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Trump was ‘near-sadistic’ in phone calls with female world leaders, according to CNN report on classified calls




  • President Donald Trump’s freewheeling and unprepared approach to phone calls with world leaders tended to turn ugly if the recipient was a woman, according to a new CNN report.
  • Trump was “near-sadistic” when speaking with leaders like former UK Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, calling them “stupid” and “a fool,” according to Carl Bernstein, a longtime Washington Post reporter of Watergate fame who reported the story for CNN.
  • One source called Trump’s calls with May “humiliating and bullying,” while Merkel reportedly took Trump’s antics “like water off a duck’s back.”
  • “He’d get agitated about something with Theresa May, then he’d get nasty with her on the phone call,” one source told CNN. “It’s the same interaction in every setting — coronavirus or Brexit — with just no filter applied.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump was chummy with male world leaders in phone calls but turned “near-sadistic” when he was speaking with women in the same positions, according to a new report from Carl Bernstein for CNN.

Bernstein, who rose to fame at The Washington Post during the Watergate scandal, cited White House and intelligence-community sources familiar with highly classified calls.

Trump’s “most vicious attacks, said the sources, were aimed at women heads of state,” he wrote.

The president’s overall conduct on these calls was described to Bernstein as a “danger to the national security of the United States” because of how unprepared Trump was.

“The calls caused former top Trump deputies — including national security advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House chief of staff John Kelly, as well as intelligence officials — to conclude that the President was often ‘delusional,’ as two sources put it, in his dealings with foreign leaders,” Bernstein wrote.

He added: “More than a dozen officials either listened to the President’s phone calls in real time or were provided detailed summaries and rough-text recording printouts of the calls soon after their completion, CNN’s sources said. The sources were interviewed by CNN repeatedly over a four-month period extending into June.”

Trump got belligerent with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former UK Prime Minister Theresa May, the report said.

“Some of the things he said to Angela Merkel are just unbelievable: he called her ‘stupid,’ and accused her of being in the pocket of the Russians,” one source told Bernstein. “He’s toughest [in the phone calls] with those he looks at as weaklings and weakest with the ones he ought to be tough with.”

Merkel took Trump’s vitriol “like water off a duck’s back,” Bernstein quoted a source as saying, and would simply respond “with recitations of fact.”

May, on the other hand, was taken aback by Trump’s conduct, the report said. 

The then-prime minister would get “flustered and nervous” when Trump attacked her, according to a source Bernstein cited.

“He clearly intimidated her and meant to,” a person familiar with the calls told CNN.

The behavior extended to in-person interactions too, a German official told CNN. 

When Merkel visited the White House in 2018, Trump “displayed ‘very questionable behavior’ that ‘was quite aggressive … [T]he Chancellor indeed stayed calm, and that’s what she does on the phone,'” the official said, according to the report.


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Tafi Announces New Campaign with VRChat Featuring Updating Nikei Avatar




SALT LAKE CITY, May 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Tafi, the leading provider of 3D avatar solutions, announced it is teaming up with VRChat to enhance the customer experience by providing new avatar styles and improved access to Tafi’s content. As part of the collaboration, Tafi will release a new and updated Nikei character in VRChat, a callback to the original avatar in VRChat that was launched back in 2017. VRChat has grown to become the largest virtual reality social platform, accessible to users both with a VR headset and on the PC. VRChat and Tafi continue to build on a longstanding relationship, with Tafi having created some of the first VRChat avatars.

Tafi (PRNewsfoto/Tafi)

This new release will feature Tafi Avatar content on the home Avatar mirror, home posters, and a user contest on Twitter.

“Nikei is one of the most recognizable and loved avatars in the VRChat community. We’re excited to be working on this new project with Tafi,” said Graham Gaylor, CEO of VRChat. “VRChat is always looking for ways to enhance our customer experience and the Tafi Avatar App provides our users with an easy to use, fully customizable avatar solution, so they can express themselves as they would like.”

Tafi and VRChat have worked together on projects across the digital identity space for the virtual reality social platform, including the Tafi Avatar app for VRChat. Tafi Avatar’s massive 3D library of content ranges from everyday wear to themed costumes, futuristic and genre outfits, and everything you need to accessorize your VR persona, including earrings, makeup, rings, and tattoos — all meant to be mixed and matched with content broken down into individual pieces.

“We are excited to be working with Graham and the VRChat team to release our updated Nikei character, the original Tafi avatar in VRChat,” said James Thornton, CEO of Tafi. “Nikei has become a cult favorite with longtime VRChat users and we wanted to do something to celebrate our relationship both with VRChat and their community.”

