The quarter-acre parcel generates no earnings, has no natural deposits and has ecological limitations. Why does the president still keep it?
Amid the gilded tower blocks, high-end hotels and high-end golf clubs of Donald Trumps huge worldwide home portfolio is a much smaller sized holding that looks more than a little out of location.
Its a quarter-acre great deal of thick forest in among Floridas poorest counties that the United States president has actually owned and paid real estate tax on given that 2005 having actually purchased it for $1 from a lady who owned a photographic studio specialising in adult underwear shoots.
The plot generates no earnings, has no roadways, pavement or instant possibility for advancement, and offers an environment that gets along just to the swarms of mosquitoes that prosper in the humidity of the scorching Florida summer season.
The long read: John Di Domenico has been playing Donald Trump longer than anyone else except Trump himself
John Di Domenico looks nothing like Donald Trump: hes 17 years younger, several inches shorter and a natural brunet, though lately he keeps his head shaved to make putting on the coppery wig easier, and his eyebrows bleached to match. Becoming Trump requires a full hour of hair and makeup. He tapes three large photographs of the president, one in profile and two straight-on, to any mirror hes using, and then uses Ben Nye CoCo Tan foundation to turn his skin the requisite shade of atomic tangerine, dabs on wrinkles, lengthens his nose, and so on. Trump has quite a big head, but theres not much anyone can do about that.
Even with the elaborate costume, Di Domenicos physical resemblance to the president requires a little imagination but of the many people who do Trump, his take is the most uncanny. Its the voice. He recreates the uncommon way that Trump, to use Di Domenicos phrase, speaks from his teeth; the wild fluctuations of nasality; the inconsistent New York accent; the sibilant Ss and exaggerated vowels. He has also mastered the neck jerk, the squint, the off-tilt swagger. When Conan OBrien and Chelsea Handler needed a Trump for their late-night talk shows, they called Di Domenico, and he has also become a regular on Fox Newss morning talk show.
Di Domenico enjoys the appearances on Fox and ABC, the cameos on Glenn Becks radio show, the invitations to do adverts and spoof films, but he makes his living at corporate events, trade shows and private parties. Hes the guy executives hire to keep middle management amused at national sales meetings, or to provide a little excitement at the launch party of a flu-reduction medicine. Hes the booth decoration that gets passersby interested in your carpet company. He is the entertainment. He can do Guy Fieri and Jay Leno and Austin Powers and Dr Evil, but for the last decade his trademark impression has been Trump. At the peak of the 2016 campaign, that one impression earned him as much as $40,000 a month.
Whenever Di Domenico appears in public in costume, people turn and gawk. They pull out their phones to take video, or they laugh spontaneously. Oh my god, they say. Or, breathlessly, Donald!
One afternoon in March, exiting a New York hotel, the sight of Di Domenico-as-Trump sent the front desk manager into a fit of giggles that verged on a panic attack. Oh my god, the guy kept saying, trying to catch his breath. No way. Faux Trump squinted, aimed a presidential finger in the mans direction, and agreed to a selfie.
In the photograph, Di Domenico has his chest and gut thrown out, as if hes leading from the widest point of his red sateen tie. The wig crests low over his brow. Hes flashing a presidential thumbs-up with one hand, his head is cocked to one side so his eyes squint unevenly, and his mouth has that protruded, half-open look of an aggravated orangutan. Its all correct.
Di Domenico handed the man his business card, with details of how to find him on social media. Tag me, he said, Youre terrific. And left.
Two college-aged guys hanging around stared after him, vaguely stricken. Its really good, said one. His friend nodded and looked around the lobby, presumably for Secret Service agents, or a hidden camera crew. What the fuck is going on?
