Newsmax Host Linked to Effort to Pay Women for ‘False Claims’ of Misconduct Against Robert Mueller

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The office of special counsel Robert Mueller has asked the FBI to look into whether Jack Burkman — a right-wing lobbyist who hosts a weekly show on Newsmax TV — offered to pay women to come forward with “false claims” of sexual or workplace misconduct Mueller, the office’s spokesman said Tuesday.

Burkman, a lobbyist and GOP operative who has been associated with various conspiracy theories over the years, offered an unnamed woman $20,000 to accuse Mueller of wrongdoing, according to The Atlantic.

Mueller’s office became aware of the plan after several journalists solicited by the woman brought it to their attention, Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller’s office, told TheWrap.

“When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the Special Counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation,” Carr said in a statement.

Also Read: Trump Slams GQ Writer Who Says He ‘Radicalized’ More People Than ISIS: ‘Sick Woman’

The FBI declined to comment. Reps for Burkman at his lobbying firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Tuesday, Burkman teased that a “client” would come forward on Thursday as “the first of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s sex assault victims.” He offered no further details about the individual or the possible accusations.

Some sad news. On Thursday, November 1, at the Rosslyn
Holiday Inn at noon, we will reveal the first of Special Counsel Robert
Mueller’s sex assault victims. I applaud the courage and dignity and
grace and strength of my client. pic.twitter.com/wZVQeHD45r

— Jack Burkman (@Jack_Burkman) October 30, 2018

Burkman has made a reputation as a gadfly with high-profile appeals to whistleblowers. In February, The Washington Times reported that he floated a $25,000 bounty for concrete evidence of FBI wrongdoing in Mueller’s investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

He previously gained notoriety for offering a $100,000 reward to anyone who could bring information leading to a conviction in the unsolved 2016 murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.

After initially embracing his help, the Rich family distanced themselves from Burkman after the lobbyist began insisting their son was killed by Russian agents, without any corroboration.

“I was approached by a guy who styles himself as a former U.S. intel officer,” Burkman told local media last year. “I quizzed him. I think he’s credible — you never know the motive of people. But what he said is basically this — that Seth discovered that the Russians had been hacking and therefore the Russian government did away with Seth.”

Also Read: Newsmax Host Gets Schooled for False Claims About Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: ‘You’re a Know Nothing Shmuck’

Though he identifies himself as a Newsmax host on his Twitter account and is listed as the host of the weekly “Behind the Curtain” show on its website on Tuesday, Newsmax chief Chris Ruddy told TheWrap that Burkman had no affiliation with his network.

“Mr. Burkman is not a Newsmax host and as far as we know he does not claim to be,” Ruddy said. “He does have a radio show that airs as paid programming on Newsmax. We are reviewing whether he will continue as an advertiser.”

Burkman’s classification as a Newsmax host was removed after the company received an inquiry from TheWrap. A person familiar with the matter said he had been placed among the network’s stable of paid hosts by mistake.

You can watch episodes of Burkman’s radio show “Behind the Curtain” on Newsmax here.

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Newsmax White House Correspondent Sends Full Article to GOP Official for Review, Documents Show

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

A White House correspondent for Newsmax sent a full article he planned to publish about President Trump’s voter fraud commission to the head of that commission for review, according to new documents released on Friday.

John Gizzi emailed commission chief Kris Kobach, the full text of his article, including Kobach’s own quotes, and asked him to review it and make sure it checked out.

The article, ultimately published as “States Cooperating With Election Fraud Investigation” appeared on Newsmax on July 25, 2017 — the same day as his email to Kobach.

Also Read: Newsmax TV Hires Ex-Fox News Executive to Serve as CEO

The issue was first brought to wide public attention by ProPublica reporter Jessica Huseman, who noted that the move would be “a fireable offense at every single news organization I have worked for or with.”

Fascinating what you’ll find in the documents released about the voter fraud commission on Friday. For example, here’s John Gizzi of Newsmax emailing Kobach a *full article* he planned to run on NewsMax asking for his thoughts. pic.twitter.com/iGICmMpLrv

— Jessica Huseman (@JessicaHuseman) August 5, 2018

Gizzi, one of the most visible employees at the conservative media company Newsmax, has become a staple at White House press conferences and is known for his distinctive drawl and old-fashion style. He is one of White House press secretary Sarah Sanders’ favorite journalists and will routinely call on him for questions during briefings.

Also Read: Newsmax Host Gets Schooled for False Claims About Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: ‘You’re a Know Nothing Shmuck’

In a statement to TheWrap, Newsmax chief Chris Ruddy said Gizzi’s behavior did not follow “standard practice” at the company and insisted that sources like Kobach were never allowed any editorial oversight over content.

