John F. Kennedy Jr.’s assistant details memorable moments with her former boss

RoseMarie Terenzio can still vividly recall some of her fondest memories involving her friend and former boss John F. Kennedy Jr.

One of them involved his famous hair, which he hated.

“He used to keep this cream called Kiehl’s Silk Groom,” Kennedy’s assistant told Fox News. “I’ll never forget it. He used to keep it in his office and on the shelf. And he would use it all the time to get his hair to be flatter. He would wear a hat all the time. Even sometimes in the office, he would put the Kiehl’s Silk Groom and then he would put a hat on to flatten his hair.”


There was also his massive appetite.

“He would order like 10 different things for lunch and eat a little bit of everything,” she explained, chuckling. “So he would get like three different lunch deliveries. He would have rice and beans on a plate, a burger on another plate.

“He ordered everything, but he just ate a little of each thing. He also ate off my plate all the time. I would come back to my desk and there would be a chunk taken out of my lunch… He had an appetite, but he was always in shape… I actually never saw him finish an entire meal.”

Kennedy, son of the 35th President, as well as his wife Carolyn and her sister Lauren Bessette died in a plane crash on July 16, 1999, off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard while on their way to Rory Kennedy’s wedding. And 18 years later, Terenzio still looks back at her time working for Kennedy and quickly befriending him.

But meeting Kennedy back in 1994 wasn’t a star-studded moment for Terenzio, who grew up in The Bronx with a big Italian family that “didn’t have much money.”

“He was starting George magazine with Michael Berman, who was my boss at the time,” she said. “And Michael had given him my office and he moved right in, so I was not very happy about that. I definitely [confronted Kennedy]. I said, ‘You don’t even have a job, why do you need an office?’ He was a little taken aback by my attitude to say the least.”

At the time, Kennedy was dealing with the loss of his mother, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, who passed away that same year at age 64 from non-hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“He never really had an assistant,” said Terenzio. “John and I just started kind of a banter of making fun of each other and teasing each other. It just worked out. And he went, ‘Well, why don’t you come work for me?’ And I said, ‘Well, what do you do?’ And he said, ‘This magazine and hopefully that’s what we’re going to be doing.’ I remember he said, ‘If this doesn’t work out, you know, if you want to move on, I know some people and I could probably help you find another job.’ I said, ‘You know some people?’ You know the whole Earth!’ So needless to say, it did work out, which was great. And we actually became really, really good friends in the process.”

George, a monthly magazine which focused on politics, launched in 1995 and ran until 2001. But even before the magazine hit newsstands, Terenzio was busy as Kennedy’s personal assistant.

“The phone rang incessantly. Constantly,” she recalled. “And we didn’t really use email. It was all phone. It just rang constantly. And the mail. He got so much mail. I would get three boxes of mail from the mailroom every day. And I would have to go through all of it and keep on top of it because it would pile up.”

In early fall 1994, Terenzio met the woman who would marry America’s most eligible bachelor of the moment.

“Carolyn and I had actually been speaking on the phone for a while, a few months before I actually met her,” she said. “She was very warm, she was friendly, and she was very much a girl’s girl. Like, ‘What’s going on? How was your day? How was your night?’ You warmed up right away with her. She was so open and she was just a really good friend. She was fun and she was funny. And so when I first met her, it felt like we had known each other. It was love at first sight.”

While tabloids covered Kennedy’s past reported flings with stars, like Madonna, Darryl Hannah, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Cindy Crawford, just to name a few, Terenzio believed Carolyn was different from anyone he encountered. The pair shocked the world with a secret wedding in 1996.

“John was ready,” said Terenzio. “She was ready. They were both ready to settle down… and Carolyn didn’t need John. I just think she saw him as a person. She understood his fame, his celebrity, and all of that. But I don’t think it was a factor for her and who he was as a person.

“Even though he was who he was, I don’t think Carolyn ever felt inferior to him. And that was important. She was independent and was her own person.”

