Tucker Carlson Calls Iraqis ‘Semiliterate Primitive Monkeys’ In 2008 Interview (Audio)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

In another batch of unearthed audio released by Media Matters, Tucker Carlson called Iraqis “semiliterate primitive monkeys,” made disparaging comments about Michelle Obama and credited white men for “creating civilization.”

The audio, released Monday evening, was taken from appearances on the “Bubba the Love Sponge Show,” between 2006 and 2011.

The topics discussed in these clips range from the 2008 presidential election, to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to immigration.

“Iraq is a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you know, semiliterate primitive monkeys — that’s why it wasn’t worth invading,” Carlson told the shock jock in October 2008, according Media Matters.

Also Read: Tucker Carlson Refuses to Apologize for ‘Naughty’ Past Comments About Statutory Rape, ‘C-ty’ Women

In another clip from 2011, Carlson said that the war in Iraq could turn around “if, somehow, the Iraqis decided to behave like human beings.”

In 2006, Carlson told the radio show he had “zero sympathy” for Iraqis because they “don’t use toilet paper or forks,” adding that they should “just shut the f— up and obey” us.

Carlson told the radio host in 2008 that Michelle Obama could pose a problem for her husband because she “turns into a sister.”  Carlson also questioned whether Barack Obama was black, saying, “How is he Black, for one thing? He has one white parent, one Black parent.”

During a 2006 discussion on immigration, Carlson argued that immigrants should be “hot” or “really smart” because people picking lettuce aren’t going to build a stronger country.

“I just think it’s, you know, people who come to this country ought to have something to offer,” he said. “Be hot, be really smart, you know what I mean?”

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.

This the second set of unearthed audio recordings in as many days; On Sunday, Media Matters released several audio clips in which Carlson made disparaging comments about women and prosecution of statutory rape, among other things.

The release of the audio prompted renewed calls on social media for Fox to fire Carlson and advertisers to boycott his nightly show. Pharmaceutical company AstraZenica said it would no longer advertise on Carlson’s show.

Also Read: Tucker Carlson Says ‘Fox News Is Behind Us’ After Past Audio Resurfaces

On his show Monday evening, Carlson said  that “Fox News is behind us.”

“Fox News is behind us, as they have been since the very first day. Toughness is a rare quality at a TV network, and we are grateful for that,” Carlson said. “We will never bow to the mob, ever, no matter what.”

You can listen to the entire audio above.

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Barack and Michelle Obama Appoint Co-Heads for Higher Ground Productions

Read on: Variety.

The Obamas have started putting together the executive team to head their Higher Ground Productions label,Variety has learned. Priya Swaminathan, a former director of development at Annapurna, and Tonia Davis, who previously oversaw development for TV …

The Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions Sets Exec Team; Priya Swaminathan & Tonia Davis Co-Heads

Read on: Deadline.

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama on Tuesday unveiled the executive team for the pair’s Higher Ground Productions, with ex-Annapurna exec Priya Swaminathan and Chernin Entertainment’s Tonia Davis named co-heads. The production compa…

Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions Names Tonia Davis and Priya Swaminathan as Co-Heads

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Former president and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama have set the executive team to run their newly-launched production company.

Priya Swaminathan, who came over as a producing partner last year, will serve as co-head of Higher Ground Productions with Tonia Davis. The two will be joined by Qadriyyah “Q” Shamsid-Deen, who will serve as a creative executive.

Higher Ground Productions has a multi-year deal with Netflix to create scripted and unscripted, docu-series, documentaries and features. The company, which signed the deal last March, expects to have an initial project lineup out soon.

Also Read: Barack and Michelle Obama Sign Multi-Year Production Deal at Netflix

“With Higher Ground Productions, we hope to bring people together around common values and uncommon stories–and Priya, Tonia and Q are precisely the people to bring that vision to life,” President Obama said. “They’re masterful storytellers. They’re veterans in the industry. And they not only bring their unique perspectives and life experiences to every project, but they’re committed to finding new voices who have their own stories to tell.  Michelle and I couldn’t be more excited about the team we’re assembling.”

