DC Bar Serves Up Trump Special Cocktail: ‘The Stormy Daniels’

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.

A bar in Washington, D.C. is now offering a new special cocktail named after the former a famous porn star who was reportedly paid off to keep her from talking about a sexual encounter with President Donald Trump.

The Brighton, a bar in D.C.’s The Wharf development, has come up with a clever way to sell more alcohol: the “Stormy Daniels,” named after former porn star Stephanie Clifford, known in the industry as “Stormy Daniels.”

Also Read: Trump Lawyer Set $130,000 Hush-Money Payout to Porn Star, WSJ Reports

“We don’t know much about politics, but we do know a dirty cocktail when we see one. Introducing the Stormy Daniels, $9 all weekend long,” The Brighton tweeted on Saturday.

A bartender told TheWrap the drink is a configuration of the the old classic, “Dark and Stormy,” which usually is made with rum and ginger beer.

“It’s a delightfully delicious southern-American style ‘Dark and Stormy’ with Jack Daniels instead of rum,” the bar’s manager, Chris Janiak, told TheWrap. “It’s really delicious.”

Also Read: Donald Trump Affair Story Suppressed by National Enquirer (Report)

On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that President Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, arranged to pay a porn star $130,000 before the 2016 presidential election to buy her silence about a sexual encounter she had with Donald Trump.

According to the paper, Clifford said “privately” the encounter with Trump took place during a July 2006 celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, a year after Trump married his wife Melania.

We don’t know much about politics, but we do know a dirty cocktail when we see one. Introducing the Stormy Daniels, $9 all weekend long. pic.twitter.com/nGYanAdqQ2

— thebrightondc (@brightonwharf) January 13, 2018

The Wrap reached out to Cohen and Clifford and the White House for comment but did not hear back. Both Trump and Clifford, through Trump’s lawyer, denied that the alleged encounter to the WSJ.

“President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels,” Cohen said in a statement Friday.

A White House official told the paper in statement: “These are old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

National Enquirer Did Trump’s Dirty Work Long Before ‘Morning Joe’ Blackmail Claim

Jared Kushner Told ‘Morning Joe’: Apologize to Trump to Kill National Enquirer Story (Report)

Enquiring Minds Want to Know: Why All the Trump Propaganda in the National Enquirer?

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.

A bar in Washington, D.C. is now offering a new special cocktail named after the former a famous porn star who was reportedly paid off to keep her from talking about a sexual encounter with President Donald Trump.

The Brighton, a bar in D.C.’s The Wharf development, has come up with a clever way to sell more alcohol: the “Stormy Daniels,” named after former porn star Stephanie Clifford, known in the industry as “Stormy Daniels.”

“We don’t know much about politics, but we do know a dirty cocktail when we see one. Introducing the Stormy Daniels, $9 all weekend long,” The Brighton tweeted on Saturday.

A bartender told TheWrap the drink is a configuration of the the old classic, “Dark and Stormy,” which usually is made with rum and ginger beer.

“It’s a delightfully delicious southern-American style ‘Dark and Stormy’ with Jack Daniels instead of rum,” the bar’s manager, Chris Janiak, told TheWrap. “It’s really delicious.”

On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that President Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, arranged to pay a porn star $130,000 before the 2016 presidential election to buy her silence about a sexual encounter she had with Donald Trump.

According to the paper, Clifford said “privately” the encounter with Trump took place during a July 2006 celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, a year after Trump married his wife Melania.

The Wrap reached out to Cohen and Clifford and the White House for comment but did not hear back. Both Trump and Clifford, through Trump’s lawyer, denied that the alleged encounter to the WSJ.

“President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels,” Cohen said in a statement Friday.

A White House official told the paper in statement: “These are old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

National Enquirer Did Trump's Dirty Work Long Before 'Morning Joe' Blackmail Claim

Jared Kushner Told 'Morning Joe': Apologize to Trump to Kill National Enquirer Story (Report)

Enquiring Minds Want to Know: Why All the Trump Propaganda in the National Enquirer?

Will Disney-Fox Deal Face Antitrust Challenge From Trump Administration Like AT&T-Time Warner?

While Donald Trump’s Department of Justice has thrown a huge monkey wrench into one media-mega-merger by suing AT&T to block its planned acquisition of Time Warner, will Disney’s proposed $52.4-billion purchase of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets meet a similar fate?

Antitrust experts say that’s unlikely.

“This merger will happen, maybe with some tinkering around the edges,” George Hay, an anti-trust professor at Cornell law school who worked in the government’s anti-trust division in the 1970s, told TheWrap.

For one thing, Hay said, “there’s no elimination of any competition” among the Hollywood studios that would create a monopoly. “There are five or six studios now, so there will [still] be five or so others” if the deal goes through.

Also Read: Fox Film CEO Stacey Snider Cancels DC Trip to Console Staff After Disney News

Government lawyers are also unlikely to raise concerns because there is no consolidation of news outlets, Hay said. Fox is keeping Fox News, Fox Business and the Big Ten Network. “I think DOJ will decide there are enough sources of content. It’s not like CNN is acquiring Fox News.”

