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The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts informed musicians with the National Symphony Orchestra on Friday that they would be laid off next week, just hours after the Kennedy Center received a $25 million bailout from the federal government on the taxpayer dime.

The nearly 100 member symphony will no longer receive paychecks after April 3, an email obtained by the Washington Free Beacon said.

“The Covid-19 Advisory Committee was broadsided today during our conversation with [Kennedy Center president] Deborah Rutter,” the email said. “Ms. Rutter abruptly informed us today that the last paycheck for all musicians and librarians will be April 3 and that we will not be paid again until the Center reopens.”

“Everyone should proceed as if their last paycheck will be April 3,” the email continued. “We understand this will come [as a] shock to all of you, as it did to us.”

More from the Free Beacon:

The email went out to members on Friday evening, shortly after President Trump signed the $2 trillion CARES Act, a stimulus package intended to provide relief to people left unemployed by the coronavirus pandemic. Congress included $25 million in taxpayer funding for the Kennedy Center, a provision that raised eyebrows from both Democrats and Republicans, but ultimately won support from President Trump.

The bailout was designed to “cover operating expenses required to ensure the continuity of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and its affiliates, including for employee compensation and benefits, grants, contracts, payments for rent or utilities, fees for artists or performers,” according to the law’s text. The arts organization decided that the relief did not extend to members of the National Symphony Orchestra, its house orchestra.

The Kennedy Center is currently scheduled to re-open on May 10. But that may not happen given COVID-19 projections. If the center is closed beyond May, the musicians would also lose their health insurance.

Ed Malaga, the union leader who represents the musicians, blasted the move as possibly illegal.

“This decision, from an organization with an endowment of nearly $100 million, is not only outrageous — coming after the musicians had expressed their willingness to discuss ways to accommodate the Kennedy Center during this challenging time — it is also blatantly illegal under the parties’ collective bargaining agreement. That agreement specifically requires that the Center provide six weeks’ notice before it can stop paying musicians for economic reasons,” he said, the Washington Post reported.

Rutter defended her decision, saying the “layoffs may seem drastic, however, we know the only way through this is for all union and non-union employees to participate in the solution.”

According to the Post, Rutter said the taxpayer bailout would “provide long-term cash flow for essential personnel to ensure that we can reopen the Center and re-employ our staff and musicians.”

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7 Comments
7 Comments
Rebecca M Davis March 29, 2020
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They had planned on getting $35 million. They also laid off half of their administrative staff.
Stephen Russell March 29, 2020
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Hooray lay off other employees 2 OK make= & apply to other tax gifts from Pelosi, alone, Privitize KCPA.
LST March 29, 2020
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Who needs the Kennedy Center at all, shut it down and bulldoze it.
GO March 29, 2020
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If they laid off the orchestra they should not get the money!
Gerry March 29, 2020
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Looks like shades of solyndra -- didn't we (taxpayers) bail them out twice and they still closed and the money vanished. Seems to me this should be illegal because if they drew a paycheck from the Kennedy Center then they were employees of the Kennedy Center.
RockyMtn 1776 March 29, 2020
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I'll bet every one of them are Democrats. Even after this, they will still vote Dem !
Intellectual Impaler March 29, 2020
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Bet they were counting on the original 35 million to help out. I guess the orchestra isn't considered employees.
CF

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Nikki Haley Breaks with Trump: ‘We Shouldn’t Have Followed Him, and We Shouldn’t Have Listened to Him’

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Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, believes that former President Donald Trump “let us down.”

Haley’s remarks come as the former president’s legal team prepares to present its defense of Trump during his second impeachment trial in the Senate.

In a Politico interview published Friday, Haley, former South Carolina governor, said that “we shouldn’t have followed” Trump.

“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” she said in an extensive profile. “He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”

She also told the outlet that she has not spoken to Trump since the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, and takes issue with his remarks condemning former Vice President Mike Pence’s refusal to reject the Electoral College vote.

“When I tell you I’m angry, it’s an understatement,” she expressed. “I am so disappointed in the fact that [despite] the loyalty and friendship he had with Mike Pence, that he would do that to him. Like, I’m disgusted by it.”

The former ambassador, who many people are speculating may run for the White House in 2024, also added that Trump will never accept the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“There’s nothing that you’re ever going to do that’s going to make him feel like he legitimately lost the election,” she explained. “He’s got a big bully pulpit. He should be responsible with it.”

Haley also warned that many people still love the former president and will not stop supporting him just because he is out of office.

“I know how much people love Donald Trump,” she admitted. “I know it. I feel it. Whether it’s an RNC room or social media or talking to donors, I can tell you that the love they have for him is still very strong. That’s not going to just fall to the wayside. Nor do I think the Republican Party is going to go back to the way it was before Donald Trump. I don’t think it should.”

Haley added that people, instead, should “take the good that he built, leave the bad that he did, and get back to a place where we can be a good, valuable, effective party.”

“[I]t’s bigger than the party,” she insisted. “I hope our country can come together and figure out how we pull this back.”

