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Two Giuliani associates involved in Trump-Ukraine controversy arrested on campaign finance charges

CLOSE Rudy Giuliani’s long history includes the Reagan Administration, being one of the more successful U.S. Attorneys, and a number of runs for offices. USA TODAYWASHINGTON – Two Ukrainian-born business partners, who showered Republican campaign committees with nearly $500,000 and dined with President Donald Trump at the White House, were charged Thursday in connection with…

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Two Giuliani associates involved in Trump-Ukraine controversy arrested on campaign finance charges

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Rudy Giuliani’s long history includes the Reagan Administration, being one of the more successful U.S. Attorneys, and a number of runs for offices.
USA TODAYWASHINGTON – Two Ukrainian-born business partners, who showered Republican campaign committees with nearly $500,000 and dined with President Donald Trump at the White House, were charged Thursday in connection with alleged schemes to funnel foreign money to U.S. political campaigns, federal authorities said Thursday. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman helped Rudy Giuliani meet a Ukrainian prosecutor as the president’s personal lawyer pushed for an investigation into Trump’s political rival Joe Biden. Both of the men are among prospective witnesses House Democrats want to question in their impeachment inquiry. The indictment charges Parnas, Fruman, David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin with federal campaign finance law violations. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said Parnas and Fruman were arrested Wednesday evening at Dulles International Airport near Washington as they prepared to board a flight with one-way tickets to Frankfurt, Germany. Kukushkin was arrested in San Francisco, and Correia was not yet in custody.Prosecutors allege that they “conspired to circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence by engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and state office so that the defendants could buy potential influence with candidates, campaigns and the candidates’ governments.””Protecting the integrity of our elections (is) the core function of our campaign finance laws,” Berman said Thursday, adding that the inquiry was continuing.Giuliani: Trump-Ukraine blow-up puts spotlight on Rudy Giuliani’s business ties. Is he a ‘foreign agent’?This Facebook screen shot provided by the Campaign Legal Center shows, from left, Donald Trump Jr., Tommy Hicks, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. (Photo: AP)An initial court appearance for Parnas and Fruman was delayed Thursday in Alexandria, Virginia, while prosecutors and attorneys considered possible bail conditions and when the case would be moved to New York, where the charges have been filed. Parnas and Fruman will each be held on a $1 million bond.Parnas and Fruman began attending campaign fundraising events in March 2018, the indictment alleges.According to court documents, Fruman contributed $10,000 on Nov. 1, 2018, to a Nevada state candidate. State campaign finance filings show Fruman contributed to the campaigns of two Republican candidates: Adam Laxalt, former state attorney general, and Wesley Duncan, former state assembly member.Having no significant prior history of political giving, the pair “sought to advance their personal financial interests and the political interests of at least one Ukrainian government official with whom they were working,” the indictment charges.Among their beneficiaries, according to court documents, was a U.S. congressman who received $5,400 last year from the pair who also pledged raise $20,000 for the lawmaker as they sought to enlist him in an effort to remove Marie Yovanovitch as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.  The congressman was not named in court documents, but a person familiar with the matter identified the lawmaker as former Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas.  Sessions wrote a letter last year to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, urging Yovanovitch’s ouster. The former congressman could not be immediately reached for comment. Yovanovitch was recalled in May.To hide their sources of funding and capital, Parnas and Fruman created a limited liability company called Global Energy Producers and “intentionally caused certain large contributions to be reported in the name of GEP instead of their own names,” the indictment says.When news about the Global Energy Producers’ contributions surfaced, the indictment says, an individual working with Parnas remarked that this “is what happens when you become visible … the buzzards descend.” Parnas responded, that’s “why we need to stay under the radar.” The indictment alleges that Parnas, Fruman, Correia and Kukushkin schemed with an unidentified foreign national who is a Russian citizen to get retail marijuana licenses in states, including Nevada. In or around September and October 2018, Correia drafted