Is this the future? She told him she wouldn’t be able to take it. Trump responded in his fashion — We’ll sue! — and set her up with lawyers. But he was uncharacteristically contrite, too. Just a little longer, he told her. It would all be over in November. He offered his wife a solemn guarantee: There was simply no way he would win.

Trump eats McDonald’s because he thinks the food is safe

Key excerpt: He had a longtime fear of being poisoned, one reason why he liked to eat at McDonald’s — nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely pre-made.

Trump had little or no interest in repealing Obamacare

Key excerpt: An overweight seventy-year-old man with various physical phobias (for instance, he lied about his height to keep from having a body mass index that would label him as obese), he personally found health care and medical treatments of all kinds a distasteful subject. The details of the contested legislation were, to him, particularly boring; his attention would begin wandering from the first words of a policy discussion. . . . Prior to his presidency, he had likely never had a meaningful discussion in his life about health insurance.

Ivanka Trump has presidential ambitions of her own

Key excerpt: Jared [Kushner] and Ivanka had made an earnest deal between themselves: If some time in the future the time came, she’d be the one to run for president (or the first one of them to take the shot). The first woman president, Ivanka entertained, would not be Hillary Clinton, it would be Ivanka Trump.

Ivanka sometimes made fun of her father’s hair, in private

Key excerpt: She often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate — a contained island after scalp reduction surgery — surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray. The color, she would point out to comical effect, was from a product called Just for Men — the longer it was left on, the darker it got. Impatience resulted in Trump’s orange-blond hair color.

Ailes, before he died, hoped to launch a new TV channel with Bannon, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity

Key excerpt: A few hours after the O’Reilly [firing] announcement, Ailes, from his new oceanfront home in Palm Beach — precluded by his separation agreement with Fox from any efforts to compete with it for 18 months — sent an emissary into the West Wing with a question for Stephen K. Bannon: O’Reilly and Hannity are in, what about you? Ailes, in secret, had been plotting his comeback with a new conservative network. . . . In reply, Bannon let Ailes know that for now, he was trying to hold on to his position in the White House. But yes, the opportunity was obvious.

Trump was surprised by criticism of his decision to fire FBI Director James B. Comey

Key excerpt: Trump believed that firing Comey would make him a hero. Over the next 48 hours he spun his side to various friends. It was simple: He had stood up to the FBI. He proved that he was willing to take on the state power. The outsider against the insiders. After all, that’s why he was elected.

The turmoil surrounding former FBI Director James Comey and President Trump started long before Comey was fired on May 9. Here are the pivotal moments from Comey’s time as head of the agency, including his private meetings with the president. (Jenny Starrs,Julio Negron/The Washington Post)

Published at Wed, 03 Jan 2018 17:44:56 +0000

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New Trump book: Bannon's 'treasonous' claim, Ivanka's presidential ambitions and Melania's first-lady concerns – Washington Post

New Trump book: Bannon's 'treasonous' claim, Ivanka's presidential ambitions and Melania's first-lady concerns – Washington Post


President Trump speaks at the White House on Dec. 11. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

President Trump is a book genre unto himself. There’s “Understanding Trump,” by Newt Gingrich, whom Trump considered as a running mate; “Let Trump Be Trump,” by former Trump campaign aides Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie; “The Swamp,” by former Fox News Channel host Eric Bolling; and a forthcoming book by former White House press secretary Sean Spicer (working title: “The Briefing”).

Note that all of these authors are pro-Trump partisans. That’s why Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” out Jan. 9, is significant. Wolff, a longtime journalist who has written for Vanity Fair, the Guardian, the Hollywood Reporter and other publications, presents his new title as a major piece of reporting.

Wolff says that his book is based on 200 conversations over the past 18 months with Trump, most members of his senior staff, some of whom he talked to dozens of times, and many people with whom they had spoken. Some conversations were on the record, while others were off the record or on “deep background,” allowing him to relay a “disembodied description of events provided by an unnamed witness to them.”

He notes that many accounts he heard of the Trump White House conflicted one another. In some cases, Wolff says, he let the players offer competing versions of reality while in other cases, he said that “through a consistency in accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that “this book is filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House.”

