Lawyer Reportedly Paid Porn Star Hush Money for Sexual Encounter With Trump

If we know one thing about President Trump, it's that he's a con artist. Since he took office, the Washington Post has kept track of the number of lies he's told under oath; on Jan. 10, days before he's completed one year as our president, he's already logged 2,001 fictitious claims, a truly absurd feat.

So it's no surprise that when a new report from Wall Street Journal surfaced, citing that a longtime lawyer for the Trump Organization paid $130,000 to a porn star over a sexual encounter she had with Trump in 2006—Trump denied it.

The report states that Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, “arranged a $130,000 payment to a former adult-film star a month before the 2016 election as part of an agreement that precluded her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump.” Both Trump's lawyer and Stephanie Clifford—known as Stormy Daniels in the adult film industry—deny the encounter as well.

These sort of charges aren't new for Trump. During his presidential campaign, more than a handful of women lodged sexual assault allegations against him, and during the more recent, viral #MeToo campaign, even more women came forward. While Clifford has admitted that her relationship with Trump was consensual, that certainly wasn't the case for the rest of these women whom he violated.

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Quavo Tells Georgia Bulldogs to Focus on Winning Instead of Trump

It’s hard to ignore President Trump in any capacity whether you’re an athlete or scrolling and whispering WTF to yourself on Twitter, but Migos' Quavo is asking the Georgia Bulldogs to do just that as Trump will reportedly be in attendance for this year’s National Championship game.

“Focus on winning the national championship game,” the rapper said in an interview with TMZ Sports when asked about the possibly of athletes kneeling during the anthem. “Don't worry about nothing else. Just focus on winning.”

As a Bulldogs fan, Quavo’s made it clear his main priority is seeing his team win as he's watched them practice and put in the work to make it this far in the season. Quavo also joined the team on the field when they won the Rose Bowl earlier this week.

With the game coming up this Monday, many wondered if the players would make a statement and end up the target of the President’s next tweetstorm. The gesture, met with tons of pushback from fans, NFL owners and Trump himself, has come to highlight the persistent problems with police brutality and racism in America.

As much as fans might want athlete to steer clear of making political statements, it’s tricky to separate the two. Former 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick found himself without an NFL home at the start of the 2017/2018 season due to public and team owner backlash over him taking a knee.

Still, Quavo urged the Bulldogs to focus on their main objective: taking the title.

“You should be going straight in,” he said, “and worrying about football.”

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LaVar Ball Keeps Feud Going by Posting GIF of Himself Dunking on Donald Trump

LaVar Ball isn't going to let go of a great marketing opportunity his feud with Donald Trump. On Tuesday, Ball appeared on CNN's New Day where he used Trump's words against him, complaining that he “didn’t get a thank you” from the President of the United States for the three pairs of red, white, and blue Big Baller Brand sneakers he sent to the White House. 

Back in November, Ball was adamant that he would not be saying thank you to Trump, even after he claimed to be the one who spoke to Chinese president Xi Jinping​, and helped bring LaVar's son LiAngelo, as well as former UCLA freshmen Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, back home. “I don't have to go around saying thank you to everybody,” he told Chris Cuomo during their interview last month. 

Earlier today, LaVar added more fuel to the fire by posting a GIF which shows him dunking on Trump. 

When the GIF zooms in on the Twitter app on the phone, you can see a tweet from Ball's account, saying, “Stay in yo lane @realDonaldTrump! The Big Baller will put you on a poster.” It will probably only be a matter of time before Trump responds and gives LaVar exactly what he wants—more free yet valuable publicity. 

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Donald Trump’s Tweets Gave LaVar Ball an Estimated $13 Million Advertising Boost

Aside from being marketed as the biggest retail shopping day of the year, November 24 marked the expected ship date of Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball’s $495 ZO2 Prime Remix. 

Ball Family patriarch LaVar Ball recently took to Twitter to send a not so subtle reminder about the launch.

“The only thing better than finishing this chocolate cake is Big Baller Brand has released the ZO2s,” Ball said via a video he posted to Twitter Friday. “They are in flight…tonight.” 

Lonzo Ball, the actual face of Big Baller Brand, is in the midst of an uneven season punctuated by a historic triple-double and cringe-worthy shooting performances, while his father and BBB founder LaVar Ball has squared off with President Trump and any talking head that would grant him airtime.

