Ivanka Trump brand reportedly still pursuing global deals while she works in White House

Ivanka Trump

NEW YORK (JTA) — Ivanka Trump’s fashion company has filed trademarks for her brand around the world even as she serves as an employee in her father’s White House, according to a report.

An article Wednesday in The New York Times reported that the brand, Ivanka Trump Marks, has filed four new trademarks in Canada and the Philippines since her father, President Donald Trump, took office. Although she has stepped down from positions at the Trump Organization and her fashion company, and has put her brand in a trust, Ivanka Trump still retains a measure of financial control and the power to approve certain deals, which could violate federal conflict-of-interest laws.

Long an unofficial aide to her father, Trump formally became an unpaid White House adviser last month. She has attended several of her father’s meetings with foreign leaders in the past several months, including with Shinzo Abe of Japan, Justin Trudeau of Canada and Angela Merkel of Germany.

According to The Associated Press, China approved three Ivanka Trump trademarks on the same day that she met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Trump’s brand has pending trademark applications in 10 countries, according to the Times, and has filed at least 173 foreign trademarks in 21 countries, Hong Kong and the European Union.

Federal employees such as Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, who is also a senior adviser to the president, are barred from making government decisions that benefit their financial holdings. They also may not receive gifts or honors from foreign leaders. According to the Times, Trump and Kushner’s businesses are worth as much as $740 million.


Three Fox News Personalities Reportedly Under Consideration To Replace O’Reilly



Fox News has reportedly decided to end its 21-year relationship with top-rated host Bill O’Reilly in the wake of multiple sexual harassment allegations and three names have emerged as likely replacements.

According to New York Magazine, those under consideration to replace O’Reilly include Eric Bolling, Dana Perino and Tucker Carlson.

Bolling, currently a co-host of The Five, is a frequent guest host for The O’Reilly Factor. Perino, also on The Five, hosted The O’Reilly Factor on Tuesday night, while Carlson, the host of his own program on Fox at 9 p.m. Eastern, would be bumped back to 8 p.m., creating a new opening at the later slot.

O’Reilly, now on vacation in Italy, was slated to return on April 24, but according to New York Magazine, it is not clear if Fox will allow him back on the air, even to do a sign-off to his faithful audience, which averages over 3 million viewers per night.

The top-rated host recently signed a multi-year contract worth a reported $20 million per year, which could mean Fox will have a large pay out, if they part ways with O’Reilly.

Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch resisted calls to remove O’Reilly from the the network’s line up, but his sons, Lachlan and James, executives with parent company 20th Century Fox, finally prevailed upon him to make the decision, the Daily Mail reported.

A New York Times story claimed that Fox and O’Reilly paid out a combined $13 million to five women who accused the news host of sexual harassment: Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, Andrea Mackris, Rebecca Gomez Diamond, Laurie Dhue, and Juliet Huddy.

Dozens of sponsors of the program pulled their advertisements following the story.

O’Reilly’s attorney, Marc E. Kasowitz, released a statement Tuesday saying his client “has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination.”

Fox News CEO Roger Ailes was forced to step down last summer following multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

Both Ailes and O’Reilly started with FNC when the network launched in 1996.

The O’Reilly Factor has been the number one rated program in cable news since 2001.

Meet Ezra Cohen-Watnick (Kike), the NSC aide who reportedly leaked intel to back Trump tapping claims

(JTA) — Ezra Cohen-Watnick has been in the spotlight recently following reports that he was the aide behind a White House leak to help back up President Donald Trump’s claim that Barack Obama had wiretapped him.

The New York Times reported last month that the Jewish senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council was one of two White House aides who leaked the information to Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. The White House apparently hoped the intel, which suggested Trump campaign officials were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies, would vindicate Trump’s claim that Obama had eavesdropped on him. The Times article followed a Politico report that Trump had overruled a decision by his national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster,  in order to keep Cohen-Watnick in his current position.

Trump made the wiretapping claim, without citing evidence, on Twitter earlier last month. Intelligence and law enforcement officials, along with Democratic and Republican lawmakers, responded by saying there was no evidence to show that Obama had wiretapped Trump.

According to the Times, Cohen-Watnick started to review highly classified information after Trump posted his tweet in a bid to substantiate it. He and a colleague, Michael Ellis – formerly a staffer on the House Intelligence Committee – then contacted Nunes, who was on Trump’s transition team.