Referring to Haley’s possible 2024 ambitions, Politico’s Tim Alberta wrote, “Since last fall, I’ve spent nearly six hours talking with Haley on-the-record. I’ve also spoken with nearly 70 people who know her: friends, associates, donors, staffers, former colleagues. From those conversations, two things are clear. First, Nikki Haley is going to run for president in 2024. Second, she doesn’t know which Nikki Haley will be on the ballot.”

Haley also said that she didn’t believe Trump had a chance of winning in a 2024 election scenario.

“I don’t think he can,” she admitted. “He’s fallen so far.”

“I think his business is suffering at this point,” she added. “I think he’s lost any sort of political viability he was going to have. I think he’s lost his social media, which meant the world to him. I mean, I think he’s lost the things that really could have kept him moving.”

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WATCH: Trump’s Defense Team Absolutely Ruins Democrats With 13 Minute Montage of “Fight” Word Like Trump Did

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The Democrats demonized President Trump for using the word ‘fight’. Trump’s attorneys responded today with a collage of clips from each of the Democrats in the room using the word ‘fight’.

This portion of today’s events on Capitol Hill was excellent. The Democrats claim that because President Trump used the word ‘fight’ in his speech on January 6th in Washington D.C. However, what every Democrat in that room forgot was that they too had used the word previously in political speech.

The montage went on for 13 minutes. (The video montage starts at 7:10 timeframe.)

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WATCH: Trump Attorneys Destroy House Managers on Lying to American Public and Using Manipulated Tweet as Evidence

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President Trump’s defense team took the floor of the US Senate on Friday in defense of President Trump in the Senate impeachment trial.

Trump Attorney David Schoen absolutely destroyed the House Managers when he took to the floor of the US Senate.

At one point Schoen played video of the Democrat lawmakers lying about a Trump tweet.

House Impeachment Manager Eric Swalwell gave a riveting performance on Wednesday reading off Trump’s tweets with emotional appeal.

During this theatrical performance, Swalwell read off a Trump retweet by Jennifer Lynn Lawrence.

But there was one problem with the tweet. It was photoshopped.

Jennifer Lynn Lawrence has never been verified by Twitter. Democrats faked that to make it look more important.

On Friday Trump Attorney David Schoen destroyed Democrats for lying about this to the American public.

WATCH:

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White House Suspends Deputy Press Secretary For Allegedly Sexually Harassing, Threatening Reporter

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The White House announced on Friday that it was suspending Deputy Press Secretary TJ Ducklo after a report surfaced alleging that he sexually harassed and threatened a female reporter who was getting ready to publish a report revealing that he was dating a reporter who had previously been tasked with covering Democrat Joe Biden.

“The confrontation began on Inauguration Day, January 20, after [Politico reporter Tara] Palmeri, a coauthor of Politico’s Playbook, contacted [Axios political reporter Alexi] McCammond for comment while one of her male colleagues left a message for Ducklo,” Vanity Fair reported. “Ducklo subsequently called a Playbook editor to object to the story, but was told to call the Playbook reporters with his concerns. But instead of calling the male reporter who initially contacted him, Ducklo tried to intimidate Palmeri by phone in an effort to kill the story. ‘I will destroy you,’ Ducklo told her, according to the sources, adding that he would ruin her reputation if she published it.”

“During the off-the-record call, Ducklo made derogatory and misogynistic comments, accusing Palmeri of only reporting on his relationship—which, due to the ethics questions that factor into the relationship between a journalist and White House official, falls under the purview of her reporting beat—because she was ‘jealous’ that an unidentified man in the past had ‘wanted to f***’ McCammond ‘and not you,’” the report added. “Ducklo also accused Palmeri of being ‘jealous’ of his relationship with McCammond.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said following the report that Ducklo has been suspended for a week over the incident.

“TJ Ducklo has apologized to the reporter, with whom he had a heated conversation about his personal life,” Psaki wrote on Twitter. “He is the first to acknowledge this is not the standard of behavior set out by the President.”

“In addition to his initial apology, he has sent the reporter a personal note expressing his profound regret,” she continued. “With the approval of the White House Chief of Staff, he has been placed on a one-week suspension without pay. In addition, when he returns, he will no longer be assigned to work with any reporters at Politico.”

Reporters called out the administration over the incident, highlighting how the Trump administration did not treat reporters that way as well as issues with the timeline of events with regard to the White House taking action to address the incident.

“The Vanity Fair piece indicates that Politico editors reached to the WH after the incident first occurred and the WH acknowledged it was inappropriate,” Spectator editor Amber Athey wrote on Twitter. “But they clearly didn’t have any interest in disciplining Ducklo until his behavior was made public.”

New York Magazine reporter Olivia Nuzzi wrote on Twitter: “I covered Donald Trump for 6 years. It is saying something that this behavior — from a Biden official — shocks me.”

Grabien founder Tom Elliott highlighted the following remarks that Biden made a few weeks ago: “If you’re ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot, on the spot. No if, ands, or buts. Everybody — everybody is entitled to be treated with decency & dignity.”

CNN anchor Jake Tapper responded to the quote, writing: “Standards that are not upheld are not standards. They’re lies.”

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