As a professional impersonator,Di Domenico makes his living in an America where, as the historian Daniel J Boorstin wrote in 1962, fantasy is more real than reality. We have become, he wrote, the first people in history to have been able to make their illusions so vivid, so persuasive, so realistic that [we] can live in them. By the time Trump started to appear on the front pages of New York City tabloids in the late 1980s, politics, religion, news, athletics, education and commerce had been transformed into congenial adjuncts of showbusiness, as the cultural theorist Neil Postman famously wrote in 1984. Under this new dispensation, celebrities emerged as the unpredictable real-life stars of a never-ending show unfolding in real time. Thirty years later, Americans remain so compelled by the power of celebrity to make life feel entertaining and meaningful that we are thrilled by the mere facsimile of a famous person, so long as he conveys a hint of the same magic.
When Trump declared his candidacy, he turned himself into the most visible celebrity in the world, and Di Domenicos career exploded. By Di Domenicos estimation, peak demand for Trump impressions came during the election cycle, when Trumps political aspirations could still be seen as a joke that hadnt yet arrived at the punchline. Di Domenico worked every day for more than a year. He was soon joined by a cadre of other Donalds: the comedian Anthony Atamanuik, whose work Di Domenico admires (Trump is all id. Anthonys Trump is the id on steroids,); the prolific impressionist Frank Caliendo; Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon; and, of course, Alec Baldwin on Saturday Night Live. Di Domenico, though, has been doing this for 13 years longer than any other major Trump impersonator which not only lends him a bit of godfatherly cred, but also gives his impression singular nuance.
The relationship between the impersonator and the impersonated is a bizarre form of intimacy. Apart from its lopsidedness, the connection is almost spousal, marked by the closeness that comes from living with someone day after day for years and years, memorising their gestures, assimilating their speech patterns. Theres admiration and irritation, conjecture about the others intentions and inner life, struggles to keep a separate identity, and the sense of ownership that comes from believing you know a person better than anyone else. Its a parasitic homage.
Di Domenico keeps inside him, nested like matryoshka dolls, all the many selves Trump has fashioned in the last 30 years: Trump the businessman on CNN silkily telling Larry King in 1989 that his breath stinks; Trump the reality television star firing Cyndi Lauper on The Celebrity Apprentice in 2010; Trump the candidate declaring that he could stand on 5th Avenue in New York and shoot someone without losing a vote. Di Domenico talks about Trump with the same casual authority he displays when talking about himself. Hes gained a lot of weight lately, hell remark offhandedly. Or, Nah, he doesnt have OCD. Or he has selective OCD. Frequently, Trumps cadence will sneak its way into Di Domenicos speech: a nasal vowel, a tremendous.
Every morning, Di Domenico reads the news, scanning for any stories or new behaviours he needs to incorporate. He can list and demonstrate Trumps most common gestures, most of which only appeared when he entered political life. Theres the T-Rex, when he plasters his forearms to his sides and waves his stiff hands back and forth, as if conducting a tiny, mad choir. Theres the OK slightly effete, open-handed, with the thumb and forefinger pinched together and the wrist cocked and loose. And the Hi, where Di Domenico reaches out his right arm and tilts the hand up in greeting. Then theres the Heil Hitler here he straightens his wrist though hes stopped doing that. I think someone told him to stop doing that.
Chinese interests of Donald Trumps child and son-in-law enter spotlight once again as Communist celebration looks for to fete prominent White House couple
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have actually been welcomed to China as Beijing works to construct closer ties with the prominent couple inside an irregular White House.
Trump, child of the United States president, and her hubby both have main functions in the White House and the journey is anticipated to happen this year, Bloomberg News reported . The 2 had supper with the inbound United States ambassador to China on Sunday at the Trump Hotel in Washington as he prepared to leave for Beijing.
Chinas President Xi Jinping verbally welcomed Donald Trump and Kushner to check out throughout his check out to the Mar-a-lago resort in April that Kushner assisted strategy. Kushner has actually been entrusted with handling relations with China, amongst a host of other responsibilities consisting of making peace in between Israel and Palestine.