“In the past some reporters have felt comfortable sending a full article to a source (or expert) as John Gizzi did in this case, however this is not our standard practice and we do not promise these sources or experts editorial control,” said Ruddy. “Newsmax strives for accuracy and retains full editorial control over its material.”

Ruddy did not say if Newsmax was aware of Gizzi’s activity beforehand or whether the veteran newsman will face any consequences.

Also Read: Conservative Network Newsmax TV Now Available in Nearly 40 Million Homes

Gizzi did not respond to inquiries from TheWrap, but he did get into it with Huseman on Twitter.

“If a reporter doesn’t record, it is a good policy to run quotes past subject & thus avoid “corrections” & “retractions” from subbject later,” said Gizzi. “Along w. sending to the subject to check his quotes, I sent WHOLE ARTICLE to election law experts Jay O’Callaghan & Hans von Soakovsky to double check complex terms he used on voter I’D.”

Gizzi mostly sidestepped the issue of sending his full article, focusing instead on sending the quotes, which is a practice some news organizations, particularly the New York Times, prohibit.

You can read the full argument below.

If a reporter doesn’t record, it is a good policy to run quotes past subject & thus avoid “corrections” & “retractions” from subbject later. Good lesson from late Richard Ben Cramer for his book “What it Takes.” Dole, Bush etc. said controvsrsial stuff & he ran it past them.

– John Gizzi (@johngizzi) August 5, 2018

You didn’t just run the quotes. You sent the entire article to Kobach for approval. That’s not normal.

– Jessica Huseman (@JessicaHuseman) August 5, 2018

You’ve obviously an answer that you’re trying to justify. Along w. sending to the subject to check his quotes, I sent WHOLE ARTICLE to election law experts Jay O’Callaghan & Hans von Soakovsky to double check complex terms he used on voter I’D. I hope you Don’t have a problem.

– John Gizzi (@johngizzi) August 5, 2018

If one doesn’t record interviews-which I now do always–it is a good idea to run quotes past them. I don’t mind sending a full article w. the caveat that all that is subject to change are their words. In ’13, I misquoted someone & felt terrible about it. I said “never again.”

– John Gizzi (@johngizzi) August 5, 2018

That caveat didn’t exist in your email to Kobach.

– Jessica Huseman (@JessicaHuseman) August 5, 2018

I certainly told him that–as I did Hugh Hefner in 2000–when I began the interview & said I wasn’t recording (which I feel one has to disclose one way or another).

– John Gizzi (@johngizzi) August 5, 2018

It’s not clear to me, why if all that is subject to change is the quotes, you cannot just send the quotes themselves. You have to know that the practice you are describing is absolutely not industry standard.

– Jessica Huseman (@JessicaHuseman) August 5, 2018

You should come to my talk to the National Journalism Ctr. If you can’t record–which I do almost always now–it is wise to read quotes back. Before email, I used to read quotes on phone. I’ll try to dig up letter from Hugh Hefner in 2000 thanking me for accuracy in interview.

– John Gizzi (@johngizzi) August 5, 2018

Again, that’s achievable by sending quotes and not the full article. It’s unclear to me why you are ignoring that.

– Jessica Huseman (@JessicaHuseman) August 5, 2018

And apologies if I don’t take my journalism ethics guidance from Hugh Hefner. You cannot be serious.

– Jessica Huseman (@JessicaHuseman) August 5, 2018

Again, you have a conclusion & don’t listen to any. As I said, please come hear my lecture at the NJC. Or read about the late interviewer par excellence Oriana Falaci.

– John Gizzi (@johngizzi) August 5, 2018

Yes, John. I think it is fundamentally unethical to share your full story with your source–something in other tweets you’ve said you “mostly” agree with me on. That you justify this practice, which is deeply out of step w everyone else, in your own lectures is unpersuasive to me.

– Jessica Huseman (@JessicaHuseman) August 5, 2018

You are not listening. Final words: I run quotes past people when I Don’t record. Have done it by phone for yrs & more recently by fax and email. And it is w. pros on all sides of spectrum–from KOBACH TO HEFNER. AND WHY YOU ARE WELLING ON THIS & TWISTING MEANING IS BEYOND ME.

– John Gizzi (@johngizzi) August 5, 2018

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Newsmax Host Gets Schooled for False Claims About Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: ‘You’re a Know Nothing Shmuck’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Newsmax TV host John Cardillo was ripped by liberals and conservatives after tweeting derisively about Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Sunday.