a table of prospective political donations. The table allegedly described a multistate licensing strategy that would funnel $1 million to $2 million in contributions to federal and state political committees.The plan allegedly included a funding schedule of two $500,000 transfers. The foreign national arranged for the funds to be wired on or around Sept. 18, 2018, and Oct. 16, 2018, from overseas accounts to a U.S. corporate bank account controlled by Fruman and another individual,” the indictment charges.The alleged conspirators are accused of taking steps to hide the foreign national’s involvement and role in the funding. In Kukushkin’s words, hiding the foreign national’s role was necessary because of “his Russian roots and current political paranoia about it,” the indictment says.Parnas and Fruman, who were born in Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union and live in Florida, have become political players in recent years. In May 2018, Parnas posted pictures on Facebook of himself and Fruman with Trump in the White House and with the president’s son Donald Jr. in California. That was the same month their company, Global Energy Producers, was credited with giving $325,000 to the committee that supports Trump’s reelection, America First Action SuperPac. The campaign contribution sparked a complaint to the Federal Election Commission – and at least two lawsuits – because of questions about the source of the money. Berman, appointed by Trump, characterized the $325,000 contribution as “one of the largest donations” received by the committee.Thursday, the committee acknowledged receiving the Global Energy Producers donation in May 2018.”In July 2018, a complaint was filed with the Federal Election Commission concerning this contribution,” the committee said in a written statement. “There is also separate litigation pending in Florida that concerns these funds. Accordingly, America First Action placed that contribution in a segregated bank account, it has not been used for any purpose and the funds will remain in this segregated account until these matters are resolved.  We take our legal obligations seriously and scrupulously comply with the law and any suggestion otherwise is false.”Igor Fruman, left, and Lev Parnas were arrested. (Photo: Alexandria, Virginia Sheriff’s Office)Three House committees – Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight and Reform – scheduled depositions Thursday with Parnas and Friday with Fruman to ask how they fit in with Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Those panels have subpoenaed documents from Giuliani and Secretary of State Pompeo.Giuliani declined comment Thursday.Attorney John Dowd, who represents the two men, had earlier notified the committees that they were given too little notice to prepare. Dowd did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.What role did Parnas and Fruman play?The impeachment investigation has focused on a phone call July 25 in which Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden. Text messages between top State Department officials suggested the demand was a trade-off for nearly $400 million in military aid. Trump has tweeted that as president, he has “an absolute right, perhaps even a duty,” to investigate corruption. He defended his discussion with Zelensky as a “perfect” call and said there was no quid pro quo between the request to investigate Biden and the military aid.White House counsel Pat Cipollone notified House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the three committee chairmen Tuesday that Trump would not cooperate with an investigation he considers partisan and unfair.More: A diagram of events in the impeachment inquiry of President TrumpParnas and Fruman drew the congressional spotlight because they helped arrange a meeting in January in New York between Giuliani and Ukraine’s then-prosecutor general, Yuri Lutsenko, according to Ukrainian media reports.Lutsenko is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry because Trump and Giuliani pushed an unsubstantiated claim that Biden urged the prosecutor’s removal in 2016 to thwart an investigation into a company tied to his son Hunter. Biden denied wrongdoing, and Lutsenko told The Washington Post that Hunter Biden “did not violate anything.”Dowd, the lawyer who represents Parnas and Fruman, told the Intelligence Committee by letter Oct. 3 that they couldn’t meet a deadline Monday for documents and communications because the men were also represented by Giuliani and the material might be protected by attorney-client privilege.”Your request for documents and communications is overly broad and unduly burdensome,” Dowd told the panel, calling the request an effort to “harass, intimidate and embarrass my clients.” Dowd said the committee should recognize “some semblance of due process, fairness, justice and common decency.”Parnas told The Miami Herald the impeachment inquiry is a “soap opera,” and he defended Trump.CLOSE
Impeaching a U.S. president might not be the be-all-end-all for their career. We explain why this is the case.
