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‘Succession’ Star Alan Ruck on Episode 6, Driving in Biden’s Motorcade – The Hollywood Reporter



[The following story contains spoilers from the sixth episode of the third season of HBO’s Succession.]

Succession’s Connor Roy (Alan Ruck) has never been as cutthroat as his siblings, certainly not in his relationships or business dealings. He’s also not the brightest among the four Waystar Royco heirs. Still, Logan Roy’s (Brian Cox) outcast eldest son is equally ambitious as the rest of his family — to the point of delusion, says Ruck.

In episode six of the HBO show’s third season, Connor’s biggest delusion — his dream of a presidential run and an eventual clinching of the highest seat in the land — is, even if just fleetingly, considered a possible reality, maybe. It’s dangled by Logan, who decides to meet several potential candidates for the Republican nomination before selecting one as the eventual chosen nominee.

Logan alludes to the family dynasty of the Kennedys before throwing Connor’s hat in the ring alongside Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Roman’s (Kieran Culkin) presidential picks. And with Kendall (Jeremy Strong) out of the equation, Connor — who has spent his life being untrusted and untested — is finally offered an opportunity to not only re-situate himself in the Roy family hierarchy but inch himself closer to his presidential goals.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ruck breaks down how Kendall’s choices have changed Connor’s game, whether his character ever really had a chance at the presidential nomination, Logan’s decision to choose a fascist over his son and how the actor ended up meeting America’s real-life president, Joe Biden, after volunteering to drive a car in his motorcade.

In episode five, Connor seemingly gets the European cable position because Logan has a UTI, and he’s experiencing delirium. Then in episode six, Connor winds up in a serious conversation about who the next Republican presidential nominee will be. Was his play in episode five to help legitimize his next move, or was there another motivation?

It’s all about leverage, and Connor has finally embraced the fact that to maintain any sort of status in the family and to get anywhere in the corporation, you have to play dirty. That means asking the old man for a favor when he’s — as they say — piss mad. That’s what you do. Seeking out a lofty position at Waystar [Royco] is a stepping stone for Connor in this plan that he has, this wild plan to become POTUS. That’s really all that’s about. He was sent to Shiv, and he was asking for some big stuff, and she wanted to get him a wine tasting show on the Food Network, which wasn’t enough. So he’s just being persistent. He doesn’t really have anything else to do, so he’s just chipping away. Now that the old man needs him to line up against Kendall, [he wants to see] if that parlays into anything substantial in terms of job, status or title.

When Logan was interviewing various potential candidates across the conservative spectrum for the nominee position, it seemed, even if just for a moment, that he might finally be taking Connor seriously. So first, if Connor was a serious candidate, how would he — and then you — pitch his platform?

This is what’s true about Connor: The planks of his platform are composed of basically anything he woke up that morning and found interesting. There’s not a long attention span here. The word libertarian doesn’t really mean anything anymore because it’s been used by so many different people with different ideologies. But on the one hand, he’s as right-wing as any other member of his family when it comes to money. It’s like, “I’ve got my money. Leave me alone.” And he is not interested in paying any taxes. He’s not interested in shouldering his burden at all. On the other hand, he’s very interested in the environment, because he has this ranch and underneath the ranch is this huge aquifer, and the aquifer is shrinking. It’s also becoming tainted with pollutants. This is something that’s directly affecting Connor, so all of a sudden, it’s important to him, and he thinks it should be important to everybody.

So Connor will pitch himself as a man of the people. You should vote for me because I come from the one percent, and I know how these people think, and I can help you navigate these treacherous waters that they dominate. That’s why you should vote for me; because I know these people. With Connor, there’s something of the Dunning-Kruger effect that’s coming into play here. I know people used to say that sometimes a person is so stupid, he’s incapable of realizing how stupid he is. Connor’s not stupid, but he is delusional, and he lives in a make-believe world that he’s constructed for many years. But he has no doubt that he’ll win. When people like Maxim Pierce say, “Do you know who the Secretary of Commerce is? Do you know this person in D.C.? Do you know anybody in D.C.?” It doesn’t faze Connor because he’s like, “Well, I’ll hire some smart people to help me get through this.” He’s very much a positive thinker when it comes to this whole political world.

