US Politics in Trump era Public date: 19.09.2019 21:40:40

Publisher: Mother Jones

Author:

14 Aug 2019

Donald Trump Jr. Apparently Has No Idea What a Conflict of Interest Is

Donald Trump Jr. flew to Indonesia this week to help cut the ribbon on two new Trump-branded resorts. When he was there, he told reporters that the idea that the president’s business interests in the country would affect American policy was “totally asinine.” But even as Trump Jr. dismissed the potential for a conflict of interest, his father’s business partner, Indonesian billionaire and political impresario Hary Tanoesoedibjo, explicitly promoted the event as a visit from the US president’s son.
Donald Trump Jr. flew to Indonesia this week to help cut the ribbon on two new Trump-branded resorts. When he was...

Publisher: The Independent

Author:

22 Jun 2019

How government money follows Trump on presidential visits to his clubs

When Donald Trump finished the first official rally of his re-election campaign this week, he got on Air Force One. But he didn't go home to Washington. Instead, he flew 190 miles in the opposite direction – to visit his own Doral golf resort, outside Miami. It would be his 126th visit to one of his properties since taking office. And this visit – like more than a dozen before it – would bring paying customers, allowing Mr Trump to play a double role.
When Donald Trump finished the first official rally of his re-election campaign this week, he got on Air Force One. But...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

11 Jun 2019

Company part-owned by Jared Kushner got $90m from unknown offshore investors since 2017

A real estate company part-owned by Jared Kushner has received $90m in foreign funding from an opaque offshore vehicle since he entered the White House as a senior adviser to his father-in-law Donald Trump. Investment has flowed from overseas to the company, Cadre, while Kushner works as an international envoy for the US, according to corporate filings and interviews. The money came through a vehicle run by Goldman Sachs in the Cayman Islands, a tax haven that guarantees corporate secrecy.
A real estate company part-owned by Jared Kushner has received $90m in foreign funding from an opaque offshore vehicle...
7 Jun 2019

Trump family members promote themselves, and businesses, on European trip

As parties go, it’s hard to top a state dinner with the queen of England, but President Trump’s sons — Donald Jr. and Eric — tried to keep the revelry going during an impromptu pub crawl in Doonbeg, Ireland, where they bought rounds of Guinness for the locals and reveled in the adoration of a village where the Trump family owns property.
As parties go, it’s hard to top a state dinner with the queen of England, but President Trump’s sons — Donald Jr....
15 Mar 2019

Republicans Laugh Off Concerns About Corporations Putting Money In Trump’s Pocket

Republicans on the House antitrust panel laughed off Democrats’ questions over T-Mobile’s spending at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. immediately after the company announced a mega-merger with Sprint. One day after the merger announcement, nine T-Mobile executives checked in to Trump’s D.C. hotel, The Washington Post reported in January. The company ultimately spent $195,000 on 38 nights at the hotel as T-Mobile executives descended on Washington to meet with regulators about the proposed merger.
Republicans on the House antitrust panel laughed off Democrats’ questions over T-Mobile’s spending at the Trump...
6 Mar 2019

The Making of the Fox News White House

In January, during the longest government shutdown in America’s history, President Donald Trump rode in a motorcade through Hidalgo County, Texas, eventually stopping on a grassy bluff overlooking the Rio Grande. The White House wanted to dramatize what Trump was portraying as a national emergency: the need to build a wall along the Mexican border. The presence of armored vehicles, bales of confiscated marijuana, and federal agents in flak jackets underscored the message.
In January, during the longest government shutdown in America’s history, President Donald Trump rode in a motorcade...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

20 Feb 2019

Intimidation, Pressure and Humiliation: Inside Trump’s Two-Year War on the Investigations Encircling Him

As federal prosecutors in Manhattan gathered evidence late last year about President Trump’s role in silencing women with hush payments during the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump called Matthew G. Whitaker, his newly installed attorney general, with a question. He asked whether Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York and a Trump ally, could be put in charge of the widening investigation, according to several American officials with direct knowledge of the call.
As federal prosecutors in Manhattan gathered evidence late last year about President Trump’s role in silencing women...

Publisher: Vanity Fair

Author:

15 Feb 2019

William Barr’s Son-in-Law Just Landed a Job Advising Trump on “Legal Issues”

CNN reports that McGaughey, the husband of Barr’s youngest daughter, has been hired as an attorney in the White House counsel’s office, where he’ll “advise the president, the executive office, and White House staff on legal issues concerning the president and the presidency.”
CNN reports that McGaughey, the husband of Barr’s youngest daughter, has been hired as an attorney in the White House...
21 Jan 2019

China Grants Ivanka Trump 5 More Trademarks Ahead Of Trade Negotiations

China has granted Ivanka Trump’s company preliminary approval for another five trademarks this month, as her father’s administration pushes ahead on trade negotiations with China, Time Magazine reported Monday.
China has granted Ivanka Trump’s company preliminary approval for another five trademarks this month, as her...
16 Jan 2019

A Coal Baron’s Takeover of the EPA Is Nearly Complete

A few weeks after President Donald Trump moved into the White House, he received a memo from one of his biggest campaign donors: Robert Murray, the CEO of Murray Energy, America’s largest private coal company. Emblazoned with the words “Action Plan,” it was essentially a wish list of all the environmental regulations Murray wanted Trump to get rid of.
A few weeks after President Donald Trump moved into the White House, he received a memo from one of his biggest campaign...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

12 Jan 2019

F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia

In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.
In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

21 Dec 2018

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Resigns, Rebuking Trump’s Worldview

Jim Mattis, the four-star Marine general turned defense secretary, resigned on Thursday in protest of President Trump’s decision to withdraw 2,000 American troops from Syria, where they have been fighting the Islamic State.Mr. Trump announced the resignation in two tweets Thursday evening, and said Mr. Mattis will leave at the end of February.
Jim Mattis, the four-star Marine general turned defense secretary, resigned on Thursday in protest of President...

