NEW YORK — With skating season kicking off at Central Park’s two rinks, those returning to the ice may notice a lot less of something that was conspicuous in the past: President Trump’s name.
Trump’s unpopularity among many New Yorkers has led to his name being stripped from some private properties in New York, including the Trump SoHo hotel, now the Dominick, and some former Trump Place condos. But the rinks — two of several public concessions the Trump Organization operates in the city — continued to flash the name prominently through last spring. In recent weeks, though, the company made a significant change, removing the Trump name quietly and without explanation.
At Wollman Rink, Trump’s name had long been splashed all over the site, which he has run since taking it on as a rescue mission in the 1980s: in big red letters on the dasher boards’ inner walls, on signs listing rules for skaters, and in big letters near the cashier and skate rental. But Tuesday, the name was gone from the boards, replaced by logos saying “Wollman Rink NYC Central Park.” It was buried in small type at the bottom of a sign listing hours and fees. And it was represented by a lone “T” over the skate rental counter.
The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The changes at the rinks were not sought or required by City Hall, officials said. — NEW YORK TIMES
Biden, too, used a reference to lynching — in 1998
WASHINGTON — Joe Biden apologized Tuesday night for for using the phrase ‘‘partisan lynching’’ two decades ago to describe an impeachment proceeding. It came several hours after Biden called President Trump ‘‘despicable’’ and ‘‘abhorrent’’ for saying the impeachment proceedings against him amounted to a ‘‘lynching.’’
It is rare for Biden to offer a fulsome apology; his usually fall into the ‘‘I really regret some have taken totally out of context’’ category, as in 2007, when he called then-candidate Barack Obama, for whom he would later be vice president, ‘‘articulate and bright and clean.’’ Tuesday’s apology marked how potentially significant his campaign viewed his use of the word.
Unlike his Democratic primary rivals, Biden has often had to clean up his past comments before taking a shot at Trump. The latest example: Trump on Tuesday said the impeachment inquiry amounted to a lynching. Biden and many other Democrats and Republicans denounced his use of the word and said it was intended to deepen racial wounds.
‘‘Impeachment is not ‘lynching,’ it is part of our Constitution,’’ Biden tweeted. ‘‘Our country has a dark, shameful history with lynching, and to even think about making this comparison is abhorrent. It’s despicable.’’
But Tuesday night, CNN unearthed a video of Biden in 1998 using a similar phrase while talking about the impeachment of Bill Clinton.
‘‘Even if the president should be impeached, history is going to question whether or not this was just a partisan lynching or whether or not it was something that in fact met the standard, the very high bar, that was set by the founders as to what constituted an impeachable offense,’’ Biden said in an interview with Wolf Blitzer.
‘‘This wasn’t the right word to use and I’m sorry about that,’’ Biden tweeted Tuesday. — WASHINGTON POST
Trump’s hotel cancels aid group’s tribute to Kurds
WASHINGTON — A Christian aid group that planned a gathering to honor and pray for the Kurdish people at President Trump’s hotel were told by hotel staff this week that the event was canceled, two members of the group said. ‘‘A Night of Prayer for the Kurds’’ was to be hosted by Frontier Alliance International, a religious nonprofit that provides medical help in the Middle East, its website said.
In recent weeks, Trump pulled US soldiers out of Syria, paving the way for an invasion by Turkey that targeted Kurdish forces. The fighting has prompted Kurdish refugees to flood out of Syria and caused a political headache for the president, who has been accused by Republicans and Democrats alike of abandoning a US ally.
The aid group’s founder, Dalton Thomas, said the reasons behind the cancellation were ‘‘hazy,’’ adding, ‘‘all we know is they canceled.’’
The group’s administrator, Charlene Struebing, said hotel staff expressed ‘‘security concerns.’’ Critics of FAI’s decision to hold its event at the Trump hotel had planned to protest outside, she said. — WASHINGTON POST
Giuliani associates’ case may see executive-privilege claim
NEW YORK — One of two indicted associates of President Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on Wednesday tied the case to the president himself, saying some of the evidence gathered in the campaign finance investigation may be subject to executive privilege.
The argument was raised by a defense lawyer in federal court as Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman pleaded not guilty to federal charges they made illegal contributions to US political candidates in exchange for potential influence.
They have become unexpected figures in events at the heart of the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, having played a role in helping Giuliani’s efforts on behalf of Trump to dig up information in Ukraine that could damage former vice president Joe Biden.
Giuliani denies wrongdoing but has acknowledged he and the two men worked with Ukrainian officials to collect damaging information about the US ambassador to Ukraine and other targets of Trump, including Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
Edward MacMahon, a lawyer for Parnas, told the judge in the case that the potential for the White House to invoke executive privilege stemmed from the fact that Parnas had used Giuliani as his own lawyer at the same time Giuliani was working as Trump’s lawyer.
Parnas and Fruman were charged earlier this month with concealing the source of political donations in order to advance their own business interests and the political interests of Ukrainian government officials.
Trump and Giuliani were not named in the indictment, though prosecutors are investigating whether Giuliani broke lobbying laws in his dealings in Ukraine, according to people familiar with the inquiry. — NEW YORK TIMES