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REPORT: Unprecedented Number of Top Trump Administration Jobs Being Doled Out to Top Donors



One Cabinet Nominee Spent $10.4 Million in This Election Cycle and Has ‘Contributed to the Campaigns of 17 Senators Who Will Vote on Whether to Confirm Her’

38 percent of those who have been given top jobs in the Trump administration are top donors to Trump or groups working toward his election, or to Republicans or the GOP, a Politico report Tuesday finds. Politico analyzed Federal Election Commission (FEC) records, finding those 73 donors handed over $1.7 million to Trump and those working to elect him, and $57.3 million to other GOP candidates and the RNC. That averages more than $800,000 per donor.

“By self-funding my campaign, I am not controlled by my donors, special interests or lobbyists,” Trump announced in September last year. “I am only working for the people of the U.S.!”

Six of Trump’s top donors have landed in his has cabinet. Politico reports that is “far more” than in any recent White House.

“The way this whole transition is going so far, we have as a general matter an unbelievable and shocking disregard for propriety and conflicts, much less the raging hypocrisy,” political scientist Norm Ornstein of the right wing Koch Brothers funded American Enterprise Institute (AEI) told Politico. “The bigger issue is the huge conflicts of interest and the utterly brazen way Trump and the people around him turning this into pay-to-play in a fashion never seen before.”

Politico offers this stunning list of examples:

The biggest donor who has met with Trump since the election is Todd Ricketts, Trump’s pick for deputy secretary of commerce. Ricketts hails from the family that founded TD Ameritrade, owns the Chicago Cubs and is among the Republican Party’s top benefactors. They handed Republicans more than $15.7 million for 2016 and more than $26 million in previous cycles. The family also organized a super PAC called Future45 that became the largest unlimited-money group supporting Trump. Todd Ricketts personally donated $63,835 to Republicans.

Trump’s choice to lead the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, and her family (heirs to auto parts and multi-level marketing fortunes) spent $10.4 million this cycle, including $445,000 to Trump’s joint fundraising committee (known as Trump Victory) and one of the super PACs supporting him. She and her husband, Dick, have contributed to the campaigns of 17 senators who will vote on whether to confirm her.

Linda McMahon, the wrestling magnate whom Trump named to helm the Small Business Administration, gave $6 million to a pro-Trump super PAC. She and her husband, Vince, are also the largest donors to Trump’s foundation.

Labor Secretary-designee Andy Puzder, CEO of the parent company of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fast food chains, and his wife gave $160,000 to Trump Victory and more than $600,000 to other Republicans this cycle.

Trump’s pick for treasury secretary, investor Steven Mnuchin, personally chipped in $425,000, but was arguably responsible for almost everything Trump raised as his campaign’s finance chairman.


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Image of Trump by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license
Image of cash by reynermedia via Flickr and a CC license


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Watch: Merrick Garland Calls Trump’s Bluff, Strikes Back at MAGA World’s False Claims in Mar-a-Lago Raid



Attorney General Merrick Garland in an exceptionally rare public statement told the American people Thursday afternoon that he personally approached the search warrant used to enter Mar-a-Lago and confiscate the 10 to 12 cartons of federal government property, which reportedly included classified documents. He also called Donald Trump’s bluff, announcing he has asked a federal court to unseal the search warrant, which will allow the public to know what laws DOJ believes he has violated.

Noting that Donald Trump made public the raid on Mar-a-Lago and the Dept. of Justice did not, garland called Donald Trump’s bluff and announced that in response to attacks and citing “the substantial public interest in this matter,” Garland said that he has asked a federal court to unseal the search warrant and the inventory list of what FBI agents took from Trump’s property.

“The department did not make any public statements on the day of the search,” Garland stated. “The former president publicly confirmed the search that evening, as is his right. Copies of both the warrant and the FBI property receipt were provided on the day of the search to the former president’s counsel, who was on site during the search.”

READ MORE: Nearly Half the Country Supports FBI Mar-a-Lago Search – Only Republicans Are Opposed, New Poll Shows

That statement refutes the false claims made by many on the right that FBI agents refused to hand over the search warrant or inventory list.

“The search warrant was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause, the property receipt is a document that federal law requires law enforcement agents to leave with the property owner,” he added, making clear that a federal judge did agree there was probably cause to execute a search.

“Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy. upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly, without fear or favor, under my watch that is precisely what the Justice Department is doing. All Americans are entitled to the even handed application of the law, to due process of the law and to the presumption of innocence.”

“I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter,” Garland announced, which was largely assumed.

Garland also responded to the growing chorus of far right wing extremists, pundits, and even and GOP lawmakers who are attacking DOJ.

“Let me address recent unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors. I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked. The men and women of the FBI and the Justice Department are dedicated, patriotic public servants every day. They protect the American people from violent crime, terrorism and other threats to their safety, while safeguarding our civil rights. They do so at great personal sacrifice and risk to themselves. I am honored to work alongside them. This is all I can say right now.”

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Watch Live: Attorney General Merrick Garland to Make a Statement This Afternoon



Attorney General Merrick Garland will deliver a statement Thursday afternoon at 2;30 PM ET, the Dept. of Justice has announced.

The subject of his address was not included. A gunman threatened and attacked an FBI Field Office in Ohio earlier Thursday, and the far right and Republicans have been outraged over the execution of a search warrant by the FBI Monday at Mar-a-Lago, which resulted in the confiscation of classified materials and federal government property.

Watch live below.

DOJ website feed:

PBS News feed:


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Nearly Half the Country Supports FBI Mar-a-Lago Search – Only Republicans Are Opposed, New Poll Shows



Americans on the right are so outraged the FBI, having probable cause and a federal judge’s signature on a legal and valid search warrant, showed up at Mar-a-Lago Monday to confiscate what we now know were between ten and 12 cartons of federal government property, including classified documents.

Trump supporters upon hearing the news almost immediately began calling for civil war, with right wing media including Fox News and other far right outlets reinforcing those attacks.

But a brand new poll just released finds that, as with most issues, Republicans stand alone in their opposition and outrage.

READ MORE: DOJ Served Trump With Grand Jury Subpoena for Classified Documents Months Before FBI Raid: Report

“Just about half of registered voters approve of the FBI search of Trump’s Florida compound,” reveals Politico’s Morning Consult polling, published Thursday afternoon.

Specifically, 49 percent of registered voters support the raid. 37 percent, slightly more than one-third, oppose it, and 13% don’t know.

But the political breakdown reveals what many would expect.

84% of Democrats support the FBI’s execution of the search warrant on the former president’s home.

READ MORE: Federal Appeals Court Rules House Can Have Trump’s Tax Returns – Committee Expects Them ‘Immediately’

47% of independents also support the raid, with just 33% opposed.

But a whopping 72% of Republicans are opposed to the FBI’s actions, and just 15% are in support.

The Morning Consult poll also finds that a “majority of voters believe Trump either ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ broke the law while he was president.”

That includes 90% of Democrats, 59% of independents, and 24% of Republicans.



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