Publisher: Forbes

Author:

8 Dec 2018

How Donald Trump Shifted $1.1M Of Campaign-Donor Money Into His Business

On the day Donald Trump became president of the United States, while inauguration festivities were still in full swing, he officially launched his 2020 reelection campaign. Donations poured in from more than 50,000 people across the country. But according to the latest federal filings, Trump still has not donated a penny of his own, while his businesses continued to charge the campaign for hotels, food, rent and legal consulting. That means the richest president in American history has turned $1.1 million from donors across the country into revenue for himself.
On the day Donald Trump became president of the United States, while inauguration festivities were still in full swing,...
6 Dec 2018

Saudi-funded lobbyist paid for 500 rooms at Trump’s hotel after 2016 election

Lobbyists representing the Saudi government reserved blocks of rooms at President Trump’s D.C. hotel within a month of Trump’s election in 2016 — paying for an estimated 500 nights at the luxury hotel in just three months, according to organizers of the trips and documents obtained by The Washington Post. At the time, these lobbyists were reserving large numbers of D.C.-area hotel rooms as part of an unorthodox campaign that offered U.S. military veterans a free trip to Washington — then sent them to Capitol Hill to lobby against a law the Saudis opposed, according to veterans and organizers.
Lobbyists representing the Saudi government reserved blocks of rooms at President Trump’s D.C. hotel within a month of...
5 Dec 2018

D.C., Maryland begin seeking Trump financial documents in case related to his D.C. hotel

The attorneys general for Maryland and the District of Columbia are issuing subpoenas for financial records and other documents from more than a dozen of President Trump’s private entities Tuesday as part of an ongoing lawsuit alleging that the president’s business violates the Constitution’s ban on gifts or payments from foreign governments.
The attorneys general for Maryland and the District of Columbia are issuing subpoenas for financial records and other...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

30 Nov 2018

Michael Cohen Admits Talks for Trump Over Moscow Tower Occurred Well Into Campaign

Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, admitted in court on Thursday that he had engaged in negotiations to build a tower in Moscow for Mr. Trump well into the 2016 presidential campaign, far later than previously known.
Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, admitted in court on Thursday that he had engaged in...
13 Nov 2018

Trump properties made millions off the midterm election

Trump-owned and branded properties cashed in during the midterm elections, according to a CNN analysis which found that campaigns and outside groups spent at least $3.2 million at the hotels and resorts. The CNN analysis of Federal Election Commission data found that the Republican National Committee was the biggest customer, spending at least $1.2 million at Trump-branded properties since the beginning of 2017.
Trump-owned and branded properties cashed in during the midterm elections, according to a CNN analysis which found that...

Publisher: Reuters

Author:

7 Nov 2018

China grants more trademark approvals for Ivanka Trump firm – including voting machines

China last month granted initial approval for 16 new trademarks for the fashion brand of U.S. President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka, including voting machines, a search of official records on Tuesday showed. Ivanka announced in July she was shutting her fashion line to focus on her role as an informal White House adviser, where she is working on advancing working women.
China last month granted initial approval for 16 new trademarks for the fashion brand of U.S. President Donald Trump’s...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

17 Oct 2018

To Avoid Conflicts, Rick Scott Created a Trust Blind in Name Only

Rick Scott had been governor of Florida for barely three months when questions first mounted about conflicts of interest. Fabulously wealthy but a newcomer to politics, Mr. Scott mandated random drug testing for state workers in March 2011, and was pushing the legislature to require it for welfare recipients. The Republican governor, who had made his fortune as a health care executive and investor, also proposed reorienting the state’s Medicaid system toward managed care.
Rick Scott had been governor of Florida for barely three months when questions first mounted about conflicts of...
17 Oct 2018

Does Saudi Arabia Own Donald Trump?

In this video essay, I examine Trump’s long history of doing deals with Saudi royals and look back at how the former reality TV star even bragged about his financial ties to the kingdom during the election campaign.
In this video essay, I examine Trump’s long history of doing deals with Saudi royals and look back at how the former...
9 Oct 2018

Trump team’s contact with Mueller targets could taint findings

Donald Trump’s lawyers have maintained an unusual level of contact with attorneys representing clients caught up in the expanding Russia probe, communication that could taint evidence that special counsel Robert Mueller is collecting in his investigation of the president. They’re not being shy about it either.
Donald Trump’s lawyers have maintained an unusual level of contact with attorneys representing clients caught up in...
16 Aug 2018

Thanks to their NDAs, Trump officials have no credibility. These clips prove it.

On the heels of former Trump campaign and White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman saying she’s heard tape of President Trump using the N-word, Trump’s allies have taken to the cable news networks to defend his reputation. But there’s one big problem — because they’ve signed non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), even if they have heard Trump using a racial slur, they’re legally prohibited from saying so.
On the heels of former Trump campaign and White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman saying she’s heard tape of...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

6 Aug 2018

Steel Giants With Ties to Trump Officials Block Tariff Relief for Hundreds of Firms

Two of America’s biggest steel manufacturers — both with deep ties to administration officials — have successfully objected to hundreds of requests by American companies that buy foreign steel to exempt themselves from President Trump’s stiff metal tariffs. They have argued that the imported products are readily available from American steel manufacturers.
Two of America’s biggest steel manufacturers — both with deep ties to administration officials — have successfully...
26 Jul 2018

Emoluments Lawsuit, Accusing Trump of Violating Constitution, Clears a Hurdle

A lawsuit accusing President Trump of violating the Constitution by maintaining a financial interest in his company’s Washington hotel cleared a critical hurdle on Wednesday when a federal judge allowed the case to move forward.The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland, say that Mr. Trump’s profits from the Trump International Hotel, just blocks from the White House, violate anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution and take business from local convention centers and hotels.
A lawsuit accusing President Trump of violating the Constitution by maintaining a financial interest in his company’s...

