White House had big plans to promote serial wife beater Rob Porter before his history went public

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Rob Porter was so exemplary, he was up for a promotion. That news came just after FBI Director Christopher Wray confirmed Tuesday during testimony that the White House knew for months about the former staff secretary’s history of domestic violence. Nonetheless, he was in “serious discussions” to take on bigger roles in Donald Trump’s West Wing, writes CNN:

Porter had been actively lobbying to take on new policy portfolios outside the traditional scope of the staff secretary, one person familiar with the matter said, which included speechwriting duties and a role in planning policy rollouts. Neither of those tasks is traditionally carried out by the staff secretary.

One of the areas Porter was set to delve further into was trade policy, according to the person. Porter was a regular attendee at a weekly trade meeting among top-level administration officials.

He was also being considered for the deputy chief of staff position, another source familiar with the situation said.

John Kelly was reportedly one of Porter’s biggest fans and wanted to be sure he was “being used to his full potential.”

Kelly “definitely wanted to expand his role,” a source familiar tells CNN.

Trump will almost surely have someone’s head over this, as he doesn’t look kindly on bad press generated by others. He prefers being he sole source of his own humiliation.

As the fallout from the Porter scandal has stretched into a new week at the White House, a frustrated President Donald Trump has spent his days phoning allies and associates for advice on how to handle negative coverage, sources familiar with the conversations say.

Trump’s also got that sads that the main focus of his “agenda” might be hampered by the exit of key abusers on his staff.

He is particularly concerned with advancing his immigration proposals, a policy objective that has been helmed by Kelly.

And by “immigration proposals,” he means “deportations.” 

Paris Jackson Shares Rare Childhood Home Video to Celebrate Big Brother Prince's Birthday

Paris Jackson is taking a trip down memory lane — and giving fans a rare glimpse into her super private childhood.

The 19-year-old daughter of late pop icon Michael Jackson shared a home movie featuring her younger self goofing around with older brother Prince in honor of his 21st birthday, on Tuesday. The footage featured the siblings playfully fighting for camera time while someone filmed and encouraged them, “Let me see you dance.” Prince busted out a few dance moves before Paris got a close-up and made a funny face.

“My dearest brother. i could fly to the moon and back a thousand times and the distance still wouldn’t amount to how much i adore you,” Paris captioned the video post on Instagram. “I’ve always looked up to you, and to this day you’re still the greatest role model i could ever hope for. i miss these days where we could wrestle and i’d still have a chance at winning, though. i miss playing hot wheels and my little pony with you, i miss fighting like pirates and trying to cast spells with our harry potter wands.

“i miss the Saturdays where we would sleep in and eat porridge and OJ and watch gargoyles and  (and sometimes cartoons in arabic?), and staying up late listening to you tell us wild bed time stories that always had a crazy twist at the end.”

She continued, “You’ve always been my best friend in the whole wide universe and i’m so lucky to have you in my life. i couldn’t have wished for our friendship to turn out any better. we may not have our water guns and crash bandicoot, but we have so much more. you’re the most fun, genuine, determined and hilarious person i know. and it makes ma soul happy to know dat i can always count on you, and no matter where we are in the world and in life, my home is with you and the little guy. i love you so much, gooko. i’m so proud of you. happy birthday.”

In an interview with the Today show in October, Prince gushed about his bond with Paris and 15-year-old brother Blanket Jackson, who now goes by B.G. or Bigi. “Me and my siblings get along really well — especially my sister,” Prince told Today‘s Natalie Morales. “She’s grown so much and she’s been able to really step up. I don’t really see myself as her older brother. We’re equal partners when it comes down to it. B.G. is just so mature for his age. It’s a pretty strong bond.”

RELATED VIDEO: Life After Michael: How Jackson’s Kids Have Struggled And Succeeded After His Death

The three collaborated over Halloween to design mazes and a haunted house for the second annual Costume for a Cause event. “It’s something that’s bred into us, to really give back to the community,” Prince explained. “My dad always taught me to lead by example, so I hope I can set a good example that you can have fun by helping other people and you can make a change just by doing that.”

“I think he would definitely be proud of the type of work that we’re doing and giving back to the community,” added Prince, who started his own charitable foundation dedicated to helping foster children who have aged out of the system called Heal Los Angeles.