Brian Frons, former president of ABC Daytime and lecturer at UCLA’s Anderson Business School, said that the federal government will be examining the “concentration of power that disrupts the marketplace.”

That includes the combination of cable sports networks — especially Disney’s ESPN and Fox’s regional sports cable networks that the Mouse House hopes to acquire — and the “concentration of movie production and distribution, as it might affect theaters negotiating with a behemoth.”

But Frons noted that the new tech streaming companies have created more competition in the entertainment marketplace, which may help the Disney-Fox marriage pass antitrust muster. Given the amount of money that Netflix is spending, Amazon is spending, Apple is going to spend, it doesn’t feel like just aggregating more content and more content resources should raise a red flag,” Frons said.

Also Read: Writers Guild West Warns Fox-Disney Merger Will Be at ‘Expense of Creators’

A bigger issue for the Justice Department may be Disney assuming a 60 percent stake in the streaming service Hulu, which would allow the company to both produce and distribute content in a vertical integration that the Supreme Court has previously rejected for movie companies.

However, the government has adopted a more free market approach to vertical mergers in recent years — a sharp departure from the government’s antitrust lawsuits in the 1940s against the five major Hollywood movie studios. In that case, the DOJ argued that the studios had a market stranglehold as both movie creators and movie theaters owners, known as vertical integration. The Supreme Court strongly suggested that it agreed in its 1948 decision, U.S. v. Paramount, prompting the worried studios to sell off their theater chains.

In an odd twist of history, one of the independent studios that joined the federal government in its antitrust battle against the big five studios’ ownership of theaters was a then-upstart called Disney.

“The government has not blocked any vertical mergers in at least 50 years,” Hay said. “Economists, for the most part, believe that vertical mergers are benign.”

Also Read: Disney Gets a Landlord: Will Lease Space on Fox Lot for 7 Years Post Merger

Consumer groups have notably not raised red flags over the deal. Matt Wood, policy director of the consumer watchdog group Free Press, said the merger is also “a classic horizontal merger” because it combines two rival movie studios, but the competition between movie studios and other content creators remains healthy.

“We are unlikely to oppose this deal,” Wood told TheWrap. “This is a relatively robust market.”

But that doesn’t mean the sale of Fox companies to Disney is a good thing for consumers, he said. “Any time you have a merger like this, there is a chance of fewer choices and higher prices.”

The deal also has the backing of another key player in the government: Donald Trump, who called Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch on Thursday to offer congratulations, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

She said Trump anticipates that the deal will create jobs, but offered no specifics.

In contrast, Trump has said he opposed the rumored AT&T-Time Warner deal during his 2016 campaign,  and said it would put “too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.”

After the Justice Department went to court to stop the merger, Trump said aboard Air Force One, “I do feel you should have as many news outlets as you can — especially since so many are fake.”

Sean Burch contributed to this report.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Disney-Fox Merger Likely to Kill Thousands of Hollywood Jobs, Analysts Say

Fox Film CEO Stacey Snider Cancels DC Trip to Console Staff After Disney News

Disney Gets a Landlord: Will Lease Space on Fox Lot for 7 Years Post Merger

Behind the Disney-Fox Merger: 7 Things We Still Need to Know – and 3 We Already Do

Disney, Fox Stocks Show Only Slight Bumps on Mammoth Deal News

While Donald Trump’s Department of Justice has thrown a huge monkey wrench into one media-mega-merger by suing AT&T to block its planned acquisition of Time Warner, will Disney’s proposed $52.4-billion purchase of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets meet a similar fate?

Antitrust experts say that’s unlikely.

“This merger will happen, maybe with some tinkering around the edges,” George Hay, an anti-trust professor at Cornell law school who worked in the government’s anti-trust division in the 1970s, told TheWrap.

For one thing, Hay said, “there’s no elimination of any competition” among the Hollywood studios that would create a monopoly. “There are five or six studios now, so there will [still] be five or so others” if the deal goes through.

Government lawyers are also unlikely to raise concerns because there is no consolidation of news outlets, Hay said. Fox is keeping Fox News, Fox Business and the Big Ten Network. “I think DOJ will decide there are enough sources of content. It’s not like CNN is acquiring Fox News.”

Brian Frons, former president of ABC Daytime and lecturer at UCLA’s Anderson Business School, said that the federal government will be examining the “concentration of power that disrupts the marketplace.”

That includes the combination of cable sports networks — especially Disney’s ESPN and Fox’s regional sports cable networks that the Mouse House hopes to acquire — and the “concentration of movie production and distribution, as it might affect theaters negotiating with a behemoth.”

But Frons noted that the new tech streaming companies have created more competition in the entertainment marketplace, which may help the Disney-Fox marriage pass antitrust muster. Given the amount of money that Netflix is spending, Amazon is spending, Apple is going to spend, it doesn’t feel like just aggregating more content and more content resources should raise a red flag,” Frons said.

A bigger issue for the Justice Department may be Disney assuming a 60 percent stake in the streaming service Hulu, which would allow the company to both produce and distribute content in a vertical integration that the Supreme Court has previously rejected for movie companies.

