FROM Michael Calderone
New life for an American institution: Leaking… Every administration is subject to leaks of information, but the Era of Donald Trump is setting some kind of record. The President portrays himself as a victim, telling reporters, "The entire thing has been a witch hunt and there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, I can always talk for myself – and the Russians, zero. I think it divides the country." But this week began with news that he was the leaker of intelligence secrets to Russia. Since then, reports about Israel, Turkey, James Comey and Michael Flynn have been attributed to "anonymous sources." Who are they? What do they want? Leaks can be self-serving, even against the law or a threat to national security. Are they, sometimes, necessary reinforcement of the people’s right to know?
Trump takes questions from the press Today, Donald Trump held his first news conference in six months — staged at Trump Tower in New York -- while his cabinet nominees were being scrutinized by Senate Committees in Washington. For the first time, the President-elect said he believes the Russians hacked Hillary Clinton's campaign and called about potential relations with Vladimir Putin "an asset, not a liability." Trump thanked some news outlets for not publishing an unsubstantiated dossier published in full by BuzzFeed, but refused to take a follow up question from CNN's Jim Acosta. Michael Calderone is senior media reporter for the Huffington Post .
All Trump All the Time Broadcast and cable networks are breaking the rules for news coverage of a presidential campaign. No other candidate could just call on the phone and get on the air to hold forth before details of the terror attacks in Belgium had been reported. Donald Trump has received almost $2 billion worth of free media coverage, building audience share and driving ad revenue through the roof. No presidential candidate has received so much free time as the former reality star – and he is almost never called to account. Broadcast executives are unapologetic about the advantage it gives him over his competition. Is real journalism being sacrificed for the bottom line?
Who Owns the Las Vegas Review-Journal? Tonight's Republican presidential debate will be on stage at the Venetian hotel and casino, creating new interest in a local political mystery. The biggest newspaper in Nevada was changing hands. Is the owner of the Venetian also the new owner of Nevada's major newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal ? Las Vegas Strip at night Photo by Jon Sullivan Michael Calderone, senior media reporter for the Huffington Post , says the mystery raises other issues.
Politicians on Prime-Time Shows, Anti-Elitism? No candidate wants to be called "elitist," even if that means they're better than everyone else. When he played the sax for Arsenio Hall's audience in 1992, Bill Clinton established the precedent for presidential candidates to let down their hair on late-night television. This week, White House incumbent George W. Bush made it to prime-time, not with a speech from the oval office, but with some self-deprecating humor on NBC's hit game show, Deal or No Deal . Michael Calderone is media reporter for Politico.com .
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?