Swaminathan most recently worked with Annapurna where she oversaw the studio’s film development slate, though her career is mostly in the documentary space. She has developed and produced fiction and documentary projects for a range of filmmakers, including award-winners Spike Jonze, Bennett Miller and George Clooney. In addition to producing Showtime’s “Very Young Girls,” Swaminathan has also produced documentaries for MTV and ESPN.

David comes over from Chernin Entertainment, where she oversaw development and shepherded productions for the company’s film and television projects. At Chernin, she served as an executive producer on the films “Snatched” and “The Greatest Showman.”

Also Read: Michelle Obama’s Grammys Remarks Drowned Out by Audience Applause

Shamsid-Deen joins Higher Ground Productions from Ryan Murphy Television’s Half Initiative, where she served as a program director. She also previously worked with film and television producers Brad Simpson and Nina Jacobson of Color Force. Shamsid-Deen worked on Murphy-produced series including “American Horror Story,” “American Crime Story,” “Pose” and “9-1-1.”

“Our goal isn’t just to make people think–we want to make people feel and reach outside of their comfort zone,” Michelle Obama said. “With their thoughtfulness, creativity and empathy, we know that Priya, Tonia and Q will find the common thread within every story to inspire us to be something more. I’m thrilled about this team as professionals–and as people. They’re wonderful.”

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That Time Broadcast Networks Declined to Air President Obama’s Primetime Immigration Speech in 2014

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As networks grapple with whether to air President Trump’s primetime address to the nation on Tuesday night, remember that if they do decide to take a stand against the billionaire — it would not be entirely without precedent.
As many have p…

Barack Obama finally achieves something with certified Billboard hit 

Read on: The A.V. Club.

Barack Obama has accomplished many great things in his life, like signing a huge book deal, becoming friends with JAY-Z, landing one of those huge development deals that Netflix loves to hand out, and appearing on an award-winning episode of hit intern…

Barack Obama Has the 22nd Biggest R&B Song in the Country (Audio)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Barack Obama has a song on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart — yes, for real. Our 44th president just debuted at No. 22 for his work on “One Last Time (44 Remix).”

The song is an updated version of a ditty from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash-hit musical, “Hamilton.” Christopher Jackson and gospel singer BeBe Winans do the heavy-lifting on the tune singing-wise, while Obama recites a passage from George Washington’s 1796 farewell address.

For those light on history lessons, Washington was the O.G. U.S. POTUS.

Also Read: Watch Michelle Obama’s Too-Long-for-TV Interview With Stephen Colbert (Video)

Here is Obama’s portion of the Hot R&B chart:

Billboard.com

Yes, it’s our former commander in chief’s first time charting. Readers can listen to the song’s audio above.

Ella Mai’s “Trip” is No. 1 on the week-of Jan. 5 rankings.

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CNN’s Don Lemon Tweaks President Trump For 2013 Comments On Obama

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60 Percent of Barack Obama’s Favorite 2018 Movies Have Nonwhite Directors

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Barack Obama continues to be America’s pop culture president. On Friday, Obama shared his list of his 15 favorite movies of 2018, which featured nine directors who are nonwhite.

Those directors include Barry Jenkins (“If Beale Street Could Talk”),  Bing Liu (“Minding the Gap”) Hirokazu Kore-eda (“Shoplifters”), Lee Chang-dong (“Burning”), Chloé Zhao (“The Rider”), Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”), Carlos Lopez Estrada (“Blindspotting”), Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”) and Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”).

Obama also listed his favorite books and songs of the year.

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“As 2018 draws to a close, I’m continuing a favorite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists. It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies, and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved,” Obama wrote on Instagram.

Obama also shouted out his wife Michelle’s new biography, “Becoming,” in his list of favorite books and his list of songs was an eclectic mix across multiple genres.

