( – After months of speculation, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis officially jumped into the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination during a Twitter Spaces session co-hosted by Elon Musk.

In a post-announcement interview on Fox News hosted by his former congressional colleague Trey Gowdy, DeSantis laid out his day-one agenda should he manage to win the presidency.

DeSantis says he would fire FBI Director Christopher Wray on his first day as president.

DeSantis went on to say, “The border, there’s a lot you can do, ripping out President Joe Biden’s anti-American energy policies. You probably could do most of the executive, you’ll probably need to do some of that legislative as well.”

Continuing, he said a priority is “re-constitutionalizing the administrative state.”

“We have a bureaucracy that’s totally out of control. You need to be willing to use Article 2 power to bring the administrative state to heel,” he added. “I will do that.”

“I think Congress also has a role in reigning in the abuses through both the power of the purse and through making sure that they are legislating through clear and defined laws that aren’t delegating huge swaths of power to unelected bureaucrats,” DeSantis said.

He also added: “One thing I think we can do legislatively is national school choice. We’ve done it in Florida, it’s made a huge difference for low-income families.”

DeSantis now faces a battle with the party’s current frontrunner — Donald Trump.

Trump responded to the news on Wednesday evening by trolling DeSantis on Truth Social with a series of posts, images of the recent polling, and even some opinions of social media users.

“I’d like to personally congratulate ‘Rob’ DeSanctimonious on finally announcing that he will be entering the race for President of the United States. Hopefully, he will get the full experience of being attacked by the Marxists, Communists, and Radical Left Lunatics of our Country, without which he will never know the kind of job he is doing. These Lowlifes & Misfits are far worse than the leaders of hostile foreign countries. They must be soundly defeated in order to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump posted.

“Ron DeSantis’ decision to announce his 2024 White House bid in a conversation with Elon Musk on Twitter on Wednesday will make a typically blunt statement about his campaign, the unruly populism of the modern Republican Party, and an accelerating conservative media revolution,” CNN’s Stephen Collinson wrote in an analysis Tuesday ahead of DeSantis’ launch.

Fox News added that DeSantis’ announcement coincided with a meeting he had this week in Miami with top financial backers.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported earlier Wednesday that, in support of DeSantis’s presidential campaign, a prominent political group is gearing up for an extensive voter-outreach initiative.

The ambitious endeavor aims to reach every potential DeSantis supporter in New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina at least four times, with an additional fifth contact in the pivotal Iowa caucuses. To accomplish it, the group is preparing a substantial $100 million investment in their outreach efforts.

“As part of a comprehensive on-the-ground organizing operation, the campaign plans to hire over 2,600 field organizers by Labor Day. This substantial number of personnel is quite extraordinary, even for campaigns with substantial funding, highlighting the significant scale and scope of their organizational efforts,” the Times added.

( – According to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, Carlson and others are rebuilding his remote studio at his house in Maine after representatives from Fox News came in and dismantled the remote broadcast facility.

Photos captured by the media outlet appears to show former Fox News star Tucker Carlson working hard on rebuilding a studio in Maine.

The rebuild comes after Fox News set workers to the building, a barn in downtown Woodstock, Maine, were Carlson has a home, to dismantle a set they had built  for him so he could do his show, along with his Fox Nation streaming content.

Over the years, Carlson has consistently presented his nightly primetime segments from a cozy barn located on his property, captivating an audience of over three million viewers during the 8 p.m. hour on Fox.

The recently released photographs serve as additional proof that Carlson is actively and resolutely striving to regain his media presence on his own terms.

Clad in a red-and-black plaid shirt and a barn coat-style vest, Carlson was observed unloading wooden planks and an axe from his vehicle, while his staff provided assistance in the reconstruction of a studio. The rebuild is expected to take at least a month before it becomes fully operational.

Notably, several team members assisting Carlson in this project are former employees of his Fox show who departed from the network in protest following his unexpected dismissal on April 24. Their return to work with the conservative superstar serves as a testament to the appeal and allure associated with being part of his team.