Publisher: The Week

Author:

20 Jul 2018

There must be a reckoning

President Trump committed yet another grotesque violation of the Constitution on his recent trip to Scotland, when he used nearly $70,000  in public money to pay for rooms at a hotel in Scotland he owns directly, The Scotsman reports.
President Trump committed yet another grotesque violation of the Constitution on his recent trip to...
13 Jul 2018

Andrew Cuomo’s Biggest Donors Rake in Millions From ICE

ndrew Cuomo has a glaring conflict of interest when it comes to the politics of abolishing ICE. Luxury landlords across the state collect millions in rent from the agency — money they have turned around and funneled to Cuomo’s political campaigns, according to a new report by the New York-based watchdog group Public Accountability Initiative. 
ndrew Cuomo has a glaring conflict of interest when it comes to the politics of abolishing ICE....
11 Jul 2018

Giuliani works for foreign clients while serving as Trump’s attorney

Rudolph W. Giuliani continues to work on behalf of foreign clients both personally and through his namesake security firm while serving as President Trump’s personal attorney — an arrangement experts say raises  conflict-of-interest concerns and could run afoul of federal ethics  laws.
Rudolph W. Giuliani continues to work on behalf of foreign clients both personally...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

11 Jul 2018

Showdown on a Trump Subpoena Could Overshadow Brett Kavanaugh’s Confirmation

Mr. Trump’s choice for the court, Judge  Brett M. Kavanaugh, has expressed strong support for executive power, hostility to administrative agencies and support for gun rights and religious freedom. Those are all conventional positions among conservative lawyers and judges. But there is one stance that sets Judge Kavanaugh apart, and it could not be more timely: his deep skepticism of the wisdom of forcing a sitting president  to answer questions in criminal cases.
Mr. Trump’s choice for the court, Judge  Brett M. Kavanaugh, has expressed strong support for executive power,...

Publisher: Politico

Author:

10 Jul 2018

Illinois governor profits off ICE detention center contracts

Gov. Bruce Rauner this year reported a profit from a private equity fund that owns a health care group servicing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers, including facilities that hold immigrant families with children.. The financial connection between a sitting governor and for-profit ICE detention contractors is one that immigration rights groups insist is a clear conflict of interest. They also point to Correct Care Solutions’ track record involving dozens of lawsuits alleging wide-ranging negligence.
Gov. Bruce Rauner this year reported a profit from a private equity fund that owns a health care group servicing U.S....

Publisher: Forbes

Author:

20 Jun 2018

Wilbur Ross Confirms He Made False Statement

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross told federal ethics officials last November that he had gotten rid of all assets that he promised to divest. But he admitted that was not true in a new filing released Monday afternoon.
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross told federal ethics officials last November that he had gotten rid of all assets that...
13 Jun 2018

More Than Just Russia — There’s a Strong Case for the Trump Team Colluding With Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the UAE

It is a major mistake to place all focus on Russia. We know that Trump’s team has colluded with Israel. We know they colluded with Saudi Arabia. We know they colluded with the United Arab Emirates.
It is a major mistake to place all focus on Russia. We know that Trump’s team has...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

12 Jun 2018

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Benefited From Busy 2017 in Investing, Filing Shows

Even after they ascended to top White House positions, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner continued to benefit from an extraordinary number of  investment deals carried out by the companies they once ran, ethics  filings released Monday evening showed.
Even after they ascended to top White House positions, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner continued to benefit...

Publisher: DealStreetAsia

Author:

2 Jun 2018

S.Korean firms buy $100m debt on residential property associated with Kushner Cos.

Two South Korean financial firms have bought $100 million of debt on a New Jersey  residential building that’s part-owned by the family of Jared Kushner. Nonghyup Bank and trusts affiliated with IGIS Asset Management purchased junior pieces of a $200 million loan made by Citigroup Inc. on 65 Bay St., an apartment tower in Jersey City, Kroll Bond Rating Agency said in  a research report Thursday.
Two South Korean financial firms have bought $100 million of debt on a New Jersey  residential building that’s...
24 May 2018

A Jared Kushner company is seeking $100 million from a Saudi-tied fund – Business Insider

A real estate startup partly-owned by presidential senior adviser Jared Kushner is seeking an investment of at least $100 million from a private fund backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
A real estate startup partly-owned by presidential senior adviser Jared Kushner is seeking an investment of at least...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

21 May 2018

Advising Bolton Is a ‘Shadow N.S.C.’

The new national security adviser has been quietly taking advice from a few associates. Some have business interests that overlap with the National Security Council. Nearly two months into Mr. Bolton’s tenure, some people familiar with the N.S.C. say the influence of his associates can be seen in the agency’s effort to crack down on leaks, as well as an exodus of agency staff  and a roster of candidates now under consideration to take their place, and have taken to calling the associates a “shadow N.S.C.”
The new national security adviser has been quietly taking advice from a few associates. Some have business interests...
18 May 2018

Kushners Near Deal With Qatar-Linked Company for Troubled Tower

The company controlled by the family of the White House adviser Jared Kushner is close to receiving a bailout of its financially troubled  flagship building by a company with ties to the government of Qatar, according to executives briefed on the deal.
The company controlled by the family of the White House adviser Jared Kushner is close to receiving a bailout of...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

Author:

10 Apr 2018

Someone is doing Jared Kushner a huge favor. But we don’t know who.