Trump’s infamous “I should have left them in jail” tweet regarding LiAngelo Ball’s shoplifting incident and what was, to his twisted mind, LaVar’s insufficiently obsequious response, may ultimately prove to be a net positive. The tweet from November 19 might have provided eight figures worth of essentially free advertising for the Ball’s upstart apparel company.

“LaVar Ball’s ongoing feud with President Donald Trump is estimated to have given the company more than $13 million in equivalent advertising value, according to a sponsorship evaluation firm,” ESPN’s Nick DePaula and Darren Rovell noted in a recent ESPN report.

To be clear, this wasn’t exactly a feud. A sitting president sent some petty tweets at American citizens for not showing what he deemed the proper amount of gratitude for an international incident he has yet to prove he helped fix

Much has been made over Ball and his father eschewing major sneaker brands to launch their Big Baller Brand imprint. DePaula and Rovell estimate the family’s reported asking price of $1 billion cost them a $10 million guaranteed deal from at least one of the four major sports apparel companies.

You can read DePaula and Rovell’s full report via ESPN.

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A Timeline of Donald Trump’s Beef with LaVar Ball

At some point, you just knew that Donald Trump and LaVar Ball were going to cross paths in 2017. After all of the completely off-the-wall shit that has taken place this year, it wouldn’t be right if we went into 2018 without their names being linked for one reason or another. But we really have to give it up to them: In our wildest dreams, we couldn’t imagine them being connected as a result of a story involving Louis Vuitton sunglasses, shoplifting, and international politics.

And yet, here we are! With still about a month to go in 2017, the inevitable Donald Trump vs. LaVar Ball feud that we all knew was going to happen has happened. The two engaged in a war of words over the weekend, and thanks to their beef, LaVar made an appearance on CNN on Monday night that will more than likely receive a response from Trump.

Let’s take a look at how we got here. Here’s a timeline of Donald Trump’s beef with the head of the Ball family.

Nov. 7, 2017: LiAngelo Ball and two UCLA teammates are arrested in China for shoplifting

During a trip to China to take part in a game against Georgia Tech, LiAngelo and his two teammates, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, were arrested after they were caught stealing from a Louis Vuitton store near their team hotel. They were released from police custody but were ordered to give up their passports and stay at the hotel until an investigation into the shoplifting allegations took place. Initial reports indicated they could face 3 to 10 years in prison.

Nov. 8, 2017: LaVar Ball says LiAngelo’s arrest “ain’t a big deal”

Despite the possibility of the serious prison sentence that was first reported, LiAngelo’s dad LaVar downplayed the situation. “He’ll be fine,” LaVar told ESPN’s Arash Markazi. “Everyone’s making it a big deal. It ain’t that big a deal.”

Nov. 9, 2017: LaVar is told not to comment on LiAngelo’s arrest again

Just one day after LaVar said LiAngelo’s shoplifting arrest wasn’t “that big a deal,” LaVar refused to comment further on the situation. ESPN’s Arash Markazi reported that someone had told LaVar not to speak about LiAngelo any further until he was allowed to return to the U.S.

Nov. 13, 2017: Trump asks China’s President Xi Jinping to help settle LiAngelo’s case

Several days after LiAngelo was arrested, The Washington Post reported that Trump reached out to President Xi Jinping of China to try and resolve the case. When asked about it, Trump said that President Xi had been “terrific” with regards to his request. But he said that the shoplifting case was “not something that should have happened” in the first place. He also reportedly referred to LiAngelo and his teammates as “knuckleheads” while speaking with President Xi.

Nov. 14, 2017: LiAngelo and his teammates are allowed to leave China

One week after being arrested, LiAngelo and his teammates were finally allowed to leave their hotel and board a flight for Los Angeles. The shoplifting charges that were originally filed against them were reportedly dropped, clearing the way for them to make their way home.

Nov. 15, 2017: Trump calls for LiAngelo and his teammates to thank him for his help

Almost as soon as LiAngelo and his teammates arrived back in the U.S., Trump sent out a tweet that seemed to suggest he was expecting them to say thank you to him at some point. “Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump?” he wrote. “They were headed for 10 years in jail!”

Nov. 15, 2017: LiAngelo and his teammates thank Trump

During a press conference in which all three UCLA players apologized for their actions in China, they also offered up their thanks to Trump.