Construction manager Patrick Feeney talked to the outlet about Fox’s actions.

“Fox came in last week and got all their s*** out of there. They took the set and everything, all the equipment, the chairs, the desk, the fake walls. There’s no hardware in place at all. There’s not even an infrastructure for a TV studio for a long time. We just came to clean it up and get it looking like something again,” Feeny said.

“There’s no imminent venture. We’re just getting ready in case something does happen. There’s nothing we’re doing other than cleaning the place up, shoring up the walls, making it look good again,” he added.

( – CBS Evening News blew one of the many scandals surrounding President Joe Biden wide open when they scored an interview with whistleblower Gary Shapley, who is a supervisory special agent for the IRS.

Shaperly held nothing back hinting at a deep plot with many players trying to protect the Biden family. He said, “There was multiple steps that were slow-walked at the direction of the Department of Justice.”

He added that these “Deviations from normal process each and every time, it seems to always benefit the subject. I took an oath of office, and when I saw the egregiousness of some of these things, it no longer became a choice for me. It’s not something that I want to do, it’s something that I feel like I have to do.”

NORAH O’DONNELL: We turn now to a CBS News exclusive. For more than three years, the Department of Justice has been investigating the President’s son, Hunter Biden, for possible tax crimes.

Last fall, FBI sources told us they had sufficient evidence to bring charges. CBS’s Jim Axelrod spoke to the IRS agent who is blowing the whistle on what he says was preferential treatment in his first public interview. 

GARY SHAPLEY (IRS WHISTLEBLOWER): When I took control of this particular investigation, I immediately saw it was way outside the norm of what I’ve experienced in the past. 

JIM AXELROD: Gary Shapley is a supervisory special agent for the IRS. Where he’s worked for 14 years. In January 2020, he was assigned to what he calls a high-profile investigation. Who’s the subject of the investigation? 

SHAPLEY: I can’t confirm or deny the subject of this investigation. 

AXELROD: Why not? 

SHAPLEY: Because, you know, part of the tax secrecy laws don’t allow it. 

AXELROD: Shapley can’t say it, but CBS News has learned the investigation was the probe of Hunter Biden by the Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney in Delaware. Senior Biden administration officials have vowed to let it run its course without interference. 

ATTORNEY GENERAL MERRICK GARLAND: Not restricted in its investigation in any way. 

AXELROD: But CBS News has obtained this letter Shapley’s lawyer sent to Congress Monday alleging irregularities in DOJ’s handling of the investigation. Shapley is seeking legal protections from Congress so he can share specifics of his allegations. 

SHAPLEY: There was multiple steps that were slow walked at the direction of the Department of Justice. 

AXELROD: Had you ever encountered that before? 

SHAPLEY: I have not, no. These deviations from normal process, and each and every time, it seems to always benefit the subject. 

AXELROD: Shapley says he decided to blow the whistle after a heated meeting last October with federal prosecutors. 

SHAPLEY: That was my redline meeting. It just got to that point where that switch was turned on, and I just couldn’t silence my conscience anymore. 

AXELROD: Did you let prosecutors know you were unhappy? 

SHAPLEY: I don’t think I can answer that.

AXELROD: Hunter Biden has denied any wrongdoing. 

The IRS agent told us he is a registered Republican. His whistle-blowing is being assisted by an advocacy group with past ties to the GOP, but Shapley says this is not about politics. Why do you want to navigate these waters? 

SHAPLEY: I don’t want to do any of this. I took an oath of office, and when I saw the egregiousness of some of these things, it no longer became a choice for me, it’s not something that I want to do, it’s something that I feel like I have to do. 

( – Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is no fan of the U.S. spy network and on Wednesday tweeted a picture of President John F. Kennedy, Jr. while calling for the CIA, NSA, and FBI to be split “into a thousand pieces” and their remains scattered “into the winds.”

Dorsey has been a relatively quiet public figure since stepping down from the company he founded and ceding control to Elon Musk. His latest message indicates deep reservations about the nation’s intelligence gathering services which have come under heavy scrutiny for political bias and invasion of American’s privacy.