Upon entering the White House, Jared Kushner divested the property only in the most technical sense. He “sold” the assets to his brother and a trust controlled by his mother. A lawyer described the transaction to the New York Times as a “shell game.” Now, with Kushner ensconced as a senior adviser in the White House, someone has emerged to bail him and his family out of this mess. The identity of Kushner’s white knight is a mystery.
Upon entering the White House, Jared Kushner divested the property only in the most technical sense. He “sold” the...
9 Apr 2018

Ivanka Trump’s clothing company will be spared from tariffs, thanks to her dad

The steel and aluminum industries in China will soon be slapped with tariffs up to $50 billion by President Donald Trump. On Thursday, after China announced their intentions to retaliate against the United States with $50 billion in tariffs of their own against U.S. goods, Trump warned that his administration would respond with another set of tariffs, this time targeting $100 billion worth of Chinese goods. Exempt from the proposed tariffs against China, however, is the clothing manufacturing industry.
The steel and aluminum industries in China will soon be slapped with tariffs up to $50 billion by President Donald...
1 Apr 2018

The Kushners Saw Redemption in the White House. It Was a Mirage.

The elder Mr. Kushner, his company and his family are assailed by criminal and regulatory inquiries largely rooted in their newfound access to presidential power. The family’s East Coast-based real estate empire is under a fiscal and ethical cloud, shunned by some investors  who fear being dragged into the spotlight trained on the Kushner nexus with President Trump. Two major Manhattan properties are on creditors’ watch lists, one after foreign investors backed out of a financing deal.
The elder Mr. Kushner, his company and his family are assailed by criminal and regulatory inquiries...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

Author:

3 Mar 2018

Trump confidant dumped millions in steel-related stock last week

Billionaire investor and longtime Trump confidant Carl Icahn dumped $31.3 million of stock in a company heavily dependent on steel last week, just days before Trump announced plans to impose steep tariffs on steel imports.
Billionaire investor and longtime Trump confidant Carl Icahn dumped $31.3 million of stock in a company heavily...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

1 Mar 2018

Apollo, the private equity firm, and Citigroup made large loans last year to the family real estate business of Jared Kushner

Joshua Harris, a founder of Apollo Global Management, was advising Trump administration officials on infrastructure policy. During that period,  he met on multiple occasions with Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, said three people familiar with the meetings. Among other things, the two men discussed a possible White House job for Mr. Harris. The  job never materialized, but in November, Apollo lent $184 million to  Mr. Kushner’s family real estate firm, Kushner Companies.
Joshua Harris, a founder of Apollo Global Management, was advising Trump administration officials on infrastructure...
3 Feb 2018

Husband of former Trump household aide scores government job

A home improvement contractor married to one of Donald and Melania  Trump’s former household staffers is now working as an official at the  Environmental Protection Agency, the latest example of someone with a personal connection to the Trump family finding work in the administration.
A home improvement contractor married to one of Donald and Melania  Trump’s former household staffers is...
13 Jan 2018

Education Dept. awards debt-collection contract to company with ties to DeVos

A company that once had financial ties to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was one of two firms selected Thursday by the Education Department to help the agency collect overdue student loans. The deal could be  worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
A company that once had financial ties to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was one of two firms selected Thursday by the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

7 Jan 2018

Kushner’s Financial Ties to Israel Deepen Even With Mideast Diplomatic Role

Last May, Jared Kushner accompanied President Trump, his father-in-law, on the pair’s first diplomatic trip to Israel, part of Mr. Kushner’s White House assignment to achieve peace in the Middle East. Shortly before, his family real estate company received a roughly $30 million investment from Menora Mivtachim, an insurer that is one of Israel’s largest financial institutions, according to a Menora executive.
Last May, Jared Kushner accompanied President Trump, his father-in-law, on the pair’s first...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

6 Dec 2017

Tax Plan Crowns a Big Winner: Trump’s Industry

House and Senate  Republicans, in their divergent bills, both offered steeply reduced rates to corporate giants, partnerships and family-owned firms across the board. But when it came time to eliminate special breaks or impose tighter standards, real estate was generally excused from the room.
House and Senate  Republicans, in their divergent bills, both offered steeply reduced...
25 Nov 2017

Jared Kushner’s Vast Duties, and Visibility in White House, Shrink

At a senior staff meeting early in President Trump’s tenure, Reince Priebus, then the White House chief of staff, posed a simple question to Jared Kushner: What would his newly created Office of American Innovation do? Mr. Kushner brushed him off, according to people privy to the exchange. Given that he and his top lieutenants were paid little or nothing, Mr. Kushner asked, “What do you care?” He emphasized his point with an expletive.
At a senior staff meeting early in President Trump’s tenure, Reince Priebus, then the White House...
8 Nov 2017

The seven Republican super-donors who keep money in tax havens

Seven Republican super-donors helped bankroll the conservative push for power in the 2016 election cycle, between them pumping more than $350m (£264m) into federal and state races. The seven have their divisions, especially over Donald Trump. Warren Stephens was a major backer of the Stop Trump movement last year, while Geoff Palmer was among the then Republican nominee’s biggest financial backers.
Seven Republican super-donors helped bankroll the conservative push for power in the 2016 election cycle,...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

6 Nov 2017

Trump commerce secretary’s business links with Putin family laid out in leaked files