But I — Alan — can’t, in good conscience, promote Connor as a legitimate candidate. (Laughs.)

Did Connor ever feel he was being taken seriously, or did he know he was a pawn?

I think the hope is that he will get his due, his just rewards, as he sees it, but he knows what’s going on. He can feel the room. He can feel what people are thinking. What they say and what they don’t say. He’s not stupid. I mean, he is a deluded man, and he’s probably got some ADHD going on, and there are different things that he struggles with, but he is not stupid. He’s experienced this treatment at the hands of the family for decades. It’s like, “You don’t really add to the luster of the family brand. Please step to the back of the photograph.” So I think the hope is that finally, the old man’s going to throw [him] a bone or — miracle of miracles — he’s going to realize that Connor’s the answer to his prayers. But he’s been through this situation many times before when it’s like, “Oh, yeah, Connor? Maybe not.”

The final shot of that scene is of Connor on the couch after being taken through the wringer. There’s a lot of emotions going on there, including potential defeat. After everything, does Connor feel like it’s over?

No, the war is still going on. He just happened to lose one skirmish, one battle, but that doesn’t mean it’s the war. Connor will just not be denied. He has a minuscule percentage of the electorate, the coneheads, behind him, but he sees that as the beginning. You have to remember in the world of Succession, we’ve been at this for a number of years now, but in the actual timeline of the story, it’s only been a little over a year or so since Logan’s birthday. There’s a way to go before the election. It’s not like it’s going to happen next month, and Connor’s screwed. There’s some time, and he is a ridiculous optimist. He’s like, “Well, the old man said no again, but we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.” I think Connor has finally accepted that with all the stuff that Kendall has pulled — because he’s so crazy, I mean, even Connor can tell how off the beam Kendall is — at this point, he’s no longer viable. He’s over. He’s done. It’s not going to happen. The old man is always going to win. So I think Conor feels when push comes to shove, lineup with the old man because, you know, he’s always two or three steps ahead of Kendall, ahead of everybody. Then, as I said, Connor has finally accepted that the only way to get ahead is to play dirty and use whatever you have.

It feels safe to say not many people would vote for a candidate like Connor, but that could also easily change in light of who Logan ends up picking over his son, which is an actual fascist. Like many things on Succession, Logan’s decision feels timely and purposeful in the context of our current political climate. But might it have an impact on where Connor goes politically?

I think our writers really have their fingers on the pulse of how the world is, how the world works and how it’s working right now. We live in scary times when people are unabashedly saying, “Yeah, I’m a fascist. This is what I believe in. It’s all about me, my friends and our money.” But it’s no surprise that a great capitalist like Logan Roy would be interested in a fascist because the fascist will protect the money above all else. He’s going to protect the wealthy few above all else because that’s going to be a fascist’s power base. That makes perfect sense. But I would vote for Connor, too, if it was between a fascist and Connor Roy, there was no other choice, and it’s like you have to vote. You can’t sit this one out. You have to vote.

But in terms of ideology, I think at this point, Connor feels it’s a popularity contest. If it should ever come into play for him, if he should be a player at the convention or in his wildest dreams that he was nominated, I think he feels that the ideology will come. He’ll pick it up along the way into one cohesive ball of ideas. But right now, it’s whatever’s interesting to him at the moment. It’s like, “I don’t want to pay taxes.” Who does? So run on that. Have every family in America become a corporation. Just write off everything. Write off your rent, write off your grocery bills — you’re in the business of raising your family. You should be able to write all that off — with no plan in how to fund anything. All he wants to do is get elected and then see what happens.

Beyond his political ambitions and trying to re-situate himself within the family power hierarchy, Connor also deals with a relationship that started transactionally, like every relationship within the Roy family. But this thing with Willa (Justine Lupe) is starting to feel a little less transactional and that maybe she’s beginning to legitimately care about him.

