Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Republican Party Proves It Loves Power More Than Truth Itself @alternet

The Republican Party Proves It Loves Power More Than Truth Itself @alternet:

"To call Donald Trump and his administration corrupt and mendacious is to make the most obvious of statements. Too easy, really. Because if Trump and his boys have tread the path toward treason, so too has the entire Republican Party."

Warnings as GOP Aims to Gut Protections for Endangered Species
"The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is a formal pledge by the federal government "to conserve to the extent practicable the various species of fish or wildlife and plants facing extinction." It was passed almost unanimously by Congress in 1973, following similar measures enacted in the 1960s. For more than four decades, the ESA has helped save from extinction 99 percent of species it covers, including the gray whale and the bald eagle."

GOP senator says Trump should just sign health care bill even if he doesn’t know what’s in it
"On Wednesday, President Trump revealed profound confusion about how health insurance works, suggesting to the New York Times that he thinks people can buy coverage for $12 a year. Asked about Trump’s comments during an MSNBC interview Thursday morning, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) defended the president, saying he’s “about broad principles,” not specifics. But Cassidy — who publicly expressed concern about the version of Trumpcare that went down in flames earlier this week, and has proposed his own replacement plan — took things a step further. He went on to say that he doesn’t think it’s important for the president to understand the details health care legislation at all."

Does Trump Even Know What A Pre-Existing Conditions Is??

Trump Vacations While Slashing Summer Programs for Low-Income Kids
"President Donald Trump’s frequent and lavish vacations have been well documented. He has been away on vacation at his resorts in Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster Township more than 40 percent of the weekends he has been president, asking taxpayers to foot a record-breaking $28.6 million bill. The job of president is grueling and taking some vacation is understandable. But Trump seems to have two standards for spending taxpayer dollars. When it comes to his own vacations at his family’s properties, money is no object. After all, it’s going back into his family’s own pockets anyway. But when it comes to the nation’s children, his Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney emphasizes that the government needs to eliminate summer enrichment programs for low-income children out of “compassion” for the taxpayer."

Trump’s Downward Spiral Accelerates As He Is Averaging Almost 5 Lies A Day
"President Trump makes a lot of false claims. So many that The Washington Post was obliged to track the lies of “the most fact-challenged politician that The Fact Checker has ever encountered.” They found that Trump averaged 4.9 false or misleading claims a day after the first 100 days. Now, at the six month mark, Trump is averaging 4.6 false or misleading claims a day.  Trump has taken to adding “I think” to his false claims, in hopes of getting dinged less by the fact checkers. This, it seems, is the New Republican Exceptionalism. However, even with all of his mighty effort to turn his feelings into facts, Trump averages almost 5 lies a day. Trump’s tally at the six month mark is 836 false or misleading claims, according to The Post."

Enabling a Dangerous President: The Jared Kushner Timeline
"Eventually, the public will learn the full story of Jared Kushner’s role in the controversies enveloping the Trump White House — and to what extent he shares responsibility for them. Like many of the lawyers surrounding and enabling Trump, Kushner has retained a personal attorney to help him navigate the troubled waters engulfing the White House."