Attacks on the agency have been buoyed by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a candidate for president and the nephew of President Kennedy who was assassinated in 1963. RFK recently claimed that the CIA had a role in his uncle’s murder and has proposed a three-step plan if elected to dismantle state censorship, citing efforts by the FBI to isolate dissenters on Twitter and conduct “mass surveillance” on citizens.

Dorsey’s comments are in line with those of Musk and others in the tech community who have publicly complained about interference from the FBI as the agency conducts domestic surveillance during its efforts to ostensibly root out threats of terrorism. In December, Musk tweeted that the government “paid Twitter millions of dollars to censor info from the public,” retweeting a message about the FBI’s involvement in sowing doubt about information found on Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Congressional oversight of the intelligence community has intensified as well. House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY) continues to pressure the FBI to release details of a meeting that he alleges showed how President Joe Biden is tied to a bribery scandal involving members of his family. Last week whistleblowers from the agency testified before the House Judiciary Committee about the repercussions they have suffered after coming forward to claim that the Bureau and Department of Justice have become “weaponized” against perceived enemies of the president. Separately, a group of veteran former FBI agents have slammed the agency as “politicized” and in need of reform.

( – Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas) said he was “speechless” when he learned that a senior FBI official had not read the Durham report, which was released more than a week ago.

Pfluger, chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence, questioned Jill Murphy, deputy assistant director of counterintelligence at the FBI, during a hearing on May 23.

“Special Counsel Durham assesses that neither U.S. law enforcement nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation,” Pfluger said. Crossfire Hurricane is the FBI codename for the agency’s 2016–17 FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

Pfluger continued, “The bureau subsequently discounted or willfully ignored material that did not support the narrative of a collusive relationship between former President Donald Trump and Russia.”

“As the deputy assistant director for the FBI Counterintelligence Division, are you familiar with this report?” Pfluger asked.

In response, Murphy said, “I have not read that report.”

“I’m honestly speechless at this point in time,” Pfluger said in reply.

When pressed on why she had not read the report, Murphy said, “I just haven’t had time.”

“This is a sincere question. Does election collusion worry you?” Pfluger asked Murphy, who said it “obviously” worried her.

“I would highly recommend reading that because we spent four years discussing that. There was uncorroborated evidence—the Durham report specifically outlines the outcome of that. It’s very disappointing to hear this.”

John Durham, appointed by then-Attorney General William Barr in October 2020 to review the 2016–17 FBI investigation of alleged ties between Trump and Russia, found that the FBI “relied on “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence” for its investigation.

“The objective facts show that the FBI’s handling of important aspects of the Crossfire Hurricane matter were seriously deficient,” Durham added in the report.

Following the report’s release, the FBI acknowledged mistakes in its investigation of the Trump campaign, while Trump said in a statement that “the American Public was scammed.”

“The Durham Report spells out in great detail the Democrat Hoax that was perpetrated upon me and the American people. This is 2020 Presidential Election Fraud, just like ‘stuffing’ the ballot boxes, only more so,” Trump added.

Other Republicans at the hearing shared Pfluger’s astonishment that Murphy had not read the report.

“I also was surprised at your answer—you haven’t read the Durham report,” said Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.). “Why is that not a matter of such import that you would want urgently to understand what the special counsel concluded about the work of the counterintelligence division? In such a grave case?”

Murphy replied, “Sir, if you’d like a brief on the Durham report from the counterintelligence division, I’m happy to take that back.”

“Wow, that sounds almost contemptuous,” Bishop said in response. “Do you intend to read it?”

“I do intend to read it,” Murphy told Bishop.

During the hearing, Pfluger also revealed that the FBI has not responded to a letter he and House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) sent on April 24. The letter, sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, requested information on the Chinese regime’s clandestine “police stations” in the United States, including New York City.

“It’s now been two over two weeks past that deadline that we asked for. So I would ask you, please, to respond to that letter in writing,” Pfluger said.

On April 17, the FBI arrested two individuals on charges of operating a secret police station in New York City on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). They allegedly took orders from the regime in order to track down and silence Chinese dissidents living in the United States, prosecutors said.