Still, the couple struggled to mantain their private life because the paparazzi loved to track them, Terenzio claimed.

“I think John was under the impression that once he got married, it would die down,” she said. “It would go away. You know, he wasn’t this single, most eligible bachelor anymore. And that would make it a bit less interesting for him. But it didn’t. It actually intensified. The scrutiny on her, that intensified… He was recognized as America’s prince and who’s this girl? How did she get him? And I think [the press] were digging to find some secret reason why this was ‘the one.’”

The stress of tackling the media proved to be a challenge throughout their marriage.

“I think it was twofold,” said Terenzio. “John had this big life. And just that alone was difficult. There were a lot of social obligations, charity obligations. Then you had the magazine and the family. So I think that was a little challenging. And I think obviously the media scrutiny… no matter how much people say ‘she knew what she was getting into,’ you don’t know until you’re in it. That was a huge adjustment for her.

“With John, he wasn’t famous for something that he did… If he were an actor and he didn’t want to be famous anymore, he could stop acting. But he couldn’t stop being John F. Kennedy Jr.”

Carolyn was stressed by her husband’s non-stop schedule with George, along with the growing attention from pestering paparazzi when she decided not to attend the family wedding. Instead, she was hoping to take a break. Terenzio said she convinced Carolyn to attend to avoid questions being raised on any reported marital woes. Carolyn would go on that fatal flight, which haunted Terenzio for years.

“It was very difficult,” Terenzio admitted. “It took time for me to get back up and figure out what I wanted to do next… there was a lot of trial and error.”

Terenzio chronicled her memories with Kennedy in the 2012 memoir “Fairy Tale Interrupted,” which helped her cope. Today she is the founder of a publicity firm. And while Terenzio’s career continues to flourish, she still thinks of her friends and what could have been.

“I don’t think he felt any pressure or felt any burden [to pursue politics] because of his name,” she said. “I think he saw it as a wealth of opportunity. And that he was very lucky. He thought about it. He certainly talked about running for office, but his priority was to make George a success.”

Top Republican congressman calls for Mueller to resign as special counsel

A senior Arizona congressman is calling on Robert Mueller, special counsel for the Justice Department’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling, to resign.

Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement Tuesday that Mueller is in violation of the law that prohibits Mueller from serving as a special counsel if he has a conflict of interest.

Mueller and former FBI Director James Comey have been longtime allies dating back to 2003 when the men both worked in Washington, Mueller as the FBI Director and Comey as Deputy Attorney General. Franks cited the pair’s relationship as a reason for Mueller to be disqualified from the probe.

“Bob Mueller is in clear violation of federal code and must resign to maintain the integrity of the investigation into alleged Russian ties,” Franks said. “Those who worked under them have attested he and Jim Comey possess a close friendship, and they have delivered on-the-record statements effusing praise of one another.

President Trump had also called Mueller’s relationship with Comey “bothersome.”

Franks also cited reports that Mueller hired at least three lawyers who have donated exclusive to Hillary Clinton as well as a bevy of other Democrats.

“Until Mueller resigns, he will be in clear violation of the law, a reality that fundamentally undermines his role as Special Counsel and attending ability to execute the law,” Franks said.

Courtesy: Fox News

MS-13’s most wanted: The violent gangsters the feds want behind bars

Their calling card is stomach-turning violence, and they proudly wear their affiliation in the form of jailhouse tattoos as they terrorize cities and suburbs alike.

MS-13, the El Salvadoran gang that took root in America’s prisons, has spilled onto the streets of America, committing murders and rapes that leave seasoned cops stunned and disgusted.

“They kidnap. They extort. They rape and they rob,” President Trump said last week on New York’s Long Island, where MS-13 has terrorized once peaceful communities. “They stomp on their victims. They beat them with clubs, they slash them with machetes, and they stab them with knives. They have transformed peaceful parks and beautiful quiet neighborhoods into bloodstained killing fields. They’re animals.”