What Medicaid Cuts Would Mean to Our Children

Pardon Me? Trump Gives an Interview and Hell Breaks Loose
"Trump sounded nervous, and rightly so. His son took a meeting with a Russian accused of international money-laundering, a former Soviet counter-intelligence officer with ties to the international hacker community, and a Russian attorney devoted to lifting the sanctions against a bunch of Russian oligarchs who had their assets seized after the man who exposed their massive money-laundering operation died in prison -- all this, it seems, in service to the Russian government's professed desire to help the Trump campaign.  An investigation by former Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara into Russian money-laundering with ties to "Manhattan real estate entities" ended when Bharara was fired by Trump. That investigation has been folded into Mueller's. The lawyer representing the Russian being investigated by Bharara was the lawyer at Trump Jr.'s meeting. Yeah, I'd be nervous, too. At the end of the conversation, Trump refused to say whether he would fire Mueller if he took the investigation in that direction because, Trump said, "I don't think it's going to happen." It happened, almost immediately. The next morning, Bloomberg News revealed that Robert Mueller is, in fact, pursuing an investigation into the financial dealings not only of Trump, but of Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and perhaps others. By Thursday evening, The Washington Post was reporting that Trump was in the mood to talk about his pardoning powers: "Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe … A second person said Trump's lawyers have been discussing the president's pardoning powers among themselves. " This is, simply, unprecedented. Of course, every single president at some point probably joked about pardoning themselves. Trump is the first president to really mean it. Even Nixon had more shame than that. The "red line" has been crossed, and all the secrets are waiting for daylight."

Bernie Sanders Calls Trumpcare The Most Anti-Working Class Legislation Ever

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Analysis | President Trump’s first six months: The fact-check tally
"In six months, President Trump has made 836 false or misleading claims. Often, he has said the same false thing over and over again."

Trump's Warning to Mueller Proves, Again, That It's All About the Money
"We can safely assume that special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into all of this, and more, but the outline of the essential corruption never has been clearer. The Trumps needed money and the Russians needed to clean a lot of it. Cui bono? Res Ipse loquitur. All of the rest of it, the dodging and weaving and, most recently, the unveiled threats to fire Mueller and unilaterally end the investigations, the almost blithe assault on all democratic norms and institutions, spin out from the possibility that Donald Trump needed money to continue to be Donald Trump to the world, and to himself, and that the easiest place to get that money was from the Russians."

Why did Deutsche Bank give Donald Trump loans when no one else would trust him
"Donald Trump’s recent history with banks has been … not good. By the 2000s, the property developer and casino owner with ready access to the capital markets and the biggest New York banks was no more. A series of corporate bankruptcies had limited his financing options. That was also the period in which Eric Trump said: “Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.” But that’s not quite true. There was one bank out there which was still willing to extend massive loans to Donald Trump, in spite of his extremely checkered financial history. The big question is: Why? Banking regulators are reviewing hundreds of millions of dollars in loans made to Mr. Trump’s businesses through Deutsche Bank’s private wealth management unit, which caters to an ultrarich clientele, according to three people briefed on the review who were not authorized to speak publicly. Those loans exposed Deutsche Bank to some extreme risks. That is, unless someone was underwriting the loans and limiting their potential loss. As Donald Trump growls about the possibility of Special Counsel Robert Mueller intruding on his “personal” space, these loans are already part of the information Mueller is examining. And there are reasons to be suspicious beyond the oddity of a bank dropping hundreds of millions on someone who had a record of losing money faster than he could borrow it. The activity Deutsche Bank engaged in that resulted in over $600 million of fines was borne out of the bank’s desire to move $10 billion out of Russia — in what one regulator said were transactions “highly suggestive of financial crime.” That scheme involved shuffling the money through another bank. A bank on Cyprus. This bank. Agents are also interested in dealings with the Bank of Cyprus, where Wilbur Ross served as vice chairman before he became commerce secretary. The connections on both ends make it very much seem that Deutsche Bank was in the middle of the Russian oligarch—Donald Trump pipeline."

Republicans Have Yet Another Health Care Bill. This One Would Leave 22 Million More Uninsured.
"The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is out with yet another report on yet another Republican proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare. And yet again, the CBO is projecting that 22 million fewer people would have health insurance as a result of the legislation."

Lawrence And Maddow On Donald Trump's Probe Of Pardon Powers

The President of the United States thinks health insurance costs $12 per year
"Other comments from Trump’s interview with the Times reveal that the president might not understand what health insurance is."