In their letter, Pfluger and Green wanted answers to multiple questions, including when the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) were notified of the Chinese police station in New York.

“In addition to the Chinese police station operating in Manhattan, New York, there are allegations of these illegal organizations operating in a separate location in New York, NY, Los Angeles, California, San Francisco, California, Houston, Texas, as well as cities in Nebraska and Minnesota,” the letter says. “What is DHS and the FBI doing to combat the malign influence occurring in these additional locations and across the homeland?”

In response, Murphy told Pfluger that the FBI would provide a “fulsome response” probably in a classified setting.

“The threat from China is complex and vast,” Murphy added. “So when we talk about universities, or researchers, or academics, or innovation, China proliferates all those spaces to include in our communities where Chinese Americans live as a way to influence those communities. And we work actively to identify those and investigate that.”

“Would you say that they’re using every available tactic, technique, and procedure to infiltrate American national security interests and interests writ large?” Pfluger asked about China.

In response, Murphy said, “I would say that their attack surface is large, and they are using all the tools in their toolbox to gather information, whether it’s classified, intellectual property, sensitive, unclassified, anything that they consider [of] value.”

( – House Republicans are threatening to file contempt charges against FBI Director Christopher Wray after the agency failed during a closed-door meeting to hand over a document lawmakers subpoenaed.

House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer detailed how lawmakers are seeking a document from the FBI that allegedly details a “criminal scheme” involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and an unnamed “foreign national.”

Comer threatened to hit Wray with contempt charges.

“They don’t respect anyone in Congress,” Comer said on Fox News. “They’ve been able to get away with this for a long time. The media continues to turn a blind eye. The Senate Republicans continue to fund the FBI. Why would you change your business model when you’re getting everything you want?”

Comer requested the document from Wray on Friday, accusing the agency of interfering with his subpoena launched on May 3 with Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley. The bureau has yet to hand over the document.

“At today’s staff briefing with FBI officials, the FBI again did not produce the unclassified record subpoenaed by Chairman Comer. The Oversight Committee will announce the next steps soon,” said Jessica Collins, a spokeswoman for the committee.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on Sunday that he is anticipating that the FBI will turn over a file that is believed to contain evidence of bribery involving President Joe Biden after a weeks-long impasse.

In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” the California Republican said the potential breakthrough came after he personally spoke with FBI Director Christopher Wray last week, the Daily Wire reports. The conversation pertained to the bureau’s failure to comply with a lawful congressional subpoena for the file.

“I explained to the director that we will do everything in our power, and we have jurisdiction over the FBI, that we have the right to see this document,” McCarthy said during the interview. “I believe after this call, we will get this document.”

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) issued a subpoena with a deadline of May 10 for the file. According to GOP investigators, whistleblower disclosures suggest the existence of a form completed by the FBI, outlining an alleged influence-peddling scheme involving Biden during his tenure as vice president and a foreign national.

On the day of the deadline, the FBI responded to the request, with an official declining to acknowledge the existence of the mentioned record. The response further cautioned against the release of “unverified or incomplete” information that could “harm investigations, prejudice prosecutions or judicial proceedings, unfairly violate privacy or reputational interests, or create misimpressions in the public.”

Even though Christopher Dunham, the acting Assistant Director for Congressional Affairs, expressed in his response a commitment to collaborate with lawmakers to address the issue, Comer appeared dissatisfied.

“It’s clear from the FBI’s response that the unclassified record the Oversight Committee subpoenaed exists, but they are refusing to provide it to the Committee,” Comer said at the time. “We’ve asked the FBI to not only provide this record, but to also inform us what it did to investigate these allegations. The FBI has failed to do both.”

( – More than 50 senators have received satellite phones for emergency contact amid mounting worries about security hazards to members of Congress, according to persons familiar with the measures who spoke to CBS News.

According to the report, satellite phones were recently sent to U.S. Senate members so they could stay in touch in the event of a natural or “man-made” crisis.

