Director John Scheinfeld On The Spiritual Journey Of Jazz Icon John Coltrane

In this week?s episode of ?Scheer Intelligence? Robert Scheer speaks with documentarian John Scheinfeld about his latest film, ?Chasing Trane? about jazz icon John Coltrane. The two also discuss Scheinfeld?s earlier film, ?The U.S. vs. John Lennon,? and Lennon?s political activism during the Vietnam War.

The conversation begins with a look at the parallels between Lennon and Coltrane. Noting that the two music legends ?overlapped in time,? Scheer tells Scheinfeld: ?What you capture in both stories is a search for integrity and rebellion.?

After delving into Lennon?s political activism during and after the Vietnam War, the two discuss Coltrane?s legacy. Scheinfeld notes that Coltrane was a ?practice nut? who would practice ?hours and hours every day.?

?Yes, jazz exists today, but it?s not the same thing,? Scheer says.

Scheinfeld explains Coltrane?s background and musical process, and the two agree that his music defied any genre.

?He seemed to always be learning and seeking the truth,? Scheinfeld says. ?I didn?t want to make a jazz film. In fact, I think the word ?jazz? appears in ?Chasing Trane? maybe five times. This is a journey film … it?s a portrait of this remarkable artist.?

Listen to the full conversation and listen to past editions of ?Scheer Intelligence? here.

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Jared Kushner Reportedly Discussed Setting Up Secret Communication Channel With Moscow

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump?s adviser and son-in-law, reportedly discussed opening a secret communication channel between the administration?s transition team and the Russian government, The Washington Post reported Friday.

According to the report, Kushner discussed that possibility with Russia?s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, in December, before Trump?s inauguration. Specifically, Kushner reportedly asked about using Russia?s diplomatic facilities to secure the channel to avoid being monitored.

That suggestion surprised Kislyak, who is widely believed to be involved with Russia?s spying operations, according to the Post:

Kislyak reportedly was taken aback by the suggestion of allowing an American to use Russian communications gear at its embassy or consulate ? a proposal that would have carried security risks for Moscow as well as the Trump team.

Read the full Washington Post report here.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was fired in February after he discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with Kislyak and then lied about it, also attended the meeting, as was reported in March

The White House didn?t immediately return a request for comment on the Post?s report.

The article comes one day after the Post reported that Kushner is under investigation as part of the FBI?s probe into whether Trump?s campaign team actively colluded with Russian officials to try to sway the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Kushner is one of Trump?s most trusted advisers and has been tasked with myriad policy issues in the White House. He is married to Trump?s eldest daughter, Ivanka, and had spent his career as a real estate developer.

In March, it was revealed that Kushner had failed to disclose his meeting with Kislyak in December as well as a sit-down meeting with the head of a Russian state-owned bank on his security clearance forms for his White House post. Kushner has agreed to meet with the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss those meetings.

The White House has described both meetings as routine.

On Kushner?s talk with Kislyak, the White House said in March: ?The two spoke about potentially establishing a more open line of communication in the future. The meeting was similar to dozens of others that took place over the course of the campaign with representatives of other foreign countries. They have not reconnected since the initial meeting.?

The Post?s article about Kushner is just the latest in a string of reports about Trump associates? alleged ties to Russian officials.

Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that Russian officials had discussed how to influence several Trump campaign officials, including Flynn and onetime campaign manager Paul Manafort. Both Flynn and Manafort are under FBI investigation for their ties to Russia. 

The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump had allegedly asked his intelligence chiefs to publicly push back on the Russia investigation, a request they denied.

And last week, reports emerged that Trump allegedly asked then-FBI Director James Comey in February to stop his bureau?s investigation of Flynn. Trump fired Comey roughly three months later, citing ?this Russia thing? as part of why he decided to terminate the FBI director. 

Amid increased scrutiny and talk of impeachment, the Justice Department has appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to serve as special counsel to oversee the Russia probe.

Trump and the White House, meanwhile, have denied any wrongdoing and have dismissed the Russia investigation as a ?witch hunt.? 

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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Is Having Trouble Accepting That ‘Baywatch’ Is A Bad Movie

When one of the biggest laughs in your movie revolves around the supposed hilarity of Zac Efron fondling a dead man?s scrotum, it?s probably a good move to check your outrage over its critical reception.

If you?ve somehow been able to remain ignorant to its relentless marketing campaign (seriously, how?), ?Baywatch? hits theaters Friday and critics are already savaging the movie with a 19 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. Some have compared watching the reboot to sitting in a wet bathing suit for a prolonged period, while others have conceded it?s stupidly entertaining at best.

The movie?s star, Dwayne ?The Rock? Johnson, however, is on a one man social media mission to convince the world that ?Baywatch? isn?t as bad as everyone?s saying it is. Cue the actor launching into an almost Trumpian tweetstorm on Thursday about how out of touch the media is with what the the public wants. 

He kicked it off by reminding us all of the ?extremely high scores? from fans. 

Then he posted a story about the critics score on Rotten Tomatoes rising from its 13 percent to a slightly less embarrassing 18 percent. 

?Yay positive upticks,? he tweeted. ?Fans LOVE the movie. Critics HATE it. What a glaring disconnect. People just want to laugh & have fun.?

Next he spent time praising some fans and critics who actually liked the movie with some choice retweets and knocks at those who laughed in the theater, but trash the film publicly. 

And to finish off, Johnson took one more jab at the ?Baywatch? naysayers, reminding everyone once again of just how differently the fans and the media feel about the movie. 

?Oh boy, critics had their venom & knives ready,? he wrote. ?Fans LOVE the movie. Huge positive scores. Big disconnect w/ critics & people.?

Considering the way things are headed, ?Baywatch? will likely get a sequel and Johnson will make the White House home within the decade, so maybe we should submit and take a bite of what The Rock is cooking.

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