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Jennifer Arcuri says affair with Boris Johnson is ‘no-one’s business’

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  • The woman Boris Johnson is accused of giving favours to while Mayor of London speaks out in her first broadcast interview.
  • She refuses to confirm or deny to ITV’s Good Morning Britain whether she had a sexual relationship with the prime minister.
  • She describes Johnson as a “very close friend” who visited her flat around 10 times.
  • “It’s no one’s business what private life we had, or didn’t have,” she said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The woman at the cente of a sex scandal which threatens to drag Boris Johnson into a criminal inquiry, has refused to confirm or deny having a sexual relationship with the UK prime minister, as it would be “weaponised” against him.

The tech entrepeneur and former model Jennifer Arcuri, who has reportedly told friends she was in a sexual relationship with Johnson,  told ITV that it was “no-one’s business” whether they had an affair while he was Mayor of London.

She admitted that Johnson, who she described as “a very close friend” who she “cares about deeply,” visited her flat around 10 times, but denied that their close relationship was the reason why Johnson had granted her thousands of pounds of public money as well as access to foreign trade missions.

Asked repeatedly whether she had engaged in a sexual relationship with the prime minister, Arcuri relied that “it’s no one’s business what private life we had, or didn’t have.”

She added: “Because the press have made me this objectified, ex-model pole dancer, I really am not going to answer that question.”

“It’s no one’s business what private life we had, or didn’t have,” she said.

“Because the press have made me this objectified, ex-model pole dancer, I really am not going to answer that question…

“I’m not going to let you put me in a position where you weaponise my answer.”

She denied a report in last week’s Sunday Times that Johnson had recommended her for a senior tech job as fake news, adding that “Boris never wrote me a letter. Never.”

In a bizarre moment when asked by host Piers Morgan whether Johnson had ever used the pole-dancing pole in her flat, she replied “I’m never going to tell you that.”

Pressed again about her relationship with Johnson, she asked Morgan: “has it been ten minutes yet. Are you falling in love with me?”

Johnson’s relationship with Arcuri is now the subject of multiple investigations. An internal investigation by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport into a grant of £100,000 to Arcuri’s “Hacker House” company is underway, as are separate investigations by the London Assembly and the Greater London Authority.

At the centre of the investigation is the allegation that Johnson failed to declare his relationship with Arcuri before overruling officials in order to grant Arcuri access to foreign trade missions. Correspondence seen by Business Insider confirms that officials working for Johnson intervened to ensure her attendance on the trips.

Last month the GLA’s monitoring officer referred the matter to the independent police complaints watchdog to judge whether it warranted a full criminal investigation into a potential misconduct in office offence.



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Trump and Republicans zero in on decorated Army officer Alexander Vindman wearing his military uniform to impeachment hearings

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  • President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have made a big fuss over Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman wearing his military uniform on Capitol Hill during the impeachment inquiry.
  • But Vindman is an active duty Army officer and is following regulations by wearing his uniform to impeachment hearings.
  • Trump and his GOP allies have zeroed in on the uniform to suggest Vindman is being performative, which he vehemently denies.
  • “The uniform I wear today is that of the United States Army,” Vindman, an Iraq War combat veteran, said on Tuesday. “We do not serve any political party. We serve the nation.”
  • Follow along with our live coverage of the hearings here.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have zeroed in on Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman wearing his military uniform to impeachment hearings amid his participation in the inquiry.

The implication from the president and congressional Republicans is seemingly that Vindman, an Iraq War combat veteran and active duty Army officer, has used his dress uniform as a prop as part of a partisan performance.

But Army regulations state that “when an invitation calls for business attire, the appropriate Army uniform is the service or dress uniform.” The regulations further state: “All personnel will wear an Army uniform when on duty, unless granted an exception by the commander to wear civilian clothes. “

In short, Vindman has been following US military protocol, and it would be a violation of Army regulations for him to show up to congressional hearings out of uniform.

And Vindman — the top adviser on Ukraine on the National Security Council — in his testimony on Tuesday vehemently denied his involvement in the inquiry was motivated by partisan leanings. 

“The uniform I wear today is that of the United States Army,” Vindman said. “We do not serve any political party. We serve the nation.”

GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee zeroed in on Vindman’s uniform in Tuesday’s hearing. 

Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah, for example, mentioned that Vindman wore the uniform “even though you wear a suit” to the White House. He also questioned why Vindman earlier in the hearing corrected Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking member on the committee, on his current rank in the Army.

Stewart said: “Do you always insist on civilians calling you by your rank?”

“I am in uniform wearing my military rank, I just thought it was appropriate to stick with that,” Vindman replied.

He added: “The attacks I’ve had in the press and Twitter have kind of eliminated the fact that…or marginalized me as a military officer.”

Trump on Vindman: ‘I understand now he wears his uniform when he goes in’

Meanwhile, Trump at the White House on Tuesday explicitly mentioned Vindman’s attire in comments to reporters.

The president said: “I don’t know him, I don’t know, I don’t know – as he says, Lieutenant Colonel. I understand somebody had the misfortune of calling him mister and he corrected him. I never saw the man, I understand now he wears his uniform when he goes in, no, I don’t know Vindman at all.”

 

Trump also mocked Vindman for wearing his uniform in an interview last week, stating: “You know him. He shows up in his uniform for the first time ever.”

The remarks from Stewart and Trump echoed the headline of an article from the far-right news outlet Breitbart. The article, published in late October, is titled: “NSC Official Alex Vindman Testifies in Full Military Uniform, Despite Not Wearing One to Work Every Day.”

Democratic Rep. Sean Maloney on Tuesday rebuked Republicans for focusing on Vindman’s uniform. 

“It seems like if anybody gets to wear that uniform it’s somebody with a breast plate with those commendations,” Maloney said in defense of Vindman.