Here are Obama’s lists in full below:

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Favorite Movies of 2018:

“Annihilation”
“Black Panther”
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Blindspotting”
“Burning”
“The Death of Stalin”
“Eighth Grade”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Leave No Trace”
“Minding the Gap”
“The Rider”
“Roma”
“Shoplifters”
“Support the Girls”
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor”

Favorite Books of 2018:

“Becoming” by Michelle Obama (obviously my favorite!)
“An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones
“Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die” by Keith Payne
“Educated” by Tara Westover
“Factfulness” by Hans Rosling
“Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging” by Alex Wagner
“A Grain of Wheat” by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
“A House for Mr Biswas” by V.S. Naipaul
“How Democracies Die” by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
“In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History” by Mitch Landrieu
“Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela
“The New Geography of Jobs” by Enrico Moretti
“The Return” by Hisham Matar
“Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe
“Warlight” by Michael Ondaatje
“Why Liberalism Failed” by Patrick Deneen
“The World As It Is” by Ben Rhodes
“American Prison” by Shane Bauer
“Arthur Ashe: A Life” by Raymond Arsenault
“Asymmetry” by Lisa Halliday
“Feel Free” by Zadie Smith
“Florida” by Lauren Groff
“Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom” by David W. Blight
“Immigrant, Montana” by Amitava Kumar
“The Largesse of the Sea Maiden” by Denis Johnson
“Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” by Max Tegmark
“There There” by Tommy Orange
“Washington Black” by Esi Edugyan

Favorite Songs of 2018:

“Apeshit” by The Carters
“Bad Bad News” by Leon Bridges
“Could’ve Been by H.E.R.” (feat. Bryson Tiller)
“Disco Yes” by Tom Misch (feat. Poppy Ajudha)
“Ekombe” by Jupiter & Okwess
“Every Time I Hear That Song” by Brandi Carlile
“Girl Goin’ Nowhere” by Ashley McBryde
“Historia De Un Amor” by Tonina (feat. Javier Limón and Tali Rubinstein)
“I Like It” by Cardi B (feat. Bad Bunny and J Balvin)
“Kevin’s Heart” by J. Cole
“King For A Day” by Anderson East
“Love Lies” by Khalid & Normani
“Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe
“Mary Don’t You Weep” (Piano & A Microphone 1983 Version) by Prince
“My Own Thing” by Chance the Rapper (feat. Joey Purp)
“Need a Little Time” by Courtney Barnett
“Nina Cried Power” by Hozier (feat. Mavis Staples)
“Nterini” by Fatoumata Diawara
“One Trick Ponies” by Kurt Vile
“Turnin’ Me Up” by BJ the Chicago Kid
“Wait by the River” by Lord Huron
“Wow Freestyle “by Jay Rock (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
And in honor of one of the great jazz singers of all time, who died this year, a classic album: “The Great American Songbook” by Nancy Wilson

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‘Black Panther’, ‘Roma’, ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’ Among Barack Obama’s List Of Favorite Films Of 2018

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Michelle Obama Tops Hillary Clinton As Most Admired Woman In Gallup Poll

Read on: Deadline.

Hillary Clinton has lost again. For the first time in 17 years, the former Secretary of State and presidential candidate has not been named as the woman most admired in a Gallup poll of Americans, finishing third in the race.
Supplanting Clinton is for…

Michelle Obama Ends Hillary Clinton’s 17-Year Run as Most Admired Woman in US

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Former first lady Michelle Obama is the most admired woman of 2018, according to a recent Gallup survey.

Obama beat out the long-running winner of the poll, Hillary Clinton, with 15 percent of the vote. Clinton, who notched only 4 percent of the vote this year, had won 17 years straight prior to 2018.

Oprah Winfrey came in second for women with 5 percent of the vote. The current first lady Melania Trump finished with 4 percent.

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The Gallup survey of most admired has been conducted every year since 1946 with the exception of 1976. The survey asks Americans who around the world they admire the most.

Michelle Obama came in the second to Clinton three times before getting the top honor. This may be due in part to the former first lady currently being on tour to promote her new autobiography “Becoming.”

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Former president Barack Obama topped the survey for most admired man for the 11th year in the row. Obama beat out President Donald Trump by 6 percentage points, marking only the 13th year in 72 of the survey that the incumbent president doesn’t win.

Trump, who has missed out on “most admired” for his second year as president, can potentially be only the second president in the history of the poll not to win the honor, according to Gallup. Former President Gerald Ford did not win during his time in office from 1974 to 1977.