A Newsweek article published Thursday looked at Cohen-Watnick’s rise in the White House. Here are some of the interesting findings from that article as well as other recent reports.

Cohen-Watnick was involved in Republican groups from an early age.

Though Cohen-Watnick grew up in the liberal neighborhood of Chevy Chase, Md., he seems to have developed conservative political beliefs at an early age. In high school, he joined the Young Republicans Club, and during his studies at the University of Pennsylvania, he was a member of the Union League of Philadelphia, which a pro-Trump columnist for Philly.com described as the city’s “iconic bastion of GOP conservatism.” Cohen-Watnick also joined a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps course, although he later dropped out.

Some of his family friends were bothered by his “growing anti-Muslim fervor.”

As a student at the University of Pennsylvania, Cohen-Watnick helped plan a “Terrorism Awareness Week,” originally named “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” together with the conservative writer David Horowitz. Such “awareness week” events on other campuses, also sponsored by Horowitz, have promoted “anti-Muslim views” and featured “events with anti-Muslim activists,” according to a 2013 report by the Anti-Defamation League. Some of Cohen-Watnick’s progressive family friends “were disturbed by his growing anti-Muslim fervor, especially when they heard him express sympathy for illegal Israeli settlements and other hard-line views. Another family friend tried to persuade the young man that the Middle East was far more complicated than he thought,” according to Newsweek.

Around 2013 Cohen got a new job, did a bunch of training in Virginia, then went to Afghanistan

Here’s a photo of Ezra Cohen, the NSC senior director for intelligence, courtesy of a college associate pic.twitter.com/AUUnXlmvZi

View image on Twitter
His service at the Defense Intelligence Agency was less-than-stellar, according to classmates.

Cohen-Watnick didn’t earn high praises from those DIA training program classmates who spoke to Newsweek. One source said his reputation“was poor. He was allegedly not a team player and would also ‘leak’ denigrating information about his fellow trainees” to their instructors. “While we expect each student to do their own work,” the source adds, “we also demand they develop positive and healthy partnering skills.” After a training program in Virginia, Cohen-Watnick was assigned to serve in Afghanistan. Cohen-Watnick did apparently manage to impress one important person: Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser who resigned in February after acknowledging that he had misled other administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, about a phone call he had with the Russian ambassador before Trump assumed office.

Cohen-Watnick and Flynn were also connected through Frank Gaffney, the founder and president of a think tank that promulgates the theory that the Muslim Brotherhood has established a “Sharia-supremacist infrastructure” in the United States in the form of mosques, cultural centers and Muslim organizations. His daughter and Cohen-Watnick were close in high school, according to Newsweek. Gaffney reportedly offered Cohen-Watnick an internship at his think tank, the Center for Security Policy, although he told Newsweek that he had not spoken to Cohen-Watnick since he was in high school. Flynn, a friend of Gaffney, later brought Cohen-Watnick to the NSC.

Cohen-Watnick’s wife did PR work for Russia.

At the D.C.-office for the PR firm Ketchum, Rebecca Miller worked with Russia. In a 2014 interview brought to light last month by Los Angeles-based lawyer and genealogist E. Randol Schoenberg, Miller’s mother said her daughter was “responsible for providing PR and marketing to try to make Russia look better.” A Ketchum representative told Newsweek that Miller stopped working on the Russia account in 2012, but the revelations of her work may raise alarm bells due to Cohen-Watnick’s ties to Flynn, whose failure to disclose a conversation with a Russian ambassador led to his resignation. Newsweek found little other information about Cohen-Watnick and Miller’s relationship. A synagogue newsletter for Ohr Kodesh Congregation, a Conservative synagogue outside Washington, D.C.,  listed the two as having celebrated their engagement in November.

Andrew Napolitano (White Freemason) reportedly pulled from Fox News over debunked wiretapping claims



Fox News has reportedly pulled legal analyst Andrew Napolitano from the air over his baseless claim, repeated by President Trump, that British intelligence officials spied on Trump at the request of President Barack Obama.

Napolitano, a regular face on Fox News, has not appeared on the network since Thursday and will not be a guest in the near future, the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press reported Monday, citing anonymous individuals.

A Fox News spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Monday night. The Dow Jones Newswire also reported the story, along with speculation that Napolitano wouldn’t be gone too long from Fox. The longtime commentator and purveyor of conspiracy theories has a significant following.

The move would distance Fox News from allegations that British officials, as well as National Security Agency Director Michael S. Rogers, have denounced as false. In tweets earlier this month, Trump accused Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower in what he called a “Nixon/Watergate” plot.