“Fire and Fury” contains many interesting insights and claims, big and small. Some are new; others are familiar but bolstered by additional color and detail. Here are 12 that stand out:

Trump thought he would lose the election

Key excerpt: In politics somebody has to lose, but invariably everybody thinks they can win. And you probably can’t win unless you believe that you will win — except in the Trump campaign. The leitmotif for Trump about his own campaign was how crappy it was and how everybody involved in it was a loser. He was equally convinced that rival Hillary Clinton’s people were brilliant winners — “They’ve got the best and we’ve got the worst,” he frequently said. Time spent with Trump on the campaign plane was often an epic dissing experience: Everybody around him was an idiot.

Stephen K. Bannon thought Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer was ‘treasonous’

Key excerpt: “The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero,” said an astonished and derisive [Stephen K.] Bannon, not long after the meeting was revealed. “The three senior guys in the campaign,” an incredulous Bannon went on, “thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the twenty-fifth floor — with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers. Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad s–t, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”

(Washington Post reporters have found no evidence that Trump met with the Russians during this meeting at Trump Tower. The president fired back at Bannon on Wednesday, saying in a statement that “Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was. It is the only thing he does well. Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books.”)

Details are slowly coming out about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer during his father’s presidential campaign in June 2016, including a newly disclosed email from the lawyer to a music publicist who arranged the meeting. (Elyse Samuels,Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

Trump asked Roger Ailes to lead the campaign, and Ailes declined

Key excerpt: In early August [2016], less than a month after Ailes had been ousted from Fox News, Trump asked his old friend to take over the management of his calamitous campaign. Ailes, knowing Trump’s disinclination to take advice, or even listen to it, turned him down.

Trump didn’t know who John Boehner was

Key excerpt: “You need a son of a b—h as your chief of staff. And you need a son of a b—h who knows Washington,” Ailes told Trump not long after the election. “You’ll want to be your own son of a b—h, but you don’t know Washington.” Ailes had a suggestion: “Speaker Boehner.” (John Boehner had been the speaker of the House until he was forced out in a tea party putsch in 2015.) “Who’s that?” Trump asked.

Reince Priebus froze after the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape leaked

Key excerpt: So mortifying was this development that when Reince Priebus, the RNC head, was called to New York from Washington for an emergency meeting at Trump Tower, he couldn’t bring himself to leave Penn Station. It took two hours for the Trump team to coax him across town. “Bro,” said a desperate Bannon, cajoling Priebus on the phone, “I may never see you again after today, but you gotta come to this building and you gotta walk through the front door.”

In this video from 2005, Donald Trump prepares for an appearance on “Days of Our Lives” with actress Arianne Zucker. He is accompanied to the set by “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush. The Post has edited this video for length. (Obtained by The Washington Post)

Melania Trump dreaded becoming first lady

Key excerpt: The New York Post got its hands on outtakes from a nude photo shoot that Melania had done early in her modeling career — a leak that everybody other than Melania assumed could be traced back to Trump himself. Inconsolable, she confronted her husband. Is this the future? She told him she wouldn’t be able to take it. Trump responded in his fashion — We’ll sue! — and set her up with lawyers. But he was uncharacteristically contrite, too. Just a little longer, he told her. It would all be over in November. He offered his wife a solemn guarantee: There was simply no way he would win.

Trump eats McDonald’s because he thinks the food is safe

Key excerpt: He had a longtime fear of being poisoned, one reason why he liked to eat at McDonald’s — nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely pre-made.

Trump had little or no interest in repealing Obamacare

Key excerpt: An overweight seventy-year-old man with various physical phobias (for instance, he lied about his height to keep from having a body mass index that would label him as obese), he personally found health care and medical treatments of all kinds a distasteful subject. The details of the contested legislation were, to him, particularly boring; his attention would begin wandering from the first words of a policy discussion. . . . Prior to his presidency, he had likely never had a meaningful discussion in his life about health insurance.

Ivanka Trump has presidential ambitions of her own

Key excerpt: Jared [Kushner] and Ivanka had made an earnest deal between themselves: If some time in the future the time came, she’d be the one to run for president (or the first one of them to take the shot). The first woman president, Ivanka entertained, would not be Hillary Clinton, it would be Ivanka Trump.

