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Pelosi On Trump: ‘I Will Make Sure He Does Not Intimidate The Whistleblower’

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Pelosi On Trump: ‘I Will Make Sure He Does Not Intimidate The Whistleblower’

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talks to reporters Thursday on Capitol Hill.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP


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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a stern warning for President Trump on Sunday: Do not try to retaliate against the intelligence community official whose anonymous complaint helped spur the impeachment inquiry.

“I will make sure he does not intimidate the whistleblower,” Pelosi said in an interview on CBS’s Face the Nation. “I told the president, you’re in my wheelhouse when you come after the whistleblower.”

Pelosi’s comments follow Trump’s repeated calls for the whistleblower’s name to be exposed. Trump claimed on Friday that “everybody knows” who the whistleblower is, calling the person’s identity “no great secret.”

But it is not clear that Trump truly knows who filed a complaint about his July 25 call with the president of Ukraine where he pressed for the country to open investigations into the Biden family and a disproven theory about 2016 election meddling by Ukraine. The whistleblower wrote that Trump’s actions raised national security concerns and constituted an abuse of power.

Trump and some of his Republican supporters have ramped up their attacks on the whistleblower’s credibility as House impeachment investigators continue to call witnesses to testify for nationally televised hearings into the president’s conduct.

Lawyers representing the whistleblower say respecting the individual’s anonymity is important to their client’s safety, as well as ensuring that future whistleblowers will not have to fear intimidation in response to reporting government abuse. Pelosi told CBS that the process that allows whistleblowers to come forward anonymously should not be undermined.

“This is really important, especially when it comes to intelligence, that someone who would be courageous enough to point out truth to power,” she said.

Federal law allows the whistleblower to remain anonymous, but it is not expressly a crime for the president to unmask the person. Legal experts have said that if Trump outs the individual, it could prompt an article of impeachment.

Pelosi did not elaborate on what exactly the House’s response would be if Trump decides to do so.

Conservative media has named someone thought to be the whistleblower and attempted to portray the person as a political enemy of the president. But the reports are speculative, since there has been no official confirmation of the whistleblower’s identity.

The whistleblower’s legal team has sent a cease and desist letter to the White House Counsel, warning that the president should stop calling for the whistleblower to be publicly revealed.

“Let me be clear: Should any harm befall any suspected named whistleblower or their family, the blame will rest squarely with your client,” wrote attorney Andrew Bakaj.

House Democrats say the person’s testimony is no longer integral to the impeachment investigation since the whistleblower’s complaint has been largely corroborated by other witnesses.

Still, the whistleblower agreed to answer written questions from Republicans under oath, but the offer has not been accepted.

Democrats say Trump tried to bribe the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, by conditioning $391 million in military assistance that was already approved by Congress on Ukraine announcing investigations that would politically benefit Trump. The White House released the aid after Congress learned about the whistleblower complaint.

Republicans appearing on Sunday talk shows argued that since the money was eventually delivered to Ukraine without the country launching political investigations, there was nothing wrong with the now infamous July 25 phone call.

“Most importantly, the Ukrainians did nothing to, as far as investigations goes, to get the aid release,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said on CBS. “So there was never this quid pro quo that the Democrats all promise existed before President Trump released the phone call.”

Eight witnesses are expected to testify this week, including Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert at the National Security Council, and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

Vindman, a key witness in the inquiry, was listening in on Trump’s July 25 call and in closed-door testimony said he was so alarmed by the president’s behavior that he rushed to report it to John Eisenberg, the top lawyer for the NSC.

Sondland is also an important player in the impeachment probe. In a sharp reversal, Sondland earlier this month submitted an addendum to his original closed-door testimony to House lawmakers acknowledging that he now does recall informing an aide to Zelenskiy that military aid to Ukraine was linked to the announcement of “anti-corruption” investigations.

House lawmakers on Saturday released a transcript of closed-door testimony from National Security Council official Tim Morrison.

Morrison said Sondland told a Ukrainian official that U.S. assistance would be sent to Kyiv once investigations were announced. In his testimony, Morrison said Sondland spoke directly to Trump about the arrangement about half a dozen times.

Pelosi on Sunday said if Trump wants to defend himself, he has an open invitation to speak to House investigators.

“The president could come right before the committee and talk, speak all the truth that he wants if he wants — if he wants to take the oath of office or he could do it in writing,” she said. “He has every opportunity to present his case.”