Here’s how the White House has been defending Trump’s wiretapping claims

White House press secretary Sean Spicer has been repeatedly defending President Trump’s unproven claims that former president Barack Obama ordered a wiretap on him in 2016. (Video: Bastien Inzaurralde/Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Pressed for details, the Trump administration has produced no evidence to support the allegations, citing only news reports from conservative media. On Monday, FBI Director James B. Comey testified before Congress that there was “no information” indicating that Obama ordered surveillance of Trump Tower during the election. Rogers, asked in the same hearing whether he agreed that the allegation about British intelligence was “nonsense,” responded “yes.”

In a March 14 appearance on “Fox and Friends,” Napolitano, who calls himself “Judge Napolitano” because he was once a New Jersey Superior Court judge, claimed he had spoken to three “intelligence sources” who said Obama “went outside the chain of command” to spy on Trump. Instead of using U.S. intelligence services, Napolitano said, Obama used Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, to ensure there were “no American fingerprints on this.”

Napolitano doubled down on his claims in a column for Fox News, writing that “by bypassing all American intelligence services, Obama would have had access to what he wanted.”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer cited Napolitano’s comments in a press briefing Thursday. Asked whether Trump would stand by his unproven wiretapping allegations, Spicer quoted directly from the Fox News transcript.

“All we’re doing is literally reading off what other stations and people have reported,” Spicer said. “We’re not casting judgment on that.”

In response, GCHQ, usually silent on intelligence matters, sharply denied that it had engaged in any of the activities described by Napolitano.

“Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wire tapping’ against the then President Elect are nonsense,” the agency said in a statement Thursday. “They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.”

Comey: No information to support Trump’s wiretapping tweets

FBI Director James B. Comey said at a House Intelligence Committee hearing that he has no information that Trump Tower was wiretapped by former president Barack Obama. (Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post/Reuters)

But that did not stop Trump from bringing them up again. In a news conference Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Trump pointed to Napolitano’s appearance on Fox News when asked to defend his wiretapping claims, as The Washington Post reported.

“All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for that on television,” he said. “I didn’t make an opinion on it. That was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on Fox.”

“So you shouldn’t be talking to me,” Trump added, “you should be talking to Fox.”

At that point, Fox News tried to distance itself from Napolitano’s commentary, with anchor Shepard Smith saying the network could not confirm what Napolitano had said on “Fox and Friends.”

“Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now president of the United States was surveilled at any time, in any way. Full stop,” Shepard said on air.

The British government, meanwhile, said Friday that the White House had promised to stop suggesting that British intelligence services had spied on Trump, as The Post reported. A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a news conference: “We have received assurances from the White House that these allegations would not be repeated.”

Syrian truck driver on road to Damascus reportedly killed by Israeli drone

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Syrian man was killed when the truck he was driving in the Quneitra region of the Golan Heights on the road to Damascus allegedly was fired on by an Israeli drone, Syrian media is reporting.

The Israel Defense Forces is not commenting on the alleged air strike, neither confirming nor denying the Syrian reports.

The alleged victim has been named as Yasser al-Sayed, with some reports calling him a terrorist member of Hezbollah and others identifying him as a civilian.

Hours before the strike, Syrian media reported that Syrian army forces had repelled an Israeli drone in the same area.

The actions come after the IDF confirmed carrying out aerial strikes in Syria and intercepting missiles launched at its aircraft from the ground on Thursday night.

No Israelis were hurt during the strikes Thursday night or from the anti-aircraft fire, the first time that Israel has used the Arrow anti-missile system.

According to the nrg news site, the strikes Thursday were against targets affiliated with Hezbollah, possibly on a weapons shipment to the Shiite terrorist group, which is based in Lebanon but is fighting in Syria alongside Assad’s forces against rebels and Sunni militants.

The incidents on Thursday are reported to be the most serious between Syria and Israel since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war six years ago. At that time, Israel Air Force planes struck targets in Syria and Syria’s air defense system fired an anti-aircraft missile at the Israeli planes.

Israel is believed to have carried out several attacks on Syrian soil in recent years, but usually refrains from confirming or denying reports on its alleged actions there.

Also on Sunday, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman in an interview with Israel Radio threatened to take out Syrian air defense systems.

“The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation,” Liberman said. “Each time we discover arms transfers from Syria to Lebanon we will act to stop them. On this there will be no compromise.”