Donald Trump’s commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, is doing business with Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law through a shipping venture in Russia. Leaked documents and public filings show that Ross holds a stake in a shipping company, Navigator, through a chain of offshore investments. Navigator operates a lucrative partnership with Sibur, a Russian gas company part-owned by Kirill Shamalov, the husband of Putin’s daughter Katerina Tikhonova.
Donald Trump’s commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, is doing business with Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law...
3 Oct 2017

Trump’s company had more contact with Russia during campaign, according to documents turned over to investigators

In one case, Trump’s personal attorney and a business associate exchanged emails weeks before the Republican National Convention about the lawyer possibly traveling to an economic conference in Russia that would be attended by top Russian financial and government leaders, including President Vladi­mir Putin, according to people familiar with the correspondence.
In one case, Trump’s personal attorney and a business associate exchanged emails weeks before the Republican...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

3 Oct 2017

E.P.A. Chief’s Calendar: A Stream of Industry Meetings and Trips Home

Since taking office in February, Mr. Trump’s E.P.A. chief has held back-to-back meetings, briefing sessions and speaking engagements almost daily with top corporate executives and lobbyists from all the major economic sectors that he regulates — and almost no meetings with  environmental groups or consumer or public health advocates, according to a 320-page accounting of his daily schedule from February through May, the most detailed look yet at what Mr. Pruitt has been up to since he took over the agency.
Since taking office in February, Mr. Trump’s E.P.A. chief has held...
29 Sep 2017

Judiciary Committee Approves Trump Pick for DOJ Crime Chief

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Justice Department’s criminal division on Thursday, despite concerns from Democrats. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said Thursday that he was concerned that Benczkowski, a former Republican Judiciary Committee staffer, joining the criminal division could compromise the wall between Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who served on the committee while in the Senate and has recused himself from the Mueller investigation.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Justice Department’s criminal...
12 Sep 2017

Trump organization hires Chinese company for Dubai project

A construction company owned by the Chinese government was hired to work on the latest Trump golf club development in Dubai despite a pledge from Donald Trump that his family business would not engage in any transactions with foreign government entities while he serves as president.
A construction company owned by the Chinese government was hired to work on the latest Trump golf club development in...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

29 Jul 2017

Newt Gingrich, While Helping Shape Health Reform Repeal, Consults for Blue Cross Blue Shield

Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich appears regularly in the media to talk about his ideas for the future of health care in America without mentioning one very important fact: His consulting company advises a health insurance company.
Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich appears regularly in the media to talk about his ideas for the future...

Publisher: The Hill

Author:

29 Jul 2017

Koch network teaming up with Trump officials for tax-reform event

The billionaire Koch Brothers, and conservative “think tanks” that support them, have spent hundreds of millions trying to convince ordinary Americans that cutting corporate tax rates and repealing the estate tax is a good idea, using the language of “freedom from big government.” But if President Trump’s current tax plan sees the light of day, corporations will get a $2.4 trillion tax break, and the wealthiest two-tenths of one percent of Americans will get a $328 billion tax giveaway, just from one of his plan’s provisions—repealing the estate tax. Getting rid of the estate tax would also give Donald Trump’s own family a $4 billion tax handout, and the Koch Brothers, some $34 billion.
The billionaire Koch Brothers, and conservative “think tanks” that support them, have spent hundreds of millions...
28 Jul 2017

The $180 million conflict that kept Scaramucci out of the White House in January has only gotten shadier

Let's not be naive. If I told you that a firm with ties to a sometimes adversarial foreign power was trying to overpay a Trump administration official for their now struggling business, you might say, "Gee, that seems like a conflict the White House doesn't need right now." But here we are.
Let's not be naive. If I told you that a firm with ties to a sometimes adversarial foreign power was trying to...
21 Jul 2017

Trump lifted the cap on H-2B worker visas. Then his businesses asked for 76 of them.

This week, the Trump administration defied its “America First” rhetoric with a policy change that would make it easier for companies to hire guest workers from foreign countries. The Trump Organization is already poised to benefit from it. On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security raised the cap on H-2B visas for foreign guest workersfrom 66,000 visas per year to 81,000. On Thursday — just three days later — Trump’s properties told the Department of Labor that they wanted approval to hire 76 guest workers using those visas. 
This week, the Trump administration defied its “America First” rhetoric with a policy change that would make it...
19 Jul 2017

Trump and Putin Held a Second, Undisclosed, Private Conversation

While the leaders-and-spouses dinner was on Mr. Trump’s public schedule, the news media was not allowed to witness any part of it, nor were reporters provided with an account of what transpired. “We’re all going to be wondering what was said, and that’s where it’s unfortunate that there was no U.S. interpreter, because there is no independent American account of what happened,” said Steven Pifer, a former ambassador to Ukraine who also specializes in Russia and nuclear  arms control.
While the leaders-and-spouses dinner was on Mr. Trump’s public schedule, the news media was not allowed to witness any...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

Author:

18 Jul 2017

This is how the Kochs’ anti-renewable agenda becomes White House policy

President-elect Donald Trump raised eyebrows late last year when he named  the head of an obscure right-wing think tank, with close ties to petrochemical billionaires Charles and David Koch, to lead his energy transition team. Since then, officials from the Institute for Energy Research (IER) have been appointed to high-level positions at the Department of Energy where they are playing major roles in implementing pro-fossil fuel, anti-renewable energy policies.
President-elect Donald Trump raised eyebrows late last year when he named  the head of an obscure right-wing...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