Also Read: Los Angeles Names Street After Barack Obama

Take a look at the survey results below:

Most Admired Woman of 2018, according to Gallup
Michelle Obama 15%
Oprah Winfrey 5%
Hillary Clinton 4%
Melania Trump 4%
Queen Elizabeth 2%
Angela Merkel 2%
Ruth Bader Ginsburg 2%
Ellen DeGeneres 2%
Nikki Haley 1%
Malala Yousafzai1%
Nancy Pelosi 1%

Most Admired Man of 2018, according to Gallup
Barack Obama 19%
Donald Trump 13%
George W. Bush 2%
Pope Francis 2%
Bill Gates 1%
Bernie Sanders 1%
Bill Clinton 1%
Dalai Lama 1%
Joe Biden 1%
Elon Musk 1%
Mike Pence 1%

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That Time Trump Said the President Should Be Fired for a Government Shutdown (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

President Donald Trump has blamed the Democratic minority in Congress for three shutdowns of the federal government this year alone, but there was a time not so long ago that he would have held himself responsible for that turn of events.

Back in the fall of 2013, when Barack Obama oversaw a 17-day shutdown of federal agencies in a battle with congressional Republicans over raising the debt ceiling, the then-real estate mogul and host of “The Apprentice” took the president to task in an interview on “Fox & Friends.”

“If you say who gets fired, it always has to be the top,” Trump told co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck when she asked, “Apprentice”-style, who should get fired and bear the brunt of the responsibility for a shutdown.

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“Problems start from the top and they have to get solved from the top. And the president’s the leader,” Trump said, in reference to Obama. “He’s got to get everyone in a room and he’s gotta lead. But he doesn’t do that.”

The future Republican president noted that the impasse between Obama and the GOP-led Congress was “a very, very bad thing and it’s very embarrassing worldwide.”

Elsewhere in the interview with what has become his go-to news network, Trump said that historians are “going to be talking about … who the president was at that time. They’re not going to be talking about who was the head of the House, the head of the Senate, who’s running things in Washington.”

Also Read: ‘Fox & Friends’ Trashes Trump Over Syrian Withdrawal: ‘He Just Refounded ISIS’ (Video)

However, President Trump has argued that Democrats — who are in the minority in both the House and Senate — “now own” the shutdown on Friday at midnight of multiple federal departments and agencies.

Both chambers failed to reach a compromise after the president flip-flopped on signing a temporary funding bill that did not include $5 billion for his proposed wall along the southern U.S. border.

In an earlier televised meeting with Democrat Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, Trump had said, “I will take the mantle of shutting it down … I am proud to shut down the government for border security.”

Watch the 2013 video clip above.

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Michelle Obama Tells Jimmy Fallon Her Thought While Boarding Air Force One On Trump Inauguration Day: “Bye, Felicia”

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Trump Inauguration Money Went to Trump Organization With Help From Ivanka, Report Says

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

When Trump’s inaugural team filed documents with the Federal Election Commission last year showing it managed to raise a record $107 million — nearly double the previous record set by President Barack Obama in 2009 —  it prompted questions among critics and observers, mainly: Where did all that money go?

A new investigative report now suggests some of that money may have been funneled into the Trump Organization in coordination with the president’s eldest daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump.

According to interviews, internal emails and receipts reviewed by WNYC and ProPublica, the inaugural committee may have been paid steep fees to the Trump Organization for rooms, meals and event space at the company’s Washington hotel.

Also Read: Trump’s Inaugural Committee Under Federal Criminal Investigation (Report)

If the Trump hotel did in fact overcharge the inauguration committee for its venues, it could constitute a  violation of tax laws, the report said.

The article cites two people with direct knowledge, who said Rick Gates, the then-deputy chairman of the Inaugural Committee, asked some vendors to take payments directly from donors, instead of going through the committee. It’s not clear, the report said, whether any vendors took him up on his offer, though some vendors “felt the request was unusual.”

According to the report, Ivanka Trump, a senior executive with the Trump Organization at the time, was asked to help settle a dispute between the family-owned hotel and the Inaugural Committee, which thought the hotel was overcharging.