I think that’s true. Maybe even against her better judgment, she’s developed some feelings for Connor — a thing that started, especially from her point of view, as a business arrangement. She’s got some conflicts, and she still has some questions about everything. Over these couple of seasons, there’s been a few scenes where he’s been a little bit needy, like, “Can we make this an exclusive thing? I don’t like how these people treat you.” He’s been needy with her different times, but I also think it never occurs to him that she might leave, you know? He’s like, “Yeah, we’re a thing, me and Willa.” The truth is maybe she will leave, but I don’t think, at this point, Connor even believes that’s a remote possibility.

I think Connor has always been crazy about her. He’s like, “You’re great. You need money. I have a lot of money. I need a girlfriend. This is great.” Different things happen, like the play was a disaster, so he doesn’t always do it gracefully, but he tries to take care of her. When he gets scared about money, he tries to weasel out of it, but he basically winds up trying to take care of her in this lumpy Connor fashion. But I do think that she has developed some feelings for him, and he’s completely sold on her. I mean, he’s in love with her. But it’s a sad comment on the show that they’re the most successful couple on Succession.

During President Joe Biden’s September recall campaign event for California Governor Gavin Newsom, it was tweeted that you were driving a press van in the president’s motorcade. Was that you? And if so, how did you end up doing that?

One Friday [my friend] just said, “What are you doing Monday? Are you working?” I said, “No, why?” She said, “Would you like to drive in the presidential motorcade?” I immediately said yes, and then I said, “Why?” Well, as it turns out, they fly Secret Service and military people all over the country, but the president might make three different stops in three different cities in a day and in each city, there’ll be a motorcade. So they depend on volunteers — every administration does — to help drive, for example, people in the press. So I said, “Yeah, sure, I’d do that.” I went through some vetting and did a COVID test and all that stuff. I was told to report down in Long Beach, and I did. It was a lot like being on a movie set. There was a lot of sitting around, and then all of a sudden, it was like, “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!”

I enjoyed just driving along and not having to stop for any red lights with the cops flying by on motorcycles. It was very exciting. (Laughs.) Then the next morning, we all got a little photo op with the president. It was very brief. We had masks on; we didn’t shake hands. He didn’t know who I was, but he walked up, and he said, “Good to see you, pal!” I said, “Well, good to see you,” then click. As they’re pushing me away, he says, “Thanks for your service,” and over my shoulder, I said, “Thanks for all you do.” And that was it. It was pretty quick. I have a picture of me with [Biden], but I’m not allowed to show it to anybody until the White House Press Office says it’s OK. So I guess I would have to write for permission and ask can I show this anywhere. The answer might be no. (Laughs.)

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Woman passenger from UK tests Covid positive at Hyderabad airport



Hyderabad: A 35-year-old international passenger who reached the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here on Wednesday has tested positive for Covid-19 after undergoing an RT-PCR test at the airport itself. The woman passenger had traveled from the United Kingdom, which has been categorised as an ‘At Risk Country’. 

The passenger has been admitted to the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) and samples were collected and sent for genetic sequencing. Officials said she did not have any symptoms and that her health condition was being monitored closely. 

According to officials, the woman hails from Rangareddy district and was on a visit to UK from Hyderabad. Though her close relatives tested negative, their health condition is also being monitored. 

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Revealed: how Sidney Powell could be disbarred for lying in court for Trump | US elections 2020



Sidney Powell, the former lawyer for Donald Trump who filed lawsuits across America for the former president, hoping to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, has on several occasions represented to federal courts that people were co-counsel or plaintiffs in her cases without seeking their permission to do so, the Guardian has learned.

Some of these individuals say that they only found out that Powell had named them once the cases were already filed.

During this same period of time, Powell also named several other lawyers – with their permission in those instances – as co-counsel in her election-related cases, despite the fact that they played virtually no role whatsoever in bringing or litigating those cases.

Both Powell’s naming of other people as plaintiffs or co-counsel without their consent and representing that other attorneys were central to her cases when, in fact, their roles were nominal or nonexistent, constitute serious potential violations of the American Bar Association model rules for professional conduct, top legal ethicists told the Guardian.

