Trump’s doctor is a warning to all the footsoldiers and loyal colluders | Zoe Williams

Dr Harold Bornstein has admitted that the president dictated his own health report. But hes only one case of collateral damage in Trumps war on truth

Two years ago, devote or take, the US election seemed to hang on the health of the candidates. A video surfaced of Hillary Clinton, seeming to wobble and almost swoon as she got into a automobile. Your head told: this is trivial thing, if it were serious she would have bowed out, it’s probably one of those cancers like labyrinthitis or flu that you don’t believe exists until you get it yourself. Your gut said: this is very bad, voting is primal; no one lines up behind anyone who appears as though they’re about to fall over.

Trump, meanwhile, was in rude health, which was plain from his overall rudeness, and also, a letter from his physician, Dr Harold Bornstein. It was like a note you forge from your mum, in reverse: Donald Trump can go swimming, because he is in the best health ever, his level of wellbeing is unlike any you may have encountered in a swim-eligible child. It turns out there was a reason.” He dictated the whole thing ,” Borstein told CNN on Tuesday.” I just made it up as I went along ,” he unclarified, but I think we can call this an idiomatic US/ UK change: over there, the phrase clearly means:” I wrote down what that other person was telling .”

Dig into the text, and this much is obvious: his physical strength and staman were “extraordinary”. ” If elected ,” Bornstein made up as “hes been gone” along,” Mr Trump, I can country unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency .” Healthier than Obama, who could shoot hoops while smoking; healthier than Kennedy, who could fry eggs just by looking at them with his vigorous eyes.” The healthiest ever” may have been the red flag, but the dead giveaway was the” astonishingly excellent “. There can never have been any real doubt that, as Bornstein now acknowledges,” Trump dictated the letter and I’d tell him what he couldn’t put in there .” Ah history, you tantalising discipline. I would devote all the ancient pots of Mesopotamia to know what Trump said that couldn’t go in.” He is so healthy that all my medical intellect fights to believe he is human, and not of the gods .” It’s given us all a chuckle, except the doctor; he may just be struck off for stimulating false statements. Wherever he aims up, it will be somewhere below” qualified and respected physician with a license to practise “.

In what should- devoted his astonishing good health- become his band name where reference is remakes himself as a global boulder star, Ye Shall Know Trump By His Trail of Indictments. In the investigation into Russian links, Robert Mueller has already procured a series of guilty pleas: Michael Flynn( former national security adviser ), George Papadopoulos( former campaign consultant ), Richard Pinedo( a “private citizen”, which I think is code for” all-purpose rich person “) and Dutch attorney, Alex van der Zwaan, who has already served 30 days in prison and been penalty $20,000. It must, from the inside, look like a game of musical chairs, again in reverse; if you can get out of the one that situates you anywhere near Donald Trump in time, you’ll be OK. This is not how the law ensure it. Painstaking and a little pedantic, it will go after anyone who has ever been implicated in anything, starting with the low-hanging fruit. By the time it gets to the high-hanging fruit, its appetite is often sated. After the Watergate scandal, 69 government officials were charged, and 48 of them found guilty. President Nixon was not among them. Their sentences( some as high as 40 years) were a lot longer than the prison time they served( mostly a couple of months ), but that’s not the point; the point- for foot soldiers, collaborators, loyal colluders- is that you’re all going down. If you got out today, it wouldn’t be soon enough, but it would be sooner than tomorrow.

In local elections , no one wins, especially the local electorate

Ah, local government elections: the world’s most unwinnable tournament. If you are the party of government, you’re expected to do severely, but there’s always a psephologist somewhere who’ll come out of the woodwork tosay you shouldn’t have done as badly as this. If you are the party of opponent, you’re expected to do well, but there will always be a decade in someone’s memory when you did better and still didn’t win the general election, and somehow polite sentiment will instantly congregate around the banality that it was necessary to wipe that smile off your face because you won’t win where it countings. If you’re neither of those parties, everybody is ask why you’re standing, unless you don’t, in which example they’ll ask why you’ve given up.

