US Politics in Trump era Public date: 14.11.2019 12:15:01

Publisher: NYTimes

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24 Jul 2019

Trump Relies on Populist Language, but He Mostly Sides With Corporate Interests

History will record last week as a moment when President Trump turned to raw racial appeals to attack a group of nonwhite lawmakers, but his attacks also underscored a remarkable fact of his first term: His rhetorical appeals to white working-class voters have not been matched by legislative accomplishments aimed at their economic interests.
History will record last week as a moment when President Trump turned to raw racial appeals to attack a group of...
23 Jul 2019

EPA’s watchdog is scrutinizing ethics practices of agency’s former air policy chief

A key architect of the Trump administration’s efforts to weaken federal climate rules is under scrutiny by a federal watchdog for his dealings with industry players who lobbied the government to ease carbon pollution limits. It is the third inquiry into whether Bill Wehrum, who headed the Environmental Protection Agency’s air policy division from November 2017 until last month, violated federal ethics rules.
A key architect of the Trump administration’s efforts to weaken federal climate rules is under scrutiny by a federal...
17 Jun 2019

How Donald Trump silenced the people who could expose his business failures

How did Donald Trump, a self-serving promoter who lost billions of dollars for his investors, convince the world that he is a financial genius? It wasn’t just by fabricating tales of his success. It was also by bullying and silencing people who could have stopped those deceits — particularly reporters and Wall Street analysts — forcing all but a very few into a conspiracy of silence.
How did Donald Trump, a self-serving promoter who lost billions of dollars for his investors, convince the world that he...
11 Apr 2019

Trump hotels exempted from ban on foreign payments under new stance

The Department of Justice has adopted a narrow interpretation of a law meant to bar foreign interests from corrupting federal officials, giving Saudi Arabia, China and other countries leeway to curry favor with Donald Trump via deals with his hotels, condos, trademarks and golf courses, legal and national security experts say.
The Department of Justice has adopted a narrow interpretation of a law meant to bar foreign interests from corrupting...

Publisher: CNBC

Author:

19 Dec 2018

Dozens of complaints against Brett Kavanaugh are dismissed

Federal judges reviewing complaints lodged against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh said Tuesday that the allegations against the former federal appeals court judge are "serious" but that they must dismiss them without determining their merits because of Kavanaugh's October confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
Federal judges reviewing complaints lodged against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh said Tuesday that the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

7 Dec 2018

Making President Trump’s Bed: A Housekeeper Without Papers

During more than five years as a housekeeper at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Victorina Morales has made Donald J. Trump’s bed, cleaned his toilet and dusted his crystal golf trophies. When he visited as president, she was directed to wear a pin in the shape of the American flag adorned with a Secret Service logo.Because of the “outstanding” support she has provided during Mr. Trump’s visits, Ms. Morales in July was given a certificate from the White House Communications Agency inscribed with her name. Quite an achievement for an undocumented immigrant housekeeper.
During more than five years as a housekeeper at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Victorina Morales has...
22 Nov 2018

This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for Donald Trump’s Honesty

There’s no question that Donald Trump is the most flagrantly, compulsively, and voluminously dishonest president in American history — which is saying something, given the competition. He’s probably told 27 more lies during the time it took you to read this one sentence. But as preposterous as it sounds, there’s a case to be made that he’s simultaneously America’s most honest president.
There’s no question that Donald Trump is the most flagrantly, compulsively, and voluminously dishonest president in...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

26 Oct 2018

Trump Abandons Calls for Unity and Resumes Attacks on the Media

In moments of national crisis, presidents typically reach for unifying themes, as Bill Clinton did after the Oklahoma City bombing and George W. Bush did with the bullhorn on the wrecked fire truck after 9/11. President Trump on Thursday chose confrontation rather than conciliation.
In moments of national crisis, presidents typically reach for unifying themes, as Bill Clinton did after the Oklahoma...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

19 Oct 2018

Jamal Khashoggi: Jared Kushner tells Trump to support Saudi Arabia – Vox

Jared Kushner reportedly told President Donald Trump to stand by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — despite mounting evidence that the royal was involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi two weeks ago. Kushner’s reasoning? International outrage over other incidents, like Saudi Arabia’s bombing of innocent children in Yemen and kidnapping of Lebanon’s prime minister, decreased with time.
Jared Kushner reportedly told President Donald Trump to stand by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman —...

Publisher: NYTimes

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19 Oct 2018

Wall Street Loves These Risky Loans. The Rest of Us Should Be Wary.