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19-Hour London To Sydney ‘Test Flight’ Shows How To Make Long Hauls Tolerable

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19-Hour London To Sydney ‘Test Flight’ Shows How To Make Long Hauls Tolerable

Australian airline Qantas is exploring new nonstop flights that would be the world’s longest — but 19-plus hours on a plane can be taxing for those on board.

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Qantas

Passengers on board Qantas flight 7879 took off from London early Thursday morning and arrived in Sydney a bit after noon on Friday — 19 hours and 19 minutes in the air.

So how do you keep people on board from going crazy — or getting deep-vein thrombosis — while they’re cooped up that long?

The Australian airline’s approach on the 11,000 mile flight was to design the meals and lighting carefully, get passengers out of their seats, and focus on the remarkable: two sunrises in one day.

In addition to Sydney, Qantas is exploring a number of new nonstop flight routes that would be longer than any currently operating, including from New York and London to Melbourne and Brisbane. And so, the 52 people on board – largely employees of the airline, along with some journalists – were guinea pigs.

Last month, Qantas landed the first nonstop commercial airline flight from New York to Sydney. That flight took 19 hours, 16 minutes. The carrier says that flight saved passengers three hours over the normal routing, which includes a stop.

Replay yesterday’s record-breaking non-stop flight from @HeathrowAirport to @SydneyAirport by @Qantas as part of their #ProjectSunrise test flights. And learn more about what happens aboard the test flights. https://t.co/pCazPpvn6P #QF7879 pic.twitter.com/LJKD7TDygD

— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) November 15, 2019

Jet-lag researchers at the University of Sydney put into practice a number of strategies on the flight related to light, food, and exercise.

To help the body to adjust to the time difference, light in the cabin was correlated to Sydney time as soon as the flight took off. So though the plane took off at 6 a.m. in London, dinner was served and the lights were soon turned down.

Meals were designed to produce specific effects. Dinner was a carb-heavy steak sandwich, easy on the spice, intended to lull passengers to sleep. Drinks were offered, too — on the previous nonstop test flight between New York and Sydney, 38% of passengers said they drank alcohol to hasten sleep (though alcohol can be especially dehydrating on such extended flights).

A carb-heavy dinner is designed to be soporific.

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Qantas

And passengers were guided to exercise: walking in a circuit around the plane and doing stretches. That part was made easier than on a typical flight, since the plane was mostly empty.

To test the flight’s impact and measure efforts to make it less taxing, test passengers wore activity monitors, kept logs of how they felt, and played a “whack-a-mole” game on an iPad to test their reaction time and attentiveness.

Pilots and cabin crew wore activity monitors and kept sleep diaries. Pilots wore EEG monitors to track their brain activity and alertness, and gave urine samples so their melatonin levels could be used to indicate their body clock status.

The London to Sydney route was flown commercially once before, along a different route in 1989, with just 23 passengers. The longest flight currently operating is Singapore Airlines’ nonstop from Singapore to Newark, which takes 18.5 hours.

The researchers’ tactics seemed to help aboard the new Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

“I feel really well,” test passenger Andy Chevis told Reuters during the descent. “Probably a lot better than I normally would at this point in the flight.”

Unfortunately, it seems that even the most cutting-edge science can’t change that most human of desires: the wish to land.

By hour 17, reported CNN’s Richard Quest, there was “a palpable sense that people are keen to see the end of the flight. They want off as soon as possible.”

Qantas began offering a nonstop London-Perth flight last year; the company says the route has won its highest levels of customer satisfaction and has made its service to London profitable for the first time in 10 years. The cost for one such upcoming roundtrip flight is $1,087. It’s not clear what the pricing will be for the routes the airline is testing now.

The airline says it expects decide whether to go forward with the super-long-haul routes by the end of 2019, with a goal of launching the nonstop routes by 2022.

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa Wins Sri Lankan Presidential Elections

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa Wins Sri Lankan Presidential Elections

Sri Lanka’s former Defense Secretary and presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa leaves a polling station after casting his vote in Embuldeniya, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka on Saturday.

Eranga Jayawardena/AP


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Eranga Jayawardena/AP

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a former defense secretary and intelligence officer accused of committing human rights violations, has won Sri Lanka’s closely fought presidential elections. His main opponent, Sajith Premadasa of the ruling United National Party (UNP), conceded defeat on Sunday, saying he will “honor the decision of the people.”