However, the government has adopted a more free market approach to vertical mergers in recent years — a sharp departure from the government’s antitrust lawsuits in the 1940s against the five major Hollywood movie studios. In that case, the DOJ argued that the studios had a market stranglehold as both movie creators and movie theaters owners, known as vertical integration. The Supreme Court strongly suggested that it agreed in its 1948 decision, U.S. v. Paramount, prompting the worried studios to sell off their theater chains.

In an odd twist of history, one of the independent studios that joined the federal government in its antitrust battle against the big five studios’ ownership of theaters was a then-upstart called Disney.

“The government has not blocked any vertical mergers in at least 50 years,” Hay said. “Economists, for the most part, believe that vertical mergers are benign.”

Consumer groups have notably not raised red flags over the deal. Matt Wood, policy director of the consumer watchdog group Free Press, said the merger is also “a classic horizontal merger” because it combines two rival movie studios, but the competition between movie studios and other content creators remains healthy.

“We are unlikely to oppose this deal,” Wood told TheWrap. “This is a relatively robust market.”

But that doesn’t mean the sale of Fox companies to Disney is a good thing for consumers, he said. “Any time you have a merger like this, there is a chance of fewer choices and higher prices.”

The deal also has the backing of another key player in the government: Donald Trump, who called Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch on Thursday to offer congratulations, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

She said Trump anticipates that the deal will create jobs, but offered no specifics.

In contrast, Trump has said he opposed the rumored AT&T-Time Warner deal during his 2016 campaign,  and said it would put “too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.”

After the Justice Department went to court to stop the merger, Trump said aboard Air Force One, “I do feel you should have as many news outlets as you can — especially since so many are fake.”

Sean Burch contributed to this report.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Disney-Fox Merger Likely to Kill Thousands of Hollywood Jobs, Analysts Say

Fox Film CEO Stacey Snider Cancels DC Trip to Console Staff After Disney News

Disney Gets a Landlord: Will Lease Space on Fox Lot for 7 Years Post Merger

Behind the Disney-Fox Merger: 7 Things We Still Need to Know – and 3 We Already Do

Disney, Fox Stocks Show Only Slight Bumps on Mammoth Deal News

Carol Costello’s Plan for Moving From CNN to HLN: Cut the ‘Bulls—-‘ and Earn Trust (Exclusive)

Carol Costello plans to cut out the “bulls—” and put on a show that earns the trust of viewers when her HLN show, “Across America with Carol Costello,” kicks off on Monday.

“Right now, to me, the trust issue is at the top of my list. I really want people to trust me,” Costello told TheWrap during a recent interview. “If you want a snapshot of what the show will be, it’s simple: No bulls—. It’ll be a no-bulls— zone.”

HLN’s sister network, CNN, was Costello’s most recent employer and is often called “fake news” by the President Trump. However, she thinks the issues regarding trust and the media stretch far beyond Trump’s beef with CNN.

Also Read: Carol Costello to Leave CNN for HLN: Watch Her Emotional Announcement (Video)

“It hurts me that people from my neck of the woods, the Midwest, don’t trust me,” she said. “I don’t think it’s just the Trump supporters, I think that trust in media has been eroding for a long time.”

Costello said the issue “isn’t anything new” and Trump simply “capitalized” on it. She explained that as a 24-year-old local news anchor in Ohio, she was trusted because, back then, people believed what they heard from a broadcaster.

“Now, I’m an experienced journalist that knows so much more and a lot of people don’t trust what I say,” she said. “It pains me and to blame it all on Trump shows a distinct lack of courage on the part of journalists. It’s partially our fault.”

Also Read: Trump Blasts CNN’s Jim Acosta (Again): ‘You’re Fake News’ (Video)

Costello said her new show is the only thing that she’s thought about since her emotional goodbye from CNN roughly six months ago. Costello’s move to HLN allowed the cable news veteran to create a show’s strategy and hire her own team for the first time ever — and she’s quite the perfectionist.

“I’ve been driving myself crazy,” Costello said. “Even if it all goes to s—, it’s been a great experience for me because it strengthened me as a journalist. The primary feature of my show will be transparency. We will not have huge panels talking about political minutia.”

Costello, who walked away from CNN to relocate to HLN’s Los Angeles studio to be closer to her husband, promises to be honest with her audience, even if that means admitting an agenda on particular topics.

Also Read: HLN’s ‘The Hunt’ Helps Capture Man Wanted for Sexual Assault of Child 5 Days After Premiere

“I am a human being,” she said. “I’m not going to lie to you about it… That doesn’t mean I can’t open my mind and embrace [opposing] views.”

The show is called “Across America” because Costello wants to focus on news in portions of the country that often get overlooked by the mainstream media.

“You can’t have credibility if you don’t cover the people you’re talking about,” she said. “That doesn’t mean an analyst in Washington, D.C. who has not lived in Ohio for 25 years sitting there spouting off about how people feel… I mean, actually going to Ohio to do stories… actually talk to people who live in those places.”