A financial assembly line that went haywire a decade ago and contributed to an economic crisis is gearing up again on Wall Street. This time around, a similar kind of investment, called C.L.O.s, are at the heart of the boom. And that’s not the only parallel: The loans are being made to risky borrowers, lending standards are dropping fast, and regulators are easing the rules.
A financial assembly line that went haywire a decade ago and contributed to an economic crisis is gearing up again on...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

15 Oct 2018

Trump Says ‘Rogue Killers’ May Be Involved in Saudi Journalist Case

President Trump said on Monday that he spoke with the king of Saudi Arabia and that the ruler denied any knowledge of what happened to a missing Saudi dissident journalist. After the call, Mr. Trump said it was possible that “rogue killers” were behind the disappearance of the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
President Trump said on Monday that he spoke with the king of Saudi Arabia and that the ruler denied any knowledge of...

Publisher: NYTimes

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14 Oct 2018

Kushner Likely Paid No Federal Income Taxes for Years, Documents Show

Over the past decade, Jared Kushner’s family company has spent billions of dollars buying real estate. His personal stock investments have soared. His net worth has quintupled to almost $324 million. And yet, for several years running, Mr. Kushner — President Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser — appears to have paid almost no federal income taxes, according to confidential financial documents reviewed by The New York Times.
Over the past decade, Jared Kushner’s family company has spent billions of dollars buying real estate. His personal...
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...
7 Oct 2018

D.C. Circuit sent complaints about Kavanaugh’s testimony to Chief Justice Roberts

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has received more than a dozen judicial misconduct complaints in recent weeks against Brett M. Kavanaugh, who was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice Saturday, but has chosen for the time being not to refer them to a judicial panel for investigation.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has received more than a dozen judicial misconduct complaints in recent weeks against...

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...
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: VICE

Author:

11 Jul 2018

Trump was like a “predator” toward teens at parties in ‘80s and ‘90s, says BBC report

A few days before President Trump heads to the U.K. to meet the queen and the prime minister, a BBC investigative program has revealed fresh allegations of sexually inappropriate actions by Trump during the 1980s and 1990s, comparing him to a “predator” at parties with girls as young as 14.
A few days before President Trump heads to the U.K. to meet the queen and the prime minister, a BBC...

Publisher: NYmag

Author:

8 Jul 2018

Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler?

The media has treated the notion that Russia has personally compromised  the president of the United States as something close to a kook theory. A  minority of analysts, mostly but not exclusively on the right, have promoted aggressively exculpatory interpretations of the known facts, in which every suspicious piece of evidence turns out to have a surprisingly innocent explanation. What is missing from our imagination is the unlikely but possible outcome on the other end: that this is all much worse than we suspect.
The media has treated the notion that Russia has personally...

Publisher: NYTimes

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6 Jul 2018

E.P.A. Chief Scott Pruitt Resigns Under a Cloud of Ethics Scandals

Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and architect of President Trump’s aggressive effort to rewrite the government’s rule book on environmental  regulations, resigned on Thursday in the face of numerous ethics investigations that doomed his tenure. Despite Mr. Pruitt’s efforts to nurture a close relationship with the president, Mr. Trump himself announced the resignation in a tweet sent from Air Force One. He thanked Mr. Pruitt for an “outstanding job” and said the agency’s deputy, Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, would take over as the acting administrator on Monday.
Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and architect of President Trump’s...

Publisher: CNBC

Author:

30 Jun 2018

How Mitch McConnell made Donald Trump

When I visited McConnels library at the university of Louisville while researching my 2014 biography on McConnell, I was struck by what was missing: exhibits on actual  governing accomplishments from the Senate majority leader’s four decades in elected office. That absence confirmed my thesis that McConnell, far more even than other politicians, was motivated by the game of politics — winning elections and rising in the leadership ranks, achieving power  for power’s sake — more than by any lasting policy goals.
When I visited McConnels library at the university of Louisville while researching my 2014 biography on...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

20 Jun 2018

Commerce Secretary Shorted Stock as Negative Coverage Loomed

Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr. shorted stock in a shipping firm — an investment tactic for profiting if share prices fall — days after learning that reporters were preparing a potentially negative story about his dealings with the Kremlin-linked company.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr. shorted stock in a shipping firm — an investment tactic for profiting if...

