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Report: Donald Trump offered senator money to end Patriots Spygate investigation

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The New England Patriots’ infamous Spygate videotape cheating scandal happened nearly 15 years ago, but apparently there’s still more we don’t know about it. And the new details are juicy.

 

According to Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham of ESPN, Donald Trump met with late Sen. Arlen Specter in 2008, nearly a decade before Trump’s presidency, and offered him “money in Palm Beach” if he dropped his investigation into Spygate. Trump was reportedly acting on behalf of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

 

 

 

Spokespeople for Trump and Kraft denied the allegation that either man tried to influence Specter’s investigation.

“This is completely false,” said Jason Miller, a senior adviser to Trump. “We have no idea what you’re talking about.” Miller declined to answer a series of follow-up questions. A Patriots spokesman said Kraft “never asked Donald Trump to talk to Arlen Specter on his behalf.”

 

 

“Mr. Kraft is not aware of any involvement of Trump on this topic and he did not have any other engagement with Specter or his staff,” the spokesman said via email.

 

 

The alleged meeting between Trump and Specter
Charles Robbins, Specter’s longtime communications aide, told ESPN that Specter first discussed the supposed Spygate money meeting with him in 2010, during a tape-recorded conversation for his final memoir. This exchange appeared in that book, “Life Among the Cannibals.”

 

 

“On the signal stealing, a mutual friend had told me that ‘if I laid off the Patriots, there’d be a lot of money in Palm Beach.’ And I replied, ‘I couldn’t care less.'”

Specter never revealed the name of the “mutual friend” to Robbins, but he was “pretty darn sure” it was Trump. Trump and Specter were friends, and had been since the early 1980s when Trump first donated to Specter’s campaign. Trump would go on to donate over $11,000 to Specter’s campaign committees, and referred to Specter as a “close friend” in handwritten notes.

 

 

 

‘Trump was acting as a messenger for Kraft’
Despite the denials from Trump and Kraft, Shanin Specter, Arlen Specter’s son, told ESPN that he got the story directly from his father.

“My father told me that Trump was acting as a messenger for Kraft,” Shanin Specter says via ESPN. “But I’m equally sure the reference to money in Palm Beach was campaign contributions, not cash. The offer was Kraft assistance with campaign contributions. … My father said it was Kraft’s offer, not someone else’s.”

 

 

 

Trump and Kraft were once close friends, with Kraft attending Trump’s wedding to Melania in 2005 and Trump attending the funeral of Kraft’s wife, Myra, in 2011. Trump even reportedly called Kraft every week for a year after his wife died, just to check in on him. According to ESPN, both men disapproved of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s handling of the Spygate investigation.

 

 

Specter says that his father told him about the meeting soon after it happened.

“He was pissed,” Shanin Specter says about his father. “He told me about the call in the wake of the conversation and his anger about it. … My father was upset when [such overtures] would happen because he felt as if it were tantamount to a bribe solicitation, though the case law on this subject says it isn’t. … He would tell me these things when they occurred. We were very close.”

 

 

 

Offer of money didn’t impact investigation
Specter turned down the offer of “money in Palm Beach” (which is not illegal if referring to campaign contributions) and continued his pursuit of the truth he felt Goodell was hiding. Specter was furious that Goodell had the evidence — actual Spygate video tapes — destroyed, and even though his investigation was a one-man crusade that lacked subpoena power, his strong rhetoric scared the NFL.

 

 

Goodell was so scared of Specter’s investigation — which could have led to a wider probe with subpoena powers — that he convinced the Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, and former St. Louis Rams head coach Mike Martz to release statements saying that the NFL had done its “due diligence.” None of those parties reportedly felt that was true, and Martz told ESPN that the statement he wrote was heavily edited by the NFL before its release.

 

 

Despite Goodell’s fear, the NFL still had the power to stonewall Specter, and prevented him from obtaining any documents or interviewing any employees of the NFL or the Patriots. Nearing 80 years old and undergoing chemotherapy to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Specter, who died in 2012, ended the investigation himself in June 2008 having failed to get his fellow senators on board for a larger probe.

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Nick Kyrgios showman masterclass — He Explains

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Nick Kyrgios’ second-round match against Russian superstar Daniil Medvedev was everything fans were expecting from the Australian entertainer.

Kyrgios went down in four sets to Medvedev at Rod Laver Arena.

Whether it was doing a lap of pure joy halfway around the court on break point with the Rod Laver Arena fans behind him, blowing up at the chair umpire over a time violation, or even having a mid-match conversation with tennis legend Dylan Alcott, Kyrgios displayed it all.

The performance left US tennis legend Jim Courier with a simple question for viewers at home.

 

Twitter was sent into a frenzy, with AFL stars like Mitch Robinson and Tom Papley, along with pundits and media identities from around the world, all watching closely.

Kyrgios fires up over violation

Kyrgios during the third set was seeing red with the chair umpire after he was given a time violation for not being ready to receive a Medvedev serve.

A furious Kyrgios approached Bernardes in his chair and the pair exchanged a few words.

Here’s how the exchange went:

Kyrgios: All I did was walk to my towel. I walked to my towel! Usually the ballkids give me my towel.

Bernardes: You are receiving, you’re not serving.

Kyrgios: Listen! I don’t want to talk to you, listen to me.

