IHOP says it’s changing name to IHOb. Huh?

(CNN Money) -- IHOP stands for International House of Pancakes. The chain has been around for 60 years and has used the IHOP acronym since 1973. So what in the name of a Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity is IHOP thinking by changing its name to IHOb?

IHOP tweeted and posted to its Facebook page on Tuesday that it plans to "flip" the "P" in its name on June 11.

The announcement clearly got people talking. People started to wonder if the b stood for breakfast, brunch or bacon, which would make sense.

But some had more amusing suggestions, such as broccoli, burritos, bitcoin and even breakdancing.

There were also numerous votes for bears, beets and Battlestar Galactica -- a reference to a popular meme from the American version of "The Office."

The IHOP social media team was clearly having fun with the speculation -- and it came up with some goofy suggestions of their own for people to vote on in a Twitter poll, such as butternut squash (yum!) and barnacles (yuck!)

Is this just a short-term marketing gimmick?

Spokespeople for IHOP and Dine Brands, the restaurant company that owns IHOP as well as Applebee's, were not immediately available for comment.

And it's not as if Dine Brands needs to reinvent the company. The stock is up nearly 25% this year because sales are growing at both IHOP and Applebee's.

Some people speculated on Twitter and Facebook that this could simply be a fun way to reintroduce pineapple upside down pancakes to the menu.

It's also hard to imagine why the company would want to mess with a name that's so well-known and beloved. It would also likely cost a big stack of pancakes (bancakes?) to change restaurant signs and menus at the nearly 1,800 IHOP restaurants.

But the IHOP social media team was quick to reassure fans, responding to users with b-themed messages like "there are o-b-viously so many possi-b-ilities," "No need to b stressed, this is going to b great!" and "brebare yourself for something awesome."

Related: Inside the last-ditch effort to save sugary cereals

For what it's worth, there are currently no live trademark requests filed for IHOB with the United States Patent and Trademark Office -- just two dead filings for companies looking to trademark IHOB for barbecue restaurants.

A WHOIS search for the www.ihob.com domain name comes up with a registrant cryptically listed as "Data Protected Data Protected."

There was no phone number listed. The registrant had a Toronto mailing address of 123 Data Protected and email address of noreply@data-protected.net. An email to that address by this reporter got an undeliverable bounce back reply.

The IHOP.com domain name on the other hand is registered to IHOP Restaurants LLC.

There also is no Facebook page for IHOB. But there is an IHOb Twitter account -- and it is already verified, despite the fact that it has less than 300 followers...compared to the nearly 320,000 for IHOP. The IHOb account hasn't tweeted yet and the profile picture is the generic head and shoulders logo.

So you have to give credit to the IHOP marketing team for creating some mystery and keeping people guessing. I'm hoping that the b will stand for blueberry bagels. Mmm. Blueberry bagels

Exchange student fulfills dream of learning to sew while living in Davenport

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Hooria Tariq has a dream to be a fashion designer, but never thought she'd pursue it in Davenport, Iowa.

Hooria was part of the Iowa Resource for International Students' YES program.  Coming from Pakistan, she didn't know what to expect from Davenport.

She said she was excited when she found out her host mom, Maria Dickmann, had a fashion degree, because she never expected to learn to sew while in the United States.

The two worked together over a 10-month span.  They started with the basics, sewing buttons, and moved on to patterns, and finally Tariq designed her own prom dress.

"I never thought I would get to make my own prom dress," she said. "I never thought of it. Never dreamed of it."

The dress was a satin-material with a black bodice and rose-patterned skirt.

Hooria said her family back home was proud of her and impressed with what she'd created.

"She's much more fashionable than I am," said her host mom Maria.  "She's been determined and is a really quick learner."

Hooria said she's gearing up to study medicine, but with her newfound skill, hopes to also pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer.

"I'm so excited, I think she's got so many bright days ahead of her," said Maria.

"I'm super proud of myself and so thankful to her," said Hooria.

Hooria said she's already had friends asking her to make clothes for them.

VA health care bill named after John McCain

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(CNN) — A major piece of veterans legislation that is headed to President Donald Trump’s desk bears the name of Arizona’s​ ​Republican​ ​Sen. John McCain, who ​has been absent from the Capitol since December as he battles brain cancer.

The full title of the bill, which passed the Senate on a 92-5 vote Wednesday, is the “John S. McCain III, Daniel K. Akaka, and Samuel R. Johnson VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018.”