The Trump administration melts down—and McConnell STILL tries to take health care away from millions
"All hell is breaking lose at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Popular vote loser Donald Trump is actually trying to figure out if he can pardon himself and all of his family because of their Russia connections—connections that are just getting deeper and deeper and smack dab in the middle of the Kremlin. He's openly talking about firing Robert Mueller, the guy looking into those connections, essentially confirming that yeah, he's in Putin's pocket. His legal team is in turmoil, his White House staff is in turmoil. He just conducted an interview with The New York Times in which he demonstrated, repeatedly that he is losing what he had of his mind. Calling this a circus is an insult to the institution of the circus. And in the middle of all of that, after having declared defeat but being beaten back into submission by the deranged ring-master himself, Mitch McConnell is going to force his caucus into voting to take health insurance away from 22 million people. Even worse, a possible majority of that caucus is A-Okay with that, or he wouldn't still be trying. He's actually using all this confusion to force this vote. All as if it's business as usually as he horse-trades peoples lives away. They are about ready to vote to sentence untold tens of thousands of people to death—because that's what Obamacare repeal will do—and very possibly end their own careers. All for a president who might just have been elected by Vladimir Putin, and even if he wasn't, is working hard to make sure Putin gets to pull the strings of our government. This is not normal."

WaPo: Intel Intercepts Show Sessions, Kislyak Talked Donald Trump Russia

Here’s Exactly How Many People Will Be Uninsured Under Each Republican Health Care Bill
"Over the past few months, Republicans have trotted out a variety of ideas for killing Obamacare. Each of their various bills has shared one key trait: They would all leave tens of millions more Americans without health insurance."

Nation's doctors demand Republicans pull the plug on Trumpcare, work to shore up Obamacare
"Every major health advocacy group opposes it. The vast majority of the voting population opposes repeal."

For Facts Sake: U.S. Health Care Lags Others

Friday, July 21, 2017

Nixon’s Justice Department warned that the president can’t pardon himself
"This decades-old memo is likely to take on new significance, as another president caught up in a criminal investigation reportedly is considering a self-pardon. The Washington Post reported Thursday evening that Donald Trump “has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection” with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russian connections."

Former Trump associate Felix Sater helped fugitive Kazakhs in visa scheme

Former Trump associate Felix Sater helped fugitive Kazakhs in visa scheme

"Felix Sater, an ex-con and onetime senior adviser in the Trump Organization, helped the Trump family scout deals in Russia. He led an effort that began in 2012 to assist the stepchildren of Viktor Khrapunov, who that year had been placed on an international detention request list by the global police agency Interpol."

Trump Is Trying To Figure Out How To Pardon Himself And His Family

Trump could place himself in even more legal jeopardy if he pardons his inner circle
"Thursday night, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump “has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection” with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia. If he does so, he is playing with fire. No one actually knows if Trump can pardon himself, as previous presidents typically avoided criminal activity — and those that did break the law did not use their official powers in such a transparently self-serving way. Though the president’s power to pardon other people is nearly limitless, many legal scholars believe that a president cannot issue a self-pardon for much the same reason that a judge cannot sit on their own case. But there’s also a very real danger to Trump if he starts doling out pardons to his inner circle. As Keith Harper, an attorney and former Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council under President Obama, first pointed out on Twitter, a pardon would protect Trump’s confidants from prosecution for past acts— but it could also strip them of their Fifth Amendment right to refuse to give self-incriminating testimony."

Trump declares war on rule of law, attacks every top law enforcement official in America
"Trump dismissed the entire notion of FBI independence, saying that the FBI Director only reports to the Justice Department “out of courtesy,” blaming the practice on Richard Nixon. Taken together, Trump’s comments amount to a full scale assault on the rule of law from an increasingly paranoid president."