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...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

15 Jun 2018

N.Y. Attorney General Sues Trump Foundation After 2-Year Investigation

The New York State attorney general’s office filed a scathingly worded  lawsuit on Thursday taking aim at the Donald J. Trump Foundation, accusing the charity and the Trump family of sweeping violations of campaign finance laws, self-dealing and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign.
The New York State attorney general’s office filed a scathingly worded  lawsuit on Thursday taking aim at...
16 May 2018

The Michael Cohen Bribery Scandal Is Now a Trump Bribery Scandal

Last night, the Daily Mail  reported a development in the Michael Cohen saga of seismic scale. In a  December 2016 meeting in Trump Tower, the British tabloid reports, Cohen asked Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, who runs a $100 billion Qatari investment fund, to send him “millions” which, the story claims, would go “through  him to Trump family members.”
Last night, the Daily Mail  reported a development in the Michael Cohen saga of seismic scale. In a...
28 Apr 2018

EPA announces an end to California’s fuel economy waiver day after Pruitt says the opposite

Just one day after Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the agency did not have plans “at present” to target California’s special fuel economy waiver, the Trump administration announced that it would be putting a six-year hold on Obama-era standards for fuel efficiency, starting in 2020, while at the same time revoking California’s waiver to set its own standards.
Just one day after Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

14 Apr 2018

R.N.C. Official Who Agreed to Pay Playboy Model $1.6 Million Resigns

A  major donor with close ties to the White House resigned on Friday as deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee after the revelation that he had agreed to pay $1.6 million to a former Playboy  model who became pregnant during an affair. The deal was arranged by President Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen.
A  major donor with close ties to the White House resigned on Friday as deputy finance chairman of...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

31 Mar 2018

Scott Pruitt, E.P.A. Chief, Rented Residence From Wife of Energy Lobbyist

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, rented a residence in Washington in 2017 that was partly owned by the wife of a top energy lobbyist whose firm, according to disclosure forms, conducted business before the E.P.A. that same year.
Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, rented a residence in Washington in 2017 that...
2 Mar 2018

Trump aide Hope Hicks to resign amid personal tumult and Russia probe

Hope Hicks, the White House communications director and one of President  Trump’s longest-serving and closest advisers, abruptly announced Wednesday that she plans to resign — sending a jolt through a West Wing besieged by internal tumult and the intensifying Russia investigation. Hicks has been interviewed by Mueller’s team, and on Tuesday she testified for nine hours before the House Intelligence Committee as part of its separate Russia investigation. She admitted to telling what one person familiar with her testimony characterized as white lies.
Hope Hicks, the White House communications director and one of President  Trump’s longest-serving and...

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...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

1 Mar 2018

Congress investigates Ben Carson’s housing department over staffing claims

Congress on Wednesday began investigating allegations that an official at Ben Carson’s department of housing and urban development (Hud) was  demoted for refusing to approve expensive redecorations to his office.
Congress on Wednesday began investigating allegations that an official at Ben Carson’s department of housing...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

2 Feb 2018

House Republicans Release Secret Memo Accusing Russia Investigators of Bias

House Republicans released a disputed memo on Friday compiled by congressional aides that accused the F.B.I. and  Justice Department of abusing their surveillance powers to spy on a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page. The memo, which has prompted a political firestorm, also criticizes information used by law enforcement officials in their application for a warrant to wiretap Mr. Page, and names the senior F.B.I. and Justice Department officials who approved the highly classified warrant.
House Republicans released a disputed memo on Friday compiled by congressional aides that accused the F.B.I....
29 Nov 2017

President Trump Hired Undocumented Immigrants for $4 An Hour for Demolition Project: Court Docs

President Donald Trump hired hundreds of undocumented Polish immigrants to demolish a New York City building in 1980 and paid them as  little as $4 an hour without providing proper safety equipment to do the job, court documents show. The workers and their contractor, William Kaszycki of Kaszycki & Sons, sued Trump for unfair labor practices in 1983. After litigation dragged on for 15 years, Trump  ultimately paid $1.375 million to settle the case.
President Donald Trump hired hundreds of undocumented Polish immigrants to demolish a New York City...
30 Sep 2017

VA chief took in Wimbledon, river cruise on European work trip; wife’s expenses covered by taxpayers

Shulkin and his wife spent about half their time sightseeing on his 10-day visit for meetings with Danish and British officials. The federal government paid for the flights for Shulkin and his wife, Merle Bari, and provided a per-diem reimbursement for their meals and other expenses, VA said Friday. An agency spokesman did not respond to questions about why Bari qualified for the reimbursements and taxpayer-funded airfare, other than to say she was traveling on “approved invitational orders” and had “temporary duty” travel expenses.
Shulkin and his wife spent about half their time sightseeing on his 10-day visit for meetings with Danish and British...
27 Sep 2017

The ugliest line in Trump’s NFL attack.