The bill is designated for McCain and Rep. Samuel Johnson, a Texas Republican, both of whom were prisoners of war in Vietnam, and also for Daniel Akaka, a former Hawaii Democratic senator and World War II veteran who died in April.

It is called the VA MISSION Act for short.

Trump has said he is ready to sign the bill “immediately” to ensure that veterans receive “the care they deserve.”

McCain​ ​said in a statement following the bill’s passage that he was “deeply humbled” that his colleagues had designated the legislation in his name, along with Johnson and Akaka.

“We share this honor with all of the veterans who came before us and all who proudly served and are still serving around the world,” McCain said. “As we mark Memorial Day this weekend, I can think of no better way to demonstrate our gratitude to the brave men and women​ ​who have sacrificed in uniform than to strengthen and improve the care they so richly deserve.”

The legislation would give veterans more freedom to seek medical care outside of the Veterans Affairs Department’s health care system. It also provides $5.2 billion for the VA’s Choice program, allowing it to operate for another year and ensuring that veterans do not see disruptions in their care.

Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Georgia’s Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, thanked McCain, an early supporter of veterans’ choice.

“I want to thank John McCain, whose idea this was originally: a great hero to all of us, a friend to all of us, one we love and pray for today as he recovers from cancer. John is the one who started the movement toward Choice, and he deserves the credit for it,” Isakson said.

YOUR HEALTH Reversing the impact of blood thinners

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida – Mark Bresin had lots of adventures working as a mechanical engineer in China for ten years.

But he didn't need the excitement of being rushed to the emergency room when he was back home.

"I had an episode with pretty significant bleeding, G-I bleeding."

"Mark came to the emergency room feeling extremely weak, very lightheaded, he looked extremely pale," remembered Dr. Rishi Anand, the Electrophysiology Lab Medical Director at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale.

Mark was taking blood thinners for an abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation.

Doctors say he's not alone.    About three million people in the U.S. are on what are known as 10-A inhibitors.
And while these drugs are needed to help prevent stroke in patients, blood thinners do pose a risk.

"On a yearly basis of those three million, about 110,000 are having some sort of admission to a hospital for a bleeding event," explained Dr. Anand.   "There's a chance of death within 30 days with these acute medical illnesses."

Now doctors at Holy Cross Hospital are testing a medication that reverses the effects of the new class of blood thinners.

"The name of the drug is Andexanet Alfa," said Dr. Anand.  " We would administer the medication through an IV infusion."

The antidote stops the bleeding within two to five minutes.

"Coumadin is a generic blood thinner that has been on the market for many years and in the last decade there have been new comers to the market which we call novel oral anticoagulants," explained Dr. Anand.

Some examples are Xarelto, Eliquis or Pradaxa.   Xarelto and Eliquis do not have an antidote available to them as of yet.

Contrast that to Coumadin.

"If you come in with a bleeding event we can give you Vitamin K which is a typical antidote that's used to try to reverse Coumadin immediately," said Dr. Anand.

"And Pradaxa which is a novel oral anticoagulant but works through a different mechanism than Xarelto or Eliquis, it also has an antidote that just got released to the market about a year ago.   There is clearly a very strong need to develop an antidote for these two particular medications and any other medications that act through a similar mechanism."

Mark became part of the clinical trial the day he ended up in the E-R.   He's thankful the drug was there for him.

"It truly was a blessing that it was available."

Doctors say they have reversed the conditions of more than 200 patients nationwide.   The antidote is part of the Annexa-four trial and is on the fast track for approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Jim Mertens at jim.mertens@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.

17-year-old allegedly shoots Clinton man

CLINTON, Iowa – Clinton Police responded to a reported shooting at 9:58 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5.

Police say when they arrived at 507 4th Avenue South, they found a man on the back patio who appeared to have been shot in the neck.

A 17-year-old juvenile was taken into custody and charged with possession of a firearm, which is a class D felony. The juvenile is being held at Clinton County Jail.

The injured man was transported to Mercy Medical Center, North Campus. An investigation is ongoing.

Multiple vehicle crash causes delays for Illinois-bound drivers near I-74 bridge

BETTENDORF, Iowa – A multi-vehicle crash is slowing down traffic near the I-74 bridge.

Illinois-bound drivers are being slowed down and traffic is being moved into one lane near the last Iowa exit before the bridge.

The crash was visible from IDOT cameras just after 4:00 p.m. on June 6.