Chinese authorities have actually been rushing to develop closer ties with crucial members of the United States administration after Donald Trumps election triumph shocked lots of in the management. The couples see is not likely to happen prior to October, as senior authorities get ready for a two times a years management reshuffle at a crucial Communist celebration conference.
Ivanka Trump is broadly popular in China where state media frequently lavishes her and her Mandarin-learning child with appreciation.
But the couple have actually been criticised for their company ties to China , shining a spotlight on possible disputes as the 2 prepare to engage diplomatically with the nation.
Trumps brand name was just recently involved in debate after 3 labor activists were detained for examining working conditions at factories that make her items. Trump has actually remained quiet on the matter, although the United States state department has actually required the detectives release.
Kushner has actually likewise come under fire for his ties to China. In March a Chinese monetary corporation, Anbang, ditched a $400m financial investment in a structure owned by Kushners property company. The offer broke down after extreme public analysis and criticism from principles and legislators specialists.
Kushners business has actually likewise been knocked for motivating Chinese financial investment in its tasks by utilizing a questionable United States visa program.
The business has actually had a relatively nonstop string of errors, from its questionable CEO to doubtful methods and unwanted sexual advances claims
Uber has actually been rocked by a stable stream of scandals and unfavorable promotion in the last few years, consisting of discoveries of doubtful spy programs, a high-stakes innovation suit, claims of unwanted sexual advances and discrimination and awkward leakages about executive conduct.
The PR catastrophes culminated in CEO Travis Kalanick taking an indefinite leave of lack today and pledges of strong reform that mostly disregarded the ride-hailing business strained relationship with chauffeurs.
Here is a timeline of a few of the most substantial debates.
Boob-er reaction, February 2014
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick dealt with reaction for a sexist joke about his increasing desirability, informing an Esquire press reporter: We call that Boob-er.
Targeting the rival, August 2014
Uber dealt with allegations that it scheduled countless phony flights from its rival Lyft in an effort to cut into its services and revenues. Uber employers likewise supposedly spammed Lyft motorists in an effort to hire them far from the competitor.
The God View scandal, November 2014
Uber executive Emil Michael recommended digging up dirt on reporters and spreading out individual details of a female press reporter who was vital of the business. He later on said sorry . It was likewise exposed that Uber has a so-called God View innovation that permits the business to track users places, raising personal privacy issues. One supervisor had accessed the profile of a press reporter without her consent.
Spying on Beyonc, December 2016
A previous forensic private investigator for Uber affirmed that staff members frequently spied on political leaders, stars and exes, consisting of Beyonc.
Self-owning pilot failure, December 2016
Regulators in California bought Uber to eliminate self-driving lorries from the roadway after the business released a pilot without licenses. On the very first day of the program, the lorries were captured running traffic signals, and biking supporters in San Francisco likewise raised issues about the automobiles developing threats in bike lanes. The business blamed red-light concerns on human mistake, however the New York Times later declared that the business declarations were incorrect which the self-governing innovation stopped working.
Trump has actually long implicated Iran of backing terrorism and has actually threatened to wreck a 2015 nuclear offer in between Tehran and significant powers.
Even as Washington revealed its acknowledgements on Wednesday, the United States Senate advanced legislation that would enforce brand-new sanctions on Iran, partially for exactly what the expense referred to as the Iranian programs support for acts of worldwide terrorism.
Iranian security authorities counter that it is their local competing Saudi Arabia a close United States ally that is accountable for financing and spreading out the extremism that underpins Isis.
Irans Revolutionary Guards implicated Riyadh and Washington of being associated with Wednesdays attacks and swore vengeance.
Trumps remarks likewise brought criticism from Iranians on social networks, who remembered their federal governments deals of assistance and the candlelight vigils kept in Iran after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
Jeffrey Herbst states presidents denigration of media assists deteriorate public trust and sets unsafe example to authoritarian programs worldwide
J ournalists in the United States deal with a crisis of authenticity as consistent abuse by Donald Trump weakens the general publics rely on an agreed set of truths, the head of a leading media museum has actually alerted.
