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Pete Buttigieg’s question to woman who shook RFK’s hand takes awkward turn



Presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg had an awkward campaign trail encounter Tuesday with a woman in Iowa who told him she once met the late-Robert F. Kennedy.

The Democrat was campaigning at the Iowa State Fair when a woman approached him and said she met Kennedy in 1968, according to a tweet from a CNN producer.

“I shook Robert Kennedy’s hand in 1968,” the woman told him.


Buttigieg responded: “So you’re good luck?”

“Not really— he was shot a month later,” the woman said.

Kennedy, the former senator and attorney general beloved by liberals, was assassinated in California in 1968 while seeking the Democratic nomination for president. His brother, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in 1963.

Buttigieg is among the Democratics who have been campaigning over the last few days at the Iowa State Fair.


“I’m running for president because it’s time to have somebody in the Oval Office who will stick up for American values,” Buttigieg said during a speech at the fair Tuesday.

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5 Takeaways on Trump and Ukraine From John Bolton’s Book




WASHINGTON — President Trump directly tied the withholding of almost $400 million in American security aid to investigations that he sought from Ukrainian officials, according to an unpublished manuscript of a book that John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, wrote about his time in the White House.

The firsthand account of the link between the aid and investigations, which is based on meetings and conversations Mr. Bolton had with Mr. Trump, undercuts a key component of the president’s impeachment defense: that the decision to freeze the aid was independent from his requests that Ukraine announce politically motivated investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter.

In their opening arguments on Saturday in Mr. Trump’s trial, the president’s lawyers asserted that Mr. Trump had legitimate concerns about corruption in Ukraine and whether other countries were offering enough help for its war against Russian-backed separatists, which his lawyers said explained his reluctance to release the aid. They also said that Democrats had no direct evidence of the quid pro quo they allege at the heart of their impeachment case.

Multiple people described Mr. Bolton’s account. A draft of the manuscript, which offers a glimpse into how Mr. Bolton might testify in the trial if he were called to, was sent to the White House in recent weeks for a standard review process.

Here are five takeaways.

During a conversation in August with Mr. Trump, Mr. Bolton mentioned his concern over the delay of the $391 million in congressionally appropriated assistance to Ukraine as a deadline neared to send the money.

Mr. Trump replied that he preferred sending no assistance to Ukraine until officials had turned over all materials they had about the Russia investigation related to Mr. Biden and supporters of Hillary Clinton in Ukraine, referencing unfounded theories and other assertions that Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal lawyer, had promoted about any Ukrainian efforts to damage Mr. Trump politically.

The president often hits at multiple opponents in his harangues, and he frequently lumps together the law enforcement officials who investigated his campaign’s ties to Russia with Democrats and other perceived enemies, as he appeared to do with Mr. Bolton.

According to Mr. Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper joined him in pressing Mr. Trump to release the aid in the weeks leading up to the August meeting.

Mr. Trump repeatedly set aside their overtures by mentioning assorted grievances he had about Ukraine, some related to efforts by some Ukrainians who backed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election and others related to conspiracies and unsupported accusations about, among other things, a hacked server at the Democratic National Committee.

Mr. Bolton wrote that Mr. Pompeo privately acknowledged to him last spring that Mr. Giuliani’s claims about Marie L. Yovanovitch, then the American ambassador to Ukraine, had no basis, including allegations that she was bad-mouthing Mr. Trump. Mr. Pompeo suggested to Mr. Bolton that Mr. Giuliani may have wanted Ms. Yovanovitch out because she might have been targeting his business clients in her anti-corruption efforts. Yet Mr. Pompeo still went through with Mr. Trump’s order to recall Ms. Yovanovitch last May.

Mr. Pompeo lashed out at a National Public Radio host on Friday and Saturday after she asked him in an interview about Ms. Yovanovitch’s removal.

Mr. Bolton also wrote that he had concerns about Mr. Giuliani. He said he warned White House lawyers last year that Mr. Giuliani might have been using his work representing the president as leverage to help his private clients.

Among other names Mr. Bolton referenced in the manuscript: Attorney General William P. Barr. Mr. Bolton wrote that he raised concerns with Mr. Barr about Mr. Giuliani’s influence on the president after Mr. Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president. That call was a critical piece of the whistle-blower complaint that prompted the impeachment inquiry. Mr. Barr on Sunday denied Mr. Bolton’s account through a spokeswoman.