There is no word on the extent of any injuries or on what caused the accident.

This is a developing story. WQAD will update this post with information as it becomes available 

12-year-old faces charges after torturing cat, threatening homeowners with knife in Clinton, Iowa

CLINTON, Iowa-- "He was having fun. He was calling out he was going to stab us in the chest, and he was all smiles; staring my wife in the face four inches away in the face. That's not right," remembers Clinton homeowner Wayne Miller.

What started as a Sunday dedicated to family, turned into the most terrifying moments in Miller's life. It started when Miller heard a horn blow.

"I told my wife something wasn't right. I'm gonna check it out," says Miller.

He soon found out that horn was from his boat parked out back.

"The engine compartment was open, all the covers were open. That's when I knew someone had been there."

As he got up to inspect his property in disarray, someone jumped out with a knife.

"I caught him about here. That's when he spun around, said I have a knife. That's when I realized it was a kid," says Miller.

Miller tried talking to the boy, he told him he would just call his parents. He didn't want to hurt the kid so he loosened his grip on the boy's wrists, and that's when he got away, immediately lunging for his knife.

"My wife was right there, and he's saying he was going to stab us in the chest."

The two restrained the boy until police got there and arrested him.

"And this was even before we knew about the cat," says Miller.

Miller walked over to his front step after it all, that's where he found the family cat, Pitty Pat. The cat had clearly had a run in with the 12-year-old with a knife first.

"I picked her up, and I went to the hose, covered in fluids to get them off. "And that's where I saw the cut marks on her back and blood. I kind of lost it," says Miller.

Police say the cat was cut in the back and burned. It was rushed to the vet, but it later died.

Miller's installing a new security system around his home. He says he has to to keep his family safe.

The 12-year-old is charged with Burglary 1st Degree and Animal Torture.

Rock Island Arsenal ID office closed indefinitely

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois – People in need of a new Rock Island Arsenal ID will have to wait. The ID office is currently closed.

Arsenal ID’s are used for military and civilian personnel. They are also necessary for employee’s to work.

According to the Arsenal, the office cannot accept anyone at the moment.  It is unclear when they will reopen.


Rock Island breast cancer survivor weighs in on new research

DAVENPORT - There's new hope for treating early-stage breast cancer. A breakthrough study could eliminate chemotherapy for thousands of women and men every year.

Gilda's Club Quad Cities is the place for positive outreach with cancer patients and families.

"It's really great news," said Teresa Saltsman, Rock Island, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. New research could speed recovery and lessen pain for patients like her.

"For me, this was a slower growing cancer," she recalled on Wednesday, June 6.  "It was not going to respond to an aggressive chemotherapy."

The report finds that most early-stage breast cancer patients don't need chemotherapy after surgery.  That could reach 65,000 women in the U.S. each year.

"Chemotherapy is a wonderful thing," said Gilda's Club Program Director Kelly Hendershot.  "It's saving a lot of lives. It also really is a detriment to quality of life."

For information about Gilda's Club: http://gildasclubqc.org.

The study shows that endocrine therapy is just as effective without chemotherapy.

"Often times, chemotherapy is very hard on your body," Saltsman continued.

Still, the study advises that women younger than 50 can benefit from chemo and should consider it.

"I'm really excited that they have this new discovery," said Saltsman.

Considered cancer-free for nearly five years, Saltsman makes it clear that the study is not a cure.  But she says it can eliminate one of cancer's most painful aspects.

"I'm just thrilled there's people working every single day, around the clock, trying to find answers," she concluded.

At Gilda's Club, hope it will keep women and men healthier without chemotherapy.

Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz: ‘Big difference’ between my qualifications and Trump’s

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(CNN Money) — Outgoing Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz won’t say for sure whether he’s going to run for president. But he implied he’s more qualified for the job than the business executive who currently holds the title.

“There is very big difference between someone who has run a global enterprise like myself, who has traveled to China probably more than any other CEO in the last 10 years, and who understands those issues, versus someone who has run a private company with very little fiduciary responsibilities to other shareholders,” he said in an interview Tuesday on CNBC.

Related: Howard Schultz: We need to talk about race in America

Schultz was very critical of President Donald Trump and the state of American politics and government, citing “vitriolic behavior coming from this administration.” He added that while “President Trump has given license to the fact that someone who is not a politician could potentially run for the presidency,” he stopped short of confirming that he is going to run himself. “I can’t be nailed down today on what I might or might not run for.”