Ivanka sometimes made fun of her father’s hair, in private

Key excerpt: She often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate — a contained island after scalp reduction surgery — surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray. The color, she would point out to comical effect, was from a product called Just for Men — the longer it was left on, the darker it got. Impatience resulted in Trump’s orange-blond hair color.

Ailes, before he died, hoped to launch a new TV channel with Bannon, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity

Key excerpt: A few hours after the O’Reilly [firing] announcement, Ailes, from his new oceanfront home in Palm Beach — precluded by his separation agreement with Fox from any efforts to compete with it for 18 months — sent an emissary into the West Wing with a question for Stephen K. Bannon: O’Reilly and Hannity are in, what about you? Ailes, in secret, had been plotting his comeback with a new conservative network. . . . In reply, Bannon let Ailes know that for now, he was trying to hold on to his position in the White House. But yes, the opportunity was obvious.

Trump was surprised by criticism of his decision to fire FBI Director James B. Comey

Key excerpt: Trump believed that firing Comey would make him a hero. Over the next 48 hours he spun his side to various friends. It was simple: He had stood up to the FBI. He proved that he was willing to take on the state power. The outsider against the insiders. After all, that’s why he was elected.

The turmoil surrounding former FBI Director James Comey and President Trump started long before Comey was fired on May 9. Here are the pivotal moments from Comey’s time as head of the agency, including his private meetings with the president. (Jenny Starrs,Julio Negron/The Washington Post)

Published at Wed, 03 Jan 2018 17:44:56 +0000

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New Trump book: Bannon's 'treasonous' claim, Ivanka's presidential ambitions and Melania's first-lady concerns – Washington Post

New Trump book: Bannon's 'treasonous' claim, Ivanka's presidential ambitions and Melania's first-lady concerns – Washington Post


President Trump speaks at the White House on Dec. 11. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

President Trump is a book genre unto himself. There’s “Understanding Trump,” by Newt Gingrich, whom Trump considered as a running mate; “Let Trump Be Trump,” by former Trump campaign aides Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie; “The Swamp,” by former Fox News Channel host Eric Bolling; and a forthcoming book by former White House press secretary Sean Spicer (working title: “The Briefing”).

Note that all of these authors are pro-Trump partisans. That’s why Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” out Jan. 9, is significant. Wolff, a longtime journalist who has written for Vanity Fair, the Guardian, the Hollywood Reporter and other publications, presents his new title as a major piece of reporting.

Wolff says that his book is based on 200 conversations over the past 18 months with Trump, most members of his senior staff, some of whom he talked to dozens of times, and many people with whom they had spoken. Some conversations were on the record, while others were off the record or on “deep background,” allowing him to relay a “disembodied description of events provided by an unnamed witness to them.”

He notes that many accounts he heard of the Trump White House conflicted one another. In some cases, Wolff says, he let the players offer competing versions of reality while in other cases, he said that “through a consistency in accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that “this book is filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House.”

“Fire and Fury” contains many interesting insights and claims, big and small. Some are new; others are familiar but bolstered by additional color and detail. Here are 12 that stand out:

Trump thought he would lose the election

Key excerpt: In politics somebody has to lose, but invariably everybody thinks they can win. And you probably can’t win unless you believe that you will win — except in the Trump campaign. The leitmotif for Trump about his own campaign was how crappy it was and how everybody involved in it was a loser. He was equally convinced that rival Hillary Clinton’s people were brilliant winners — “They’ve got the best and we’ve got the worst,” he frequently said. Time spent with Trump on the campaign plane was often an epic dissing experience: Everybody around him was an idiot.

Stephen K. Bannon thought Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer was ‘treasonous’

Key excerpt: “The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero,” said an astonished and derisive [Stephen K.] Bannon, not long after the meeting was revealed. “The three senior guys in the campaign,” an incredulous Bannon went on, “thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the twenty-fifth floor — with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers. Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad s–t, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”

(Washington Post reporters have found no evidence that Trump met with the Russians during this meeting at Trump Tower. The president fired back at Bannon on Wednesday, saying in a statement that “Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was. It is the only thing he does well. Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books.”)

Details are slowly coming out about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer during his father’s presidential campaign in June 2016, including a newly disclosed email from the lawyer to a music publicist who arranged the meeting. (Elyse Samuels,Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

Trump asked Roger Ailes to lead the campaign, and Ailes declined

Key excerpt: In early August [2016], less than a month after Ailes had been ousted from Fox News, Trump asked his old friend to take over the management of his calamitous campaign. Ailes, knowing Trump’s disinclination to take advice, or even listen to it, turned him down.