As if that weren’t dispiriting enough, you are competing for offices of state in which the only real power vested is to enact the will of the government which- if the government’s will is to strip local the matter of any money they may have had the power to allocate- is a thankless task for which” lack of thanks” will probably be the best-case scenario once your period of office grinds to an end.

And when it’s all over, everyone always claims to divine some message from it, which this year will be more vexing than ever; whatever the “triumph”, leavers and remainers will both fashion it into an amorphous victory for themselves, a fundamentally inconsequential one, except if the consequence is to vex each other, as we’re all already managing quite well.

And yet, if these are the elections in which to send a message, what a mountain of messages there are: a message against the Windrush scandal, against voter ID, against standing in a stupid style with your legs apart. It’s worth it for that. Even if it is raining.

Thin ice … the Thwaites glacier in 2015. Photograph: AFP/ Getty Images

Size of our climate problem is brought close to home

The Thwaites glacier in west Antarctica will melt, over the coming generation, unless urgent action is identified in time to save it. Being the size of Britain, that could move the sea level up a metre and a half. There was a hour when bad things were the size of football pitchings. Then they were the size of Wales. This is the first time that I can think of that the anything untoward has been as large as our whole land mass. What is it going to take for us to start calling it a climate crisis, rather than a change?

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US Teacher of the Year stages silent protest as Trump awards prize

Mandy Manning, who works with refugees and immigrants, wears Womens March and trans equality pins at White House

A teacher who results a classroom for teenage refugees staged a silent protest by wearing several overtly political badges while receiving an awarding from Donald Trump at the White House.

Mandy Manning works at the Newcomer Center at Joel E Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington, which specialises in English language development for new refugees and immigrant students.

Trump presented her with the National Teacher of the Year award in the East Room and praised her” incredible devotion “. The US president told:” Teachers like Mandy play a vital role in the wellbeing of our children, the strength of our communities and the success of our nation .”

Manning wore six badges on her black dress. According to a pooled report, they included one with a poster for the Women’s March that followed Trump’s inauguration, one that told ” Trans Equality Now” and one in the shape of an apple with a rainbow.

The badges also represented the educator of the year program, National Education Association and Peace Corps, where she began her teaching career.

Handing her the clear glass, apple-shaped awarding on a podium, Trump did not appear to notice the badges. He smiled as he and Manning posed for photographers. The education secretary, Betsy DeVos; the labor secretary, Alex Acosta; and the Peace Corps director, Jody Olsen, seemed on.

Manning told the Associated Press after the ceremony that she used a private moment with Trump to give him stacks of letters written by her students and members of the Spokane community. She said she told Trump she hoped he would read them, and she encouraged him to visit her school.

” I just had a very, very brief moment so I made it clear that the students that I teach … are dedicated and focused ,” Manning said in an interview.” They attain the United States the beautiful place that it is .”

Manning said the letters give important messages about what coming to the US meant to the immigrants and refugees.

The long-running annual event took place against the backdrop of teachers’ strikes in Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Oklahoma and West Virginia amid grievances over stagnant pay.

Trump has cracked down on both legal and illegal immigration and suspended the US refugee programme for a period. He has demanded that a wall be built on the Mexican border to keep out murderers, medications gangs and other crooks.

The Associated Press contributed reporting

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White House correspondents dinner: Michelle Wolf shocks media with Sarah Sanders attack

The comedian was scathing about Trumps press secretary and his daughter Ivanka in a performance dubbed disgusting by Sean Spicer

The comedian Michelle Wolf stunned guests at a prestigious media dinner in Washington with a risque speech that eviscerated each member of Donald Trump’s administration, some of whom were in the room.

Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, told the Guardian he guessed the performance was ” utterly disgusting”, but others praised Wolf for pulling no punches about the president and his aides.

She depicted gasps from some in the 3,000 -strong audience at the Hilton hotel on Saturday when she turned her fire on Spicer’s secretary, Sarah Sanders, sitting merely a few feet away at the head table.” Every time Sarah steps up to the podium, I get excited ,” the comedian told.” I’m not really sure what we’re going to get, you know? A press briefing, a bunch of lies or is split into softball teams.’ It’s shirts and skins, and this time don’t be such a little bitch, Jim Acosta ,” – a including references to a CNN correspondent who has clashed with Sanders.

