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“I think Ken Starr is a lunatic, I really think that Ken Starr is a disaster. I really think that Ken Starr was terrible.”

—Donald Trump, discussing the man who Trump would ultimately choose to defend him in his impeachment trial, in 1999 MSNBC interview.

 

“Starr’s a freak. I bet he’s got something in his closet.”

—Donald Trump, on Kenneth Starr in a 1999 New York Times interview.

“President Trump knew exactly what was going on. He was aware of all my movements. I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Guiliani or the president.”

—Lev Parnas, Jan. 16, 2020.

 

”This is historic. It’s the first time anyone has used the phrase ‘Trump knew exactly what was going on.’”

—Stephen Colbert, Jan. 16, 2020.

“I don’t even know who this man is. I don’t know him at all. Don’t know what he’s about. Don’t know where he comes from. Know nothing about him.”

—Donald J. Trump, denying he knows Rudy Giuliani sidekick Lev Parnas—Jan. 19, 2020.

 

“I don’t know who Lil Jon is. I don’t—I really don’t.”

—DJT, denying he knows rapper Lil Jon, even though Lil Jon had been a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice—not once, but twice—November 2018.

 

“He is an amazing & wonderful guy!”

—DJT tweet on Dec. 4, 2012 in which he called Lil Jon a “fan favorite” on The Celebrity Apprentice.

 

“@LilJon once again made it to the Final Four.”

—DJT tweet on May 13, 2013.

 

“Thanks @LilJon for coming to my defense in Rolling Stone Magazine. As I have often said, you are a terrific guy!”

—DJT tweet, July 22, 2014.

 

“POTUS doesn’t even know him.”

—DJT tweet about George Conway, husband of Kellyanne Conway, March 19, 2019.

 

“I barely know him…”

—DJT tweet about George Conway, March 20, 2019.

 

“You have a truly great voice, certainly not a bad asset for a top trial lawyer!”

—DJT letter to George Conway thanking him for his help on a problem in one of his buildings.

 

“I never met former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. He knows nothing about me.”

—DJT tweet, Sept. 17, 2016.

 

“I’m not sure I ever met Bob Casey. I never met him. I don’t know this man.”

—DJT to an audience at a 2018 Pennsylvania rally, despite having met with Sen. Casey in the Cabinet Room of the White House to talk about Trump’s proposed tariffs on imported steel earlier that same year.

 

“I don’t know him. I saw him sitting, in one picture, at a table with me. That’s the only thing I know about him.”

—DJT denying that he knew George Papadopoulos after his former campaign adviser got into legal trouble.

 

“An energy and oil consultant, excellent guy.”

—DJT, on George Papadopoulos, in earlier interview with The Washington Post.

 

“I know nothing about WikiLeaks. It’s not my thing.”

—DJT, when WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in April 2019.

 

“I love WikiLeaks.”

—DJT, during his 2016 presidential campaign.

 

“I don’t know anything about it.”

—DJT, to reporters in July 2019, following arrest of Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking charges.

 

“I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”

—DJT, on Jeffrey Epstein, in interview with New York Magazine.

 

“I don’t know him very well. I have not spoken to him much. This is not a man I know well.”

—DJT on Ambassador Gordon Sondland, as Sondland was testifying about Trump and Ukraine in November 2019.

 

“I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify…”

—DJT tweet on Oct. 8, 2019 about Sondland, who had donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee.

 

“I don’t know Prince Andrew. I don’t know him, no.”

—DJT, denying he knows Prince Andrew after the prince had been implicated in the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking scandal— Dec. 4, 2019.

 

“He’s not pretentious. He’s a lot of fun to be with.”

—DJT, speaking of Prince Andrew in a 2000 interview with People Magazine.

 

“I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.”

—DJT, in interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, on the KKK endorsement of his candidacy.

 

“I really don’t even know what I mean because that was a long time ago and who knows what was in my head.”

—DJT, in interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd in trying to explain his previous support of the Iraq War.