All 100 senators have been offered this satellite phone technology. Information received by CBS News indicates that at least half have accepted these devices, which the Senate administrative team advises senators to carry with them.

In her testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee last month, Senate Sergeant at Arms Karen Gibson indicated that satellite communication is being utilized “to provide a secure and backup mode of communication during a crisis situation.”

Gibson stated that these phones act as a safety net in emergency situations that “ensure a redundant and secure means of communication during a disruptive event.” across parts of the country. Federal resources will cover the cost of satellite airtime required to operate these phone devices.

An advisory from the Department of Homeland Security asserted that satellite phones serve as a means for responding to and coordinating government services in the event of a “man-made” or natural disaster leading to a communication blackout. Gibson was appointed at the time by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Satellite mobile phones utilize satellites to communicate with landline, cellular, or other satellite phones in most regions of the world. Responders use satellite mobile phones for emergency communications in order to coordinate response and recovery efforts in remote areas, where there are no landline or cellular telephone networks, or in areas where existing networks are damaged or overloaded during a natural disaster (e.g., severe weather or earthquake) or a man-made incident, including potential chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive events.

Government officials argue satellite phones can help maintain command and control functions during an emergency when existing communications networks are not functioning.

The need for such measures implies an elevated level of perceived threat to senators, however, this could be indicative of a volatile political climate and increased risk of violence or other disruptive events. The use of satellite phones is usually reserved for situations where traditional communication networks fail, such as during natural disasters or severe attacks. The provision of these phones could suggest that there is an anticipated risk of such significant disruption happening, which could trigger concerns about the vulnerability of existing communication infrastructure.

The funding for these security measures emerges from taxpayer dollars. In a period when budgets are stretched thin due to pressing needs like healthcare, education, and infrastructure, the escalating costs of maintaining such heightened security should become a contentious point.

( – McCarthy’s office is fighting against reports on several social media websites that Republicans are demanding that President Biden agree to work requirements on social services programs in an agreement that would raise the debt ceiling.

A headline from Raw Story declared, “McCarthy demands work requirements on ‘all the programs’ including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and SNAP.”

Interestingly, the Raw Story article was tweeted by a former Obama campaign official, Jon Cooper.

“Kevin McCarthy is demanding that WORK REQUIREMENTS be added to receive not only Medicaid but also Medicare and Social Security. He doesn’t think Americans have earned their benefits – despite paying into all three programs over the course of their entire working lives,” Cooper wrote in a separate post.

“The plan proposed by McCarthy and other GOP leaders to enforce work-related requirements in these federal benefit programs would not apply to Social Security and Medicare, contrary to information spreading on social media, the speaker’s office confirmed,” reported JustTheNews.

“Work requirements in the SNAP program, commonly referred to as food stamps, apply to adults between ages 18 to 49 without dependents,” JustTheNews reported. “These recipients must work 80 hours a month or enroll in a work-training program, according to the SNAP guidelines on the program’s website. Under the GOP proposal, the age would increase to 55.”

Notoriously liberal groups like Occupy Democrats and Public Citizen are also sharing the false stories about work requirements in the House Republican plan.

“Kevin McCarthy is demanding work requirements for Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security,” they wrote.

Republicans have set the record straight over and over again that cuts will not include Social Security or Medicare, but democrats continue to use it as a talking point and scare tactic.

( – House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan revealed he’s open to investigating former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

During an interview on Fox News with host Maria Bartiromo, Jordan spoke about Special Counsel John Durham’s final report into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe. Jordan declared the alleged targeting of former President Donald Trump gives many Americans reason to question future elections and government agencies and said people need to go to jail.

“Do you want to see another investigation of Hillary and Bill Clinton? Because in the Durham report, John Durham wrote that while they were pursuing Trump, they made no effort to investigate the claim that Hillary Clinton was taking money from foreigners for her Clinton Global Initiative and the Clinton Foundation,” Bartiromo asked Jordan.

“They not only didn’t investigate her like they did President Trump, but they also gave her campaign a defensive briefing!” Jordan replied. “They should have done the same for President Trump because they literally had no evidence.”