Just the FAQs, USA TODAY”I got certain information, and I thought it was my duty to hand it over,” Parnas told the Herald.If Parnas and Fruman refuse to testify, the committees could subpoena them. Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, was subpoenaed Tuesday after refusing to appear to describe his role in dealings with Ukraine.AutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext SlideParnas, Fruman support TrumpThe $325,000 campaign contribution May 17, 2018, took a wayward path to America First Action, a political action committee that supports Trump’s reelection. The contribution was attributed to the company Global Energy Producers on the committee’s report to the Federal Election Commission. Parnas was listed as CEO of the company and Fruman as president in other campaign documents.According to The Associated Press, the money actually came from a different corporate entity, Aaron Investments I, which was managed by Parnas and his wife. Aaron Investments received $1.2 million from the proceeds of a private mortgage May 15, 2018, secured by a condo unit in North Miami Beach owned by a separate corporation tied to Fruman, according to AP. Wire-transfer records show $325,000 was then wired from Aaron Investments to America First Action, even though the contribution was credited to Global Energy Producers.Four days after the contribution, on May 21, 2018, Parnas posted a picture on Facebook of himself with Fruman and Trump Jr. at a breakfast at the Beverly Hills Polo Lounge in California. “Power Breakfast!!!” the caption said. Parnas had previously posted a picture of himself with Trump at the White House on May 1, describing an “incredible dinner and even better conversation.”The Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog based in Washington, filed a complaint with the FEC in July 2018 arguing that Global Energy Producers shielded the source of the political contribution. Under federal law, contributions must be attributed to the person or entity providing the money, to avoid straw donations.Parnas and Fruman were generous to a variety of Republican campaign groups. Parnas has contributed nearly $125,000 since October 2016 and Fruman more than $44,000, according to FEC records. This Facebook screen shot provided by The Campaign Legal Center, shows President Donald Trump standing with Lev Parnas, top left photo, at the White House in Washington, posted on May 1, 2018. (Photo: AP) A legal case right out of the moviesThe large political contributions prompted at least two lawsuits against Parnas for unpaid debts.A Florida man named Felix Vulis filed a state lawsuit in March against Fruman, Parnas and Global Energy Producers seeking repayment of a $100,000 loan that was provided to help the business achieve the goal of becoming the country’s biggest exporter of liquid natural gas. Vulis wrote a check Oct. 1, 2018, that was supposed to be repaid by Dec. 1, 2018, but wasn’t, according to the lawsuit. Both sides said the case was settled amicably Aug. 23.A thornier case lingers from a federal judgment that Parnas owes for a movie that never got made.The Pues Family Trust IRA filed a federal lawsuit in 2011 in New York City seeking repayment of a $350,000 loan to Parnas. The trust’s executor, Michael Pues, described the money in court documents as a bridge loan for a movie with the working title “Anatomy of an Assassin,” while Parnas found more investors.Parnas denied in a court filing that the money was a loan. Parnas said the movie, which he said was going to be called “Memory of a Killer,” fell apart because of financing problems, including Pues not contributing $1 million as promised. A judgment in the federal case in March 2016 ordered Parnas to pay the Pues Family Trust $510,435 for the loan and 9% annual interest.After learning of the political contribution, Pues asked a federal court in Florida in January 2019 to enforce the unpaid judgment. Pues  asked the court to undo the political contribution related to Global Energy Producers, Aaron Investments I and America First Action, so the judgment can be partially repaid.America First Action said in a filing in July that it objected to the lawsuit’s claim that the $325,000 contribution came from Aaron Investments rather than Global Energy Producers. The committee said it would provide documents that related to the wire transfer.Parnas argued against a subpoena for Global Energy Producers in the case, saying the company wasn’t involved in the case that led to the New York judgment.More about the impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump: What’s going on with Trump and Ukraine? How does it involve Biden and a whistleblower complaint?Read the summary of President Trump’s call with Ukraine’s president about BidenNancy Pelosi announces formal impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump over Ukraine scandalContributing:  Kristine PhillipsRead or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/10/impeachment-inquiry-lev-parnas-igor-fruman-witness-list/3866159002/
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Analysis: North Korea is going to be a major headache for whoever wins the US election