Jeffrey Herbst, president of the Newseum in Washington, forecasted that the presidents denigration of the media would motivate authoritarian routines to target press reporters, papers and broadcasters around the globe.
On Monday, the Newseum will rededicate its Journalists Memorial, including the names of 14 reporters who passed away in Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Iraq, Libya, Mexico, Somalia, Syria and Ukraine to represent all those eliminated in pursuit of the news in 2016. Now, nevertheless, issues over hostility to journalism are lapping at Americas coasts.
My most significant worry in the United States is delegitimisation of reporters, Herbst stated. This has actually been happening over an extended period of time: rely on the media has actually worn down in the United States for 20 years, partly due to the fact that of problems about the media, however honestly, rely on every organization in the United States has actually worn down over the last 20 years other than for the armed force.
But clearly in the  project and ever since, due to the attacks by the president, while some individuals have actually rallied around reporters, I believe its likewise triggered this crisis of legitimisation to increase.
So thats my huge concern, that we as a society are not going to have the ability to settle on even the realities since we do not rely on anybody whos reporting them. If you settle on the exact same realities however disagree on where they lead you, thats called routine political dispute, however if you disagree on the truths themselves, thats much even worse. I believe part of the political issues we see in the United States is were not running off of a typical reality base and if reporters who produce those realities are delegitimated, its bad.
Since 2008, the Newseum has actually been positioned on Pennsylvania Avenue, a street address shown the White House and Trump International hotel. Its displays consist of areas of the Berlin Wall, a mangled antenna from the top of the World Trade Center, a TELEVISION news helicopter, the taped door that resulted in the Watergate examination and a desk phone that came from Rupert Murdoch.
It will likewise quickly get, on loan, a set of glasses coming from the Guardian press reporter Ben Jacobs that were broken when he was assaulted by Greg Gianforte, a Republican prospect who went on to win an unique House election in Montana. Critics fasted to draw a link in between that event and Trumps intense denunciations of the media as opponents of individuals.
Asked if he feared physical attacks on press reporters, Herbst responded: I do not know. I believe the delegitimisation might lead that method. The variety of real attacks is still extremely little however obviously Im fretted whenever theres physical violence.
In April, the Newseum Institute released a very first change progress report, where 15 panelists from throughout the political spectrum evaluated the state of the basic liberties: faith, speech, press, petition and assembly. Press liberty got the most affordable grade, a C, with panelists indicating Trumps project hazard to open libel laws, the phony news phenomenon and the presidents basic enmity for journalism.
Im likewise stressed that individuals take their hints all over the world, to some degree, from the United States. Press liberty has actually been decreasing all over the world for Ten Years, inning accordance with Freedom House. To the level that the United States, which is on a regular basis well known for its complimentary press, is having these issues, I believe it provides support to authoritarians throughout the world to frighten, to delegitimise their reporters.
Each day, at 5am, the front pages of papers from the United States and other nations are placed on display screen outside the Newseum and on its 6th flooring. It may appear like a charming gesture in an age of diminishing print blood circulations and digital migration. In a museum context, raised to the status of artifacts, the front pages command attention in a method a screen can not.
On Friday, reacting to Trumps choice to withdraw from the Paris environment arrangement, a New York tabloid portrayed the statue of liberty swallowed up by increasing seas. On Monday, the front pages will be blacked out as part of the 3rd yearly #WithoutNews project to raise awareness of the dangers to reporters around the globe.
Although the New York Times and Washington Post have actually gone toe to toe in the Trump period, frequently setting the program in an old-fashioned paper war, Barack Obama is amongst those who argue that the media landscape has actually been fragmented by cable television news and social networks, making it more difficult to decided upon a typical set of realities than in the age when many people saw the night news on ABC, CBS or NBC. All of a sudden, reality itself seems up for grabs.