Wolf continued:” I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. But she burns facts and then she utilizes that ash to create a perfect smokey eye. Like maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies .”

Sanders seemed stony faced and there were both giggles and groans. But Wolf was not done:” I’m never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Is it Sarah Sanders, is it Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is it Cousin Huckabee, is it Aunt Huckabee Sanders? What’s Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white girls? Ah I Know, Aunt Coulter ,”- referring to the rightwing pundit Ann Coulter.

The White House Correspondents’ Association dinner is held annually but, for the second year go, Trump was absent and using a campaign rally to criticise journalists. Wolf, best known for her HBO standup special Nice Lady and cameos on The Daily Show, is not the first comedian to provoke disagreement at the event. Larry Wilmore elicited anger in 2016 where reference is used the N-word.

Wolf started as she meant to go on in a 20 -minute monologue peppered with sex references.” Like a porn star tells when she’s about to have sex with a Trump, let’s get this over with ,” she told. Nodding to the case of adult movie performer Stormy Daniels, who claims she had a sex encounter with Trump, she said:” It’s 2018 and I am a woman so you cannot closeds me up. Unless you have Michael Cohen wire me $130,000.” Cohen is Trump’s lawyer.

Noting the president’s no show, the comedian told:” I would drag him here myself, but it turns out that the president of the United States is the one pussy you’re not allowed to grab. He said it first. Yeah, he did. You remember? Good .”

Wolf also excoriated Trump’s daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka.” She was supposed to be an advocate for women, but it turns out she’s about as helpful to women as an empty box of tampons. She’s done nothing to satisfy girls. So I guess, like parent like daughter .”

As the audience muttered, Wolf chided:” Oh, you don’t think he’s good in bed. Come on .” She went on:” She does clean up nice, though. Ivanka cleans up nice. She’s the nappy genie of the administration. On the outside she appears sleek, but the inside, it’s still full of shit .”

For some is was an excruciating, toe-curling experience, and conservatives were aghast when Wolf turned to the subject of abortion. She told of vice-president Mike Pence:” He supposes abortion is murder. Which first of all don’t knock it till you try it. And when you do try it, really knock it, you gotta get that baby out of there. And yeah, sure, you can groan all you want, I know a lot of you are very anti-abortion, you know, unless it’s the one you got for your secret mistress .”

White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway, who was among the guests, did not escape the scathing humor.” Man, she has the perfect name for what she does. Conway. It’s like if my last name was Michelle tells-jokes-frizzy-hair-small-tits.

” You guys have to stop putting Kellyanne on your displays. All she does is lie. If you don’t give her a platform, she has nowhere to lie. If a tree falls in the timbers, how do we get Kellyanne under that tree? I’m not indicating she gets hurt. Just stuck. Stuck under a tree .”

The speech polarised conservatives and liberals in an already divided political scenery. In an interview with the Guardian, Spicer, who quitted as press secretary last summertime, was visibly angry as he told:” It was absolutely disgusting. The notion that people clapped at that. It’s one thing to celebrate the first amendment but that, tonight, was one of the most disgusting and deplorable things I’ve ever heard in my life. The speech, the references were route over the line.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Jonathan Karl of ABC attend the dinner. Photograph: Tasos Katopodis/ Getty Images

” There’s a lot of people on that dais from the media that need to answer for that. The White House Correspondents’ Association needs to answer for that. That was disgusting. The notion that viewers at home listened to that. I think they have a very distorted opinion for what the first amendment’s all about. There are a lot of reporters on that dais that brought her here that should answer for that .”

Spicer also commented on Twitter:” Tonight’s #WHCD was a disgrace .” Wolf tweeted back:” Thank you !”

Sanders and Conway declined to comment, but Mercedes Schlapp, an assistant to the president, tweeted:” Totally appalled by the so called and distorted comedian at the #WHCA dinner who assaulted @SarahHuckabee .”

Maggie Haberman, White House correspondent of the New York Times, tweeted:” That @PressSec sat and assimilated intense criticism of her physical appearance, her job performance, and so forth, instead of walking out, on national television, was impressive .”