“Across America with Carol Costello” premieres on Aug. 21 at 11 a.m. ET on HLN

Related stories from TheWrap:

Carol Costello to Leave CNN for HLN: Watch Her Emotional Announcement (Video)

CNN’s Carol Costello: ‘Screw You, Jon Stewart’ (Audio)

CNN’s Carol Costello Skeezed Out By Sexy Jesus In ‘Son Of God’ (Video)

Carol Costello plans to cut out the “bulls—” and put on a show that earns the trust of viewers when her HLN show, “Across America with Carol Costello,” kicks off on Monday.

“Right now, to me, the trust issue is at the top of my list. I really want people to trust me,” Costello told TheWrap during a recent interview. “If you want a snapshot of what the show will be, it’s simple: No bulls—. It’ll be a no-bulls— zone.”

HLN’s sister network, CNN, was Costello’s most recent employer and is often called “fake news” by the President Trump. However, she thinks the issues regarding trust and the media stretch far beyond Trump’s beef with CNN.

“It hurts me that people from my neck of the woods, the Midwest, don’t trust me,” she said. “I don’t think it’s just the Trump supporters, I think that trust in media has been eroding for a long time.”

Costello said the issue “isn’t anything new” and Trump simply “capitalized” on it. She explained that as a 24-year-old local news anchor in Ohio, she was trusted because, back then, people believed what they heard from a broadcaster.

“Now, I’m an experienced journalist that knows so much more and a lot of people don’t trust what I say,” she said. “It pains me and to blame it all on Trump shows a distinct lack of courage on the part of journalists. It’s partially our fault.”

Costello said her new show is the only thing that she’s thought about since her emotional goodbye from CNN roughly six months ago. Costello’s move to HLN allowed the cable news veteran to create a show’s strategy and hire her own team for the first time ever — and she’s quite the perfectionist.

“I’ve been driving myself crazy,” Costello said. “Even if it all goes to s—, it’s been a great experience for me because it strengthened me as a journalist. The primary feature of my show will be transparency. We will not have huge panels talking about political minutia.”

Costello, who walked away from CNN to relocate to HLN’s Los Angeles studio to be closer to her husband, promises to be honest with her audience, even if that means admitting an agenda on particular topics.

“I am a human being,” she said. “I’m not going to lie to you about it… That doesn’t mean I can’t open my mind and embrace [opposing] views.”

The show is called “Across America” because Costello wants to focus on news in portions of the country that often get overlooked by the mainstream media.

“You can’t have credibility if you don’t cover the people you’re talking about,” she said. “That doesn’t mean an analyst in Washington, D.C. who has not lived in Ohio for 25 years sitting there spouting off about how people feel… I mean, actually going to Ohio to do stories… actually talk to people who live in those places.”

“Across America with Carol Costello” premieres on Aug. 21 at 11 a.m. ET on HLN

Related stories from TheWrap:

Carol Costello to Leave CNN for HLN: Watch Her Emotional Announcement (Video)

CNN's Carol Costello: 'Screw You, Jon Stewart' (Audio)

CNN's Carol Costello Skeezed Out By Sexy Jesus In 'Son Of God' (Video)

Did Lincoln Memorial Vandal Just Spray ‘F— Islam’ on DC Monument?

The Lincoln Memorial has been vandalized with graffiti and the National Park Service is on the case.

It’s not exactly clear what the graffiti says, however. From an image released by the NPS, some could interpret the red spray paint as saying “F— law,” but some are saying it reads “F— Islam.”

The words were found around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday morning on a pillar at the monument that overlooks the Capitol building and the National Mall, said NPS to D.C. station NBC 4 News.

The park service is still investigating, but cleanup is already underway. The preservation crew will apply a “mild, gel-type architectural paint stripper” in order to remove the red spray paint without harming the stone underneath.

Also Read: Charlottesville Police Arrest Ohio Man in Deadly Crash at ‘Unite the Right’ Rally

Additional graffiti in silver spray paint was found on the 1400 block of Constitution Avenue, though any words were indecipherable, according to NBC’s report.

This vandalism comes after violent white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend. A man who was part of the rallies drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring 19 others.

Unrest has continued across the country after the white supremacist rallies. Protesters toppled a Confederate statue in Durham, N.C., on Monday night, and a suspect was arrested in Boston accused of vandalizing the city’s Holocaust memorial.

Also Read: Barack Obama Tweets Poignant Message About Racism in Wake of Charlottesville Tragedy

On social media, finger pointing is flying every which way. Some are blaming left wing extremists, while others blame alt-right racists. One observer urged people to reserve judgement until more information is found: “Let’s find the vandals and their intentions before pointing fingers.”

Anyone with information on the Lincoln Memorial vandalism is encouraged to call the Park Police non-emergency line at 202-610-7505.

The Lincoln Memorial was vandalized by Trumpster Nazis w/ words “F*ck Islam”
Please don’t retweet the picture, that just encourages copycats

— Edan Clay (@EdanClay) August 15, 2017

Lincoln Memorial vandalized today per @NatlParkService pic.twitter.com/ko4U1uLGLA

— Lindsay Watts (@LindsayAWatts) August 15, 2017

From the once party of Lincoln and now party of white supremacy, “F*CK ISLAM,” spray-painted today on the Lincoln Memorial pic.twitter.com/WGVrX6fgPk

— The Baxter Bean (@TheBaxterBean) August 15, 2017

“Lincoln Memorial” hey #ANTIFA he freed the slaves!!! spend more time in class less time destroying things #TuesdayThoughts #MAGA #MSM pic.twitter.com/lgN9Gqyxot

— Tim Adams (@tcaoitTW) August 15, 2017

Let’s find the vandals and their intentions before pointing fingers. Lincoln Memorial.