Trump Gives A Truly Insane Interview: Slanders Comey And Sessions And Threatens Mueller | Crooks and Liars

Trump Gives A Truly Insane Interview: Slanders Comey And Sessions And Threatens Mueller | Crooks and Liars

"So we are still going with the "adoption" story? He continued (lying) and said “I actually talked about Russian adoption with him. Which is interesting because it was a part of the conversation that Don had in that meeting.” This is a lie. Sessions and Comey had no comment. No one else cared to respond. Putin is probably laughing somewhere. Sessions may be in the fetal position crying. Comey is writing his memoirs. Mueller is adding this to the insane stack of evidence he has. When a defendant starts talking, what does a good detective do? Nothing. Let them go. Keep talking, Donnie. Keep on talking."

WaPo: Donald Trump Seeks Advice On Pardoning Himself, Family Members

Manafort owed $17 million to 'pro-Russia interests' before joining Trump campaign for free
"So to recap: Real estate and political consulting entrepreneur Paul Manafort, who had previously worked on behalf of pro-Russian interests in Ukraine, owed "pro-Russian interests" roughly $17 million dollars as of December of 2015. In March he went to work for the Donald Trump campaign—but requested no salary, despite being apparently deeply in debt, instead working for free, thus landing him in, for example, meetings involving government-connected Russians offering up intelligence on his opponent. Then, after Donald Trump is elected, Paul Manafort is curiously given roughly $16 million-ish in loans from a Chicago bank that would seemingly be only barely capable of loaning him such money."

CBO: Mitch McConnell’s Latest Health Care Bill Would Leave 32 Million More Uninsured
"Whether they do repeal-and-replace or straight repeal, the results would be devastating."

Here’s what Mitch McConnell wants to do to the U.S. health care system
"Whether they do repeal-and-replace or straight repeal, the results would be devastating."

Resignation Watch: Donald Trump Lashes Jeff Sessions, Justice Officials

Trump levels another threat at insurers, Obamacare
"Trump has every intention of destroying Obamacare, and he and his fellow Republicans are going to be the ones who take the blame for that."

Why Not Call It Treason? @alternet

Why Not Call It Treason? @alternet:

"The claim that the Trump campaign had no contact with the Russians and that the charge of collusion was “disgusting” has morphed into the claim that collusion with a foreign power is just “politics,” and doesn’t meet the legal definition of treason. The goal of this strategy is to exculpate Team Trump from criminal charges as new facts emerge. There’s no reason why Trump’s critics need to play along. The commonsense definition of treason is “betrayal of country,” the standard that Team Trump has interpreted broadly for its own purposes."

AG Jeff Sessions Will Be A Witness Against President Donald Trump

Eighth Participant In Meeting With Trump Jr. Once Linked to Russian Money Laundering
"A Russian-American lawyer who attended the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with key members of Donald Trump’s inner circle, including Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, was once at the center of a US government investigation into Russian money laundering."

Seriously? New GOP Budget Would Defund Election Security Agency
"Despite an ongoing investigation into the hacking of voting systems in more than a dozen states during the 2016 presidential election, the new budget blueprint from House Republicans includes a provision to defund the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which the Wall Street Journal notes is "the sole federal agency that exclusively works to ensure the voting process is secure." Since it was established in 2002, the EAC has been under almost constant attack by the Republican Party. Earlier this year, the House Administration Committee voted 6-3 along party lines to eliminate the agency entirely. As The Atlantic's Russell Berman noted in February, "GOP attempts to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission have passed out of committee but not made it to the House floor for a vote in the last four years." Because they have failed repeatedly to eliminate the agency, Republicans now appear content to strip it of the funds it needs to operate effectively."

The Ultimate Hypocrisy? Trump Plan to Renegotiate NAFTA Resembles TPP Deal He Withdrew From