 

“To the best of my knowledge, (I) haven’t played golf with him…”

—DJT tweet denying he had ever played golf with actor Samuel L. Jackson, who had said that Trump cheats at golf. In fact, the two had played golf together.

 

 “I have no idea who this reporter, Serge Kovalski [sic] is, what he looks like or his level of intelligence.”

—DJT, denying he knew New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski who Trump had mocked for his physical disabilities. The two were actually on a first-name basis.

A legal battle that began for a Baton Rouge television station more than two years ago is finally over.

The Louisiana Supreme Court has denied writs by a Louisiana state trooper placed on 64-hour (eight working days) suspension following an Internal Affairs investigation after he filed a defamation lawsuit against WBRZ-TV for its story about his suspension.

The gist of the WBRZ story was that Rafael Goyeneche, president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission in New Orleans, felt that State Police Lt. Robert Burns II should have been prosecuted for violating federal law for running 52 searches in law enforcement databases for personal reasons.

Burns was disciplined after it was revealed that he had run his ex-wife’s name 46 times; her current fiancé twice, and the name of the woman’s former boyfriend four times through Kologic and Mobile Cop, data bases used by law enforcement.

The entirety of the WBRZ story was based on its acquisition of public records, which normally would have negated any claim of defamation but for a growing trend toward so-called SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) lawsuits. The disciplinary letter to Burns said, “Since November of 2013, continuing until October 2016, you have conducted law enforcement search inquiries…for non-law enforcement purposes, in violation of department policy and federal law.” The letter further said that Burns admitted that 51 of the searches “were for strictly personal reasons and not related to any investigation.”

Goyeneche noted that 52 times over a two-year period of time tracking his former wife and some of her acquaintances was “tantamount to stalking.”

Burns’ former wife filed the complaints which initiated the IA investigation.

Burns claimed that on 46 occasions, he was conducting a search of his own license plate and that the “spin-off” searches of his wife were a result of “unintended inquiries generated by an automated system.” Investigators didn’t buy that explanation

SLAPP lawsuits have only one purpose: to stymie criticism of public officials. In recent cases, they have been used by judges from the 4th Judicial District (Ouachita and Morehouse parishes) against the West Monroe newspaper, The Ouachita Citizen, to discourage that paper’s seeking public records from the court.

Another case involved the mayor, police chief and members of the Welsh Board of Aldermen filing suit against fellow Alderman JACOB COLBY PERRY when he questioned the police department’s budget.

SLAPP lawsuits had their origin during the early days of the Civil Rights struggle when officials in several southern cities, particularly Birmingham and Montgomery, filed costly lawsuits against newspapers, magazines and civil rights leaders in order to discourage attempts at obtaining equal rights and news coverage of those efforts.

Lake Providence native and LSU journalism graduate Aimee Edmondson wrote a definitive book titled IN SULLIVAN’S SHADOW, which explored the spate of SLAPP lawsuits at the dawn of the Civil Rights struggle. The title was drawn from the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Sullivan v. New York Times in which Montgomery police commissioner Lester Sullivan sued The New York Times over its coverage of bus station beatings of blacks in that city.

The Supreme Court’s ruling raised the bar for public officials to prove libel so long as a publication believed what it published was true and published “without malice.”

So frivolous did WBRZ consider the Burns lawsuit initially that it failed to even answer the suit, a early tactical error that resulted in a default judgment of $2.5 million—which may have just as well been in some of Odell Beckham Jr.’s phony money he was handing out to LSU players following Monday night’s national championship game.

The station filed an appeal which was upheld by the First Circuit Court of Appeal, effectively tossing out Burn’s lawsuit.

“Hey, John, what’s this all about? What’s this a tour of?”

—Donald Trump, to then-Chief of Staff John Kelly as they prepared to take a private tour of the USS Arizona Memorial which commemorates the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, which killed 2,402 American servicemen and brought the U.S. into World War II (from the book A Very Stable Genius).

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