Bernardes: So don’t scream, stop yelling.

Kyrgios: Usually the ballkids give me the towel – yes or no? Usually, yes, they do right? All I did was walk to my towel. That’s all I did.

Kyrgios early in the match casually stopped by to chat with Alcott courtside. Here’s what was said:

“He’s up and about,” Alcott said.

“He’s right in it, but he said, ‘It’s so tough to play this bloke’ because unless he makes his first serve every time, the guy is like a robot and he doesn’t miss a shot.

“He also said he wants to go the underarm serve every time and I said, ‘Go for it, why not if you’re standing that far back’.

“He’s right in it and he’s engaged. Even though it’s a tough one out here, I think he feels like he’s got a good shot.”

Kyrgios’ glorious celebration of stunning volley

Kyrgios’ glorious celebration of stunning volley

Bringing up two crucial break points while trying to survive in the third set, Kyrgios celebrated the moment in a way only he could.

“He made it… he’s doing a lap of honour!” said former Australian tennis star Todd Woodbridge in commentary.

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Medvedev — I used the changeroom visit to halt momentum of Nick Kyrgios’

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Reigning US Open champion Daniil Medvedev says his short trip back to the locker room after losing the third set to Nick Kyrgios helped him eventually prevail.

Despite being up against an amped-up Rod Laver Arena crowd, Medvedev was able to steady after dropping the third set to run out a 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 4-6 6-2 winner to advance to the third round of the Australian Open.

The Russian disappeared to the locker room after losing the third set before returning to the court in an entirely new outfit and explained why he took the break.

“They were trying to cheer him up,” Medvedev said. “They managed to do it.”

 

“He was playing pretty strong in the third set when he actually could’ve gone down mentally because it was two sets to love for me, I was playing pretty well.”

“The crowd tried to help him so I just went out to change and changed all my clothes to feel a little bit more fresh because I felt like I was missing this in the third set.

 

“I just went out [in the fourth set] and was like, ‘Okay, I have to serve even better and try to return even better’, even if it was not so bad.”

Despite being visibly irritated by the fans during his on-court interview with Jim Courier after the match, Medvedev praised the crowd and the atmosphere inside Rod Laver Arena.

 

“I actually wrote ‘siuu’ in the camera afterwards because when Jim started talking about this, I was like, ‘Well, okay I’m going to write it then because everyone is doing it’,” he said.

“The only thing, between first and second serves, that’s where it’s tough. It’s not good for the game to do it because, people probably don’t know, but when you’re getting ready for the second serve, it’s a tough moment.

 

“I think people should respect both players and just don’t talk in these moments.

“During the match it’s not easy to be there when the whole stadium is against you, but if you look at it on TV, I will after the tournament, I’m going to be like, ‘Wow that’s a great atmosphere for a tennis match’.”

 

 

After prevailing during a tougher-than-usual second-round opponent, Medvedev said the gruelling encounter would stand him in good stead moving forward.

“I think it’s really important because I can definitely say it’s an unlucky draw, a tough draw,” he said of the Kyrgios match-up.

“These kinds of matches in a first, second or third round of a slam, it’s a big challenge where if you make it through you feel like you can go far.

“It’s a big challenge where you can fail it and go home the next day, but I’m happy I passed this challenge.”

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Why Emma Raducanu was defeated — See The Truth

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Reigning US Open Champion Emma Raducanu says members of her team did not want her to take the court for her second-round clash due to the blisters on her right hand.

The British teen’s maiden Australian Open campaign was brought to an end when she succumbed to Montenegrin world No.98 Danka Kovinic, 6-4 4-6 4-2.

The upset began brewing from the first game of the match as Raducanu battled blisters on her right hand. After the loss, Raducanu revealed that she had brought the blisters into the match

 

“I was struggling with my hand before the match,” she said.

“There were some people in my team that maybe didn’t want me to play, but I wanted to go out there and fight through it, to see how far I could go.

“I thought it was a pretty good learning experience for me. I discovered tools about myself and my game that I didn’t know I had before.”

 

Wincing in pain after striking the ball, the 17th seed struggled to maintain her service games as her serve dropped off in pace.

Raducanu revealed after the match that the blisters had become an issue since her arrival in Australia.

“I’ve been struggling with blisters since I started playing in Australia because 21 days with no tennis, my hands got pretty soft,” she said.

“From day one, day two, I was getting blisters pop up here and there. This particular one has been with me for about five days, and I have been trying to take it for every practice and it would harden and dry out, but then once I would play again, another layer would rip off.

“It ended up being pretty deep. It’s a bit annoying because I know it’s something that will heal in a few days, but it’s just unfortunate timing.”

 

After calling a medical timeout where she received taping from the physio, Raducanu repeatedly sort extra bandages at each break in play.

 

Despite pleas from her team to pull out of the tournament, the 19-year-old was determined to play after enduring quarantine.

“I fought so hard just to come to Australia and I didn’t want to go out like that,” she said.

“So I just left it all out on the court, after everything I went through.”

Raducanu explained how the blisters caused her to struggle gripping the racquet.

“Every time I hit and make contact with the ball, it would create an impact,” she said.

“Say I hit one slightly off-centre and the racquet moves a bit in my hand, it’s like even more friction and it just rips again. So it’s very painful, like every single shot you hit.”

 

 

 

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