Rajapaksa, 70, led the Sri Lankan Armed Forces during the end of the country’s decades-long civil war, while his older brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, was president. The Sri Lankan Armed Forces defeated the Tamil Tigers, ending the violent conflict in 2009 — and were also accused of rape, torture and the abduction of thousands of people. Rajapaksa’s win signals the return to power for the controversial family, hailed by many for ending the civil war, but also remembered for brutal acts against minorities and dissidents.

The former defense secretary won with more than 52% of the nearly 16 million possible votes, according to final results released Sunday by Sri Lanka’s election commission. He defeated Premadasa by about 10 percentage points.

All Island Final Result : 2019 Presidential Election 🗳️🇱🇰 pic.twitter.com/JoAnEtzE6Z

— Azzam Ameen (@AzzamAmeen) November 17, 2019

“As we usher in a new journey for Sri Lanka, we must remember that all Sri Lankans are part of this journey,” Rajapaksa wrote on Twitter. “Let us rejoice peacefully, with dignity and discipline in the same manner in which we campaigned.”

As we usher in a new journey for Sri Lanka, we must remember that all Sri Lankans are part of this journey. Let us rejoice peacefully, with dignity and discipline in the same manner in which we campaigned. pic.twitter.com/tXqLrdH3Qv

— Gotabaya Rajapaksa (@GotabayaR) November 17, 2019

Rajapaksa campaigned heavily on a platform of national security, especially focused on the threat of Islamist terrorism after suicide bombers killed more than 250 people and injured hundreds more in the country on Easter Sunday this year. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attacks, which threw the fragile sense of peace in the nation into a tailspin and caused an angry backlash against Muslims.

The president-elect faces several human rights lawsuits, stemming from his time as defense secretary, which threatened his run for presidency. When asked about the allegations against him last month by reporters in the capital, Colombo, Rajapaksa dismissed them with a laugh.

“You are talking all the time about the past. Ask [about] the future!” he said. “I am trying to become the president of the future Sri Lanka! We can move on.”

But for many in Sri Lanka’s ethnic minorities, moving on is not an option. Ahead of this weekend’s election, NPR’s Lauren Frayer talked to several Tamil mothers whose children are still missing after security forces led by Rajapaksa took them away before the end of the civil war more than a decade ago. Tens of thousands of people disappeared during the 26-year civil war, and more than 100,000 people died. No one has ever been held accountable for the extrajudicial killings, although many in the minority groups hold Rajapaksa responsible, and fear what Sri Lanka will become under his rule.

But, Frayer writes, the Buddhist majority in the country tends to see Rajapaksa in a completely different light:

“When Sri Lankans think of a leader who eradicates his enemies, many think — for better or worse — of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. To many of the country’s Sinhala Buddhists, he’s a war hero who led government forces to victory in the civil war. A Rajapaksa campaign video features scenes of Buddhist temples — and lots of soldiers with guns.

“The memories are still fresh of what happened during the period when he was defense secretary. There was a lot of impunity and disappearances,” says Jehan Perera, executive director of Sri Lanka’s nongovernmental National Peace Council, in Colombo. “But for many in the majority, security — and also pride in one’s nation — trumps other matters.”

Early on Sunday, Rajapaksa’s closest opponent Sajith Premadasa issued a statement conceding his defeat, calling this weekend’s election the “most peaceful” in Sri Lanka’s independent history.

“My appeal to the incoming president is that he take this process forward and strengthen and protect the democratic institutions and values that enabled his peaceful election,” he wrote.

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa Wins Sri Lankan Presidential Elections

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa Wins Sri Lankan Presidential Elections

Sri Lanka’s former Defense Secretary and presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa leaves a polling station after casting his vote in Embuldeniya, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka on Saturday.

Eranga Jayawardena/AP


hide caption

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Eranga Jayawardena/AP

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a former defense secretary and intelligence officer accused of committing human rights violations, has won Sri Lanka’s closely fought presidential elections. His main opponent, Sajith Premadasa of the ruling United National Party (UNP), conceded defeat on Sunday, saying he will “honor the decision of the people.”

Rajapaksa, 70, led the Sri Lankan Armed Forces during the end of the country’s decades-long civil war, while his older brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, was president. The Sri Lankan Armed Forces defeated the Tamil Tigers, ending the violent conflict in 2009 — and were also accused of rape, torture and the abduction of thousands of people. Rajapaksa’s win signals the return to power for the controversial family, hailed by many for ending the civil war, but also remembered for brutal acts against minorities and dissidents.