One Democratic congressman told the Guardian he found Wolf’s speech ” crass” and “vulgar”, but another defended her, find:” What, Trump is president but abruptly there are bounds now ?”

And Ryan Knight, co-founder and director of engagement at the pro-Democratic group Build the Wave, tweeted :” Michelle Wolf brought the raw, unfiltered TRUTH tonight to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Sarah Huckabee Sanders couldn’t handle it, Trump supporters are exclaiming about it and I freaking loved it .”

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Trump calls for Senator Jon Tester to resign over Ronny Jackson claims

Trump tweets: His reputation has been shattered. Not fair, Tester! after Democratic senator released damaging allegations about VA nominee

Donald Trump has called for the abdication of Jon Tester, the Democratic senator who released details of accusations against Ronny Jackson, the White House doctor who withdrew his nomination to be secretary of veterans affairs.

” Allegations make use of Senator Jon Tester against Admiral/ Doctor Ron Jackson are demonstrating false ,” the president tweeted.” The Secret Service is unable to confirm( in fact they deny) any of the phony Democrat charges which have absolutely devastated the wonderful Jackson family. Tester should resign .”

Before playing golf in Virginia on Saturday morning, Trump added a shot is targeted at voters in Montana, where Tester will run for a third word in November against an as yet undecided Republican. The GOP primary, on 5 June, will feature one candidate who has hired an aide who lied about the assault of a Guardian reporterby congressman Greg Gianforte in 2017.

The Senate majority whip, John Cornyn, said on Thursday Tester had” poked the bear”, inviting Trump to intervene in a state he won by 20 phases in 2016. On Saturday morning Trump duly growled, writing:” The great people of Montana will not stand for this kind of slander when talking of a great human being.

” Admiral Jackson is the kind of human that those in Montana would most respect and admire, and now, for no reason whatsoever, his reputation has been shattered. Not fair, Tester !”

After his outing to his golf club in northern Virginia, Trump returned to the offensive, comparing the allegations against Jackson to the Russia investigation by special advise Robert Mueller.” Secret Service has just informed me that Senator Jon Tester’s statements on Admiral Jackson are not true ,” he wrote.” There were no such findings.

” A horrible thing that we in DC must live with, just like phony Russian Collusion. Tester should lose race in Montana. Very dishonest and sick !”

Jackson’s nomination to run the sprawling VA came after he delivered a glowing endorsement of Trump’s health. His nomination instantly attracted criticism, dedicated his lack of relevant bureaucratic experience.

Tester is the ranking Democrat on the Senate veterans affairs committee, the panel which considered the nomination. Its term of office collected allegations of misconduct, which included a claim that Jackson” got drunk and wrecked a government vehicle” at a secret service party.

Democratic staff on the Senate committee also claimed the doctor doled out such a large render of a prescription opioids that his staffers panicked since they are guessed the narcotics were missing. They said their allegations were based on conversations with 23 of Jackson’s current and former colleagues at the White House medical unit.

Jackson has called the accusations” baseless and anonymous attacks” and” totally false and fabricated “.

In a statement on Saturday, Tester told:” It’s my duty to make sure Montana veterans get what they need and have earned, and I’ll never stop fighting for them as their senator .”

An email from the senator’s office added:” President Trump has signed eight of Tester’s bills into statute to hold the[ Department of Veterans Affairs] accountable and be enhanced care and benefits for veterans .”

On Friday, the White House released records it said raised doubts concerning some of the most serious allegations. The records, including police reports, indicated Jackson was in three minor incidents in government vehicles in the last five years, but none involved alcohol and he was not found to be at fault.

The White House medical unit passed regular controlled substance audits, according to records for the last three years. The reviews did recommend improvements to the unit’s handled in controlled substance, but did not find misconduct.

The documents were the result of an internal White House review, encompassing recent years. Tester’s office has not specified the time frame in which the alleged misconduct resulted. Tester’s spokeswoman, Marnee Banks, told the AP the office would not commentary until it knew more about the White House records.