He did say that he wants to be involved in public service to help bring the country together, and to fix the budgetary process in Washington.

“My concern (is) for the country. I think we can do much better. I think the political class as a whole has been reckless,” he said.

Schultz also dismissed a comment by presidential historian Douglas Brinkley that previous CEOs have fared poorly as president. “The history of business leaders in the White House has not been good. … You basically have Herbert Hoover and Donald Trump,” Brinkley told The New York Times.

“I think the rules of engagement for running the United States of America in a global society are very different from comparing (them) to Hoover or the current president,” Schultz told CNBC.

Related: Related: Howard Schultz steps down at Starbucks

Specifically, Schultz took issue with the current administration’s policies on trade, immigration and last year’s corporate tax cut.

“Corporate America did not need a 21% tax cut when we could have done so much more for the people of the country, when 45% of the people in America don’t have $400 in the bank for a crisis,” he said.

He was also took Democrats to task.

“It concerns me that so many voices within the Democratic party are going so far to the left,” Schultz said, citing proposals for a single-payer health care system and guaranteed income. “I ask myself how are we going to pay for these things.”

He said the federal government’s $21 trillion in debt is the greatest threat facing the country, and added that he wants to change entitlement programs to reign in government spending.

Moline Police credit community tips for helping get guns off the streets

MOLINE, Illinois– The Moline Police announced on Facebook that the department seized ten illegally-possessed firearms last month, and that was in part thanks to tips from the community.

“By our community choosing to work with us, we’re making Moline safer,” Detective Michael Griffin said. “And we’re having great success.”

The guns were confiscated because they were bought illegally on the streets or were owned by felons.

Neighborhood watch organizer Tod Bender said the relationship between the community and the police is critical in preventing crime.

“The tips through the neighbors and contacting the police, and getting the police involved is very good,” he said. “It helps takes more guns off the street.”

He said cooperation was critical this past December when gunshots rang out in his 15th Street A neighborhood two nights in a row.

“It was bad but it was nice to see all the neighbors unite to get this thing done, and the police helping us too,” Bender said.

One arrest was made after the shooting on the 1900 block of 15th Street A. The police recovered a stolen gun.

“A lot of the guns that are out there are from people that don’t need them and people that shouldn’t have them,” Bender said. “It’s a good thing.”

Moline Police are asking people to continue sending in tips.

“We can’t have this type of success and we can’t do our jobs without the community’s assistance,” Griffin said. “We feel that with the community’s assistance and good work by our community policying unit and our patrol officers, we prevented future instances of voilence.”

Traffic cam shows car driving backwards for over a mile

CANAL WINCHESTER, Ohio – “What Not To Do In Traffic.”

That’s what the Ohio Department of Transportation has titled an amazing video that shows a car driving backwards for 1.2 miles – on and off a highway.

ODOT tells WJW that they are guessing that something happened to the car’s transmission, and that the car was stuck in reverse. The driver realized this, and backed up off the highway, through two intersections and finally, into a parking lot where it was able to stop.

ODOT reminds everyone to just pull off to the side of a road if a car isn’t running properly.

No one was injured.

Man in stolen armored personnel carrier leads Virginia police on wild chase

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- A man who fled from officers in a stolen armored military vehicle surrendered Tuesday and is now in police custody, according to Virginia State Police.

“As of 9:40 p.m., the driver of the armored personnel carrier had stopped the vehicle and surrendered to Virginia State Police. The vehicle stopped at East Broad Street and 11th Street in the City of Richmond,” a State Police spokesperson said.

WTVR is reporting that a soldier from Fort Pickett stole the tank and drove it from Fort Pickett in Nottoway County north along Interstate 95.

This is INSANE! Someone has hijacked a “Tank-like” vehicle from Fort Pickett and just drove it by our apartment! This is on Broad Street in the Fan. pic.twitter.com/EYfhFux1dk

— Parker Slaybaugh (@ParkerSlay89) June 6, 2018

State police said they were notified at 7:55 p.m. that the vehicle, which is not equipped with a weapon, was taken from Fort Pickett. Police gave chase, driving behind the tank-like vehicle roughly 60 miles north to Richmond. The driver reached speeds of roughly 40 miles per hour, police said.

Driving down Broad Street in Richmond. At least 30 police vehicles pursuing/escorting a tank. I don’t believe what I just typed. pic.twitter.com/knheLHwprb

— Jacob Myers (@Jacob_Myers_25) June 6, 2018

There were no crashes or injuries involving the vehicle, police say.