Powell’s misrepresentations to the courts in those particular instances often aided fundraising for her nonprofit, Defending the Republic. Powell had told prospective donors that the attorneys were integral members of an “elite strike force” who had played outsized roles in her cases – when in fact they were barely involved if at all.

A couple poses for a photo in front of a Trump campaign bus at a rally in Alpharetta, Georgia, on 2 December 2020.
A couple poses for a photo in front of a Trump campaign bus at a rally in Alpharetta, Georgia, on 2 December 2020. Photograph: Nathan Posner/REX/Shutterstock

Powell did not respond to multiple requests for comment via phone, email, and over social media.

The State Bar of Texas is already investigating Powell for making other allegedly false and misleading statements to federal courts by propagating increasingly implausible conspiracy theories to federal courts that Joe Biden’s election as president of the United States was illegitimate.

The Texas bar held its first closed-door hearing regarding the allegations about Powell on 4 November. Investigations by state bar associations are ordinarily conducted behind closed doors and thus largely opaque to the public.

A federal grand jury has also been separately investigating Powell, Defending the Republic, as well as a political action committee that goes by the same name, for fundraising fraud, according to records reviewed by the Guardian.

Among those who have alleged that Powell falsely named them as co-counsel is attorney Linn Wood, who brought and litigated with Powell many of her lawsuits attempting to overturn the results of the election with her, including in the hotly contested state of Michigan.

The Michigan case was a futile attempt by Powell to erase Joe Biden’s victory in that state and name Trump as the winner. On 25 August, federal district court Judge Linda Parker, of Michigan, sanctioned Powell and nine other attorneys who worked with her for having engaged in “a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process” in bringing the case in the first place. Powell’s claims of election fraud, Parker asserted, had no basis in law and were solely based on “speculation, conjecture, and unwarranted suspicion”.

Parker further concluded that the conduct of Powell, Wood, and the eight other attorneys who they worked with, warranted a “referral for investigation and possible suspension or disbarment to the appropriate disciplinary authority for each state … in which each attorney is admitted”.

Wood told the court in the Michigan case that Powell had wrongly named him as one of her co-counsel in the Michigan case. During a hearing in the case to determine whether to sanction Wood, his defense largely rested on his claim that he had not been involved in the case at all. Powell, Wood told the court, had put his name on the lawsuit without her even telling him.

A man holds a sign reading "The dead cannot vote" at a rally in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Trump supporters attend a rally in Alpharetta, Georgia, where Sidney Powell spoke on efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Photograph: Nathan Posner/REX/Shutterstock

Wood said: “I do not specifically recall being asked about the Michigan complaint … In this case obviously my name was included. My experience or my skills apparently were never needed, so I didn’t have any involvement with it.”

Wood’s attorney, Paul Stablein, was also categorical in asserting that his client had nothing to do with the case, telling the Guardian in an interview: “He didn’t draft the complaint. He didn’t sign it. He did not authorize anyone to put his name on it.”

Powell has denied she would have ever named Wood as a co-counsel without Wood’s permission.

But other people have since come forward to say that Powell has said that they were named as plaintiffs or lawyers in her election-related cases without their permission.

In a Wisconsin voting case, a former Republican candidate for Congress, Derrick Van Orden, said he only learned after the fact that he had been named as a plaintiff in one of Powell’s cases.

“I learned through social media today that my name was included in a lawsuit without my permission,” Van Orden said in a statement he posted on Twitter, “To be clear, I am not involved in the lawsuit seeking to overturn the election in Wisconsin.”

Jason Shepherd, the Republican chairman of Georgia’s Cobb county, was similarly listed as a plaintiff in a Georgia election case without his approval.

In a 26 November 2020 statement, Shepherd said he had been talking to an associate of Powell’s prior to the case’s filing about the “Cobb GOP being a plaintiff” but said he first “needed more information to at least make sure the executive officers were in agreeing to us being a party in the suit”. The Cobb County Republican party later agreed to remain plaintiffs in the case instead of withdrawing.

Leslie Levin, a professor at the University of Connecticut Law School, said in an interview: “Misrepresentations to the court are very serious because lawyers are officers of the court. Bringing a lawsuit in someone’s name when they haven’t consented to being a party is a very serious misrepresentation and one for which a lawyer should expect to face serious discipline.”