The Tafi Avatar app is an avatar editor that lets users build, save, and export custom VR compatible avatars into VRChat, making it easier than ever for VRChat users to make custom avatars for their virtual reality experience. Tafi’s avatars automatically adapt between high end HMDs and Quests, giving the user the best VR experience possible.

Tafi has collaborated with VRChat so users can use exact HEX codes on their clothing, as users continue to attach colors to their visual identity within the VR platform. And with fully customizable color pickers on all content, users can fully express themselves with millions of color combinations.

About Tafi
Founded in 2019, Tafi’s mission is to make personalized avatars and branded digital content available to anyone and everyone who wants to level-up their digital personality. Tafi’s best-in-class avatar solutions are portable across platforms including mobile, gaming, XR, social media, messaging, and video communications. Tafi’s investors include Benchmark Capital, Columbia Capital, and Ponte Partners. Learn more at

Kasey Thomas

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Real Estate Economist Dr. Peter Linneman to Serve as Economic Advisor to Capital Square




RICHMOND, Va., May 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Capital Square, a national investment sponsor specializing in tax-advantaged real estate offerings, announced today that it has appointed Peter Linneman, Ph.D., a leading real estate economist, as economic advisor to the firm.

(PRNewsfoto/Capital Square)

“Capital Square is pleased to announce that Dr. Peter Linneman, the nation’s preeminent real estate economist, has been engaged as an external economic advisor,” said Whitson Huffman, chief strategy and investment officer.  “Dr. Linneman literally wrote the book on real estate and we are pleased to have him as a resource as we shape our investment strategies.”

Dr. Linneman brings more than 40 years of experience to his role at Capital Square. Throughout his career, he has earned accolades from around the world, including Pension Real Estate Association’s prestigious James A. Graaskamp Award for Real Estate Research, Wharton’s Zell-Lurie Real Estate Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Realty Stock Magazine’s Special Achievement Award, one of the “25 Most Influential People in Real Estate” by Realtor Magazine and one of The New York Observer‘s “100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate.”

“Capital Square is a data-driven real estate firm, making investment decisions based on the data and proprietary research,” said Louis Rogers, founder and chief executive officer.  “For example, based on Dr. Linneman’s research before the COVID-19 pandemic, our firm concluded that investors would profit from owning multifamily assets in the Southeast and Texas. Since formation, Capital Square has emphasized the acquisition of apartment communities in the Southeast and Texas, and the results have been exceptional. For the past 14 months, Capital Square’s portfolio of nearly 8,000 apartment units not only retained, but increased, occupancy and enjoyed an exceptional 99% rent collection. With Dr. Linneman’s proprietary research and assistance, we will continue to generate exceptional risk-adjusted returns for over 3,000 investors nationwide and increase the firm’s competitive advantage.”

For 35 years, Dr. Linneman was a leading faculty member of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, serving as the Albert Sussman Professor of Real Estate, Finance and Public Policy as well as the founding chairman of the real estate department and director of the prestigious Samuel Zell & Robert Lurie Real Estate Center. During this time, he was co-editor of The Wharton Real Estate Review. Additionally, he published over 100 scholarly articles, four editions of the acclaimed book Real Estate Finance and Investments: Risks and Opportunities, and the widely read Linneman Letter quarterly report.

He currently serves as the founding principal of Linneman Associates, a leading real estate advisory firm; and previously spent time as chief executive officer of American Land Fund and chief executive officer of KL Realty. For more than 35 years, he has advised leading corporations and served on over 20 public and private boards, including serving as chairman of Rockefeller Center Properties, where he led the successful restructuring and sale of Rockefeller Center in the mid-1990s.

Linneman earned a bachelor’s degree from Ashland College, a master’s degree in economics from University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in economics from University of Chicago.

About Capital Square
Capital Square is a national real estate firm specializing in tax-advantaged real estate investments, including Delaware statutory trusts for Section 1031 exchanges and qualified opportunity zone funds for tax deferral and exclusion. Since 2012, Capital Square has completed more than $3 billion in transaction volume. Capital Square’s executive team has decades of experience in real estate investments. Its founder, Louis Rogers, has structured hundreds of investment offerings totaling in excess of $5 billion. Capital Square’s related entities provide a range of services, including due diligence, acquisition, loan sourcing, property/asset management, and disposition, for a growing number of high net worth investors, private equity firms, family offices and institutional investors. Since 2017, Capital Square has been recognized by Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest growing companies in the nation for four consecutive years. In 2017, 2018 and 2020, the company was also ranked on Richmond BizSense’s list of fastest growing companies. Additionally, Capital Square was listed by Virginia Business on their “Best Places to Work in Virginia” report in 2019 and their “Fantastic 50” reports in 2019 and 2020. To learn more, visit


Lauren Burgos

Spotlight Marketing Communications  


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Vise Raises $65 Million in Series C Round




NEW YORK, May 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Vise, an AI-powered investment management platform built for advisors, today announced it has raised $65 million in Series C funding. The latest round was led by Ribbit Capital, with participation from existing investors including Sequoia Capital. The Series C round brings the total capital raised since Vise’s founding to over $125 million.