How Trump the Populist Became Trump the Corporate Shill
"After a meeting with Big Pharma executives in February, he backed down on his tough talk. This summer, this shameful retreat accelerated as evidenced by leaked White House documents detailing potential regulatory rollbacks sought by the industry but omitting any steps to lower drug prices. Why the turnaround? White House aide Joe Grogan, a former lobbyist for pharmaceutical giant Gilead, played a key role in this move, according to Kaiser Health News, which reported that the documents contained text "cribbed directly from policy papers" published by the main pharmaceutical industry lobbying group. Over at the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt met with Dow Chemical's CEO just before deciding not to ban a Dow pesticide from being sprayed on food. Nancy Beck, a new official who formerly worked at a chemical industry lobbying group, played a key role in watering down the implementation of a crucial toxic chemicals rule, clashing with career experts in the process. And a coal industry lawyer appears likely to take the No. 2 job at EPA, beating out a coal industry lobbyist also considered for the job. These examples are representative rather than exceptional. Corporate America has captured the Trump administration. Public Citizen's research has found that more than 70% of Trump's picks for top sub-Cabinet jobs have clear corporate ties. In Trump's Washington, the populism of the campaign has been overtaken by conventional corporate cronyism on a grand scale. After his famous pledge to "drain the swamp," Trump issued a weak executive order allowing former lobbyists to immediately join the administration and then granted waivers to top White House staffers that render the ethics rules largely meaningless. For example, the White House concluded that it is "in the public interest" for Andrew Olmem, a White House aide who formerly lobbied MetLife, American Express and a major insurance trade group, to work on banking and insurance issues."

Trump’s National Anti-Labor Relations Board

Trump’s National Anti-Labor Relations Board:

"The president’s NLRB nominees portend a bleak future for American workers."

"Trump and the Russian Money Trail": Trump's Ties to Oligarchs Go Back Decades

GOP Eager to Repeal Rule that Allows Consumers to Sue Conniving Banks

GOP Eager to Repeal Rule that Allows Consumers to Sue Conniving Banks:

"Since its inception, Republicans have cast the CFPB as a liberal, job-killing, over-regulating, big-government boogeyman—a “rogue” agency with too much power and too little accountability. Meanwhile, the agency’s enforcement initiatives have returned almost $12 billion to some 27 million consumers who were defrauded in the marketplace."

Mitch McConnell Announces Plan To Harm Even More People With Obamacare Repeal Only Bill
"A stand alone repeal bill would take health care away from 32 million Americans. It is even worse than repeal and replace. If Republicans couldn’t get 50 votes for their bill that took coverage away from 22 million people, they aren’t going to get 50 votes for a bill that takes coverage away from 32 million people."

Married to the Mob: Investigative Journalist Craig Unger on What Trump Owes the Russian Mafia

Stephen Colbert kicks off “Russia Week” from the Red Square by joking about Donald Trump Jr.
"Stephen Colbert will debut not one, not two, but five field pieces this week that were taped in Russia, as “The Late Show” celebrates “Russia Week” in honor of the possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Eastern European power."

Trump’s Lawyer Embarrassed After Absurd Defense for Russia Meeting is Soundly Debunked
"Donald Trump, his family, and the people he surrounds himself with have no ethics, standards, class, or morals. They will say and do anything to save their own backsides. Why anybody would trust anyone with the last name “Trump” is mind-boggling."

Trump Administration Using Obamacare Money To Run Ads Attacking Obamacare

Trump admin moves to close cyber office: ‘It’s a step back from everything done over the last ten years’

Trump admin moves to close cyber office: ‘It’s a step back from everything done over the last ten years’

"According to Healey, closing the cyber office “would mean the United States would be the only major country without a lead diplomat to discuss cyber norms and trying to reduce the ever-escalating cyberattacks we see around the world"."

Ali Velshi Deconstructs Trump's 'Made In America' Week | Crooks and Liars

Ali Velshi Deconstructs Trump's 'Made In America' Week | Crooks and Liars

"The White House kicked off a "Made In America" week to try to distract from the Russia scandal. Nice try? writes, "Today, President Donald J. Trump will host companies from across the country at the White House for the Made in America Product Showcase. The White House is highlighting and celebrating each state’s effort and commitment to American made products by bringing in and showing off products from all 50 states that are made and produced in the United States." For any other administration this would be fine, but when it comes to hypocrisy and a man using the Oval Office to enrich his own businesses, it's infuriating."