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Emails reviewed by the news outlets showed that Ivanka Trump connected Gates with Mickael Damelincourt, managing director of the hotel. Damelincourt then responded with a different rate of $175,000 per day for use of the Presidential Ballroom and meeting rooms, with a $700,000 charge for four days of use.

Neither The White House nor the Trump Organization immediately responded to a request for comment Friday. But on Thursday evening, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters outside the White House that the probe into the inauguration’s spending “doesn’t have anything to do with the president or the first lady.”

“The biggest thing the president did, his engagement in the inauguration, was to come here and raise his hand and take the oath of office. The president was focused on the transition during that time and not on any of the planning for the inauguration,” Sanders said.

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Peter Mirijanian, a spokesperson Ivanka Trump’s ethics counsel, Abbe Lowell, told TheWrap in statement: “When contacted by someone working on the inauguration, Ms. Trump passed the inquiry on to a hotel official and said only that any resulting discussions should be at a ‘fair market rate.’ Ms. Trump was not involved in any additional discussions.”

On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Inaugural Committee was under a federal criminal investigation for possible misuse of the some $107 million in spending.

In April, FBI agents raided Cohen’s office and hotel room looking for evidence in connection with a payment Cohen made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who said she had an sex with Trump in 2006.

During that raid, FBI agents found a recorded conversation between Cohen and inaugural planner Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who, according to the Journal, “expressed concern about how the inaugural committee was spending money.”

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Feds are looking at whether the donations were part of a “pay-for-play” scheme, to gain special access to the president.

In June of 2017, the Trump Inaugural Committee said it conducted a full audit of the festivities and found no wrongdoing. But so far has not provided any documents to back its claims.

Trump’s inaugural festivities were modest in comparison to Obama’s first inauguration, which cost less than half and featured some of Hollywood’s biggest names, including  Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, John Legend, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor and U2.

Obama drew 1.8 million people to the National Mall in 2009, according to estimates released by the District of Columbia. In contrast Trump’s inauguration attracted anywhere from 300,000 to 600,000 people on the Mall, according to Vox. While Trump had only three inaugural galas —  two official inaugural balls, as well as the Salute to Our Armed Services Ball — Obama had 10.

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Almost two years later it’s still unclear how Trump’s team managed to spend the record amount of cash, especially considering that Trump’s festivities was low on star wattage, featuring performances by indie group 3 Doors Down and country singer Toby Kieth as its headliners.

While political action groups supporting particular candidates or issues are obligated to list their spending, inaugural committees are only required to account for its top five contractors, the report noted.

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Trump’s Inaugural Committee Under Federal Criminal Investigation (Report)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration is under investigation by by federal prosecutors in New York for possible financial abuses of the eye-popping $107 million raised by the committee, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

According to the Journal, the probe — which is still in its early stages — is looking into whether the committee took donations from individuals seeking access into the new administration.

The investigation started after federal agents seized materials from Trump’s former longtime lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who was sentenced Wednesday to three years in federal prison, the paper said.

Also Read: Trump Team Scrambles for A-List Inaugural Performers: ‘They Are Willing to Pay Anything’ (Exclusive)

TheWrap has not corroborated the Journal’s report.

In April, FBI agents raided Cohen’s office and hotel room looking for evidence in connection with a payment Cohen made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who said she had an sex with Trump in 2006.

During that raid, FBI agents found a recorded conversation between Cohen and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former adviser to Melania Trump, who was hired as an event planner for the inauguration, the Journal reported.

In the recording, the Journal notes, Wolkoff raised concerns about how the committee was spending money.

Also Read: Insiders: Trump Team Dangled Ambassadorships to Lure A-List Inauguration Singers (Exclusive)

Trump’s inaugural committee raised a record $107 for the inaugural festivities, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission last April. That’s nearly twice as much as former President Barack Obama’s $55 million for his first inauguration, even though Trump’s inauguration was considered a smaller event with less star power.

The committee identified vendors accounting for $61 million of the $103 million it spent, according to the Journal.

Among the wealthy donors who gave a $1 million or more were casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, AT&T and Boeing. But according to the Journal there are no indications that those donors are under investigation.

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

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