The former defense secretary won with more than 52% of the nearly 16 million possible votes, according to final results released Sunday by Sri Lanka’s election commission. He defeated Premadasa by about 10 percentage points.

All Island Final Result : 2019 Presidential Election 🗳️🇱🇰 pic.twitter.com/JoAnEtzE6Z

— Azzam Ameen (@AzzamAmeen) November 17, 2019

“As we usher in a new journey for Sri Lanka, we must remember that all Sri Lankans are part of this journey,” Rajapaksa wrote on Twitter. “Let us rejoice peacefully, with dignity and discipline in the same manner in which we campaigned.”

As we usher in a new journey for Sri Lanka, we must remember that all Sri Lankans are part of this journey. Let us rejoice peacefully, with dignity and discipline in the same manner in which we campaigned. pic.twitter.com/tXqLrdH3Qv

— Gotabaya Rajapaksa (@GotabayaR) November 17, 2019

Rajapaksa campaigned heavily on a platform of national security, especially focused on the threat of Islamist terrorism after suicide bombers killed more than 250 people and injured hundreds more in the country on Easter Sunday this year. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attacks, which threw the fragile sense of peace in the nation into a tailspin and caused an angry backlash against Muslims.

The president-elect faces several human rights lawsuits, stemming from his time as defense secretary, which threatened his run for presidency. When asked about the allegations against him last month by reporters in the capital, Colombo, Rajapaksa dismissed them with a laugh.

“You are talking all the time about the past. Ask [about] the future!” he said. “I am trying to become the president of the future Sri Lanka! We can move on.”

But for many in Sri Lanka’s ethnic minorities, moving on is not an option. Ahead of this weekend’s election, NPR’s Lauren Frayer talked to several Tamil mothers whose children are still missing after security forces led by Rajapaksa took them away before the end of the civil war more than a decade ago. Tens of thousands of people disappeared during the 26-year civil war, and more than 100,000 people died. No one has ever been held accountable for the extrajudicial killings, although many in the minority groups hold Rajapaksa responsible, and fear what Sri Lanka will become under his rule.

But, Frayer writes, the Buddhist majority in the country tends to see Rajapaksa in a completely different light:

“When Sri Lankans think of a leader who eradicates his enemies, many think — for better or worse — of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. To many of the country’s Sinhala Buddhists, he’s a war hero who led government forces to victory in the civil war. A Rajapaksa campaign video features scenes of Buddhist temples — and lots of soldiers with guns.

“The memories are still fresh of what happened during the period when he was defense secretary. There was a lot of impunity and disappearances,” says Jehan Perera, executive director of Sri Lanka’s nongovernmental National Peace Council, in Colombo. “But for many in the majority, security — and also pride in one’s nation — trumps other matters.”

Early on Sunday, Rajapaksa’s closest opponent Sajith Premadasa issued a statement conceding his defeat, calling this weekend’s election the “most peaceful” in Sri Lanka’s independent history.

“My appeal to the incoming president is that he take this process forward and strengthen and protect the democratic institutions and values that enabled his peaceful election,” he wrote.

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Harry Styles Sings, Hosts And Acts On ‘SNL’ — And Shows Off A New Song

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Harry Styles Sings, Hosts And Acts On ‘SNL’ — And Shows Off A New Song
Singer Harry Styles performing on 'SNL.'

YouTube screen grab by NPR

This week’s Saturday Night Live asked a lot of Harry Styles, as it brought the former One Direction star onboard to serve as both its host and its musical guest. At every turn, he brought something extra: He trotted out accents — as an Icelandic impending dad, a presumably Southern airline copilot, a drug dealer’s hired muscle and so on — and sang in both a musical-theater satire and a prerecorded video in which he played the human embodiment of Aidy Bryant’s dog. When he took the stage as the night’s musical guest, he even introduced the world to a brand-new single, “Watermelon Sugar.”

YouTube

Styles’ gameness consistently elevated an uneven night. The show mercifully left him out of a grim cold open — one of those brutally thudding SNL bits where they trot out an endless parade of celebrity impersonations, but they’re just the week’s newsmakers, so each new person has to be clumsily introduced in the dialogue. (“Michael Avenatti?!”) But whenever the show wasn’t plodding through the grim formalities of the news cycle, Styles turned up as a steady and welcome comedic presence.