Chelsea face big battle with Paris-Saint Germain for Conte's replacement; Arsenal too?

Chelsea face big battle with Paris-Saint Germain for Conte’s replacement; Arsenal too? – originally posted on Sportslens.com

Chelsea face major competition from Paris Saint-Germain to secure the services of former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique.

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has claimed the 47-year-old has been approached by intermediaries acting on behalf of both clubs with a view to appointing him this summer.

Current Chelsea boss Antonio Conte signed a new two-year contract at Stamford Bridge in July 2017, but he has been widely tipped to leave the club at the end of the season.

“It will be an interesting dilemma for him, because he of course will want to go to a team who can challenge for absolutely everything,” Balague told Sky Sports.

“It’s quite clear that the PSG option provides him with the opportunity to win titles, but in the case of Chelsea, he has been preparing for the possibility of going to the Premier League for a long time.

“He has been learning English for a while, and he has told me in the past that he has a fascination with the Premier League, but his future is not determined yet.”

Enrique left Barcelona at the end of last season after winning nine major trophies during his time in charge at the Nou Camp.

He decided to take a year out of the game, but he is eager to step back into management this summer and Balague says Enrique could also have offers from elsewhere.

“I haven’t heard of an offer from Arsenal – of course he would be a candidate if they got rid of Arsene Wenger, but I don’t think they have reached that stage yet,” he added.

“It’s an interesting situation for Luis Enrique in terms of who will go with him, but he is determined to work again next season if the conditions are right.

“Most of his favoured backroom staff are either at Barcelona or Celta. Juan Carlos Unzue is his usual No 2, and he’s Celta manager at the moment, and I’ve got the impression he wants to continue being a No 1.

“What Luis Enrique wants to do is coach at the highest level, and he has the opportunity to do so either at PSG or Chelsea.

“But there is no point in making a decision now, because there will be more clubs interested in him later in the season.”

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

'The Swamp' scored big time as businesses jockeyed to cash in on Trump's tax giveaway

The so-called “swamp” isn’t going anywhere under Donald Trump. In fact, it scored a huge payday last year as lobbyists stormed Capitol Hill to help their clients capitalize on GOP lawmakers’ giant tax giveaway to big business. CBS writes:

The figures for the heavyweights are eye-popping.

The National Association of Realtors tallied $22.2 million between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, according to newly filed disclosure reports. That’s double what the organization spent in the third quarter on lobbying activities. The Business Roundtable spent $17.3 million in the fourth quarter, nearly quadruple the amount over the three previous months, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported spending $16.8 million, a $3.7 million increase.

President Donald Trump swept into the White House promising to “drain the swamp” in Washington, but lobbyists continue to wield considerable influence and they plied their trade with vigor as Congress crafted the $1.5 trillion tax-cut package that Trump signed into law in late December.

The nonprofit group Public Citizen found that upward of 5,000 lobbyists swarmed the Capitol to make sure their clients profited from the GOP’s tax rewrite.

Unfortunately, any American taxpayer who isn’t a millionaire or billionaire didn’t have much leverage as Republicans picked the winners and losers of their tax overhaul. So most American taxpayers came out losers in that negotiation. But not corporate America or the top 1 percent—they did just peachy.

Here comes the Trump budget: Big cuts for struggling families, big spending for military hardware

Donald Trump is releasing his second budget Monday, and … it’s a Donald Trump budget. In the government, budgets are statements of priorities rather than determining actual spending, but a statement of priorities is always a good way to assess a politician. And Trump’s priorities aren’t even a little bit surprising: defense spending and going after immigrants, yes; the services American families rely on, no.

Trump’s budget will lay out “an aggressive set of spending reforms” to reduce the deficit by $3 trillion over a decade, according to a preview released by the White House on Sunday.

“Just like every American family, the Budget makes hard choices: fund what we must, cut where we can, and reduce what we borrow,” White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney said in a statement.

Maybe if Republicans hadn’t already made the choice to give corporations and wealthy people a giant tax break, the budget choices would be a little less hard. Except the language of hard choices is dishonest here: people like Donald Trump and Mick Mulvaney revel in slashing programs that matter to middle- and working-class families.