Donald Trump’s frothing critique of Colin Kaepernick and the players, coaches, and teammates who have come to his side has garnered many revelatory reactions. Some of these responses tell us more about ourselves as Americans than do Trump’s initial description of any athlete who chooses to protest systemic  racism and police brutality as being a “son of a bitch.”
Donald Trump’s frothing critique of Colin Kaepernick and the players, coaches, and teammates who...

Publisher: Politico

Author:

20 Sep 2017

Price’s private-jet travel breaks precedent

As Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price calls for drastic cuts to Medicaid, including programs that provide care for children and people with disabilities, he's billing taxpayers thousands of dollars to  fly around in private jets. Just last week, Price racked up a $60,000 bill for five chartered flights. One trip between Washington and Philadelphia (less than 150 miles apart) cost taxpayers an estimated $25,000. Past secretaries flew commercial. Even Price himself, a self-proclaimed deficit-hawk, once called the use of government planes,  "fiscal irresponsibility run amok." Trump and his enablers continue to serve their own interests, while doing nothing to improve the lives of the American people.
As Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price calls for drastic cuts to Medicaid, including programs that...
17 Aug 2017

False moral equivalency is not a bug of Trumpism. It’s a feature.

Showing that the remarks he delivered from a White House teleprompter  Monday were hollow and insincere, Trump yesterday revived his initial claim that “both sides” are to blame for the horrific violence at a white supremacist rally over the weekend in Charlottesville.
Showing that the remarks he delivered from a White House teleprompter  Monday were hollow and insincere, Trump...

Publisher: Mother Jones

Author:

17 Aug 2017

Queasy Aussies Killed Trump’s Casino Bid Over “Mafia Connections”

Australian authorities simply couldn’t stomach Donald Trump’s alleged mob ties, according to government documents published by Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper, The Australian, on Tuesday. The paper’s investigation reveals that Trump’s dream of building a casino in Sydney in the late 1980s was killed off by queasy officials who considered his operations in New Jersey “dangerous.”
Australian authorities simply couldn’t stomach Donald Trump’s alleged mob ties, according to government...

Publisher: NYTimes

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17 Jul 2017

Outgoing Ethics Chief: U.S. Is ‘Close to a Laughingstock’

Actions by President Trump and his administration have created a historic ethics crisis, the departing head of the Office of Government Ethics  said. He called for major changes in federal law to expand the power and reach of the oversight office and combat the threat. Walter M. Shaub Jr., who is resigning as the federal government’s top ethics watchdog on Tuesday, said the Trump administration had flouted or directly challenged long-accepted norms in a way that threatened to undermine the United States’ ethical standards, which have been admired around the world.
Actions by President Trump and his administration have created a historic ethics crisis, the departing head of...
14 Jun 2017

Revealed: reality of life working in an Ivanka Trump clothing factory

The reality of working in a factory making clothes for Ivanka Trump’s label has been laid bare, with employees speaking of being paid so little they cannot live with their children, anti-union intimidation and women being offered a bonus if they don’t take time off while  menstruating. The Guardian has spoken to more than a dozen workers at the fashion label’s factory in Subang, Indonesia, where employees describe being paid one of the lowest minimum wages in Asia and there are claims of impossibly high production targets and sporadically compensated overtime
The reality of working in a factory making clothes for Ivanka Trump’s label has been laid bare, with...
9 Jun 2017

In denying President Trump’s abuse of power, Republicans are choosing party over the rule of law.

Whether or not the president’s actions ultimately rise to “obstruction” according to Mueller’s investigation, however, it’s clear these are serious allegations that suggest a kind of lawlessness in the White House, from a president with little regard for the norms that govern conduct in the Oval Office. Trump’s alleged demand for Comey’s personal loyalty—in a government where officials pledge allegiance to the Constitution, not the president—would itself be a profound attack on the rule of law. In an ideal world, or at least a more functional one, lawmakers on both sides would see and treat this as a crisis that demands resolution, lest it corrode American democracy.
Whether or not the president’s actions ultimately rise to “obstruction” according to Mueller’s...