“We’re going to give that a good hard look,” he continued, saying that he would consult with his lawyers and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. “But nothing is off the table because it is critical the American people understand how their government, their agencies have been turned on them, the taxpayer, and we get all the facts out there.”

Durham found the FBI used “uncorroborated intelligence” when it launched its investigation into Trump before the 2016 presidential election and that agents failed repeatedly to maintain “strict fidelity to the law” throughout the probe.

The Daily Caller noted crucial findings in the report about Hillary Clinton:

The report noted that the FBI received intelligence that Hillary Clinton’s campaign approved “a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services,” specifically one that involved “tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee” to distract the public from her email scandals. It notes that President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and FBI Director James Comey were personally briefed on Clinton’s scheme, known as the “Clinton Plan” in the report, by CIA Director John Brennan, who recorded mentioning the plan in his handwritten notes.

The “Clinton Plan” was obtained by the FBI while it was relying on the “Steele Dossier,” a discredited report of lurid allegations of Trump’s personal sexual activity, which the FBI knew was being funded and promoted by the Clinton campaign, according to the report. Durham quotes information from a meeting between the Dossier’s author, former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, and FBI agents, as well as texts between FBI officials, to demonstrate that the agents knew the evidence was connected to Clinton.

Durham’s report also found that the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice wasted little time to investigate Trump and that there was a “notable departure” from the way it resisted efforts to investigate claims against Clinton’s campaign.

The FBI briefed Clinton staffers on information of possible threats aimed at the Clinton campaign but ignored intelligence it received from “a trusted foreign source pointing to a Clinton campaign plan to vilify Trump by tying him to Vladimir Putin so as to divert attention from her own concerns relating to her use of a private email server.”

Durham’s report also found that “neither U.S. nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement” of the investigation.

“Our investigation determined that the Crossfire Hurricane investigators did not and could not corroborate any of the substantive allegations contained in the Steele reporting,” the report found.

“Based on the review of Crossfire Hurricane and related intelligence activities, we conclude that the Department and the FBI failed to uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law in connection with certain events and activities described in this report,” Durham said in the report.

( – New information suggests that Jeffrey Epstein discovered an affair between Bill Gates and a Russian bridge player, subsequently using this knowledge to threaten the tech mogul. The Wall Street Journal report on Sunday provides more substantiation to the belief that Epstein was a spy or a blackmail agent.

The details from the report indicate that the woman, Mila Antonova, met Gates in 2010 when she was in her 20s. Epstein encountered her in 2013, later sponsoring her attendance at a software coding school. In 2017, Epstein emailed Gates, seeking reimbursement for Antonova’s course fees after failing to involve Gates in a charitable fund he attempted to establish with JPMorgan Chase.

Bill Gates’ spokeswoman responded to the allegations, stating that Gates had met Epstein solely for philanthropic purposes and that Epstein’s efforts to leverage a past relationship to threaten Gates were unsuccessful. Epstein, a convicted sex offender, was accused of sexually abusing underage girls and subsequently arrested on sex trafficking charges in 2019. He died in jail later that year.

Gates, a technology adviser to Microsoft and a prominent philanthropist, has admitted to meeting Epstein a few times but has expressed regret, emphasizing that their association was a mistake.

Antonova’s relationship with Epstein calls into question the nature of their relationship. The Russian bridge player denied knowledge of Epstein’s criminal activities and claimed that she believed he was a successful businessman who wanted to help. Antonova had proposed an online business venture related to bridge and sought funding, leading to Epstein’s introduction through Boris Nikolic, a Gates confidant and former top science adviser. Although Epstein did not invest in Antonova’s project, he agreed to pay for her programming boot camp when she decided to pursue a career as a software programmer.

The revelations shed light on the complexity of the Epstein-Gates relationship, illustrating Epstein’s modus operandi during the years between his conviction and death. Epstein regularly met with politicians, businessmen, academics, and celebrities, utilizing his connections for personal gain. However, when relationships soured, Epstein had a tendency to turn against people.