But there’s one thing that definitely won’t be cut:

Trump is seeking a massive boost to the Pentagon to allow for a “ready, larger, and more lethal military,” the White House said in the preview.

Gotta have that shiny hardware for Trump’s parades. Also in line for some Trump budget cash: border security and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s ability to detain and imprison immigrants. And while Trump is finally at least talking about spending some money on the opioid crisis, he’s looking at a law enforcement approach much more than treatment and recovery.

But when you cut through the rhetoric against immigrants and in favor of hundreds of millions of dollars for unmanned tankers and against Medicaid and food stamps, remember this: all the talk of “hard choices” hinges on Republicans already having made the choice to give corporations and rich people a huge, deficit-exploding tax cut.

Five Things: Arsenal boss in denial, Man City striker the star of the show, Newcastle dig in for big win

Five Things: Arsenal boss in denial, Man City striker the star of the show, Newcastle dig in for big win – originally posted on Sportslens.com

It was another fun-packed weekend in the Premier League, with plenty of areas for discussion at both ends of the table.

Manchester City’s victory over Leicester City left them eleventy million points clear at the top of the standings and they could have things wrapped up by the end of March.

Sportslens takes a look at five talking points from over the weekend.

Wenger in denial about his defence

Arsene Wenger hit back at Martin Keown’s criticism of Arsenal’s defence after Saturday’s derby defeat, but the club’s former centre-back was spot on with his assessment.

Harry Kane was given a free header for the winning goal, but the Spurs striker could easily have had a hat-trick against the Gunners’ flaky backline.

Arsenal look dangerous going forward, but they are still an accident waiting to happen at the back. The first step in solving a problem is recognising there is one. Wenger’s continued denials are a joke.

Hernandez proving his worth with West Ham

Javier Hernandez’s goal against Watford on Saturday was his third in his last four games for West Ham and he’s beginning to show his true form for the club.

Hernandez struggled to hit it off with Andy Carroll, but he is thriving with the big striker out injured once again.

The Mexican looked to be on his way out of the club during January, but in this sort of form West Ham would be silly to let him go.

Aguero the star of the show

Kevin De Bruyne has picked up many of the plaudits for Manchester City this season, but Sergio Aguero demonstrated his own value to the team against Leicester City on Saturday.

City were off the pace in the first half, but Aguero’s four-goal haul after the break perfectly showcased his finishing ability.

His fourth was a touch of magic, taking a pass 25 yards from goal and unleashing a spectacular shot that rattled the upright and went straight in. Simply breathtaking.

Benitez can keep Newcastle up

It’s been a frustrating season for Newcastle United fans, especially with the ongoing uncertainty over whether owner Mike Ashley will ever sell the club.

Manager Rafa Benitez has made no secret of his frustration over what he believes to be a lack of investment in the squad, but Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Manchester United certainly boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation.

The Red Devils created enough chances to win the game, but Newcastle were competitive throughout and this result could be crucial in their fight for survival.

Aldridge off target with striker comments

There’s a few questionable pundits around the Premier League at the moment and John Aldridge is pretty high up the list.

Aldridge claimed Liverpool’s potential title challenge this season has been hampered by the lack of a recognised striker, but one thing you can’t accuse the Reds of is a shortage of firepower.

Robert Firmino and Mohamed Salah have both broken through the 20-goal barrier in all competitions and the former Liverpool striker’s views are laughable.

Unresolved defensive issues remain Liverpool’s biggest problem, while a creative midfielder also wouldn’t go amiss. Scoring enough goals is the least of their worries.

Aldridge was a superb finisher during his playing career. Punditry? Lousy.

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Was Omarosa Hospitalized Following a Celebrity Big Brother Competition?

Omarosa Manigault Newman was reportedly hospitalized following a Celebrity Big Brother competition, according to a conversation between fellow contestants Ross Mathews and Marissa Jaret Winokur.

In a conversation on Friday night captured by the 24-hour Big Brother cameras, Mathews and the Tony Award-winning actress can be heard discussing Manigault Newman and referring to her being taken to a hospital. At one point, Mathews asks Winokur if she thought the Celebrity Apprentice would be returning to the show.

“I don’t know,” the Broadway star replied, before bringing up that a contestant from the last season of Big Brother had been allowed to return to the series after undergoing knee surgery — and she had even been allowed to vote while she was still being hospitalized.