James Comey testifies: Former FBI director says he could not trust Trump to tell the truth

Former FBI director James B. Comey said in dramatic testimony Thursday he could not trust President Trump to tell the truth, leading him to take extraordinary steps to document their private conversations, and to make public the details to spur the appointment of a special counsel to probe the a1dministration over possible links to Russia.
Former FBI director James B. Comey said in dramatic testimony Thursday he could not trust President Trump...
9 Jun 2017

Republicans dine at White House, then use Comey hearing to try to exonerate Trump

Less than 48 hours before former FBI Director James Comey’s testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee and detailed a January dinner during which he claims President Trump asked him to pledge personal loyalty, two Republican members of committee dined with Trump at the White House. Those members — Marco Rubio (FL) and Tom Cotton (AL) — then spent Thursday’s hearing trying to exonerate Trump of wrongdoing
Less than 48 hours before former FBI Director James Comey’s testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee and...

Publisher: Forbes

Author:

7 Jun 2017

How Donald Trump Shifted Kids-Cancer Charity Money Into His Business

Donald Trump is one of the least charitable billionaires in the world. Eric Trump is far more altruistic. In a clash of values, the president directed hundreds of thousands of dollars from his son's kids-with-cancer foundation into his company coffers.
Donald Trump is one of the least charitable billionaires in the world. Eric Trump is far more altruistic. In a clash of...

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

Trump on NATO funding: Still misleading after months of fact checks

Back in March 2016, The Fact Checker reviewed a series of inaccurate statements that then-candidate Trump made about the funding of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. We concluded that “Trump is simply wrong on direct funding and is imprecise and possibly out of date on indirect funding.”
Back in March 2016, The Fact Checker reviewed a series of inaccurate statements that then-candidate Trump made about the...
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...
31 May 2017

Jared Kushner ‘admitted Donald Trump lies to his base because he thinks they’re stupid’

Donald Trump lied to his Republican base and thought they were so stupid they would believe it, according to Jared Kushner. Mr Kushner, a property developer who is both President Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, reportedly made the remarks after he was  challenged about Mr Trump’s prolonged interrogation over whether Barack  Obama was born in the US.
Donald Trump lied to his Republican base and thought they were so stupid they would believe it, according to Jared...
28 May 2017

Boris Epshteyn Paid Russian Hackers For Both Team Trump and FSB

Trump Team and Russia jointly paid Pyotr Levashov to hack the US election. Human accounts pushing out fake memes authorized by Russia were paid, via the Kelhios botnet being operated from Trump HQ, using bitcoin and a spam payments system previously used for pornography;
Trump Team and Russia jointly paid Pyotr Levashov to hack the US election. Human accounts pushing out fake memes...
28 May 2017

DHS Public Database Includes Personal Information of Abuse Victims

The Trump administration's effort to highlight crimes committed by undocumented immigrants has become a nightmare for immigrant victims of abuse, with the personal information of undocumented victims appearing in a publicly searchable database launched last month by the Department of Homeland Security.
The Trump administration's effort to highlight crimes committed by undocumented immigrants has become a nightmare for...

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...
23 May 2017

Trump asked intelligence chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence

President Trump asked two of the nation’s top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, according to current and former officials. Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.
President Trump asked two of the nation’s top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI...

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...

Publisher: Mother Jones

Author:

13 May 2017

A Top Intelligence Official Tells Trump to Shut Up—Sort Of

Donald Trump won't stop claiming that the Russia story is fake news and a hoax cooked up by Democratic sore losers. And to back up his claim he (and his White House crew) keep citing former Director of National  Intelligence James Clapper. Yet on Friday, Clapper essentially said that the president has been brazenly misrepresenting his words and that he was no defense witness for Trump.
Donald Trump won't stop claiming that the Russia story is fake news and a hoax cooked up by Democratic sore losers. And...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

12 May 2017

Trump Warns Comey and Says He May Cancel Press Briefings

President Trump on Friday warned James B. Comey, the former F.B.I.  director he fired this week, against leaking anything negative about  the president and warned the news media that he may cancel all future White House briefings. “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter.
President Trump on Friday warned James B. Comey, the former F.B.I.  director he fired this week, against leaking...
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

A Hundred Days of Trump

On April 29th, Donald Trump will have occupied the Oval Office for a hundred days. For most people, the luxury of living in a relatively stable democracy is the luxury of not following politics with a nerve-racked constancy. Trump does not afford this. His Presidency has become the demoralizing daily obsession of anyone concerned with global security, the vitality of the natural world, the national health, constitutionalism, civil rights, criminal justice, a free press, science, public education, and the distinction between fact and its opposite.
On April 29th, Donald Trump will have occupied the Oval Office for a hundred days. For most people, the luxury of living...
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: 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

