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

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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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BREAKING NEWS

Highly-Anticipated J6 Committee Hearing Likely Postponed

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Wednesday’s highly-anticipated hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, the first one since July, and possibly the final publicly-televised event, will likely be postponed due to Hurricane Ian which is ravaging Florida.

The Washington Post’s Jacqueline Alemany and Josh Dawsey were the first to report the postponement. MSNBC has confirmed the likely postponement.

No new date has been scheduled yet.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Yes’: GOP Nominee Mastriano Supports Charging Women With Murder if They Have an Abortion After a 6 Week Ban (Audio)

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Pennsylvania’s GOP nominee for governor, state Senator Doug Mastriano, in 2019 said women who violate a bill he sponsored that would ban abortion after six weeks should be charged with murder.

“OK, let’s go back to the basic question there,” Mastriano told Pennsylvania radio station WITF, as NBC News reports. “Is that a human being? Is that a little boy or girl? If it is, it deserves equal protection under the law.”

“Asked if he was saying yes, they should be charged with murder, Mastriano responded: ‘Yes, I am.'”

READ MORE: ‘Seize the Power’: Christian Nationalist Doug Mastriano Prayed MAGA Would ‘Rise Up’ Against the Gov’t on 1/6 (Video)

Mastriano is a conspiracy theorist, election denier, and white Christian nationalist with ties to Gab founder Andrew Torba, an antisemitic Christian nationalist and white supremacist.

Mastriano’s bill would have barred abortions once a so-called “fetal heartbeat” could be detected, NBC News adds, “usually around six weeks,” generally before most women even know they are pregnant.

Mastriano, when confronted, falsely attempted to downplay the ability of a governor to shape laws.

“My views are kind of irrelevant because I cannot rule by fiat or edict or executive order on the issue of life,” Mastriano told the conservative network Real America’s Voice, NBC adds. “It’s up to the people of Pennsylvania. So if Pennsylvanians want exceptions, if they want to limit the number of weeks, it’s going to have to come from your legislative body and then to my desk.”

READ MORE: Watch: Torba Warns GOP to Not ‘Disavow or Condemn Us’ Because ‘Christian Nationalists Are the Republican Party’

Mastriano, endorsed by Trump, is facing Democrat Josh Shapiro, who is leading in the polls.

The New York Times reports Mastriano’s campaign is “sputtering,” and says he “is being heavily outspent by his Democratic rival, has had no television ads on the air since May, has chosen not to interact with the state’s news media in ways that would push his agenda, and trails by double digits in reputable public polling and most private surveys.”

Earlier this month Rolling Stone just days before the January 6 insurrection Mastriano “was video taped leading a group in prayer, asking God that the MAGA movement would overthrow the federal government, praying they would ‘seize the power’ and ‘rise up’ on January 6.”

Listen below or at this link:

 

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CRIME

Trump Mocked for ‘Sidelining’ His New $3 Million Attorney: ‘Must Have Given Him Actual Legal Advice’

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It’s no secret Donald Trump has been virtually unable to hire highly-respected attorneys to defend him in the many legal and civil cases he is facing for a variety of alleged crimes and misdeeds, including his actions surrounding fraudulent efforts to overturn a free and fair election and the January 6 insurrection, his retention and refusal to return hundreds of classified documents, and his alleged real estate and tax fraud cases, and more.

One of the rumored reasons Trump, a former President, has been unable to retain quality legal representation is he “has a long history of allegedly not paying his bills,” as Vanity Fair has noted.

Trump did manage to hire what many consider a qualified and respected attorney for his legal issues surrounding his classified documents case.

READ MORE: ‘Bright-Red, Ear-Splitting Alarm Bell’: Former Top GOP Congressman Blasted for ‘Normalization’ of Fascism (Video)

Chris Kise, the former solicitor general for Florida, agreed to work for Trump but only if he was paid up front.

Thanks to Trump’s massive fundraising operation Kise is being paid millions, effectively by Trump supporters.

Kise is also no longer leading the case.

CNN reports Kise “has been sidelined from the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation less than a month after he was brought on to represent Trump in the matter, two sources familiar with the move tell CNN.”

READ MORE: Embattled Trump-Appointed DHS Inspector Was Given Phones of Secret Service Agents in July, Raising ‘New Questions’: Report

“Kise’s hiring came with an unusual price tag of $3 million, paid for by Trump’s outside spending arm. The retainer fee, paid upfront, raised eyebrows among other lawyers on Trump’s team, given the former President has a developed a reputation for not paying his legal fees.”

Legal experts are mocking Trump for sidelining his top attorney.

“Obviously this means the lawyer must have given Trump actual legal advice,” teased George Conway.

“Which is just RUDE,” replied attorney Ken White.

MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst and anchor Katie Phang asked, “So Kise is a $3 million dollar benchwarmer?”

“Trump is already throwing over Chris Kise after signing a $3M retainer and convincing him to leave Foley & Lardner? That seems … not smart,” says Liz Dye, who writes about law and politics. “Chaos monkey gonna chaos monkey, I guess.”

Dan Berman, CNN Politics managing editor for legal, immigration, and the Supreme Court serves up the perfect headline: “Trump’s 3 Million Dollar Man is sidelined already.”

LA Times columnist Harry Litman, a frequent guest on MSNBC and a former U.S. Attorney offered perhaps the most amusing response:

“The one credible lawyer that Trump has hired in years, Chris Kise, paying $3M up front, now has been demoted and is no longer leading the MAL defense. Must be Trump’s payback for the fix he’s now in w/ Judge Dearie. He thinks he’s Goldfinger/Dr.No but he’s really Austin Powers.”

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