Pyongyang’s first missile test during Donald Trump’s presidency came even sooner. On his 23rd day in office, as he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sat down for dinner on the terrace of the US President’s opulent Florida club, Mar-a-Lago, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the successful test launch of a solid-fueled ballistic…

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Analysis: North Korea is going to be a major headache for whoever wins the US election

Pyongyang’s first missile test during Donald Trump’s presidency came even sooner. On his 23rd day in office, as he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sat down for dinner on the terrace of the US President’s opulent Florida club, Mar-a-Lago, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the successful test launch of a solid-fueled ballistic missile. When it comes to divining North Korea’s intentions, some words of wisdom variously attributed to both Mark Twain and New York Yankee’s legend Yogi Berra ring particularly true: Predictions are hard, especially about the future.This is, after all, North Korea, one of the world’s most isolated societies and secretive governments. But we do know that Pyongyang closely studies the machinations in Washington. And, as they proved during the early days of the Trump and Obama presidencies, Kim and his advisers know how to grab America’s attention — and they may choose to do so after taking the backseat to the US election, protests over racial injustice and a global pandemic.A Biden administration, or Trump during a second term, could be forced to deal with Pyongyang sooner than they’d like.Trump’s tenureDisarming North Korea remains one of the United States’ most intractable foreign policy issues. Since 2006, Pyongyang has successfully tested six nuclear devices and three intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), weapons Kim says are meant to deter foreign aggression and ensure the continuity of the regime that he leads with an iron fist.The country’s dogged pursuit of these armaments, however, has come at a tremendous cost. Sanctions punishing Pyongyang for its nuclear program essentially bar North Korea — one of the world’s poorest countries — from trading with the outside world. That means there are few opportunities for North Korea to improve its economy and increase the livelihood of its people, a key promise Kim has made to his people.The US hoped that sanctions would cripple North Korea and force Kim to negotiate. And President Trump had hoped that by becoming the first sitting president to sit face-to-face with a North Korean leader, he could engineer some sort of breakthrough. But despite these one-on-ones, negotiations have been at an impasse since the two leaders’ second summit in 2019 in Hanoi. Trump wanted some sort of “big deal” that would see North Korea give up its nuclear program for immediate sanctions relief, but Kim was only prepared to shut down Yongbyon, the biggest and best-known facility in North Korea that produced fissile material for nuclear weapons, in exchange for sanctions relief, according to Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton. That wasn’t enough for Trump, so he walked. “There were opportunities potentially having a direct engagement between the leaders but, as things showed, it wasn’t a silver bullet to resolve the issues,” said Markus Garlauskas, a former national intelligence officer for North Korea on the US’ National Intelligence Council. Hanoi, Garlauskas said, proved that it wasn’t a lack of communication or leader-to-leader contact that had prevented a breakthrough.The “fundamental obstacle,” he said, is “Kim’s lack of interest in giving up those nuclear weapons, and his willingness to sustain very high cost to keep them.” Communicate early, communicate oftenTo date, the Trump administration has sold its North Korea policy as a win. That’s because since November 2017, Kim has not tested any nuclear weapons or long-range missiles — the weapons designed to deliver a nuclear warhead to the United States homeland. During their first summit, Trump and Kim struck what appeared to be a tacit agreement that, as long as talks were going on, North Korea would not test ICBMs or nuclear bombs. Trump, in turn, scaled down the number of military drills the US conducts with South Korea. These exercises are meant to keep troops ready in case of conflict, but North Korea sees them as hostile and will often claim they are practice for an invasion. The accord, however, did not apply to shorter-range missiles that could be used to target US troops or allies in the region, which North Korea has continued to test. And Pyongyang made no commitment to stop developing or enhancing its weaponry in ways short of testing them. On October 10, North Korea rolled out what is believed to be one of the world’s biggest ICBMs at a military parade on a significant anniversary in Pyongyang. Weapons experts said it appeared the gigantic missile was designed to carry multiple warheads to penetrate missile defense systems — proving that North Korea’s commitment to stop testing ICBMs didn’t mean it wasn’t going to stop working on them. If North Korea was to consider this new missile viable, it would need to conduct a test launch. Though Kim pledged not to test ICBMs during US negotiations, he said in a speech last year that he no longer felt duty-bound to comply with the promise. He has blamed the US for the diplomatic impasse and says it has been “deceived by the US,” wasting 18 months on talks.Now, some experts worry that testing the new mammoth ICBM could be a possible next step to get attention after the election.”I would not be surprised at all to see the North Koreans take some kind of a step in the ballistic missile testing arena or in the nuclear testing arena, particularly if Biden wins the election,” said Evans Revere, a former assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific. “I think the North Koreans are going to want to have him start out on the back foot to the extent possible. And one way to do that would be what they did with President Obama.” Biden’s biggest challenge, experts say, could come during the presidential transition. His campaign website has just one vague sentence on North Korea policy, so it’s likely Biden and his aides would need to quickly identify a strategy to get North Korea to move toward denuclearization, and to find the right people to implement that strategy.Joseph Yun, who served as a State Department special representative for North Korea under Obama and Trump, said it would be crucial for Biden to get in touch with the North Koreans and lay out his red lines as quickly as he can, so the North Koreans do not try to discover them on their own.”It’s very important that in the beginning to get off on the right foot,” Yun said. “You might want to send a message to North Korea, saying things like, We want to talk, we are prepared to talk, but for now, give us time and please don’t do any tests.” But each candidate has unique advantages and disadvantages. Trump’s relationship with Kim might help continue to keep the temperature down on the Korean Peninsula, but his commitment to total denuclearization up-front remains unrealistic. Biden has been critical of Trump’s relationship with Kim, whom he called a “thug” at the final presidential debate Thursday. Still, the former vice president has a chance to reset things. He does not need to demand full denuclearization immediately — though he will surely know the failed history of previous incremental deals. Biden will also have to convince Japan and South Korea that Trump’s transactional approach to alliances was a one-off and assure them that Washington is committed to their defense, regardless of cost. But the reality is that Biden and Trump face the same challenge when it comes to Kim: How do you get North Korea to stop developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles and, eventually, give up arms it sees as vital to deterring adversaries?So far, neither appears to have the answer.