The secret service issued a statement on Thursday about allegations, reported by CNN, that during a foreign trip in 2015 Jackson drunkenly banged on the hotel room door of a female employee and secret service personnel intervened out of concern he would wake President obama. The secret service said it had find” no information that would indicate the accusation is accurate “.

On Thursday, Tester was more forthright than in his Saturday statement. In statements reported by Politico, he said:” If[ Trump] thinks it’s my job to sweep his stuff under the table and ignore our military folks, he’s wrong. If he thinks I should not be sticking up for veterans, he’s wrong. I look forward to working with President Trump. I’ve worked with him many times in the past, but we disagree .”

Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said:” Jon poked the bear. Did you insure the bear today? The bear was mad. If there was any doubt[ Trump] was coming to Montana[ to campaign against Tester] it was removed today. He overreached .”

Trump has defended Jackson strongly. At a press conference with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, on Friday, the president told:” These were false accusations about a great man, about a human who has a son who’s a top student at Annapolis, about a human that’s devoted his life to this country, and to the military. A brave man. He would have been a great leader .”

Trump noted that he, Obama and former chairwoman George W Bush had all praised Jackson and said he had called him to say he was ” an American hero” because he had” exposed the organizations of the system for some horrible things “.

Trump said he was considering a number of potential VA picks, including” some very political people “.

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Mike Pompeo narrowly approved for secretary of state by Senate committee

Trump nominee was approved after facing a potentially historic snub, with Senator Rand Paul switching posture just before the vote

Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, was narrowly cleared by the Senate foreign relations committee on Monday after facing a potentially historic snub.

The Republican-led Senate panel approved Pompeo’s nomination on Monday in a mostly party-line vote of 11 to 9. All but one of the committee’s 10 Democrats voted against Pompeo, who has served as Trump’s CIA director since January 2017, while all of its 11 Republican members therefore voted in his favor.

Leading up to the vote, it looked as though Pompeo might be the first ever secretary of state not to receive a positive recommendation from the panel. But Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, the only Republican who had voiced his opposition to the nomination, cleared the way for Pompeo’s approval by switching his position just before the vote.

Paul, a libertarian who had quoted concerns with Pompeo’s support for the Iraq war and torment tactics, said he made the decision after speaking several times with Trump and meeting with Pompeo.

” After calling continuously for weeks for Director Pompeo to support President Trump’s belief that the Iraq war was a mistake, and that it is time to leave Afghanistan, today I received confirmation that Director Pompeo agrees with President Trump ,” Paul said in a statement.

” President Trump believes that Iraq was a mistake, that regime change has destabilized the region, and that we must end our involvement with Afghanistan.

” Having received assurances from President Trump and Director Pompeo that he agrees with the President on these important issues, I have decided to support his nomination to be our next Secretary of State ,” he added.

Senator Chris Coons of Delaware became the lone Democrat to break ranks after a procedural mix-up left the vote in limbo. Coons had recorded a no referendum, but switched to help advance Pompeo’s nomination after Republican Senator Johnny Isakson was unexpectedly absent. Although Isakson voted yes by proxy, a senator must be physically present to cast the choosing vote.

Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, grew visibly emotional while praising Coons for showing” a statesmanship that I’m not accustomed to insuring in the Senate “.

Pompeo is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate later this week, albeit with the support of simply a handful of Democrat facing tough re-election battles in November.

Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of Indiana, both Democrats from reliably conservative countries, announced in separate statements on Monday that they would vote to confirm Pompeo. North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, another vulnerable incumbent Democrat, backed Pompeo last week.

Trump nominated Pompeo for the role last month after unceremoniously firing secretary of state Rex Tillerson in a tweet. Pompeo had forged a close rapport with the president through their daily intelligence briefings.

But despite being confirmed last year as CIA director without encountering any significant impediments, Pompeo’s nomination to lead the state department sparked swift backlash from Democrat, who quoth his prior controversial remarks on Muslims and the LGBT community. Pompeo’s is supportive of torturing techniques and proclivity for military options also factored into the opposition among both Democrats.