Trump has turned Attorney General Jeff Sessions loose on America’s most-feared gang, and shutting down the murderous El Salvadoran organization is a top priority. With an estimated 10,000 members in the U.S., on the streets and behind bars, the job won’t be easy.

Here are the most-wanted members of America’s most-feared gang:

Walter Yovany Gomez: The only member of MS-13 to currently be on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, Yovany Gomez, who goes by the nickname “Cholo,” is wanted for his alleged involvement in the murder of a fellow gang member in Plainfield, N.J. Born in Honduras, Yovany Gomez immigrated to the U.S. illegally before becoming involved in gang life. In May 2011, it is purported that Yovany Gomez and a fellow MS-13 members took their victim out for a night of partying before beating him over the head, stabbing him in the back 17 times and slitting his throat. Their victim was killed for socializing with a rival gang.

A federal arrest warrant was issued for Yovany Gomez in 2013 and he was last seen in Maryland after being driven there from New Jersey. He is considered armed and dangerous.

Robert Morales: A member of the Coronado clique of MS-13 who goes by the nickname “Casper,” Morales is wanted by the FBI for the alleged murder of two men and the attempted slaying of a woman in Los Angeles. Authorities purport that Morales shot and killed a man waiting at a bus stop in July 2000 and then, in November of the same year, shot and killed a fellow MS-13 member before opening fire on the man’s girlfriend. Morales, who was known to work as a handyman when not committing violent crimes, has a lengthy rap sheet that includes several assaults, burglary, narcotics transportation and domestic violence.

Carlos Flores Garcia and Victor Alfonso Argueta: Both men are wanted for a brutal double murder behind a Baltimore school in January 2006. While at a club in south Baltimore, the two MS-13 members thought they saw two other men flash a rival gang sign. A later investigation found that neither of the two victims were affiliated with any gang.

When the two victims arrived at the local school, Garcia and Argueta attacked them – stabbing them multiple times with knives. A district court in Baltimore has charged Garcia with two counts of first-degree murder and Argueta with accessory to commit murder after the fact. Both have been charged with unlawful flight to avoid persecution, given their time on the lam and the fact that both men were born in El Salvador.

Douglas Alexander Herrera-Hernandez: The Texas Department of Public Safety added 20-year-old Herrera-Hernandez to its 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list last month after the MS-13 member known as “Terror” was connected to a June 2016 murder and another murder this July in the Houston area. Herrera-Hernandez, who is from El Salvador, has been residing in the U.S. illegally and is believed to be accompanied by a 19-year-old woman and her infant son.

Carlos Alberto Gonzalez-Barahona: While the Salvadoran national has been deported multiple times, the 26-year-old MS-13 member quickly rose to become one of Texas’ most wanted men in a span of three short days this June. On June 18, he allegedly shot and killed his estranged girlfriend inside an apartment in northwest Houston. After fleeing the scene of the crime, Gonzalez-Barahona is suspected of kidnapping the driver of a pickup truck at gunpoint in rural Brazoria County, just south of Houston, before eventually abandoning the truck in neighboring Wharton County. He has been charged with murder and aggravated kidnapping.

Courtesy: Fox News

John Kelly, Asserting Authority, Fires Anthony Scaramucci

Scaramucci Is Out After Only 10 Days



Scaramucci Is Out After Only 10 Days

President Trump removed Anthony Scaramucci from his job as White House communications director at the request of John Kelly, the new White House chief of staff. Mr. Scaramucci served in his post for only 10 days.

By MICHAEL D. SHEAR, CHRIS CIRILLO and A.J. CHAVAR on Publish DateJuly 31, 2017. Photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times.Watch in Times Video »

WASHINGTON — John F. Kelly, President Trump’s new chief of staff, firmly asserted his authority on his first day in the White House on Monday, telling aides he will impose military discipline on a free-for-all West Wing, and he underscored his intent by firing Anthony Scaramucci, the bombastic communications director, 10 days after he was hired.