Mr. Bolton, who released a statement this month saying he would appear at Mr. Trump’s trial if he is subpoenaed, is prepared to testify before the Senate, according to his associates. He believes that he has relevant insight to present before senators vote on whether to remove Mr. Trump. He is also concerned, his associates said, that if his account of Mr. Trump’s Ukraine dealings comes out after the trial, he will be accused of withholding potentially incriminating material in order to increase his book sales.

Mr. Trump and the White House, however, do not want Mr. Bolton to appear.

The White House had already ordered Mr. Bolton and other key officials not to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. The manuscript has intensified concern among advisers that they need to use a restraining order to block Mr. Bolton from testifying, according to two people familiar with their concerns. It was unclear whether they would be successful in doing so.

The revelations from the draft of Mr. Bolton’s book could complicate the impeachment trial. A handful of moderate Republican senators who have signaled an openness to calling witnesses did not appear persuaded by the case that the Democratic House managers made last week at the trial, which The Times reported on Friday was heading as early as this week toward a vote on Mr. Trump’s acquittal.


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Wary Residents Return to Homes Near Volcano in Philippines




MANILA — Thousands of people displaced by the threat of eruptions from the Taal Volcano have begun returning home after the Philippine authorities said the danger had subsided.

Their return comes after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on Sunday lowered the alert level because of reduced activity in Taal’s main crater.

Taal, located on an island in a freshwater lake 40 miles south of Manila, began rumbling on Jan. 12. Within hours, Taal, the second most active volcano in the Philippines, rained sulfurous ash across the island, sending nearly 100,000 people in nearby towns fleeing. Officials said more than 390,000 people were ultimately forced into evacuation centers or ended up staying with relatives after being ordered from their homes.


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Nina Griscom, Model, Entrepreneur and ‘It Girl’ of the ’80s, Dies at 65




Nina Griscom, a model, television host, fashion plate, columnist and entrepreneur who came to be known as an “It” girl in the high society whirl of 1980s New York, died on Saturday at her home in Manhattan. She was 65.

The cause was complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which was diagnosed in late 2017, said Kelly Breheny, her personal assistant.

Ms. Griscom grew up among the rich and the influential, the daughter of Elizabeth Fly Vagliano, a major benefactor of cultural and educational institutions and later the wife of Felix G. Rohatyn, the investment banker who helped rescue New York City from fiscal insolvency in the 1970s.

Ms. Griscom, who would all but retire the title of best dressed at charity events, began modeling by posing for the fashion industry grande dame Eileen Ford while still in college.

“I wasn’t discovered at all,” Ms. Griscom told The New York Times in 2015. “I marched right into there myself.”


She went on to model for magazines, appearing on the cover of Elle France, and in one instance famously draped only in a towel for a Gillette Bare Elegance body shampoo advertisement.

From 1990 to 1993, Ms. Griscom was a co-host of “Entertainment News” segments on HBO with Matt Lauer. She was hired, she said, because she could memorize scripts quickly when the cable network was “too cheap for a teleprompter.”

Ms. Griscom and Alan Richman, the food writer, were hosts of “Dining Around,” a series of restaurant reviews that ran on the Food Network from 1993 to 1998; they later opened home-decorating stores in Southampton, N.Y. (sharing space there with Antony Todd, the Manhattan event and floral designer) and on Lexington Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, selling such items as scented candles suggestively named “Flirt,” “Revenge,” and “Sultry.” The Southampton store closed in 2005; the Manhattan store in 2009.

Ms. Griscom was a rebel from birth. She started smoking before she was a teenager (“I picked up the habit when I was shipped off to school in Switzerland at age 12,” she wrote in her Town & Country magazine column in 2012) and had worked her way up to a pack of Marlboros a day, but stopped years ago.

Besides opening the decorating stores, Ms. Griscom styled handbags for the GiGi New York Collection, even though she acknowledged, “I am the first to say that I have zero formal training in design.”

She festooned her Park Avenue apartment with old master drawings as well as African and Oceanic artifacts. (“An African fetish in the shape of a phallus, I admit, is not for everyone,” she told Architectural Digest in 2017.)

Even past the point at which most of her contemporaries had matured, Ms. Griscom, in a gesture of support for an ailing friend, paid $150, plus tip, to get a two-inch porcupine tattooed on her right inner forearm.

“Traditional decorum suggests that getting your first tattoo after the age of 50 is like sporting a miniskirt in your 70s — a tad age inappropriate,” Ms. Griscom conceded. Her mother agreed.

“‘It’s neither savory, nor sound’ was the reaction of my famously elegant mother, Elizabeth Rohatyn,” Ms. Griscom recalled, “who, it should be noted, regularly applied that phrase to many of my well-chronicled life choices.”


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