“Remember that girl Christmas was in the hospital, she had knee surgery during the last season and then she voted from the hospital,” Winokur said. 

“It doesn’t seem fair,” Mathews replied.

RELATED VIDEO: ‘Celebrity Big Brother:’ Is Omarosa’s White House Revelation Gameplay?

According to Mathews and Winokur, the incident occurred during Friday night’s Head of Household competition, during what appeared to be a dizzy bowling-style challenge.

Discussing what occurred during the challenge Mathews said, “You knocked her out. You just did so wonderfully.”

RELATED: Celebrity Big Brother’s Omarosa Warns That Country Should Be Worried About Trump: ‘It’s Bad’

“Even though I didn’t win the competition, I won that round, you know?” Winokur agreed before adding that she “spun around in a circle and bowled her a– off.”

“I put her in the hospital,” she continued, before quickly adding that the reality star was “going to be OK.”  

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Later in the night, Winokur reportedly claimed that she thought Manigualt Newman had claimed she had an asthma attack so she could get some rest from the house at a hospital, according to TMZ.

Reps for Manigualt Newman and CBB did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Celebrity Big Brother next airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Celebrity Big Brother's Chuck Liddell Reveals the Secret Message Omarosa Gave Him After His Eviction

It was a total knockout for Chuck Liddell in the Celebrity Big Brother house.

The UFC fighter became the first houseguest to be evicted on Friday night after the majority of the alliance formed in the house used their votes to takedown him instead of former Big Time Rush singer James Maslow.

At first it seemed that Maslow was the target of the alliance formed by the women in the house and Ross Mathews, but Shannon Elizabeth flipped the vote when she explained to the other members of the alliance that she thought Omarosa Manigault Newman (who was reportedly hospitalized recently following a competition) and Keshia Knight Pulliam made a side deal to keep Liddell.

Following his eviction, Liddell gave a behind-the-scenes look at his eviction to PEOPLE and chatted about his predictions for the show.

PEOPLE: Were you shocked to be the first one evicted from the house?

Liddell: Yes, I was very sad. I had been waiting to get to that point where things were going fast, and I really wanted America to be able to see me do these competitions. I think they’re missing out.

Why do you think the house ultimately voted for you to be evicted over James?

I think because I was one of the strongest players. They were worried about me. James was able to convince them that I was more of a threat than he was.

Do you regret making the move to open up your gift bag (which provided an opportunity to reverse the Head of Household)? It arguably prompted your nomination for eviction.

I think it was a play that needed to be made. If I could have gotten that recast, I could have flipped everything. It might have been a better idea to just slip by for a little bit but that’s not my style. I’m aggressive.

When you were saying goodbye to the housemates, Omarosa slipped you a piece of paper. What was that?

Oh, she gave me a phone number to call her mom.

What did you make of Omarosa in the competition? Did you know a lot about her going in?

I didn’t know too much going in. I met her before a fight, and I liked her. I heard a lot of people in there that she’s a lot of different things, but I thought she was great. She used to be a volleyball player, I think she’ll go far in this competition. I hope she does.

Who were you most surprised to see when you first walked in the house?

I was most surprised to see Metta . I wasn’t expecting to see Metta in there. I met him a few times and I always liked watching him play basketball.

What won’t you miss about being in the house?

It was kind of nice to be out and back home, but I miss being in the game. I was just learning the game, just getting it down, and I wanted to show everyone what I could do and show them the wild, goofy guy that the more pent up I get, the more funny I get.

Any predictions for who might win?

I would say Omarosa is going to be tough in there. I think she’s got a shot. Shannon —I think she’s got a big target and people are coming after her. Maybe Marissa . She might slip in and knows the game. She might be able to slip by everybody, and don’t sleep on her. She might be able to pull it off.

You now get to be on the jury to pick the winner. How are you going to make your decision?

I need to watch the rest of the season and see what happens before I decide who I would pick. I mean, there’s a few people I won’t pick but it depends on who gets there.

While talking with host Julie Chen after your eviction, you said you want to be on Amazing Race next with your wife. What’re the chances that’ll happen?

I don’t know, we’ll see! I’ll keep plugging it.

Celebrity Big Brother airs Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.