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Who is Stephanie Winston Wolkoff?

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Joined: 07 Mar 1999
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:08 pm    Post subject: Who is Stephanie Winston Wolkoff? Reply with quote

Watch this space. Always grifting.[artid|10067.a.19486009[src|[ch|[lt|
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, author of a new book about Melania Trump, says she made recordings of her conversations with the first lady because she needed evidence to protect herself amid questions about costs of the inauguration.

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff suggests chaos in the inaugural committee might have allowed millions to go unaccounted for.

The woman who organized Trump’s inauguration still has questions about where millions of dollars raised for the celebration went, and makes new allegations about how the Trump family tried to use the money to line its own pockets in her book “Melania and Me,” out Tuesday.

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former close friend and confidant of the first lady, describes the chaotic weeks leading up to the January 2017 inauguration, including an anecdote in which she was told donations to the Presidential Inaugural Committee might have exceeded the $107 million reported on federal tax forms by several million dollars.

“Honestly, the presidential inaugural committee is a s___ show,” Winston Wolkoff says she told president-elect Trump and Melania at Trump Tower in New York as the inauguration neared. “They are disorganized, incompetent, and can’t produce the material we need.”

Watch an interview with Stephanie Winston Wilkoff on The Rachel Maddow Show tonight.

She also provides insight into the frosty relationship between first lady Melania Trump and first daughter Ivanka Trump, and recounts the demise of her own friendship with Melania.
Yahoo news

Who stole the money?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And there is more. From Vox when the scandal first broke.

President Trump has yet another federal investigation to worry about.

Prosecutors in the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) are looking into the president’s inaugural committee, the Wall Street Journal’s Rebecca Davis O’Brien, Rebecca Ballhaus, and Aruna Viswanatha reported Thursday.

Investigators are said to be interested in the inaugural committee’s spending, and into potential corruption involving favors for its donors. The Journal team reports that the criminal probe stems at least in part from material found during the FBI’s raids on Michael Cohen’s residence and office in April.

Even before this, multiple outlets reported earlier this year that special counsel Robert Mueller was investigating potential Russia-tied donations to the inaugural committee. But this news is the first confirmation of a broader probe into the inauguration and its money.

Rick Gates — the former Trump aide who helped run the inaugural committee and struck a plea deal with Mueller in February — has also been cooperating with SDNY prosecutors, the Journal reports.

The news shouldn’t come as a surprise. There have long been many glaring questions about the money behind Trump’s inauguration and where, exactly, it went.

Trump’s inaugural committee raised a truly astonishing $106.7 million, double the previous record set by Barack Obama’s 2009 inaugural. But what they did with it isn’t so clear.

In a report for ProPublica and WNYC by Ilya Marritz earlier this year, the chair of George W. Bush’s second inauguration, Greg Jenkins, said he was baffled. “They had a third of the staff and a quarter of the events and they raise at least twice as much as we did,” he said. “So there’s the obvious question: Where did it go? I don’t know.”

Tom Barrack planned Trump’s inauguration — with Rick Gates’s help
After Donald Trump unexpectedly won the 2016 presidential election, he was tasked with setting up an inauguration that would be worthy of his name and opulent reputation. The swearing-in event itself and the surrounding security and logistics are paid for by the federal government. But all the big parties and events before and after the swearing-in — the concert on the National Mall beforehand, dinners and events for elite supporters, and the balls on inauguration night — Trump would have to find the cash for himself.

So he’d need money — a lot of money. It’s not unusual for presidents to raise money for this purpose. Most recently, Obama raised about $53 million for his first inauguration and $43 million for his second. Trump decided to follow suit. Rather than fund the inauguration himself, the wealthiest president-elect ever decided to follow his predecessors’ lead and raise the cash from billionaires, wealthy financiers, and corporations.

So a week after the election, Trump named a murderers’ row of uberrich Republicans as “finance vice chairs” for the event. They included casino billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn (the latter of whom was later accused of sexually abusing employees), defense contractor Elliott Broidy (later involved in hush money payments to a Playboy model), and Anthony Scaramucci (later White House communications director for 10 days before resigning over an obscene interview with the New Yorker).

The man in charge of it all, as chair of the inaugural committee, was Tom Barrack. He’s a billionaire real estate investor who’s been a close friend of Trump’s for decades, and his business interests have recently been concentrated in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. (The Washington Post’s Michael Kranish and the New York Times’s David Kirkpatrick have both written excellent profiles of him.) His goal, he said, was for the inauguration to have a “soft sensuality” and a “poetic cadence.”

To help with the planning and fundraising, Barrack turned to a Trump campaign aide: Rick Gates, the longtime right-hand man to Paul Manafort. (Barrack had known Manafort since the 1970s and helped convince Trump to bring him on to the campaign.)

Gates has admitted he "might have stolen" money from the inauguration funds.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're getting desperate Jim.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh really?

When it came out this year that President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee raised and spent unprecedented amounts, people wondered where all that money went.

It turns out one beneficiary was Trump himself.

The inauguration paid the Trump Organization for rooms, meals and event space at the company’s Washington hotel, according to interviews as well as internal emails and receipts reviewed by WNYC and ProPublica.

During the planning, Ivanka Trump, the president-elect’s eldest daughter and a senior executive with the Trump Organization, was involved in negotiating the price the hotel charged the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee for venue rentals. A top inaugural planner emailed Ivanka and others at the company to “express my concern” that the hotel was overcharging for its event spaces, worrying of what would happen “when this is audited.”

If the Trump hotel charged more than the going rate for the venues, it could violate tax law. The inaugural committee’s payments to the Trump Organization and Ivanka Trump’s role have not been previously reported or disclosed in public filings.

“The fact that the inaugural committee did business with the Trump Organization raises huge ethical questions about the potential for undue enrichment,” said Marcus Owens, the former head of the division of the Internal Revenue Service that oversees nonprofits.

Inaugural workers had other misgivings. Rick Gates, then the deputy to the chairman of the inaugural, asked some vendors to take payments directly from donors, rather than through the committee, according to two people with direct knowledge. The vendors felt the request was unusual and concerning, according to these people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they signed confidentiality agreements. It is not clear whether any vendors took him up on his request.
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