Mr. Scaramucci was forced out of his post, with the blessing of the president and his family, just days after unloading a crude verbal tirade against other members of the president’s staff, including Reince Priebus, Mr. Kelly’s beleaguered predecessor, and Stephen K. Bannon, the chief White House strategist, in a conversation with a reporter for The New Yorker.

Mr. Trump recruited Mr. Scaramucci as a tough-talking alter ego who would ferociously fight for him the way others had not. But “the Mooch,” as he likes to be known, quickly went too far, even in the eyes of a president who delights in pushing the boundaries of political and social decorum. As Mr. Kelly, a former four-star Marine general, began his first day on the job, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, announced that Mr. Scaramucci was out.

“The president certainly felt that Anthony’s comments were inappropriate for a person in that position,” Ms. Sanders said. “He didn’t want to burden General Kelly, also, with that line of succession.”

In a post to Twitter just hours before the announcement, Mr. Trump insisted that there had been “No WH chaos!” Yet even as he sought to reassure supporters that all was well, several administration aides fretted that the impetuous president and the disciplined Marine were already on a collision course that could ultimately doom the unlikely partnership.

Mr. Kelly, the first former general to occupy the gatekeeper’s post since Alexander Haig played that role for President Richard M. Nixon during Watergate, is charged with quelling the chaos that has defined, distracted and often derailed Mr. Trump’s White House. But the president gave Mr. Priebus many of the same assurances of control, and then proceeded to undercut and ignore him — to the point where Mr. Priebus often positioned himself at the door of the Oval Office to find out whom the president was talking to.

In his brief time at the White House, Mr. Scaramucci seemed to epitomize its chaos. A wealthy New York financier, he burst onto the political scene with a memorable performance in the White House briefing room, where he portrayed himself as a major, new player who had been assured he would report directly to the president, without the interference of intermediaries like Mr. Priebus or Sean Spicer, the president’s first press secretary.

It was soon clear that Mr. Scaramucci would not be a fixture of the administration, but a transitory figure who created an opportunity for Mr. Trump, with his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, to undertake the far-reaching shake-up intended to purge the White House staff of leakers and aides viewed as not sufficiently loyal to his cause.

Mr. Spicer quit the day Mr. Scaramucci was hired; Mr. Priebus left shortly after the rant in which Mr. Scaramucci accused him of undermining the president through leaks of information to reporters.

Mr. Kelly, who was Mr. Trump’s first secretary of homeland security, arrives at a critical juncture, when the president is confronted with North Korea’s growing nuclear ambitions, Russia’s aggressive diplomatic moves and continuing fighting in Iraq and Syria. The new chief of staff will also be charged with reviving a stalled legislative agenda. Mr. Trump’s campaign promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act ended in failure last week, and there has been little progress on other major goals like overhauling taxes or rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure.

And despite his desire for discipline, it took only hours on Monday for Mr. Kelly to face his first White House leak, and it was about him. CNN reported that Mr. Kelly had been so upset about the president’s firing of James B. Comey as F.B.I. director in May that he called Mr. Comey to say he was considering resigning, an account that was confirmed by a former law enforcement official who was told of the conversation.

Mr. Kelly resisted the president’s entreaties to take over for Mr. Priebus during the past several weeks. After his appointment was announced on Friday, he met with Mr. Trump and demanded assurances that he would wield the usual sweeping authority over personnel, the flow of information and access to the Oval Office that chiefs of staff have traditionally been given.

In early morning staff meetings at the White House on Monday, Mr. Kelly made it clear that the president had agreed to let him impose more discipline over what had been an unruly and inefficient decision-making and communications process under Mr. Priebus, who had none of Mr. Kelly’s experience in government or the military.

Mr. Kelly also made it clear that everyone in the staff — including Mr. Bannon, Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner — would clear policy proposals, personnel recommendations and advice from outsiders through him.

“General Kelly has the full authority to operate within the White House, and all staff will report to him,” Ms. Sanders told reporters later. But she added that Mr. Trump would decide how that would work.

