Donald J. Trump, legendary among U.S. Presidents for his aversion to reading, demanded on Thursday that members of his White House circle act out Michael Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury,” in a command performance in the Oval Office.
Sources who sat through the private performance of “Fire and Fury” said that Sanders’s portrayal of Bannon was particularly impressive.
The President, who sat stone-faced as the spectacle unfolded, became increasingly angry and agitated, especially as he witnessed Kellyanne Conway’s scathingly sarcastic portrayal of herself.
Source: White House Staff Forced to Act Out Michael Wolff Book for Non-Reading President | The New Yorker
His original idea, he says, was to write a fly-on-the-wall account of Trump’s first hundred days.
“The president himself encouraged this idea. But given the many fiefdoms in the White House that came into open conflict from the first days of the administration, there seemed no one person able to make this happen. Equally, there was no one to say ‘Go away.’ Hence I became more a constant interloper than an invited guest.”
Wolff’s methods will doubtless attract more scrutiny. In some places, he re-creates entire scenes, complete with dialogue, without explicitly identifying his sources.
In others, he attributes withering comments about Trump to some of his current and former aides: “For Steve Mnuchin and Reince Priebus, the president was an ‘idiot.’ For Gary Cohn, he was ‘dumb as shit.’ For H.R. McMaster he was a ‘dope.’ The list went on.”
Source: Michael Wolff’s Withering Portrait of President Donald Trump | The New Yorker
Two critical vulnerabilities that affect modern computer processing chips are about to become a huge headache for governments worldwide.
The vulnerabilities could allow hackers to pilfer sensitive data from virtually all modern computing devices, ranging from computers to smartphones to cloud infrastructure. Experts believe that they may be the most dangerous computer processor flaws to date.
Source: Critical computer flaws set up security challenge in Washington | TheHill
In the first major step toward the administration’s promised expansion of offshore drilling, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said nearly all of the nation’s outer continental shelf is being considered for drilling, including areas off the coasts of Maine, California, Florida and Alaska.
Source: Trump proposes massive expansion of offshore drilling | TheHill
FBI agents from Little Rock, Ark., where the foundation was started, have taken the lead in the investigation and have interviewed at least one witness in the last month, and law enforcement officials said additional activities are expected in the coming weeks.
The officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the probe is examining whether the Clintons promised or performed any policy favors in return for largesse to their charitable efforts or whether donors made commitments of donations in hopes of securing government outcomes.
Source: FBI launches new Clinton Foundation investigation | TheHill
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing a barrage of criticism from both parties for ending a policy that gave states the flexibility to allow sales of recreational marijuana.
Republicans, primarily from states that have legalized marijuana, joined Democrats in slamming the decision and vowing to take action to pressure Sessions to reverse course.
Source: Sessions torched by lawmakers for marijuana move | TheHill
The heaviest blow for Bannon came as one of his most important financial backers, Rebekah Mercer, issued a rare public rebuke of the strategist in a statement first reported by the Washington Post on Thursday afternoon.
Even conservative strategists who harbor some sympathy for Bannon are shocked at the speed of his apparent fall.
Source: The Memo: Bannon fights for survival | TheHill
“When I saw my private website addresses from Firefox being dumped by the tool I wrote, I was really shocked,” Gruss told Reuters in an email interview, describing how he had unlocked personal data that should be secured.
Daniel Gruss, Moritz Lipp and Michael Schwarz, working from their homes on a weekend in early December, messaged each other furiously to verify the result.
“We sat for hours in disbelief until we eliminated any possibility that this result was wrong,” said Gruss, whose mind kept racing even after powering down his computer, so he barely caught a wink of sleep.
Source: How a researcher hacked his own computer and found ‘worst’ chip flaw
People struggle against wind and snow at the Jersey shore in Long Branch. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Source: Blizzard roars into Northeast | Reuters.com
The U.S. Justice Department has begun an investigation into whether the Clinton Foundation conducted “pay-to-play” politics or other illegal activities during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, The Hill reported on Thursday, citing law enforcement officials and a witness.
The newspaper said FBI agents from Little Rock, Arkansas, where the foundation began, had taken the lead in the investigation and interviewed at least one witness in the past month. Law enforcement officials told The Hill that additional activities were expected in coming weeks.
Source: Justice Dept. launches new Clinton Foundation probe: The Hill