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Why the image of first lady is judged so harshly

The role of first lady of the United States is one of the most visible public positions in the world. From the moment votes are counted, and often during campaigning in the preceding months, the spouse of a newly elected president is thrust into the spotlight, where she remains for the duration of his term.…

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Why the image of first lady is judged so harshly

The role of first lady of the United States is one of the most visible public positions in the world. From the moment votes are counted, and often during campaigning in the preceding months, the spouse of a newly elected president is thrust into the spotlight, where she remains for the duration of his term. Throughout history, we’ve witnessed the breadth and depth of scrutiny withstood by the women who have so far held the position. From her mannerisms, to her physical attributes, to the way she chooses to dress, the first lady is thoroughly examined by the public, the media and those surrounding her on the political stage. And this is even before people begin assessing the work she is expected to carry out as an unpaid, unofficial public servant. Many a first lady has felt the warm glow of public adoration, only to have it quickly flicker out when it is decided that she does not fit the image created for her. Image, in this case, isn’t just about clothing and looks, but also a more nuanced notion of the impression she’s thought to give off. It’s an air around her that is made of both physical and personal traits. And a number of first ladies have fallen victim to aspects of their image that have been both celebrated and weaponized, depending on the onlooking crowd. In “First Ladies,” a documentary series now airing on CNN, we see this paradox play out during six presidencies. The stories offer an ongoing reminder that a woman’s public image is inextricably linked to her success and the level of respect she receives from the outside world. “As a black woman, too, I knew I’d be criticized if I was perceived as being showy and high end, and I’d be criticized also if I was too casual.”Michelle ObamaSo, why do critical voices repeatedly pass such undeserved judgment on these women? Leah Wright Rigueur, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, offers her answer early in an episode about Michelle Obama: First ladies are meant to be the “representation of American’s better selves.” When Americans elected their first Black president in 2008, the country’s first Black first lady Michelle Obama was, to many adoring fans, a symbol of hope, opportunity and change. Girls and women around the world looked up to this smart, determined woman from Chicago’s South Side who now lived in America’s most famous house. Michelle Obama poses for her official portrait in the Blue Room of the White House in February 2009. Credit: Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House/Getty ImagesBut her critics had a different take on her conviction and strength of character, and they were not afraid to make their often racist and sexist ideas known. On the campaign trail she was labeled “angry,” and her love and loyalty for America was questioned. During the first few months of the Obama presidency her preference for sleeveless looks also drew extraordinary criticism. It was a phenomenon recalled by Robin Givhan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion editor and critic-at-large for the Washington Post, during an interview for “First Ladies.” “People zeroed in on her arms because they were not the arms of a fragile damsel who was White,” she said in the episode about Obama. “Non-White Americans have for years looked at a White first lady and were still able to say that she represented them. But I think it becomes a much more challenging thing for some White Americans to look at a Black first lady and see themselves in her. Instead, they simply saw her as an alien.” By way of contrast, Jackie Kennedy had been mostly idolized for her beauty and style. While she did face flak from critics on the campaign trail for her expensive taste, from the moment she took to the stage on inauguration day in her now-iconic pillbox hat, Kennedy became the First Lady of Fashion. At age 31 — young enough to be the daughter of the departing Mamie Eisenhower — she was also seen as a symbol of youthful rejuvenation. She appeared on Capitol Hill for her husband’s inauguration like “the gorgeous petal in a dowdy bouquet of fur,” wrote historian Thurston Clarke in his 2004 book “Ask Not.” Jackie Kennedy on inauguration day in 1961. Credit: Leonard McCombe/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty ImagesAnd as journalist Evan Thomas notes during an interview for the CNN series, she “was the perfect prize of the WASP establishment.” “She also knew that the Kennedy family was using her,” Thomas added. “She once said, ‘the family treats me like, like a thing. Like an asset. Like Rhode Island.'”The designer behind Jackie Kennedy’s iconic pillbox hat Credit: CNN Films/HalstonComplex legaciesIf history had played out differently, Jackie Kennedy’s legacy might have been reduced to the story of a pretty object with a flair for interior design (she dedicated much of her time in the White House to renovating the official residence). Tragically, however, she had the opportunity to show the world what she was made of on the day of her husband’s assassination. Hours after President Kennedy was shot beside her, she made a powerful decision: to face the public again in the same blood-stained pink dress she had worn during the attack, famously telling her staff, “I