7 Baffling Moments From Donald Trump’s AP Interview

President Donald Trump lied about his policy accomplishments, interrupted himself, and went off on a series of incoherent rants during a recent interview with The Associated Press’ Julie Pace.
President Donald Trump lied about his policy accomplishments, interrupted himself, and went off on a series of...
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:

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...
8 Apr 2017

The cost of Betsy DeVos’s security detail — nearly $8 million over nearly 8 months

Federal marshals are protecting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at a cost to her agency of nearly $8 million over nearly eight months, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. The Education Department has agreed to reimburse the marshals $7.78 million for their services from mid-February to the end of September, said a marshals spokeswoman — an average of about $1 million per month.
Federal marshals are protecting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at a cost to her agency of nearly $8 million over nearly...
6 Apr 2017

Devin Nunes to Step Aside From House Investigation on Russia

Representative Devin Nunes, the embattled California Republican who is chairman of the Intelligence Committee, announced on Thursday he would step aside from leading his committee’s investigation into Russia’s efforts to disrupt last year’s presidential election. Mr. Nunes, the Intelligence Committee chairman, said his decision came after “left-wing activist groups” filed accusations against him with the Office of Congressional Ethics.
Representative Devin Nunes, the embattled California Republican who is chairman of the Intelligence Committee, announced...
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: BBC News

Author:

30 Mar 2017

Ivanka Trump to be assistant to US president

The US first daughter bowed to pressure following an outcry from  ethics experts at her initial plans to serve in a more informal capacity. Ms Trump, 35, said she had "heard the concerns some have with my advising the president in my personal capacity".
The US first daughter bowed to pressure following an outcry from  ethics experts at her initial...
30 Mar 2017

Jared Kushner family firm and Chinese company end talks over skyscraper deal

Anbang was discussing buying stake in Fifth Avenue building in New York but critics had suggested China was seeking to curry favor with White House. The talks had drawn criticism from lawmakers and government ethics experts. They saw it as a potential attempt by China to curry favor with the White House. Kushner Companies bought the property in 2007 for a reported $1.8bn when Jared Kushner was running the business. It soon became apparent that Kushner had overpaid.
Anbang was discussing buying stake in Fifth Avenue building in New York but critics had suggested China was seeking to...

Publisher: NYmag

Author:

29 Mar 2017

The White House Asked for Veto Power Over Sally Yates’s Testimony at Russia Hearing

Sally Yates’s tenure as the Trump administration’s acting attorney  general was short-lived but eventful. A holdover from the Obama Justice Department, Yates didn’t make it two weeks before she was dismissed for refusing to defend Trump’s first travel ban. But before she departed, she warned White House counsel Donald McGahn that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had misled his superiors about his preelection conversation with the Russian ambassador to the United States. Weeks later, word of that warning leaked to the press — and Flynn promptly resigned.
Sally Yates’s tenure as the Trump administration’s acting attorney  general was short-lived but eventful. A...

Publisher: Forbes

Author:

23 Mar 2017

Powerful Russian Partner Boasts Of Ongoing Access To Trump Family

“I have nothing to do with Russia,” Donald Trump bellowed to thousands of frenzied supporters at a Tampa, Florida rally last October. The truth, it seems, is a bit more complicated. In an exclusive interview with FORBES, Emin Agalarov—a Russian pop singer, real estate mogul and son of one of the country’s richest people—described an ongoing relationship with the Trump family, including post-election contact with the president himself. 
“I have nothing to do with Russia,” Donald Trump bellowed to thousands of frenzied supporters at a Tampa, Florida...

Publisher: Independent

Author:

17 Mar 2017

Donald Trump could reverse cuts to arts, poor and elderly if he stopped staying at Mar-a-Lago, figures show

Donald Trump could reverse his recently announced cuts to arts, poor and elderly services if he cut his trips to Mar-a-Lago and lived permanently in White House instead, figures indicate. Calculations show four programmes that face elimination - which tackle homelessness, unemployment among over-55s, participation in the arts and helping the poor access higher education - could be maintained at the cost of the President’s trips to his private Florida resort over the course of four years.
Donald Trump could reverse his recently announced cuts to arts, poor and elderly services if he cut...
9 Feb 2017

Trump Assails Nordstrom for ‘Unfairly’ Dropping His Daughter Ivanka’s Line

President Trump lashed out on Wednesday at the Nordstrom department store chain for dropping his daughter Ivanka’s accessories and clothing line, once again raising ethical questions about the relationship between his presidency and his family’s sprawling business interests
President Trump lashed out on Wednesday at the Nordstrom department store chain for dropping his daughter Ivanka’s...