11 Jul 2017

Jared Kushner Tried and Failed to Get a Half-Billion Dollar Bailout From Qatar

Not long before a major crisis ripped through the Middle East, pitting the United States and a bloc of Gulf countries against Qatar, Jared Kushner’s real estate company had unsuccessfully sought a critical half-billion dollar investment from one of the richest and most influential men in the tiny nation, according to three well-placed sources with knowledge of the near transaction. Qatar is facing an ongoing blockade led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and joined by Egypt and Bahrain, which President Trump has taken credit for sparking. Kushner, meanwhile, has reportedly played a key behind-the-scenes role in hardening the U.S. posture toward the embattled nation.
Not long before a major crisis ripped through the Middle East, pitting the United States and a bloc of Gulf...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

11 Jul 2017

The Deep Industry Ties of Trump’s Deregulation Teams

President  Trump entered office pledging to cut red tape, and within weeks, he ordered his administration to assemble teams to aggressively scale back government regulations. But the effort — a signature theme in Mr. Trump’s populist campaign for the White House — is being conducted in large part out of public view and often by political appointees with deep industry ties and potential  conflicts.
President  Trump entered office pledging to cut red tape, and within weeks, he ordered his administration to...
21 Jun 2017

Trump seeks sharp cuts to housing aid, except for program that brings him millions

President Trump’s budget calls for sharply reducing funding for programs that shelter the poor and combat homelessness — with a notable exception: It leaves intact a type of federal housing subsidy that is  paid directly to private landlords.One of those landlords is Trump himself, who earns millions of dollars each year as a part-owner of Starrett City, the nation’s largest subsidized housing complex. Trump’s 4 percent stake in the Brooklyn complex earned him at least $5 million between January of last year and April 15, according to his recent financial disclosure.
President Trump’s budget calls for sharply reducing funding for programs that shelter the poor and combat...
20 Jun 2017

At height of Russia tensions, Trump campaign chairman Manafort met with business associate from Ukraine

Investigators show interest in Manafort and his business colleague Kilimnik, a Russian army veteran. Kilimnik said his meetings with Manafort were “private visits” that were “in no way related to politics or the presidential campaign in the U.S.” He said he did not meet with Trump or other campaign staff members. However, he said their contacts included discussions “related to the perception of the U.S. presidential campaign in Ukraine.”
Investigators show interest in Manafort and his business colleague Kilimnik, a Russian army veteran. Kilimnik said his...
18 Jun 2017

Trump’s Business Ties in the Gulf Raise Questions About His Allegiances

President Trump has done business with royals from Saudi Arabia for at least 20 years, since he sold the Plaza Hotel to a partnership formed by a Saudi prince. Mr. Trump has earned millions of dollars from the United Arab Emirates for putting his name on a golf course, with a second soon to open. He has never entered the booming market in neighboring Qatar, however, despite years of trying.
President Trump has done business with royals from Saudi Arabia for at least 20 years, since he...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

18 Jun 2017

Russia Renewed Unused Trump Trademarks in 2016

The Russian authorities recently made sure that another piece of valuable property — the intellectual kind — bearing the same name remained safely in Mr. Trump’s portfolio. Under normal circumstances, renewing trademarks in Russia is generally a routine matter, and there is nothing to suggest from the few public records available that Mr. Trump was shown favoritism. Still, extensions are not guaranteed and can be subject to challenge — particularly if, as in this case, the trademarks went unused for years, according to interviews with a half-dozen lawyers specializing in intellectual property law.
The Russian authorities recently made sure that another piece of valuable property — the intellectual kind...
16 Jun 2017

Trump sells Qatar $12 billion of U.S. weapons days after accusing it of funding terrorism

While President Trump berates Qatar for sponsoring terrorism at the highest levels, he is simultaneously authorizing the country to purchase over $21 billion of U.S. weapons.  One portion of that deal -- $12 billion for 36 F-15QA fighter jets -- was inked on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., when Qatar's Defense Minister met with U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis.
While President Trump berates Qatar for sponsoring terrorism at the highest levels, he is simultaneously authorizing the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

13 Jun 2017

Friend Says Trump Is Considering Firing Mueller as Special Counsel

A longtime friend of President Trump said on Monday that Mr. Trump was considering whether to fire Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating possible ties between the president’s campaign and Russian officials. The startling assertion comes as some of Mr. Trump’s conservative allies, who initially praised Mr. Mueller’s selection as special counsel, have begun trying to attack his credibility.
A longtime friend of President Trump said on Monday that Mr. Trump was considering whether to fire Robert...
11 Jun 2017

DOJ: Trump Can Accept Foreign Payments For His Businesses

The Justice Department asked a court to dismiss the lawsuit brought by a watch dog group alleging  that President Trump is in violation of the Constitution’s Emolument clause. The filing from the federal government on Friday argued that neither the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW), nor the businesses that have joined the lawsuit, have the standing to bring the legal challenge, while asserting that the Emoluments clause does not apply to the sort of profits Trump is benefiting from through his businesses while in office.
The Justice Department asked a court to dismiss the lawsuit brought by a watch dog group alleging  that...

Publisher: CNNMoney

Author:

7 Jun 2017

Oil lobby met with interior secretary at Trump hotel

The oil industry's most powerful lobbying group  met on March 23 with President Trump's interior secretary at the Trump  International Hotel in Washington, DC. It also happened to be the same  day the administration killed a rule that oil companies opposed. The location of the meeting is raising eyebrows and ethical questions. The Trump International Hotel, situated just blocks from the White House, is ground zero for companies and foreign leaders who may be trying to cozy up to the president by using his properties, critics and ethics experts fear. 
The oil industry's most powerful lobbying group  met on March 23 with President Trump's interior secretary at...

