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Hearing date set for Trump showdown with Stormy Daniels

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Porn star Stormy Daniels will go to court on July 12 in a bid to dissolve an agreement stopping her discussing an affair she says she had with President Donald Trump, according to court papers published Wednesday.

Lawyer Michael Avenatti filed a lawsuit on behalf of Daniels last week seeking to toss out the confidential settlement she signed just days before the November 2016 election.

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The lawsuit alleges that Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, began an “intimate relationship” with Trump in the summer of 2006 that continued well into 2007.

She has offered to return the $130,000 she received so that she can be free to “speak openly and freely about her prior relationship with the president and the attempts to silence her.”

Daniels is also asking to be allowed to publish text messages, photos and videos relating to the president, Avenatti said in a letter to Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen.

“I think it’s time for her to tell her story and for the public to decide who’s telling the truth,” Avenatti said last week.

A copy of the settlement filed in court shows that Daniels received the $130,000 from a company known as Essential Consultants LLC in return for her silence.

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Using the pseudonyms Peggy Peterson and David Dennison, Daniels and Trump were to sign the agreement, along with Essential Consultants.

But Trump never signed, providing the basis for Avenatti’s attempt to have it thrown out and release Daniels from her obligations.

Daniels is asking for presiding judge Elizabeth Feffer to be replaced, arguing that she has a conflict of interest because she is seeking an appointment to a seat in federal court.

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The White House has denied any sexual encounter between Trump and Daniels.


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Trump’s new plan for covering COVID-19 patients has administration officials scrambling once again: report

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According to Politico, President Donald Trump's decision not to reopen the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges, and to instead pay hospitals to treat uninsured coronavirus patients, blindsided not just insurance companies, but his own health officials — and left everyone scrambling to implement his orders.

"The rollout of the new hospital pay program capped a frenetic several days within the administration, prompted by a White House official’s confirmation Tuesday that there would be no reopening of the Obamacare markets," wrote Adam Cancryn, Nancy Cook, and Susannah Luthi. "That declaration surprised even some officials in the Health and Human Services Department, who believed the concept was still under consideration. And amid a crush of criticism from Democrats led by 2020 front runner Joe Biden, it worried officials who viewed the verdict as an unforced error in the middle of a historic pandemic."

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2020 Election

Trump is preparing the ground for a totalitarian dictatorship

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We're all going to know someone who has died of the coronavirus when this is over. The tragic news is all over Facebook and Twitter already. My friend Patricia Bosworth, the actress and biographer, died on Friday of the virus. Everyone has friends and acquaintances who have the virus, family members who have died, favorite musicians or actors and friends of friends who are sick and dying. The virus has taken them from us, but so has Donald Trump with his inaction and lying and childish finger-pointing and failure to take responsibility.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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HBO’s Bill Maher returns to rip Trump over the pandemic — and blast his fans who are rallying around ‘the guy who made it worse’

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HBO's Bill Maher returned on Friday night via YouTube to blast Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic and took on fans of the president who are rallying around him, calling their response "irrational."

Speaking from what appeared to be his backyard, the "Real Time" host noted that Americans tend to rally around their leaders in times of crisis but that this president is not deserving of support.

"Was the current crisis preventable? " he asked. "Not all of it, of course. But we could have done what South Korea did, their nightmare started the day our's did. But while Trump shut up experts, happy-talked and lied his ass off, South Korea put a strong testing program into place, tracing people, and today they have twenty-0ne times the cases and thirty times fewer deaths."

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