Eric Trump’s business trip to Uruguay cost taxpayers $97,830 in hotel bills

When the president-elect’s son Eric Trump jetted to Uruguay in early January for a Trump Organization promotional trip, U.S. taxpayers were left footing a bill of nearly $100,000 in hotel rooms for Secret Service and embassy staff. “This is an example of the blurring of the line between the personal interest in the family business and the government,” said Kathleen Clark, an expert on government ethics and law professor at Washington University in St. Louis.
When the president-elect’s son Eric Trump jetted to Uruguay in early January for a Trump Organization...

White House website touts Melania Trump’s modeling and jewelry line

Her biography starts with traditional details, such as her date of birth in her native country of Slovenia and information about her background as a model. That’s when the brief backgrounder takes a promotional turn. It is not uncommon for the White House to note the accomplishments of the first lady in her official biography, but Trump’s decision to include a detailed list of her media appearances and branded retail goods is unusual.
Her biography starts with traditional details, such as her date of birth in her native country of Slovenia and...
11 Jan 2017

Trump Received Unsubstantiated Report That Russia Had Damaging Information About Him

The chiefs of America’s intelligence agencies last week presented President Obama and President-elect Donald J. Trump with a summary of unsubstantiated reports that Russia had collected compromising and salacious personal information about Mr. Trump, two officials with knowledge of the briefing said. The summary is based on memos generated by political operatives seeking to derail Mr. Trump’s candidacy. Details of the reports began circulating in the fall and were widely known among journalists and politicians in Washington.
The chiefs of America’s intelligence agencies last week presented President Obama and President-elect Donald J....
8 Jan 2017

Govt Ethics Office Accuses GOP Senate Of Rushing Trump Cabinet Hearings

The federal Office of Government Ethics has accused Senate Republicans of speeding confirmation hearings for Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees. OGE director Walter Shaub Jr. told top Senate Democrats in a Saturday letter that the stacked hearing schedule has left his office unable to complete ethics reviews on several nominees, which he called a matter of “great concern.”
The federal Office of Government Ethics has accused Senate Republicans of speeding confirmation hearings for Donald...
8 Jan 2017

Third lien on Trump hotel brings alleged unpaid bills to over $5 million

Rush to get hotel open on time meant 12-hour days for weeks, contractor says, but it resulted in $2.1 million in allegedly unpaid work. The AES filing brings the total of allegedly unpaid bills on the hotel to more than $5 million. Washington-area plumbing firm Joseph J. Magnolia Inc. and Northern Virginia construction company, A&D Construction, are seeking $2.98 million and $79,700 respectively. In an emailed statement, the Trump Organization did not address the specifics of the legal action.
Rush to get hotel open on time meant 12-hour days for weeks, contractor says, but it resulted in $2.1 million in...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

3 Jan 2017

With No Warning, House Republicans Vote to Gut Independent Ethics Office

The move by emboldened Republicans on the eve of a new Congress would strip power and independence from an investigative body and give lawmakers control over ethics inquiries. In place of the office, Republicans would create a new Office of Congressional Complaint Review that would report to the House Ethics Committee, which has been accused of ignoring credible allegations of wrongdoing by lawmakers.
The move by emboldened Republicans on the eve of a new Congress would strip power and independence from an investigative...
23 Nov 2016

Trump Says Any Conflicts Of Interest Were Priced Into Your Vote

Thirteen days after winning the presidential election, Donald Trump announced on Twitter that no one should worry about the potential conflicts of interest he could face over his range of global properties because everyone knew about them when they elected him. He blamed any questions of impropriety on the media for reporting on them..
Thirteen days after winning the presidential election, Donald Trump announced on Twitter that no one should worry...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

23 Nov 2016

Jeff Sessions accused of retaliation after claims of racism cost him a judgeship

Donald Trump’s nominee for US attorney general has been accused of bringing criminal prosecutions against a pair of black officials in Alabama as retaliation for their roles in derailing his nomination to be a judge. The officials faced federal corruption charges in the southern district of Alabama, where Jeff Sessions was the top federal prosecutor, after their allegations of racism caused the US Senate to deny Sessions the judicial appointment in 1986.
Donald Trump’s nominee for US attorney general has been accused of bringing criminal prosecutions against a pair of...
23 Nov 2016

Trump Foundation admits to violating ban on ‘self-dealing,’ new filing to IRS shows

President-elect Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has admitted to the IRS that it violated a legal prohibition against “self-dealing,” which bars nonprofit leaders from using their charity’s money to help themselves, their businesses or their families. The foundation checked “yes” on the IRS tax filing form for 2015 when asked if it had transferred “income or assets to a disqualified person.”
President-elect Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has admitted to the IRS that it violated a legal prohibition...