Mr. Scaramucci’s fall and Mr. Kelly’s rise highlighted the diminished but still important role in shaping the West Wing played by Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner, both of whom serve in the White House as senior advisers to the president.

Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner had hoped to persuade Mr. Trump to appoint Dina Powell, the deputy national security adviser, as chief of staff. Mr. Trump, who likes Ms. Powell, considered doing so, but later — when it became apparent that Mr. Trump had settled on hiring Mr. Kelly — the pair supported the choice of the general, according to people involved in the White House’s internal discussions.

While Mr. Kelly’s concerns were the decisive factor in Mr. Scaramucci’s departure, they said, it was clear that Mr. Trump had quickly soured on the wisecracking, Long Island-bred former hedge fund manager, and so had his family.


President Trump with John F. Kelly, the new White House chief of staff, in the Oval Office on Monday.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner had initially pushed the president to hire Mr. Scaramucci, seeing him as a way to force out Mr. Priebus, the former Republican National Committee chairman, and his allies in the West Wing, like Mr. Spicer.

Mr. Spicer resigned just hours after Mr. Scaramucci’s hiring was made public. And shortly after Mr. Scaramucci called Mr. Priebus a “paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac” — adding a more vulgar term to the beginning of the phrase — Mr. Priebus, too, offered his resignation.

Mr. Trump was initially pleased by Mr. Scaramucci’s harsh remarks, directed at Mr. Priebus as well as Mr. Bannon. But that view seemed to change as people around Mr. Trump told him that Mr. Scaramucci’s over-the-top performances were not well received.

In addition, Mr. Scaramucci seemed to be, at least for the moment, overshadowing him — a fact that Breitbart News, which Mr. Bannon used to run, pointed out in a headline describing Mr. Trump as second fiddle to his communications director.

Over the weekend, after speaking with his family and Mr. Kelly — who refused to even consider retaining Mr. Scaramucci — the president began to see the brash actions of his newly high-profile subordinate as a political liability, according to three people familiar with his thinking.

For the time being, the White House may leave the communications director post open, said a person close to the internal discussions about the job, though Mr. Kelly has the latitude from Mr. Trump to fill the post with someone from the Department of Homeland Security.

Two perennial candidates to fill the post are Kellyanne Conway, a White House senior adviser and the president’s former campaign manager, and Jason Miller, who held the communications post during the campaign. Mr. Trump has long wanted to bring Mr. Miller, who serves as an informal adviser, into the administration.

Mr. Kelly’s bond with the president is based on Mr. Trump’s affinity for generals, whom he views as can-do leaders, and a belief that Mr. Kelly is a “star” of the administration, delivering on the promise to secure the border and toughen immigration enforcement.

But the choice was also part of a bet that Mr. Kelly can tame a White House that has at times seemed out of control, even to those inside it. On Monday, after a day that included a cabinet meeting and a ceremony to present the Medal of Honor, Mr. Trump seemed eager for the normalcy that has so far eluded him.

At 6:19 p.m., he said on Twitter: “A great day at the White House!”


Lesson for Trump: Hardball Against Senators Is a Game He Can Lose


Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has refused to back the Republican Party’s line on health care. Her stance against the administration is likely to bolster her at home in the short term. CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The recalcitrant senator kept crossing up the inexperienced new president on big-ticket legislation even though they represented the same party.

Frustrated and angry, the White House fought back, threatening retaliation both petty and portentous, eyeing federal jobs and programs in the state of the rebellious lawmaker to force obedience.

While this may sound like the current situation between President Trump and Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, over her refusal to back the party line on health care, it was actually 1993. The senator was Richard Shelby, then a Democrat of Alabama, and the president was Bill Clinton as he began his first term and found the conservative Mr. Shelby to be a real irritant.

Unhappy with Mr. Shelby’s commentary on the new president’s economic plan, the Clinton White House raised the prospect of shipping some NASA jobs from Huntsville, Ala., to the Johnson Space Center in Texas. The White House went so far as to limit Mr. Shelby to a single pass to a White House celebration of the University of Alabama’s 1992 national title football team — a brutal slap, in Crimson Tide terms.