In a tweet, Cardillo, who hosts “America Talks Live,” suggested that Ocasio-Cortez actually had a more privileged upbringing than many believed. He also saidOcasio-Cortez attended Brown University when actually went to Boston University.

“This is the Yorktown Heights (very nice area) home @Ocasio2018 grew up in before going off to Ivy League Brown University,” he said. “A far cry from the Bronx hood upbringing she’s selling.”

This is the Yorktown Heights (very nice area) home @Ocasio2018 grew up in before going off to Ivy League Brown University.

A far cry from the Bronx hood upbringing she’s selling. pic.twitter.com/xyOtZzVJII

— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) July 1, 2018

Also Read: Ex-NY Times Chief Slams Paper for Failure to Cover Ocasio-Cortez: ‘Pisses Me Off’

Conservatives laced into Cardillo for the tone-deafness of the attack, while liberal supporters of Ocasio-Cortez mocked him. Ocasio-Cortez responded in multiple tweets to shut down the host.

Hey John,

1. I didn’t go to Brown or the Ivy League. I went to BU. Try Google.

2. It is nice. Growing up, it was a good town for working people. My mom scrubbed toilets so I could live here & I grew up seeing how the zip code one is born in determines much of their opportunity.

– Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) July 1, 2018

3. Your attempt to strip me of my family, my story, my home, and my identity is exemplary of how scared you are of the power of all four of those things.

– Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) July 1, 2018

Here are some more reactions to Cardillo’s tweet:

Good god you’re a know nothing shmuck. Yorktown Heights is an ethnic suburb and the most modest in the county. Now go be a pig somewhere else. I disagree with Ocasio-Cortez on everything but you are a repellent slimebucket of a person. https://t.co/KGErgvEoYo

— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) July 1, 2018

This is the Yorktown Heights (very nice area) home @Ocasio2018 grew up in before going off to Ivy League Brown University.

A far cry from the Bronx hood upbringing she’s selling. pic.twitter.com/e8HMDGMg4Z

— lvl45 CHAOS POTUS who thinks he’s ‘infested’ (@thetomzone) July 2, 2018

This is the Yorktown Heights (very nice area) home @Ocasio2018 grew up in before going off to Ivy League Brown University.

A far cry from the Bronx hood upbringing she’s selling. pic.twitter.com/EurzlkcToW

— Brett _______ (@BrettRedacted) July 2, 2018

This is the Yorktown Heights (very nice area) home @Ocasio2018 grew up in before going off to Ivy League Brown University.

A far cry from the Bronx hood upbringing she’s selling pic.twitter.com/rSLq1o4gm8

— David Klion ???? (@DavidKlion) July 2, 2018

This is the Yorktown Heights (very nice area) home @Ocasio2018 grew up in before going off to Ivy League Brown University.

A far cry from the Bronx hood upbringing she’s selling. pic.twitter.com/vjKUB81RIy

— Virgil Texas (@virgiltexas) July 1, 2018

This is the Yorktown Heights (very nice area) home @Ocasio2018 grew up in before going off to Ivy League Brown University.

A far cry from the Bronx hood upbringing she’s selling pic.twitter.com/XmHODbk3mP

— Paul “Abolish ‘Nice’” Musgrave (@profmusgrave) July 2, 2018

This is the Yorktown Heights (very nice area) home @Ocasio2018 grew up in before going off to Ivy League Brown University.

A far cry from the Bronx hood upbringing she’s selling pic.twitter.com/9dk9qyeybz

— Murtaza Mohammad Hussain (@MazMHussain) July 2, 2018

This is the Yorktown Heights (very nice area) home @Ocasio2018 grew up in before going off to Ivy League Brown University.

A far cry from the Bronx hood upbringing she’s selling pic.twitter.com/d7Aq14a9kX

— Ajmal ???? (@ajmalalami) July 1, 2018

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Newsmax TV Hires Ex-Fox News Executive to Serve as CEO

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Newsmax TV has hired former Fox News executive Michael Clemente to serve as CEO, the company announced on Monday.

“Michael is one of the most accomplished executives and producers in television and digital news,” said Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media, Inc. in a statement. “He is widely respected in the industry and has won accolades for his high journalistic standards. It’s an honor for us to have him leading our team.”

Clemente, who once oversaw long-form programming at Fox News, was the first high profile executive to leave the channel after the company’s longtime president, Roger Ailes, departed the company. Media reports at the time attributed Clemente’s ouster not to sexual misconduct, but rather an internal power struggle between him and then network co-president Bill Shine.

Also Read: Billy Baldwin Drags Sean Hannity Over Past Comments Like ‘All Gays Are AIDS Carriers’

Before Fox, Clemente spent nearly three decades at ABC News and also did a brief stint at CNN.