— Sam Valentin (@N0mad4life) August 15, 2017

Left wing terrorist Fascists have vandalized Lincoln Memorial.

It’s taking a long time for Democrat leaders to condemn this hateful act. pic.twitter.com/yzcw63FWuC

— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) August 15, 2017

Related stories from TheWrap:

Jennifer Lawrence Wants Charlottesville ‘Cowards’ Identified

Fundraiser for Charlottesville Hero Marcus Martin Surpasses Goal in Less Than 24 Hours

Senator Al Franken on Conan: Trump’s Charlottesville Reaction Was ‘Very Him’ (Video)

Seth Meyers Calls Trump’s Charlottesville Response ‘Limp D— City’ (Video)

The Lincoln Memorial has been vandalized with graffiti and the National Park Service is on the case.

It’s not exactly clear what the graffiti says, however. From an image released by the NPS, some could interpret the red spray paint as saying “F— law,” but some are saying it reads “F— Islam.”

The words were found around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday morning on a pillar at the monument that overlooks the Capitol building and the National Mall, said NPS to D.C. station NBC 4 News.

The park service is still investigating, but cleanup is already underway. The preservation crew will apply a “mild, gel-type architectural paint stripper” in order to remove the red spray paint without harming the stone underneath.

Additional graffiti in silver spray paint was found on the 1400 block of Constitution Avenue, though any words were indecipherable, according to NBC’s report.

This vandalism comes after violent white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend. A man who was part of the rallies drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring 19 others.

Unrest has continued across the country after the white supremacist rallies. Protesters toppled a Confederate statue in Durham, N.C., on Monday night, and a suspect was arrested in Boston accused of vandalizing the city’s Holocaust memorial.

On social media, finger pointing is flying every which way. Some are blaming left wing extremists, while others blame alt-right racists. One observer urged people to reserve judgement until more information is found: “Let’s find the vandals and their intentions before pointing fingers.”

Anyone with information on the Lincoln Memorial vandalism is encouraged to call the Park Police non-emergency line at 202-610-7505.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Jennifer Lawrence Wants Charlottesville 'Cowards' Identified

Fundraiser for Charlottesville Hero Marcus Martin Surpasses Goal in Less Than 24 Hours

Senator Al Franken on Conan: Trump's Charlottesville Reaction Was 'Very Him' (Video)

Seth Meyers Calls Trump's Charlottesville Response 'Limp D— City' (Video)

45 Senators Urge Pentagon to Hold Off on Discharging Transgender Troops

A group of 45 U.S. senators are urging the Pentagon to hold off on President Trump’s controversial announcement to discharge transgender troops, at least until the Defense Department finishes its ongoing review on the matter.

On Wednesday, Trump fired off a series of tweets announcing that transgender individuals would no longer be allowed to enlist or serve in the military. But in a letter to senior military leaders Thursday, Gen. Jospeh Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, insisted the that “there will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidelines.”

“In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect,” Dunford added.

Also Read: Laverne Cox: Trump’s Military Ban Treats Trans People as ‘Less Than Human’ (Exclusive Video)

The White House said that the details on how to implement the transgender ban would be ironed out later, though it did not say when.

The senators’ letter, written by New York Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand, was addressed to Secretary of Defense James Mattis. In it, Gellibrand urges Mattis to complete his ongoing review on whether transgender people should be allowed to serve openly in the military.

“We strongly oppose this policy change, and urge you to advise the President against it,” Gillibrand and the senators wrote. “This announcement contradicts existing Defense Department policies, undermines our military readiness, and puts our transgender service members as well as their commanders in an impossible situation.”

Also Read: Department of Defense Site Sticks to Existing Transgender Policy, Despite Trump Tweet

The senators also asked that “at a minimum, you do not separate any service member due to the person’s gender identity until you have completed the assessment that you announced on June 30, have reported back to Congress about any challenges that you foresee in the accession and retention of transgender troops, and determined the Department is unable to mitigate these challenges.”

“Transgender Americans who serve in our military put their lives on the line to protect America,” the letter said. “They make up a small percentage of the military population, but are reportedly twice as likely to serve in the military as other Americans.”

The letter was signed by Gellibrand and 44 other senators just as the senate was voting on the GOP’s so-called “skinny repeal,” which was defeated early Friday morning.