Nora Freeman Engstrom, a law professor at Stanford University, says that Powell’s actions appear to violate Rule 3.3 of the ABA’s model rules of professional misconduct which hold that “a lawyer shall not knowingly … make a false statement of fact of law to a tribunal”.

Since election day last year, federal and state courts have dismissed more than 60 lawsuits alleging electoral fraud and irregularities by Powell, and other Trump allies.

Shortly after the election, Trump named Powell as a senior member of an “elite strike force” who would prove that Joe Biden only won the 2020 presidential race because the election was stolen from him. But Trump refused to pay her for her services. To remedy this, Powell set up a new nonprofit called Defending the Republic; its stated purpose is to “protect the integrity of elections in the United States”.

As a nonprofit, the group is allowed to raise unlimited amounts of “dark money” and donors are legally protected from the ordinary requirements to disclose their identities to the public. Powell warned supporters that for her to succeed, “millions of dollars must be raised”.

Echoing Trump’s rhetoric, Powell told prospective donors that Defending the Republic had a vast team of experienced litigators.

Sidney Powell speaks at a press conference on election results in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Sidney Powell speaks at a press conference on election results in Alpharetta, Georgia. Photograph: Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters

Among the attorneys who Powell said made up this “taskforce” were Emily Newman, who had served Trump as the White House liaison to the Department of Health and Human Services and as a senior official with the Department of Homeland Security. Newman had been a founding board member of Defending the Republic.

But facing sanctions in the Michigan case, some of the attorneys attempted to distance themselves from having played much of a meaningful role in her litigation.

Newman’s attorney told Parker, the judge, that Newman had “not played a role in the drafting of the complaint … My client was a contract lawyer working from home who spent maybe five hours on this matter. She really wasn’t involved … Her role was de minimis.”

To have standing to file her Michigan case, Powell was initially unable to find a local attorney to be co-counsel on her case but eventually attorney Gregory Rohl agreed to help out.

But when Rohl was sanctioned by Parker and referred to the Michigan attorney disciplinary board for further investigation, his defense was that he, too, was barely involved in the case. He claimed that he only received a copy of “the already prepared” 830-page initial complaint at the last minute, reviewed it for “well over an hour”, while then “making no additions, decisions or corrections” to the original.

As with Newman, Parker, found that Rohl violated ethics rules by making little, if any, effort to verify the facts of the claims in Powell’s filings.

In sanctioning Rohl, the judge wrote that “the court finds it exceedingly difficult to believe that Rohl read an 830-page complaint in just ‘well over an hour’ on the day he filed it. So, Rohl’s argument in and of itself reveals sanctionable conduct.”

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Govt to introduce important Bill, Covid situation likely to be discussed



The government on Thursday will table ‘The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill 2021’ in the Lok Sabha. A discussion on Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and its various related aspects is also likely to take place in the lower House.

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will move the ‘The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill’ in the Lok Sabha to amend the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research Act, 1998.

Under rule 193, a discussion on Covid-19 pandemic and various aspects related to it will likely take place. According to sources, the members may also raise their concern and ask for the government’s preparedness for the new Omicron variant. Under Rule 193, members can seek details about the new Covid variant. “Short duration discussion is likely to be held in the Lok Sabha on the Covid and its various aspects, including new Omicron variant,” sources said.

Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Prahlad Singh Patel, General V.K. Singh, Krishan Pal, Bhanu Pratap Verma, Rameshwar Teli and Kaushal Kishore will lay papers on the table. Reports and action reports of different standing committees will also be laid in the day.

The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Amendment) Bill 2021 (ART) by voice vote as the amendments moved by the DMK MP N.K. Prem Chandran, Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy and Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut were negated. The ART Bill seeks to regulate fertility clinics. All such clinics will have to be registered under the National Registry of Banks and Clinics of India.

The opposition is likely to continue to raise its voices on price rise, unemployment and extended jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) in some states. The opposition parties are also demanding a law guaranteeing the minimum support price (MSP).

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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