Headstones were found toppled in Brooklyn’s Washington Cemetery on Sunday morning. Early reports characterized the incident as a ‘possible hate crime’ however the cemetery director and ADL official Evan Bernstein confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that the tombstones in question had long been deteriorating and some had toppled over years ago.

Police now say the issue is still under investigation as a “possible bias incident” and not as a hate crime.

According to the cemetery director and a local woman the tombstones fell from age deterioration years ago.

ADL NY regional director Evan Bernstein said that “based on the number of antisemitic incidents amid threats to the Jewish community over the last 6 months or more, it’s natural for people to be on edge. However, I think it is critical that we as a community get all the information first before we jump to any conclusions.”

Adding that “we thank the NYPD for all their help and resources.”

The cemetery is located in the Mapleton neighborhood, located between Borough Park and Bensonhurst.

The New York Police Department’s hate crimes division has been notified of the incident, the spokesman said, adding that police would investigate on Sunday to see if the incident may have been weather-related.

Local news reports said about five headstones were toppled.

New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind tweeted photos of some of the downed headstones on Saturday night. He said he was alerted to the incident by the Boro Park Shomrim organization, a Jewish security patrol.

In 2010, some 200 headstones were toppled in the same cemetery, also over a Friday night and Saturday, when it is closed.

Washington Cemetery was founded in 1850, and it became a Jewish burial-ground as early as 1857.

The incident brings to four the number of Jewish cemeteries vandalized in the past two weeks, including the Waad Hakolel Cemetery in Rochester, in upstate New York. Dozens of gravestones were toppled and damaged at cemeteries near St. Louis and in Philadelphia as well.

Trump reportedly said JCC threats may be trying to ‘make others look bad’

US President Donald Trump reportedly said that a wave of threats against Jewish communal institutions may be a false flag.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is Jewish and a Democrat, described a meeting of state attorneys general and Trump on Tuesday to a BuzzFeed reporter.

Trump called the wave of bomb threats in recent weeks, which forced the evacuation of nearly 100 Jewish community centers and other institutions countrywide, “reprehensible,” Shapiro said. But the US president also added: “Sometimes it’s the reverse, to make people – or to make others – look bad,” according to Shapiro’s account.

Shapiro said Trump said it was “the reverse” two or three times but did not clarify what he meant.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (CC BY-SA 3.0, Mark Koenig, Wikipedia)

Earlier Tuesday, Anthony Scaramucci, a top adviser to the Trump transition team who is under consideration for a White House job, advanced a similar argument on Twitter, saying the threats may be aimed at harming Trump.

“It’s not yet clear who the #JCC offenders are,” Scaramucci said. “Don’t forget @TheDemocrats effort to incite violence at Trump rallies.”

There were several incidents of violence at Trump campaign rallies during last year’s election, but no evidence linking the offenders to an organized Democratic Party effort.

On Monday, at least 29 Jewish institutions across the US were targeted with bomb threats, marking the fifth wave of threats against JCCs, Jewish day schools and other Jewish organizations since the beginning of the year.

In addition to the bomb threats, Jewish cemeteries have also been targeted during a recent swell of anti-Semitic incidents, with over 100 headstones found toppled at a Jewish graveyard in Philadelphia, mirroring an incident at a cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri, the week before.

Damaged headstone at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia on February 26, 2017. (screen capture: 6ABC)

Following sharp criticism of Trump from a number of leading American Jewish organizations over his failure to denounce the rise in anti-Semitic incidents, the US president issued his first explicit condemnation of anti-Semitism last week, calling it “horrible” and “painful,” as well as a “sad reminder” of evil.

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump “continues to be deeply disappointed and concerned over reports of further vandalism at Jewish cemeteries,” while also calling in the incidents in Philadelphia and Missouri “cowardly.”

Trump will address the recent wave of anti-Semitism during a speech to a joint session of Congress Tuesday evening, CNN reported.

Trump reportedly nixes Elliott Abrams (Kike) for State Department job

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump reportedly decided against nominating Elliott Abrams as deputy secretary of state because of Abrams’ opposition last year to Trump’s nomination.

CNN cited three anonymous Republican sources on Friday as saying Abrams, known for his closeness to the Israeli establishment and the pro-Israel community, was out of the running.

Abrams, a veteran of several Republican administrations in senior State Department and National Security Council positions, reportedly was a favorite for the job because Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, formerly the CEO of Exxon, wanted someone with extensive diplomatic experience advising him.