The driver, an adult male, was taken into Virginia State Police custody after he eventually surrendered in Richmond. Charges are pending.

WTVR sources say the suspect, whose name has not been released, is active duty military and lives in the area.

How robocallers make money even when calls go unanswered

Even if you ignore that annoying robocall, the person behind it might still be making money off the call.

It has to do with caller ID services, as the Wall Street Journal explains in a look at the problem. When a call is made, phone companies query caller ID databases in an attempt to identify the person calling; the companies pay small fees (typically between $0.0025 and $0.005) when a match is made and a name is displayed.

Some caller-ID databases then pass along some of those fees to the company that controls a caller's phone number or the company making the call.

Scammers can purchase blocks of unused phone numbers, submit fake names and addresses for those numbers to caller-ID databases, and watch the pennies trickle in.

With millions of robocalls made per day, those pennies add up. See the Journal for more, including what carriers are doing about the issue.

More From Newser:

Wizard of Oz’s last living munchkin dies at 98

The last surviving munchkin from “Wizard of Oz” has passed away.

According to TMZ, Jerry Maren died over a week ago at a San Diego nursing care facility. His funeral was held over the weekend in Hollywood.

The cause of death is unknown at this time.

Maren is best known for his role alongside Judy Garland in the 1939 classic, as one of the members of ‘The Lollipop Guild’ trio.

Maren was 98.

TMZ says there were multiple reports he died in March 2016, but a friend of Maren’s confirmed the reports were false.

Tracking thunderstorm chances in the days ahead

Even with the high, thin clouds we had from time time daytime highs still warmed up with temperatures between 85 to 90 degrees.

We’ve been keeping an eye on a few storms to our west during the afternoon which could ignite a thunderstorm or two late tonight in our local area especially west of the river.  It will be noticeably warmer and more humid tonight as well with overnight lows around 65 degrees.

It will remain warm but quite humid the next several days as daytime highs climb near or around 90 degrees.  Thunderstorm chances will also continue during this period as well.  The outer edge or periphery of this hot dome of air will determine where these storms evolve and its track across the area.  With plenty of moisture in the air the main threat will be heavy rainfall.    Right now, the better coverage is expected later Thursday and Friday.

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

Download the News 8 Weather App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

Download the free News 8 App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

Woman who appeared on HGTV learns of cancer after doctor watching spots lump on her throat

A North Carolina woman has a New York doctor she’d never met to thank for a potentially life-saving discovery, ABC News reports.

Dr. Erich Voigt, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at NYU Langone Health, was watching the HGTV show “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” when he noticed a lump in a woman’s neck that he knew needed medical attention.

Having no idea who the woman was or how to reach out to her, Voigt turned to social media.

“I am watching a tv show and notice this woman has a left thyroid mass. She needs a sonogram and fine needle biopsy. I wonder if she knows and hope it’s benign. #beachfrontbargainhunt,” he posted on Facebook, along with a clip from the episode.

Voigt said several people saw his video and “eventually through numerous connections someone contacted the woman!”

Finally in touch with her, Voigt informed Nicole McGuinness, 32, of Havelock, she needed a sonogram and a biopsy.

McGuinness, already a brain cancer survivor, went to a doctor and was ultimately diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

“It’s just a miracle in my opinion that he happened to see this on TV,” McGuinness told ABC News. “I can’t express how grateful I am.”

In a follow-up post on Facebook, Voigt credited the “awesome power of Facebook and good people” for being able to help McGuinness.

Burlington officials settle with family of Iowa woman killed by officer

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — A city in Iowa has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to settle a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of a woman who was mistakenly shot and killed by a police officer, attorneys confirmed Wednesday.

Attorneys for the city of Burlington and the estate of Autumn Steele notified a federal court of the settlement Wednesday, which was reached verbally a day earlier.

The deal will resolve a lawsuit that claimed a police officer acted recklessly when he killed Steele, then participated in a cover-up that portrayed the shooting as justified as a result of an attacking dog.

Officer Jesse Hill was responding to a domestic disturbance involving the 34-year-old Steele and her husband outside their home in January 2015.  One shot struck Steele in the chest and killed her as one of her two young sons was feet away.

Watch here, body camera video of officer-involved shooting incident: 

An attorney for Steele's estate argued in federal court last month that police video that's been kept secret for years contradicts the official narrative that the dog attacked and bit Hill. The video gives no indication that there was a bite or that Hill was injured, as he claimed in his police report and a prosecutor asserted in ruling the shooting was justified, attorney Dave O'Brien argued. A judge was considering whether to allow the lawsuit to move forward.