Publisher: DailyDems

Author:

5 Jun 2017

Government Ethics Office Drops BOMB On Ivanka Trump And Jared Kushner, They Broke The Law AGAIN

According to a letter sent to Elizabeth Warren and Tom Carper from the Office of Government Ethics, Ivanka Trump must now provide detailed financial disclosures and is barred from working with the Trump family business. “The ethics provisions and requirements...are generally applicable to Ms. Trump. For example, the primary criminal conflict of interest statute  prohibits Ms. Trump from participating in particular matters affecting  her financial interests, including the financial interests of Trump family businesses and other companies in which she has an ownership interest. That conflict of interest statute also covers her spouse’s financial interests, which are imputed to her.
According to a letter sent to Elizabeth Warren and Tom Carper from the Office of Government Ethics, Ivanka Trump must...
1 Jun 2017

White House grants ethics waivers to 17 appointees, including four former lobbyists

The waivers exempt the appointees from certain portions of ethics rules aimed at barring potential conflicts of interest. In letters posted on the White House website, the White House counsel's office wrote that the waivers were in the public interest because the administration had a need for the appointees' expertise on certain issues.
The waivers exempt the appointees from certain portions of ethics rules aimed at barring potential...

Publisher: IBTimes

Author:

31 May 2017

Andrew Cuomo Appoints Trump Adviser To Penn Station Task Force After Big Campaign Donations

Ahead of a potential 2020 presidential bid, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has generated headlines for his public criticism of President Donald Trump. However, Cuomo recently appointed one of the president’s infrastructures advisers after that Trump confidante gave the Democrat's election campaigns $345,000 worth of campaign cash.
Ahead of a potential 2020 presidential bid, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has generated headlines for his public...

Publisher: IBTimes

Author:

30 May 2017

Cory Booker And Jared Kushner: Democrat Received Campaign Cash From Trump’s Son-In-Law

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker — a potential 2020 White House contender and recipient of major campaign contributions from Jared Kushner and others in the Kushner family — declined to endorse his party's call for the White House to revoke the security clearance of the president's son-in-law.
New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker — a potential 2020 White House contender and recipient of major campaign...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

26 May 2017

Join The Intercept in Documenting the Conflicts of Interest of Hundreds of Trump Appointees

The reporters at the Intercept are compiling an ongoing list of Donald Trump appointees, and have found that many of their disclosures are incomplete and riddled with conflict of interest.
The reporters at the Intercept are compiling an ongoing list of Donald Trump appointees, and have found that many of...
23 May 2017

Saudi Arabia, UAE pledge $100 million to ethically questionable fund proposed by Ivanka Trump

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pledged $100 million to  the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs Fund, an initiative proposed by  first daughter and senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump. The fund, which was first announced in April, has already raised serious legal and ethical questions about how a White House adviser can both shape foreign policy and actively solicit donations from foreign countries for the fund.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pledged $100 million to  the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

22 May 2017

White House Moves to Block Ethics Inquiry Into Ex-Lobbyists on Payroll

The  Trump administration, in a significant escalation of its clash with the government’s top ethics watchdog, has moved to block an effort to disclose any ethics waivers granted to former lobbyists who have work in the White House or federal agencies. The  latest conflict came in recent days when the White House, in a highly unusual move, sent a letter to Walter M. Shaub Jr., the head of the Office of Government Ethics, asking him to withdraw a request he had sent to every federal agency for copies of the waivers. In the letter, the administration challenged his legal authority to demand the information.
The  Trump administration, in a significant escalation of its clash with the government’s top...
7 May 2017

At event in Beijing, Kushner family uses promises of a U.S visa to raise money

At an  event in Beijing on Saturday, Nicole Kushner, the sister of White House  senior advisor Jared Kushner, made a hard sell to wealthy Chinese  investors to pour funds into the family’s new real estate development in New Jersey, according to The Washington Post. “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States,” a brochure for the event reportedly declared.
At an  event in Beijing on Saturday, Nicole Kushner, the sister of White House  senior advisor Jared Kushner,...
2 May 2017

Brand Ivanka: inside the tangled empire of the president’s closest ally

She has a White House job and a global business empire modeled on her image. Ethics experts  are increasingly concerned that despite removing herself from the management of her eponymous Ivanka Trump fashion company and becoming an unpaid government employee in March, her political and business interests are still so closely linked that she is deep in an ethical “danger zone” over conflict of interest laws.
She has a White House job and a global business empire modeled on her image. Ethics experts  are increasingly...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

27 Apr 2017

President Trump’s son-in-law, a top adviser, had help building a real estate empire from a member of one of Israel’s wealthiest families.

President Trump’s son-in-law, a top adviser, had help building a real estate empire from a member of one of Israel’s wealthiest families the Raz Steinmetz. Raz's uncle, and the family’s most prominent figure, is the billionaire Beny Steinmetz, who is under scrutiny by law enforcement authorities in four countries. In the United States, federal prosecutors are investigating whether representatives of his firm bribed government officials in Guinea to secure a multibillion dollar mining concession. In Israel, Mr. Steinmetz was detained in December and questioned in a bribery and money laundering investigation. In Switzerland and Guinea, prosecutors have conducted similar inquiries.
President Trump’s son-in-law, a top adviser, had help building a real estate empire from a member of one of Israel’s...

Publisher: CNBC

Author:

27 Apr 2017

Trump has a plan to change the tax code to make himself much, much richer

President Trump is planning to include a massive cut in the top tax rate on "pass-through" companies, from its current level of 39.6 percent to a mere 15 percent, the Wall Street Journal's Michael Bender and Richard Rubin report. This will be sold as a boost for small businesses, and it is, but it is mostly a huge giveaway to the rich — including the president himself.
President Trump is planning to include a massive cut in the top tax rate on "pass-through" companies, from its current...
25 Apr 2017

Are Richard Burr’s financial ties to Russian oil why he’s holding up the Trump-Russia investigation?