Since the Series B funding round in December 2020, Vise’s assets under management have more than quadrupled to over $250 million and client accounts have more than doubled. The company also completed the integration with major custodians and released several new product features for customers.

Vise has further bolstered its executive leadership with the appointment of Andrew Fong, former Vice President of Infrastructure Engineering at Dropbox, as Vise’s Chief Technology Officer; and Dave Twardowski, former Vice President at Avantis Investors and Dimensional Fund Advisors, as Vice President and Head of Investment Strategy.

The additional funding will accelerate Vise’s investments in its platform, the hiring of the best available talent and the rollout of new product features. A key focus area will be continuing to scale the engineering function led by CTO Fong.

“In 2020, we successfully focused on strengthening our foundation, and now in 2021 we are focused on scaling Vise to make it an even more valuable platform for advisors and their clients,” said Samir Vasavada, Co-Founder and CEO of Vise. “In the past year our assets under management have grown by more than 60x and we’ve seen incredibly strong demand from advisors. Put simply, this funding will allow us to make even bigger investments faster.”

“Vise’s rapid growth is a reflection of the progress the team has made over the past year in advancing its technology and building a truly world-class team,” said Shaun Maguire, Partner at Sequoia and Vise board member. “Since we first partnered with Vise at the seed, the company is in an even stronger position to benefit from powerful tailwinds in the industry. We couldn’t be more excited to be further deepening our partnership with Samir, Runik and team.”

“Vise has the opportunity and potential to shape the future of investment management,” said Micky Malka, Managing Partner at Ribbit Capital. “We’re excited to partner with Samir and Runik and the entire Vise team as they work to empower financial advisors with the technology and tools they need.”

About Vise
Vise is an AI-powered investment management platform built for advisors. Founded by Samir Vasavada and Runik Mehrotra in 2016, Vise gives financial advisors the tools and technology to grow their business and help clients achieve their goals. This includes creating highly personalized portfolios, fully automating the investment management process, and providing deep insights on each investment decision. By empowering advisors, Vise advances its mission of creating financial freedom for everyone. Vise is headquartered in New York. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Julian Crowley 
(917) 993-1626

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Canadian Market Modestly Higher In Cautious Trade




(RTTNews) – After a flat start and a subsequent fall to lower levels, the Canadian market edged higher Tuesday morning, and remains modestly up in positive territory an hour past noon.

Investors are looking ahead to Canadian inflation data, and the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting, both due on Wednesday.

Shares from healthcare, information technology and utilities sections are notably higher, while energy and materials shares are weak. Financial, real estate, telecom and consumer discretionary shares are turning in a mixed performance.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 40.19 points or 0.21% at 19,514.84.

Among healthcare stocks, Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (AUP.TO) is rising nearly 6%, Organigram Holdings (OGI.TO) is up 4.8% and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) is gaining 4.3%. Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO), Cronos Group (CRON.TO), Sienna Senior Living (SIA.TO) and Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) are up 1.3 to 2%.

Information technology stocks BlackBerry (BB.TO), Sierra Wireless (SW.TO) and Lightspeed Pos (LSPD.TO) are gaining 4.3%, 3.6% and 3%, respectively. Shopify Inc (SHOP.TO), Absolute Software (ABST.TO) and Dye & Durham (DND.TO) are up 2.5 to 2.7%, while Kinaxis Inc (KXS.TO), Quarterhill (QTRH.TO) and Open Text Corp (OTEX.TO) are gaining 1.2 to 1.6%.

Energy stocks Parex Resources (PXT.TO), Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO), Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) are down 1 to 2.5%.

In the materials section, Lundin Mining (LUN.TO) is down nearly 5% and Interfor Corp (IFP.TO) is declining 3.7%. Canfor Corp (CFP.TO), MAG Silver Corp (MAG.TO), Franco-Nevad Corp (FNV.TO), Iamgold (IMG.TO) and Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) are down 1.6 to 2.7%.

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