O'Brien said the settlement will include a monetary payment from the city of about 25,000 people that's about 150 miles  southeast of Des Moines. He said the amount will be released after the deal is finalized and put in writing.

"We're pleased with the settlement," he said.

Martha Shaff, an attorney representing the city and Hill, confirmed a deal was reached but declined comment. She had argued in court that Hill's actions weren't unreasonable when he was approaching a chaotic domestic disturbance and unfriendly dog.

City Manager Jim Ferneau referred questions to another attorney, who wasn't immediately available.

The city and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation have been faulted for years for withholding additional police video and other documents related to the case. An Iowa Public Information Board enforcement action in the matter remains pending.

Trump considers dozens of new pardons: Will Blago go free?

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(CNN) — The White House has assembled the paperwork to pardon dozens of people, two sources with knowledge of the developments tell CNN, signaling that President Donald Trump is poised to exert his constitutional power and intervene, in some instances, where he believes the Justice Department has overstepped.

The administration has prepared the pardoning paperwork for at least 30 people, the sources tell CNN. The President signed paperwork for one of those individuals on Wednesday: 63-year-old Alice Marie Johnson, whose life sentence was commuted by the President, according to two sources. Johnson was sentenced in 1996 on charges related to cocaine possession and money laundering.

Kim Kardashian West met with Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner in the Oval Office last week in an attempt to convince him to pardon her. Trump has not yet decided whether he will move forward with either a pardon or commutation for Johnson.

While Trump has expressed interest in recent days in doing so, his chief of staff, John Kelly, has advocated against it, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

One source familiar with the situation said Kushner has advocated for the Johnson pardon because it will help draw attention to the need for prison reform and what he views as unjust prison sentences.

The White House counsel’s office is also currently reviewing potential clemency for a handful of individuals with cases similar to Johnson’s who are neither celebrities nor political allies of the White House, the source said.

The Washington Post first reported that the White House had prepared the paperwork to pardon Johnson.

Last week, the President pardoned conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza and told reporters he was considering pardoning Martha Stewart and commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. He raised eyebrows on Monday when he stated his belief that he had the “absolute right” to pardon himself, but said he wouldn’t do so because he had “done nothing wrong.”

In light of his recent pardoning spree, several of the President’s outside friends and allies have begun advocating for people they believe should also be forgiven.

Though past presidents have typically waited until the end of their term to pardon controversial figures, Trump has pardoned five people during his 17 months in office. Most are unexpected or benefit political supporters. In addition to D’Souza, who pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign finance laws in 2014, he has granted forgiveness to former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former Navy sailor Kristian Saucier and the first black heavyweight boxing champion, Jack Johnson, thus far.

Who Trump pardons has oftentimes come as a jolt to his own staff, and on some occasions, the person being pardoned.

“I have never met President Trump in my life,” D’Souza told CNN Tuesday. “I have spoken to him once before on the telephone, but I have never met him. The time I talked to him about my pardon was only the second time I’ve spoken to him, ever.”

When ABC News reported in April that the President was poised to pardon Libby, it was not just a surprise to his friends and family, but him as well, according to a source familiar with the pardon. Bill Jeffress, his primary trial lawyer, said he learned about the pardon from media reports.

Trump has not followed the typical procedure for granting pardons, often choosing instead to bypass the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney while wielding his constitutional power.

The office recently informed 180 petitioners that they would not be granted clemency at this time, a White House official confirmed to CNN, but the administration has said it will continue to review pardons and make decisions on a rolling basis. There are currently 2,108 petitions for pardons, according to the Office of the Pardon Attorney.

The office had made clear in its guidelines that a pardon does not establish innocence.

“A presidential pardon is ordinarily a sign of forgiveness. A pardon is not a sign of vindication and does not connote or establish innocence. For that reason, when considering the merits of a pardon petition, pardon officials take into account the petitioner’s acceptance of responsibility, remorse and atonement for the offense,” according to the written instructions.

Critics have raised the question of whether Trump is sending a signal to his former allies and aides who are facing criminal charges in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation with his robust use of his pardoning power.

But when he was asked in April whether he would consider a pardon for Michael Cohen, his longtime lawyer who is now under federal investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations, Trump snapped a two-word response: “Stupid question.”