During his confirmation hearing earlier this month, human rights groups voiced the alarm over Pompeo’s refusal to unequivocally disavow improved interrogation methods. Democrat also chafed at Pompeo’s reluctance to state whether he would resign if the president were to fire special attorney Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the federal investigation into Russian interference in the US election and potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, indicated it was unpatriotic of Democrat to oppose Pompeo, telling Fox News on Monday:” Democrats have to decide whether they love this country more than they detest this president .”

The transition at the state department goes at a time when Trump is dealing with several complex foreign policy challenges. The chairman must determine in the coming weeks whether the US will withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord, of which Pompeo is a staunch opponent.

Questions also remain over the future of US engagement in Syria and the escalating conflict with North Korea. It was uncovered last week that Pompeo secretly met with Kim Jong-un during a visit to Pyongyang earlier this month to lay the groundwork of a highly anticipated sit-down between Trump and the North Korean leader in May.

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Michael Cohen case shines light on Sean Hannity’s real estate empire

Fox News host who told Trumps fixer knows real estate has a portfolio that includes subsistence from Department of Housing and Urban planning, a fact he did not mention when interviewing secretary Ben Carson last year

When Sean Hannity was named in tribunal this week as a client of Donald Trump’s embattled legal fixer Michael Cohen, the Fox News host insisted their discussions had been limited to the subject of buying property.

” I’ve said many times on my radio present: I detest the stock market, I favor real estate. Michael knows real estate ,” Hannity said on television, a few hours after the dramatic hearing in Manhattan, where Cohen is under criminal investigation.

Hannity’s chosen investment strategy is confirmed by thousands of pages of public records reviewed by the Guardian, which detail a real estate portfolio of remarkable scale that has not previously been reported.

The records link Hannity to a group of shell companies that spent at least $90 m on more than 870 homes in seven nations over the past decade. The properties range from luxurious mansions to rentals for low-income families. Hannity is the concealed owned behind some of the shell companies and his attorney did not dispute the fact that he owns all of them.

Dozens of the properties were bought at a discount in 2013, after banks foreclosed on their previous proprietors for defaulting on mortgages. Before and after then, Hannity sharply criticised Barack Obama for the US foreclosure rate. In January 2016, Hannity told there were” millions more Americans suffering under this president” partly because of foreclosures.

Hannity, 56, also amassed part of his property collect with support from the US Department for Housing and Urban planning( Hud ), a fact he did not disclose when praising Ben Carson, the Hud secretary, on his television prove last year.

Christopher Reeves, Hannity’s real estate attorney, said in an email he would” struggle to find any relevance” in Hannity’s property keeps, which he told were highly confidential.

” I doubt you would find it very surprising that most people prefer to keep their legal and personal financial issues private ,” said Reeves.” Mr Hannity is no different .”

Spokespeople for Hud and Fox News declined to comment on the record.

The real estate constrains linked to Hannity are spread across more than 20 shell companies formed in Georgia. Each of the companies utilizes a variant of the same name, which combines the initials of Hannity’s children. Public records show the companies have bought up dozens of properties in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Vermont.

Among the most valuable are two large apartment complexes in Georgia that Hannity bought in 2014 for $22.7 m. The developments are in the cities of Perry and Brunswick, which have higher poverty rates and lower median incomes than the US medians. One- and two-bedroom divisions in Hannity’s apartment complexes are available to rent for $735 to $1,065 per month, according to brochures.

The Georgia purchases were funded with mortgages for $17.9 m that Hannity obtained with help from Hud, which insured the loans under a program created as part of the National Housing Act. The loans, first guaranteed in the Obama administration, were lately increased during$ 5m with renewed supporting from Carson’s department.

Hannity, who is reportedly paid $36 m per year for his television and radio proves, was criticised the coming week following Cohen’s court hearing, after it became clear he had defended Cohen and Trump on the air without disclosing that he also consulted Cohen for legal services.

He also declined to note his financial interest when he hosted Carson on Fox News last June for a discussion about Hud and housing. Hannity praised privatisation plans pushed by Trump and Carson.

Michael Cohen, second left, leaves court in New York. Photograph: Pacific Press/ Barcroft Images

” I know you’ve done a good job ,” Hannity told Carson.