Trump interviewed Abrams on Tuesday and was favorably impressed. According to CNN, also lobbying for Abrams was Jared Kushner, Trump’s Jewish son-in-law. Trump wants Kushner, who is serving as a top non-paid aide to the president, to spearhead Israeli-Arab peacemaking.

Abrams is close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is meeting with Trump at the White House next week.

However, it came to Trump’s attention after the interview, CNN reported, that Abrams had criticized Trump during the campaign – although he had never joined the “Never Trump” movement among disaffected Republicans and had not forsworn serving in a Trump administration.

In May Abrams wrote a column in The Weekly Standard that likened Trump to the failed Democratic nominee in 1972, George McGovern. It was titled “When You Can’t Stand Your Candidate.”

As a prominent member of the neoconservative movement, whose followers favor an interventionist foreign policy, Abrams would have been a counter to many in Trump’s circle who favor pulling back from American involvement overseas.

Trump would have made the third Republican administration for which Abrams worked. He was assistant secretary of state in the Reagan administration, as a result of which he agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges of withholding evidence related to the Iran-Contra arms sale scandal, and was deputy assistant to George W. Bush and his deputy national security adviser.

US reportedly weighs blacklisting Islamic Revolutionary Guards

The White House is considering a proposal which could lead to naming Iran’s most powerful military and political institution, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, as a terrorist organization, the Reuters news agency reported Wednesday.

Quoting US officials, the agency said several government agencies had been consulted about such a move.

The IRGC, a branch of the Iranian military, combines military roles with operations to combat internal dissent against the regime. It is heavily involved in the Iranian economy and wields huge influence on politics.

It also oversees the IRGC Quds Force, which in turn funds, trains and equips foreign terror groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, right, with Brigadier General Ali Fadavi and other commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, following the arrest of US soldiers in the Persian Gulf. (Wikimedia Commons)

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, right, with Brigadier General Ali Fadavi and other commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, following the arrest of US soldiers in the Persian Gulf. (Wikimedia Commons)

The Quds Force is among many IRGC-associated organizations and individuals already blacklisted by previous US administrations.

Last week, Reuters reported that the proposal concerning the IRGC is one of many being discussed as part of an overall Iran policy review.

It coincides with an administration decision last week to tighten sanctions on Tehran in response to a ballistic missile test.

Declaring the IRGC itself a terror organization could complicate US efforts to fight the Sunni Arab Islamic State terror organization in Iraq, Reuters said. There, the Shia Iranians are backing anti-IS militias and advising Iraqi security forces on how to counter the jihadist group.

Participants in the talks on the Iran nuclear deal pose for a group photo at the UN building in Vienna, Austria, on July 14, 2015. (Carlos Barria, Pool Photo via AP)

Participants in the talks on the Iran nuclear deal pose for a group photo at the UN building in Vienna, Austria, on July 14, 2015. (Carlos Barria, Pool Photo via AP)

Such a move could also have potential implications for the 2015 nuclear deal signed by Iran, the US and other world powers — a deal that US President Donald Trump has harshly criticized, but over which he has not yet taken any action.

But similar proposals that have been circulating — for example to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization — appear to have been put off indefinitely, Reuters said.

And the White House is currently focused on handling the fallout from another controversial move — Trump’s order to ban citizens from seven majority Muslim countries from entering the US.

“The new administration regards Iran as the clearest danger to US interests, and they’ve been looking for ways to turn up the heat,” a senior US official told Reuters.

But he warned that declaring the IRGC a terrorist organization could backfire, strengthening hardliners in Tehran and even pushing Iranian-backed forces in Iraq to turn their sights away from Islamic State and focus on attacking US-backed or even American forces.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.


Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner reportedly helped push President Donald Trump to uphold a 2014 executive order protecting LGBT people from workplace discrimination.

The president’s daughter and her husband, who serves as a White House senior adviser, worked to nix a draft executive order outlining how to roll back some of the protections granted by former president Barack Obama’s 2014 executive order, Politico reported Friday, citing “multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.”

The White House said Tuesday that President Trump was “determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community.”

“The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact at the direction of President Donald J. Trump,” the White House said in a statement.

Progressive groups have expressed concern that Trump could overturn protections and rights gained by the LGBT community under the Obama administration. Vice President Mike Pence has a long history of opposing gay rights, and as governor of Indiana he opposed legalizing gay marriage.