YouTube

Musically, the singer steered clear of massively ambitious stagecraft, opting instead for fairly straightforward readings of his two newest singles: “Lights Up” and a vibrant unveiling of “Watermelon Sugar.” Given the audience’s reaction — and the overall public anticipation for Styles’ new album Fine Line, due out Dec. 13 — the singer’s in no danger of needing to shed his day job. But the guy’s got a future as a comic actor if he wants it.

YouTube

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Louisiana Democrat, Gov. John Bel Edwards, Keeps Seat Despite Trump’s Opposition

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Louisiana Democrat, Gov. John Bel Edwards, Keeps Seat Despite Trump’s Opposition

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards talks to media in Shreveport, La., Thursday. Saturday, Edwards, a Democrat, beat out Republican Eddie Rispone, who President Trump endorsed.

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Gerald Herbert/AP

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, held on to his seat Saturday after a tough challenge from his Republican opponent, Eddie Rispone, a wealthy businessman and political newcomer who President Trump supported.

Edwards is the only Democratic governor in the Deep South and is not a typical Democrat. He’s a pro-Second Amendment gun owner who signed one of the country’s strictest anti-abortion bills this year.

This is the third and final gubernatorial election of 2019 and the second loss for President Trump who campaigned for all three candidates. The president was in Louisiana this week and framed the race as a personal referendum, urging voters to unseat Edwards.

About two weeks ago, Republican Tate Reeves won the open seat in Mississippi, but in Kentucky, Democrat Andy Beshear ousted Republican incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin.

Edwards’ second term may be a bitter pill for Trump who had much invested in this year’s elections ahead of his own election in 2020.

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READ: Testimony Of Jennifer Williams, Aide To Vice President Pence

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READ: Testimony Of Jennifer Williams, Aide To Vice President Pence

Jennifer Williams, a special adviser to Vice President Pence for Europe and Russia, sat for a closed-door deposition on Capitol Hill on Nov. 7.

Susan Walsh/AP


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Susan Walsh/AP

The House Intelligence Committee has released the transcript of the closed-door deposition at the impeachment inquiry into President Trump by a foreign service officer detailed to work in the office of Vice President Pence.

Jennifer Williams was assigned to Pence’s team in the spring to work on European and Russian issues. She was the first person from his office to testify in the inquiry into whether Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine while seeking a political favor. Trump denies he made such an offer.

At the time of her deposition on Nov. 7, her lawyer, Justin Shur, told NPR that Williams’ “testimony will largely reflect what is already in the public record.”

Williams is due to appear at an open hearing on Nov. 19.

Read her testimony transcript here.

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Prince Andrew Questioned About Friendship With Epstein, Says He ‘Let The Side Down’

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Prince Andrew Questioned About Friendship With Epstein, Says He ‘Let The Side Down’

Prince Andrew is under increasing pressure after a series of damaging revelations about him surfaced, including criticism over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images


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Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Breaking his silence, Britain’s Prince Andrew has told the BBC that he let the royal family down by staying at the home of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The Duke of York, who is the third child of Queen Elizabeth II and eighth in line to the throne, has faced intense scrutiny for his connection to the disgraced New York financier.

In August, the British tabloid The Daily Mail released 2010 footage in which a man they identify as Prince Andrew is seen at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion. At the time, Epstein had already been convicted for soliciting a minor for prostitution.

“The problem was the fact that once he had been convicted, I stayed with him,” Andrew told the BBC in an interview that was scheduled to air on Saturday. “And that’s the bit that as it were that I kick myself for on a daily basis, because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the Royal family and we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and I let the side down, simple as that.”

Answering questions from the BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis, Andrew said “it was a convenient place to stay,” acknowledging in hindsight it was “the wrong thing to do.”

“But at the time, I felt like it was the honorable and right thing to do,” Andrew added. “And I admit fully that my judgment was probably colored by my tendency to be too honorable but that’s just the way it is.”

Maitlis tweeted that it was a “No holds barred interview” and that no questions were vetted with the prince.

The interview was negotiated for many months and had to get approval from the Queen, the BBC reports.

Saturday 9pm. BBC2. No holds barred interview – no questions vetted- with Prince Andrew. https://t.co/erRkhJ1hTd

— emily m (@maitlis) November 15, 2019

The prince also answered questions about allegations from Virginia Roberts Giuffre.

Giuffre alleges that at age 15, while she was working at Mar-a-Lago, the resort owned by Donald Trump, she was procured for sex by Ghislaine Maxwell, the woman often referred to as “Epstein’s madam.” Maxwell has been named by many Epstein accusers as pivotal in the recruiting of young women to groom for Epstein. She has denied any wrongdoing or involvement.