Also Read: James Corden Blasts Trump’s Transgender Military Ban Through Song (Video)

The full text of the Senators’ joint letter is included here:

July 28, 2017

The Honorable James N. Mattis
Secretary of Defense
1100 Defense Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20301

Dear Secretary Mattis,

We are writing regarding the President’s announcement via Twitter yesterday that transgender Americans can no longer serve in the military. We strongly oppose this policy change, and urge you to advise the President against it. This announcement contradicts existing Defense Department policies, undermines our military readiness, and puts our transgender service members as well as their commanders in an impossible situation. We appreciate General Dunford’s message that no policy changes should be made until implementation guidelines have been issued. We further write to request that, at a minimum, you do not separate any service member due to the person’s gender identity until you have completed the assessment that you announced on June 30, have reported back to Congress about any challenges that you foresee in the accession and retention of transgender troops, and determined the Department is unable to mitigate these challenges.

Transgender Americans who serve in our military put their lives on the line to protect America. They make up a small percentage of the military population, but are reportedly twice as likely to serve in the military as other Americans. Transgender service members have been serving openly since the policy was changed in June 2016 and in that time no service has reported any issues associated with their service.

Forcing these brave Americans out of our military would be cruel and discriminatory. It would harm our readiness by denying the military of these service members’ capabilities and requiring the military to replace them at a time when the recruiting pool for the services continues to shrink. It will harm morale in the military as service members see their brothers and sisters in arms – some of whom are currently forward deployed – thrown out simply because of their identity. And the uncertainty associated with making policy this way is already harming our military readiness and morale, as transgender service members and their superiors struggle to make sense of the policy and what it means for them today and tomorrow.

Any American who wants to serve and meets the standards should be allowed to serve our country. Transgender service members are serving with honor and distinction today and we ask that you, as our Secretary of Defense, assure them that their service will not be ended simply because of who they are.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Is Trump’s Ban on Transgender Military Service Legal?

A group of 45 U.S. senators are urging the Pentagon to hold off on President Trump’s controversial announcement to discharge transgender troops, at least until the Defense Department finishes its ongoing review on the matter.

On Wednesday, Trump fired off a series of tweets announcing that transgender individuals would no longer be allowed to enlist or serve in the military. But in a letter to senior military leaders Thursday, Gen. Jospeh Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, insisted the that “there will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidelines.”

“In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect,” Dunford added.

The White House said that the details on how to implement the transgender ban would be ironed out later, though it did not say when.

The senators’ letter, written by New York Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand, was addressed to Secretary of Defense James Mattis. In it, Gellibrand urges Mattis to complete his ongoing review on whether transgender people should be allowed to serve openly in the military.

“We strongly oppose this policy change, and urge you to advise the President against it,” Gillibrand and the senators wrote. “This announcement contradicts existing Defense Department policies, undermines our military readiness, and puts our transgender service members as well as their commanders in an impossible situation.”

The senators also asked that “at a minimum, you do not separate any service member due to the person’s gender identity until you have completed the assessment that you announced on June 30, have reported back to Congress about any challenges that you foresee in the accession and retention of transgender troops, and determined the Department is unable to mitigate these challenges.”

“Transgender Americans who serve in our military put their lives on the line to protect America,” the letter said. “They make up a small percentage of the military population, but are reportedly twice as likely to serve in the military as other Americans.”

The letter was signed by Gellibrand and 44 other senators just as the senate was voting on the GOP’s so-called “skinny repeal,” which was defeated early Friday morning.

The full text of the Senators’ joint letter is included here:

July 28, 2017

The Honorable James N. Mattis
Secretary of Defense
1100 Defense Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20301

Dear Secretary Mattis,

We are writing regarding the President’s announcement via Twitter yesterday that transgender Americans can no longer serve in the military. We strongly oppose this policy change, and urge you to advise the President against it. This announcement contradicts existing Defense Department policies, undermines our military readiness, and puts our transgender service members as well as their commanders in an impossible situation. We appreciate General Dunford’s message that no policy changes should be made until implementation guidelines have been issued. We further write to request that, at a minimum, you do not separate any service member due to the person’s gender identity until you have completed the assessment that you announced on June 30, have reported back to Congress about any challenges that you foresee in the accession and retention of transgender troops, and determined the Department is unable to mitigate these challenges.

Transgender Americans who serve in our military put their lives on the line to protect America. They make up a small percentage of the military population, but are reportedly twice as likely to serve in the military as other Americans. Transgender service members have been serving openly since the policy was changed in June 2016 and in that time no service has reported any issues associated with their service.

Forcing these brave Americans out of our military would be cruel and discriminatory. It would harm our readiness by denying the military of these service members’ capabilities and requiring the military to replace them at a time when the recruiting pool for the services continues to shrink. It will harm morale in the military as service members see their brothers and sisters in arms – some of whom are currently forward deployed – thrown out simply because of their identity. And the uncertainty associated with making policy this way is already harming our military readiness and morale, as transgender service members and their superiors struggle to make sense of the policy and what it means for them today and tomorrow.

Any American who wants to serve and meets the standards should be allowed to serve our country. Transgender service members are serving with honor and distinction today and we ask that you, as our Secretary of Defense, assure them that their service will not be ended simply because of who they are.

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Trump Gives Washington a New Nickname: ‘Drain the Sewer’

President Trump started off the week with an early morning Twitter storm, bashing the media and providing a new nickname for Washington, D.C.

Trump has referred to D.C. as the “swamp” on a regular basis since the GOP primaries, but had a change of heart of Monday morning.