Donald Trump’s 6 Month Report Card: 991 Tweets, 836 Lies, 0 Legislative Accomplishments

Trump lawyer: Secret Service let the Russia meeting happen. Secret Service: Nope.
"The Secret Service wasn’t going to take that sitting down. In a rare rebuke, it answered Sekulow’s question — and implicitly said he was wrongly trying to use the agency as a political weapon."

Condoms don't work, smoking doesn't kill, GOP is saving Medicaid—the world class lies of Mike Pence
"His current boss aside, you’d be hard-pressed to name another politician who so openly and freely spews one lie after another."

Trump Polling Worse Than Any US President EVER

How Paul Ryan’s Hypocritical Fiscal Hysteria Threatens Working Families
"Speaker Ryan is a master at co-opting anti-deficit rhetoric to advance his agenda without being held accountable for the fiscal reality of the policies he supports. When George W. Bush was president, Rep. Ryan voted for tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a Medicare prescription drug benefit.32 Lawmakers did not pay for any of these policies. During the Bush administration, large budget surpluses turned into deficits.33 Despite this history, the conventional wisdom has been that Speaker Ryan is a “budget hawk,” and that was how the Ryan budget was marketed to the American people."

Trump grudgingly admits Obama’s Iran nuclear deal is working
"The New York Times reports that Donald Trump had an hour-long meeting with his top national security advisers last week, including the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the White House National Security Advisor, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They all told the president the same thing: he needs to preserve the international nuclear agreement with Iran. Trump, however, reportedly spent 55 minutes of the 60-minute meeting “telling them he did not want to"."

Unable To Kill Obamacare, Republicans Plot To Kill Medicare

Kansas, Sam Brownback, and the Trickle-Down Implosion

Kansas, Sam Brownback, and the Trickle-Down Implosion:

"The lessons of Sam Brownback’s disastrous experiment have become all the more important nationally as President Trump, whose economic doctrine is cut from the same cloth napkin on which Arthur Laffer first sketched his supply-side curve more than 40 years ago, tries to advance a similarly radical series of tax cuts in Washington. (Indeed, Brownback flew Laffer out to Kansas in 2012, where he was paid $75,000 to advise the legislature on the wisdom of slashing taxes, promising astounding dividends of economic growth in exchange.) Trump’s proposed budget echoes the Kansas experiment, slashing income tax rates for the wealthiest few and calling for a drastic rate cut for pass-through entities—a move that would inflict Brownback’s LLC debacle on the nation. Brownback’s should be a cautionary tale, of course, for the Republicans in Congress and the White House. Should they slash the provision of affordable health coverage to cut taxes for the rich, should they decimate government services while eliminating taxes on the wealthiest Americans, all their invocations of trickle-down economics—that the rich will invest their tax savings in job-creating enterprises, a theory disproved again, again, and again—ultimately won’t win them popular support. The fate of Sam Brownback—scorned by his state, overridden by his legislature, rejected by his party—should make that crystal clear."

Who Is Wilbur Ross?

Who Is Wilbur Ross?:

"Ross represents a class of people who put their own individual interests first, above all else. Their gains come at the expense of others—not only workers, suppliers, or creditors, but their own investors as well. While Ross was profiteering from bankruptcy proceedings at the expense of creditors and taking health and pension benefits from workers, he was mistreating his own investors as well."

Trump Thinks Healthcare Costs ONE DOLLAR Per Month

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Mysterious 8th person at Trump Jr. meeting allegedly ran massive Russian money-laundering scheme
"Kaveladze is represented by Scott Balber, who has previously represented Donald Trump."

