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White House Demands Probe of Obama ‘Investigative Powers’:
President Donald Trump
will demand an investigation into whether the Obama administration abused its “executive branch investigative powers” last year. In a statement on Sunday morning, the White House doubled down on President Trump’s claim that former president Barack Obama
ordered wiretapping of the Trump team. Neither Trump nor the White House has provided evidence to back up the assertion. “Reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling,” press secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement. “President Donald J. Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016.” Spicer added that neither the White House nor Trump will comment further “until such oversight is conducted.” In a public statement on Saturday, former President Obama’s spokesman said the previous administration never “ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen.”
Obama Spokesman: Trump’s Claims on Wiretapping ‘False’:
A spokesman for former President Barack Obama
said Saturday that President Trump
’s claims of his predecessor conducting wiretapping surveillance against him were “simply false.” The spokesman, Kevin Lewis
, stressed that “neitherPresident Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any US citizen.” He went on to explain that “a cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice.” The comments, which hint that Trump may have been under surveillance as part of a Justice Department investigation, came after Trump took to Twitter to announce that he’d “just found out” Obama had his phones wiretapped ahead of his election victory. Ben Rhodes
, Obama’s former speechwriter and foreign policy adviser, also dismissed the allegations. “No President can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you,” Rhodes wrote on Twitter.
Netanyahu to Meet with Putin over Iran:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
will travel toMoscow this coming week to meet with Russian PresidentVladimir Putin
, amid Netanyahu’s concerns over Iran’s actions and intentions in Syria. The Iranian regime has provided support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s years-long civil war. Russia is intervening in the Syria conflict to prop up the Assad government, its longtime ally. “In the framework of a (future peace agreement) or without one, Iran is attempting to base itself permanently in Syria—either through a military presence on the ground or a naval presence—and also through a gradual attempt to open a front against us on the Golan Heights,” Netanyahu said Sunday in response to a top Iranian military leader floating the possibility of establishing naval bases in either Syria or Yemen. “I will express to President Putin Israel’s vigorous opposition to this possibility,” Netanyahu added.
Nobody has seen Richard Simmons for over 1,000 days:
is an American fitness icon. He’s worth over$15 million. He weighed 269 pounds at his high school graduation. He lost 123 of those pounds in his 20s. He is estimated to have helped Americans lose over 12 million pounds. And he’s been missing for 1,095 days. The podcast about his disappearance is #1 on the iTunes charts. Since 2014, Simmons, now 68, has not been seen in public. For decades, he courted constant media attention and bathed in the spotlight. He was a regular guest on “The David Letterman Show,” taught his loyal followers at weekly exercise classes at his Slimmins gym in Beverly Hills, California, and made hundreds of phone calls a week to Americans struggling with their weight.
LBN-WHERE THE ELITE AND UNDERDOGS MEET:
Divided Americans fret country losing identity reports media expert:
According to media expert and author Michael Levine
) add one more to the list of things dividing left and right in this country: We can’t even agree what it means to be an American. According to Levine the latest research finds Republicans are far more likely to cite a culture grounded in Christian beliefs and the traditions of early European immigrants as essential to U.S. identity. Democrats are more apt to point to the country’s history of mixing of people from around the globe and a tradition of offering refuge to the persecuted. While there’s disagreement on what makes up the American identity, 7 in 10 people – regardless of party – say the country is losing that identity. “The data points clearly to the idea that our nation is having what psychologist refer to as an “identity crises.”
Violent Clashes at Pro-Trump Rallies:
Violent clashes ensued on Saturday at pro-Donald Trump
rallies in at least two states. One person was allegedly hit in the face in St. Paul, Minnesota, where Trump supporters reportedly confronted anti-Trump protesters at the state capitol. Others deployed firecrackers inside the building. Six people in total were arrested, all of whom were part of the anti-Trump contingent. In Berkeley, California, verbal arguments between the two separate groups boiled over to violent clashes, leading to 10 arrests.
Israel gives green light to decriminalize marijuana use:
The Israeli government voted on Sunday in favor of decriminalizing recreational marijuana use, joining some U.S. states and European countries who have adopted a similar approach. “On the one hand we are opening ourselves up to the future. On the other hand, we understand the dangers and will try to balance the two,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet in broadcast remarks. According to the new policy, which must still be ratified by parliament, people caught smoking marijuana would be fined rather than arrested and prosecuted. Criminal procedures would be launched only against those caught repeatedly with the drug. Selling and growing marijuana would remain criminal offenses in Israel.