want them to see what they’ve done to Jack.”President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie on November 22, 1963, just after their arrival at the airport for the fateful drive through Dallas. Credit: Art Rickerby/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty ImagesIt was a catastrophic moment in American history. And it was also a devastating example of the power of clothing: A dress can send a message. In Michelle Obama’s memoir “Becoming,” the former first lady reveals the lengths she went to when styling herself for public appearances, finding it impossible not to look across the room at her husband: “I sighed sometimes, watching Barack pull the same dark suit out of his closet and head off to work without even needing a comb,” she wrote. “His biggest fashion consideration for a public moment was whether to have his suit jacket on or off. Tie or no tie?”She also discussed the particular challenges she faced as an African American. “As a black woman, too, I knew I’d be criticized if I was perceived as being showy and high end, and I’d be criticized also if I was too casual. So I mixed it up. I’d match a high-end Michael Kors skirt with a T-shirt from Gap. I wore something from Target one day and Diane von Furstenberg the next.”She knew society wouldn’t bend for her. So, in a move that was at once inspiring and saddening, she bent to fit society. But Michelle Obama won in the end. Her layered legacy, which will be defined by her work around issues of health, education and race, also acknowledges how graciously she used her platform to celebrate young, diverse fashion designers alongside the more established set. She wore Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung and Tracy Reese, offering them a moment in her limelight and helping their careers as a result. “For me, my choices were simply a way to use my curious relationship with the public gaze to boost a diverse set of up-and-comers,” she wrote. “As a woman running for President, I liked the visual cue that I was different from the men but also familiar. ”Hillary ClintonLike Jackie Kennedy, Michelle Obama took the fact that she was being scrutinized and itemized for everything she wore and used it to her advantage. This, arguably limited power remains one of the ways that women in politics can make a statement without saying a word.’First Ladies’: Reagan’s inauguration was ‘very Hollywood’ Credit: AFP/AFP/Getty ImagesConflicting expectationsNancy Reagan was seen as a relic of old Hollywood when she entered the White House. The inauguration celebrations in 1981 were, by all accounts, lavish and glitzy affairs. Around 700 private jets flew into the city that weekend, and Reagan’s gown — a white beaded one-shouldered sheath of lace over silk satin, made by high-society couturier James Galanos — was a show-stopper. She and her husband, President Ronald Reagan, were both former actors who had met in Los Angeles in the 1940s, and their love for each other was like that of the silver screen. Her critics initially mocked the adoring way she looked at her husband, calling it “the gaze,” and she was seen as too wifely, too 1950s, too concerned with frills and the finer things in life, which seemed at odds with a country plunging into recession. Nancy and Ronald Reagan arrive at the inaugural ball in the Washington Hilton on January 21, 1985. Credit: Ira Schwarz/APBut, through the course of her husband’s eight-year presidency she proved herself to be more than the outdated embodiment of a wealthy suburban wife. According to their son, Ron Reagan, who features in the documentary series, she wanted the President “to be the frontman, and she wanted to be the producer/director behind the scenes.” It was, perhaps, a precursor to the Clintons half-jokingly campaigning under the slogan “buy one get one free.” Indeed, it’s well-documented that Hillary Clinton often felt the scorn of the American public, due in part to her career-woman image. Ironically, while Reagan was criticized for being a 1950s housewife, Clinton was told she wasn’t domesticated enough. Hillary and Bill Clinton leave the White House after the Democratic Business Leaders event in September 1998. Credit: David Hume Kennerly/Archive Photos/Getty ImagesHer aggressors painted her as being too strong to stand back and let her politician husband call the shots and too weak to walk away when he was unfaithful.For the most part, she rallied against these judgments. Clinton’s pantsuits became her emblem — her way of reminding people that she was a first lady with a law degree, an independent career and, ultimately, her own agenda, which she proved when she left the White House as Senator of New York, not effectively jobless like her husband. So, when her official portrait was released in 2004, Clinton was of course depicted wearing her signature black pantsuit, another first for a first lady. Hillary Clinton greets supporters during a rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, for her 2016 presidential run. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesShe took her signature look on the road again during her 2016 presidential campaign. In her book “What Happened” she explained: “As a woman running for President, I liked the visual cue that I was different from the men but also familiar.” The tactic didn’t pay off. Throughout one of the ugliest elections in US history, Clinton would come under repeated fire. This time she wasn’t charismatic enough, she was shady, she was “a liar.” But was the biggest issue, actually, the same one as always? Once again, her image didn’t fit the mold — because the president was supposed to be a man.Watch CNN Original Series “First Ladies” Sundays at 10 p.m. ET.