Vindman was on the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that led to a whistleblower complaint that ultimately sparked the impeachment inquiry. The Army officer’s first-hand knowledge of the call and expertise on Ukraine have made him a key figure in the scandal that’s threatening to upend Trump’s presidency.

SEE ALSO: Alexander Vindman ended his opening statement in Trump’s impeachment hearing with a message to his father: ‘Do not worry. I will be fine for telling the truth.’

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Impeachment hearings schedule: Who is publicly testifying next

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The impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump has officially moved into its public phase, and witnesses are beginning to testify in open session before the House Intelligence Committee, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and House Oversight Committee, who are jointly pursuing the inquiry. 

On Wednesday, the public phase of the inquiry kicked off with the testimony of acting US ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor and State Department official George Kent.

The two diplomats corroborated previous witness testimony that Trump and members of his administration used a $400 million military aid package to Ukraine as leverage to pressure its government to announce investigations that would be politically favorable to Trump. 

And on Friday, former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, a career diplomat, gave gripping testimony detailing how Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani pushed her out of her position earlier this year after over three decades of service in the State Department. 

Eight more diplomats and national security officials — many of whom have already appeared to testify behind closed-doors — will testify publicly in the next few days.

Here’s the schedule of who is testifying in the next week.

This schedule will be periodically updated as the Committees announce public testimony for more witnesses. 

  • Tuesday, November 19: 
    • State Department official and advisor to Vice President Mike Pence Jennifer Williams and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an expert on Eastern European affairs on the National Security Council will testify in the morning. 
    • Former US special representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker and former NSC staffer Tim Morrison will testify publicly in the afternoon.  
  • Wednesday, November 20:
    • US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland will testify in the morning.
    • Pentagon official Laura Cooper— whose closed-door testimony on October 23 was stormed by a group of 30 GOP lawmakers — and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale will appear in the afternoon.
  •  Thursday, November 21: 
    • Former NSC senior director for Russian and Eurasian affairs Fiona Hill will testify publicly before the committees.
    • David Holmes, a diplomat at the US embassy in Ukraine who previously was interviewed behind closed doors, will also testify on Thursday alongside Hill. 

The impeachment inquiry all started with an anonymous whistleblower’s complaint, turned over to Congress in early September, that Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country” in the 2020 US election in a series of events culminating in a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The complaint specifically charged that Trump’s pressure on the Ukrainian government to investigate alleged corruption from former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter came days after he withheld a nearly $400 million military-aid package to Ukraine that Congress had already appropriated.

The White House’s notes of the call confirm Trump brought up how the US does “a lot for Ukraine.” Immediately after, Trump asked Zelensky to do him a “favor, though” by investigating Biden and a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election to benefit Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and was somehow in possession of a Democratic National Committee server.

In the past month, multiple diplomats and national security officials have testified that Trump and Giuliani explicitly conditioned both releasing the aid and inviting Zelensky to a meeting at the White House on Ukraine putting out at a statement announcing investigations into the Bidens and the 2016 election.

Read more:

LIVE: Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams testify in Trump impeachment hearings

Here’s everyone testifying in the public hearings on the possible impeachment of Donald Trump

A whistleblower, a cover-up, and a quid pro quo: Here’s everything we’ve learned from the impeachment inquiry.



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10 things in tech you need to know today, November 19

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FILE PHOTO: The WeWork logo is displayed outside a co-working space in New York City, New York U.S., January 8, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

The WeWork logo is displayed outside of a co-working space in New York.
Brendan McDermid/Reuters


Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday.

  1. The New York state attorney general is investigating WeWork amid layoffs. The company confirmed that it had been contacted by Attorney General Letitia James’ office, which will reportedly focus on activities by WeWork’s founder and former CEO, Adam Neumann.
  2. T-Mobile CEO John Legere is stepping down in May 2020. Legere will hand over the reins to COO and president Mike Siever.
  3. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has told WeWork executives he wants the company to turn a profit by 2021. Masayoshi Son told WeWork executives to look for new sources of revenue as SoftBank attempts to rescue the company.
  4. Amazon is now letting you listen to music free on smartphones and TV, as well as online and Spotify investors are already nervous. The company published a blog post that said customers without a Prime membership or subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited could now access ad-supported music for free.
  5. Alibaba leaders have denied ‘sensational’ claims made in viral Weibo post that said the Chinese e-commerce giant misreported its Singles Day sales. Peng Mei — project manager for communications on Singles Day and PR director of Tmall, the retail site owned by Alibaba — responded to the allegations in a post on WeChat, threatening legal action.
  6. Google has bought CloudSimple, a startup that was once a key part of Microsoft’s cloud strategy. CloudSimple was originally launched to help Microsoft woo VMware customers to compete with Amazon Web Services.
  7. Ousted WeWork CEO Adam Neumann can still reportedly name directors to WeWork’s board, even though he left the company. Adam Neumann can still influence the company through its board, according to a new Fast Company report.
  8. A new ‘Half-Life’ game is finally coming out after 12 years of waiting — but the catch is that it’s for virtual reality only. Developer Valve called ‘Half Life: Alyx’ “a flagship VR game.”
  9. Teens love Apple’s AirPods, and they’re putting them on their holiday wish lists more than ever before. That’s according to a new survey from Piper Jaffray. 
  10. Apple is holding a surprise event in NYC next month, and it sounds like it will be all about apps and games. The tech giant is holding an event on December 2 to highlight the best apps and games of the year in an unusual move.

Have an Amazon Alexa device? Now you can hear 10 Things in Tech each morning. Just search for “Business Insider” in your Alexa’s flash briefing settings.

You can also subscribe to this newsletter here — just tick “10 Things in Tech You Need to Know.”…



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