It Was Always About the Money
"It was always about the money. The reason we never saw the tax returns was because of what they would show about the money. The reason we can't get a straight answer about the family's dealings with the Russians is the money. Preet Bharara got fired because of the money and how the money had been allegedly laundered. James Comey got fired because of the money. Without the money, specifically the money from Russia, the Trump empire likely would have collapsed under a hail of writs and the paterfamilias would have been rendered invisible, even in the mirrors of Mar-a-Lago. It always was about the money. The meeting on June 6, 2016 ultimately was about the money, as we learned today from CNN. The network reported that it had identified the eighth participant in that now-famous Trump Tower confab. Contrary to the previous load of hooey dispensed by Junior and the first family, this dude was not a translator. Ike Kaveladze's identity was confirmed by his attorney, Scott Balber. Kaveladze is a senior vice president at Crocus Group, the real estate development company run by Azerbaijani-Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov, according to Kaveladze's LinkedIn. His personal website says he "holds responsibility for multiple elements of the company's Russian development project"."

Trump and Putin had a second, undisclosed meeting during the G-20 summit
"If Trump did say something “out of school,” it wouldn’t be the first time he had done so while meeting privately with a top Russian official. In May, while speaking to the Russian foreign minister and another Russian diplomat in the Oval Office, he disclosed classified Israeli intelligence and bragged that he had successfully squashed an FBI investigation into his campaign’s alleged links with the Kremlin. The investigation is, in fact, still ongoing. People close to the Trump administration seem to have a habit of conducting undisclosed conversations with representatives of the Russian government — including not only the president himself, but his former national security adviser, his attorney general, and his own son."

Donald Trump, Putin Had Second, Undisclosed, Hour-Long Encounter At G20

How Circa, a Sinclair Broadcast Group subsidiary, rebuilt itself as a pro-Trump outlet
"In 2015, Sinclair bought Circa, which The Wall Street Journal described at the time as a “defunct mobile news site.” Sinclair has a history of pushing right-wing commentary that has been compared to “propaganda” and of selectively omitting stories that don’t fit its agenda. White House senior adviser Jared Kushner reportedly“struck a deal” with Sinclair during the campaign to “secure better media coverage” for then-candidate Donald Trump in exchange for “more access to Trump and the campaign.” Additionally, Sinclair has also made a series of conservative hires, including discredited former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson and former Trump White House aide Boris Epshteyn. Just this week, Sinclair announced it would be tripling the number of segments featuring Epshteyn that are sent to stations as “must-run” packages — a typical practice for the company."

The wrong president to tout ‘Made in America’ week
"What this week’s events will likely exclude is an exploration of Trump’s business practices, which have relied on product manufacturing in “a global network of factories in a dozen countries – including Bangladesh, China and Mexico.” Trump administration officials hosted a background briefing with reporters yesterday to highlight this week’s events. Asked whether the White House intends to comment about the Trump Organization’s outsourcing, a spokesperson said, “We’ll get back to you on that.” If there’s any follow-through, I’ll be curious to see what Team Trump comes up with. After all, the president, his populist-sounding rhetoric notwithstanding, has “sold foreign-made products under his name for years” and has relied extensively on foreign-made products for his hotels and properties. Trump clearly sees “Made in America” as a political winner and, as was the case during the campaign, assumes most of the public won’t look too closely at his own record on the subject."

NY Subpoenas Records On Huge Manafort Loans From Small Bank: WSJ

Why Republicans Want the 2020 Census to Fail
"Under cover of the non-stop Trump circus, they are quietly working behind the scenes to ensure that the 2020 census fails – and fails to their advantage."

Trump’s lawyer makes a curious argument about the Secret Service
"In a statement released yesterday, a spokesperson for the Secret Service said Donald Trump Jr., who helped organize the meeting in order to receive campaign information from the Russian government, did not have a protective detail at the time. “Donald Trump, Jr. was not a protectee of the USSS in June, 2016,” the statement said. “Thus we would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at that time.” It’s worth noting for context that the Secret Service rarely weighs in on political debates, but with the president’s lawyer giving misleading information about the agency’s work to a national television audience, the Secret Service apparently felt the need to clarify matters yesterday."