Flight records indicate that Gates had numerous meetings with Epstein starting in 2011, including dinners at Epstein’s New York townhouse and a flight on Epstein’s private plane. While Gates enjoyed playing bridge, he connected with Antonova, who also shared an interest in the card game. The two met during a bridge tournament, and Gates played against her.

Epstein also had meetings scheduled with individuals close to Gates, such as Boris Nikolic, Nathan Myhrvold, and Melanie Walker, a Gates Foundation staffer. Epstein attempted to establish a multibillion-dollar charitable fund with JPMorgan, counting on Gates’ support. However, the fund never materialized, and Epstein’s emails to JPMorgan executives suggested a close relationship with Gates, which Gates’ spokeswoman refuted.

The WSJ article concludes by highlighting Epstein’s last attempt to exert influence over Gates. In 2017, Epstein contacted Gates, requesting reimbursement for Antonova’s coding school expenses. It is believed that Epstein, aware of the affair, threatened to expose it if Gates didn’t comply. Gates’ spokeswoman stated that no payment was made, emphasizing that Gates had no financial dealings with Epstein.

Days before his death, Epstein modified his will and appointed Nikolic as a backup executor, leading Nikolic to believe it was a retaliatory move against Gates. Nikolic, however, declined to serve as executor.

Jeffrey Epstein had scheduled meetings with several prominent political elites, including current CIA Director William Burns and former White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler.

Epstein’s private calendar adds fuel to the belief that he was a spy or operative that was amassing “blackmail material” on the world’s most powerful people. It is unclear why Epstein met with the CIA Director or with the former White House counsel.

The meetings occurred after Epstein had served jail time in 2008 for a sex crime involving a minor, according to the Wall Street Journal report.

William Burns, director of the Central Intelligence Agency since 2021, had three meetings scheduled with Epstein in 2014, when he was deputy secretary of state, according to the Epstein calendar. They first met in Washington and Burns appears to have visited Epstein’s townhouse in Manhattan.

Kathryn Ruemmler, former White House counsel under President Barack Obama, had dozens of meetings with Epstein before she became a top lawyer at Goldman Sachs Group in 2020. Epstein slated that she was due to join him on a 2015 trip to Paris and a 2017 visit to Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean.

The report added that Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College, invited Epstein, who then brought a group of young female guests, to the campus. Noam Chomsky was scheduled to fly with Epstein to have dinner at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse in 2015.

When contacted for comment, those who appeared on the calendar issued general denials of any wrongdoing.

“The director did not know anything about him, other than that he was introduced as an expert in the financial services sector and offered general advice on transition to the private sector,” CIA spokeswoman Tammy Kupperman Thorp said. “They had no relationship.”

“I regret ever knowing Jeffrey Epstein,” Ruemmler told the Wall Street Journal. Botstein said that he was merely trying to get Epstein to donate to the liberal arts college.

The private calendar revealed Botstein had about two dozen meetings scheduled with Epstein to solicit donations, and Chomsky met with Epstein in 2015 to discuss Israel’s policies with Palestine.

“The documents don’t reveal the purpose of most of the meetings,” the report said, adding, “The Wall Street Journal couldn’t verify whether every scheduled meeting took place.”

As a Rolling Stone piece covered, there is ample reason to belief that Jeffrey Epstein may have been a spy.

“Four separate sources told me — on the record — that Epstein’s dealings in the arms world in the 1980s had led him to work for multiple governments, including the Israelis,” Vicky Ward reported.

Whether or not he was being truthful, Epstein bragged to various people, including journalists, that he was “advising a whole assortment of foreign leaders who included Vladimir Putin, Mohammed bin Zayed, Mohammed Bin Salman, various African dictators, Israel, the British — and, of course, the Americans,” the report noted.

“He also told several of the same people that he was making a fortune out of arms, drugs, and diamonds,” the report added.

None of the names divulged from the private calendar were previously mentioned in Epstein’s “black book” or in his private jet’s flight logs. The meetings took place after Epstein had served jail time in 2008 for a sex crime involving a minor.