Can national socialism, repackaged as white identity politics, earn votes in rural counties that voted for Trump?
When the men in black walked into her restaurant one Friday morning and sat at the round table in the corner, Brittany Porter knew exactly what they were.
Pale, skittish, aggressively tattooed, they wore black T-shirts with a cryptic white logo over their hearts. One had a razor inked along his left jaw and two SS lightning bolts dripping next to his eye like a double set of tears. One wore a handgun on his hip.
Porter went to the table, smiled and asked what they wanted. It was just after 8am. Two of the neo-Nazis ordered chicken nuggets.
On Facebook the night before, Porter read about the group of racists who were coming to eastern Kentucky to hold a rally. They had chosen an economically struggling stretch of coal country with a population that was 98% white and that had voted 80% for Trump. In their propaganda videos, the neo-Nazi leaders had talked about the scourge of drug addiction in Pike County.
At 30, Porter knew Pike Countys problems. She herself was a recovered addict, as was her friend Chrissy Wooton, another waitress at the restaurant. Neither of them trusted either political party. Wooton, whose husband is a coal miner, had voted for Trump. Porter had not.
Together, they discussed whether they should start the day by accidentally pouring coffee into the neo-Nazis laps.
The neo-Nazis were on their way to Whitesburg, Kentucky, where they had secured a private piece of land in the woods to hold a weekend summit with a coalition of other white nationalist groups. At the table, there were several members of the Traditionalist Workers party, including Jason, a sallow musician in a black-metal punk band who left New York City to move to a mostly white community in Indiana; Scott, who had recently been kicked out of an Irish pub in Kentucky for celebrating Hitlers birthday; and Gabe, diffident and a little shy, with long eyelashes and the white power tattoos on his cheek.
Porter and Wooton watched from distance, swooping in now and then to refill the coffee cups. But they were too curious to stay quiet. Porter said people on Facebook were talking a bunch of crap. They were saying that the group was the Ku Klux Klan.
Wooton asked again more bluntly: Are you guys KKK?
The event the men were attending did, in fact, have KKK members on the list of potential guests. But the men at the table laughed and grinned. They were a political party, Matthew Heimbach, the groups 26-year-old leader, explained gently. Our motto is faith, family and folk, he said. Heimbach was the most famous man at the table: the one who was being sued for shoving and shouting at a young black protester at a Donald Trump campaign rally last March, and who had recently filed legal papers saying that Trump, who had reacted to the protesters by shouting Get em out of here!, should be held responsible for his behavior.
Heimbach was wearing the same black T-shirt, with his partys logo, as the other men, but he had a big cross around his neck and the cheerful bearing of a youth pastor: burly, bearded, bouncy with enthusiasm. One Kentucky local who watched a propaganda video Heimbach made had been perplexed that he looked like a teddy bear.
Their political party had been misrepresented, Heimbach explained to the waitresses. Theyre not the KKK. Theyre focused on family and faith and local control, on fighting the international corporations who came into Appalachia and took all the profits from Kentuckys coal. Heimbach did not try to sell the waitresses on his plan for a white ethno-state, his conviction that the Holocaust did not happen, his belief in thousands of years of Jewish conspiracy. He just talked about family struggles and immigrants taking jobs and hurting workers and how white Americans needed more representation.
Wooton, who had voted for Trump, was responding enthusiastically. She was furious at the lack of government response to the opioid addiction crisis and skeptical of establishment politicians. Her husband, a coal miner, had lost his job under Obama and been hired again three days after Trumps inauguration. Wooton came back to the table repeatedly to press Heimbach for more answers, explaining her manager was still calling him a racist. She asked if Heimbach was willing to work with people of other races. He said of course he was. He talked about the importance of black communities making decisions for themselves, about how black policemen might be better at policing black neighborhoods. Wooton agreed and agreed again.