“I was the one who came up with the phrase, the taxman cometh,” Mr. Shelby recalled in an interview. “That just set him off.”

The Trump White House

Presidents of both parties have often overplayed their efforts to strong-arm a member of Congress. It’s often not effective. In Mr. Shelby’s case, it even accelerated his switch to the Republican Party.

Now, the Trump administration has been under scrutiny for its actions toward Senators Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, also a Republican of Alaska, after Mr. Sullivan let it be known last week that he got what he perceived to be a threatening phone call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke after Ms. Murkowski’s opposition to advancing a Republican health care proposal.

Mr. Sullivan told The Alaska Dispatch News that Mr. Zinke, whose department controls considerable resources in Alaska, had phoned both senators to let them know the state’s relationship with the Trump administration had been put in jeopardy by Ms. Murkowski’s vote. Howls of outrage followed, along with accusations of White House extortion.

On Sunday, Mr. Zinke, a former congressman from Montana, addressed the issue with reporters during an official stop in Nevada and called the accusation that he had threatened the lawmakers “laughable.”

Whether the phone calls were misinterpreted or not, it was certainly a ham-handed effort. Every decision the administration now makes in regard to Alaska will be interpreted through the lens of the health care dispute and seen as some kind of punishment of innocent residents if the state suffers.

Not to mention the fact that Mr. Zinke was put in the position of challenging a lawmaker who oversees his budget and policy programs. Ms. Murkowski is the chairwoman of both the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the appropriations subcommittee that funds the Interior Department. She arguably has more control over some aspects of the agency than the secretary has.

“In my experience, it is not wise for a cabinet secretary to bully the person who controls his purse strings,” said David Hayes, the former deputy secretary of the interior during the Obama administration, who has worked closely with Ms. Murkowski. “It’s very curious: He seems to have the relationship backward. In many respects, she is his boss.”

Ms. Murkowski’s stance against the administration is likely to bolster her at home in the short term. Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, who joined Ms. Murkowski in consistently opposing the president last week, received spontaneous applause from people who were awaiting their flights when she arrived at the Bangor, Me., airport last Friday.

“People admire independence, and I’ll bet they admire it even more in Alaska,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, predicting such pressure tactics would fail — a common sentiment on Capitol Hill.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I’ve seldom seen threats to be very effective,” said Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri.

In fact, the opposite tack has usually proved more effective, with lawmakers more likely to bend when offered benefits and goodies for their states. Carrots have produced more congressional wins than sticks.

Mr. Shelby said that when the Clinton White House began discussing the job moves, he returned home and held a news conference to announce that “my vote is not for sale or lease to anybody, because it belongs to the people of Alabama.”

“Wow,” he said, “the people rallied around me.”

The Clinton administration ultimately backed off, but Mr. Shelby bolted for the Republican Party the day after Republicans swept into control of Congress in November 1994.

He said the entire exercise of turning the screws on senators can be counterproductive.

“Tomorrow is another day up here,” he said. “Murkowski, I’m sure, will be with us on a lot of votes.”

The administration pushback is part of the life of the swing lawmaker, the one with the potential to make the difference between victory and defeat on important issues.

Jim Jeffords, a Republican senator from Vermont, was consistently under pressure from Republican White Houses over his career as he resisted tax cuts and other budget policies. He, too, suffered a White House snub in 2001 when he was not invited to a Rose Garden ceremony to celebrate the teacher of the year — a Vermonter. The White House and its allies also made noises about rejiggering the New England Dairy Compact, a major Vermont issue.

Like Mr. Shelby, Mr. Jeffords ultimately left his party and stunned Washington by becoming an independent in May 2001, handing control of the Senate to the Democrats for most of the first two years of President George W. Bush’s term.

So if there is a lesson to be drawn from the experiences of Senators Shelby and Jeffords, it’s that too much hardball from the White House can sometimes lead a lawmaker to decide to play for the other team.


Courtesy: New York Times

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