Nov. 18, 2017: LaVar says he doesn’t think Trump helped LiAngelo and his teammates

While speaking with ESPN a few days after LiAngelo’s safe arrival back in the U.S., LaVar said he didn’t believe Trump played a big part in bringing the UCLA players home. “Who?” LaVar said. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

LaVar continued: “As long as my boy’s back here, I’m fine. I’m happy with how things were handled. A lot of people like to say a lot of things that they thought happened over there. Like I told him, 'They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes.' I’m from L.A. I’ve seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses. My son has built up enough character that one bad decision doesn’t define him.”

Nov. 19, 2017: Trump says he should have left LiAngelo and his teammates in jail

In response to LaVar’s “Who?” comment, Trump responded by saying that he should have left LiAngelo and his teammates in jail in China. “Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal,” he wrote. “I should have left them in jail!”

Trump added: “Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar. Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful!”

Nov. 20, 2017: LaVar refuses to thank Trump during CNN appearance

During one of LaVar’s most memorable media appearances yet, he refused to thank Trump for whatever role he played in bringing LiAngelo back to the U.S. “Did he help the boys get out?” he asked. “I don’t know. If I was going to thank someone, I would probably thank President Xi.”

Towards the end of the interview, LaVar also said the only way he would have thanked Trump is if he would have personally put LiAngelo on Air Force One to bring him home. “I would have said, 'Thank you,' if he put him on his plane and took him home,” he said. “Then I would have said, 'Thank you, Mr. Trump, for taking my boys out of China and bringing them back to the U.S.' There’s a lot of room on that plane. I would have said, 'Thank you kindly for that.'”

And at one point, LaVar also made a Trump-esque statement by saying that he played a bigger part in freeing LiAngelo than Trump did. “I had some people that had boots on the ground that knew the situation when we first jumped on there,” he said. “I keep those people in mind.”

Trump and Ball both seem like the kind of guys who want to have the last word. So we wouldn’t expect this to end anytime soon.

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Everything We Know So Far About the Mass Shooting in Las Vegas, the Deadliest in U.S. History

A gunman opened fire outside of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas during a music festival on Sunday night, killing more than 50 people and injuring at least 500 others, according to the New York Times. The suspect, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, reportedly killed himself after carrying out the mass shooting. It's already being regarded as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The shooting started shortly after 10 p.m. PT on Sunday as country singer Jason Aldean performed in front of about 20,000 fans during the Route 91 Harvest Festival across the street from Mandalay Bay. According to Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, who held a press conference early Monday morning, Paddock opened fire from a perch on the 32nd floor of the hotel, aiming into the crowd that was gathered to watch Aldean. Those in attendance at the concert are reporting that the shooting lasted for about 10 minutes. A video captured at the scene showed Aldean quickly exiting the Route 91 stage after the shooting began.

Other videos from the scene of the shooting have also surfaced on social media. Those who were in attendance at the concert have spoken about the chaos that erupted during the horrific incident.

“We heard what sounded like firecrackers going off,” one concertgoer, identified as Meghan Kearney, told MSNBC. “Then all of a sudden we heard what sounded like a machine gun. People started screaming that they were hit…People kept dropping and dropping…People were getting shot one foot away from us. People were trying to save their friends. There were gunshots everywhere. Helping them would’ve meant that we got shot, too.”

Lombardo described Paddock as a “lone wolf,” and while there was some initial speculation about what role Paddock's “companion” Marilou Danley may have played in the shooting, she was reportedly found to be out of the country on Sunday night and police do not believe she was involved in the incident. Lombardo said police are reportedly searching Paddock's home, which is located about 80 miles from Las Vegas, and investigating two vehicles, a Hyundai Tucson and a Chrysler Pacifica Touring, with ties to Paddock that were parked near Mandalay Bay.

Lombardo said Paddock does not have any known ties to international terrorist organizations, though ISIS has, without providing any evidence, suggested Paddock was working on behalf of them. Lombardo also revealed that “numerous firearms” were found in Paddock's Mandalay Bay hotel room after police used controlled explosives to enter it. Paddock may have used as many as 10 guns to carry out his attack.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval released a statement regarding the shooting on Monday morning.

President Trump released a statement on Monday morning as well and spoke about the mass shooting during a brief press conference.

Former President Barack Obama released a statement, too.

Additionally, Aldean shared his thoughts on the shooting.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has put out a phone number for anyone looking for more information on those who may have been involved in the shooting.

The FBI is also asking for help with its investigation into the shooting.