Talking to Wooton, Heimbach acted like a local politician: polite, a little longwinded, but genuinely passionate. He was not Richard Spencer, the clean-cut, rich-boy racist who got punched in the face at Trumps inauguration. He was not a ranting internet troll. He was a small-town kid who put himself through college selling custom wardrobe tidying systems, and now he was using those skills trying to sell fascism to the American people.
Heimbachs Pike County trip was part of his broader preparation for 2018, when the party was planning to field six candidates in local elections for school board, county council and other positions in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Dakota and Texas. All the candidates will be under 30, all open white nationalists, though they plan to focus their campaigns on more local issues.
Wooton kept coming back with more questions, but it was clear that she liked much of what she she was hearing. When she left the table, Heimbach grinned triumphantly at his group; it seemed he was attracting some local support.
Stepping from the shadows
White supremacists and neo-Nazis complain endlessly about media lies, and yet no one is more eager to pick up the phone than Heimbach and other extremist leaders. Getting attention even negative attention helps them recruit and inch toward the mainstream.
Analysts from the Data & Society Research Institute concluded the far right has risen to new prominence this past year in part by attention hacking, manipulating the conventions of mainstream news. Members of the alt-right, a mixed group of racists, nationalists, antisemites and misogynists, understand that many news stories are built on a framework of conflict and outrage, fueled by the power of a shocking image or the lure of a supposedly telling contrast. The medias dependence on social media, analytics and metrics, sensationalism, novelty over newsworthiness, and clickbait makes them vulnerable, its report said.
People who have had personal run-ins with Heimbach who have experienced him in action say the media should not simply ignore his activities. Instead of glamorizing them or portraying them as cartoonish monsters, scrutiny should attempt to reveal their impact.
However, one anti-fascist observed, it doesnt matter if the news coverage attempts to be negative neo-Nazis will still try to recruit people in the comments section underneath.
Measured in numbers, white nationalists and neo-Nazis remain the fringe of the fringe. Last years BronyCon, the annual conference of grown men who take an ironic fascination in the cartoon My Little Pony, attracted 7,600 people. Anthrocon, a convention of furries who like to do fun things while wearing fuzzy, full-body animal costumes, attracted more than 7,000. The Kentucky neo-Nazi summit in April attracted about 150 people, about 75 of them members of the Traditionalist Worker party. Heimbach claims that his party has 600 dues-paying members nationwide. They do not call themselves Nazis. Heimbach said the term Nazi is a slur, and that he draws inspiration from many fascist and national socialist regimes, not just Germanys.
Heimbach said being labeled a Nazi would undermine his attempt to educate the American people about what national socialism truly is, claiming it invokes every lie and every over-the-top media creation of the last 72 years [since 1945].
Ryan Lenz, an analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks American hate groups, sees no justification for his argument. It is fair to label Heimbach a Nazi because he is an avowed national socialist, Holocaust denier and antisemite.
In this context, Nazi is not a slur. Its not an attack. Its an accurate description, he said.
Neo-Nazi activism in America has been undermined for decades by what both extremist leaders and hate group monitors describe as incredibly childish infighting. Neo-Nazis have squabbled over their religious differences (some are Christian; others are pagans, some worshipping the Norse god Odin; one or two, a Neo-Nazi leader claimed, are even Buddhist), over their uniform and symbol choices, over which neo-Nazi stole which other neo-Nazis girlfriend.
Most of these people are malignant contrarians who have a lot of loyalty and trust issues, said Lenz.
But Trumps rise to power has encouraged the extremists to try to bridge their divides. Neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan leaders were jubilant over an openly xenophobic, politically incorrect presidential candidate who promised to stop illegal immigration and enact a Muslim ban and they have pursued news coverage, attracting headlines and staging dramatic photos. In May, a number of different groups met in front of a threatened Confederate monument and set garden torches on fire. In the photos, shared around the world, a mass of shadowy figures and flames made for a startling image.