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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

7/24/2017: Devil's Bargain; Stanski On Kushner; The Arc Jacksonville; Cole Pepper


  Today on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Joshua Green (01:12) about his new book, “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump and the Storming of the Presidency.” Local attorney Michael Stanski (14:09) discussed federal security clearance laws and whether Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner should have his clearance revoked. The Arc Jacksonville CEO Jim Whitaker and Steve Kelly (30:54) from Everbank told us about a new job program to benefit workers with disabilities, and Cole Pepper (44:48) brought us the latest sports news.  

Devil’s Bargain

The book probes the president’s complicated relationship with advisor Steve Bannon, as well as other members of his inner circle, and Trump’s throngs of mostly white and male fans branded “the alt-right.” Bannon has been keeping a low profile amidst the FBI investigation into whether Russia tried to influence the 2016 election.    

Stanski on Kushner     

In June of 2016, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr. attended a meeting in Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer. She told Trump’s eldest son she had dirt on the Clinton campaign. According to Trump Jr, the dirt never materialized, and although attending the meeting isn’t inherently illegal, some say it should be enough to revoke Kushner’s security clearance. Kushner is set to meet off camera with the Senate Intelligence Committee Monday regarding the probe. Stanski is a local expert on security law.

The Arc Jacksonville

The Arc is a Jacksonville based program that started in 1965 to provide education to those with developmental disabilities. It’s expanded over the years to include job training and placement, and, thanks to $300,000 in new state funds, it’s expanding yet again. Other parts of the initiative include helping create internship and volunteer opportunities for disabled adults and bringing disabled employment workplaces to Jacksonville.

Cole Pepper

Pepper talked about Jordan Spieth’s winning the British Open over the weekend, making him only the second golfer to win three different majors before his 24th birthday, after Jack Nicklaus. He also talked about the Jaguars’ opening of training camp this week, the Armada’s beginning the Fall Season next week and the long road trip for the Jumbo Shrimp.        

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.