Giuffre claims that in 2001, when she was 17, Andrew had sex with three times. She says she was paid by Epstein for these encounters. A photo that Giuffre said was taken in 2001 in a London apartment, shows Prince Andrew’s arm around Giuffre, with Maxwell standing in the background, according to the New York Times.

“I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady,” Andrew told the BBC. “None whatsoever.”

Epstein, 66, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to solicitation of prostitution — including one count involving a minor — died awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges in August. His death by hanging in his jail cell was ruled a suicide.

Conspiracy theories surrounding his death have swirled. Last month a private forensic pathologist hired by the Epstein family said the autopsy suggests homicide rather than suicide. The New York City chief medical examiner said she stands by her conclusion that Epstein died by hanging himself.

Since Epstein’s death, Giuffre and other Epstein accusers have demanded that Andrew “come clean” and give a full account of his involvement and knowledge.

A Buckingham Palace statement released in August noted that the prince was “appalled” by Epstein’s alleged crimes.

“His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent,” the statement from Buckingham Palace said.

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Prince Andrew Questioned About Friendship With Epstein, Says He ‘Let The Side Down’

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Prince Andrew Questioned About Friendship With Epstein, Says He ‘Let The Side Down’

Prince Andrew is under increasing pressure after a series of damaging revelations about him surfaced, including criticism over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Breaking his silence, Britain’s Prince Andrew has told the BBC that he let the royal family down by staying at the home of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The Duke of York, who is the third child of Queen Elizabeth II and eighth in line to the throne, has faced intense scrutiny for his connection to the disgraced New York financier.

In August, the British tabloid The Daily Mail released 2010 footage in which a man they identify as Prince Andrew is seen at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion. At the time, Epstein had already been convicted for soliciting a minor for prostitution.

“The problem was the fact that once he had been convicted, I stayed with him,” Andrew told the BBC in an interview that was scheduled to air on Saturday. “And that’s the bit that as it were that I kick myself for on a daily basis, because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the Royal family and we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and I let the side down, simple as that.”

Answering questions from the BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis, Andrew said “it was a convenient place to stay,” acknowledging in hindsight it was “the wrong thing to do.”

“But at the time, I felt like it was the honorable and right thing to do,” Andrew added. “And I admit fully that my judgment was probably colored by my tendency to be too honorable but that’s just the way it is.”

Maitlis tweeted that it was a “No holds barred interview” and that no questions were vetted with the prince.

The interview was negotiated for many months and had to get approval from the Queen, the BBC reports.

Saturday 9pm. BBC2. No holds barred interview – no questions vetted- with Prince Andrew. https://t.co/erRkhJ1hTd

— emily m (@maitlis) November 15, 2019

The prince also answered questions about allegations from Virginia Roberts Giuffre.

Giuffre alleges that at age 15, while she was working at Mar-a-Lago, the resort owned by Donald Trump, she was procured for sex by Ghislaine Maxwell, the woman often referred to as “Epstein’s madam.” Maxwell has been named by many Epstein accusers as pivotal in the recruiting of young women to groom for Epstein. She has denied any wrongdoing or involvement.

Giuffre claims that in 2001, when she was 17, Andrew had sex with three times. She says she was paid by Epstein for these encounters. A photo that Giuffre said was taken in 2001 in a London apartment, shows Prince Andrew’s arm around Giuffre, with Maxwell standing in the background, according to the New York Times.

“I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady,” Andrew told the BBC. “None whatsoever.”

Epstein, 66, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to solicitation of prostitution — including one count involving a minor — died awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges in August. His death by hanging in his jail cell was ruled a suicide.

Conspiracy theories surrounding his death have swirled. Last month a private forensic pathologist hired by the Epstein family said the autopsy suggests homicide rather than suicide. The New York City chief medical examiner said she stands by her conclusion that Epstein died by hanging himself.

Since Epstein’s death, Giuffre and other Epstein accusers have demanded that Andrew “come clean” and give a full account of his involvement and knowledge.

A Buckingham Palace statement released in August noted that the prince was “appalled” by Epstein’s alleged crimes.

“His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent,” the statement from Buckingham Palace said.

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Joe Henry On ‘The Gospel According To Water’

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Joe Henry On ‘The Gospel According To Water’

Musician Joe Henry was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. He tells NPR’s Scott Simon that the news set into motion a songwriting flurry, creating a new album, The Gospel According to Water.

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