Feb 16, 2018

Ronan Farrow's next target: Donald Trump

Photo: STEPHEN CHERNIN/AFP/Getty Images

"Donald Trump, a Playboy Model, and a System for Concealing Infidelity: One woman’s account of clandestine meetings, financial transactions, and legal pacts designed to hide an extramarital affair," by Ronan Farrow for The New Yorker:

The details: In 2006, "Trump and [Karen McDougal, a former Playmate of the Year] began an affair, which McDougal later memorialized in an eight-page, handwritten document provided to The New Yorker by John Crawford, a friend of McDougal’s. When I showed McDougal the document, she expressed surprise that I had obtained it but confirmed that the handwriting was her own."

  • "The interactions that McDougal outlines in the document share striking similarities with the stories of other women who claim to have had sexual relationships with Trump, or who have accused him of propositioning them for sex or sexually harassing them. McDougal describes their affair as entirely consensual."
  • "[H]er account provides a detailed look at how Trump and his allies used clandestine hotel-room meetings, payoffs, and complex legal agreements to keep affairs — sometimes multiple affairs he carried out simultaneously — out of the press."
  • "On November 4, 2016, four days before the election, the Wall Street Journalreported that American Media, Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer, had paid a hundred and fifty thousand dollars for exclusive rights to McDougal’s story, which it never ran."
  • "Several people close to McDougal argued that such untold stories could be used as leverage against the President."
  • "A White House spokesperson said in a statement that Trump denies having had an affair with McDougal: 'This is an old story that is just more fake news. The President says he never had a relationship with McDougal.'"

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Netanyahu says July 1 deadline for West Bank annexation won't change

Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday at a Likud Party faction meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, that his July 1 deadline for starting the process of annexation in the West Bank will not change, according to people in attendance.

Why it matters: The White House and the State Department have stressed over the last few weeks that the deadline set by Netanyahu is "not sacred" to the Trump administration — and that any discussion of annexation needs to be in the context of renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina if capacity reduced

President Trump on stage during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Ohio. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

President Trump threatened in a series of Monday tweets to move this summer's Republican National Convention from Charlotte if North Carolina's Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, doesn't allow the event to be held at full capacity.

The state of play: Mandy Cohen, the state's health and human services secretary, said last week that the GOP should "plan for the worst" as mass gatherings will be a "very big challenge" if the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to increase, per NPR.

The wreckage of summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.