A scramble to assess the dangers of President-elect Donald Trump’s global business empire

Turkey is a nation in crisis, scarred by government crackdowns following a failed coup attempt and on a potential collision course with the West. It is also home to a valuable revenue stream for the president-elect’s business empire: Trump Towers Istanbul. Donald  Trump’s company has been paid up to $10 million by the tower’s developers since 2014 to affix the Trump name atop the luxury complex,  whose owner, one of Turkey’s biggest oil and media conglomerates, has become an influential megaphone for the country’s increasingly repressive regime.
Turkey is a nation in crisis, scarred by government crackdowns following a failed coup attempt and on a potential...
21 Nov 2016

Trump poised to violate Constitution his first day in office, George W. Bush’s ethics lawyer says

Friday evening, the Washington Post reported that about 100 foreign  diplomats gathered at President-elect Donald Trump’s hotel in  Washington, DC to “to sip Trump-branded champagne, dine on sliders and hear a sales pitch about the U.S. president-elect’s newest hotel.” The tour included a look at the hotel’s $20,000 a night “town house” suite. The Post also quoted some of the diplomats saying they intended to stay at the hotel in order to ingratiate themselves to the incoming president.
Friday evening, the Washington Post reported that about 100 foreign  diplomats gathered at President-elect Donald...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

20 Nov 2016

Donald Trump Meeting Suggests He Is Keeping Up His Business Ties

The meeting, with Indian executives linked to an apartment tower bearing Mr. Trump’s name, raises questions about how he will separate his business dealings from his politics. Washington ethics lawyers said that a meeting with Indian real estate partners, regardless of what was discussed, raised conflict of interest questions for Mr. Trump, who could be perceived as using the presidency to advance his business interests.
The meeting, with Indian executives linked to an apartment tower bearing Mr. Trump’s name, raises questions about how...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

20 Nov 2016

Don’t let Donald Trump’s antics distract you from what’s really important

He’s paying fraud fines and collecting bribes — and distracting you with Hamilton tweets. The truth is that nothing about the Hamilton story - is in any way important to how he runs the country. By contrast, foreign governments directly putting money into Donald Trump’s pocket is very important. The fact that these attempted bribes are being paid to a man who is also paying out millions of dollars to avoid standing trial for his corrupt business practices is very important.
He’s paying fraud fines and collecting bribes — and distracting you with Hamilton tweets. The truth is that nothing...
18 Nov 2016

Turkish Client Paid Trump Adviser Michael Flynn’s Company “Tens of Thousands” of Dollars for Lobbying

Though Flynn is not a lobbyist himself, his company, Flynn Intel Group, is registered with Congress as a lobbying organization, and has a registered lobbyist on its staff. A Flynn Intel Group client, Kamil Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish businessman with real estate, aerospace, and consulting interests, told The Intercept on Thursday that one of his companies, Inovo BV, paid Flynn’s company “tens of thousands of dollars” for analysis on world affairs. On election day, Flynn published an opinion piece for The Hill urging U.S. support for Turkey’s controversial strongman president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and pushing for the extradition of Erdogan’s political rival, Fethullah Gülen, who now resides in Pennsylvania. “From Turkey’s point of view, Washington is harboring Turkey’s Osama bin Laden,” Flynn wrote, on November 8.
Though Flynn is not a lobbyist himself, his company, Flynn Intel Group, is registered with Congress as a...
6 Nov 2016

Clinton Foundation Accepted Qatar’s $1 Million Birthday Gift For Bill Clinton

The move is controversial as Clinton had promised to disclose foreign support while she was in the State Department. Clinton foundation claims that the MOU was based on previous donors substantially increasing their donations to the Clinton foundation and that wasn't the case with Qatar.
The move is controversial as Clinton had promised to disclose foreign support while she was in the State Department....
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