***Are there health benefits to staying in the work force longer? The scientific research is inconclusive, though it tends to tilt toward “yes.” This is particularly pronounced among people who find work fulfilling in the first place, who tend to be office workers, teachers and others whose workplace is not, say, a factory or a construction site. More so than people in most previous generations, baby boomers are continuing to work past their early 60s, often well beyond. Sometimes, this means delaying retirement from a longtime job, but it can instead involve some kind of bridge job, part-time employment or self-employment. It turns out that, these days, older Americans who retire — in the sense of completely withdrawing from the paid labor force — are increasingly in the minority.
LBN-MUSIC INSIDER: ***Jerry Lee Lewis is suing his daughter, claiming she isolated and abused him by giving him a diet of drug cocktails. According to court documents the “Great Balls of Fire” singer says that his daughter, Phoebe, took advantage while she managed her father’s career from 2000 to 2012, and conspired to spend his fortune with her husband,Ezekiel Loftin.
LBN-NOTICED: ***Chance the Rapper jumping onstage at Studio Paris in Chicago on Thursday night while Bulls playersJimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade were in the crowd. ***Michael Bloomberg, Mike Myers, “South Park” creatorsTrey Parker and Matt Stone, Brooke Shields and John McEnroe at the opening of artist Damian Loeb’s show at Acquavella Galleries in NYC. ***Chris Noth at Carmine’s in Times Square in NYC . ***Charlie Rose dining near 1980s Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Kim Alexis at Nello in NYC. ***Media expert and author Michael Levine having dinner last night at the popular Fork in the Road restaurant on Main Street in Santa Monica.
“Without Notes” with Isabella Sinclaire – Episode 3: Creating a Brand – How does a woman from a small town in the south become the most famous dominatrix in the world? https://youtu.be/dTDBovmH-P8
LBN-R.I.P.: ***Tommy Page, a former pop star whose song “I’ll Be Your Everything” went to No. 1 in 1990 and who later became a record company executive, publisher of Billboard magazine, a vice president at Pandora and an executive at The Village Voice, has died. He was 46. Billboard.com Editorial Director, Denise Warner said Page was found dead Friday in New York of an apparent suicide. Page started at the magazine in 2011 as associate publisher and was promoted to publisher a year later.
LBN-COMMENTARY by Frank Bruni: Donald Trump’s riches, rages and romance with Russia all demand scrutiny. They shape our fates. His meals don’t, so leave the man to his supper. Let him eat steak. Let him order it as he wishes and slather it with whatever he pleases. It’s going down his gullet, not ours, and if we’re honest, we all have dietary quirks and foibles. They’re just not out in the open for all of Twitter to mock. When did we turn into such food snobs here in America, land of the free and home of the Bloomin’ Onion? We fancy ourselves a more egalitarian, unpretentious people than our European counterparts, but we’re prigs these days about matters gastronomic. Trump felt the lash of that last week, when details of his meal at his Washington hotel with the British politician Nigel Farage were revealed. He ordered his usual slab of beef in his usual manner, “well done and with ketchup, as if the entree would be accompanied by a sippy cup,” wrote my friend Tom Sietsema, The Washington Post’s restaurant critic. That’s a great line, and just as witty was Sietsema’s call for “a moment of silence for the cow, the condiment and what most chefs would call a forced marriage.”
LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:….
LBN-OVERHEARD: ***Justin Timberlake
and Jessica Biel
are making America Skate Again! The actress turned 35 Friday and her husband threw her a fabulous roller-skating birthday party. Biel posted on her Instagram page an adorable photo of the two wearing patriotic-themed T-shirts bearing the words “Make America Skate Again.” She paired her look with’70s-style shiny blue bell-bottoms. Timberlake, 36, posted on his own page a video of him skating in a red, white and blue jacket and calf-high socks, rolled up shorts and…is that a fanny pack we see?? That’s pretty bomb diggity. ***Winona Ryder
is still “super embarrassed” by the bizarre faces she made at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in January, when her show “Stranger Things” won. We’re told Ryder refers to the affair as “Facegate” and has explained that she “couldn’t hear very well, and somehow it just caused her to make all those crazy faces,” when her castmate David Harbour
made an emotional speech. We hear she’s “been ‘facepalming’ ever since” her adorable punim launched a thousand memes and baffled viewers.
LBN E-Lert Edited By Addison Beaulieu
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