Trump didn’t know who John Boehner was

Key excerpt: “You need a son of a b—h as your chief of staff. And you need a son of a b—h who knows Washington,” Ailes told Trump not long after the election. “You’ll want to be your own son of a b—h, but you don’t know Washington.” Ailes had a suggestion: “Speaker Boehner.” (John Boehner had been the speaker of the House until he was forced out in a tea party putsch in 2015.) “Who’s that?” Trump asked.

Reince Priebus froze after the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape leaked

Key excerpt: So mortifying was this development that when Reince Priebus, the RNC head, was called to New York from Washington for an emergency meeting at Trump Tower, he couldn’t bring himself to leave Penn Station. It took two hours for the Trump team to coax him across town. “Bro,” said a desperate Bannon, cajoling Priebus on the phone, “I may never see you again after today, but you gotta come to this building and you gotta walk through the front door.”

In this video from 2005, Donald Trump prepares for an appearance on “Days of Our Lives” with actress Arianne Zucker. He is accompanied to the set by “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush. The Post has edited this video for length. (Obtained by The Washington Post)

Melania Trump dreaded becoming first lady

Key excerpt: The New York Post got its hands on outtakes from a nude photo shoot that Melania had done early in her modeling career — a leak that everybody other than Melania assumed could be traced back to Trump himself. Inconsolable, she confronted her husband. Is this the future? She told him she wouldn’t be able to take it. Trump responded in his fashion — We’ll sue! — and set her up with lawyers. But he was uncharacteristically contrite, too. Just a little longer, he told her. It would all be over in November. He offered his wife a solemn guarantee: There was simply no way he would win.

Trump eats McDonald’s because he thinks the food is safe

Key excerpt: He had a longtime fear of being poisoned, one reason why he liked to eat at McDonald’s — nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely pre-made.

Trump had little or no interest in repealing Obamacare

Key excerpt: An overweight seventy-year-old man with various physical phobias (for instance, he lied about his height to keep from having a body mass index that would label him as obese), he personally found health care and medical treatments of all kinds a distasteful subject. The details of the contested legislation were, to him, particularly boring; his attention would begin wandering from the first words of a policy discussion. . . . Prior to his presidency, he had likely never had a meaningful discussion in his life about health insurance.

Ivanka Trump has presidential ambitions of her own

Key excerpt: Jared [Kushner] and Ivanka had made an earnest deal between themselves: If some time in the future the time came, she’d be the one to run for president (or the first one of them to take the shot). The first woman president, Ivanka entertained, would not be Hillary Clinton, it would be Ivanka Trump.

Ivanka sometimes made fun of her father’s hair, in private

Key excerpt: She often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate — a contained island after scalp reduction surgery — surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray. The color, she would point out to comical effect, was from a product called Just for Men — the longer it was left on, the darker it got. Impatience resulted in Trump’s orange-blond hair color.

Ailes, before he died, hoped to launch a new TV channel with Bannon, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity

Key excerpt: A few hours after the O’Reilly [firing] announcement, Ailes, from his new oceanfront home in Palm Beach — precluded by his separation agreement with Fox from any efforts to compete with it for 18 months — sent an emissary into the West Wing with a question for Stephen K. Bannon: O’Reilly and Hannity are in, what about you? Ailes, in secret, had been plotting his comeback with a new conservative network. . . . In reply, Bannon let Ailes know that for now, he was trying to hold on to his position in the White House. But yes, the opportunity was obvious.

Trump was surprised by criticism of his decision to fire FBI Director James B. Comey

Key excerpt: Trump believed that firing Comey would make him a hero. Over the next 48 hours he spun his side to various friends. It was simple: He had stood up to the FBI. He proved that he was willing to take on the state power. The outsider against the insiders. After all, that’s why he was elected.

The turmoil surrounding former FBI Director James Comey and President Trump started long before Comey was fired on May 9. Here are the pivotal moments from Comey’s time as head of the agency, including his private meetings with the president. (Jenny Starrs,Julio Negron/The Washington Post)

Published at Wed, 03 Jan 2018 17:44:56 +0000

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