Potus tweeted, “Drain the Swamp should be changed to Drain the Sewer – it’s actually much worse than anyone ever thought, and it begins with the Fake News!”

Also Read: Sarah Huckabee Sanders Holds Post-Spicer Briefing: ‘Look at His Great Television Ratings’

Trump and his team have often talked about “draining the swamp” to refer to career politicians and bureaucrats who have opposed his own agenda.

In another Monday tweet, Trump offered rare praise for one of his Democratic political foes, Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer.

Speaking abut the Democratic agenda in the aftermath of the 2016 election loss, Schumer told the Washington Post: “When you lose to somebody who has 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself.”

That comment did not go unnoticed by the president on Monday when he tweeted: “After 1 year of investigation with Zero evidence being found, Chuck Schumer just stated that ‘Democrats should blame ourselves,not Russia.’”

On Sunday, Trump also took to Twitter to criticize the “fake news,” tweeting, “It’s hard to read the Failing New York Times or the Amazon Washington Post because every story/opinion, even if should be positive, is bad!”

Check out his early morning tweets.

Drain the Swamp should be changed to Drain the Sewer – it’s actually much worse than anyone ever thought, and it begins with the Fake News!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2017

After 1 year of investigation with Zero evidence being found, Chuck Schumer just stated that “Democrats should blame ourselves,not Russia.”

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2017

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President Trump started off the week with an early morning Twitter storm, bashing the media and providing a new nickname for Washington, D.C.

Trump has referred to D.C. as the “swamp” on a regular basis since the GOP primaries, but had a change of heart of Monday morning.

Potus tweeted, “Drain the Swamp should be changed to Drain the Sewer – it’s actually much worse than anyone ever thought, and it begins with the Fake News!”

Trump and his team have often talked about “draining the swamp” to refer to career politicians and bureaucrats who have opposed his own agenda.

In another Monday tweet, Trump offered rare praise for one of his Democratic political foes, Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer.

Speaking abut the Democratic agenda in the aftermath of the 2016 election loss, Schumer told the Washington Post: “When you lose to somebody who has 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself.”

That comment did not go unnoticed by the president on Monday when he tweeted: “After 1 year of investigation with Zero evidence being found, Chuck Schumer just stated that ‘Democrats should blame ourselves,not Russia.'”

On Sunday, Trump also took to Twitter to criticize the “fake news,” tweeting, “It’s hard to read the Failing New York Times or the Amazon Washington Post because every story/opinion, even if should be positive, is bad!”

Check out his early morning tweets.

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3 Things Conservatives Got Very Wrong About Linda Sarsour’s Speech

Conservatives are freaking out over a speech — rather, a misquotation of a speech — given by Muslim-American activist, Linda Sarsour.

Typically, any mention of  Sarsour’s name is enough to make GOP blood boil.

She’s Palestinian-American, an outspoken critic of the Trump administration, and served as co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. But recently, conservatives have gotten extra heated over a short clip of Sarsour’s July 1 keynote speech at a community luncheon in Chicago. In her speech, Sarsour invoked a word that non-Muslims greatly misunderstand and fear: “jihad.”

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Right-leaning Twitter is now accusing Sarsour of terrorism and calling for her arrest.

Hey Linda Sarsour-

I don’t know how YOU define Jihad, but here’s how western civilization defines it: pic.twitter.com/Ik7Z8ufDxv

— Sarah H. Sandiers (@SarahHSandiers) July 6, 2017

Linda Sarsour is threatening President Trump with “Jihad.” She is openly calling for terrorism and needs to be arrested NOW!

— Makada ???????? (@_Makada_) July 6, 2017

BREAKING: Linda Sarsour calls for “jihad” while addressing American Muslim group with ties to extremism.https://t.co/WDq134Xo8M pic.twitter.com/rTQeiJRyLB

— Mike Cernovich ???????? (@Cernovich) July 6, 2017

Revoke Linda Sarsour’s citizenship for threats against the President of the United States and then deport her to Saudi Arabia. pic.twitter.com/i8Od4ThHmc

— Based Monitored ???????? (@BasedMonitored) July 6, 2017

Islamist Linda Sarsour calls on Allah to honor their JIHAD against President Trump at Hamas fundraiser. Absolutely sickening. #TravelBan pic.twitter.com/umOdV5s0df

— Bradley Brewer (@Brad_S_Brewer) July 6, 2017

“She is openly calling for terrorism and needs to be arrested NOW!” one outraged user wrote. “Islamist Linda Sarsour calls on Allah to honor their JIHAD against President Trump at Hamas fundraiser,” fumed another.

Among all this outrage, though, is a lot of mis-information. Here is what conservative Twitter got very, very wrong.

1. That Sarsour spoke at a “Hamas fundraiser.”
Sarsour was actually the keynote speaker at the Islamic Society of North America’s Community Service Recognition Luncheon. The luncheon took place on July 1 in Rosemont, Illinois. According to the event website, it was a gathering of “a prestigious group of the nation’s Muslim leaders, scholars and government officials” to celebrate “an individual dedicated to community service.” This year’s honoree was Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, the ISNA’s National Director and a prominent leader in the Muslim-American community.