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Women on Qatar flight received ‘inappropriate’ treatment after abandoned baby found

CNN affiliate Seven News reported that women at the airport, including 13 Australians, were “allegedly removed from flights, detained and forced to undergo an inspection in an ambulance on the tarmac.””Reports indicate that the treatment of the women concerned was offensive, grossly inappropriate, and beyond circumstances in which the women could give free and informed…

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Women on Qatar flight received ‘inappropriate’ treatment after abandoned baby found

CNN affiliate Seven News reported that women at the airport, including 13 Australians, were “allegedly removed from flights, detained and forced to undergo an inspection in an ambulance on the tarmac.””Reports indicate that the treatment of the women concerned was offensive, grossly inappropriate, and beyond circumstances in which the women could give free and informed consent,” an Australian Government spokesperson told CNN. The flight, Sydney-bound Qatar Airways Flight QR 908, landed for a transit stop in Doha, Qatar, on October 2, CNN affiliate Nine News reported. Hamad International Airport confirmed an abandoned newborn baby was found at the airport on October 2, adding that medical professionals were concerned “about the health and welfare of a mother who had just given birth and requested she be located prior to departing (the airport).””Individuals who had access to the specific area of the airport where the newborn infant was found were asked to assist in the query,” the airport said in a statement to CNN. Airport authorities are still searching for the mother, but the newborn is “safe under the professional care of medical and social workers.”Speaking on Monday, Australian Foreign Minister Marisa Payne said it was “not something I have ever heard of occurring in my life in any context.” “This is a grossly, grossly disturbing, offensive, concerning set of events… We have made our views very clear to the Qatari authorities on this matter,” she said at a press conference in Canberra.Payne added that a report has been submitted to Australian Federal Police (AFP)In a response to CNN, the AFP said that it was aware of the matter and was liaising with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.”It would not be appropriate to comment any further,” spokesperson for the AFP said.

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