“Newsmax has demonstrated the ability to adapt and thrive in the highly transformative digital news world, and was one of the first major online outlets to create a TV brand in cable,” said Clemente in the same press statement. “I’m excited to take on this new role at Newsmax during an incredible period of change, in a country eager for truth, understanding, and engagement in the news process.”

Clemente will be joining his old Fox News colleague Bill O’Reilly — who doesn’t officially work or Newsmax — who frequently appears on the channel to offer commentary.

Ruddy is known to have been close to President Trump and frequently appears on television to discuss the president’s mood on various matters. He raised eyebrows at the Financial Times Future of News conference last month when he casually told an audience that “the president is not a fact-based president. He’s a salesman.”

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Newsmax Calls Sinclair’s Plans to Sell Stations ‘Essentially a Sham’ to Gain Tribune Merger Approval

Read on: Variety.

WASHINGTON — Newsmax, the conservative news outlet, says Sinclair Broadcast Group’s plans for station sales are a “sham” to gain FCC approval for its proposed  acquisition of Tribune Media. Newsmax, which has been a critic of the transaction, was responding to a revised merger plan that Sinclair filed last week in which it said it […]

Clay Aiken Shoots Down Report He ‘Could Be President Someday’ (Exclusive)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Sorry America, Clay Aiken has no plans to run for president.

The former “American Idol” and “Celebrity Apprentice” star on Thursday shut down some left-field speculation by Christopher Ruddy’s conservative website Newsmax suggesting the out gay singer “could be president someday” and “has all the components of a successful run.”

“I will not be available to run for President, as I have decided to retire to a small experimental colony on Venus where I am dedicating my life to growing prize winning space turnips,” Aiken told TheWrap exclusively in his typical tongue-in-cheek fashion.

Also Read: Piers Morgan Shreds Clay Aiken Over ‘Nonsense’ Donald Trump Claim

When asked if that could be taken as an official denial, Aiken responded via email with the “neutral emoji face.”

Not exactly a Shermanesque denial.

If Aiken does change his mind, it wouldn’t be his first stab at elective office. In 2014, he was the Democratic nominee for Congress in North Carolina’s second district and took more than 40 percent of the vote against incumbent Renee Ellmers.

Also Read: Clay Aiken Apologizes for Defending Trump: ‘I Am a F—- Dumba-‘

Aiken has also remained plugged into current events, appearing on CNN as as Bernie Sanders surrogate during the 2016 campaign and co-hosting a political talk show on YouTube called BoldTV.

And after President Donald Trump’s widely criticized response to the Charlottesville neo-Nazi protests, Aiken repudiated his prior statements about the former “Celebrity Apprentice” host.

“Remember all those times I defended @realDonaldTrump and believed he was not actually racist? Well… I am a f*****g dumba-.  Aiken tweeted, adding, “I’ve always thought he would be a dumpster fire as a president, and I was right about that. I just didn’t think he was racist.”

Also Read: Piers Morgan Shreds Clay Aiken Over ‘Nonsense’ Donald Trump Claim

Still, the high praise in Newsmax for a gay Democrat ex-reality star also suggests Aiken could have bipartisan appeal.

“As a famous singer, songwriter, author, and politician, Clay Aiken has all the components for a successful run at the presidency someday,” wrote Newsmax writer Jerry Shaw, who then cited Aiken’s concern for education and personal friendship with Donald Trump as potential selling points.

Indeed, Aiken worked closely with Trump during his run on “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2011. As he did in “Idol,” where he was runner-up to Ruben Studdard, Aiken lasted all the way to the end of the show before ultimately losing to Arsenio Hall.

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Newsmax, One America Get Seats in White House Briefings

Read on: Variety.

The White House Correspondents Association unveiled a new seating chart for the 49 seats in the White House briefing room, with conservative outlets Newsmax and One America News Network getting placement. One America will share its seat with the BBC. Also getting a seat is the Daily Mail, HuffPost, and Univision. HuffPost will share its… Read more »

Newsmax TV Launches On DirecTV & U-verse

Read on: Deadline.

Newsmax TV expanded its reach today. The independent right-wing news outlet led by Christopher Ruddy launched on AT&T’s DirecTV and U-verse platforms, making it available in nearly 40 million homes.
Newsmax TV is making  its U-verse debut and returning to the satcaster after a nearly yearlong absence. This time, it will be part of DirecTV’s bundle of news channels.
“With our launch on DirecTV and U-verse, Newsmax TV has the opportunity to serve more viewers,” said Newsmax…