Hannity complained during the discussion that home ownership in the US was at a 51 -year low- a false assert he has stimulated several times on air- and criticised the nation of public housing.

” I like the idea of them owning the place ,” Hannity told of people who receive housing assistance.” Well, that’s the real ideal ,” told Carson.

The shell companies used to buy the properties are registered to the offices of Henssler Financial, a wealth management firm outside Atlanta. Bill Lako, a principal at the firm, has appeared on Hannity’s radio show as an expert on fund issues.

Lako recently wrote an article for the show’s website berating Robert Mueller, the special counseling analyse ties between Trump’s 2016 electoral campaign and Russia, without noting his ties to Hannity. He did not respond to an email.

When Lako appeared on Hannity’s radio show last month, Hannity disclosed that he was a Henssler client. He joked to Lako that the company took him on as a” charity case” when he worked in Georgia, but” now I’m the best client you have “.

The Georgia mortgages supported by Hud were guaranteed as part of a programme designed aimed at protecting investors such as Hannity who buy rental apartment buildings. The government promises to cover losses if borrowers default on their mortgages. Borrowers pay an insurance premium to Hud in return. Bigger loan guarantees are available if the building homes low-income families.

Paperwork relating to the agreements with Hud, which was filed to county authorities, named Hannity as the principal of the shell companies used to buy the apartment complexes and to borrow the funds. Hannity personally signed several of the documents. A Hud source told Hannity was identified in non-public filings as the 100% owned of the apartment complexes.

Late last month, Hannity’s mortgages were replaced with loans for $22.9 m that were rewritten with Carson’s Hud and a new bank. There was no indication that Carson was personally involved in the process. Carson does, however, have the authority to allow Hannity from 2019 to convert the rental complexes into condominiums for sale, which could be lucrative for the television host.

The shell companies used to buy the properties are limited liability companies( LLCs ). Like in most countries, they are not required to disclose their owners to Georgia regulators. LLCs are popular among well-known figures such as Hannity who wish to keep their business arrangements private.

But the Guardian obtained records in which Hannity signed deeds and other documents on behalf of four of the LLCs, sometimes being named as principal or director. Four more of the shell companies have owned properties in which public records say Hannity or members of his family have lived.

Hannity also uses a separate company with a similar name to handle contracts relating to his syndicated radio display, according to records filed in two federal court cases. Georgia records say Hannity was chief executive, chief financial officer and secretary of this company before Lako took over the titles during 2016.

In other suits, merely the relevant LLC’s name and a contact at Henssler Financial were identified in the real estate paperwork, meaning that it could not be confirmed whether Hannity was the hidden owner.

Hud secretary Ben Carson testifies on Capitol Hill. Photo: Win McNamee/ Getty Images

The list of properties bought by the Hannity-linked companies includes multimillion-dollar homes used by Hannity. It also features single-family units priced as low as $50,000 in relatively poor suburbs. In at the least two cases, batches of homes were bought simultaneously at a discount, after they were repossessed by banks from their previous owners in foreclosure proceedings.

The entire portfolio connected to Hannity comprises at the least 877 residential units, which were bought for a total of simply under $89 m. Another seven properties bought by the companies over recent years have subsequently been sold on for more than$ 4m, according to public records.

When Hannity the coming week stressed that his business relationship with Cohen related to real estate, he pointedly denied that it involved any fiscal settlements with other people.

Cohen previously arranged for a $130,000 pay to Stephanie Clifford, the pornographic actor known as Stormy Daniels, who alleged she had sex with Trump. Cohen also helped Elliott Broidy, a prominent Republican fundraiser, pay $1.6 m to a woman who said she had become pregnant during an affair.

Hannity said he had only” occasional brief dialogues” with Cohen. He attained differing statements about whether Cohen was compensated, initially stating that he had not been billed but subsequently saying:” I might have handed him 10 bucks .”

In footage unearthed this week that was broadcast on Fox News in January last year, Hannity mentioned having discussed an unidentified$ 2bn property venture in Dubai with Cohen.

” I said,’ I’m interested in that deal myself ,'” said Hannity.

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