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Trump adviser Roger Stone: I’m not Kim Kardashian, don’t need gag order

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U.S. President Donald Trump’s longtime adviser Roger Stone on Friday urged a federal judge not to ban him from talking about his criminal case in the Russia probe, saying that unlike Kim Kardashian he was little known to the public and that he did not need a gag order.

In a court filing, Stone and his lawyers told U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is mulling a gag order, that his First Amendment right to free speech entitled him to “speak as he wishes” unless it posed a “clear and present danger” to finding an impartial jury.

Stone faces charges of making false statements to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election and whether Trump’s campaign conspired with Moscow. [nL1N1ZV2IR}

The 66-year-old self-proclaimed “dirty trickster” has made several media appearances since charges were announced last month, and in a Reuters interview downplayed the charges as “process crimes” that did not involve intentional lies.

In Friday’s filing in the Washington, D.C. federal court, Stone also downplayed the risks of his speaking publicly.

He said people who closely follow American politics might know who he was, but he was “hardly ubiquitous in the larger landscape of popular consciousness.”

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Stone then contrasted his limited social media presence to that of Kardashian, the actress, entrepreneur and socialite.

“An example of how limited and narrow his public presence is, is that Kim Kardashian has 59.5 million followers on Twitter. By contrast, Roger Stone has no Twitter account at all and, thus has no Twitter followers,” Stone said. “On Instagram, Kim Kardashian has 126 million followers. Roger Stone’s Instagram following amounts to 39 thousand subscribers.”

Jackson had invited Stone to explain in writing why a gag order was not necessary. It is unclear when she will rule.

The case is U.S. v. Stone, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, No. 19-cr-00018.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brown

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Sailing among the stars: Here’s how photons could revolutionize space flight

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A few days from now, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will lift off from Florida, carrying a satellite the size of a loaf of bread with nothing to power it but a huge polyester "solar sail."

It's been the stuff of scientists' dreams for decades but has only very recently become a reality.

The idea might sounds crazy: propelling a craft through the vacuum of space with no engine, no fuel, and no solar panels, but instead harnessing the momentum of packets of light energy known as photons -- in this case from our Sun.

The spacecraft to be launched on Monday, called LightSail 2, was developed by the Planetary Society, a US organization that promotes space exploration which was co-founded by the legendary astronomer Carl Sagan in 1980.

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Russians to prod Putin on poverty and his personal life as his ratings tank

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Russians are set to ask President Vladimir Putin about growing poverty at home and tensions abroad during an annual televised phone-in Thursday, which comes following a fall in his approval ratings.

The leader is also likely to face a degree of grilling on his personal life, according to questions submitted by the public online ahead of the live show.

Set to be held for the 17th time since Putin came to power in 1999, the show starts at 0900 GMT and usually lasts several hours.

Ahead of the carefully choreographed show, more than one million questions had been submitted, organisers told Russian news agencies.

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Trump could turn on Hope Hicks just like Michael Cohen: Trump family biographer warns

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Trump family biographer Emily Jane Fox explained that she didn't think that the president would turn on long-time aide Hope Hicks, but then again, it was the same thought about Michael Cohen as well.

In a panel discussion about Hicks' testimony during MSNBC's Brian Williams' Wednesday show, Fox recalled that Micahel Cohen once said that he would take a bullet for the president. Once it appeared that Trump would throw him under the bus, Cohen began looking for a way out.

The same scenario seems to be happening with Hicks now.

"She works at new Fox, which is a company run by a Murdoch son," Fox said. "It's a company that's brand new. She's the head of communications there. And there are shareholders who would take issue with the fact that a senior member of this company is being put in this situation and being thrust on the world stage."

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