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Suddenly Woke Ray Lewis Roasted for Taking a Knee During the Ravens-Jaguars Game in London

Retired NFL linebacker Ray Lewis was seen on video kneeling (presumably in some form of peaceful protest against President Trump’s recent comments) during Sunday’s regular season contest between the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

For those who don’t remember, Lewis had one of the more interesting hot takes on free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick in early September, during what most would consider the Baltimore Ravens’ clumsily handled flirtation on signing Kaepernick.

After Ravens’ owner Steve Bisciotti essentially said he was crowdsourcing opinions from fans and Lewis on whether or not to sign Kaepernick, Lewis weighed in on Kaepernick’s 2016 decision to kneel in protest during the national anthem.

“And I’ve said this many times, we both agree, like, what he did, I’m 100 percent for racial justice, 100 percent,” Lewis said during a July appearance on Fox Sports’ Skip and Shannon: Undisputed. “Trust me, I lived it myself. So you don’t have to convince me of that part. How he did it? Totally different thing. I don’t totally agree with that.”

Once the Ravens officially passed on signing Kaepernick, Lewis told Judy Batista of Inside the NFL, part of the reason the team opted not to sign Kaepernick was because of a racially-charged tweet by radio personality Nessa “Ness Nitty” Diab, who is also Kaepernick’s girlfriend.

“Then, his girl [Colin Kaepernick's girlfriend] goes out and put out this racist gesture and doesn’t know we are in the back office about to try to get this guy signed,” Lewis said. “Steve Bisciotti has said it himself, ‘How can you crucify Ray Lewis when Ray Lewis is the one calling for Colin Kaepernick?’”

As it relates to Kaepernick, the crux of “how he did it” was kneeling during the playing of the national anthem. So the pertinent question for Lewis is, if he didn’t totally agree with Kapernick’s form of protest, why did he mimic that exact same form of protest Sunday?

While players from the Jaguars and Ravens opted for taking a knee, standing with interlocking arms, or placing a hand on the shoulder of kneeling players, plenty of Twitter users were quick to hop in Lewis’ mentions for joining in what is shaping up to be #TakeAKnee weekend in the NFL.

It probably doesn’t help that Lewis paid an early visit to Trump’s transition offices shortly after the reality show host became Commander-in-Chief. 

Sunday provided yet another reminder that Twitter never forgets, and given how wildly some NFL pundits were talking about Kaepernick last season, it’s perfectly logical to expect even the most casual of viewers to hop in their collective mentions in the wake of Trump’s comments.

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Noted Racist Joe Arpaio Violated the Civil Rights of Latinos, So Trump Pardoned Him

Failed businessman and reality television star Donald Trump has given a get out of jail free card to the xenophobic ex-sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio, by pardoning him on Friday night. The former sheriff was convicted of misdemeanor contempt of court back in July of 2017 for routinely violating the rights of Latinos and racially profiling people as illegal immigrants based on the color their skin. The conviction was punishable by up to six months in prison. 

Arpaio was a major proponent of the controversial anti-immigrant Arizona SB 1070​ bill. Trump, who has made clear his xenophobic anti-immigrant stance by calling Mexicans “rapists,” recently argued that there were good white supremacist fascists following the terrorist attack that took the life of anti-racist counter demonstrator Heather D. Heyer in Charlottesville​, VA.

Some have argued that the pardon of Arpaio, a Sheriff convicted of intentionally disobeying the orders of a federal judge by continuing to operate unlawful patrols that targeted people of color as potential illegal immigrants, is an attack on the federal judiciary, and therefore an impeachable offense. 

Folks, including multiple elected officials who have not been convicted of racist crimes, took to social media to express their outrage and frustration at the ever-troubling news.

In other The White House Is Crumbling Under Trump Administration news, Deputy Assistant to the President and hawkishly conservative American military and intelligence analyst​ Sebastian Lukács Gorka has resigned, CNN reports. Stephen K. Bannon, a rapidly decaying white supremacist pus-infested hairball with the consistency of rotten xenophobic mayonnaise who used to be Chief Strategist of the Trump Administration, also resigned just days ago. 

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Read the Tweet That Got Chrissy Teigen Blocked by Donald Trump

President Trump is apparently fed up with model and proud troll Chrissy Teigen.

Peyton Manning Tells Jimmy Kimmel Why He Agreed to Play a Round of Golf With the President

Peyton Manning played golf with President Trump in early June. During an appearance on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live,’ he explained why he did it.