Over the past few days various reports have surfaced asserting that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr is sabotaging his own committee’s investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia scandal by refusing to sign off on vital documents. It’s led some to ask if Burr is strategically trying to protect Trump and/or Russia. Now comes the revelation that Burr has an investment in an oil drilling company that partners with a major Russian oil company.
Over the past few days various reports have surfaced asserting that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr...
22 Apr 2017

House Oversight Committee calls on Trump’s business to prove he’s not violating the Constitution

Days after a lawsuit accusing President Trump of violating the Constitution’s “emoluments clause” added more plaintiffs,  the House Oversight Committee is requesting the Trump Organization turn  over documents detailing what processes Trump’s business has implemented, if any, to make sure the president isn’t profiting from foreign governments who want to curry favor with him.
Days after a lawsuit accusing President Trump of violating the Constitution’s “emoluments clause” added more...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

20 Apr 2017

Exxon Mobil Seeks U.S. Sanctions Waiver for Oil Project in Russia

Exxon Mobil is pursuing a waiver from Treasury Department sanctions on Russia so it may drill in the Black Sea in a venture with the Russian state oil company Rosneft, a former State Department official said Wednesday. An oil industry official confirmed the account. The waiver application was made under the Obama administration, the  officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity, and the company has not dropped the proposal.
Exxon Mobil is pursuing a waiver from Treasury Department sanctions on Russia so it may drill in the Black Sea in a...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

19 Apr 2017

Ivanka Trump’s Global Reach, Undeterred by a White House Job

The president’s daughter, now a White House adviser, has filed 173 foreign trademarks in 21 countries, as well as in Hong Kong and the European Union. Even though many of her trademark applications were filed long before she took her government job, they could be decided on by foreign governments while she works in the White House, creating ethical issues with little precedent. While trademarks do not directly confer financial gains, they protect the use of logos and other intellectual property, making them valuable tools for companies looking to build new ventures or expand existing operations.
The president’s daughter, now a White House adviser, has filed 173 foreign trademarks in 21 countries, as well as in...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

16 Apr 2017

With Trump Appointees, a Raft of Potential Conflicts and ‘No Transparency’

President Trump is populating the White House and federal agencies with  former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who in many cases are helping to craft new policies for the same industries in which they recently earned a paycheck.
President Trump is populating the White House and federal agencies with  former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants...
14 Apr 2017

Trump kids push for changes to White House policies to maximize profitability of Trump brand

There’s supposed to be a firewall between President Trump and the business he continues to own, which is being run by his his two adult sons. But there’s already been indications that firewall isn’t as firm as it should be. During a February interview with Forbes, Eric admitted that he plans to give his father quarterly financial updates about how Trump’s sprawling business empire is doing. And earlier this week, Donald Jr. told the Associated Press he “has spoken to his father more frequently in recent weeks.” A new Washington Post report citing 21 of Trump’s aides, confidants, and allies suggests that not only are Eric and Donald Jr. talking with their dad about his business, but they — along with Ivanka Trump and fellow White House staffer Jared Kushner — are exerting their influence to make sure his flagging presidency doesn’t destroy the family brand.
There’s supposed to be a firewall between President Trump and the business he continues to own, which is being run by...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

13 Apr 2017

After Campaign Exit, Manafort Borrowed From Businesses With Trump Ties

A shell company created by Paul Manafort the same day he left the presidential campaign quickly received $13 million in loans from the businesses with ties to Mr. Trump, including one that partners with a Ukrainian-born billionaire and another led by a Trump economic adviser. They were among $20 million in loans secured by properties belonging to Mr. Manafort and his wife.
A shell company created by Paul Manafort the same day he left the presidential campaign quickly received $13 million in...
5 Apr 2017

Trump Can Pull Money From His Businesses Whenever He Wants — Without Ever Telling Us

In an interview with ProPublica, Trump Organization attorney Alan Garten confirmed that President Trump can withdraw profits and underlying assets from his trust at any time.He also said the president has been able to withdraw money since Trump took office on Jan. 20. That language was not included in a Jan. 26 summary of the trust — what’s known as a trust certification — but was included in a Feb. 10 version of the document.
In an interview with ProPublica, Trump Organization attorney Alan Garten confirmed that President Trump can withdraw...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

3 Apr 2017

Trump Aides’ Disclosures Reveal Surge in Lucrative Political Work

As cash has flooded Washington from a variety of groups, even the anti-establishment activists and operatives who sided with President Trump have been enriched. Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, reported earning more than $1 million in income tied to conservative-oriented work, with at least $500,000 of that from entities linked to the conservative megadonor Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, including the Breitbart News Network and Cambridge Analytica, a data mining firm partly owned by Mr. Mercer that worked for the Trump campaign.
As cash has flooded Washington from a variety of groups, even the anti-establishment activists and operatives who sided...
2 Apr 2017

Michael Flynn Failed to Disclose Income From Russia-Linked Entities

Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser who was forced out of the job in February, failed to list payments from Russia-linked entities on the first of two financial disclosure forms released Saturday by the Trump administration. The first form, which he signed in February, does not directly mention a paid speech he gave in Moscow, as well as other payments from companies linked to Russia. The second, an amended version, lists the names of the companies that made the payments under a section for any nongovernment compensation that exceeds $5,000 “in a year.” That list appears to include all of the work that Mr. Flynn, a retired three-star Army general, has done since leaving the military in 2014, without providing compensation figures for any of it.
Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser who was forced out of the job in February, failed to list payments from...
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