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2. The definition of the word “jihad”
Many non-Muslims mistakenly believe the word “jihad” means “holy war,” when in fact, it means “struggle” or “striving,” according to the Islamic Supreme Council of America. “It can refer to internal as well as external efforts to be a good Muslims or believer, as well as working to inform people about the faith of Islam,” the Council said. “Jihad is not a violent concept. [It] is not a declaration of war against other religions.” Also, “The concept of jihad has been hijacked by many political and religious groups over the ages in a bid to justify various forms of violence … Scholars say this misuse of jihad contradicts Islam.”

In her speech, Sarsour quoted a passage in the Quran where the Prophet Muhammad explains that the best form of jihad or struggle is “a word of truth in front of a tyrant rule or leader …” Sarsour followed with, “I hope that when we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts that from us as a form of jihad, that we are struggling against tyrants and rulers…” She then cited “fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House.”

Though she did make a not-so-subtle reference to President Trump and his constituents, Sarsour in no way incited violence against them. In using the word “jihad,” she merely encouraged her audience to stand up to discrimination.

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3. Calls for Sarsour’s deportation
According to FindLaw, “natural-born U.S. citizens may not have their citizenship revoked against their will, but may choose to renounce their citizenship on their own.” Sarsour was born in Brooklyn, New York. She is a natural-born U.S. citizen and therefore cannot be deported.

The two-minute-long video that is circulating Twitter has been altered to show Sarsour in a negative light. To deflect a lot of the hatred she has received — and to clear up misinformation — Sarsour tweeted out a link to the original video of the speech in its entirety.

Right wing tries to demonize my leadership. Editing videos is their favorite pasttime. My full speech at ISNA https://t.co/4dcfC5pvC4

— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) July 6, 2017

The full speech was posted to ISNA’s Facebook page on July 1st and is 24 minutes long. You can listen to it here.

The Islamic Society of North America for comment did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

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Conservatives are freaking out over a speech — rather, a misquotation of a speech — given by Muslim-American activist, Linda Sarsour.

Typically, any mention of  Sarsour’s name is enough to make GOP blood boil.

She’s Palestinian-American, an outspoken critic of the Trump administration, and served as co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. But recently, conservatives have gotten extra heated over a short clip of Sarsour’s July 1 keynote speech at a community luncheon in Chicago. In her speech, Sarsour invoked a word that non-Muslims greatly misunderstand and fear: “jihad.”

Right-leaning Twitter is now accusing Sarsour of terrorism and calling for her arrest.

“She is openly calling for terrorism and needs to be arrested NOW!” one outraged user wrote. “Islamist Linda Sarsour calls on Allah to honor their JIHAD against President Trump at Hamas fundraiser,” fumed another.

Among all this outrage, though, is a lot of mis-information. Here is what conservative Twitter got very, very wrong.

1. That Sarsour spoke at a “Hamas fundraiser.”
Sarsour was actually the keynote speaker at the Islamic Society of North America’s Community Service Recognition Luncheon. The luncheon took place on July 1 in Rosemont, Illinois. According to the event website, it was a gathering of “a prestigious group of the nation’s Muslim leaders, scholars and government officials” to celebrate “an individual dedicated to community service.” This year’s honoree was Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, the ISNA’s National Director and a prominent leader in the Muslim-American community.

2. The definition of the word “jihad”
Many non-Muslims mistakenly believe the word “jihad” means “holy war,” when in fact, it means “struggle” or “striving,” according to the Islamic Supreme Council of America. “It can refer to internal as well as external efforts to be a good Muslims or believer, as well as working to inform people about the faith of Islam,” the Council said. “Jihad is not a violent concept. [It] is not a declaration of war against other religions.” Also, “The concept of jihad has been hijacked by many political and religious groups over the ages in a bid to justify various forms of violence … Scholars say this misuse of jihad contradicts Islam.”

In her speech, Sarsour quoted a passage in the Quran where the Prophet Muhammad explains that the best form of jihad or struggle is “a word of truth in front of a tyrant rule or leader …” Sarsour followed with, “I hope that when we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts that from us as a form of jihad, that we are struggling against tyrants and rulers…” She then cited “fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House.”

Though she did make a not-so-subtle reference to President Trump and his constituents, Sarsour in no way incited violence against them. In using the word “jihad,” she merely encouraged her audience to stand up to discrimination.

3. Calls for Sarsour’s deportation
According to FindLaw, “natural-born U.S. citizens may not have their citizenship revoked against their will, but may choose to renounce their citizenship on their own.” Sarsour was born in Brooklyn, New York. She is a natural-born U.S. citizen and therefore cannot be deported.

The two-minute-long video that is circulating Twitter has been altered to show Sarsour in a negative light. To deflect a lot of the hatred she has received — and to clear up misinformation — Sarsour tweeted out a link to the original video of the speech in its entirety.

The full speech was posted to ISNA’s Facebook page on July 1st and is 24 minutes long. You can listen to it here.

The Islamic Society of North America for comment did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

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How TV and Movies Can Stop Trump's Muslim Travel Ban (Guest Blog)

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